Lodge No. 84 grand director of ceremonies Alister Church
explains the Freemason ranks of office. Photo by Jane
There were no skulls of blood or secret handshakes in
Freemasons Lodge St John No 84 in Mosgiel opened its doors to
a curious public on Saturday.
The Freemasons "made good men better", district grand maser
John Dennison said.
"A lot of people think we drink skulls of blood in here and
have secret handshakes," he joked.
The Freemasons were one of the largest contributors to
universities and hospitals in New Zealand, Mr Dennison said.
Freemasons had donated $370,000 a year for three University
of Otago paediatric fellowships, financed GPS units to be
installed in all 600 St John ambulances in New Zealand and
recently gave $70,000 to the oncology department for cancer
research, he said.
Grand director of ceremonies Alister Church explained the
Freemason symbols of rank and office, which included lambskin
aprons, collars, batons and wands.
A large silver G hung from the ceiling on a silver chain in
the centre of the room, while the inside of the door was
flanked with huge ornate golden pillars inscribed with
symbols of the zodiac, inspired by the pillars outside King
Heavy red velvet drapes hung from walls and covered the rows
of pews, and beautifully crafted wooden furniture decorated
the room, while the walls were covered with glass display
cases containing medals and masons' tools.
Nine people attended the open day.