Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest secular fraternal societies. The following information is intended to explain Freemasonry as it is practiced under the United Grand Lodge of England, which administers Lodges of Freemasons in England and Wales and in many countries overseas.
Freemasonry is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. Its members are taught its precepts (moral lessons and self-knowledge) by a series of ritual dramas – a progression of allegorical two-part plays which are learnt by heart and performed within each Lodge – which follow ancient forms, and use stonemasons’ customs and tools as allegorical guides.
Freemasonry instils in its members a moral and ethical approach to life: it seeks to reinforce thoughtfulness for others, kindness in the community, honesty in business, courtesy in society and fairness in all things. Members are urged to regard the interests of the family as paramount but, importantly, Freemasonry also teaches and practices concern for people, care for the less fortunate and help for those in need.
Every true Freemason will show tolerance and respect for the opinions of others and behave with kindness and understanding to his fellow creatures.
Freemasons are taught to practise charity and to care – not only for their own – but also for the community as a whole, both by charitable giving and by voluntary efforts and works as individuals.
From its earliest days, Freemasonry has been concerned with the care of orphans, the sick and the aged. This work continues today. In addition, large sums are given to national and local charities.
Freemasons strive for truth, requiring high moral standards and aiming to achieve them in their own lives. Freemasons believe that these principles represent a way of achieving higher standards in life.
In 1864 there was only one Masonic Lodge in Bloemfontein, the Lodge Unie working under the Grand Lodge of the Netherlands, but, as the ritual was exclusively in Dutch, several English Masons joined to form an English Lodge. They obtained a Charter from the Grand Lodge of England for the Rising Star Lodge, No 1022, dated 31st May 1864, which was first posted to the Provincial Grand Lodge in Cape Town, under whose jurisdiction the Lodge came.
In 1870 the Lodges in the Eastern Province of the Cape Colony and the Rising Star Lodge in Bloemfontein signed a petition to form a District Grand Lodge in the Eastern Cape, but nothing resulted from this at that time.
Some six years later, Grand Lodge decided to divide the Cape Colony and Griqualand West into three Districts and the option was given to Rising Star Lodge in Bloemfontein to act independently of any District Grand Lodge, and to make their returns and communications direct to Grand Lodge in London. On 31stDecember 1876 the Lodge finally severed its connections with the District Grand Lodge in Cape Town.
King George IV (1762 – 1830)
King William IV (1765 – 1837)
King Edward VII (1841 – 1910)
King Edward VIII (1894 – 1972)
King George VI (1895 – 1952)
Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797)
George Canning (1770 – 1827)
Lord Randolph Churchill (1849 – 1895)
Cecil Rhodes (1852 – 1903)
Sir Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)
Leopold S. Amery (1873 – 1955)
Geoffrey Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury (1887 – 1972)
Sir Israel Brodie (1895 – 1979)
Sir Joseph Banks (1744 – 1820)
Dr Edward Jenner (1749 – 1823)
Sir Alexander Fleming (1881 – 1955)
Sir Bernard Spilsbury (1877 – 1947)
Sir Richard Burton (1821 – 1890)
Capt Robert Falcon Scott, RN (1868 – 1912)
Sir Ernest Shackleton (1874 – 1922)
Dr T. J. Barnardo (1845 – 1905)
1st Viscount Leverhulme (1851 – 1925)
Sir William “Billy” Butlin (1899 – 1980)
David Garrick (1717 – 1779)
Edmund Kean (1787 – 1833)
Sir Henry Irving (1838 – 1905 )
Sir Donald Wolfitt (1902 – 1968)
Peter Sellers (1925 – 1980)
Alexander Pope (1688 – 1744)
Edward Gibbon (1734 – 1794)
Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751 – 1816)
Robbie Burns (1759 – 1796)
Sir Walter Scott (1771 – 1832)
Anthony Trollope (1815 – 1882)
Sir William S. Gilbert (1836 – 1911)
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 – 1930)
Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936)
Sir James Thornhill (1676 – 1734)
William Hogarth (1697 – 1764)
John Zoffany (1733 – 1810)
Sir John Soane (1753 – 1837)
Thomas Arne (1710 – 1778) Rule Britannia
Samuel Wesley (1766 – 1837)
Sir Henry Bishop (1786 – 1855) Home Sweet Home
Sir Arthur Sullivan (1842 – 1900)
Sir Harry Lauder
Roger de Courcey