Becoming a Freemason
 
If you like the sound of Freemasonry and would like to join the fraternity, you need only ask a Freemason. You don't have to personally know a freemason to do this though. You could email our Lodge secretary, or if you don't live in Brisbane, its perfectly ok to contact the Grand Lodge in your jurisdiction and express your desire to join. Just to be clear on this point, you will never be asked by a Freemason to join the fraternity - you must ask to join. There are however a few requirements of you before you can apply for membership.
  1. You must profess a belief in a Supreme Being. Its no one's business but your own who or what you believe that Supreme Being to be, so long as you believe in one.
  2. Your decision to join Freemasonry is made freely, without improper inducement by others.
  3. You must be no less than 18 years of age
If you would like to join Camp Hill Lodge, or have any questions about Freemasonry, click here.


Choosing a Lodge
 
At this stage you may well have already made the decision to join. It is, however, unlikely that you will know how to select a Lodge to join.

The United Grand Lodge of Queensland (UGLQ) and some of its Lodges publish pamphlets, booklets and papers which explain what Freemasonry is, and the benefits of membership. Good Lodges will supply you with these printed items to assist you in understanding the organisation when you make your interest known.

Notwithstanding their commonalities, all Lodges are not the same. For example, membership numbers vary widely, from fewer than 20 to more than 100; there are wide variations in financial soundness; Lodges differ significantly as to social and cultural events, and as to inclusion of family and friends therein; and planning and management models contain distinct differences.

In light of this, it is but right that you be provided with some guidelines to help you decide which Lodge is the best fit for you.

  1. Place of Meeting
    It is desirable that the Centre in which your Lodge meets is not too far, or difficult to access, from your home, that it has acceptable parking, well-kept lodge rooms, good supper rooms, and adequate catering facilities. You are advised to consider all these matters.
  1. Time and Day of Meeting
    These may be important to you, depending on your personal circumstances. If you will have difficulty getting from work to Lodge, it might suit you to join a Lodge which commences at 7.30 pm rather than at some earlier time.

    If your work commitments make it difficult for you to attend Lodge on week nights, or family commitments make Friday or Saturday nights unsuitable, then the night on which your Lodge meets may be critically important to you.

    All Lodges should have ‘practice meetings’ in addition to regular formal monthly meetings. It is a good idea to also ask about these ancillary time demands.
  1. Membership
    You might want to consider the membership mix and age demographics of your intended Lodge. Most Lodges have an eclectic mix of members from diverse walks of life and various social backgrounds, and you would greatly benefit from finding a Lodge which is the best mix for you. There is no harm in asking about this.
  1. Friendship
    It is not unreasonable for aspirants to Freemasonry to expect to make firm friends in Freemasonry generally, but more particularly within their own Lodge. One would hardly expect anything different considering that it is a fraternal society of which one of the basic tenets is ‘Brotherly Love’. Therefore, before you join, you should assess the “friendliness quotient” of an intended lodge as well as you can. Accordingly, when making inquiry of a Lodge, you may expect:

    • To have your initial inquiry dealt with politely and respectfully
    • That you (and your partner) will be guests at one or more Lodge socials or suppers as part of the introductory process
    • To be made to feel comfortable and welcome among the Lodge members
    • That the Lodge generally will appear to you to be making an extra effort to welcome you

    Friendliness is fairly intangible, but nonetheless, you should perhaps give these matters some careful thought.
  1. A New World
    When coming to Masonic membership, you will find there is lots to know, and lots to learn about Masonry and the Masonic life. You should ask whether your potential Lodge has some or all of the following:

    • An Orientation Kit
    • A mentoring scheme
    • Tuition at each degree level
    • A Lodge library
    • A culture of self-improvement
    • Lodge officer training
    • Lodge educational syllabus

    Many Lodges, unhappily, are lacking in these areas, all of which you may think important.
  1. Matters of Finance
    Freemasonry is not without financial cost. You may think it important to examine whether prospective costs of clothing, regalia and annual dues can be readily accommodated within your personal budget.

    In a wider sense, it may be wise to ask about the Lodge finances. Does it usually run in surplus or deficit? Does it have financial reserves? Does it cost members to attend Lodge suppers, or are they ‘fully found’? Does the Lodge levy members for short-falls? What is the cost, per event or per annum, of Lodge social functions? What is the cost to individual members of the Lodge charity programme?

    You may think some or all of these matters worthy of inquiry. Whatever happens, you should be fully satisfied that the aggregate cost will cause you no financial hardship.
  1. Communications
    Does your intended Lodge use efficient communication methods?

    • Email
    • Lodge website
    • Electronic banking facilities
    • Lodge contact lists for all members
    • Lodge newsletter

    You may think it sensible to examine these matters.
  1. Social Programme
    Some Lodges have a very active social life. The events come at a cost in both time and money. You may think it wise to ask questions about the frequency and nature of normal social and cultural events, and the cost and time demands they make on members. You must assess for yourself whether you think the social round is attractive, as, if you do not or cannot participate, you may miss out on a serious benefit of membership.
  1. Ritual and Ceremonial
    A core activity of Lodge life is its ceremonial role in Initiating, Passing and Raising candidates. It is impossible at this stage for you to realise the importance of ceremonial standards, or to assess a Lodge’s ability in this regard. However, you may think it important to ask whether the Lodge strives to achieve excellence in this area.

    Some questions you might ask:

    • Does the Lodge have an organist?
    • How many officers usually attend practices?
    • Are non-officers welcome at practices?
    • Does the Lodge provide guides or manuals to officers to assist their competence?
    • Is it the Lodge rule to pursue and insist on quality ceremonial work?

    You may not yet realise how important this aspect of Lodge life is, but you will, as you settle in, appreciate having joined a Lodge where Ceremonial excellence is highly valued.
  1. Planning and Administration
    All good Lodges continually look for improvement in their operations. This direction requires much thought and discussion. Regular planning meetings, to which all members are invited, should ideally be held so as to tap into as wide a variety of points of view and ideas as is possible.

    It may be sensible for you to ask about how often the Lodge meets for this purpose, which members are invited or excluded from the process, and what expectations there are upon new members.

The purpose of these 10 considerations is to provide you with ‘food for thought’. Freemasonry is a voluntary organisation, and, above all, your Lodge participation should be enjoyable. The answers to any of these inquiries which you may make will assist you in forming an opinion as to whether or not a Lodge is a suitable fit for you.

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