OUR MASONIC FAMILY
The masonic family is a loosely defined grouping of those bodies with practices and beliefs complementary to Freemasonry that also either restrict their membership to regular freemasons in good standing or to relatives of regular freemasons in good standing.
The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite
The Scottish Rite is one of two largest concordant bodies of Freemasonry in which a Master Mason may proceed after he has completed the three degrees of Craft lodge masonry. The Scottish Rite work expands and elaborates on the lessons of the three Craft lodge degrees. As with Freemasonry, the Scottish Rite is not a religion, and it is nondenominational, although it does require a belief in a Supreme Being.
The Scottish Rite, sometimes called the "College of Freemasonry", uses extensive dramatic plays and allegory to emphasize the messages of its degrees. A freemason, after viewing these dramas, will eventually attain the 32nd degree in Scottish Rite masonry. To a non-mason this may sound like the member is a high ranking mason, however, this would be a misconception. The highest degree in Freemasonry is the 3rd or Master Mason degree. Degrees as they relate to the Scottish Rite indicate the level of knowledge that a Master Mason has attained. It would be rather awkward to allude to a member as an Act 32 freemason. In the Scottish Rite, the 33rd degree, an honourary degree, is bestowed on members of the Scottish Rite who have given outstanding service to Freemasonry or to their communities.
In the Scottish Rite a Master Mason may become a member of three bodies — Lodge of Perfection, Rose Croix, and Consistory.
Royal Order of Scotland
Membership in the Royal Order of Scotland is by invitation only. The Order was established in London around 1741.
York Rite Masonry
The York Rite is the other major concordant body of Freemasonry in which a Master Mason may proceed to supplement or amplify the Craft degrees, affording historical background on the work and meaning of Freemasonry.
Within the York Rite, a Master Mason may become a member of three bodies — a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, a Council of Royal and Select Masters, and a Preceptory of Knights Templar.
The York Rite takes its name from the old English city of York. It is said that Athelstan, a British king, was converted to Christianity in York and that he granted the original charter to the masonic guilds in that city nearly a thousand years ago. The York Rite is not a religion. Like the Craft lodge, the Chapter and the Council are based upon the building of King Solomon’s Temple. The Preceptory has a theme of Christian chivalry.
The term "York Rite" refers to a substantially different administrative system as it is practiced in North America, England and Europe.
Order of the Red Cross of Constantine
The Order of the Red Cross of Constantine is a concordant body of York Rite masonry. Membership in this body is by invitation only. The order was established in England in 1865.
Order of the Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests
The Order of the Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests (for Canada), administered by a Grand College headquartered in York, England. There are two Tabernacles meeting in B.C.— Victoria Tabernacle, meeting at the Fisgard Street Hall in Victoria, and Fraser Tabernacle, meeting in Abbotsford. Admission to the Order is by invitation only to freemasons who are Past Masters in good standing, Royal Arch members and Knights Templars. It consists of 33 degrees.
Order of the Secret Monitor of Canada
The Order of the Secret Monitor of Canada has two conclaves in B.C. — B.C. & Yukon Conclave No. 7 and Vancouver Island Conclave No. 9 — the former meeting at various places around Vancouver's Lower Mainland (though its charter permits it to meet anywhere in B.C. or Yukon) and the latter based in Victoria with the authority to meet anywhere on Vancouver Island. The ritual tells the biblical story of the friendship between David and Jonathan. There are three degrees; admission is by petition from Master Masons in good standing.
Allied Masonic Degrees
An organization based on interest and ability in Masonic research and scholarship. Membership is by invitation and is open to Companions who have completed the Chapter degrees. The local bodies are styled "Councils", and the national supervisory body is the Grand Council. Councils are presided over by a Sovereign Master, who is assisted by eight other officers. The maximum number of active members of any Council is limited to 27. Papers and discussions of Masonic and related topics are typically held at Council meetings. The AMD controls ten degrees, but which ones (if any) are actually "worked" is decided by each Council for itself.
Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine
Founded by Dr. Walter M. Fleming in 1870 in New York, since 1920 the Shrine has been actively supporting what has become known as the "World’s Greatest Philanthropy," Shriners Hospitals for Children. Strictly speaking, the Shrine is not an appendent order but is a club for freemasons.
Shriners are distinguished by an enjoyment of life in the interest of philanthropy. The approximately 660,000 member organization has a buoyant philosophy which has been expressed as "Pleasure without intemperance, hospitality without rudeness and jollity without coarseness." The most noticeable symbol of the Shrine is the distinctive red fez that all Shriners wear at official functions.
Shriners are freemasons who enjoy life. They enjoy parades, trips, circuses, dances, dinners, sporting events and other social occasions together. Every effort is made to be sure a Shriner has a variety of activities from which he may choose.
Men from all walks of life and all levels of income find fun, fellowship and relaxation in their individual Shrine Clubs and Units. There are 191 Shrine Temples located in Canada, the United States, Mexico and the Republic of Panama.
The Order of the Eastern Star
The Order of the Eastern Star is the largest fraternal organization, for men and women, in the world. Started in the mid 1800s, today there are over two million members worldwide, with approximately 7,500 members in British Columbia and the Yukon.
Membership in the Eastern Star is open to women who are related to Master Masons. The members of the Eastern Star are dedicated men and women who sincerely reflect the spirit of fraternal love and the desire to work together for good. The moral and social purposes of the order are designed to build character, to promote friendship and harmony among members, and to practise charity.
The Order of the Amaranth
The Order of the Amaranth was officially organized June 14th, 1873, in New York City. The Amaranth takes its theme from Queen Christina of Sweden, who in 1653 combined a group of "Sir Knights" and "Ladies" together to have "gala" parties. She called this group the Order of the Amaranth. Today it is one of the few social or fraternal orders that the Royal family takes part in. This order meets every other year and holds a ball. It is completely separate from the North American institution of the same name; the Swedish Order of the Amaranth has no ties to Freemasonry.
Under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Council, the Amaranth have 43 Grand Courts, located in Canada, the United States, Australia, England, the Philippines and Scotland; there are also subordinate Courts in Hawaii, New Zealand and Ireland.
The Daughters of the Nile
Formed in 1913, The Daughters of the Nile is an international, non-profit organization, comprised of women who are wives, widows, mothers, sisters or daughters of men who are Shriners. The purpose of the order is to assist the Shriners with their charitable work; to promote social, friendly fellowship within the order; and to advance and elevate the standard of Womanhood. The Order has grown to 148 Temples within Canada and the United States, with approximately 75,000 members.
Ladies of the Oriental Shrine
The Ladies of the Oriental Shrine of North America was organized in Wheeling, West Virginia, on February 14, 1903. The order now has 97 Courts in North America, two of which are located in Canada, and extends to Hawaii and Okinawa.
This Court was formed for the purpose of extending good fellowship among families of Shriners. However each Court assumes an obligation to extend financial support and assistance to the Shriners Hospitals for Children with the emphasis on the hospital fund, hospital sewing and special projects. There are no active courts in BC at this time.
The White Shrine of Jerusalem
An invitational order, the Order of the White Shrine of Jerusalem was incorporated in 1894.
The Order of DeMolay
Founded in 1919 by Frank S. Land in Kansas City, Missouri, The Order of DeMolay is a fraternity for young men between the ages of 13 and 21. Visit British Columbia DeMolay’s website at bcdemolay.ca The name DeMolay is taken from Jacques DeMolay, a Grand Master of the mediaeval Knights Templar. DeMolay teaches leadership and values which make these young men better citizens and better prepared for tomorrow’s challenges.
International Job's Daughters International is one of today’s outstanding character building organizations for young girls, 10 to 20 years of age. Character building, developing self-confidence, and learning leadership qualities as well as social skills are but a few of the qualities that J.D.I. teaches.