Thursday, December 31, 2009
Lodge New Isis - Orient of Los Angeles
I hope that everyone is enjoying their Holiday Season. As the New Year approaches, I am filled with gratitude for all that the past year has brought, and I look forward to many positive developments in the year ahead.
Many of you are aware that last summer I demitted from lodge Intrepid. Without going into great detail, or mentioning any names, Intrepid left the GOUSA over a dispute relating to constitutional issues that arose in that obedience.
When the individuals involved left the GOUSA, they also demitted from Lodge New Isis of the George Washington Union. As a result of this, many members of New Isis who had been close to these persons left the lodge as well and joined Intrepid, of which I was lodge secretary at the time.
Very few of these individuals bothered to formally demit from the GWU as is required by Masonic protocol. Over the following months it became apparent to me that practicing Freemasonry was not the main priority of the leadership, so after much reflection, I demitted and affiliated with the remaining members of New Isis so that I could concentrate on practicing Freemasonry and grow in Masonic light.
Since then, in an effort to gain legitimacy as a jurisdiction, Intrepid claims to have founded a "New Isis" lodge in San Francisco. The claim has also been made that the real Lodge New Isis "left" the GWU, which is nonsense, most of the previous members having never formally left the lodge in the first place.
One member of Intrepid recently relocated to San Francisco. I am not aware in the history of Freemasonry that a one man lodge can exist as a "duly constituted" lodge of Freemasons. I suppose that by claiming multiple lodge membership several people can claim to have several lodges, even when done at a distance.
Such claims are at best disingenuous, at worst, dishonest. I strongly believe in not airing disputes in public, but as a member of Lodge New Isis of the George Washington Union, a duly constituted lodge of an obedience chartered by the Grand Orient of France more than three decades ago, I am offended by the name of my lodge being purloined and used politically for purposes of deceiving others, both inside, and outside, the Masonic community.
That being said, Lodge New Isis is in the process of repairing the damage caused by the exodus of some of its previous members, and has a bright future as part of the Mainstream Liberal Masonic community in Los Angeles. Our Worshipful Master has been working very hard with members of other Liberal lodges in Los Angeles and we foresee growth, and serious Masonic work being accomplished in 2010.
I will be visiting Lodge Aletheia of the Women's Grand Lodge of Belgium again soon, as well as Loge Art et Lumiere of the Grand Orient of France in March. I cannot thank these brothers and sisters enough for all the support that they have given us at Lodge New Isis. That is what Freemasonry is all about.
Setbacks such as Lodge New Isis has gone through recently, are a great opportunity for us as Masons to engage in real work and polish our ashlars. It is a challenge, but one that I know we, as Freemasons, are up to.
I am hoping to attend the next annual Convent of the George Washington Union, as I was unable to attend the most recent, which was held in Montreal, Canada. New officers for the obedience were elected and many projects are in the works, including a greater effort to make our presence felt in the wider community.
This New Year will be one of sacrifice, hard work, and patience, but we will also experience the enjoyment of the rewards that come with such effort.
FIAT LUX ET LUX FIT