Friday, June 18, 2010
Freemasons and the International Peace Garden
A few months ago I posted information about a unique building in Brazil, Casa do Maçom, built in the shape of a square and compasses. The Grand Lodge of North Dakota's Grand Secretary, M:.W:. Curtiss Mundahl, PGM, alerted me last week to another such building, a little closer to home.
The International Peace Garden is a 2,300 acre botanical park straddling the U.S. and Canadian border between North Dakota and Manitoba. Opened in 1932, the Garden is a non-profit organization which is supported by several groups and fraternal organizations, including the Freemasons, Order of Eastern Star, American and Canadian Junior Red Cross, the Women’s Federated Institute of Canada, Odd Fellows, Rebekahs, Daughters of the British Empire (IODE), and the Knights of Columbus.
The distinctively shaped Masonic Auditorium was built in 1981, and sponsored by the Grand Lodge of North Dakota AF&AM and the Grand Lodge of Manitoba AF&AM. The combined 20,000 Masons of the two grand lodges at that time initiated the $775,000 project for concerts and practice sessions for the young people of the International Music Camp. The Masonic Auditorium is one of the many shared projects in the International Peace Garden that encourages friendship between people of the United States and Canada.
The International Peace Garden Lodge of Freemasons was formed in 1993 with Warrants granted by the Grand Lodges of Manitoba, North Dakota and Minnesota. The Grand Lodge Of Saskatchewan became a chartering grand lodge in 2000. Its purpose is "to promote and enhance fraternal relations among Freemasons of North America and to assist in the expansion and maintenance of the International Peace Garden." It meets once a year. Membership in the International Peace Garden Lodge of Freemasons is open to any Master Mason for a onetime fee of $50.00.