Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Freemasons throw open the doors

August 27 2004

Freemasons throw open the doors

New Zealand Freemasons are opening the doors of their lodge rooms during September in an unprecedented move to dispel once and for all the incorrect public perception of secrecy that surrounds the organisation. There are just over 300 Masonic Lodges spread throughout New Zealand catering for some 13,500 members, and that makes Freemasonry the largest organisation of its type in New Zealand.

The Grand Master of New Zealand Freemasons, Central Otago high country farmer Laurie Inder, says all too often the good that Freemasonry brings to society and the very high importance and value of the moral and ethic teachings it brings to its members, are overwhelmed by a spectre of secrecy and conspiracy.

"Freemasonry is a very old organisation that can trace its roots back more than 500 years, and it has been a powerful influence in advancing many important fundamental human issues such as personal and religious freedoms, care for the sick and disadvantaged and the promotion of high moral standards, while carefully avoiding any involvement in politics or religion," he says.

"While the fundamental philosophies of the organisation remain unchanged, they are as relevant and as important today as they have ever been. But our organisation has evolved and continues to move with the times, and that is why it retains its relevancy in the 21st century, as it will into the centuries ahead."

Mr Inder says this continuing relevancy is behind the renewed interest in membership, particularly amongst thinking business and professional men.

As well as opening their doors to the public during September, Lodges throughout the country will be initiating a variety of community activities and events intended to demonstrate that Masonic lodges are a close and important part of their local communities, and to help bring Lodges and local communities closer together

Mr Inder says the open door policy is a tangible demonstration of openness and frankness that clearly demonstrates that Freemasonry has no major secrets or hidden agendas.

"Visitors to our Lodge rooms during September will be able to find out virtually anything they want to know about the organisation," he says. "But, we won't be talking about the details of our ceremonies:

Freemasons prefer to keep these private because to publicise them would lessen the impact of the powerful lessons they contain for new members." However, that wish for privacy doesn't extend to the installation of the new Grand Master of the order in Auckland in November, a ceremony that will be open to the families and friends of members.

While New Zealand Freemasonry is a male-only organisation, there are a number of Lodges which cater for both sexes, and others which are women only.

The depth and strength of Freemasonry in New Zealand is perhaps best demonstrated by its strong balance sheet. The Freemason's charity arm, the Fund of Benevolence, has almost $19 million in funds invested, and the Grand Lodge deposit scheme operated through the National Bank of New Zealand, has $259 million in funds held on behalf of Lodge members and their families. In addition, Freemasonry in New Zealand has charitable assets throughout the country, including homes for the aged and medical trusts, valued at around $150 million.

Charity is a major element of Freemasonry, and the organisation's national assistance programme distributes between $2 million and $3 million annually to worthy causes. These grants are made solely from the contributions of members, and are given based on the basis on the needs of the recipient, with no requirement for any Masonic connections. As well, individual Freemasons' lodges pay out around $1 million a year to help people in their local communities with a range of needs from housing, food and clothing, to education, health and daily living needs.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election