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Shrewsbury, Massachusetts – April 5, 2014 – Joining with Masonic lodges across the Commonwealth, Freemasons meeting in Matthew John Whittall and Level Lodges, 353 Boston Turnpike (Rt. 9 West), Shrewsbury, will open their doors to the public on Saturday, April 12th, between 9 am and 3 pm, as part of the Square and Compasses Day, a state-wide celebration of Freemasonry. If you’ve ever wondered who the Freemasons are, whether they are the descendants of the Knights Templars, or what the inside of their buildings look like, here’s your chance to find out!
More than 230 lodges will be hosting Open Houses to help the public gain a better understanding of what Freemasonry is, the positive impact that it has on its members, their families, and their communities. Members will provide tours of their building, talk about Freemasonry’s history, discuss its rituals, signs, and symbols, and explain what they do.
“Square and Compasses Day is a great opportunity for anyone interested in learning more about Freemasonry to meet and talk with Masons in their community,” said Harvey J. Waugh, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, and the presiding officer of over 32,000 members. “Although many have heard of us, very few are aware that for over 280 years we have been part of an unbroken tradition of great men who have changed our world in ways both big and small. Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thurgood Marshall, and John Glenn, for example, all joined the Masons prior to achieving the greatness we recognize them for. There are countless other great men, whose names are not widely known, that made their families, workplaces, and communities better because they were Masons. I warmly invite the public to join us on April 12th.”
Freemasons trace their roots to the stonemason guilds that built Europe’s cathedrals and castles during the early part of the last millennium. As construction of these buildings declined, they began accepting members from outside their trade. These new members, influenced by the “Age of Enlightenment,” transformed the organization from a group for builders to one focused on developing the character of its members. Freemasonry was formally organized in London, England in 1717. In 1733 it was formally organized in Massachusetts, making it the oldest Masonic group in the Western Hemisphere and the third oldest in the world.
Freemasonry, the world’s oldest and largest fraternity, seeks to bring together men of every country, religion, race, background, and opinion in order to develop the bonds of friendship between them. Through a large variety of North American Masonic philanthropies, approximately $3,000,000 is given to charity every day, 70% of which benefits the general public. During its initiation ceremony, which uses symbolism and allegory, its members are encouraged to value high principles, ethics, and morals and to live their lives accordingly. By “making good men better,” Freemasonry positively benefits its members, families and communities. Freemasonry in Massachusetts is comprised of 32,000 members in more than 230 different lodges throughout the Commonwealth. For additional information, please call 800.882.1020, or visit askafreemason.org.