Before you consider joining Freemasonry it is important that you fully understand what you are committing yourself to and what would be expected of you. The following is a brief summary of Freemasonry in general, what you can expect and what is expected of you - should you wish to join.

Please read the following before contacting us, we look forward to answering any questions you may then have. A link to contact us is given at the bottom of this page.

What is Freemasonry?

Freemasonry is the world's oldest fraternal organisation that teaches moral lessons and self-knowledge through allegory and symbolism.

It offers its members an approach to life that embodies thoughtfulness for others, compassion and benevolence in the community, honesty in business, courtesy in society and fairness in all things.

How to become a Freemason

It is a common misunderstanding that you have to be invited to join Freemasonry. The correct procedure is, in fact, that you should apply to join.

However before taking this step you need to satisfy yourself that it is indeed an organisation that you wish to belong to and that you have no misconceptions as to your expectations of Freemasonry.

Freemasonry is not an organisation intended to give or create business or career advantages - on the contrary, on entry into Freemasonry a candidate is required to state unequivocally that he expects no material gain from his membership. This mistaken belief has led to some candidates being disappointed and resigning their membership after a relatively short period of time.

There are certain formal requirements that have to be met before you can apply to be initiated into Freemasonry.

In essence these are:

  1. The belief in a supreme being (God) - irrespective of whether you are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh or any other religion.
  2. Being of sound character and law-abiding - with no criminal record.
  3. Applying of your own free will - without any pressure from anyone else.
  4. Being a South African Citizen or Permanent Resident in South Africa (with a South African ID document).
  5. Being a male and of mature age (21-years or older in most cases.)
  6. Completion of a written application form.
  7. Your application form will need to be signed by a proposer and seconder - both being members of the Masonic Lodge you wish to join, preferably members who have known you for a reasonable period of time and who can honestly vouch for your character and the above formal requirements.
  8. Thereafter you will be required to meet informally with members of the Lodge for an interview to determine:
    1. That you have no unreasonable expectations of benefit from your membership.
    2. That you have discussed your application with your immediate family and that they understand and support your decision.
    3. That you understand the basic principles of, and your expected role in, Freemasonry and that you will adhere to them.
    4. That you are able to attend lodge on a regular basis.
    5. That you are aware of the costs of membership and your expected charitable contributions.
    6. Whether you have any questions that we may answer.

If you were to become a Freemason, you would want to attend meetings regularly at your Lodge, you should live or work fairly close to the Lodge you join. If you are not in the greater Johannesburg area, you should look for a Lodge closer to your home.

If you still wish to proceed, your application will be subject to a ballot among the lodge members - normally within a few months - after which you will be advised of the date on which your are to be initiated into Freemasonry. You may, at any stage before your initiation, withdraw your application. All your information, views and comments will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Once you are a Freemason you may resign at any time. There is nothing to force you to be a member or continue being a member.

What will be expected of you?

A Freemason is expected to learn and show humility through initiation and advancement through the lodge.

A Freemason must have a sincere determination to conduct himself in a manner that will earn the respect and trust of others and possess a desire to help others through community service and universal benevolence.

He is expected to progress through a series of degrees, gain insight into increasingly complex moral and philosophical concepts and accept a variety of challenges and responsibilities that are intended to be both mentally stimulating and rewarding.

A Freemason is expected to participate in the dramatic presentation of moral lessons and in the workings of the lodge by learning these passages by heart.

Since there is also a certain amount of administrative and ceremonial procedure involved in a lodge meeting, a Freemason may be elected to hold office in the lodge and to perform duties related to these positions.

A Freemason is required to take various solemn oaths, binding on his conscience and his fidelity, not to disclose the secrets and mysteries of Freemasonry.

These solemn promises concern their conduct in Lodge and in society. Each member also promises to keep confidential the traditional methods of proving that he is a Freemason which he would use when visiting a lodge where he is not known. Freemasons do not swear allegiances to each other or to Freemasonry. Rather, they promise to support others in times of need, but only if that support does not conflict with their duties to God, the law, their family or with their responsibilities as a Citizen.

How much does it cost to be a Freemason?

The running of a Lodge incurs various costs and the Lodge also pays dues to the District and Grand Lodges for their expenses. These costs are recovered by charging annual membership fees. There are also costs associated with the initiation of a new member. The costs for Witwatersrand Lodge in 2020 are as follows.

  • Initiation fee R1400. (Once off amount when you join.)
  • Annual membership R1200. (This amount is discounted to some extent if you do not join at the beginning of the year.)
  • You need a Dinner Suit (Tuxedo) or a black suit, a white shirt, bow tie and formal black shoes.
  • We dine after our meetings and you would be encouraged to join us, there is a moderate cost involved.
  • We make regular donations to charity, this amount is at the discression of the person concerned.

A Freemason is expected to be charitable and, in our particular lodge, you will be expected to participate actively in at least one of our charitable events each year.

The process of joining is fairly complex and takes anything from six months to a year and sometimes even longer. It is not something to be rushed and is not something to be taken lightly.

Join Freemasonry

If you would like further information, or wish to discuss joining, please complete this form: Express Interest Form