Men of all walks of life have been Masons; however, a vast number of Masons have, in their public avocations, been soldiers. In fact military Freemasons played an influential role in establishing Freemasonry in Canada in the first place. During the 18th and early 19th centuries, many British Regiments came to North America with traveling Masonic charters that allowed them to hold formal Masonic gatherings anywhere the Regiment served. Several modern Masonic Lodges are descended from these military Lodges.