The definitive history of Freemasonry is a fascinating subject for personal research.  It’s roots go back as far the the biblical temple of King Solomon. But the more generalised basis points to the time when the great castles and cathedrals were being built all over then then known world.

Suppose you were about to build a new church.  The architects had drawn up the designs, and now you need possibly a few hundred workman to come and build it.  You would be unlikely to have that number of skilled workers in the local area, so you would send out word far & wide that there was a big project on the go.

Over time, workers (Freelance Stone Masons “Free-Masons”) from all over Europe would begin turning up, probably in their hundreds, and your Project Manager wouldn’t have a clue whether they were basic labourers or skilled “Master” Masons - there was no way to check references and no time to oversee their work standards, so how would he know who to put onto what work - and how much they would be earning ?

This is where Masons lodges were important. The lodges were a kind of union, self regulating and assessing the skills of a each worker.  When a craftsman progressed to a certain standard, he would be entrusted with a password and other means by which to identify his particular level of craftsmanship to his employer, thereby ensuring his employment status (and remuneration) and also protecting the employer from paying an unskilled labourer the same wages as a master craftsman.

Whilst modern Freemasons are unlikely to work with stone these days, we try to apply the principles of building things true & square to our morals and behaviour in life, seeking to improve ourselves from within and also helping others in need.  The Grand principles of Freemasonry are “Brotherly Love, Truth and Relief”  Brotherly love refers to all persons, family, friends and strangers.  Truth, refers to truth and honesty in all our dealings.  Relief is the act of charity in both money and deed, always mindful of the needs of others.

When you become a Mason, you are opening the doors on a fascinating, insightful and often surprising slice of history which has it’s roots in the dawn of time.