Are you interested in finding out more about Freemasonry? You've come to the right place!

What is Freemasonry? Freemasonry is a "Men's society"* where men gather to "make good men better". We enjoy the "Three Fs" : Fun, Friendship and Fellowship.

Freemasonry is based on the lodges of masons who built the early cathedrals in England and Scotland many centuries ago and, to become a Master Mason, a candidate passes through three "degrees". These correspond to the "degrees" which each early stonemason had to pass through to become a master mason. Each "degree" of their apprenticeship took seven years to complete but these days we manage the process rather faster than that.

* There are lodges for women but there are very rare. There are currently none in New Zealand.


Freemasonry has existed for hundreds of years (some say thousands!) but it was all formalised in England back in the 1700s.

So what goes on in lodge rooms? We carry out degree ceremonies on new candidates. Sometimes, if no candidate is available, we will do an emulation with a master mason standing in, acting as the candidate. Other times we will have a visiting speaker. These ceremonies are based on those which have been conducted in lodges throughout the world over the centuries.

Do we wear funny clothing? We do wear masonic aprons as symbols of our craft and those in offices in the lodge also wear a large wide collar representing their position in the lodge.



Many Freemasons have fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers who are or were lodge members.


Do we have a secret handshake? Yes, we do, but along with some other aspects, we do not discuss these in public. They are kept secret. The reason is mainly to show that a Freemason can keep some things in confidence and not talk carelessly -  either masonicly or non- masonicly.

So is freemasonry a "secret society"? No, Freemasons are proud to be recognised as such in society. But we are, indeed, a society with secrets.

Is Freemasonry a religion? No, Freemasonry is not a religion, but we do have "religious overtones". In New Zealand lodges there will be, in a central position, a bible. However, this is referred to as the "volume of sacred law" as, in other countries it will naturally be a different book e.g. the Koran or another appropriate Holy Book, according to the beliefs of members. This is because Freemasonry is truly a non-sectarian organisation.

What are the rules? There are very few. When one enters a lodge we are all equals regardless of our rank out there in society. However, we do not allow discussion of either religion or politics as these topics can cause divisions between men and we prefer to function always "in harmony". Who can become a Freemason? Any man over the age of eighteen who is of "good report" is welcome to seek membership.


Members' wives are frequently involved in lodge activities


Is it expensive to belong? Lodges do have an annual membership fee, generally in the vicinity of $200. Tyhere is also, frequently, a joining fee to cover the cost of your apron.

Aren't lodges full of old men? Indeed, many members of lodges are older guys, having been members for many years in some cases, but there is also a pleasing number of younger guys recognising the unique environment which Freemasonry offers and joining. This constantly refreshes and renews the membership.

Is freemasonry involved in Charity?  Yes.  Charity  via benevolence and monetary sponsorship is an important principle of Freemasonry. Lodges, districts and grand lodges each in their own way support the community in every aspect of charity.



Addressing the haggis


Installation night


What else do Freemasons do? Lodges do hold several “entertainment” events during a year : fish and chip nights, movie nights, dinners, road trips and the like. Each lodge is different. Some celebrate the membership of Robbie Burns by holding an annual "whisky night".

How do you become a Freemason? Do you have to be asked? The days when you had to be asked to become a freemason are passed. Many lodges have a slogan : "To be one, ask one". You simply need to ask any freemason and they will happily point you in the right direction. Indeed, this web page has links to all of the local lodges.





OMCT website by Worsfold Software Ltd, Alexandra