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Monday, April 22, 2019

Florida's Prince Hall Masons Vote For Joint Recognition

Joint recognition between the mainstream and Prince Hall grand lodges in Florida may have finally been achieved this Easter weekend.

Back at the May 2018 annual communication of the mainstream Grand Lodge of F&AM of Florida, the Craft voted overwhelmingly to empower their Grand Master to sign an acceptable agreement extending recognition to the Most Worshipful Union Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons, Florida, Belize, Central America & Jurisdiction, Incorporated, Prince Hall Affiliated (established in 1870).

I'm now receiving reports this evening that Florida's Prince Hall Masons of the MW Union Grand Lodge F&AM have just held their 149th annual session this weekend in Jacksonville, and they have voted to reciprocate with the GL of Florida, thereby achieving joint recognition between the two grand lodges.


This comes more than a decade after Florida's PHA grand lodge first reached out to their mainstream brethren by requesting recognition. However, recognition issues in Florida were complicated by the existence of a second Prince Hall grand lodge, in addition to the usual intricacies and stumbling blocks.

I have seen no written notices, letters or announcements yet, so I hope this isn't premature. I will update this post when such documents become available. My understanding is that the last step is for the Grand Lodge F&AM of Florida to officially vote on the final agreement in December.

If all of this diplomatic foreplay is at last consummated, there will remain just seven mainstream, predominantly white grand lodges in the U.S. and Canada that have not recognized their predominantly black Prince Hall Affiliated (PHA) grand lodge counterparts, and/or vice versa: Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, and West Virginia.

It’s been 30 years since Connecticut first adopted joint recognition, setting off the process nationwide. Three long decades. And there are still seven states that don’t. 

The space program got to the Moon in a third of the time.

21 comments:

  1. Mark Koltko-RiveraApril 22, 2019 3:51 AM

    I am very, very glad to see this happen. (I speak as a Florida and New York F&AM Freemason.) Brethren, we need to live up to our ideals and reject racial and ethnic bigotry in all its manifestations.

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  2. History was made over the weekend at our 149th Annual Grand Lodge Communications. It was a step in the right direction. This has been well overdue between the two legitimate Bodies here in Florida. True Freemasonry has joined two bodies in Amity. All Hail to the G.A.O.T.U for this Union of the Olive branch.

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  3. It was History breaking at our 149th Grand Communications. This Union has been long overdue. The G.A.O.T.U has blesses both Jurisdictions to unite that Olive branch with one another. This is a step closer to a beautiful relationship between the two Jurisdictions. And it is my prayers that this Union continues to grow stronger. All Hail to Florida.

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  4. Good morning Brother, It is my understanding that no additional vote is needed for the agreement since the MWGM of Florida was already empowered by the Brethern to sign any acceptable agreement.

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  5. Happy for the Brothern in Florida, now we need this to happen in South Carolina as well. Brothers I have talked to over the years mainstream & PHA are ready, and so am I. Bro.Henri Pruitt/Tyler
    Tuscan Lodge #21
    Greenville, SC

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  6. Outside of Prince Hall there exist other African American grand lodges, some of which definitely have a claim to legitimacy. And the issue of lodges in the largely white mainstream grand lodges raising those of color remains a major issue in some jurisdictions. Then there is the question of the integration of collateral bodies. Brethren, we drift along. This is only one of many topics discussed in June in Paris

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    Replies
    1. Which other "African American" GL's besides Prince Hall have a claim on legitimacy?

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    2. One example, a number of the Hiram grand lodges. Some like in California and Maryland are substantial. Another example, grand lodges affiliated with the old nineteenth century national grand lodge, which Prince Hall grand lodges allege vanished in schism but didn't. Another example, grand lodges with Prince Hall origin but not affiliation with the Prince Hall grand masters' conference. Another example, some of the St.John grand lodges. Prince Hall descent and Prince Hall origin and Prince Hall affiliation if one is looking for a legitimate family tree is not simple. The lodges that press on us Prince Hall as being just one group of course have vested interests in that.

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    3. Brother Clark, over the years the grand lodges with ties to the original Prince Hall lodge in Boston have formed, joined together, split, and come together again, although some of their individual member lodges have continued despite changes in grand lodges.

      A very good way to illustrate this is to scroll the Hiram grand lodge in New York site

      https://hiramgrandlodge.com/about.html

      which will give an idea of the complexity of what we are looking at Mind you, there can be and are in the same jurisdiction more than one grand lodge claiming Hiram or St. John or Prince Hall roots.

      This is not unique to African American Freemasonry. For example, my own lodge, St. John's Lodge in Boston, which was established in the 1730s, and still prospers, went many decades before the Revolution as member of one of the English grand lodges before helping in the organization of the Massachusetts grand lodge, -- and as we all know the competing English grand lodges did not unite until the nineteenth century.

      The notion that recognition of a Prince Hall grand lodge resolves the situation is simplistic. The same complexity exists in collateral bodies -- for example HRH Duke of Sussex when the uniting grand master in England, although somewhat unenthusiastic about extending Templary in England, was willing to grant charters to African American Templars in America.

      The situation is reminiscent of the anecdote about someone asking a question of the British prime minister, Lord Palmerston, who replied, "The Schleswig-Holstein question is so complicated, only three men in Europe have ever understood it. One was Prince Albert, who is dead. The second was a German professor who became mad. I am the third and I have forgotten all about it.”

      A paper at the Paris conference in June discusses these Prince Hall issues tangentially,

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    4. PHA Grand Lodges are legitimate Masonic bodies. Those that remain unrecognized are due to Grand Lodge politics.

      PHO, on the other hand, is a clandestine organization. The original National Compact folded, which broke its lineage. The John G Jones Grand Lodges are also clandestine/bogus entities, as they were illegally formed by John G. Jones, an expelled Mason.

      W.Bro. Hudson
      Worshipful Master
      East Lansing Lodge # 480, F&AM

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    5. The National Grand Lodge or the National Compact waas actually dead in the year of 1879 after the required number to accept the resolutions to form one Grand Lodge. Once that was done it was the death of the NGL. The PHO factor came in existence after the original NGL was dead. This body was resurrected by William D. Matthews. The PHO has no direct lineage to African Lodge #459.

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    6. These and kindred issues have been the subject of court battles.

      See https://caselaw.findlaw.com/ca-court-of-appeal/1796381.html

      The evidence on the several sides of the disputes is voluminous.

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  7. Does the MWUGL of Florida, PHA, still have a lodge in Côte d'Ivoire. If so, they invaded the jurisdiction of a regular grand lodge – The Grand Lodge Côte d'Ivoire.

    Regular grand lodges have "regularity of practice," which means they don't invade the jurisdictions of other regular grand lodges.

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  8. It is about time, having gone from four letter, and then to be told I wouldn't recognized as a Past Master, was the most craziest thing I've herd.

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  9. What about yea old Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction... not the way they did it in my year!

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  10. In 2012, when the PHGL of Texas chartered Roots Lodge No. 656 in Côte d'Ivoire, it invaded the jurisdiction of the GL de Côte d'Ivoire, which was constituted in 1989. The PHGL of Texas also issued a dispensation for a second lodge in Côte d'Ivoire, which was named Silence No. 657. The GL de Côte d'Ivoire sent letters of complaint to several grand lodges, including a letter to the United Grand Lodge of England.

    Subsequently, the Grand Masters of the GL de Côte d'Ivoire and the PHGL of Texas met together in Washington, DC. The PHGL of Texas withdrew its charter and dispensation from the two lodges in Côte d'Ivoire.

    Now, those two lodges work under charters from the MWUGL of Florida, PHA.

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  11. any new updates on this??

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  12. Behold How Good And How Pleasant It Is For Brothers To Dwell Together In Unity /G\ !!!

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  13. MW John Karroum just send out a letter to all particular lodges declaring mutual recognition.

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  14. Yes, the Treaty is signed. However no lodge visitation allowed

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