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Freemasonry Watch

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Woburn Advocate

Masons driving for recruits

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The master and wardens of Woburn's Lodge of Freemasons - Mount Horeb Lodge, A.F. and A.M. - will be present at the Woburn Masonic Building at 17 Arlington Road on Tuesday evening, Sept. 5, 7-7:30 p.m., to answer questions and accept applications for membership from men in the Woburn area aged 18 or older.

There are only four requirements for membership: (i) a candidate must be a man (however, there are other branches of Freemasonry that accept women, and both women and men), (ii) he must be of good moral character (all candidates for membership undergo an interview and investigation process), (iii) he must be at least 18 years of age, and (iv) he must believe in a Supreme Being (although Freemasonry requires a belief in God, or some higher power, the fraternity welcomes members of all faiths. A Mason's concept of the Supreme Being is left to his own interpretation).

To assist in the investigation process, candidates should provide the names and telephone numbers of at least six references. A refundable fee of $200, which includes the first year's dues, must accompany each application.

Freemasonry is the oldest and largest fraternal organization in the world. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts was established in Boston in 1733 and is the third oldest Grand Lodge in the world, after only England and Scotland. Today, there are over 50,000 Freemasons in Massachusetts, meeting in 270 individual lodges in cities and towns throughout the state.

According to Grand Lodge statistics, Freemasons in North America contribute more than $2 millioneach day to charity. Freemasons operate the Shriners Burns Hospital in Boston, where more than 750 severely burned children are admitted each year and treated at no charge. Some 3,700 children are treated each year in the hospital's clinic, again at no charge. Freemasons are responsible for collecting more than 80 percent of the blood collected by the Red Cross in Massachusetts - more than 20,000 pints annually. They also provide more than $200,000 in scholarship assistance annually. Masonic Lodges promote child safety through the statewide Massachusetts Youth Child Identification Program (www.mychip.org).

Woburn's Masonic Lodge, Mount Horeb Lodge, A.F. and A.M., which has met uninterrupted since 1855, meets on the first Wednesday evening of each month (except for July and August) at the Masonic Building, at 17 Arlington Road in Woburn. Membership is open to all men, age 18 and over, regardless, of race or religion. For more information about joining the Woburn Lodge, please visit the lodge Web site at www.woburnmasons.org or contact James McSweeney Jr., master of Mount Horeb Lodge, via e-mail at james.mcsweeney@comcast.net.

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