A monumental day

freemasonryNow what kind of self-respecting secret society opens its doors on “Open Monument Day“? The Freemasons that’s who. Yep, as a boy’s club they’ve been coming out of the closet for a while now–apparently membership numbers have been dropping steady for some years now.   And so just like everyone else these days they are going through a rebranding process. Today I  saw  both their “red temple” and their “blue temple” at their lodge at the corner of Vondelstraat and 1e Constantijn Huygenstraat. Sadly, I did not get to see the beer-tapping room donated by Freddy Heineken‘s dad Henry Pierre…

The general impression was, um, it’s a tad shabby. Yo Grandmaster: time for a paint job and some new carpeting, perhaps?  But I shouldn’t judge: maybe  seeking world domination isn’t the high-paying gig we all assume it is. Or maybe they really  are just some fellows banded together who use building metaphors in their voyage towards  self-discovery. The  Freemason I talked to said their  secretive reputation comes only from the fact that they are  protective about their rituals so that when new members experience them they are more emotionally affected.  Regardless, they certainly aren’t Bilderberg. [Please note: out of respect for the  Freemason's  once-secretive reputation,  I only took a picture from the outside.]


bellamysmitI also got to look inside some of the houses along one of my favourite residential streets, Bellamystraat, that runs up from the center of Ten Katenstraat market. At number 74,  small-scale industry is alive and well in the form of the blacksmith company GF Meister en Zonen who have been at it since 1909. Compared to the Freemasons, this place is more manly than merely men-only.

Posted: September 13, 2009 at 3:31 pm.

Add a comment