If I said the word ‘Freemasons’ what would your first thought be? A mysterious, secretive illuminati? A helping hand in business? Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons? The truth of the modern-day Freemasons is very different to the myths and conspiracy theories you may have heard.
What is Freemasonry?
The Freemasons are simply a fraternal society that offers the opportunity to expand your circle of friends as well as community fundraising and personal self development.
Freemasonry is one of the world’s largest charitable, non-religious and non-political organisations. For some members it’s a social activity; for others it’s about making a contribution to society; whilst some are attracted by being part of a long established, respected organisation and others find it a personal development opportunity.
Historically the Freemasons’ mantra has been ‘brotherly love, relief and truth’. It can be translated into a more modern definition of ‘Personal integrity, friendship, mutual respect and charitable giving’.
The stated aim of Freemasonry is to make ‘good men better’, by reminding them of their duty to society, being law-abiding and remaining conscious of the needs of those less fortunate. In summary, ‘traditional values for the modern man’.
The Lodge of Dawn
One Leeds Freemasons’ lodge, The Lodge of Dawn is currently open to welcoming new members.
The Lodge recently launched a new video, highlighting the benefits of Freemasonry in general, and The Lodge of Dawn in particular. This video features interviews with several members. The interviewees discuss what Freemasonry isn’t, the type of people who can join the Freemasons, charitable giving, the social side of Freemasonry, a little about the ritual and the enjoyment our members get from being part of The Lodge of Dawn.
Freemasons are arranged into local ‘Lodges’ with each holding regular formal meetings but there are also a range of social events and external activities, some of which involve spouses and families.
The Lodge of Dawn hold their meetings in Headingley, and most of their members live in Alwoodley, Moortown and the surrounding North Leeds areas.
One of the key tenets of Freemasonry is charitable giving whilst supporting the local community. In the last 18 months The Lodge has secured a grant of £24,700 for the Chapeltown Youth Development Centre (CYDC) on Scott Hall Road in Leeds. The grant was used to build a 4G MUGA (multi-use games area, see picture above at the official opening); a grant of £28,000 for John Jamieson Special School in Oakwood, to help to establish an ‘Employment Park’ which will give students the opportunity to learn real skills in a safe environment; and a £20,000 grant for St Chad’s Broomfield Cricket Club, in Headingley, to help rebuild their changing facilities.
These examples are just some of the many grants, large or small, that Freemasons give. Any local charity that needs support should contact The Lodge via email:
Women and Freemasonry
Freemasonry is not only a male pastime. There are also two female-only Grand Lodges: The Order of Women Freemasons and HFAF – Freemasonry for Women.
Join The Lodge of Dawn
The Lodge of Dawn is currently open to new members.
Whilst an introduction into Freemasonry has previously only been by invitation only, The Lodge of Dawn is happy to meet or talk to any readers of THAT LEEDS MAG who are interested in becoming a Freemason, or are simply interested in finding out more. Any man over the age of 18 is eligible to join, and most new members are in the 25-45 age group.
You can contact The Lodge of Dawn, and find out more at: www.thelodgeofdawn.co.uk.