Mason group details inner working at milestone celebration
FROM the outside, Gatton's Masonic Lodge could easily be mistaken for a regular church, were it not for the unusual iconography that adorns its front.
"One of the questions we always hear is: what goes on in those funny little buildings with the square and compass on the wall?," David Green said.
Mr Green has been a Freemason for more than 40 years and was the presenter at the Gatton Lodge's open day on Saturday, celebrating 125 years.
Established in 1894, the No. 87 Masonic Lodge in Gatton has quietly contributed to the community throughout its tenure, offering men of all ages and walks of life the opportunity to learn, grow and improve.
The focus of the open day was to invite the community to learn more about the lodge's history and traditions, and dispel some of the myths around freemasonry.
"Masonry is not a religion. It does not have a creed, and it does not have a canon," Mr Green said.
"What it has is a universal set of tenets, which boil down to the simple message of treat others as you would want to be treated."
Lodge member Josh Scerri spoke more about the activities the group conduct during their meetings.
"We do rituals - well, they're called rituals, but it's really about making ourselves better people," he said.
"The way they used to explain it is that we use symbol and ritual to teach morality."
Freemasons welcome men of all faiths, with belief in some kind of higher power and the immortality of the soul being a key condition of membership.
The letter 'G', painted gold, hangs from a chain on the ceiling, in recognition of the field of geometry, and the 'Great Architect of the Universe', a non-denominational term freemasons use to acknowledge the existence of a higher power.
The Lodge is filled with all manner of other icons and signs, originating from the fraternity's lengthy history, which spans centuries and continents.
Everything in the building has its own unique meaning and purpose, from the design of the carpet to the shaping of the chairs, from the intricate wooden shapes on the walls to the cube of uncarved stone sitting on the floor.
"Everywhere you look, there are symbols," lodge secretary John Rudduck, who has written about the Gatton Lodge's history, said.
"It's really a fascinating topic. You could spend hours learning about it all."
Like many longstanding organisations, the Gatton masons are in need of new members to keep their intricate history moving forward.
"125 years isn't something to be sneezed at, and I hope we get 125 more," Mr Scerri said.
"But for that, we need a constant flow of people."
There are 240 Masonic Lodges in Queensland, with about 6000 members between them.
To find out more about the Gatton Lodge, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.