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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Florida Proposed Legislation to Recognize Prince Hall GL

The Grand Lodge of Florida has circulated copies of proposed legislation for their upcoming annual meeting.

This includes the following resolution:

RESOLUTION REGARDING RECOGNITION OF
THE MOST WORSHIPFUL UNION GRAND LODGE OF
THE MOST ANCIENT AND HONORABLE FRATERNITY OF
FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA,
BELIZE, CENTRAL AMERICA AND JURISDICTION THEREUNTO

The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge Free & Accepted Masons of Florida (hereinafter the Grand Lodge) in order to establish and implement full and complete Masonic recognition; to insure a continuing harmonious relationship between it and The Most Worshipful Union Grand Lodge of The Most Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Florida, Belize, Central America and Jurisdiction Thereunto (hereinafter the Union Grand Lodge); to provide for the successful coexistence of both grand lodges and to promote Freemasonry in general among all peoples; and

WHEREAS, it has become generally accepted that Prince Hall Freemasonry is regular in form and practice; and

WHEREAS, the Prince Hall Grand Lodges derive their origin from Africa Lodge No. 459 which received a charter from the United Grand Lodge of England in 1784; and

WHEREAS, the Union Grand Lodge was created in 1877 as a Prince Hall Affiliated Grand Lodge for the Jurisdiction of Florida, Belize, and Central America; and

WHEREAS, 41 United States Grand Lodges have established a fraternal relationship with one or more Prince Hall Grand Lodges; and

WHEREAS, the Grand Lodge desires to remain autonomous within its jurisdiction and to operate hereafter as heretofore with its own Grand Master and other Grand Lodge officers, Constitution, Digest of Masonic Law, bylaws, ritual, rules and regulations, and to retain its absolute and supreme sovereignty over its own subordinate Lodges and membership;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge Free & Accepted Masons of Florida that:

1. The Grand Lodge hereby extends fraternal recognition to the Most Worshipful Union Grand Lodge as a duly constituted Masonic Grand Lodge.

2. The Grand Lodge will remain autonomous within its jurisdiction, and does not abrogate its absolute and supreme sovereignty- legislative, executive and judicial- over its own subordinate Lodges and membership and will operate hereafter as heretofore with its own Grand Master and other Grand Lodge officers, Constitution, Digest of Masonic Law, bylaws, ritual, rules and regulations.

3. Established, herewith is a committee to be named The Prince Hall Fraternal Relations Committee. The Committee shall be composed of a Chairman and four members appointed by the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge. The duty and function of this Committee shall be to establish and maintain formal fraternal contact with the Union Grand Lodge for the purpose of creating and sustaining a Compact between the two Grand Lodges and to review all such matters and things relating to the fraternal relationship between both Grand Lodges and to make report and recommendations thereon to the Grand Lodge.

Respectfully Submitted,
R∴W∴ Seth L. Rothstein, P.D.D.G.M., Solomon Lodge No. 20
Brother Simon D. Rothstein, Solomon Lodge No. 20
Brother Fitzhugh K. Powell, Solomon Lodge No. 20

(Jurisprudence recommends rejection.)

It should be noted that Jurisprudence Committees rarely explain their recommendations.

I have been told that the Most Worshipful Union Grand Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, Prince Hall Affiliated, Florida; Belize, Central America; St. John United States Virgin Island, Incorporated already voted several years ago to recognize their mainstream counterpart.

The slogan of the GL of Florida F&AM's Grand Master Dale I. Goehrig this year is "Unity In Masonry."

Currently, in the U.S. and Canada, ten mainstream, predominantly white grand lodges have not recognized their predominantly black Prince Hall Affiliated (PHA) grand lodge counterpart: Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida, West Virginia, and Kentucky.

The Grand Lodge of Florida meets in May on Memorial Day weekend.

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