Lodge Devotion’s July Meeting & a Visitor from Chile

Last meeting we obligated our Master Elect, WBro Allan R and then retired to a local pub. Familiar to several members, we journeyed a bit further than usual and went to the Leinster Arms Hotel in Gold Street Abbotsford. Owned by a Freemason, this is the pub the Omega Masters’ Group hold their regular meetings at; so Freemasons are no stranger to it. Offering good old fashioned and unpretentious pub food, the night we were there, the pub was offering a variety of pizza-toping inspired parmas. We were also able to have dinner in a private dining area.

A highlight of the night was being visited by Bro Tomas P of Chile. With Masonic Passport stamped by UGLV and with communications from our Grand Lodge, his regularity was clear. There might have been pause over this because of his Grand Lodge’s title; “Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Chile, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry”. I have heard of Grand Lodge’s which confer the first three Degrees within the Scottish Rite system but could not name one; now I can ! Here, moving beyond the Third Degree is done in separate bodies outside the “Blue Lodges” of UGLV. In Victoria, the Scottish Rite works under two separate but recognised peak bodies, the Australian and the Scottish Constitutions of AASR. Looking further at the situation in Chile I read; “The Grand Lodge of Chile is the only regular Masonic organization on Chilean territory. There are 200 Lodges that work under its obedience, of which 194 practice the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, two practice the York Rite and four practice the Schröder Rite. Through agreements with friendly Masonic powers, it authorizes the work of six regular foreign Lodges.

The internet, a sometimes dubious but often relied on source, tells me; Chilean Masons have placed in the history of the country, as advocates of political independence at the beginning of the 19th Century, in the establishment of the Republic foundations and the promotion of political, economic and social development until the present day. More than 20 Presidents of the Republic have belonged to Masonry. One of the Masonry and Mason's favourite fields service is education. Masons were founders of the main educational and cultural institutions in the nation. Lodges of the country support some 20 elementary and high schools, and the Grand Lodge founded the Universidad La República, which celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2003.

The Grand Lodge was founded May 24, 1862, in the port city of Valparaíso, recently named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. In 1906 an earthquake destroyed the Grand Lodge building and its archives and as a result it was re-established in Santiago.

In 1925, President Arturo Alessandri Palma, a Mason, managed to change the Political Constitution of 1833; the most important of the changes made was the nominal separation of Church and State. However, the most significant achievement of masonry was their campaign to pass the Mandatory Elementary School Act in 1920.

From 1920, and for the next four decades, the Republic of Chile had five Masons as Presidents, which resulted in economical and educational development as well as avant-garde welfare legislation.

Another important achievement was the foundation of the Grand Lodge of Bolivia with the attendance of seven Chilean lodges, in April 1930.

In the time leading up to the Second World War, asylum in Valparaíso was granted to the Grand Lodge of Hamburg which was proscribed in its country.

In 1947, the Grand Lodges of Argentina, Chile and Uruguay founded in Montevideo the Inter-American Masonic Confederation (IMC), which today includes most of the regular Grand Lodges of Latin America, Spain and France. Today, the IMC has held 19 Grand Assemblies.

I look forward to fact checking the above with Brother Tomas. He visited Lodge Evolution last Saturday and we hope to see him again at Lodge Devotion

Post Scriptum

Bro Tomas spent several months in Melbourne and then returned to Chile having made great friends at Devotion. He also feel in love with another South American in Melbourne. He returned to Melbourne and we were honoured to organise his Bucks Night and to attend his Wedding. He became a member of Lodge Devotion July 2018 and has served as an officer at Lodge Devotion and joined the Chapter of Holy Royal Arch which also meets at Gipps St Abbotsford.