Freemasonry Where I Live
by A Lebanese Brother
The oldest lodge to be consecrated in Lebanon was Beirut No. 415
under the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1826.The WM was the British
Consular, and the said Lodge used to work in French. Its warrant was
renewed in 1868 and resumed works accordingly. No further information is
available about this Lodge, but for sure it does not exist any more.
Lebanon Lodge: consecrated in 1869
One the hand, and from another source, Freemasonry in Lebanon can be
traced to the year 1869 with the commencement of Lodges consecration
under a prominent French Mason (the name is not mentioned in the
reference book I have) and a member of the "Grand Orient de France"
under the Jurisdiction of the same. This French Mason was the first WM
of Lebanon Lodge. Thereafter, a number of Lebanese assumed the chair in
the East. Among them were prominent personalities: political leaders,
men of learning, historians, and merchants. The working in the Lodge was
in Arabic, while the correspondence was in French. The said Lodge used
to meet weekly at night, about half an hour from the American University
in Ras Beirut (Beirut city). Although the area where the meetings used
to take place was un safe, however, the attendance continued
As a result of the "Grand Orient de France" abolishment of the
condition belief in a Supreme Being and the immortality of the soul, a
number of Lebanese Lodges, including "Lebanon Lodge" severed the
relation with GOF, however, continued a relation with the Lodges under
the English Jurisdiction.
(It is to be noted here and according to one source, that the oldest
Lodge to be consecrated in the Near East, was "Aleppo Lodge" in
Syria. The said Lodge was established by "Alexander Dramond" around the
end of 1751, and was under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of
Scotland. All the members were from the British community, some
official employees, the others businessmen.)
The above Lodges do not exist any more. In this respect, and as a
matter of curiosity, I appreciate if the UGLE can furnish us with some
information about that period and the names of the Lodges that once
existed under their jurisdiction. I also, appreciate if the GLS have
any information about that period too, especially "Aleppo Lodge".
At the beginning of 1890s a number of Brothers decided to establish a
new Lodge in Beirut and they chose the Lodge to be under the Egyptian
National Grand Lodge jurisdiction since it was working in Arabic. They
wrote to Brother Chahine Makarios (Author of the book: The Virtues of
Masonry" an Egyptian of Lebanese descendency), in order help them in
this respect. Brother Makarios obtained the warrant in the beginning of
1891, and it was agreed to name the Lodge: Phoenicia. The Lodge started
with fourty members, all prominent men of learning. However, the "wali'
(ruler of Beirut) at that time, received information about the said
Lodge, ordered its closure and consequently the meetings were
interrupted. However, a number of its members revived the activities of
the Lodge around the end of the nineteenth century, and started to meet
secretly in the caves of the remote peripheral of Beirut west,
practicing, consecrating, raising and planning to combat injustice. The
ruler, as they say had "eyes" and "informants", the Lodge was
discovered, as well as its meeting place, and the time of the
meetings. The authority at that time, decided to encircle it. However,
information reached the Brothers before the attack, they dispersed and
were free from arrest.
Local and National Lodges
At present, there exist quite a number of "local national Lodges and
Grand Lodges" adopting Eccossais Ancient and Accepted Rite, Scotish
rite, or a modification thereof as mentioned in their publications. Some
of them are offshoots from previous Lodges which once existed in the
beginning of 1900s.
Lodges under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Scotland
There are five Lodges out of which three are workings. The oldest
dates back to the beginning of 1900s
Lodges under the jurisdiction of Grand Lodge of New York (York
There are eleven Lodges out of which six are working. Most of them
were consecrated in the 1920s.
It is said, that there are about 300,000 "Freemasons" in Lebanon. Is
it a reality or a fantasy? Mostly, the later is true. Let us put a
realistic figure for would be true Masons; 10-15% of the previously
There are no daily attacks or condemnations of Freemasonry, either
from the authority or the clergy. However from time, a TV talk show, or
a TV broadcasting appear, exposing and condemning Freemasonry... and
life goes on.
The above is a modest attempt to tell you something about Freemasonry
in Lebanon. The above information was collected from some books I have.
However, should you have specific questions or clarifications, then I
will try to investigate further.
Your Brother in the Noble Craft,
A Lebanese Brother
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