Freemasonry means different things to each of those who join. For some, it’s about making new friends and acquaintances. For others it’s about being able to help deserving causes – making a contribution to family and society. But for most, it is an enjoyable hobby.
Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations. It teaches self-knowledge through participation in a progression of ceremonies. Members are expected to be of high moral standing and are encouraged to speak openly about Freemasonry.
Freemasonry is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. Its members are taught its principles (moral lessons and self-knowledge) by a series of ritual dramas – a progression of allegorical two-part plays which are learnt by heart and performed within each Lodge – which follow ancient forms, and use stonemasons’ customs and tools as allegorical guides.
Freemasonry instils in its members a moral and ethical approach to life: its values are based on integrity, kindness, honesty and fairness. Members are urged to regard the interests of the family as paramount but, importantly, Freemasonry also teaches concern for people, care for the less fortunate and help for those in need.
Free Masons help to build a better world through a unique and worthy process of building better men to live in it. The Free Mason Motto is: "Better men make a better world." You will learn to practice brotherly love for all, charitable relief for those who may be in need, morality and good citizenship in every community. Freemasonry acts as a charitable, fraternal, educational, social and character-building society.
On October 22nd, 1787, a Royal Artillery detachment, based in Quebec City, received, from the Grand Lodge of England (Antients), a charter allowing it to form a lodge carrying the number 241. This lodge was thus constituted on May 30th, 1788.
After the union of both Grand Lodges of England, in 1813, Lodge No. 214 became Lodge No. 302, affiliated to the United Grand Lodge of England, and adopted the name «St. John’s Lodge».
In 1832, a new change in number occured: the United Grand Lodge reviewed the lodges’ numbers to fill certain numbers that were left unused. On this occasion, St John’s Lodge No. 302 became St. John’s Lodge No. 214.
In 1852, the Military Charter, which was in bad shape, was replaced by a new Civil Charter.
In 1863, the United Grand Lodge of England reshuffled the lodges’ numbers. St. John’s Lodge No. 214 adopted number 182.
On October 20th, 1869, St. John’s Lodge No. 182 joined a group of lodges for the sole purpose of forming a Grand Lodge of Quebec. The R.W.Bro. F. James Dunbar, a member of the lodge, was voted president of this group. The Grand Lodge of Quebec was created the following day, on October 21th, 1869.
Under the new jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Quebec, St. John’s Lodge was granted the number 1. Following the recommendation of a Grand Lodge committee created to review the lodges’ number assignments, St. John’s Lodge became, in 1877, No. 3 on the registry of the Grand Lodge of Quebec.
More recently, on January 19th, 1981, St. Andrew’s Lodge No. 6 and Tuscan Lodge No. 28 were amalgamated with St. John’s Lodge.
Today, St. John’s Lodge carries on its masonic activities and offers english-speaking freemasons, from Quebec City and its surroundings, the opportunity to practice their rituals in English.
Many brethren from St. John’s Lodge have marked the history of Quebec freemasonry. Amongst these were:
Amongst the many places that were used for lodge’s meetings, we can find a room on the second floor of the tavern “Soleil” on St. Jean street (Quebec), a room at the “Chien d’Or” on Buade street, as well as rooms in several hotels in this city. Since 1862, all the meetings have been held at 51, des Jardins Street (Quebec), where the Masonic Temple is located.