What is Freemasonry?
Freemasonry means different things to each of those who join. For some, it’s about making new friends and acquaintances. For others it’s about being able to help deserving causes – making a contribution to family and for society. But for most, it is an enjoyable hobby.
Freemasonry is one of the World’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisation. It teaches self-knowledge through participation in a progression of ceremonies. Members are expected to be of high moral standing and are encouraged to speak openly about Freemasonry.
What happens at a lodge meeting?
The meeting, which like those of other groups, are open only to members, is normally in two parts.
First, there are normal administrative procedures such as:
• Minutes of the previous meeting
• Proposing and balloting for new members
• Discussing and voting on the annual accounts
• Masonic news and correspondence
• News about charitable work
Second, there are the ceremonies for:
• Admitting new members
• The annual installation of the Master of the Lodge and his officers
Why do Freemasons take oaths?
New members make solemn promises concerning their behaviour both in the Lodge and in society. Members also promise to keep confidential the way they recognise each other when visiting another Lodge. Freemasons also promise to support others in time of need but only so far as it does not conflict with their family and public obligations.
Are Freemasons expected to give preference to fellow members?
Certainly not. This would be unacceptable and may lead to action being taken against those involved. On joining, each new member states that he expects no material gain from membership.
Who do the Masonic charities donate to?
Whilst there are Masonic charities that cater specifically, but not exclusively, for Masons or their dependants, others make significant grants to non-Masonic organisations.
What is Freemasonry’s relationship with religion?
All Freemasons are expected to have a religious belief, but Freemasonry does not seek to replace a Mason’s religion or provide a substitute for it. It deals in a man’s relationship with his fellow man not in a man’s relationship with his God.
Why do some churches not like Freemasonry?
There are elements within churches who misunderstand Freemasonry and its objectives. They confuse secular rituals with religious liturgy. There are many Masons in churches where their leaders have been openly critical of the organisation. Masonry has always actively encouraged its members to be active in their own religion.
Does Freemasonry accept Roman Catholics?
Yes. Four Grand Masters of English Freemasonry have been Roman Catholics. Today there are many Roman Catholic Freemasons.
What is Freemasonry’s relationship with politics?
Freemasonry, as a body, will never express a view on politics or state policy. The discussion of politics at Masonic meetings has always been prohibited.
Is Freemasonry an international order?
Freemasonry exists throughout the world. However, each Grand Lodge is sovereign and independent. There is no international governing body for Freemasonry.
Why do you wear regalia?
Wearing regalia is historic and symbolic. Like a uniform, the regalia indicates the rank of the wearer in the organisation.
How many Freemasons are there?
Worldwide, there are approximately six million Freemasons.
How many degrees are there in Freemasonry?
Basic Freemasonry consists of three degrees:
• Entered Apprentice
• Fellow Craft
• Master Mason
How much does it cost to be a Freemason?
It varies from Lodge to Lodge. Anyone wishing to join will find a Lodge to suit his pocket. There is an initiation fee on entry and in due course regalia will have to be bought. The meeting is normally followed by a dinner, the cost depending on the venue. There is, in addition, an annual subscription.
Members are invited to give to charity but this should always be within their means and it is entirely up to the individual how much they wish to contribute.
Ford, Gerald R.
Garfield, James A.
Harding, Warren G.
Johnson, Lyndon B.
Polk, James Knox
Roosevelt, Franklin D.
Taft, William Howard
Truman, Harry S.
Franklin, Benjamin – 1 of 13 Masonic signers of Constitution of the U.S.
Hancock, John – 1of 9 Masonic signers of Declaration of Independence
Jones, John Paul
Baron von Steuben
REPUBLIC OF TEXAS AND DEFENDERS OF THE ALAMO
Col. William Barrett Travis
U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICES
Black, Hugo L.
Blair, Jr., John
Burton, Harold H.
Byrnes, James F.
Clark, Thomas C.
Clarke, John H.
Devanter, Willis Van
Douglas, William O.
Field, Stephen J.
Harlan, John M.
Jackson, Robert H.
Lamar, Joseph E.
Marshall, John – Chief Justice, 1801-1835
Moody, William H.
Reed, Stanley F.
Rutledge, Wiley B.
Swayne, Noah H.
Vinson, Frederick M.
Woods, William B.
Aldrin, Edwin E. – Astronaut
Armstrong, Neil – Astronaut
Glenn, John H. – First American to orbit the earth in a space craft
Grissom, Virgil – Astronaut
Arnold, General Henry “Hap” – Commander of the Army Air Force
Bradley, Omar N. – Military leader
Byrd, Admiral Richard E. – Flew over North Pole
Clark, General Mark
Doolittle, General James – Famous Air Force Pilot
Jones, John Paul – First Admiral of the U.S. Navy
Lafayette, Marquis de – Supporter of American Freedom
Lindbergh, Charles – Aviator
MacArthur, General Douglas – Commander of Armed Forces in Philippines
Marshall, George C. – General of the Armies
McClellan, General George B. – Army of the Potomac, Presidential Candidate against Abe Lincoln, faced General Robert E. Lee at the battle of Antietam, and twice Governor of New Jersey.
Montgomery, Richard Major General – 1st General Officer of the Continental Army
Murphy, Audie – Most decorated soldier of WW11.
Peary, Robert E. – First man to reach the North Pole (1909)
Pershing, John Joseph – Decorated American Soldier
Rickenbacker, Eddie – Great American Air Force Ace
Tirpitz, Alfred Von – German Naval officer responsible for submarine warfare
ACTORS / WRITERS
Autry, Gene – Actor
Borgnine, Ernest – Actor
Burns, Robert – The National Poet of Scotland
Casanova – Italian Adventurer, writer and entertainer
Clemens, Samuel L. – Mark Twain – writer
Cohan, George M. – Broadway star
Collodi, Carlo – Writer of Pinocchio
Doyle, Sir Author Conan – Writer – Sherlock Holmes
Fairbanks, Douglas – Silent film actor
Fields, W.C. – Actor
Gable, Clark – Actor
Gibbon, Edward – Writer – Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Godfrey, Arthur – Actor
Gray, Harold Lincoln – Creator of “Little Orphan Annie
Hardy, Oliver – Actor – Comedian
Hope, Bob – Comedian
Kipling, Rudyard – Writer
Lincoln, Elmo – First actor to play Tarzan of the Apes (1918)
Mix, Tom – U.S. Marshal turned actor. Stared in over 400 western films
Murphy, Audie – Most decorated American Soldier of WWII
Pushkin, Aleksander – Russian Poet
Rogers, Roy – American cowboy and screen star
Rogers, Will – Actor
Scott, Sir Walter – Writer
Sellers, Peter – Actor
Shakespeare, William – Writer
Swift, Jonathan – Wrote Gulliver’s Travels
Voltaire – French writer and philosopher
Wallace, Lewis – Wrote “Ben Hur”
Wayne, John – Actor
Cobb, Ty – Baseball Player
Combs, Earle Bryan – Baseball Hall of Fame
Dempsey, Jack – Sports
Hornsby, Rogers – An original member of the Baseball Hall of Fame
Naismith, James – Inventor of Basketball
Palmer, Arnold – Golf Pro
Bassie, William “Count” – Orchestra leader/composer
Ludwig von Beethoven
Berlin, Irving – Entertainer
Clark, Roy – Country Western Star
Cohen, George M.
Cole, Nat King
Ellington, Duke – Composer, Arranger and Stylist
Jolson, Al – Fame as the first ‘talking picture’ the Jazz Singer
Key, Francis Scott – Wrote U.S. National Anthem
Lloyd, Harold C. – Entertainer
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus – Composer
Sax, Antoine Joseph – Invented the Saxophone (1846)
Sibelius, Jean – Composer (Finland)
Skelton, Red – Entertainer
Smith, John Stafford – Wrote the music that became the US National Anthem
Sousa, John Philip – Led the U.S. Marine Band from 1880 – 1892
Stratton, Charles “Tom Thumb” – Entertainer
Tillis, Mel – Country Singer
Whiteman, Paul – “King of Jazz”
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL LEADERS
Abbott, Sir John J.C. – Prime Minister of Canada 1891-92
Bennett, Viscount R.B. – Prime Minister of Canada 1930-35
Borden, Sir Robert L. – Prime Minister of Canada 1911-1920
Bowell, Sir Mackenzie – Prime Minister of Canada 1894-96
Bryant, William Jennings
Churchill, Winston – British Leader
Dewey, Thomas E.
Diefenbaker, John G. – Prime Minister of Canada 1957-63
Edward VII – King of England
Edward VIII – King of England who abdicated the throne in less than 1 year
George VI – King of England during W.W. II
MacDonald, Sir John A. – Prime Minister of Canada 1867-73 & 1878-91
Nunn, Sam – U.S. Senator
Wallace, Governor George C. – Presidential Candidate who was nearly assasinated
OTHER FAMOUS MASONS
Balfour, Lloyd – Jewelry
Bartholdi, Frederic A. – Designed the Statue of Liberty
Baylor, Robert E. B. – Founder Baylor University
Beard, Daniel Carter – Founder Boy Scouts
Bell, Lawrence – Bell Aircraft Corp.
Borglum, Gutzon & Lincoln – Father and Son who carved Mt. Rushmore
BuBois, W.E.B. – Educator/Scholar
Calvo, Father Francisco – Catholic Priest who started Freemasonry in Costa Rica 1865
Chrysler, Walter P. – Automotive fame
Citroen, Andre – French Engineer and motor car manufacturer
Desaguliers, John Theophilus – Inventor of the planetarium
Dow, William H. – Dow Chemical Co.
Drake, Edwin L – American Pioneer of the Oil industry
Dunant, Jean Henri – Founder of the Red Cross
Ervin Jr, Samual J. – Headed “Watergate” committee
Faber, Eberhard – Head of the famous Eberhard Fabor Pencil Company
Fisher, Geoffrey – Archbishop of Canterbury 1945 – 1961
Fitch, John – Inventor of the Steamboat
Fleming, Sir Alexander – Invented Penicillin
Ford, Henry – Pioneer Automobile Manufacturer
Gatling, Richard J. – Built the “Gatling Gun”
Gilbert, Sir William S. – Was the librettis for “Pirates of Penzance”
Gillette, King C. – Gillette Razor Co.
“Grock – Swiss Circus Clown
Guillotin, Joseph Ignace – Inventor of the “Guillotin”
Hedges, Cornelius – “Father” of Yellowstone National Park
Henson, Josiah – Inspired the novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”
Hilton, Charles C. – American Hotelier
Hoban, James – Architect for the U.S. Captiol
Hoe, Richard M. – Invented the rotary press, revolutionizing newspaper printing
Hoover, J. Edgar – Director of FBI
Houdini, Harry – Magician
Jenner, Edward – Inventor – Vaccination
Jones, Melvin – One of the founders of the Lions International
Lake, Simon – Built first submarine successful in open sea
Land, Frank S. – Founder Order of DeMolay
Lipton, Sir Thomas – Tea
Marshall, James W. – Discovered Gold at Sutter’s Mill California 1848
Mayer, Louis B. – Film producer who merged to form Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Mayo, Dr. William and Charles – Began Mayo Clinic
Maytag, Fredrick – Maytag
Menninger, Karl A. – Psychiatrist famous for treating mental illness
Michelson, Albert Abraham – Successfully measured the speed of light in 1882
Montgolfier, Jacques Etienne – Co-developer of the first practical hot-air balloon
New, Harry S. – Postmaster General who established Airmail
Newton, Joseph Fort – Christian Minister
Olds, Ransom E. – American automobile pioneer
Otis, James – Famous for “Taxations without Representation is Tyranny”
Papst, Charles F. – Coined the term “Athletes Foot”
Peale, Norman Vincent – Founder of “Guidepost”
Penny, James C. – Retailer
Poinsett, Joel R. – U.S. Minister to Mexico who developed the flower: Poinsettia
Pullman, George – Built first sleeping car on train
Ringling Brothers – All 7 brothers and their father were Masons
Salten, Felix – Creator of Bambi
Sarnoff, David – Father of T.V.
Schoonover, George – Founder of “The Builder”
Stanford, Leland – Drove the gold spike linking the intercontinental railroad
Stanford, Leland – Railroads & Stanford University
Still, Andrew T. – American Physician who devised treatment of Osteopathy
Teets, John W. – Chairman and President of Dial Corporation
Thomas, Dave – Founder of Wendy’s Restaurant
Thomas, Lowell – Brought Lawrence of Arabia to public notice
Wadlow, Robert Pershing – Tallest human on record being almost 9 feet tall
Warner, Jack – Warner Brothers Fame
Webb, Matthew – First man to swim the English Channel (1875)
Wyler, William – Director of “Ben Hur”
Zanuck, Darryl F. – Co-founder of 20th Century Productions in 1933
Ziegfeld, Florenz – His Ziegfeld’s Follies began in 1907