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Exclusive look at the newly opened Freemasons lodge in Christchurch


The traditionally secretive Freemasons have opened the doors to their new Christchurch lodge today.

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The new centre replaces a number of buildings lost in the earthquakes. Source: 1 NEWS

The new centre replaces a number of buildings lost in the Christchurch earthquakes and is intended to help cater for a growing membership.

1 NEWS was invited in to film the dedication of the new Freemasons lodge in Woolston, the pageantry of the event no longer behind closed doors since the grandmaster decided on a new approach two years ago.

"To say that we're speaking up for freemasonry I think is understating the measure, we are right into being transparent," Grand Master Mark Winger told 1 NEWS.

"We donated ten million dollars to society, we should be proud of that and we should tell the world of the good work that we're doing."

The Christchurch lodge is one of four new lodges that will open in New Zealand this year, with membership increasing to over 6000 Kiwi men, an increase they put down to the change in policy.

"We've been approached by grand lodges in Australia and America and other parts of the world who have seen the value of what we're doing," Grand Master Winger said.

Some of what the five million Freemasons worldwide do will remain a secret though including the apron.

"There's a secret handshake and a secret word, and they are given to our young members, they are told not to communicate those secrets to those are not entitled to them and this is a test of their integrity," he said.

Next weekend, this lodge will welcome the public in to uncover the mysteries of freemasonry for themselves.