The Yass Masonic Lodge, located on Rossi Street, is in search of new members to join, if not, the lodge is at risk of closing due to the lack of numbers. 

The Lodge has over 160 years of History in Yass and has been home to several local identities and prominent family members of its time in the Valley.

Sadly, over the period of COVID and with the untimely death of one of their long-standing members last year, the Yass Masonic Lodge has found themselves in a rather dire position and rather than helping in the community, their efforts have been focused on keeping themselves afloat.

The Yass Masonic Lodge currently has 14 active members and is constantly on the lookout for new members to join.

As such, the Yass Masonic Lodge, led by Senior Warden James Arentz, is currently pushing a membership drive to reboot the organisation into 2023. 

“Freemasonry in the world has taken a bit of a hit with Covid and some conspiracy theories mixed in too, which hasn’t made things easy,” Arentz said.

“The idea of the Masonic Lodge is obviously to be in the community and do community work. Some of the Lodges around the state have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for different causes like hospitals and surf life-saving, you name it, we’re just not in a position to do that because we don’t have a solid membership base to do those projects with.

“The number of members that can join is limitless, the more the merrier. There’s a golden number we have to get to, to keep the maintenance up on the building and keep ourselves afloat.

“We’ve suffered through a lack of exposure in town. People are surprised when you mention to people in town that you are involved in it, and they didn’t even realise we were there. 20-30 years ago, it was a fairly popular organisation.”

Arentz listed the highlights potential members can look forward to in 2023 if they join the Yass Masonic Lodge. 

“We’re a great fraternity of men, who are about mateship and a circle of friends that support each other. Our common motto is “Making Good Men Better”. It’s like any organisation, charitable or otherwise, you meet new people, make friends and develop your social circle. 

“We’re in town and we are here to do work for the community. We’re in danger of closing up, we’re at that point where we need to decide if the lodge will continue or not. We’re trying to push to get some fresh faces into the organisation. 

“A lot of people think it might be church-based, or sort of ritual based, but the best way I describe it to people is it’s like a little bit of church, a little bit of Rotary, a beer and a meal with your mates and a bit of social community work, all drawn into one.

 

“There are people young and old. There’re fellows that you’ll meet in this organisation that have done 60-70 years in the organisation. It’s a great organisation for folks who have left the military and those sorts of roles where they’re looking for camaraderie and a bit of mateship. I think quite often Freemasonry fills that void for them.

“The beauty of Freemasonry is that everyone’s equal, everyone’s on what we call on the level. It doesn’t matter, you can be sitting next door to a high-ranking member of the Navy or the military, or sitting next to the headmaster of the local school, everyone gets treated the same.

“A long time ago, even in the ‘90’s, a lot of people thought we were a mega-secret organisation. People say to me that they didn’t know they could just join, they thought you had to know someone or be invited. We’re keen to dispel those myths.

“Essentially anyone who walks through our door, or rings us up and wants to come have a look, I’m happy to take them through and show them.”

If you are interested in joining the Yass Masonic Lodge, make sure to get in touch with them.

Tim Warren