Caleb Butler Lodge of 11 Sculley Road, Ayer, joins over 230 local lodges throughout the state to host an open house on Saturday, Oct. 20, from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. Members provide tours, talk about Freemasonry's history, discuss its rituals, signs, and symbols, and explain what they do.

Called "Square & Compasses Day," Massachusetts Masonry's eighth annual 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.

"Square & Compasses Day provides an understanding of Freemasonry and its positive impact on its members, their families, and communities," says Master of Caleb Butler Lodge, Mike Boucher.

Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, Richard J. Stewart said, "Although many have heard of us, very few are aware that for over 275 years we have been part of an unbroken tradition of great men who have changed our world in ways both big and small. Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thurgood Marshall, and John Glenn, for example, all joined the Masons prior to achieving the greatness for which we recognize them.

Ayer's vibrant Caleb Butler Lodge has operated continuously since its 1859 formation, first under the name "Excelsior" and later renamed in honor of Groton historian and surveyor Caleb Butler, who was Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts from 1841 through 1842.

Grand Master Stewart paid Ayer Masons the honor of personally installing Mike Boucher as master for the 2012-2013 year, a first in Caleb Butler Lodge's 153-year history.

Freemasonry, the world's oldest and largest fraternity, seeks to bring together men of every country, religion, race, background, and opinion and develop the bonds of friendship between them. Through a large variety of North American Masonic philanthropies, Freemasonry donates approximately $3 million to charity every day, 70 percent of which benefits the general public. During its initiation ceremony, rich with symbolism and allegory, Freemasonry encourages its members to value principles, ethics, and morality and to live their lives accordingly.

For more about Caleb Butler Lodge, visit www.calebbutlerlodge.com/about_lodge/lodge_history.htm.

For additional information about Massachusetts Fremasonry, call 800-882-1020, or visit www.AskaFreemason.org.