It's one of the most imposing buildings on North Terrace. Its Ionic columns providing an impressive show of solidity and strength. And yet many have never entered this grand inner sanctum of the Freemasons. For most of us this building, completed in 1927, remains a monument to secret mens' business, and yet, it's open to the public and is well worth a look.

 

"In recent times we've endeavored to open up freemasonry considerably to the general public. We now have guided tours through here every Thursday afternoon. We have a set of guides who take people through, we go through this room, we've got three lodge rooms upstairs. We take them through there and let them have a look at the ornate furnishings, the various paraphernalia about lodges and we just explain what happens in the lodge meetings, and that goes down very well".

 

Freemasonry, with its strange and colourful aprons and ever present geometric symbolism, is one of the oldest fraternal societies in the world. Some say its roots stretch back a thousand years before the birth of Christ, to the construction of King Solomon's Temple. Others say the society harks back to the stonemasons who built the great medieval cathedrals of Europe. Apparently they banded together, forming a close knit brotherly society, dedicated to preserving and maintaining their particular skills. Whatever its genesis, the interior of those Great Hall in Adelaide speaks of those times when the work of the artisan was revered.

 

"Yes, it is a stunning building and the stage itself, I mean, that is the perfect sort of set piece for Romeo and Juliet, isn't it?"

"Yes, I don't know why it was built like that, it could be Verona quite easily. Yes, you can imagine the two of them sitting there with Juliet up there talking to Romeo"

 

And upstairs, one of the lodge rooms with its striking tessellated floor and illuminated G.

 

"The G is in every lodge room both here and in North Terrace and other lodge rooms throughout South Australia, representing God, the grand geometrician of the universe, the creator of the world, someone with whom we should treat with awe and respect".

 

If you want a better understanding of Freemasonry, then you can join one of the society's regular Thursday tours through Grand Lodge at 254 North Terrace. The one hour tours commence at 2.00pm and are free.

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