A secret society or a society with secrets? A French Masonic Lodge, only one of eight outside of France, was set up in 1853 on the Ballarat goldfields. It was soon preceded by an English constituted lodge, and then came the Scottish and Irish Lodges. Masonic Lodges can be found in most districts in the area. This is a great way of finding elusive ancestors,as each Lodge was obliged to keep accurate records of who attended. This requirement came out of the Secrets Act in Great Britain when it was mandatory to report who attended meetings.