[Square & Compasses]

Letter of the month: May 2001

This is in regards the Grand Lodge meeting in Alabama in November 1999, at which a resolution proposing recognition of Prince Hall Masonry was shouted down.

Message-ID: <000801c0ddb9$f03d2080$05d466a6@computer>
From: "lawnranger" <lawnranger@alltel.net>
To: <masonry-ask@mit.edu>
Subject: Alabama Disgrace
Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 22:40:21 -0500

I happened to be at the Grand Lodge when this socalled disgrace took place. First of all, have you asked the Prince Hall Masons of Alabama how they feel about this situation, _______I expect not.

I retired in Alabama, being from a northern state. I am secretary of my Lodge and from speaking with many Prince Hall Masons in Alabama, they would prefer to leave it separated as it has been for all these years.

This does not make them any less of Brothers and I treat those Brothers and with the respect as I do in our humble Lodge. We can communicate on the same wave length, and we would not refuse a Prince Hall Brother from attending our Lodge.

Masonry needs all the help it can get in these times when the membership is aging and younger folks have difficulty in finding time to raise families, attend to school programs and other community affairs, while both husband and wife are working to support themselves. Many do not have the time it takes to devote to Masonry.

GET OFF THE CRITICISM and try to be more productive toward living rather than taking the word of a few for the feelings of the many. I hope the "political correctness" is not going to be a large subject of Masonry. Remember, it depends on who you are, where you are, as to how correct you are.

Robert W. Moore,
Secretary, Ashville Lodge 186,
Ashville, Alabama

To: "lawnranger" <lawnranger@alltel.net>
Subject: Re: Alabama Disgrace
In-Reply-To: Your message of "Tue, 15 May 2001 22:40:21 CDT."

dear Bro. Moore,

You are mixing two issues:

  • merging with Prince Hall
  • recognizing Prince Hall

No one at the conference was suggesting any kind of "merger".

All of my Masonic friends everywhere, whether Prince Hall or regular GL agree on this. No one wants a merger and that day in Alabama, no one was talking about merger.

What was being discussed was the same as in every other state: recognition.

You say:

} ...we would not refuse a Prince Hall Brother from 
} attending our Lodge

That is exactly what was being proposed. That is what "recognition" means. Do you know, without recognition, it would be Masonically ILLEGAL for you to allow a Prince Hall Brother to attend your lodge!

Surprise -- you and I actually agree completely:

  • merging with Prince Hall: NO
  • recognizing Prince Hall: YES

That is all that was being proposed at the Grand Lodge. That is all that the other grand lodges have done. That is what the Prince Hall lodges wanted.

The "disgrace" was that the brother, who was proposing exactly what you say that you agree with, was shouted down, and that some very cruel and nasty epithets were used. (I can't think that you would ever call your Prince Hall friends "blue gums". Of course not!)

I agree that these are hard times. If you think I am being negative for standing up for what you say that you believe in, well, I cannot answer to that.

But I will continue to criticize cruelty and meanness that hides behind the flag of Masonic tradition.

If you look at it, you'll see that you are on the same wave length as the fellow who was suggesting recognition, not the people that shouted him down. I am sorry that you might have the wrong impression about what the speaker was suggesting, and about what I was supporting.

Thanks for writing.

| Gary L. Dryfoos <dryfoo@mit.edu>| PM: Ocean Lodge AF&AM, Saugus, MA
| P.O.Box 425400, Camb, MA 02142  | PM: Mt. Scopus Lodge AF&AM, Malden, MA
| http://web.mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/  | Richard C. Maclaurin Lodge, MIT, MA
| w: 617.253-0184 f: 617.258-6875 | Internet Lodge #9659, E. Lancs UGLE
|                                 | 32~; MPS; B'hood o/t Blue Forget-Me-Not
|                                 | R.W. Grand Rep. GL Russia near GL Mass.
| "...one sacred band, or society of Friends and Brothers, among
|  whom no contention should ever exist, save that noble contention,
|  or rather emulation, of who best can work and best agree."

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