Kiva Lending Team: Freemasons New Zealand
We loan because...
To be concerned for those in need is an essential quality of a Freemason’s way of life.
For centuries Freemasons have given to those needing assistance. Freemasonry is old. It was first organised in England in the early 17th century (but its origins go back much further) when ‘charity’ was the term for acts of giving to those who had little.
Today Freemasons still practice this virtue and ‘charity’ is still the name we use to describe our support for the many programmes of assistance we operate in the community.
The precise origins of Freemasonry have been lost in time, however, its traditions date back to the Middle Ages and to the stonemasons who built the cathedrals and castles of Europe. To construct them, it was necessary for men to have considerable knowledge of geometry, arithmetic and engineering. These highly skilled masons formed themselves into lodges to protect the skills and secrets of their trade and to pass their knowledge on to worthy apprentices. Importantly, these men were not bondsmen, hence the word "free" in Freemason.
By the 17th Century, when the building of castles and cathedrals diminished, Masonry began to lose its 'operative' aspects and worthy men who were not craftsmen were also accepted into its membership. It was from this time that Masons were known as 'free and accepted' Masons, as they continue to be known to this day.
The first Grand Lodge was established in England in 1717 and thereafter Freemasonry spread rapidly throughout the world. Freemasonry has been practised in Australasia since early in the 19th Century.
Location: New Zealand Team website
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