Becoming a Freemason first requires you to find a Lodge that you are both suited to, and comfortable with. All Lodges are very different. Some are denoted by occupations or organisations (Police, Firemen, Teachers, Schools, Army, Academic), and others by nationality such as Lodge Galileo that has a rich and proud Italian heritage.
Lodge University of Sydney was once strictly for academics and post-graduate students from the University itself, however, this has been relaxed somewhat to any
undergraduate or graduate of a recognised University or those that hold an equivalent qualification. Most find us very quirky, and we probably are! We are unashamedly
raucous and irreverent.
You will find it very necessary to find a Lodge that suits you and this may require visiting several Lodges to find the right fit. The Lodge you choose will then make the necessary steps to initiate you as a Freemason, and mentor/train you to move though what we call "Degrees" to become a Master Mason which means a fully qualified and recognised Freemason. From there, there are endless opportunities to move through higher ranks or other orders.
There are some basic requirements. To become a Freemason, you must be a man of 18 years and have a belief in a Supreme Being (God). There is no discrimination here. Any religion is recognised whether it be Buddhism, Islam, Christian, Jewish or Wicker and so forth.
Secondly, you have to express a desire to join. You have to ask us to become a member. We will not come looking for you, you have to come looking for us.
It's not a quick process either as we don't just accept anyone. It generally takes up to six months minimum to be initiated. Once you join, it's a significant commitment from both sides, so we are very careful who we choose. We have to make sure you are right for us and that we are right for you. Have a look at the "why you shouldn't become a Freemason" page to get an idea.
You will need to visit and get to know us. This is usually done by attending our dinners (called the "South" or "Festive Board") which are held after our monthly meetings. You will be invited as our special guest and this gives an opportunity for all of us to get to know each other. This process itself may take some time before it is suggested you make an application.
There are two ways to apply. The first and traditional way is to be sponsored by two existing Freemasons who have know you for longer than three years. The other is through what is called Membership Assistance Scheme (MAS) in which sponsors will be appointed to you. MAS is generally the accepted way in more current times as you may simply not know any Freemasons personally and we don't want you to be disadvantaged.
Once you make application, you will be required to submit two character references and undergo a Police check. No previous criminal convictions or bankruptcy are allowed. We will be carefully looking at what sort of man you are and your character because in Freemasonry, we are ALL about making already good men, great. You will undergo two rounds of interviews in which you will be asked a plethora of questions to make sure you qualify. Lastly, your application will be voted upon by the Brothers of the Lodge. If you get through all this process, you will be scheduled to be initiated at a Lodge meeting.
The initiation can be a formidable proposition for even the most resilient of men. No-one knows what is about to happen and that is the whole point! It's a secret! But rest assured, every Mason you meet will have been through the very same thing and it is an extremely fulfilling experience and to many, a very emotional one.
The best way to get an idea, is to ask lot's of questions when you come to the dinners and visit the Lodge. The Brothers will not be able to tell everything, but they can share some personal stories and ease any fears you may have. The personal approach is the best approach.
To get the most out of Freemasonry, you need to actively participate in the life and activities of your lodge. Reading books on aviation cannot replace the experience of actually sitting in a cockpit and flying a plane. Similarly, the lessons of Masonry can only be learned by contributing to and experiencing the rituals and ceremonies that are an integral part of its structure.
How much time do you need to commit? The basic commitment is one night a month as most Lodges meet once a month for 11 months of the year. It is encouraged, however, that you will experience more by visiting other Lodges during the month and accelerate your learning. Next, if you get involved in your Lodge as an Officer after you become a Master Mason, this commitment will be more. How much time you commit is totally up to you and what you want to get out of Freemasonry.
It's important to know that there's no point in joining and then never turning up. Masonry requires involvement, commitment and dedication, even on a basic level. The obligation you make to Freemasonry is life changing and lifelong. Of course, you can choose to leave and resign at anytime but we try to encourage you, and by design of Freemasonry, that once you are initiated, you will always be a Freemason for life whether you decide to leave or not. It will become a part of your life that will hopefully never leave you.
You may find the need to move to another city or country and find another Lodge which we will help facilitate. You may need some time out because of family commitments. That's fine. We will always be there to welcome you back with open arms when you are ready.
If you believe you meet our requirements and that Masonry is for you, contact our Membership Officer, who will be happy to answer any questions or discuss any concerns you may have. He will be able to get the process started and invite you to meet the Lodge members.
If you are considering joining Freemasonry, FORGET THE MYTHS, GET THE FACTS! Get the real information from real Freemasons. What makes us laugh the most are some of the more silly public perceptions about us and what we do. Contrary to the beliefs of some, "goats" never enter into the equation!
Becoming a Freemason can be one of the most significant and rewarding things that you will ever do in your life. We look forward to meeting you and helping you on your lifelong Masonic journey.
For Masons wishing to Affiliate from other Lodges, also contact the Membership Officer to discuss a visit to a meeting.