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Can a refugee become a Freemason?
Posted: 14 March 2017 08:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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My friend, I think I can picture your journey and it gives me both sympathy and sincere admiration for you.

Based on what I have seen in only a few paragraphs and all other things being equal, I myself would be pleased to consider you for my own lodge. The reality however is that every jurisdiction makes its own rules. The people who have commented so far are from North America and the UK. According to the rules I, and I think the others, work under, there would be no bar to your joining in our separate jurisdictions. Germany however works under its own laws and regulations, so I cannot with certainty say yeah or nay. Further, in those areas I am familiar with, within certain broad outlines (eg male, over 21 years old, etc), the final decision is always with the individual lodge. Mine, in western Canada, has men of at least four different religions and from over a dozen countries.

I can only suggest that you wait to hear from a lodge near you and discuss it with their representative. Good luck and my sincere best wishes to you and your parents.

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Bro. Bob
Zetland Lodge No. 83
Calgary, AB

Initiated 1 March 1979
Passed 26 May 1979
Raised 18 October 1979

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Posted: 14 March 2017 08:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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Thank you, Having friends like you is valuable.

I will do waiting. It’s good that I become familiar with the probable challenges, so it gives me a better preparing for my interview with my lodge.

I hope to visit Canada and maybe you and your lodge for the coming years.

Thank you for your kindness ā€“ greetings to you.

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Posted: 15 March 2017 03:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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Thank you for sharing the details of your journey with us. In Freemasonry we based our relationships on brotherhood. In Lodges, we don’t know and we don’t care who is rich, who is poor, who works as what, who was born here and who was born thousands miles away. We are all reunited for a honorable purpose and we hold no prejudice against each other.

I lived more than 10 years in Germany. Due to a long family history, I am also a German citizen.

As Lark said, each jurisdiction will have its own rules. The same candidate could be accepted somewhere but refused somewhere else.

While your motives sound genuine and honorable, I believe that it’s too early to join the German freemasonry at this stage. You can still contact them. I am sure they will be delighted to show you around and answer your questions but I would be very slow to advise you about lodging a formal application at this stage. You don’t want to get a “NO” as it can play against you if you want to join in the future.

While I don’t know the rules of German Grand Lodges, I can still share with you some general principles commonly observed:

- Lawful residence: you have a residence application in progress through the asylum office. The authorities know about you. So you are present lawfully in Germany but you are not a resident as yet. As you said, you can be accepted, you can be refused… which means you are legally stable yet. Lodges usually don’t consider applications from visitors, tourists and people who have not settled in the country.

- Language: Freemasonry is about learning, communicating, sharing… You can’t be a Mason in Germany if you don’t speak fluent German. In lodges all communication will be carried out in German and you have to participate. Otherwise, you wouldn’t understand what’s happening and what’s being said around you.

- Duration of residence: you need to reside in the jurisdiction for a certain time and be known as a good character. If you joined the country recently, this part would be difficult to demonstrate.

- Employment: you need to be a self-sustaining member of the society. Again, not important what job you do and how much it pays.

I respect your motivation, but I believe you are too early in your journey in Germany. What I can recommend to you is to:

- Sort your residence paperwork out. Knowing the German administration, it may take years from now before you are officially settled in the country and holding on an unrestricted residence permit

- Learn German. There are free schools sponsored by the State.

- Find a job as soon as you have the right to work. Don’t wait to be perfect in German. Try various places until someones gives you a chance. In the job, you interact with people and learn German much faster.

- Keep informal contacts with freemasonry when possible. Like reading, participating in forums and going to open days.

When I moved from Germany to Britain, it took me almost a decade to walk into a Masonic Hall and ask to talk with someone about joining. It’s about patience :) Take your time and step and after step you will get there.

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Posted: 15 March 2017 10:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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I could be mistaken, but I believe that there remain lodges in Germany which operate in English, ones left over from what were essentially military lodges set up by occupying British, US and Canadian forces in the 1950s. See what the Grand Lodge comes back with.

So far as talking to them, I see no reason not to. There is a big difference between investigating and applying for membership and simply asking questions should not in any way have an impact on a subsequent application.

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Bro. Bob
Zetland Lodge No. 83
Calgary, AB

Initiated 1 March 1979
Passed 26 May 1979
Raised 18 October 1979

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Posted: 15 March 2017 01:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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If these lodges are still active, that would sort the language question out.

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Posted: 15 March 2017 05:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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Dear AM,

I studied your post word by word. Thank you for friendly tips and encouragements.

I received a positive answer in relation to my asylum application today ā€“ in an unexpected time. Under the terms of this decision I have received three-years legal residence in Germany. After this period, it can be renewed or even permanent residency (under certain conditions).

Accordingly, I can join the integration courses and look for a job after today.

About language I would say I also found two Grand Lodges in Munich on the internet which as it looks their communication may be in English language; http://935.acgl.eu/ and http://www.gl-bfg.com/

Anyway, after guidance by Lark (Bro. Bob), I contacted United Grand Lodges of Germany in 7th of March. I asked them to connect me to an English-speaking lodge and has not faced any obstacle on the call. I realize that to do an effective live in Germany must practice and learn the German language ā€“ So Iā€™m gonna do that.

I would keep waiting for my lodge to contact me. After this conversation I can talk to them more easily, get their advice, respect their decisions and of-course their jurisdiction.

I agree with you about patience :) It would be my pleasure and task to keep informal contacts, even more.

Thanks -

Best wishes and Good luck for everyone of you.

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Posted: 15 March 2017 07:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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This is very good news, in every sense.

I look forward to hearing updates on your progress.

Peace to you and yours.

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Bro. Bob
Zetland Lodge No. 83
Calgary, AB

Initiated 1 March 1979
Passed 26 May 1979
Raised 18 October 1979

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Posted: 16 March 2017 05:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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As you are contacting lodges, I would like to attract your attention on something important. I would tell this to anyone looking for a lodge.

You need to know that the term “Freemason” or “Freemasonry” is not copyrighted, or protected in any shape or form. This means that any group of people could potentially open a Lodge or a Grand Lodge and claim they are proper Freemasons. Some “Grand Lodges” are nothing more than a website and a few funny people meeting on some basement. You could waste your time, your energy and your money before realising that you didn’t join anything than a private club trying to mimic masonic working.

To make sure you are talking to the right people, I recommend you ensure that they are listed here:

http://www.ugle.org.uk/about/foreign-grand-lodges

As long as the Grand Lodge is listed there, it will guarantee you they are regular and you will be recognised and welcomed as a Mason in many Lodges around the world.

If you join a non regular lodge, you will find yourself with a group of people that no one recognise as masons outside their small circle.

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Posted: 16 March 2017 06:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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mystic-tie, you are quite correct, but the gentleman was given contact info for the legitimate grand lodge, has contacted them and will be referred to a regular lodge. This should not be an issue.

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Bro. Bob
Zetland Lodge No. 83
Calgary, AB

Initiated 1 March 1979
Passed 26 May 1979
Raised 18 October 1979

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Posted: 16 March 2017 06:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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Thank you for the clarification Lark. As long as the lodge is legit, I am totally supportive :)

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Posted: 16 March 2017 09:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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Actually (mystic-tie), that’s not strictly true.  For example; there are two REGULAR Grand Lodges in Italy - one is recognised by UGLE and not the US Grand Lodges, the other is NOT recognised by UGLE but IS recognised by the US GLs.  All the page that you provide a link to is a list of the Grand Lodges that UGLE recognise, it’s not a definitive list of regular Grand Lodges.  There is a similar situation regarding the regular Grand Lodges that exist in France. We (UGLE) recognise GNLF, but that doesn’t stop GLoF being regular (and, I believe, recognised by a number of GLs that we also recognise).

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Richard
Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden, Provincial Grand Treasurer (Royal Arch)
Member of Craft, Royal Arch, Ancient & Accepted Rite, Mark, Royal Ark Mariner, Knight Templar, Knight Templar Priest, Order of Secret Monitor, Royal Order of Scotland
UGLE.

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