Saturday, June 7, 2008

Peace & Harmony At Last


Officers of Friendship Lodge No. 84 and Oak Springs Lodge No. 41, Prince Hall Freemasonry, are pictured at the first meeting between members of the two local lodges. (Submitted photo/)(Courtesy of the Hagerstown Herald)

Oak Springs Lodge #41, Prince Hall, visited Friendship Lodge #84, Grand Lodge of Maryland, for the first time recently. The occasion was the conferring of the Master Mason Degree on new members of the State Shield and Square Club, Master Masons who are law enforcement officers at every level of government.

Grand Officers from The Grand Lodge of Maryland and The Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Maryland were in attendance with over seventy Masons from three states.

It has taken us a long time but we seem to be nearing a point of acceptance that hithertofore was impossible. I would like my home state of Texas to take note as recognition was declared there just recently but with the provision of no cross visitation, no socializing and no Masonic discourse (some recognition).

There is no reason that this cannot be repeated across the country. Once we bridge the gap in every state I think that we will find that Freemasonry in the USA will enjoy an even greater surge in membership than we are experiencing now.

Masonry by its tenets should have been leading the parade of racial reconciliation from the start. But it is not too late to show that peace and harmony can prevail if we work hard at it thereby proving that brotherhood is color blind.


Widow's Son said...

What the hell is the point of "recognition" if you can't intervisit, socialize or talk about Masonry with your newly "recognized" Brothers?

Widow's Son

Anonymous said...

Hmm. In my jurisdiction, recognition is recognition. All GLs are treated the same. Thus, members of any GL we recognise are free to visit and vice-versa.

Justa Mason

JasonJ said...

On the point of recognition in Texas, the GL of Texas and the Prince Hall GL have decided to share the state. In my opinion, it is a modern-day Plessy v. Ferguson "separate but equal" scenario. From what I understand, and this is from second-hand information, it was the Prince Hall GL that approached GLOT about recognition. It was Prince Hall that stipulated no visitation, no co-membership, etc. Perhaps there was a fear that if Prince Hall masons visited GLOT lodges, they might want to switch, or that some of their younger men might choose to petition the larger and older GLOT instead of Prince Hall. This is all speculation on my part. As it currently stands, we only recognize each other's right to exist and operate in Texas. That in itself was a big step, since GLOT has claimed exclusive jurisdiction over all Masonry in Texas since 1837 by virtue of charters issued from the GL of Louisiana. Texas is an Ancient York GL, tracing its Masonic genealogy through Louisiana, South Carolina and Pennsylvania and thence back to England.

Squire Bentley said...

I personally spoke to the Prince Hall Grand Master and Deputy Grand Master on this subject and they both say it was the Grand Lodge of Texas which put the ban on visitation and Masonic discourse.