A LOCAL organisation with a reputation for secrecy wants to dispel a few myths.
Freemasons at Lodge St Lawrence No.144, 3 High Street, Forres are welcoming new members to help raise funds for worthy causes.
And member Stephen Calder confirmed Freemasonry is not all about secrets.
He said: “We simply like our privacy. We have nothing to hide and are very happy to tell the public about some of the things we do.”
Freemasonry, which originated in Scotland, is one of the world’s oldest secular fraternal societies.
The Grand Lodge of Scotland is the governing body overseeing members who are taught moral and spiritual values by a series of ritual dramas.
“Masons spend a great deal of time raising funds for the benefit of others via donations at our regular meetings,” added Stephen.
“We also run coffee mornings, quiz nights and other events for those who need help.”
Lodge St Lawrence has been providing assistance and donations to good causes since 1776.
This year, these have included: financing a natural hair piece for a local teenager who suffers from alopecia totalis; a £220 donation to Forres Pensioners Club and a selection of local business gift vouchers as raffle prizes for the group’s Christmas lunch; honorary member Alan Lawrence taking part in the Walk for Parkinson’s event at Brodie Castle; members participating in, and sponsoring a hole at, a Masonic golf outing at Torvean Golf Club; and donations to Namumu Orphanage and Primary School in Siavonga, Zambia.
“We give freely as individuals at meetings as well as organising coffee morning and other events,” added Stephen. “Any money raised is pooled together and donated to good causes throughout the year.
“We have also recently purchased a defibrillator, for the Tolbooth and are planning an open-doors event in February.”
Lodge St Lawrence currently numbers around 30 members who meet between October and March at the Tolbooth.
The group is open to men over 21 years-of-age, or 18 if they are sons of a Freemasons.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 07720875735 for more information.