Fred Milliken,Freemason Information,The Beehive

Telling Our Own Story: Wilbert M. Curtis Texas Prince Hall Library Museum Unveiled

The Beehive is proud to present the second  article on the Wilbert M. Curtis Library Museum  of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas opened this June, 2011. This article was written by the Grand Editor of The Grand Lodge Publication, “The Texas Prince Hall Freemason” and will appear in the Fall 2011 issue of that publication. We get to read it now. My thanks to Brother Burrell Parmer, Grand Editor, for a much more detailed article than I penned.

Telling Our Own Story:  Wilbert M. Curtis Texas Prince Hall Library Museum Unveiled

Story By:
Grand Editor Burrell Parmer (1)
Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas

FORT WORTH, Texas – By the authority vested in the office of the Grand Master and in accordance with the constitution of The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons of Texas, the Honorable Wilbert M. Curtis hereby called all Prince Hall Masons of Texas into the Grand Lodge’s 136th Annual Grand Communication held at the Grand Masonic Temple, June 24 – 25.

On June 25, the Wilbert M. Curtis Texas Prince Hall Library Museum was officially opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony and name unveiling at the Grand Masonic Temple.

The Library Museum adds another repository for the collection of Prince Hall Masonic History in the city.  It will possess collections and preservation of Prince Hall Masonic History and activities in Tarrant County and throughout the state in the form of photos, paintings, books, articles, original lodge charters, cornerstones, ledgers, uniforms, a Lodge Room, etc.  Many of the items date back to the late 1800’s.

Government officials from Tarrant County and the Texas House of Representatives, officials from the Tarrant County Black Historical & Genealogical Society and the Fort Worth Public Library were in attendance.  Special guests included Grand Masters of Prince Hall Grand Lodges:  G.M. John Miller of Arizona, G.M. Arvin Glass of Tennessee, G.M. Cleveland Wilson of Arkansas, G.M. Anthony Stafford of Florida, and G.M. Deary Vaughn of Oklahoma, who also serves as the Sovereign Grand Commander, United Supreme Council, Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Prince Hall Affiliation, Southern Jurisdiction.

Every Texas Prince Hall Masonic Organization was represented to include Grand Worthy Matron Martha Wolridge and Grand Worthy Patron Robert B. Calloway Jr. of the Norris Wright Cuney Grand Chapter; Grand Most Ancient Matron Jackie Levingston and Grand Joshua Isaac Cary Sr. of the Grand High Court, Heroines of Jericho; Grand Princess Caption R. Lucille Samuel of the Lone Star Grand Guild, Heroines of the Templars Crusade;  State Grand Loyal Lady Ruler Shirley Gideon of the Texas Council of Assemblies, Order of the Golden Circle; Most Excellent Grand High Priest Willie Tate of the Most Excellent Prince Hall Grand Chapter, Holy Royal Arch Masonry; and Right Eminent Grand Commander Ronald Gerac of the Lone Star Grand Commandery of Knights Templar Masons of Texas.

After the opening prayer by Deputy Grand Chaplain Rev. F.D. Sampson Jr. and the occasion delivered by Grand Junior Warden Frank Jackson.  Grand Marshal Ronald Gerac made the Proclamation and the Consecration was then performed by Deputy G.M. Michael Anderson, Grand Senior Warden Bryce Hardin I, and G.J.W. Jackson overseen by the Hon. Edwin B. Cash, the only living Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge.

With the Consecration of corn, wine, and oil complete, G.M. Curtis with tears in his eyes cut the ceremonial ribbon and provided comments.

“We will now be able to tell our own story,” said G.M. Curtis.  “I hope that the city of Fort Worth, Tarrant County, and the state of Texas will embraced this Library Museum and utilize it as a research resource.”

“The Library Museum has been on the Trestle Board of the Grand Lodge for many years.  Now it has come to fruition,” said G.M. Curtis.  “Getting to this point of the grand opening has been a rewarding experience not only for me but also for the team members that assisted me.”

After G.M. Curtis comments, he opened the door to the Library Museum and guests began to pour in to view its treasures.

The original design of the Library Museum was conceived by Nicole Hawthorne, daughter of Past Master Benny Tucker, the Chairman of the Archives Committee.

Hawthorne, a graduate of Baylor University with a Bachelors of Art in Interior Design, had been performing interior design since 2007.  She was asked in June 2010 by her father to produce some drawings.

According to Hawthorne, she wanted to create something that reflected what the space would be used for.

“I wanted the look and feel of the area to resemble a turn-of-the-century, new world library.  The antiquated, over-sized portraits displayed there were inspiration for the rest of the design and everything else branched from them,” said Hawthorne.  “The design of the Library Museum was intended to be like a time capsule with a rich historic atmosphere.”

G.J.W. Jackson, who also serves as the Grand Lodge Historian, provided background on the Library Museum’s conception.

“The Library Museum is a labor of love, it came from a vision by G.M. Curtis and we are thankful for him and his leadership.  One thing that alarmed us was that we were losing a lot of our history and archives at a very disturbing rate,” said G.J.W. Jackson.  “If we were to look forward from today, maybe 50 to 100 years, it will be highly likely that people will know our story and I truly believe that you cannot really tell the story of Texas without telling the story of The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas.”

“We are proud of our legacy, we are proud of our heritage.  If we don’t tell our story, no one is going to tell it for us,” said G.J.W. Jackson.  “We have numerous materials. We haven’t even been able to go through all the archives, and materials are still being donated.

Currently the Library Museum only shows you just a glimpse of our treasures.  So when people come here, we want them to see the vision that our Grand Master has shared with us and for researchers to see the culture and history that Prince Hall Masons have contributed to the great state of Texas.”

The mission of the Wilbert M. Curtis Texas Prince Hall Library Museum is as follows:

  • To collect, organize, describe, make available, and preserve primary and secondary resource materials emphasizing the historical documentation of the M.W.P.H.G.L. of Texas and its impact on the cultural milieu on the broader local communities, the state of Texas, the Jurisdictions under its authority and the larger expanse of human kind.
  • To provide adequate facilities for the retention and preservation of such records.
  • To serve as a resource and research center to stimulate and promote creative teaching and learning through the use of primary research materials; and provide instruction in the use of those materials.
  • To promote research and scholarship by providing access and encouraging the use of its collections by members of the Masonic Family and the public at large.
  • To implement records management by formulating policy and procedures that will ensure the collection and preservation of the Library Museum’s materials.

The Library Museum is available to the public by appointment Monday thru Thursday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Information about the Library Museum can be obtained by contacting the Grand Lodge Office at 817-534-4612 or by visiting



The Wilbert M. Curtis Texas Prince Hall Library Museum, located in the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of Texas & Jurisdiction’s (M.W.P.H.G.L.) Grand Temple,  at 3433 Martin Luther King Freeway, Fort Worth, Texas 76101 serves as the final repository for the historical records of the Grand Lodge, and as an archival repository for historical materials documenting the history of selective Texas Prince Hall Masons Masonic achievements related to:  (1) the cultural history (to include the political, social, economic, religious, histories etc.) of the state of Texas and the Jurisdictions under the authority of the M.W.P.H.G.L. of Texas, (2) the activities and services rendered by the local Lodges to their respective communities, (3) the general interests, activities and services rendered to numerous communities within the state of Texas under the authority of the M.W.P.H.G.L. of Texas by its Appendant & Concordant Bodies.

The Library Museum welcomes gifts of books, papers, manuscripts, photographs, artwork, records, audio tapes, video tapes, maps, pamphlets, scrapbooks, oral history, memorabilia, and other archival records of historical value which will enhance the teaching, learning, research and service of the members affiliated with M.W.P.H.G.L. of Texas and or is interested in the advancement of knowledge related to Free Masonry.

Mission Statement:

The mission of the Wilbert M. Curtis Texas Prince Hall Library Museum is as follows:

  • To collect, organize, describe, make available, and preserve primary and secondary resource materials emphasizing the historical documentation of the M.W.P.H.G.L. of Texas and its impact on the cultural milieu on the broader local communities, the state of Texas, the Jurisdictions under its authority and the larger expanse of human kind.
  • To provide adequate facilities for the retention and preservation of such records
  • To serve as a resource and research center to stimulate and promote creative teaching and learning through the use of primary research materials; and provide instruction in the use of those materials.
  • To promote research and scholarship by providing access and encouraging the use of its collections by members of the Masonic Family and the public at large.
  • To implement records management by formulating policy and procedures that will ensure the collection and preservation of the Library Museum’s materials.

Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge
Free & Accepted Masons of Texas Prince Hall Masonry in Texas:

Under the leadership of Captain W.D. Mathews, Most Worshipful Grand Master of Kansas, Lodges of Free and Accepted Masons were established in Texas in 1871 and 1873 to wit:

San Antonio Lodge No. 22 – Magnolia Lodge No. 24 – Mt. Bonnell Lodge No. 2
Galveston Lodge No. 25 – Mt. Lebanon Lodge No. 26

These were the first Negro Free and Accepted Masonic Lodges organized in Texas.

In the early part of June 1875, Norris Wright Cuney, Deputy Grand Master, and Richard Allen, District Deputy Grand Master, acting under the authority of the Kansas Jurisdiction, issued a call requesting the above named Lodges to send representatives on August 19, 1875, to meet with Mount Lebanon Lodge No. 26, located in Brenham, Texas.  The purpose was to organize then the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Texas.

Key Facts:

  • On August 20, 1875, the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Ancient York Masons of the state of Texas was organized in Brenham, Texas.
  • The first Grand Master of Prince Hall Masons in Texas was the Hon. Norris Wright Cuney.
  • The first 5 Prince Hall Lodges in Texas were charted by the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Kansas.
  • On June 28, 1950, the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Ancient York Masons of the state of Texas was renamed to The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of Texas.
  • The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas is a descendant of the first Prince Hall Grand Lodge.
  • From 1875 to 1906, the Prince Hall Grand Lodge had no permanent meeting place.  Its annual meetings were held in various cities in Texas.  In 1906, Fort Worth became the Prince Hall Grand Lodge’s permanent home.
  • 20 Grand Masters have served the Prince Hall Grand Lodge; currently the Hon. Wilbert M. Curtis currently presides as Grand Master.
  • There are 160 Prince Hall Lodges in Texas with more than 3,000 members.
  • Concordant Bodies of the M.W.P.H.G.L. of Texas include:
    • Most Excellent Prince Hall Grand Chapter Holy Royal Arch Masons
    • Lone Star Grand Commandery Knights Templar Masons
    • Orient of Texas, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Masons
    • Appendant Bodies of the M.W.P.H.G.L. of Texas include:
      • Norris Wright Cuney Grand Chapter
      • Prince Hall Grand High Court Heroines of Jericho
      • Lone Star Grand Guild Heroines of the Templar Crusade
      • Order of the Golden Circle Auxiliary to the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry


A History Making Grand Session

A Grand Session in Prince Hall is a very special, interesting and motivating experience especially when the female Orders meet at the same time.  Texas is no exception where Eastern Star and the Heroines of Jericho meet simultaneously separately but attend the luncheons, social events, banquets and prayerful times with the Master Masons.  It is rightfully billed a Prince Hall family event.

I don’t know how the women run their sessions but on the men’s side, often tedious and boring business is mixed well with awards and celebrations. We have annual awards for the Master Mason of the year, the District of the year, the District Deputy of the year and a special meritorious service of the year award. We have an awards luncheon with the whole Prince Hall family and a family night dinner open to the spouses and friends of members. The highlight of the awards luncheon was the presentation of scholarship awards from each House. And family night, as always, carried with it a prominent guest speaker who always delivers us an inspiring message.

This year’s guest speaker was Dr. Bro. Osiefield Anderson, a PHD in mathematics and a college professor. His theme was it is time to get up off our butts and do something about society that is crumbling and decaying all around us. A master of inspiring poetry he motivated us all to action. His motto is, “It is not how long a man lives that matters, but how well he lives.”

Out of Session any member of the Prince Hall family could participate in a gospel festival, a church service, a dance-social party and a Lodge of Sorrow for those who have traveled to the Celestial Lodge above.

And if that was all there was we would all go home happy, well fed and fired up. But when you throw in an extra special event in the middle of all this you fashion a Grand Session that will go down in history. Such was the June 2011 four day Grand Session of Prince Hall, Texas.

That history making event was the opening of the Wilbert M. Curtis Texas Prince Hall Library Museum. After more than a year in the making, the Library Museum was opened with a special ribbon cutting ceremony that included representatives from six jurisdictions, mostly Grand Masters, civic leaders and the head of the Fort Worth Black Historical & Genealogical Society. The Deputy Grand Master and Wardens consecrated the occasion with corn, wine and oil. Speeches were made and prayers raised up, the ribbon cut and finally it was time to go inside and see what treasures were in store for us.

And we were not disappointed. There were pictures, plaques, paintings and actual early uniforms, dress and jewels. There were also rare books and the records and minutes of Texas Prince Hall Grand Lodge dating back to the 1870’s. Copies of early Grand Lodge publications were in abundance. At one end of the Library Museum you opened a door into a well furnished Lodge Room. Before your eyes was a beautiful hand crafted wooden altar and stations made by a Brother who received one of this year’s Grand Lodge awards.

The Heroines of Jericho and Eastern Star are well represented in the Library Museum with early dress, pictures and presentations. One thing that distinguishes Prince Hall Masonry is how closely the men’s and women’s Orders work together. It is truly one big family.

There is much more to come. Contributions to the Library Museum are still coming in and in the years that follow much will be added. The Library Museum welcomes gifts of books, papers, manuscripts, photographs, artwork, records, audio tapes, video tapes, maps, pamphlets, scrapbooks, oral history, memorabilia and other archival records of historical value which will enhance the teaching, learning, research and service of the members affiliated with the MWPHGLTX and or is interested in the advancement of knowledge related to Free Masonry.

Now the Prince Hall family of Texas has a place to deposit its archives and to tell its own story, a story it will continuously share with others.

Lawsuit Settlement Costs Prince Hall Virginia $300,000

The Richmond Free Press reports that the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Virginia has settled a lawsuit with the Virginia Prince Hall Shrine.  The Shrine in the Prince Hall system has run afoul of Grand Lodges in recent years. The issues across Prince Hall nation revolve around not recognizing the Grand Master as having ultimate supreme authority, the Shrine admitting expelled Masons and non Masons and other examples of the Shrine going its own way.

Associated Press/Claus Bjoern Larsen, Polfoto
The Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Virginia has agreed to settle three separate multimillion-dollar lawsuits involving another Masonic group called the Prince Hall Shrine, which is based in Tennessee.
Under the agreement, the Virginia organization would:
• Pay the Memphis group $300,000; and
• Re-instate Masons and Order of the Eastern Star members who previously were suspended for belonging to state affiliates of the Memphis-headquartered Shrine or its women’s auxiliary, the Daughters of Isis.
The settlement was the result of court-ordered mediation between the two groups. It is to become final once it receives expected approval from the court.

The litigation began in 2009 after Larry D. Christian of Williamsburg, then most worshipful grand master or president of the 5,000-member Grand Lodge, issued what some consider a loyalty order. The order barred Shrine members from participating in Masonic rituals and also banned them from entering Masonic lodges, including the ones to which they belonged.

Rest of the story here.

The larger issues are:

  1. Is Freemasonry going to continue to do battle in civil courts?
  2. Is Mainstream Freemasonry going to face the same split?
  3. Are Grand Lodges on a losing streak in civil courts?

Healing The Hurt And Moving On

The Old Guard just doesn’t get it.

The young Masons do. There is a cancer in Mainstream Masonry and it is in need of chemotherapy and radiation. The cancer is the capricious use of unbridled power by Grand Masters across the land.  Oh, not all of them govern their Lodges in such a tyrannical manner but enough do to sully the name of Freemasonry.

But the Old Guard is turning a deaf ear and a blind eye to the problem as they tell us: Number one if it is out of their jurisdiction it is none of their business.  Number two bringing problems out in the open and publicizing them only destroys Freemasonry.  And number three there is a process in place in most Grand Lodges to address grievances and the vote of the entire sitting Grand Lodge can overturn bad policies and remove bad Masons.  So what’s the beef?

The Catholic Church has had a problem with pedophile priests. And they used to have the same Old Guard mentality. If molestation occurred in another diocese than it was not the business of congregants to mess in another territory. Bringing the problem out into the open would allow the press to have a field day with the church and destroy it.  And above all the Church must be protected even if doing so causes human suffering. And there was a grievance policy in place to address problems.

Why can’t we just keep it in house, so say the Freemason Old Guard, so say the Catholic Church Old Guard?  Just keep your mouth shut and we will reprimand the abuser and fix the problem.

But what about the people who were abused?  In the case of the Church, what about the children who were traumatized by being violated by those who were supposed to be their protectors? Did the Church provide them therapy to help them return to a normal life?  Did the Church comfort them and counsel them? Did the Church bring the matter to justice and provide the afflicted and families with closure?

NO, NO and NO. The Church could not admit any wrongdoing on the part of its clergy lest the Church come under attack and be diminished or destroyed. Above all, at all costs, the Institution had to be protected against anything that would hurt it. So it was necessary to declare the stories of Priest abuse unbelievable.  Later when overwhelming evidence to the contrary was unmistakable, the Church demanded that there be total silence and would not help those abused for fear of admitting them right. Don’t you dare go to the police or civil courts the molested were told.

Oh the shame, the human suffering that was not attended to.  All those children sexually molested, entire families traumatized, the abused judged as guilty and the abusers left to run free. Oh the shame of it all!

But the course of action by the Church to hush it up and try to handle it internally without allowing the civil police to investigate and attorney generals to prosecute and the press to publicize backfired on it. And when it all came out into the open it was that much harder to deal with and that much costlier to settle with the abused.

Mainstream Masonry is following the same path. It thinks only of the Institution and the good name of Freemasonry not on the unjustly and unfairly expelled Brethren who have been libeled, slandered and abused – and kicked to the curb in the process. What about David Lettelier? What about PGM Frank Haas?  What about Mike McCabe?  What about Derek Gordon? What about the thousands of other Freemasons who are the victims of Grand Lodge abuse? Do they not deserve to have their good name restored, for justice to prevail, to be reinstated wherever they want to continue their Masonic journey? They are human beings with feelings and emotions. Why must they be forgotten and unsupported, left to flounder on their own after having done nothing wrong?  Do we care about human beings in Freemasonry?  Do we care what’s been done to these men?

Oh the shame of it all! Freemasonry is so wrought with rules and regulations that it cannot permit itself to right a wrong.  Yet Justice is one of the four Cardinal Virtues.

Not only will Freemasonry not stoop to aid the abused, it will even criticize those who try to help themselves. It’s, “We can’t mess with somebody else’s problem.” Really?  Is that what the Volume of Sacred Law on our altars tells us? “How dare a Freemason take his case to civil court.” “It is not healthy for Freemasonry to air its dirty laundry in the public venue.” Hush up, be silent.  We don’t care about you we just want to make sure that nothing besmirches the good name of Freemasonry – at all costs.

So what is an unjustly punished man to do?  What course of action has he left? Where can he turn? Who even gives a dam?

And if he should sign on to continue his Masonic journey in unrecognized paths, how is he treated? Is his life not one of scorn and ridicule for finding company with those “irregular,” “clandestine” folks? What Freemasonry wants is for him to pass quietly into the shadows while it regards him as a leper.

Oh the same of it all!

But as the numbers of unjustly and unfairly expelled Masons grows the unrecognized avenues available increase.  All those Masons in power bemoan the continued rise and popularity of so called “bogus” Freemasonry. Yet it is the very same who help create these alternatives by purging their Grand Lodges of everybody but ass kissers.

Well unrecognized Masonry may be taking on a new respectability. In a recent issue of the Phylaxis Magazine we can find these words?

“Within the Craft of today, ‘regularity’ is of the same substance as religious ‘salvation,’ and more dependent on the magical effects of ‘belief’ and ‘faith,’ than objective considerations. No Mason can provide one definition for regularity without setting aside excuses to account for the numerous cases which would fall outside of the definition.

“They are the same ‘mental muscles’ as are required to articulate the anhypostasis-enhypostasis formula, that are employed to concatenate and articulate the formula for ‘regularity.’ The most honest definition for regularity, which would survive and ‘test’ without caveat, would be to admit that regularity is whatever the sovereign in question says it is, and that one sovereign can not pass upon the regularity of any other; they can only either extend or withhold recognition. It requires one to lay aside commonsense notions to rely on some ‘authority,’ which supersedes reason.”

“Due to the fact that all grand lodges are sovereign, there is no outside ‘authority’ to which any GL owes any deference; likewise there is no basis for any one grand lodge holding another accountable to any particular set of rules or regulations. Except ‘political’ and other types of pressure, the only retribution that one GL can enact against another is to withdraw ‘recognition.’ The complaint is often voiced regarding a grand body not following ‘established’ or ‘agreed upon’ rules, but the fact is that there are very few ‘treaties’ or ‘agreements’ actually in place between grand lodges, and thus the notion that there is some ‘established law’ that binds all Masons is fanciful at best. Neither the Regis Manuscript, Anderson’s Constitution, Mackey’s Jurisprudence nor any other expression of ‘Masonic Law’ is binding upon any Mason individually unless his grand lodge has officially accepted such as binding.”

“For example, like in Christianity, where a man does not receive ’salvation’ as a result of any good deeds or service to humanity, but through his faith that Jesus the Christ is ‘the Lord;’ within Prince Hall Masonry, regularity is not achieved through diligently pursuing the Masonic Principles, but that it is through the ‘blessings’ or ‘authority’ of the Grand Lodge of England, (Scotland or Ireland) that regularity is achieved. This formula for regularity is a ‘witch’s brew,’ used as a ‘strong arm tactic’ to abrogate the Doctrine of Assumption, and force any new Masonic organization to require the assistance of other regular bodies in order to achieve a ‘legitimate origin,’ and ergo ‘recognition.’”

“The Doctrine of assumption is a convention within the natural law which codifies the concept of ‘free will’ and the right of self determination which are inherent within humanity. It was through this doctrine that the first grand lodges, England, Scotland and Ireland were formed. Simply stated, this doctrine would permit any group of men to form any type of lodge or grand lodge whenever and wherever they should so choose. It is this same doctrine which validates African Lodge No. 459’s actions in ‘copying’ its English charter to be shared with other lodges, and for eventually declaring sovereignty in 1827 to ‘legally’ issue charters to lodges thereafter. The only legitimate question that any GL can put to another after it is formed is whether to extend or withhold recognition.”

“Once you consider all the of the ‘hoops’ an organization must jump through in order to get ‘recognition’ without the imprimatur of England, Scotland or Ireland, only an irrational ‘faith’ or ‘belief’ could support any expectation of achieving the designation. For these reasons, many non-Prince Hall African American bodies, several of them over 100 years old and still in existence, have ‘by any means necessary’ fabricated histories which could cause an unsuspecting prospective member to ‘believe’ them ‘recognized.’ Still many others have resigned to ignore or otherwise forego the coveted distinction, and relying instead on the Doctrine of Assumption and the merits of their practice, have formed ‘spurious’ Masonic organizations.  Although the ability to claim regularity is a ‘big deal’ within Masonry, it is difficult to state any actual benefits that flow with the designation besides ‘bragging rights’ and the fettered right to visit other regular lodges.” (1)

So we have across the nation thousands of expelled Masons, many of whom were treated unjustly and unfairly. Yet Freemasonry proposes to do nothing about stopping the continuing Masonic purges nor offer any solace for the expelled. Not only will it not stop the injustices but it even refuses to speak out against Grand Lodges who are acting un-Masonically. Mainstream Freemasonry refuses to police itself.

What it does do through the Rite of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction and by other means is to maintain a Mainstream monopoly on Freemasonry in each state. Monopolies in business are notorious offenders. Keeping out competition is the essence of maintaining control and being able to operate without being responsible or answerable or held accountable to anyone, most especially the little people.  What better way to do this than to declare all other formations of Freemasonry in that jurisdiction clandestine and irregular and thus refuse to recognize them. But the day is coming when the government will step in to regulate Freemasonry and the public, especially prospective candidates, will not care about such distinctions.  What they will care about is how well an organization they choose to belong to operates and whether it does so in a legal and moral manner.

(1)  Prince Hall The Christ, by the Ruffians, The Phylaxis Magazine, Third Quarter 2010, pages 14-15.

Mike McCabe Bringing Brothers Together

You might remember a previous story from The Beehive on Mike McCabe and how he was unceremoniously bounced out of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey. Granted McCabe is an intense fellow but he was and still is passionate about his Freemasonry.  And he did much in his tenure within the Grand Lodge of New Jersey and was recognized by his Grand Lodge for superior achievement. Yet his insistence to do things correctly and “by the book” landed him in trouble with a Grand Lodge whose officers liked to violate its Constitution and do whatever they felt like.

justiceloplate1-297x300McCabe deserves a lot more credit than he is being given which is so often the plight of an expelled Brother.  It needs to be pointed out that McCabe was present on the deck of the Battleship USS New Jersey on September 22, 2002 where formal recognition between PHA & Mainstream Masonry in New Jersey was ratified.

And it was he who a scant three weeks later on October 16, 2002 as Master of Mainstream  Justice Lodge No. 285, Linwood New Jersey welcomed the visitation of Prince Hall Lodges No. 16, Hiram Abiff and No. 27, Prince Hall along with the Grand Masters justiceloplate2-294x300of both Grand Lodges and other Past Grand Masters and dignitaries.

McCabe and his officers worked hard to put together one of the first joint meetings of PHA & Mainstream Masonry in the state of New Jersey.  As a long time champion of Prince Hall Masonry, McCabe endeavored to make the occasion memorial and remembered by casting a plate with front and back inscriptions which you see here pictured.

But The Beehive cannot help but wonder at perhaps how much trouble championing Prince Hall might get you in.  PGM Frank Haas of West Virginia met with Prince Hall Officers in the hopes of starting recognition.  Derek Gordon of Arkansas championed Prince Hall recognition and boldly denounced the Grand Lodge ruling that the generic license plate created by Prince Hall Arkansas was clandestine.  Counting McCabe all three, of course, have been expelled.

Fred Milliken,Freemason Information,The Beehive

What Is Masonic Intercourse?

Ezekiel M. Bey, FPS

What is “Masonic Intercourse” many Masons ask? The definition can mean many things and different authors have given their opinion as to the actual purpose of having it in our rituals.

In The Meaning of Masonic Obligation, PGM R.V. Harris of Nova Scotia defines Masonic Intercourse as, “…to refrain from Masonic Intercourse with outsiders, and with irregular Freemasons and to discountenance all irregularities and immoralities.”  Well, this is still not clear enough to define or determine its meaning.  The web-site, “The Beacon Light of Freemasonry”, gives another definition which states, “Masonic communication, or as it is alternately called, Masonic Intercourse, involves any type of communication involving sharing the secrets of masonry. Primarily, that is sitting in a tyled lodge session, which is any type of Masonic meeting where the general public is NOT allowed, or where the qualification for attendance is being a Mason.”

The truth is that we must clearly and truly understand the difference in what we call “Masonry” vs. what some want to create out of it. There are two forms of Masonic Intercourse. There is the verbal (exoteric) which we are aware of, but many are not aware of non-verbal (esoteric) communication. The verbal is common understanding, as we would clearly understand that if you communicate with a clandestine (Bogus) Mason about the modes of recognition like passwords, grips and signs, you are in strict violation of your obligation. You can communicate verbally limited aspect of esoteric messages via words, but not many are Masonically educated enough to reach that level. Now, what we fail to realize that there is such a thing as non-verbal communication (esoteric). This is where some lose sight of the meaning of communication. Non-Verbal communication is a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, behavior, dress or gathering.  It is to be in sync with one another for a common goal.  It is like a tuxedo ball.  Everyone is in sync until someone enters with jeans and sneakers.  As the jeans and sneaker guest walks in, a communication automatically is transmitted via a non-verbal transmission.  He is automatically out of place due to his appearance.  Non-Verbal communication does not always reveal a negative existence and is hidden in its esoteric engagement.  When we do not realize we are communicating or engaged in communication, we are blind of the effects it can cause.  Masonic Intercourse is an exchange of verbal and non-verbal communication between parties whether you are communicating with legal Masons or not.  Being invited to, accepting and attending in your Masonic regalia at a function such as an official Divine Service or St. John’s Day from a so-called Masonic group that is clandestine and irregular is Masonic Intercourse.

In Prince Hall Masonry, we have functions that we consider Masonic in nature that are called, “Divine Services, Prince Hall Day, and St. John’s Day” to name a few.  In these events, we are clothed in formal Masonic regalia.  We do so in reverence to our founder “Brother Prince Hall” and to reflect the struggles this organization has gone through and how we have evolved throughout two centuries. Most importantly, when our leadership is clothed in Masonic attire, we are representing the craft.  When your Grand Master or his representative at anytime wears his jewel and apron, he is representing “Grand Lodge”. It is an official act. This is a form of “communication or communicating”.  Communicating in the above fashion is clearly Masonic in nature as we are dressed in the order of business for the purpose of an official Masonic gathering. It is Masonic intercourse.  In the above events, we must clearly recognize a few things.

  1. Although no modes of recognition are displayed, through the very act of presenting ourselves in full regalia, we are communicating to each other the respect of accepting each other as equal (i.e. a Peer).
  2. Although non-Masons are allowed, it is a form of education to advocate unity, love and admiration to one another within the fraternity.  However, if a clandestine Mason (Bogus) is dressed the same, our act of acceptance is considered “irregular”, and that is only if we accept them as peers.
  3. We are a distinct organization different from college fraternities, social organizations, political parties and most important, the average citizen.
  4. Because of the struggles, of our path finder within this organization, we agreed to follow our progenitor’s path.
  5. Lastly because of our rich history and knowing who we are and where we came from, that we will not devalue our institution by sympathizing and recognizing what our ritual and constitutions recognize as clandestine and irregular.  That is, so-called Masons that belong to groups that cannot prove that they came from a competent Grand Body that empowered them to work.

Let us investigate what is “Clandestine”?  Macoy’s Encyclopedia describes clandestine Lodges as “Lodges which have been formed by avaricious Freemasons, who take money from those people who have no idea of the difference between warranted Regularly Constituted Grand Lodge and one that is not regularly constituted.”  History demonstrates that many of the bodies that call themselves Masonic in African American communities, were organizations established by suspended or expelled Masons.  Why are we today placing our guards down against groups that have not come via the same regular or similar way as those who are known to be regular?

Their threat to legitimate Prince Hall Freemasonry is threefold:

  1. They deprive our lodges of potential good recruits, and deprive those men of the opportunity to become genuine Masons;
  2. Many of them bring Masonry into disrepute in the eyes of the general public by conducting degree mills for profit; and
  3. Their very existence, and often their conduct, cause confusion among those mainstream Masons who assume that all Blacks calling themselves Masons are of Prince Hall Affiliation, and also among some Prince Hall Affiliated Masons who are tempted to place racial solidarity ahead of legitimacy of origin and global Masonic acceptance.

This is not to say that Prince Hall Grand Lodges do not have their problems, however, here in New York, we have a record within our proceedings and recorded transactions via committees that show the complications we have had in our state, due to Bogus and Clandestine Masonry.

Let us get back to “Masonic Intercourse” as this is our main focus and in truth really define the crux of the matter.  In true Universal Freemasonry the pigment of a man’s skin has never been a signature of regularity, nor gives him the same rights as a member of a legally established Masonic Fraternity.  However, in the history of Freemasonry in the United States, the concept of race has reared its ugly head and, has been a barrier to the acceptance of men of color, in particular “Prince Hall Masons”.  Nothing is more sensitive than a subject that touches on racial lines especially when speaking of our own community.  We must not confuse our various relationships and associations with individuals, social clubs, political organizations, college fraternities, or churches, to name a few, with Universal Freemasonry.  Often times we believe that anything that looks like us are us.  This is not always true.  In my opinion, we do a severe disservice to ourselves and our organization by communicating with Bogus Masons in the act of accepting them as our peers by being fully regaled in Masonic gatherings that we hold dear to our organization.  There is nothing wrong in educating them of history and our organization, as many of them are good timber and practice Masonry in their hearts, but we must understand that there is a difference between “Masonry and Freemasonry”.  Freemasonry is the institution and it has specific rules found in our Constitution and Masonry is the original nature of the Universe.

We do not realize that the moment you enter a gathering in your esoteric garb known as gloves, apron, and jewels with a clandestine Mason, you have just committed Masonic Intercourse whether you initiated it or not.

Some of these so-called Grand Lodges are considered “Spurious” in nature, because spurious can be considered bodies of illegitimate birth, outwardly similar or corresponding to something without having its genuine qualities.  It is a so-called Masonic entity that falsifies or erroneously attributes its origin to some non-existing Masonic source.  It is deceitful in nature.  Remember, if a thing is false, it cannot be a fact in its representation. The only fact is that a spurious Lodge is a false Masonic body. The word “spurious” was used in England as far back as 1824 when they considered lodge No. 557 spurious. This spurious Lodge met at an inn called, “The White Bear” and thereafter “The Royal Hotel”.  Many who are spurious or even part of a spurious body do not know the origin of his Grand Lodge/Lodge, and are hoodwinked with false pretense that he has joined a respectful organization thinking that its main objective and cause is for the upliftment of humanity, never noticing fraud or deceit. Many good Men have been sucked into these organizations by way of ignorance.  They, along with clandestine and irregular bodies, have often used the false history of Masonry and in particular the history of Prince Hall Freemasonry.  They have used the mud throwing of calling us paupers of charters, beggars of recognition, and even calling Prince Hall Masons racist of their own kind, not knowing that although an organization with a make-up of predominately men of color, we have hundreds of white Brothers in our ranks.

On June 6, 1956, M.:W.: G.M. L Ernest DuBois in his address under Clandestine Masonry went on record as per the minutes of the 111th Annual Grand Communication:

“As like the two (2) previous subjects, this too has received a considerable amount of attention, not only in this jurisdiction, but throughout the Country by White and Negro Masons alike.

Our White Brethren have seen and read enough about Prince Hall masonry to the extent that they are fairly well convinced of our legitimacy and while they do not accept us as a group, they do, to a great extent, accept us as individual Masons, and as a whole do not consider us a threat to the Masonic Institution, just so long as we do not conduct ourselves and our activities in such a manner that it will bring reproach upon the Masonic Fraternity.  This is an indication, in my opinion, based upon conversations with a few of our outstanding White Brethren that like integration, recognition by this group is on the way, but do not get the impression from these remarks that, like prosperity many years ago, it is just around the corner.  This is far from the case, but there is a great interest in this subject on the part of our White Brethren and I hope and pray that if and when such recognition is accorded all Prince Hall Masons, we will be ready to accept it and will be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with Brother Masons throughout the World.  Much depends upon the manner in which we conduct our affairs and the interest we take in, not only our Lodges, but our share of the community responsibilities.

“Several months ago your Grand Master addressed a communication to Grand Master Amos T. Hall of Oklahoma, and the President of the Grand Master’s Conference, in which was suggested that a committee composed of representatives of the Grand Master’s Conference, together with representatives of the Concordant Bodies, and the Shrine, convene for the purpose of discussing the subject of clandestine Masonry and suggest ways and means by which this great evil might be over-come.  Several Jurisdictions have taken these groups into court and decisions in favor of the Prince Hall Jurisdictions have been handed down, but at a great expense financially.  It was in my mind that if a concerted effort could be made, sponsored by the Grand Lodges and National organizations, a much more effective job might be done and in a much shorter space of time.  In due time Grand Master Hall answered my communication and informed me that he appreciated the suggestions and would discuss it further at the Grand Master’s Conference.”

“While attending the conference the week of May 20th, Brother Hall informed me that about the same time he received my communication, he was the recipient of a like communication from the Sovereign Grand Commander, II. George W. Crawford, inviting him to come to the City of Philadelphia prior to the Supreme Council Session to discuss this matter with him and his officers.”

“It gives me pleasure to report to this M.W. Prince Hall Grand Lodge that definite steps have been taken in this direction.  The Officers of the Supreme Council, together with the Imperial Council of the Shrine, have pledged their support to the Grand Master’s Conference to assist in combating clandestine Masonry.  President Hall has been empowered by the Conference members to select a committee to work with the aforementioned groups for the purpose of study; the securing of data relative to clandestine masonry and in due time make recommendations as to how best to handle the situation.  This, I believe, is a step in the right direction- at least a more concrete step than ever taken before and another indication that the entire Prince Hall Family is going to pull together toward one end.  And I am just conceited enough to feel that New York State has had a small part in a great undertaking.”

I believe that our Brothers of the past had a better understanding of what was happening around them and focused on the good of the organization.  Today, we have leadership who accepts Bogus Masons as their peers and recognize them as Masons only because the majority look like Prince Hall Masons in complexion, wear Masonic paraphernalia, meet in buildings labeled “Masonic Temple” or hold Masonic titles. Is this a good and wise reason we should accept and embrace these organizations as “Masonic”?

In my article, “Education For A People Unaware”, I stated:

“Regularity is a big question for most. Many have no clue what it really means.  In the search for truth, we must investigate all the parameters that make up the substance of that which is to be considered for evaluation.  Certain standards must be used for guidelines in which to measure against the intended interest of one’s choice, whether it’s an object or viewpoint.  Freemasonry has been established centuries ago by Ancient Landmarks, Ancient Charges, Constitutions, and many unwritten laws. Taking basic attributes that make up regularity such as establishing Lodges from a “competent jurisdiction empowering it to work”, or abiding by the ancient charges in which most follow Anderson’s Constitution, you will see that many Lodges or Grand Lodges which erected them-selves illegally did not follow these basic rules. Lodges in order to be regular must have been established by a regular Grand Lodge. It must be truly independent and self-governing with undisputed authority over Craft Masonry. Freemasons under its jurisdiction must be Men having no Masonic Intercourse with Lodges, which admit Women or Clandestine Masons. You must believe in a Supreme Being, and take the obligation over a Volume of Sacred Laws. The three great lights must be displayed with the Square and Compasses, and finally to follow the tenets of Freemasonry to name a few.”

Most rituals of the day have some clause or state that you will not be at the in****, pas**** or rai**** of a clandestine Mason, so why are we going to joint events in our Masonic dress with individual that you are prohibited from witnessing their in****, pas**** and rai****?  How can I be obligated to not be present at their initiation and advancement, but recognize them by being in function with our esoteric clothing representing Masonry? I do not know one man that can dress up as a Police Officer and think he can arrest crooks just because he has a police uniform, gun and badge and impersonates a cop. You can save hundreds of lives by impersonating a Doctor and practicing medicine without a license does not make you a physician. Making a certificate or degree on your computer does not mean you have a Masters like the many so-called charters that bogus Masons produce. Some even get a charter from the state and confuse the public and regular Masons as if a state charter is equal to a Masonic one.

In Massachusetts in 1903, a decision was made about John G. Jones, an attorney in Illinois and member of the MWPHGL of Illinois after his expulsion that:

The MWPHGL of The State of Massachusetts, does not and will not affiliate with or in any way recognize Masonically, any person affiliating with, recognizing or in any way having Masonic Intercourse with John G. Jones, recently expelled from Masonry by the MWPHGL of Illinois, or with those with whom he is in affiliation.” This was signed by GM William H. Jackson, and attested by Benjamin C. Hazel, Grand Secretary”.

In New York, In accordance with the foregoing communication, Most Worshipful Edward V.C. Eato at the time Grand Master of the MWPHGL of New York issued an edict warning the Lodges and their members not to have any Masonic Intercourse with Jones or his representatives under pain of punishment for contumacy.

Here is one example of a Prince Hall Mason being expelled from Masonry and today, the Grand Lodges that he created and their splinter groups have disguised themselves as legitimate bodies.  Why are some of our leadership engage in fellowshipping instead of educating these groups of their origin?

On June 9, 1961 (116th Annual Grand Communication) Report by the Committee on Clandestine Masonry.

“As secretary of the Committee on Clandestine Masonry, I wish to make the following report:  A Bogus Mason is a Bogus Mason.  Perhaps a ‘faker’ is more appropriate term.  For generations particularly during the second half of the nineteenth century deceptions, hoaxes, and ruses have been prostituted upon Men of Color in the fair name of legitimate Freemasonry.  These would be Masons, or better styled, Masonic pirates, have worked there will of misbrands as they see fit, not recognizing the fact nor caring to that an entire race of people were being victimized, retarded and delimited, and very much so.”

“Some perpetrators may indulge in this fraudulent practice for the pure enchantment and needed treat it affords, others, for the monetary gains, power and self-esteem, it would rightly offer.  Whatever the reason, it effects perversion and confusion.  Masonry among Men of Color is made impure and the defiled stream reeks with a regurgitating stench of impurities and foreign bodies.”

“To be sure, deception and hoaxes have prevailed in the character of men from earliest times.  It would seem to be innate within the personality of some.  “Skim milk masquerades as cream,” and someone or some group is the unwitting recipient.  The Old Testament tells the story of Jacob’s calculated deception, and also his dupe, to which he in turn was subjected (Genesis: chapter 27-29).  From Homer, various Greek plays, medieval romances, and the deceived appear.  Ellery Queen’s famous mysteries not to be excluded.”

“It should be perfectly clear in the mind as a consequence why some Negroes have entered and prospered in the business of bogus Masonry and why some individuals are ready made dupes of same:  the cultural gap, lack of education and appreciative understanding, and the complexities surrounding a myriad of problems, also, imposed restraints moreover, encourage such malpractices.  Such is the position of the American Negro and his continued role in Freemasonry, in a new decade, dedicated to Human Rights and the Betterment of Humankind.”

“At our 113th Grand Communication (1958), recognizing an indisputable “urgent need,” Grand Lodge did empower a special committee, the expressed purpose of which was to reduce and totally eliminate clandestine bodies and their fragments.”

“The first concern or object of this Committee was to identify the field.  This having been done, it became necessary to determine believable procedure targeted to eliminate bogus bodies operating within our Grand Jurisdiction.  Realizing that a Masonic millennium among “Men of Color” would not occur overnight, we took the immediate as well as the long view of our mandate.  All objective evaluation of the prevailing situation leads us to believe that we had a long, tedious, and perhaps costly fight on our hands.  This and all else, in order to rid Negro Masonry of this blight, and prevent future defiling of the pure stream.”

“A comprehensive and imaginative program was subsequently developed and formulated.  In this fight, the Committee was firmly convinced that, every permissible tool in any permissible way should be used to advance our interest.”

“In the process of shoring up our court case, and future cases notwithstanding, a large amount of basic research became readily apparent.  At first, we may have been under some form of self-delusion, as relative to our so-called secure position.  However, we were abruptly confronted with bald reality as we attempted to olympicly wade through seven “examinations before trial.”  What primary evidence we lacked, what points we were completely uneducated upon, were enough to give us pause.  Nonetheless, at this time, we can report that our position has been advanced.”

“In conclusion, I wish to affirm the fact that, The Prince Hall Grand Lodge of New York must commit the full strength of its great capacity, in order to realize its object.  The full energy and vitality of the Craft is imperative.  It is hoped that at the 117th Grand Communication, we can report that everything is in progress.”

Fraternally yours,
Harold A. Wilson, Secretary
Committee on Clandestine Masonry

There will be more information when I complete my book, Bogus Masonic Outfits, The Danger to Prince Hall Masonry.

by Ezekiel M. Bey, FPS
Administrator & Founder, Blue-Lite Research Discussion Group Inc. ©2010


  • The Meaning of Masonic Obligation by PGM R.V. Harris of Nova Scotia
  • The Beacon Light of Freemasonry
  • The Fight Against Clandestine Masonry by Ezekiel M. Bey, FPS
  • Why The Word Bogus by Ezekiel M. Bey, FPS
  • Macoy Encyclopedia
  • New York’s 116th Annual Grand Communication Report by the Committee on Clandestine Masonry
  • Education For A People Unaware by Ezekiel M. Bey
  • John G. Jones, The Father of Bogus Masonry
  • New York Ritual

Past PH Grand Master of Masons New York murdered.

From the NationNews, Barbados, comes this story of an elderly man stabbed to death.

Preliminary investigations into the death of 90-year-old Fred Parris have ruled out robbery, and police sources have indicated the Stanmore Crescent, Black Rock, St Michael senior citizen received several stab wounds about the body, including to the neck, stomach and back.

Parris’ body was found about 5:30 a.m. lying in a small track leading to the popular beach. He was dressed in a short bathing pants and shirt.

Nicholas Harrison, one of Parris’ nephews, said he could see no other motive for his uncle’s killing, since he (Parris) was carrying no personal possessions when he met his death.

Perris, his family says, swam there every day except for Sundays, a day he reserved for church.

Parris was an accomplished man as he was the son of the first black captain of police in Barbados, he went on to become the first Barbadian to be named Grand Master of Prince Hall Masons of New York State in 1995 where he also served as a director of the Harlem Hospital.

Perris, the story reads, is survived by three children.

Read more at Nation News, and Barbados Today.

Fred Milliken,Freemason Information,The Beehive

Masonic Trivia: Puzzle Number One

My Lodge, Pride of Mt. Pisgah #135, MWPHGLTX, is a small, low budget Lodge operating in simple surroundings.  But don’t let that fool you. Serious and deep study of Masonry is going on among its members. Not only does Mt. Pisgah spend a great deal of time and effort in instructing its candidates but it also offers much in the way of continuing education for Master Masons, even those who have been Masons for many years.

Pride of Mt. Pisgah has many learned members who contribute to that education and understanding of Masonry.  One who dedicates himself to that purpose is Bro. Dr. Audra Robinson, PM.  It is he who has been running a Puzzler/Quiz for our members.

Now I bring that Puzzler/Quiz to a greater audience. Please feel free to offer some answers to what is asked in the comments section. Before researching the question ask yourself if you have any hint to what is being asked before looking it up.  Bro. Dr. Robinson is not only looking for word definitions but also themes.  What is the over all scenario of how certain words are used, what is their context and what does this all have to do with Masonry?

In the first Question:

What does trivium and quadrivium mean?

Some things to think about: what do they mean, where did you first encountered them, how are they symbolized and why are the divided that way.  Is there any biblical references to them?

KEY WORD: “trivium and quadrivium”

Answer to Puzzle 1

History in the making

An Historic event took place on September 11, 2010 with the cornerstone laid at the new Judicial Center in Lancaster County Virginia.

This is the first time that both The Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free & Accepted Masons of Virginia and the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Virginia Free and Accepted Masons, Incorporated who jointly performed a cornerstone laying.

Words and photos courtesy of Brother William Baumbach.

For more photos please visit the full album of the event.


The First Joint Ceremony of Black & White Masons In America

handshakeThis piece comes from The Coal Miner Who Came West by Ernest Moore, in collaboration with Gloria Phelps, Copyright 1982 (pages 72 and 73)

The article is unsigned but very likely written by the author who was a Prince Hall Mason as was his grandfather, John Hale (1846-1921), who is the subject of the book.

(Transcribed by D. DeCoster, August 31, 2010 from a copy borrowed from The Seattle Public Library.  Spelling is in the original.)


It happened in the City of Destiny, Tacoma, Washington, on Saturday afternoon October 2, 1982, at 1:30 p.m., on the sight of the $44 million Sports-Convention Center, known as the TACOMA MINI-DOME.  Right before the eyes of those in attendance, under a partly clouded sky, through which the sun sprinkled its rays of sunlight, enabling those of us who did not wear our long-john’s to withstand the antagonizing winds that swept from Mt. Rainier.  For over two hours, we stood eight abreast, with a depth of some two blocks, clothed with dark suits, white shirts, shod with shoes of black and proudly wrapped with lamb’s skin aprons.  Not one of us dared break rank, for this was truly not only an auspicious, but an historical occasion.  An occasion where upon, the most worshipful Grand Master, George Brodewick of the Grand Lodge, Free and accepted Masons of Washington (White Masons) had invited their Black brothers, the most Worshipful Grand Master, Johnny Allen, of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Washington and jurisdiction to participate with laying the Dome’s cornerstone.

Never before in the history of Prince Hall Masonry in America has there been such recognition and fraternization accorded us.  Having received orders from our Grand Marshal, Berry Carter, to proceed toward the speakers platform, and as we approached we were greeted along the way with spontaneous applause that caused many of our elder Brothers to “straighten up and fly right.”  You should have been there to have seen our Brothers “strut their stuff”.   They really put on the dog, and rightly so, for to them this was the dawning of a new day in Masonry.  A day where in all men of our order shall here after not by their race, or color, but by their deeds, predicated upon truth and justice, for all men are but God’s divinity, wrapped in human flesh, and we are our brothers keepers.  Having arrived just in front of the speakers platform, we could clearly observe the platform’s dignitaries.  The Mayor of Tacoma, Doug Southerland, Master of Ceremonies, who had requested the Grand Loge, Free and Accepted Masons of Washington, to lay the cornerstone.  Sharing the platform with him were the most Worshipful Grand Master George Bordewick and his officialdom.  The most Worshipful Grant Master Johnny Allen, of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Loge of Washington and Jurisdiction, with his guest, The Most Worshipful Grand Master Thomas Brown of the Oregon Jurisdiction, and the Honorable Russell S. Gideon, Sovern Grand Commander of the United Supreme Council of Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rites of freemasonry P.H.A. Northern Jurisdiction U.S.A. Inc.  In introducing his guest Grand  Master Johnny Allen was most eloquent, affective, and at his best.  Grand M<aster Bordewick said, “this was the largest public gathering of Masons in Washington since the dedication of the Seattle Masonic Temple in 1916, “ and that constitutional problems have long prevented Black and White Masons from joining in a single order.  “Someday, maybe we can solve these problems.”  Grand Master Allen said, to his knowledge, the Tacoma ceremony was the first time Black and White Masons have gathered together for a joint ceremony anywhere in America.  When  presented the working tools of a Master Mason, the plumb, the level, and the square, Grand Master Bordewick layed the cornerstone with its cavity bearing the various memorials of our time, current newspapers, names of city council and other civic bodies including documents of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Washington and Jurisdiction.  The crowning words of the day were those spoken by the Grand Orator of the Grand Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons of Washington (White).  Brother Warren Murphy said, “Our membership can boast of great statesmen, societies, explorers, and men distinguished in every walk of life.  However, it is not limited to the great or wealthy, but rather to all men, because every man of good reputation and character is eligible to petition for membership.  In fact Masonry regards no man on account of this worldly wealth or honor, but because of his personal integrity as a matured man.”  Mayor Southerland of Tacoma, and Grand Master Brodewick, stretched their necks to the end of their cable towes.  The Prince Hall Masons with the aid and assistance of the Grand Architect of the Universe will vouch safely  their voyage through this stormy sea of life.   The historical event was brought to close by prayer from Bishop Tolbert, of the Methodist Episcopal Churches Dist. No. 1.”