Winchester, Massachusetts – October 20, 2012
Joining with Masonic lodges across the Commonwealth, Winchesters Freemasons, the William Parkman Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, which meets at the Woburn Masonic Center, 17 Arlington Street, Woburn, MA 01801, will open their doors to the public on Saturday, October 20th, between 9 am and 3 pm, for “Square & Compasses Day”, a state-wide celebration of Freemasonry. If you’ve ever wondered who the Freemasons are, whether they are the descendants of the Knights Templars, or what the inside of their building looks like, here’s your chance to find out.
More than 230 lodges will be hosting Open Houses to help the public gain a better understanding of what Freemasonry is, and the positive impact that is has on its members, their families, and community. Members will provide tours of their building, talk about the fraternity’s history, discuss its rituals, signs, and symbols, and explain what they do.
“’Square and Compasses Day’ is a great opportunity for anyone interested in learning more about Freemasonry to meet and talk with Masons in their community,” said Richard J. Stewart, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts and the presiding officer of 35,000 members. “Although many have heard of us, very few are aware that for over 275 years we have been part of an unbroken tradition of great men who have changed our world in ways both big and small. Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thurgood Marshall, and John Glenn, for example, all joined the Masons prior to achieving the greatness we recognize them for. There are countless other great men, whose names are not widely known, that made their families, workplaces, and communities better because they were Masons. I warmly invite the public to join us on October 20th.”
Freemasons trace their roots to the stonemason guilds that built Europe’s cathedrals and castles during the early part of the last millennium. As construction of these buildings declined, they began accepting members from outside their trade. These new members, influenced by the “Age of Enlightenment,” transformed the organization from a group for builders to one focused on developing the character of its members. Freemasonry was formally organized in London, England in 1717. In 1733 it was formally organized in Massachusetts, making it the oldest Masonic group in the Western Hemisphere and the third oldest in the world. In 2008, Massachusetts Freemasons celebrated their 275th Anniversary.
Freemasonry, the world’s oldest and largest fraternity, seeks to bring together men of every country, religion, race, background, and opinion and develop the bonds of friendship between them. Through a large variety of North American Masonic philanthropies, approximately $3,000,000 is given to charity every day, 70% of which benefits the general public. During its initiation ceremony, which uses symbolism and allegory, its members are encouraged to value principles, ethics, and morality and to live their lives accordingly. By “making good men better,” Freemasonry positively benefits its members, families and communities. Freemasonry in Massachusetts is comprised of 35,000 members and more than 230 lodges throughout the Commonwealth.
For additional information, please call 617.957.9928 or visit WilliamParkmanLodge.com or 800.882.1020, and visit AskaFreemason.org.