Freemasons not so secretive after all

Tyler Clarke
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Local freemasons Dorothea Herron (past matron of the Prince Albert Chapter #16 Order of the Easter Star), Ed Glynn (secretary treasurer for the Royal Arch Masonry), Rodney McKinnon (worshipful master of Kinistino Lodge #1) and Ron Sterling (local Shriners president), from left, are seen at the Prince Albert Masonic Lodge on Thursday during an open house. 

By opening up the Prince Albert Masonic Lodge to the public, local freemasons intend on proving they’re not as secretive as some make them out to be.


“We want masonry to be more open so that people are aware of us, because we’re like everyone else,” member Rodney McKinney said.

“We’d like people to join because we’re a brotherhood of like-minded individuals.”

However, it’s easy to see where the perception of freemason secrecy comes from -- particularly since there are various secrets.

Between members ascending to higher levels of the organization, secret handshakes, rituals and a temple room decked out in wooden chairs dating back more than 100 years, the “secret society” perception doesn’t appear miscast.

McKinney describes the organization as not the “secret society,” public discourse makes them out to be, but a “society with secrets.”

His position with the organization is “worshipful master of Kinistino Lodge #1,” a blue lodge -- the first level in which members can ascend through three intra-levels, from which they move on to the Royal Arch Masonry.

The organization might appear complex at face value, but McKinney insists that it all boils down to a fun fraternal organization of men (and women, who make up the separate Prince Albert Chapter #16 Order of the Eastern Star).

“People have conceived that we’ve got secrets. Well, any secret that we have you can look on the Internet -- It’s freely open,” he said with a shrug, adding that the best way to learn their secrets is to join.

“We are open, we’re friendly, and that we are not exclusive -- We are inclusive.”

Royal Arch secretary treasurer Ed Glynn likens the freemasons to serial television programs, wherein the program “always leaves you with a question for next week.”

“Masonry does that, too,” he said. “It ultimately leaves you with some questions.”

“Many organizations have unknown ways of recognizing one another, and that’s all it is as far as we’re concerned,” Glynn summarized.

“We have handshakes that identify where you stand in the lodge – things like that.”

Noting that the freemasons have float in the city’s annual parade, Dorothea Herron said that there’s “nothing that secret about it.”

We want masonry to be more open so that people are aware of us, because we’re like everyone else. Rodney McKinney

Herron serves as past matron of the Prince Albert Chapter #16 Order of the Easter Star -- the freemasons’ women’s branch.

“I think we’ve all heard the story about this secret organization and cult stuff,” she summarized.

“Some people still think that way because there’s some secrecy, and that secrecy really … is because of the closed meetings, and we have ways of recognizing each other as members.”

In addition to having fun with like-minded individuals, sects of the freemasons work to better their surroundings.

The Royal Arch Masons raise money for central auditory processing disorder – a disorder that prevents people from distinguishing sounds clearly.

“If somebody’s yelling behind you, you can still understand me, but to them it’s a jumble,” Glynn explained, adding that they also raise public awareness regarding prostate cancer.

The organization’s most visible sect – the Shriners are currently raising money for the Shriners Hospital for Children in Montreal.

Ultimately, between public service and their own inter-club fun, McKinney said that everything the freemasons do is about improving things.

“The big goal is to … make yourself a better man,” he said. “As you become a better man, your community becomes better. So, it’s little steps toward a big step.”

For those who missed Thursday’s open house and would still like to learn more about the Prince Albert Masonic Lodge, the organization is holding their annual Liver, Onions and Bacon Supper on Sunday, May 25.

The event will take place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Prince Albert Masonic Lodge, at 292 15th Ave. E.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $8 for children under 12, with children five years of age and younger getting in for free.

Tickets are available at Harold’s Family Foods or from any mason or Order of the Eastern Star member.

Organizations: Eastern Star, Shriners, Shriners Hospital for Children

Geographic location: Montreal

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Recent comments

  • Lee
    June 21, 2015 - 19:06

    Dear god... Could you actually write an article filled with more BS?! Probably not. This whole "masons want to show people they're not secretive and we're actually good people" routine is such a crock of bullshit. John diefenbaker was a member and he sold the Avro Arrow up shits creek and then handed it to the Americans (who used the technology to become dominant in the air). Who else is a Freemason? Pretty much every American leader since George Washington; so we've got a Canadian leader handing our most prized technology to the Americans who also happen to have a Masonic leadership... I don't think I need to spell out that little conspiracy. Not enough? Look at the George bush era and what has come to pass due to those psychopaths: war. War and oh yeah - war! If you do an hour of objective research, you'll find that behind every great scientist or military leader, there was a secret membership to masonry. If they're not about the secret members, why do political leaders not acknowledge they are in fact - masons? Moving on: we respect NASA as the authority figure on space travel and information on stars/planets - yet they are a Masonic agency that faked landing on the moon; they're all about transparency... Until it's something important, then the cheeks get clenched. "Scientists" such as Copernicus (a known mason) have been spouting a spherical earth for hundreds of years when there is virtually no evidence that the earth is actually a ball!! You can go to any altitude and discover there is no curve in the horizon despite the fact that NASA says it should be there; the only way you can show a curve in the horizon, is with a fisheye lens or with CGI. Period. So exactly what are the masons trying to cover up? They're sure as heck not telling the truth... You can find an abundance of truth on Freemasons by spending a few hours reading up on a guy named: Eric Dubay. Unless you want to bury your damn head in the sand... The truth isn't always as easy as someone with something to hide says it is.