Former President John Agyekum Kufuor, a Freemason and Senior Grand Warden of the United Grand Lodge of England, says the Craft of Freemasonry is about charity, transparency and accountability in advancing the cause of humanity.
Therefore, he said, those who desired to promote these tenets and principles must acquire knowledge and understanding in order to espouse them well.
In view of this, he said, the members of the Fraternity at that time, kept the craft under cover, in order to protect its sanctity.
He explained: “From the Church, the high-and-mighty in terms of politics, suspected this craft because they didn’t know much about it so the ‘‘Brethren of Old’’ decided to keep the craft under cover to protect it, not out of malice or evil intentions”.
Former President Kufuor, who is the First Black African to be elevated to the highest rank of Freemasonry, made the remarks in Accra on Wednesday night, at the launch of a book titled: “The Freemasons; who we are; what we stand for and do; our relevance – An insider’s view”.
It is authored by Brother Abraham Gyesie.
Former President Kufour, who would chalk 50 years of membership of the Club by next year, purchased the first copy for GHc5,000.
He encouraged both Freemasons and non-masons to buy copies in order to expand their knowledge and understanding about the teachings of Freemasonry.
Copies of the book can be purchased in the Freemasons’ Hall.
Brother Gyesie, the author, noted that, people who did not understand the principles of Freemasonry often misconstrued the craft as occultism and tagged members with negative names.
He said that the eight-chapter book, therefore, sought to explain the vexatious misconception about the teachings so that both Freemasons and non-masons would appreciate the noble objectives of the Fraternity.
He said the Book dealt with the Freemasons’ Lodge and Brethren who belonged to a regular Grand Lodge.
It explains the work of the Lodge as a School of Instruction, based on a system of moral and spiritual philosophy, which offers members an approach to life and reinforces thoughtfulness for others, and the need to support the deprived and vulnerable people in society, he said.
The author explained that, the book also elucidated the key principles of Freemasonry such as loyalty and obedience, integrity and honesty in business, courtesy in society and fairness to all humanity.
Some prominent personalities and Masonic Leaders in Ghana, including His Royal Majesty, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, who is a Grand Patron of the Grand Lodge of Ghana, shared his thoughts on the book.
The King of the Asante Kingdom wrote: “I am a proud Freemason and I confirm that the principles and tenets of Freemasonry that we are taught in the Lodge, especially in the areas of governance and accountability have always stood me in good stead in my daily functions as Asantehene.
“Indeed, Freemasonry is a way of life. I support the publication and launching of this book, “The Freemasons; who we are; what we stand for and do; our relevance-An insider’s view”, by Brother Abraham Gyesie.
“I recommend this book to every Freemason and to members of the general public”.
The book was launched by the current Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ghana, the Most Worshipful Kwadjo Adunkwa Butah.
The author is a Pharmacist and Health Development Consultant, who has served as a member of the Steering Committee for the formation of the Grand Lodge of Ghana.
Brother Gyesie is currently the Honorary Senior Grand Warden and Chairman of the Grand Lodge Masonic Education Committee.
He is the Past District Grand Senior Warden of the District Grand Lodge of Ghana English Constitution.
The author was initiated into Freemasonry on June 11, 1973, and, subsequently, admitted into the Concordia Lodge English Constitution at Freemasons Hall, Adjabeng in Accra.
Brother Gyesie is a Masonic student, researcher, teacher and a prolific writer on matters relating to Freemasonry.
Freemasonry is officially described as a “craft of boys’ club that promotes charity, integrity, honesty, fairness and groom young men to be responsible adults.”
It has been in existence since the time of the building of King Solomon’s Temple about 4,000 years ago.