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Freemasons show themselves off

PUBLISHED: 19:00 22 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:08 03 March 2010

FREEMASONS are coming out of the shadows in an attempt to banish suspicions about their organisation.

Ipswich's Masonic Lodge will open to the public as part of a campaign to highlight the positive role of masonry in Britain.

FREEMASONS are coming out of the shadows in an attempt to banish suspicions about their organisation.

Ipswich's Masonic Lodge will open to the public as part of a campaign to highlight the positive role of masonry in Britain.

But leading lights in Suffolk's mason mob have admitted that the mysterious rituals associated with freemasonry will remain.

Suffolk province secretary Barry Ross said freemasons should not be afraid of opening up the organisation to public scrutiny and said the rituals were merely signs of historic symbolism.

He said: "In the past, most people would have played it all down. But we have nothing to hide.

"There's no need to have any misconceptions when it's so easy to communicate.

"It's not going to happen overnight, but this is the beginning of moving the shadows away."

Mr Ross said more than £40,000 had been given to non-masonic charities in Suffolk every year for the past three years.

And provincial grand master Bob Tile said no member was allowed to profit from being in the masons.

He said: "If I suspected another member was trying to get round me because he was a mason, I would cut him dead.

"He would be kicked out just like that, we don't stand for any of that kind of behaviour."

The open day for the Masonic Hall, in Soane Street, will be held on Saturday, 29 June.

And if you want to find out about the new world of modern masonry, you can always read about it yourself – on their website, www.suffolkfreemason.org.uk.

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