Antient, Free and Accepted Masons

What is Freemasonry? … one of the world’s oldest and largest fraternal organisations … an organisation of men who adopt the fundamental principle of integrity, goodwill and charity as the foundations for an individual’s life and character … a non-profit organisation that is heavily involved in supporting charity and community service … comprised of men of good character with high ideals and worthwhile values who make a difference in the community

Freemasonry is not … a secret society … a religion or a substitute for religion … a benefit society and to join for personal gain

A Freemasons Code … to share a concern and respect for human values, moral standards, the laws of society and the rights of individuals … to believe in a Supreme Being … to help other people through charity work and community service … to promote fellowship and goodwill among his fellow members … to regularly attend Lodge meetings and participate, with his family, in masonic activities

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The first New Zealand Masonic meeting was in 1837 at Port Levy, Banks Peninsula, with a gathering of French masons on board the whaling ship Le Comte de Paris

The first lodge was the New Zealand Pacific, under the English constitution, which met in Wellington in November 1842 … the next year saw the inaugural meeting of the Ara Lodge in Auckland, under the Irish constitution … by 1861 Masonic lodges had opened in all the main ports, and Dunedin hosted the first lodge under the Scottish constitution … most early members had been Masons in the UK, but membership spread steadily … by 1890 there were 151 lodges, and a movement emerged to create a New Zealand Grand Lodge … it was only partially successful, with 65 lodges joining … in 2010 there were 273 active lodges and over 10,000 members

Freemasonry was never a benefit society, but it provided support to members in distress and assisted members’ widows and children … the movement also provided charity for the wider society … it had particular interests in the aged, youth and medical research

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Masons believed in one supreme being, but within this they claimed to welcome all Christian denominations … there was, however, a long history of mutual antagonism between Masons and Catholics … Masons were exclusively a brotherhood … although they held ladies’ nights and family picnics, and from 1964 some lodges admitted women into their refectories, Masons argued that to admit women would challenge the international principles of the movement … Freemasonry grew until the 1960s … then it declined, as the existing membership aged and younger men found alternative forms of entertainment and activities involving their spouses

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During and following the development of Craft Freemasonry, there have been formed many additional Masonic Orders and Organisations … while these other Orders are separate from Craft Freemasonry they almost all require membership of the Craft as a basic qualification for admission, and some have additional membership requirements … certain of these Orders are related to Craft Freemasonry, and extend the legends and moral lessons introduced in its ceremonies … within New Zealand Freemasonry, one of these Orders, known as the Royal Arch, is, for historical reasons, most closely associated with Craft Freemasonry … the following is a list of other Orders and Organisations active in New Zealand … where information has been agreed with the order concerned, the link provides some details of that organisation …

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The following higher Freemasonry orders can be found here …

Order of the Holy Royal Arch

Order of the Mark Master Masons

Order of the Secret Monitor

Ancient and Accepted Rite (Rose Croix)

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The following Masonic Benevolent Institutions can be found here …

Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution

Royal Masonic Hospital

Royal Masonic Institution for Boys

Royal Masonic Institution for Girls

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The remainder of this page is an accumulation of individual Freemasonry jewels …

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