A SCOTTISH delicacy containing the minced heart, liver and lungs of a sheep was enjoyed by more than 100 freemasons on Saturday night.
The traditional Christmas with Haggis meeting of Lodge Caledonian number 14, in Ipswich, was an occasion not to be missed.
The haggis may not sound like a meal to savour but try telling that to Lodge Caledonian member Ted Sharp.
Onion, grain, salt and a sumptuous stock are added to the delicacy that is traditionally cooked inside the animal's stomach.
"I've been in the lodge for 52 years and every Christmas we've had a haggis," the former long-serving Lodge Caledonian secretary said.
"When I started, they used to get tinned haggis from Scotland but now Margaret Bryant up in Warwick makes it ... and it's beautiful. It is about 18 inches long, a foot wide and six inches thick. It tastes something like a savoury mince with a bit more body to it."
The Lodge Caledonian has been going since 1866, with past assistant master Colin Murray the longest serving member with 62 years under his belt.
Mr Sharp said there were originally "three lots" of freemasons in Queensland- the Scottish, English and Irish.
"They all had their own traditions until 1921 when a lot of them joined what was called the Grand Lodge of Queensland in those days.
"When they were told they had to give up their rites, the Caledonian (lodge) and some of the other stronger ones told them where to go.
"We have a Scottish ritual. The story is the same but we put it over in a different way to the others. These stories have been going for about 400 years."
Freemasonry, described as a fraternal organisation with six million members, has had some outlandish tales associated with it over the years, due mainly to the so-called 'secrets' that are kept by members. Mr Sharp revealed a sense of humour when asked what freemasons do.
'We don't ride goats ... as some people seem to think," he joked.
"We've got an altar but we don't kill anyone. On the altar is a religious book. In most countries it is a St James Bible. But if someone is from another religion - whether it be Mohammedan, Jewish or Buddhist - they can have their holy book there too. It's open to anyone and is not a religious organisation.
"We've given millions of dollars for various things over the years. For example, during the Queensland floods, we gave a million dollars. The little athletics at Goodna got quite a few thousand dollars from us to regroup again."
The freemasons in Queensland have also been generous donors to leukemia sufferers in Queensland with donations of more than $1million on several occasions.
Mr Sharp said freemasonry was designed "to make good men better."
"If you obey the golden rule in the Bible then you can't go wrong," he said.
"It is a charitable organisation and for hundreds of years, we never told anybody what we gave. It is only in the last five to 10 years that we have said what we give to organisations."