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AYER — Caleb Butler Lodge of 11 Sculley Road, Ayer, joins the The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts and 233 local lodges throughout the state to host an open house from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 15.

The event is designed to help the public gain a better understanding of the fraternity, its heritage, and why Freemasonry has been the common denominator of so many great men throughout our country’s history.

Called “Square & Compasses Day,” the open house takes its name from the familiar overlapped workmen’s tools associated with Freemasonry.

Caleb Butler Lodge’s Square & Compasses program includes guided tours of the lodge building, membership information, exposure to Masonic history and artifacts, and explanation of Masonry’s many symbols. The Lodge also provides lunch and refreshment through the day, at no charge.

Caleb Butler Lodge recently celebrated the 150th anniversary of its chartering by the Grand Lodge. Caleb Butler members number more than 200, most living in Middlesex and Worceter Counties, but also across 30 states.

Freemasonry is the world’s oldest and largest fraternity. Membership is open to men at least 18 years, of age, regardless of race or religion. The organization offers a wide range of opportunities for community service, personal improvement, leadership development and fun.

Established in 1733, well before the American Revolution, the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts is the third oldest Grand Lodge in the world. Today, nearly 40,000 Massachusetts Freemasons meet monthly and contribute to civic life throughout the Commonwealth.

Freemasons donate more than $3 million daily to charitable projects, largely in support of the general public. Among them are North America’s 22 Shriner Hospitals for Children, including the Boston burn center and Springfield’s orthopedic center.

Fifty-five Masonic Learning Centers in 15 states help children with dyslexia and disorders of speech and hearing.

The Masonic Youth Child Identification Program (MYCHIP) and the Masonic Angel Foundation assist children and adults in local communities who do not fit the usual criteria for social services.

Masons are responsible for collecting a significant portion of the blood donated to the Red Cross in Massachusetts.

The Grand Lodge Scholarship program provides over $400,000 each year, and many local lodges operate their own scholarship programs in parallel.

The Order of DeMolay and the Order of Rainbow offer Masonic principles to thousands of young men and women across the United States.