Being Nice and Kind is the Name of the Game..!
Freemasonry & Charity
Joe Ellis (as pictured above) is a senior Freemason and was installed as Master of Sharpers Hall Lodge No.9196 (his mother lodge) in January 2013. He was appointed Secretary to the Millennium Lodge of Charity in East Kent No.9730 two years before becoming a Worshipful Brother.

During his year as Master of Sharpers Hall Lodge, Joe and his wife, Dr Sandra Beale-Ellis raised over £5,500 for a local disability support charity SNAAP; they have been heavily involved in raising money for and working with local, national and international charities before and since this period.

Charity has been embedded in Joe's heart since childhood, when he won the annual trophy for the most charity money raised for three consecutive years in the Boys Brigade (as pictured below) in the late 1960s, and could be found helping his neighbours with shopping and other errands.

He is currently active within Freemasonry and is well regarded and highly respected.

Joe's masonic website, Unique Freemason, can be viewed via www.uniquefreemason.com

What is Freemasonry? By Joe Ellis
Published 28 June 2016
George Washington, Winston Churchill, Benjamin Franklin, Goethe, Mozart, Voltaire, Motilal Nehru and Swami Vivekanand all had one thing in common. They were all members of the oldest and largest fraternity in the world. The first astronaut to arrive on the moon, Edwin E. Aldrin; Sir Author Conan Doyle, the famous writer of "Sherlock Holmes"; Annie Besant British socialist, theosophist, women's rights activist; King of England, Edward VII; King of England, George VI; Sir Alexander Fleming, creator of Penicillin; many American Presidents and Vice Presidents; many prime ministers of Canada; Henry Ford, the first auto-mobile producer; and also King C. Gillett of the Gillett Razor Co.; Rudyard Kipling, the renowned author who was in India, coupled with Sir Thomas Lipton, the Tea Man; Churchill and Roosevelt all belonged to the Freemasons fraternal organization.

Freemasonry became very popular around the globe and its membership filled with thousands of people, both men and women, of high ranking and wealth. Rulers and Kings mostly make up the Freemasonry and have a very deep interest and desire to work towards achieving the objectives of the organization. The Royal Society was formerly a branch of the Masonic lodge before breaking out to form its own body. I am sure most people didn't know that...!

Most of the people who belong to this Mason group have made a lot of difference in the world today. They are great men and women in the world's history, but this organization of theirs has completely eluded the understanding of the public. People in the outside world have always regarded it as a mysterious society, and most people have no knowledge whatsoever about the visions or reasons behind the organization. The mystery has a way of causing rumours to spread, and this is no exception. So many ideas, misinformation, criticisms and allegations have spread about this organization. And since the Freemasonry has never addressed these criticisms, people naturally have misgivings and believe the ignorant ideas that spread about them.

Once you mention Freemasonry to a common man, you will find that he has so many enquiries about the group. He wonders if Freemasonry is a religion or a political organisation or even a secret society, he also wonders how people become members of the Freemasonry. This brief article I have written will try to throw more light on the Freemasonry organization, its visions, membership and many other things about them. I have tried to address some of the wrong notion people may have had about the Masons.

Freemasonry is an organization which consists of people (both men and women) who are interested in moral and spiritual values. The doctrines of the organization are inculcated in the members through several ritual dramas which use ancient and stonemasons' rules as their guidelines. The main ritual drama used to teach members various moral lessons is the story of the building of the temple of King Solomon and what happened to the chief architect. The story revolves around building and so the rituals contains lots of tools used by masons such as level, plumb-rule, a square, compasses and others. Some terms used by the masons have been integrated into the dictionary, and words like 'on the level' and 'on the square' are now also used by non-Masonic people.

Masons believe that there is a God, and each one could have their own method of worshipping God. These methods are not a topic of discussion during meetings in the Masonic Lodge. The basic thing is that you can't join the brotherhood if you don't believe that there is one Supreme Being, who is in charge of everything we do. Every member of the Brotherhood has to agree to the fatherhood of God.

They don't look into the ways by which a member worships God because it is considered a personal thing. Masonry builds its premise around belief in God, but it is not a religion. It could be said that they stand for freedom of religion since they don't obstruct you from worshipping in your own way.

Masonry is not a religion; it allows people of different religions into the brotherhood and does not require them to change their faith or methods of worship. Religion is not a topic of discussion in their gatherings. Masonry is different from religion because religion shows the way to salvation and expects you to follow the way of the religion you have chosen. Religion keeps telling you to remain steadfast and continue to follow the Almighty and obey his rules. Topics' relating to religion and politics is usually a recipe for disaster as it usually leads to quarrels and insults and so those topics are often avoided during meetings in a Masonic Lodge. Masonry revolves around creating ways for charity. Charity is among the three tenets of Freemasonry and so the Masonic Lodges focus a lot on Charity.

Freemasonry requires its members to be actively involved in their activities, but a Mason should not allow this activity stand in the way of his responsibilities to his family, his God and his country.

Freemasonry organization tries its best to open its doors tries good men and women and then work towards making them better than they were by making them aware that they have a duty to carry out. And this duty to their family, friends, neighbours, to people in need, and to God, has to be in their mind always.

Masonic Lodge only accepts individuals that meet one basic qualification which is that they must believe in the existence of God. Other minor qualifications are that members must be 21 years and above, of all races and religions, must have a good reputation. But before anyone can take the Masonic Oath and be initiated, the requirement of belief in God has to be met first.

How to become a Freemason?

A Mason is not expected to persuade someone else to join, and the person has to want to join on his or her own. To join the Freemasonry, you need to reach out to any Freemason you know, or you could try to contact the Masonic Lodge in your community.

Freemasons have three principles guiding them: Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. Freemasons show brotherly love by respecting everyone, being kind to them, understanding and tolerating others. They provide relief to alleviate the sufferings of the community. A newly initiated member is often reminded to help those in need because it is one of their duties. The zeal to be charitable is always instilled in every Freemason, and they are expected to care for members of the community by giving freely, doing voluntary works in the community and other charitable things. Charity doesn't revolve around money alone; there are charitable thoughts as well, and any contribution made by a Mason has to be purely voluntary. Masons have done a lot of charity works around the globe, and they rarely publicise these deeds. From its inception till date, Freemasonry has always been involved in the care of orphans as well as sick people and senior citizens. They also donate huge amounts of money to different charities, both national and local, around the world. Freemasons are also concerned about the truth; they set high morals for themselves and strive to reach them. They believe so much in living a principled life.

Freemasonry expects its members to obey the laws laid down in their country; the principles are not meant to interfere with their responsibilities to their country but to make them grow better and carry out both their public and private duties.

A Freemason is forbidden to take advantage of his/her membership to push his/her personal business or someone else's. Freemasonry is not a platform for personal or professional gain, and this is strictly looked down upon. As a Freemason, citizenship duty comes first before any other, and anyone who tries to cover up any unlawful act by a Freemason has also failed in his primary duty to his country.

People have often raised allegations that the Masonry is a secret society. Every society has secrets or matters that are privy to only their members; this also applies to Masonry. It is not a secret society. The secrets it has are mostly based on its traditional modes of recognition. Its members are not required to keep their membership a secret and moreover, the laws and constitutions of the masonry is accessible to the public. So many Freemasons and also non-Masons have written so many books about different parts of Masonry and these books are available to the public; even the internet has loads of information about Freemasonry. People often receive invited to take a tour of the Masonic Lodge. So this is no secret society as you can see.

A Freemason is taught to answer to his God first, and then his family and extend it to his neighbours and friends through charitable works. These principles followed by Masons are not new things, and other organizations have some of these same objectives as well, but the allegorical drama makes Freemasonry stand out amongst others. They constantly perform these rituals to remind members of the principles of the organization and their duties to the society.

Anyone who wishes to invite me to make a presentation on Freemasonry and its benefits is free to contact me.

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Ist Year Charity Trophy Winner
2nd Year Charity Trophy Winner
3rd Year Charity Trophy Winner
Under National Boys Brigade rules, members are allowed to permanently keep their charity trophy if the child has won the trophy three times in a row. Joe did just that, and to this day, Joe still has the trophy as a reminder of his charity work, starting from a young age.
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