Grand Lodge of New York

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Grand Lodge of New York F. & A.M.
Constituted December 15, 1782 (1782-12-15)
Jurisdiction New York
Location New York City, New York
USA
Website NYMasons.org

The Grand Lodge of New York (officially, the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York) is the largest and oldest independent organization of Freemasons in the U.S. state of New York.[1][2] It was at one time the largest grand lodge in the world in terms of membership.[citation needed]

The Grand Lodge is over 230 years old, having been founded December 15, 1782. GLoNY acts as the coordinating body for many functions undertaken throughout the state. Its various committees organize blood drives, the New York Masonic Safety Identification Program - (NYMSIP) and charitable events around New York. The GLoNY has jurisdiction over approximately 60,000 Freemasons, organized in more than 800 Lodges, most of them located within New York State.[3]

History[edit]

Colonial and federalist eras: 1730–1820[edit]

It is not known when the first Freemason set foot in the American colony of New York, but the first documented presence dates from the mid-1730s, when Daniel Coxe, Jr. (1673–1739), was appointed by the Duke of Norfolk, the Grand Master of the Premier Grand Lodge of England (known to historians as the "Moderns"), to act as a Provincial Grand Master for the provinces of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. As no authenticated records exist of his tenure as Provincial Grand Master, it seems doubtful that he exercised any authority in Masonic endeavors as he died a few years after his appointment. From 1738 to the 1780s additional Warrants were issued by GLE (Moderns) to Francis Goelet (1738–1753), to George Harrison (1753–1771) and to Sir John Johnson (1771–). As Johnson was a supporter of the British during the American Revolution, he is believed to have taken his warrant with him when he fled to Canada, thus leaving the Moderns Lodges without a Provincial Grand Master.[4]

To further complicate matters, by the 1750s, the Antient Grand Lodge of England (known to historians as the "Ancients"), a rival Masonic Grand Lodge, had also created a Provincial Grand Lodge of New York, which subsequently chartered lodges under its own jurisdiction. Additional lodges were chartered in New York by the Grand Lodge of Scotland and the Grand Lodge of Ireland. The Ancients retained their charter throughout the Revolution, however, and it was based upon this charter that an independent Grand Lodge of New York was created in 1781, with Robert R. Livingston as Grand Master. The Grand Lodge of New York was officially organized on December 15, 1782, under the Provincial Grand Warrant dated September 5, 1781, from the “Athol” or Antient Grand Lodge of England. The Grand Lodge declared its independence and assumed its modern title “Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York” on June 6, 1787. While the "Athol" Charter descended from the "Ancients", Livingston himself was a member of a "Modern" Lodge. Thus the two rival Grand Lodge traditions, which in England did not unite until 1813, had already merged before that in New York State.

St. John's Lodge No. 1, A.Y.M.[edit]

St. John's Lodge, chartered in 1757, is the oldest operating Lodge under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of New York.[5] St. John's Lodge is the custodian of what is now known as the George Washington Inaugural Bible. On April 30, 1789 it was upon this Bible that George Washington took his oath of office as the first President of the United States.[6]

In 2009, the Lodge formed a registered public charity for the purpose of preserving, maintaining and restoring the George Washington Inaugural Bible. In 2014, the St. John's Lodge No. 1 Foundation, Inc. received recognition as an IRS 501(c)3.

Community and charity[edit]

GLoNY has a long history of supporting charitable causes. Among the organizations that are rooted in its charitable endeavors are, the Masonic Medical Research Laboratory, Acacia Village and Masonic Home in Utica; the Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Library and Museum in New York and Utica; the Masonic Youth Camp at Camp Turk in Woodgate; the DeWint House at Tappan and its many charitable activities of its annual Brotherhood Fund Drive. The Grand Lodge sponsors Child Identification Programs, Drug and Alcohol Awareness programs in schools, and gives thousands of dollars a day to worthy charities around the State.

Religious and Racial Equality[edit]

In May 2012, at its Grand Lodge Session, GLoNY had approved the findings of a Special Committee which has determined that certain Grand Lodges, notably those following the Swedish Rite, restrict their membership to members of the Christian faith. As a consequence of this, the members of the Grand Lodge of voted unanimously that non-Christian Masons living in these Grand Jurisdictions will not come under the exclusivity enjoyed by said Grand Lodges. A notice was sent out to all Grand Lodges with which the GLoNY is in amity, that the GLoNY will recognize as Regular any Lodges opened up in these territories by any other regular Grand Lodge. Furthermore, the committee's tenure was continued for an additional two years in order to determine if further measures need to be taken.[citation needed]

Organization of Triangles Inc.[edit]

The Organization of Triangles Inc. is a Masonic youth movement for young women aged between 10 and 21 years old. The Organization of Triangles Inc. was founded in 1925 by Rose E. Scherer in the State of New York. For over ninety years, the Triangle has provided the young a vibrant and dynamic group where they can make friends and improve. The triangle form the character, is a service-oriented fraternity that builds a basis for its members to develop their life skills and leadership skills, citizenship, public speaking, the value of teamwork, confidence and self-esteem. Members have opportunities to express their opinions, learn how to make their ideas a reality, helping others around them to form friendships with other members, all in a safe and controlled environment. The founder of the Organization of Triangles Inc. Rose E. Scherer was born on the 18th of November of the year 1883, in the city of New York. Scherer was Great Matron of the Order of the Eastern Star. Scherer conceived the idea of a fraternal group for young daughters of the Order of the Eastern Star and the Masonic fraternity, in order to be a preparation for future membership in the adult organizations, their proposals were accepted under the patronage of the Order of the Eastern Star.[7][8]

Leadership[edit]

The current Grand Master is Jeffery Williamson. [9]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Bessel: All US Masonic organizations". 
  2. ^ See List of Masonic Grand Lodges for revised list, as many of Bessel's cited grand lodges have ceased to exist.
  3. ^ 2007 Empire Mason Magazine
  4. ^ Bicentennial Commemorative Volume of Holland Lodge No. 8, published by the Lodge, New York, 1988. pp 9-12
  5. ^ http://www.stjohns1.org
  6. ^ Ceresi, Frank and McMains, Carol National Treasures - The George Washington Inaugural Bible Archived 2005-05-28 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ www.ootny.org/
  8. ^ www.nymasons.org/
  9. ^ http://nymasons.org/2016/grand-lodge-officers-2016-2018/

External links[edit]