Masonic Family

There is no higher degree in Freemasonry than a Master Mason. When a man has achieved that status he can broaden his Masonic horizons by participating in others branches if the Masonic Family.

The Order of the Eastern Star
Scottish Rite Freemasonry
Royal Arch Masonry
Knights Templar
Order of Demolay
Jobs Daugthers
Rainbow for Girls


The world’s largest fraternal organization. Today,  there are more than five million Masons worldwide, and some two million in North America. They come from every walk of life, from many religions and many diverse ideologies. All believe in the existence of a Supreme Being and meet as friends and brothers, in peace and harmony. This is one of the great fascinations of Masonry and one of its great strengths.

Is Masonry a secret society?
No! It does have some modes of recognition, but most Masons do not hide their membership, or where and when they meet.

What else?
Masonry’s strength is in helping people. Every day in North America, Masons donate over two million dollars to charitable causes. In Ontario the Masonic Family donates in excess of three million dollars annually.

This is the commitment to humanity that Masons hold so dear. Most of this funding goes to those who are not Masons. Shriners operate the largest network of hospitals in North America for burned and orthopaedically impaired children, free of charge. The Scottish Rite Masons maintain a network of some 150 Childhood Language Disorder Clinics, Centres, and Programmes.

Other members of the Masonic Family sponsor a variety of philanthropies, including scholarship and bursary programmes, masons perform a variety of public service activities in their community.

The Masonic Family
The foundation of the Masonic Family is the Masonic Lodge. It is here that Masonry teaches its lessons. In Ontario, there are approximately 64,000 Masons, belonging to some 630 Lodges, in 46 Districts, governed by a Grand Lodge, having its headquarters in Hamilton. All applicants must come of their own free will. They must ask a Mason about joining, or as we say, TO BE ONE  – ASK ONE.

There is no higher degree in Freemasonry than that of  Master Mason. When a man has achieved that status he can broaden his Masonic horizons by participation in other branches of the Masonic Family, such as; Scottish Rite, York Rite and the Shrine.

For over two centuries the Scottish Rite has been the medium for many Master Masons to reflect on their understanding of their relationship in their faith, to their fellow man and themselves. It enables Master masons to add to their Masonic knowledge and to witness colourful Scottish Rite ‘degrees’ which are dramatic presentations portraying the philosophy of Freemasonry.
The Scottish Rite (ritual) delves further into Masonic teachings and is meant to provide more insight into living amore meaningful way of life for a Master Mason and his family. It also includes enjoying the friendships and associating with a larger and wider cross-section of like-minded men and their families.

In Canada the Scottish Rite, through their Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation, provides generous research grants and bursaries toward the finding of causes, prevention and treatment of all forms of dementia and mental incapacities including Alzheimer’s Disease.

The York Rite gives an elaboration on teachings of the  Masonic Lodge. This Rite is divided into several bodies including Holy Royal Arch, and the Preceptory.

On your journey through the three degrees of Masonry, you would have learned the proficiency lecture for each degree. Many questions would have arisen concerning the meaning of the ceremonies, the historical implications and the ‘why’ of the legends of Freemasonry. Most students of Freemasonry agree that the story of the Craft as presented in the three degrees is incomplete and that the degrees offered in the Holy Royal Arch of the York Rite of Freemasonry complete the story and answer many of the questions in the mind of the newly made Master Mason. In the Holy Royal Arch of   Jerusalem is found the essentials of symbolism and philosophy necessary for a Master Mason to understand that which he has received.

The Shriners are known for their colourful parades, circuses, and clowns. But there is also a serious side to this international fraternity of approximately 500,000 men belonging to 191 Shrine Centres, throughout North America. For over 80 years, the Shrine has operated a network of specialized hospitals that treat children with orthopedic problems, burns and spinal cord injuries, up to their 18th birthday, at no cost to them. The Shrine was founded in 1872 by a  group of 13 men belonging to the Masonic Order.

It was originally established to provide fun and fellowship for its members. But as the organization grew, its members decided to dedicate their efforts to helping others by establishing an official Shrine philanthropy – a network of 22 specialized hospitals that have provided expert medical care to more than 600,000 children. Since the first Shriners’ Hospital opened in 1922, the Shrine has supported what has come to be known as: the “World’s Greatest Philanthropy”. The best-known symbol of Shrinedom is the distinctive red Fez that the Shriners wear at official functions. Because Shriners are men who enjoy life, fun is a large part of the Shrine and the activities that help support the Shrine’s philanthropy. Most Shrine Centres sponsor Shrine clubs and special units, such as the motor corps, band or clown units and many other units of interest. They share in the camaraderie, deep friendships and good fellowship that are all part of being a Mason and a Shriner.

The Knights Templar is an Order formed in 1118. Their mission was to protect travelers on the roads to the Holy Land. In short order the Templars blossomed to a very large organization.
Their mission today is to enhance the Masonic virtues of faith, hope and charity, supported by wisdom, strength and beauty, adding the chivalric principles of the Crusades of honour, duty and courage, so that the results will be in harmony with our Masonic beliefs.

For Other Family Members
The Masonic Family also includes many bodies where other family members can participate, such as:

· The Order of the Eastern Star,
· The Daughters of the Nile,
· Ladies of the Oriental Shrine.

For young men, The Order of  DeMolay, For young ladies, The International Order’s of Rainbow for Girls, and Job’s Daughters. All of these Orders are based on the Masonic themes expressed in this brochure.

What next?
Freemasonry offers much to oneself – the opportunity to improve and make a difference, and to help build a better world for all mankind. It offers the chance for fellowship and to work with men who have similar values and ideals.

It’s easy to find out more. If you know a Mason, ask him.
Otherwise contact:

The Grand Lodge Office
363 King Street West
Hamilton, Ontario L8P 1B4
Telephone (905) 528-8644
Website & Related Links:

Have you ever considered becoming a Mason? We’d like a chance to talk with you.


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What Is Freemasonry?

Freemasonry is the oldest and largest world wide fraternity dedicated to the Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of a Supreme Being. Although of a religious nature, Freemasonry is not a religion. It urges its members, however, to be faithful and devoted to their own religious beliefs.