COMMUNITY MINDED: Being a Freemason helped Bill Turner become part of the Gayndah community.
COMMUNITY MINDED: Being a Freemason helped Bill Turner become part of the Gayndah community. Adam McCleery

Learning the truth about Freemasonry

IT WAS Bill Turner's membership with the Freemasons that made it easier for him to integrate into life in a new community when he moved to Gayndah eight years ago.

"It's a community-based organisation because that's where our members come from,” Mr Turner said.

"And with a town like Gayndah, you have community-minded people all over the place involved in different things. You find some who are involved in two or three organisations.”

Gayndah has its own Masonic Lodge, which meant Mr Turner already had a common link with a portion of the new community he'd decided to call home.

"The term lodge doesn't actually refer to the building that meetings are held, instead it means the group of Freemasons themselves,” he explained

The Freemasons are involved with a number of charity and fundraising projects, most recently donating five new coolers to the Gayndah Scout Group.

"One of the main pillars of Freemasonry is charity, the other two being faith and hope,” Mr Turner said.

Mr Turner said he wanted to highlight the charity and community work the Freemasons did, citing the often misinterpreted meaning of the fraternity.

"The more you put in, the more you get out,” Mr Turner said.

That credo applies to both the fraternity and its work within the community, which Mr Turner said gave him a sense of fulfilment.

Mr Turner is a teacher by trade and through that career path he spent many years doing private study of his own, which led him down the path to Freemasonry.

"One of my private studies is religion and religious history,” Mr Turner said.

"And wherever I went in my study I kept hitting a brick wall, as in I couldn't go any further with that research because it was stuff related to Freemasonry.

"It happened a couple of times and it got me frustrated, so I spoke to a friend of mine who I knew was a Mason and it all sort of flowed from there.”

While Freemasonry is known as a fraternity, Mr Turner said each member embarked on their own individual journey within that fraternity.

"Masonry is there as an organisation of self- development,” he said.

"You do things and gain things by yourself. In other words, you go and read books to get knowledge, you're not sharing it with anyone else really.”

Mr Turner said members generally joined the Freemasons with the same goal in mind as many other community groups.

"People get involved for their own interests but also to keep the clubs and organisations going in the community.”

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