ARE YOU THINKING OF BECOMING A FREEMASON?
Once you have taken a decision and would like to approach Masonry Universal Lodge No. 40, we invite you to read our Secretary's message, which will guide you through the next steps. You can download the letter here.
For those seeking to learn more about Freemasonry, there is a wealth of information -- and, sadly, some mis-information -- easily available to you on the Internet. If you have an open mind and seek a balanced view, we recommend that you first read the text published on Wikipedia (see also Links on this website). If you feel so inclined, the links are provided for further information.
If you are a Mason and you'd like to visit us, whether to actively participate or simply to watch, please let us know.
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Some Famous Swiss Masons
Born in 1915 and joined Freemasonry in 1954, this native of Le Locle, humanist and renowned philosopher well beyond our frontiers, received the honorary title of Doctor "honoris causa" from the University of Neuchâtel just a few years before his death in 1984.
Jonas Furrer (1805-1861)
Member of the Akazia Lodge at Winterthur, he was elected Grand Orator of the Grand Lodge Alpina of Switzerland in 1844, before he became, four years later, the first President of the Swiss Confederation.
Augusta Giacometti (1877-1947)
Swiss painter from the Grisons, initiated in 1919 at Zürich, he is known for his decorations in holy arts, his floral subjects and, from 1910, for his abstract works of the "tachist" type.
Pierre-Maurice Glayre (1743-1819)
Man of politics, diplomat, he was also private secretary to the King of Poland and the first president of the temporary Assembly in the country of Vaud.
Adrien Lachenal (1849-1918)
This solicitor and politician from Geneva, Federal Counsellor from 1892 to 1899, was elected President of the Swiss Confederation in 1896 and presided over the States Counsel from 1904 to 1918.
The preserved records of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (the Reich Security Main Office) show the persecution of Freemasons. While the number is not accurately known, it is estimated that between 80,000 and 200,000 Freemasons were killed under the Nazi regime. Masonic concentration camp inmates were graded as political prisoners and wore an inverted red triangle.
The small blue forget-me-not flower was first used by the Grand Lodge Zur Sonne, in 1926, as a Masonic emblem at the annual convention in Bremen, Germany. In 1938 a forget-me-not badge--made by the same factory as the Masonic badge--was chosen for the annual Nazi Party Winterhilfswerk, the annual charity drive of the National Socialist People's Welfare, the welfare branch of the Nazi party. This coincidence enabled Freemasons to wear the forget-me-not badge as a discrete sign of membership.
After World War II, the forget-me-not flower was again used as a Masonic emblem at the first Annual Convention of the United Grand Lodges of Germany in 1948.
The badge is now worn in the coat lapel by Freemasons around the world to remember all those that have suffered in the name of Freemasonry, especially those during the Nazi era.
The origins and early development of Freemasonry are a matter of some debate and conjecture. A poem known as the "Regius Manuscript" has been dated to approximately 1390 and is the oldest known Masonic text.
There is evidence to suggest that there were Masonic lodges in existence in Scotland as early as the late 16th century. The Lodge at Kilwinning, Scotland, has records that date to the late 16th century, and is mentioned in the Second Schaw Statutes (1599) .
There are clear references to the existence of lodges in England by the mid-17th century. The first Grand Lodge, the Grand Lodge of London and Westminster (later called the Grand Lodge of England (GLE), was founded on 24 June 1717. This was the first Grand Lodge in the world.
After four years of negotiation, the two Grand Lodges in England united on 27 December 1813 to form the United Grand Lodge of England. This union led to a standardisation of procedures and regalia.