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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Freemasonry: A Secret Fraternal Organization?

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Some people believe that the Masonic Fraternity, also known as the Freemasons, is a secret organization.

Although the Fraternity does have some secrets, the mode of identification of members, it is not secretive. In fact, Freemasonry is very open about its existence. When driving around Naperville, walking on the Riverwalk, or strolling through the Naperville Cemetery, symbols of the Fraternity are prominently displayed. If Freemasonry is a secret organization, it is one of the worst kept secrets in the history of civilization.

The Masonic Temple, located at 34 West Jefferson Avenue, has a large Square and Compasses, the universal symbol of Freemasonry, displayed on the front of the building, on the front door and on the awning over the entry. An electronic marquee on the front of the Temple prominently displays the dates and times each Masonic Body meets.

The Masonic Mural, “Faith, Hope and Charity,” painted by local artist Marianne Lisson-Kuhn, is mounted on the south facing wall of Tinker Children’s Boutique. This mural was the 40th work of art commissioned for the Naperville Century Walk.

The Veteran’s Plaza Flagpole in the Naperville Cemetery was donated by the Masonic Fraternal bodies that meet in Naperville and has a plaque commemorating the Masonic bodies who provided the funding for it. Many grave markers in the cemetery have the Square and Compasses carved in them.

The Masonic Overlook Plaza on the east extension of the Riverwalk, located behind the Beidelman-Kunsch Funeral Home on Washington Street, was funded by the Fraternity.

The newest monument in Naperville, commemorating Naperville’s Gold Star Families, will be dedicated at 2PM on May 27, 2023, in Veteran’s Park on Gartner Road. This project was made possible by a significant donation by the Naperville Masonic Bodies and has a Square and Compasses carved into one of the benches.

Many members wear rings, lapel pins and tie clasps with the Square and Compasses and display Masonic license plates on their cars.

The annual installation of newly-elected officers of the Masonic Lodge is open to the public. Masonic Lodges across the State of Illinois sponsor high school academic teams in the annual Masonic Academic Bowl competition. Numerous charitable organizations within our community are supported financially by the Masonic Fraternity.

Secretive? No, just private.

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Tim Ory
Tim Ory
Tim Ory is a fifth-generation Naperville native, descended from Francois Sebastien Ory, who immigrated to America from Alsace Lorraine, France, in 1844. Signing off as "Tim Ory, Historian, Euclid Lodge No. 65 Ancient Free & Accepted Masons," Tim adds that he continues to research the History of the Masonic Lodge and Naperville every day. Contact him at tjory@sbcglobal.net.
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