Phylaxis Society Honors Nelson King

Nelson King Phylaxis Society memorial

The Phylaxis Society just published its magazine totally dedicated to Nelson King.

It is all King, nothing but King, every page.  I don’t know how the other two Societies, The Philalethes Society, of which King was a past President and editor of its publication, and The Masonic Society, of which he also was a member, are honoring Brother King. But it would surprise me if they dedicated the entire contents of one of their publications to just Nelson King.

Right about now perhaps many Mainstream Masons are scratching their heads wondering why there is this Prince Hall adulation of Brother King.

Phylaxis President John B. Williams introduces the latest issue of its publication with these words.

“Nelson King was a friend to Prince Hall Masonry when it was quite unpopular to be so.”

Renowned Prince Hall author and speaker Alton Roundtree, FPS adds:

“I placed Nelson King in the same category as Jerry Marsengill, Allen Roberts and other editors of the Philalethes Magazine who had kept the issue of Prince Hall Freemasonry up for discussion in the Magazine. Nelson seemingly went farther than others in that he took on the role of a defender of Prince Hall Freemasonry.”

“Nelson King was not popular in many quarters, especially outside of Prince Hall Freemasonry. He was subject to threats and humiliating comments. Nevertheless, wherever he stood, he stood.”

Robert N. Campbell, FPSH Phylaxis Society Council of Representatives and President of the Phylaxis Society board tells us:

“He (Nelson King) along with Phylaxis President, the Hon. Joseph A. Walkes, Jr., Ralph McNeal and myself, were among a number of us whose lives were threatened, over the internet for our work and involvement to spread the true ‘cement of B.L.R. &T.’”

The Hon. Rev. Tommy Rigmaiden, FPS, FPC (H-Life) & President Emeritus of the Phylaxis Society in a “A Tribute To My Beloved Nelson King” in the magazine highlights a couple of important events in the life of Nelson King.

He says that in March 2000 King, at that time President of the Philalethes Society, attended the Phylaxis Society’s annual session in Kansas City, Missouri where he inducted 8 African-American Prince Hall Masons into the Masonic Order of Blue Forget-Me-Nots. In the next year, 2001, King invited Phylaxis President Joseph A. Walkes to attend the annual session of the Philalethes Society during Masonic week in Washington D.C. Walkes being ill, Rigmaiden, 1st Vice President, went in his place and enjoyed himself immensely.

On Masonic Central: Nelson King and the Philalethes Society

Another who brings us much information about Nelson King is Brother Aubrey Brown, Sr., MPS who reiterates much of what others have said.

“Perhaps for PHA Masons, his most important distinction is being virtually the last of the great Prince Hall Warriors from within the ranks of Mainstream Masonry. Following in the footsteps of his mentors such as the late Bro. Allen Roberts, Nelson fought to the end for full unilateral recognition of PHA Masonry worldwide within regular Freemasonry.”

Brown also reminds us that

King demitted from his Ontario, Canada Lodge to join the Grand Lodge of Costa Rica to protest his mother Grand Lodge’s refusal to recognize Prince Hall, which it eventually did.

A Fellow of the Philalethes Society King became its only President who was not a United States citizen. He also served as editor of the Philalethes publication and is only one of two Society members to hold both positions at the same time.

Prince Hall Masons recognized Nelson King for his achievements during his lifetime. Brown tells us that in 2000 he received the Prince Hall Civil Rights Activist Award. In 2004 he was made Honorary Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Costa Rica. In 2005 he was inducted into the Phylaxis Society’s Harry A. Williamson Hall of Fame. In 2006 he was made Honorary Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut.

Brown then to proceeds to chronicle what he considers King’s “Two Most Cherished And Successful Projects Most Never Knew About.”

THE WELCOME WALL

As webmaster of the Philalethes Society King created a visitor’s section called “The Welcome Wall.” Here any and every question about Freemasonry was answered. It became so popular that King could not keep up all by himself. So he appointed a three man Board or Committee of one American Mainstream Mason, one European Mason and one Prince Hall Mason. The PHA Mason was Brother Brown.

When King stepped down from his management positions within the Philalethes Society he sold the Freemasonry.org site to the Society and moved The Welcome Wall to Guestbook.  Alas in failing health the Society that he had devoted so much time and effort to decided to stab him in the back.

Brown recounts:

“As Nelson became aware of his failing liver, The Philalethes Society contacted and informed him that they felt the name “Welcome Wall” was their intellectual property since he created it while an Officer of the Society. Considering the more important battle facing him, he decided to just close his site. The Welcome Wall died a quiet death. No acknowledgement was given to the Committee members or the Founder of the Welcome Wall when control of the name was taken. Today their version is not as popular or nearly as successful as the real Welcome Wall.”

THE MASONIC RELIEF FUND FOR CUBA

Many Freemasons are totally unaware of King’s exploits in this labor of love. It all started in 1998 when King and his wife visited Cuba. There he touched base with the Masonic community and saw firsthand what dire straits they were in. When he returned back home to Canada, he started with aspirin and vitamins. Soon he progressed to much needed bandages, drugs and medical equipment.  Because of size limitations some shipments had to be sent to Costa Rica who then sent them on to Cuba.

King created an E-List for the Cuban Relief Fund and solicited donations from anybody and everybody. King’s heroic efforts became known far and wide across the island of Cuba and many letters of thanks were published on the E-List.

The work that King started lives on even after his death. And once again the Masonic community transcends the political divisions that separate good men in order to provide for the well being of those in need.

Within the magazine there are also a few of Nelson King’s more memorable speeches. The first titled “Black and White” was given at the 7th annual Sam Houston Lecture in 2004 at Holland Lodge No. 1 AF & AM, Grand Lodge of Texas, Houston Texas, and was on the legitimacy of Prince Hall Freemasonry. King told me privately and personally that because of the large number of death threats he received that he felt it necessary to hire two body guards.

Another lecture in this issue of the Phylaxis Magazine was an address given at Wilberforce Lodge, MWPHGL, Ohio.

Nelson King’s parting shot and demonstration of his solidarity with Prince Hall was to have Prince Hall perform his funeral ceremony and so Past Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Ontario, MW Joe Halstead, and his team did just that on August 20, 2011 at the Ogden funeral Home in Toronto.

Rest in peace Brother King. Well done good and faithful servant.

Part 1: Prince Hall Masonry from WEOFM on Vimeo.

Nelson King

Confessions of a Born Again Fundamentalist, Freemason

Confessions of a Born Again Fundamentalist, Freemason

By Nelson King, FPS

Special Note – Br. King passed to the celestial lodge on August 17th, 2011.

I confess that I am a Born Again, Fundamentalist, Freemason.

Now before you have a cardiac arrest, or a stroke, let me explain what a Born Again, Fundamentalist, Freemason is. I used to be a very [for want of a better word] liberal Mason. I am now a very Conservative or Traditionalist, Freemason. Therefore, I am Born Again. By Fundamentalist, I mean that I believe that no one has a right to be a Freemason.

I believe those who want to be Freemasons must be good and true men, free born and of a mature and discreet age and sound judgment, no bondsmen, no women, no immoral or scandalous men, only men of good report.

I believe that a man who wants to be a Freemason must believe in the existence of God, and take his Obligation on Volume of The Sacred Law of his choice and that he owes a duty to that God and to his fellow man no matter what their creed, color, or religion.

I believe that a Freemason is obliged to obey the moral and civil law.

I believe that a man’s religion or mode of worship should not exclude him from the Order of Freemasonry, provided he also believes in the existence of a Supreme Being, and that Supreme Being will punish vice and reward virtue.

I believe that a Freemason is bound never to act against the dictates of his conscience.

I believe that Freemasonry is the center of union between honest men and the happy means of conciliating friendship amongst those who must otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance.

I believe a Freemason”s Lodge is the temple of peace, harmony, and brotherly love; nothing is allowed to enter this Lodge which has the remotest tendency to disturb the quietude of its pursuits.

I believe all preferment among Masons is grounded upon real worth and personal merit only, therefore no Brother should be passed chair to chair, whether it is in a Lodge or a Grand Lodge, just because he knows the right people or has held the previous office for one year, no Grand Master, Master or Warden is chosen by seniority, but only for his merit .

I believe that there is nothing wrong with Freemasonry, as laid down for our instruction in our Ancient Charges.

I am a Born Again Fundamentalist, Freemason.

Services and remembrance for Br. Nelson King

This was posted in the Canadian Mason Yahoo Group

Nelson King
June 13, 1945 – August 17, 2011

Born June 13, 1945 in Montreal, received his primary education in Perth Ontario, and graduated from Banting Institute, University of Toronto, 1967. Married to Ellen, and has two children, Christopher, and Victoria and two granddaughters. Nelson was appointed Assistant Editor in 1992 and Editor in August 1994 of The Philalethes Society Journal of Masonic Research and Letters, the first non-United States Citizen to hold these positions.

He is also only the second Mason to ever hold the position of President and Editor of The Philalethes at the same time. He retired as Editor in June 2009. Nelson is a well-known Masonic speaker, having spoken in the jurisdictions of Alberta, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Costa Rica, Cuba, The District of Columbia, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Jamaica [EC], Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Nova Scotia, Ohio, Oklahoma, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Quebec, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

Nelson developed the highly successful Internet Masonic Leadership Course. His book “Confessions of a Born Again Fundamentalist Freemason” has become a Masonic Best Seller. VoicePrint®, The National Broadcast Reading Service Inc. an international broadcasting reading service for the visually impaired has recorded some of his historical articles.

Nelson was instrumental in the formation of the Masonic Relief for Cuba Committee. And he serves as the Executive Director of that program.

He is also one of the few Canadian Freemasons, listed in latest edition of the “Who is Who of Freemasonry.”

Br. King, you may remember, was a guest on Masonic Central in 2008 where he spoke with us about Masonic Scholarship, Cuban Freemasonry, International Freemasonry, and his work with the Philalathes Society. If you missed the original airing of the program, you can listen to the very informative podcast here.
[podcast]http://recordings.talkshoe.com/TC-19162/TS-147530.mp3[/podcast]

Funeral Arrangements are today.

Friday August 19, 2011 – Visitation between 7:00 and 9:00 pm
Saturday August 20, 2011 – Masonic Service and Memorial Reception starting at 2:00 pm

Ogden Funeral Homes
4164 Sheppard Ave. E.
Scarborough ON
M1S 1T3

The notice, posted in the Toronto Star, is below:

KING, Nelson – Peacefully at Scarborough Grace Hospital on Wednesday, August 17, 2011, at age 66. Beloved husband to Ellen and loving father to Vicki and her husband Greg Rout. Grandfather to Rebecca and Sarah. Nelson received his primary education in Perth, Ontario and graduated from Banting Institute, University of Toronto in 1967. He was appointed Assistant Editor (1992) and Editor (1994) of The Philalethes Society Journal of Masonic Research and Letters, the first non-US citizen to hold these positions. He is only the second Mason to ever hold the position of President and Editor of The Philalethes at the same time. He retired as Editor in June 2009. Nelson was a well known Masonic speaker throughout North and South America and the Caribbean. His book “Confessions of a Born Again Fundamentalist Freemason” has become a Masonic Best Seller. Nelson was a member of the Grand Lodge of Canada, in the Province of Ontario and Honorary Member of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Connecticut and was a member of a number of other Prince Hall Lodges. He has received many honors and awards throughout his lifetime. Friends will be received at the Ogden Funeral Home, 4164 Sheppard Ave. East, Agincourt (east of Kennedy Rd.) on Friday evening from 7-9 p.m. A Masonic Service will be held at 2 o’clock on Saturday, August 20, followed by a memorial gathering. In lieu of flowers, please sign your organ donation card or go online to the Trillium Gift of Life Network Organ and Tissue donation www.giftoflife.on.ca

Nelson King

Nelson King Has Passed To The Celestial Lodge Above

Nelson King

Br. Nelson King PGM [H], FPS, BF

The daughters of Nelson King have released a statement that Nelson King PGM [H], FPS, BF, passed this morning August 17, 2011.

I am sure many stories and articles will follow but for the moment I would just like to pay homage to the man and for you to do the same.

So if you would place in the comments section something you would like to say about Brother King. Perhaps you knew him or corresponded with him or have an interesting story of your interaction with him.

Let us honor him with what we remember was great about him and what he did for us and for Freemasonry.

Masonic Central Podcast

Nelson King and the Philalethes Society

Freemason Nelson King
Br. Nelson King

In this episode we are joined by Brother Nelson King who is the past President and Editor of The Philalethes Society Journal of Masonic Research and Letters, and the first non-United States Citizen to hold those positions. King was the second Mason to ever hold the position of President and Editor of The Philalethes at the same time. In June 2009 Br. King retired to focus on his work with Masonic Relief for Cuba, where he is the Executive Director.

Br. King is a veteran in the halls of Freemasonry, recorded in numerous affiliations across North American Masonry, and is well known for his public oratory, writing proficiency, and capable research.

During the program we discuss The Philalethes Society which was founded on October 1, 1928, and has published numerous articles by and for its members. For many years it was voted the best Masonic publication in the world as its sole purpose was to act as a clearinghouse for Masonic knowledge through the exchange of ideas, researching the problems confronting Freemasonry, and conveying them back to the Masonic world.

Some of the broad areas we cover include:

  • South American Masonry
  • The idea of Masonry and the Cuban revolution
  • The role of the Philalethes Society in comparison to Quatuor Coronati
  • Masonic Scholarship, then and now

Our conversation with Brother King focused tightly on several areas which are little discussed in wide circles including the present the state of Masonic research, Freemasonry in Cuba, the role of the Philalathes Society, and contemporary Masonic research in general.

It is one of the most illuminating conversations on the craft.

This show was originally recorded September 21st , at 6PM PST on the Masonic Central Podcast.

Br. Nelson King passed on August 17, 2011, at age 66.

From his website (now archived):

Nelson King was Born June 13, 1945 in Montreal, received his primary education in Perth Ontario, and graduated from Banting Institute, University of Toronto, 1967. Married to Ellen, and has two children, Christopher, and Victoria and two granddaughters. Nelson was appointed Assistant Editor in 1992 and Editor in August 1994] of The Philalethes Society Journal of Masonic Research and Letters, the first non-United States Citizen to hold these positions

He is also only the second Mason to ever hold the position of President and Editor of The Philalethes at the same time. Nelson is a well-known Masonic speaker, having spoken in the jurisdictions of Alberta, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Costa Rica, Cuba, The District of Columbia, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Jamacia [EC], Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Nova Scotia, Ohio, Oklahoma, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Quebec, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

Nelson developed the highly successful Internet Masonic Leadership Course. His book Confessions of a Born Again Fundamentalist Freemason has become a Masonic Best Seller. VoicePrint®, The National Broadcast Reading Service Inc. an international broadcasting reading service for the visually impaired has recorded some of his historical articles. Nelson was instrumental if the formation of the Masonic Relief for Cuba Committee. And he serves as the Executive Director of that program. He is also one of the few Canadian Freemasons, listed in latest Edition of the “Who is Who of Freemasonry”.