November 2013

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Grand Lodge of Gabon | Three decades of Masonic activity

From 7 to 9 November 2013 the Grand Lodge of Gabon (Grand Master Ali Ondimba Bongo) celebrated its 30th anniversary. The Grand Lodge was founded in 1983. Attending the event were Grand Masters and Representatives of the Grand Lodges of Africa, Europe, North America and Latin America. During the events marking the anniversary was laid the cornerstone of the Temple of the Grand Lodge.

A century since the founding of the District Grand Lodge of Nigeria

The District Grand Lodge of Nigeria, led by Brother Olorogun Moses Taiga, celebrated during October 25 to 27, 2013, a century since its foundation. The Grand Lodge works within the jurisdiction of the United Grand Lodge of England. The event was attended, among others, by the UGLE's Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes.

2013 Annual Communication of the National Grand Lodge of Guinea

On October 12, 2013 was held the Annual Communication of the National Grand Lodge of Guinea (Grand Master A. K. Camara). The event was held at Royal Riviera Hotel.

Among the guests were the leaders and representatives of Freemasonry from Togo, Ivory Coast, Liberia: Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of the Ivory Coast (Geay Y. Ballo, 33°), Anthony W. Deline, 32° (Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Liberia) and Eden C. Reeves, 32° (Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Togo).

Installation Ceremony of Brother Dr. Nii Adjetey Bonnie Andrews as Deputy for the Province of Ghana

On 14 September 2013 took place the installation ceremony of Brother Dr. Nii Adjetey Bonnie Andrews, 33° as Deputy for the Province of Ghana.

The event took place in the presence of over 150 Brethren from Ghana, West Africa, Scotland and the ceremony attended by the Sovereign Grand Commander of Scotland J. M. Marcus Humphrey of Dinnet, 33° and by the Grand Secretary General of Scotland Alexander Galbraith, 33°. The installation speech can be read in full on Masonic Times.

Sadio Lamine Sow was elected Grand Master of the National Grand Lodge of Mali

On 12 September 2013 the Grand Masters of Ghana (Otwasuom Osae NYAMPONG VI) and Togo (Kossi R. PAASS) gathered to analyze the situation within the National Grand Lodge of Mali (Gande Loge Nationale Malienne). They have studied carefully all the documents (Constitution and General Regulations) and have concluded that the new elected Grand Master of Mali, Most Worshipful Sadio Lamine Sow, was elected according to Masonic rules and the Constitution of his Grand Lodge.

The Most Worshipful Grand Master Sadio Lamine Sow is the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Mali from 24 April 2012 and until 5 September 2013. Brother Sow was one of the central pillars of the Bamako Government (number 2 in the Government), serving as Minister of State, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

He was also the personal adviser to the President of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaoré.  Born on August 9, 1952, in Kayes, Sadio Lamine Sow graduated from the University of Paris X Nanterre, obtaining a degree in modern letters and a certificate in political studies. Sow is a known communication expert, reporter, journalist etc. He is passionate about reading and swimming.

Rebirth of Freemasonry in Egypt: Sovereign Grand Lodge of Egypt

Even though Egypt is facing one of the worst political crises and the democratic spirit of the people is encountering dictatorial intentions, Freemasonry revived in Egypt. The Sovereign Grand Lodge of Egypt was founded in late June 2013. The new Masonic organization is headed by Most Worshipful Grand Master M. F.

All current Grand Officers of the Grand Lodge shall retain their offices until 8 October 2014. Even though the statement was made, there is no information regarding the process of consecration and installation of this Grand Lodge, nor about the Grand Master, nor about a third Symbolic Lodge in its jurisdiction (Imhotep Lodge #1 and Kemet Lodge #2), necessary to constitute a Masonic Jurisdiction for a independent Masonic Grand Lodge.

Installation ceremony of the Grand Master of Ghana

During three days, in May 2013, were held festivities marking the installation of a new Grand Master in Ghana. Before the Masonic event was held a conference on prostrate cancer, attended by over 170 people. The installation ceremony took place on May 11th, 2013, during the morning, followed by a Masonic banquet attended by 750 people. Among those Illustrious Brethren was also Thomas Jackson, Executive Secretary of the World Conference of Masonic Grand Lodges.

The speech of the Grand Master showed to all those present there that an era of changing arrives and with it a better course in the development of the Ghanian Freemasonry. He ended by saying: „Thank you Freemasonry.”

In the third day, in the morning, Ghanian Brethren leaded by their newly installed Grand Master and their guests attended a thanksgiving mass at the University of Ghana Anglican Church. The mass was held by Accra’s Bishop Daniel Torto.

INTERVIEW | Otwasuom Osae Nyampong VI started from humble life to reach the leadership of the Grand Lodge of Ghana

On 18 May 2013 the Grand Master of Ghana granted an interview to PM Express TV Show (moderator: Nana Ansah Kwaw), being the first interview as Grand Master.

In the first part of the interview the Grand Master spoke about his life and how he has evolved personally and professionally. Otwasuom Osae Nyampong VI is, as stated by APMR's Secretary-General: "a person, a Brother simple but profound and pragmatic at the same time". Smiling, relaxed and proud of his son and daughter, the Grand Master Ghanaian is not just a Freemason, he is also a businessman and a local chieftain of a traditional realm. "I'm the last person who to speak," said the Grand Master when asked about the responsibilities of a local chief. He also added that "If you are a leader and you can not lead people from point A to point B in progress, then you failed!".

Otwasuom Osae Nyampong VI said he has entered into Freemasonry 30 years ago and that the most impressive office he hold was that of Master of his Lodge. When Nana Ansah Kwaw asked whether an atheist can be a Freemason, the Grand Master replied: "No, no and triple no!".

At some point in the interview, the discussion touched on a relevant topic regarding the negative perception Freemasonry "enjoys" among the profane world. The moderator brought up the issue that Lodges when working have their doors closed and no one knows what happens inside. The Ghanaian Grand Master smiled and said: you saw a Church that keeps the doors open when the old (to be read leaders) decide your faith?! "Are you a Christian?" asked moderator and the Grand Master proudly answer was: "Ohhh... Yeah!".

At the end of the interview, Otwasuom Osae Nyampong VI said that "a Freemason must not disappoint a Brother never" and that "Freemasonry teaches you life's purpose". With a rising Ghanaian Freemasonry, the current Grand Master wants to leave to his successors, in a four years from now, a strong and equipped Grand Lodge.

Policy statement by Grand Master of Ghana: Masonic education, public engagements and finances

On 20 April 2013, the (then Elected) Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ghana (Otwasuom Osae Nyampong VI) visited Progressive Lodge where he held a speech on the new measures to be adopted during his term in office. Brother Otwasuom Osae Nyampong said that in this mandate the policy will focus on three areas: Masonic education, public engagements and finances. Read the entire statement on Masonic Times.

Egyptian Pyramids closed in 2011 due to fear of a supposed Masonic ceremony

On 11 November 2011 the Egyptian Pyramids were closed due to fear of a supposed "Masonic ceremony." A Masonic concert was scheduled on the Plateau of Giza, near the Great Pyramid of Khufu. Officials in Cairo adopted a relatively bizarre decision by closing the Pyramids to avoid "the practice of Masonic rituals" and also to avoid the concert.

However in the closure process of the Egyptian pyramids were involved several institutions: Pharaonic Archaeology Department, Supreme Council of Antiquities and the Ministry of Interior. Several Egyptian organizations (including the Muslim Brotherhood) have protested and rejected the possibility of conducting any Masonic ritual within the pyramids. The Supreme Council of Antiquities and the Giza Governorate confirmed that the Masonic ceremony was canceled but that the Pyramids remain temporarily closed.

Brother Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé, President of the Republic Togo

Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé (born on 6 June 1966 in Afagnan, Lacs Prefecture) is a Togolese politician who has been the President of Togo since 4 May 2005. He is the son of President Gnassingbé Eyadéma and was appointed in the Government by his father, serving as Minister of Equipment, Mines, Posts, and Telecommunications from 2003 to 2005.

Gnassingbé received his secondary education in Lomé before studying in Paris at the Sorbonne, where he received a degree in financial business management; he subsequently obtained a Master of Business Administration degree from The George Washington University in the United States.

He then won the presidential elections of 24 April 2005 and was sworn in as President. He is also the National President of the Rally of the Togolese People (RPT), the ruling political party. He was re-elected for a second term as President of Togo in 2010.

Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé was initiated into Freemasonry by Most Worshipful Grand Master Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Grand Lodge of Congo at Brazzaville.

Half of century since the founding of the Grand Lodge of South Africa

During August 17 to 21, 2011, the Grand Lodge of South Africa celebrated half of century since its foundation in 1961. The Masonic ceremonies marking this important event were held in Cape Town.

The first South African Masonic Lodge was founded in 1772. In 1771 Brother Abraham van der Weijde (captain of a sailing vessel plying between Holland and the East Indies) of the Grand East (Orient) of the Netherlands was appointed Deputy Grand Master Abroad (having the authority to found Masonic Lodges abroad). On 24 April 1772 he landed in cape Town and 10 days later he issued a warrant (ratified on 1 September 1772), founding De Goede Hoop Lodge #12, under the jurisdiction of the Grand East of the Netherlands.

The National Grand Lodge of Congo at Brazzaville

In October 2010 the National Grand Lodge of Congo at Brazzaville celebrated its 10th anniversary. The ceremonies were presided by Most Worshipful Grand Master and President Denis Sassou Nguesso. On 16 October 2010 took place a dinner gala offered by the Grand Master of Congo in the gardens of the Presidential Palace.

The Regular Grand Lodge of the Kingdom of Morocco

The Regular Grand Lodge of the Kingdom of Morocco celebrated in 2010 its 10th anniversary. The event was attended by the Grand Lodge of Djibouti, Grand Lodge of Gabon, Grand Lodge of Ghana, Grand Lodge of Ivory Coast, National Grand Lodge of Mali, National Grand Lodge of Togo, Regular Grand Lodge of Belgium, United Grand Lodge of England, National Grand Lodge of France, Regular Grand Lodge of Portugal, Grand Lodge of Turkey, and the Grand Lodge of the the District of Colombia.

Most Worshipful Grand Master Ali Ondimba Bongo, President of the Republic of Gabon

Brother Ali Bongo Ondimba (born Alain Bernard Bongo on 9 February  1959) is a Gabonese politician who has been President and Most Worshipful Grand Master of Gabon since 2009. Ali Bongo was born in Brazzaville as the son of President and Past Grand Master of Gabon, Brother Albert-Bernard Bongo (later Omar Bongo Ondimba) and Josephine Kama (later Patience Dabany).

He is the son of Omar Bongo, who was President of Gabon from 1967 until his death in 2009. During his father's presidency, he was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1989 to 1991 and represented Bongoville as a Deputy in the National Assembly from 1991 to 1999; subsequently he was Minister of Defense from 1999 to 2009. He was the candidate of the Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) in the August 2009 presidential election, which followed his father's death. He is also President of the PDG.

After studying law, he entered politics, joining the PDG in 1981; he was elected to the PDG Central Committee at the party's Third Extraordinary Congress in March 1983. Subsequently he was his father's Personal Representative to the PDG and in that capacity he entered the PDG Political Bureau in 1984. He was then elected to the Political Bureau at an ordinary party congress in September 1986.

He has four children, a daughter, Malika Bongo Ondimba, and three sons, Noureddin Bongo Valentin, Jalil Bongo Valentin and Bilal Bongo, whom he and Sylvia adopted in 2002. Bongo is a keen sportsman, competing for Gabon in the Discus during his youth. He has also played in several minor African snooker tournaments.

Following his father's death, Ali Bongo was elected (31 October 2009, during the Annual Communication in the presence of 26 Grand Lodges) and installed Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Gabon in 2009. His Installation Ceremony was presided by the then Most Worshipful Grand Master François Stifani of the French National Grand Lodge. Later that year, in December, he attended the Annual Communication of the French National Grand Lodge.

The Grand Lodge of Gabon hosted in 2009 the World Conference of Masonic Grand Lodges

In 2009 the Grand Lodge of Gabon hosted the World Conference of Masonic Grand Lodges. It was for the first time ever when this international meeting was hosted on African soil. The subject debated during those days was "The art of building our environment together."

The ceremonies were held at the International Conference Palace. Several days later, took place an official gathering at the Presidential Palace in Libreville, marking the end of the World Conference of Masonic Grand Lodges.

Consecration ceremony of the Grand Lodge of Mozambique

On 11 July 2009 was founded the Grand Lodge of Mozambique. The ceremony took place in Maputo, under the auspices of the Regular Grand Lodge of Portugal (led at that time by Most Worshipful Grand Master Martin Guia) and the Grand Director of Ceremonies was Right Worshipful Thomas Jackson (Past Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and Executive Secretary of the World Conference of Masonic Grand Lodges). The Grand Lodge was composed at that time of 3 Symbolic Lodges and 56 Brethren.

The event was attended by Grand Masters and Masonic Representatives from Ivory Coast (delegation leaded by the Most Worshipful Grand Master), Mauritius, Reunion (delegation leaded by the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master), France, Portugal, Gabon (represented by the Assistant Grand Master), Russia (delegation leaded by the Most Worshipful Grand Master) and Brazil (delegation leaded by the Grand Chancellor on Foreign Affairs of the Grand Orient of Brazil).

Former President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal: I am a Freemason

In 2009 the President of Senegal at that time admitted being a member of the oldest Fraternity in the world: Freemasonry. Abdoulaye Wade was initiated in a Lodge in the Capital City of the French Department of Doubs, Besançon, near the border with Switzerland.

He was President of Senegal during 12 years, from 2000 to 2012. Abdoulaye Wade (born 29 May 1926) is a Senegalese politician, Secretary-General of the Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) and has led the party since it was founded in 1974. A long-time opposition leader, he ran for President four times, beginning in 1978, before he was elected in 2000.He won re-election in 2007 with a majority in the first round.

He studied and taught law at the lycée Condorcet in France. He holds two doctorates in law and economics. He was also dean of the law and economics faculty at the University of Dakar in Senegal. Abdoulaye Wade was internationally praised for his handling of the 2012 presidential election.

Brother Wade congratulated his opponent on his victory and peacefully stepped down. Wade's quick concession was praised by the African Union, European Union, United Nations and the United States. Because of this, Brother Abdoulaye Wade is considered to be one of those African leaders who are committed to democracy.

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