FREEMASONRY IN AFRICA – Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry

Anderson (Constitutions, 1738, page195) has recorded that in 1735 Richard Hull, Esq., was appointed “Provincia1Grand Master at Gambay in West Africa,” that in 1736 David Creighton, M.D., was appointed “Provincial Grand Master at Cape Coast, Castle in Africa,” and that in 1737 Capt. William Douglas was appointed “Provincial Grand Master on the Coast of Africa and in the Islands of America, excepting such places where a Provincial Grand Master is already deputed.” . However, in spite of these appointments having been made by the Grand Lodge of England, there is no trace of the establishment of any Lodges in West Africa until 1792, in which year a Lodge numbered 586 was constituted at Bulam, followed in 1810 by the Torridzonian Lodge at Cape Coast Castle. There have been, on the West Coast of Africa, Lodges Warranted by the Grand Lodge of England, or holding an Irish Warrant, as Lodge 197 at Calabar, founded in 1896, or under the Grand Lodge of Scotland, or by authority from Grand Bodies in Germany. In the Negro Republic of Liberia a Grand Lodge was constituted in 1867, with nine daughter Lodges subordinate to it, and with headquarters at Monrovia.

In the north of Africa there was founded the Grand Lodge of Egypt with headquarters at Cairo. Both Eng1and and Scotland have established District Grand Lodges in Egypt by consent of the former, While Italy, France, and Germany have organized Lodges at Alexandria, Cairo, Port Said and Suez.

In Algeria and Morocco French influence has been predominant, but in Tunis an independent Grand Lodge was established in 1881.

Freemasonry was introduced into South Africa by the erection of a Dutch Lodge, De Goede Hoop, at Cape Town in 1772, followed by another under the same Jurisdiction in 1802. Not until nine years later was it that the first English Lodge was established there, which was gradually followed by others. The Dutch and English Freemasons worked side by side with such harmony that the English Provincial Grand Master for the District who was appointed in 1829 was also Deputy Grand Master for the Netherlands. In 1860 a Scotch Lodge was set up at Cape Town. Thirty-five years later a Lodge was erected at Johannesburg, under the Grand Lodge of Ireland, so that there have been four independent Masonic Bodies exercising jurisdiction and working amicably together in South Africa, namely, the Grand Lodges of England, Ireland, and Scotland, and the Grand Orient of the Netherlands.

Under the Grand Lodge of England the subordinate Lodges were arranged in five Districts, namely, Central, Eastern and Western South Africa, Natal, and the Transvaal. At the same time there were Lodges owing allegiance to the Grand Lodge of Ireland, as well as those under the Scotch Constitution, divided among the Districts of Cape Colony, Cape Colony Western Province, Natal, Orange River Colony, Rhodesia, and the Transvaal, and those under the Jurisdiction of the Grand Orient of the Netherlands, in addition to the German Lodges at Johannesburg.

Under the Jurisdiction of the Grand Orient of the Netherlands there was appointed a Deputy Grand Master and two Districts, one being the Provincial Grand Lodge of South Africa and the Provincial Grand Lodge of the Transvaal. The first of these had its headquarters at Cape Town, the other at Johannesburg.

The Grand Orient of Belgium chartered a Lodge in 1912 at Elizabethville, in Northern Rhodesia. On the East Coast of the Dark Continent there were erected two Lodges at Nairobi, one of them being English and the other Scotch, and there was also established in 1903 an English Lodge at Zanzibar.

(See also the following references to other geographical divisions of Africa: Abyssinia, Algeria, Belgian Congo, British East Africa, Cape Colony, Cape Verde Islands, Egypt, Eritrea, French Guinea, German Southwest Africa, Liberia, Madagascar, Morocco, Mauritius, Nigeria, Nyasaland, Portuguese East Africa, Portuguese West Africa, Reunion Island, Rhodesia, Sierra Leone, St. Helena, Somaliland, Tripoli, Tunis and Uganda.)


the source: Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry



GEOMETRY - Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry


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