The actual origins of Freemasonry have been lost in time, but it is known that it arose from the guilds of stonemasons which constructed Europe’s castles and cathedrals during the Middle Ages.
These craftsmen were in possession of highly prized skills in mathematics and architecture, which they in turn passed on to apprentices who had been accepted as being worthy of being taught the secrets of their trade.
These trainees advanced, depending on their proficiency, to become Master Masons.
In England in 1717 four Lodges decided to create a formal organisation by forming the first Grand Lodge. Freemasonry then spread across Europe and to other countries with amazing speed.
In Australia, Freemasonry can be traced to the First Fleet’s arrival in 1788.
The United Grand Lodge of New South Wales was officially formed in 1888, and later became responsible for Freemasonry in the Australian Capital Territory.