23A Coleman Street - Where Freemasons Convene

Coleman Street
Central, Singapore
June 2014

Merlion Wayfarer received an invite recently which referred to the location as just "23A Coleman Street". 

Where is that?

She checked up the map  - OK, it's just behind Central Fire Station. Fairly accessible from both City Hall and Clarke Quay MRT stations.
It was only when she was finally there, right in front of this facade that she found out that...
23A Coleman Street is the Masonic Club.

Yes, there are freemasons in Singapore.

Where Have I Heard This Term Before?

Da Vinci Code (Movie)

The story tells the investigation started by symbolist Robert Langdon and a good-looking cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, around the murder of a Museum Louvre's curator. In fact, the unfortunate murdered man was Sophie's grandfather, and the corpse was found with a series of symbols and codes, like a pentagram and a Fibonacci number sequence.
(Source : Freemasonry)

National Treasure (Movie)

Benjamin Franklin Gates descends from a family of treasure-seekers who've all hunted for the same thing: a war chest hidden by the Founding Fathers after the Revolutionary War. Since childhood, Benjamin Franklin Gates has known that he is descended from a long line of people whose job is to guard a treasure hidden by the Founding Fathers, who hid clues to its whereabouts in the country's currency and on the back of the Declaration of Independence. Masonic symbols abound in the storyline:

(Source : Grand Lodge)

Where Freemasons Convene

Freemasonry, a fraternal society, was first set up in Singapore on 8 December 1845, with the establishment of "Lodge Zetland In The East", the oldest surviving Freemason lodge here, on Armenian Street. Its members called Freemasons or Masons, belong to Lodges or Temples. Freemasonry promotes three main principles - society, charity and morality.

For historical reasons, Freemasonry is for adult men only. It is not a Christian institution. Members must believe in the existence of God - whatever form he may choose. That God is not specified, is one of its charms. Masonry's basic tenets are brotherly love (hence fellow masons are brothers), philanthropy and truth. Procedures and tools of medieval masonry are used as symbols to teach these values. 

Some of the Masonic bye laws:
  • Ladies and children are allowed from 2002 onwards...

  • Limits on the types of discussions...

  • Dress code with sports attire and dress items with advertising slogan disallowed...
The Masonic Temple on Coleman Street was constructed in 1879. In 1886, the Masonic Club was established to support Singapore freemasonry. Freemason activities are centred here.
One of Singapore's first Freemason was Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of modern Singapore. Likewise, George Washington, the first President of the United States, the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, was a Freemason too.