Freemasonry in Ghana
The history of Freemasonry in Ghana can be traced to the early nineteenth century when the first Masonic lodge was consecrated in the country. The practice of Freemasonry was imported to the then Gold Coast and other Commonwealth realms by European residents in the nation during the British colonial era. Most of the lodges in Ghana are governed by the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) and Wales, Grand Lodge of Scotland and the Grand Lodge of Ireland. Similar to their sister organisations worldwide, Ghanaian masonic fraternities are strictly apolitical and non–religious societies.
|Ghana, West Africa|
Like other lodges in the six million–member global fraternity, Ghanaian Freemasons are expected to believe in a Creator or a Supreme Being. Membership is open to all irrespective of ethnicity or social background. The oldest grand lodges were consecrated in England (1717), Ireland (1725), France (1728), the United States (1730) and Scotland (1736). Membership is either by invitation only or free–will depending on the geographic region.
The inspiration for freemasonry is connected to the ancient days of the biblical Solomonic Temple, 4000 years ago, through to the craft of stonemasonry in the Middle Ages. The craft of Freemasonry is found in the Holy Books (Bible, Torah, Vedas, Quran), the old charges or old manuscripts and old lodge charters dating to circa 1390, and in Masonic books. In Europe and Ottoman territories, each country formed its own Masonic Speculative Lodges and Grand Orient Lodges. There have been records of ancient lodges in Beirut, Damascus and Tripoli.
Members are taught the principles of fellowship and friendships with emphasis on education, personal integrity, personal responsibility, character, morality, ethics, philanthropy and social/charitable contributions. Historically, the core principles of Ghanaian Freemasonry include brotherly love, relief and truth. Masonic meetings forbid political discussions. While its laws are made public, the internal affairs of Ghanaian Freemasonry are considered private.
District Grand Lodge of GhanaEdit
The records of the first lodges on the Gold Coast indicate that the Torridzonian Lodge No. 621 was consecrated in 1810. In 1833, another lodge, Cape Coast Lodge No. 599 was constituted. By 1863, both lodges had become defunct. In 1859, the United Grand Lodge of England constituted the Gold Coast Lodge, No. 1075 English Constitution, (later numbered 773) which has been active since that period. At the turn of the nineteenth century and the first decade of the twentieth century, several lodges were consecrated under the English Constitution of the UGLE:
- Victoria Lodge No. 2393 on 2 December 1891 in Accra
- Accra Lodge No. 3063 on 2 March 1905, in Accra
- Sekondi Lodge No. 3238 on 19 March 1908, in Sekondi
- Taquah Lodge No. 3356 on 27 May 1909, in Tarkwa
- Ashanti Lodge No. 3717 on 20 March 1914 based in Kumasi
- St. George’s Lodge No. 3851 on 25 September 1918 based in Sekondi
- McCarthy Lodge No. 4132 on 29 January 1921 also based in Kumasi
The Grand Lodge of Scotland entered the fray in 1921 when it issued a charter to establish Lodge Progressive No. 1261 on 30 November 1921, in Cape Coast. Subsequently, a series of lodges were consecrated under the Scottish constitution:
- Lodge St. Andrew No. 1299 on 12 January 1924 in Accra
- Lodge Morality No. 1362 on 29 December 1929 in Kumasi
- Lodge Unity No. 1466 on 29 December 1951 in Accra
- Lodge Fidelity No. 1468 on 26 January 1952 in Takoradi
- Lodge Kumasi No. 1472 on 1 November 1952 in Kumasi
- Lodge Charity No. 1473 on 3 January 1953 in Accra
- Lodge Achimota No. 1522 on 29 December 1956 in Accra
As more lodges were erected, a petition by the ten Lodges under the United Grand Lodge of England for a District Grand Lodge was granted. The District Grand Lodge of the Gold Coast under the English Constitution was inaugurated in Accra on 9 May 1931. In January 1953 the seven Gold Coast Lodges under the Grand Lodge of Scotland petitioned for a District Grand Lodge of the Gold Coast under the Scottish Constitution which was inaugurated on 17 January 1953. When Ghana attained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1957, the St. Patrick Lodge No. 793, was consecrated on 16 March 1957 and was the sole Lodge in Ghana Warrant granted by the Grand Lodge of Ireland for 14 years. Thus, all three of the “Home Grand Lodges" had representation in Ghana. Beginning in 1971, six new Lodges were consecrated under Warrant granted by the Grand Lodge of Ireland:
- Abuakwa Lodge No. 840 on 9 January 1971 in Akwatia
- Saltpond Lodge No. 841 on 28 August 1971 in Saltpond
- Ahanta Lodge No. 843 on 20 May 1972 in Sekondi
- Asante Kotoko Lodge No. 844 on 1 July 1972 in Kumasi
- Adanisman Lodge No. 849 on 4 April 1973 in Obuasi
- Sekyere Lodge No. 850 on 28 April 1973 in Asante Mampong
The seven Lodges, operating under the Irish constitution petitioned and received approval for a Provincial Grand Lodge of Ghana, formed on 1 September 1973. In early 1994, a lecture titled “Let us Have a United Grand Lodge of Ghana” was presented at the meeting of Unicorn Lodge No. 8840, English Constitution with proposals made to achieve the unification objective. The Ghanaian quantity surveyor, politician and a Freemason, Harry Sawyerr delivered a speech at the Diamond Jubilee Celebration of Lodge St. Andrew No. 1299 Scottish Constitution, outlining how recognition for the United Grand Lodge of Ghana could be achieved.
On 9 June 2003, at an Open Forum held under the aegis of the Concordia Lodge No. 7199, English Constitution, with representatives from all the three Masonic Constitutions in Ghana, the idea of the United Grand Lodge of Ghana was discussed at length. In 2004, the Provincial Grand Master of Ghana Irish Constitution, Nana Herman Mould and the District Grand Master Scottish Constitution, Charles William Stanley–Pierre and District Grand Master of Ghana English Constitution, Kow Abaka Quansah conferred on establishing the Grand Lodge of Ghana. The then Provincial Grand Master–Designate of the Irish Constitution, John Atta–Quayson, attended the meeting. Other Masons who advocated for a joint lodge were Fredua, Mensah, then Provincial Grand Master of the Irish Constitution, D. S. Quarcoopome, then District Grand Master Scottish Constitution and later still Nana Herman A. Mould as Provincial Grand Master, Irish Constitution. The District Grand Lodge of Ghana, English Constitution was not in favour of a Grand Lodge of Ghana and therefore the unified entity was limited to the Scottish District and the Irish Province. Thus none of 57 English Constitution Lodge joined the Grand Lodge of Ghana.
Grand Lodge of GhanaEdit
The Provincial Grand Master, Irish Constitution and District Grand Master, Scottish Constitution, formed a Joint–Committee for rolling out the steps for establishing the Grand Lodge of Ghana. Within three years, the committee produced a draft Constitution and Laws for the Grand Lodge of Ghana, Ritual for Opening and Closing Grand Lodge, Regalia and paraphernalia for Grand Lodge, Provincial Grand Lodges and Subordinate Lodges, as well as miscellaneous Documents, including Warrants, Letters of Commission, Forms and Books of administration. Fundraising activities for the formation of the Grand Lodge were also developed and periodic progress reports issued to the aspiring members. The Joint–Committee transformed into a Steering Committee for the formation of the lodge. For further deliberations, four open for a were held at the:
- Freemasons’ Hall, Adjabeng, Accra on 7 May 2008
- Freemasons’ Hall, Ahodwo, Kumasi on 14 May 2008
- Freemasons’ Hall, Windy Ridge, Takoradi on 28 May 2008
- Freemasons’ Hall, Aboom Wells Road, Cape Coast on 28 May 2008
A consultative assembly of accredited lodge members was convened to review and approve the draft constitution and laws on Saturday 7 June 2008. On Saturday 12 July 2008, the Electoral College assembled to elect the first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ghana. Approximately 49 subordinate Lodges, made up of 21 Irish Lodges and 28 Scottish constitute the foundation lodges under novel warrants granted by the Grand Lodge of Ghana with new numbering based on the date of Consecration/Constitution and grouped into three Provincial Grand Lodges:
- Provincial Grand Lodge, South East, located in Accra with 20 Lodges
- Provincial Grand Lodge, South West, located in Cape Coast with 17 Lodges
- Provincial Grand Lodge, North, located in Kumasi with 12 Lodges
The Grand Lodge of Ghana was formally founded on 24 January 2009 as a "Sovereign Masonic Body" under the auspices of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, led by the Grand Master George Dunlop, and Grand Master Mason of Scotland, Charles Iain Robert Wolridge Gordon of Esselmont. The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) was the first Grand Lodge to pass a resolution to recognise the newly–constituted Grand Lodge of Ghana. Charles William Stanley–Pierre was installed the first Grand Master. In 2013, he was succeeded by Otwasuom Osae Nyampong VI. The motto of the Grand Lodge of Ghana is “That All Shall Be One.”
The following are the chapters of Masonic chapters in Ghana:
|Gold Coast Chapter No. 773||Cape Coast|
|Victoria Chapter No. 2392||Accra|
|Secondi Chapter No. 3238||Sekondi|
|Taquah Chapter No. 3356||Tarkwa|
|Ashanti Chapter No. 3717||Kumasi.|
|St. George’s Chapter No. 3851||Sekondi–Takoradi|
|McCarthy Chapter No. 4132||Kumasi|
|Accra Chapter No. 3063||Accra|
|Harmonic Chapter No. 4190||Accra|
|Three Pillars Chapter No. 4867||Accra|
|Amity Chapter No. 7140||Accra|
|Concordia Chapter No. 7199||Accra|
|Mfantsiman Chapter No. 7260||Cape Coast|
|Osu Chapter No. 7627||Accra|
|Excelsior Chapter No. 7670||Kumasi|
|Winneba Chapter No. 7708||Winniba|
|Adisadel Chapter No. 7791||Cape Coast|
|University of Technology Chapter No. 7792 SC||Kumasi|
|Tamale Chapter No. 7823||Tamale|
|Legon Chapter No. 8266||Achimota|
|Asanteman Chapter No. 8351||Kumasi|
|Chapter Of Perfection No. 8559||Accra|
|Public Service Chapter No. 8587||Accra|
|Togo Chapter No. 8605||Lome, Togo|
|Volta Chapter No. 8652||Ho|
|Okwawuman Chapter No. 8754||Abetifi|
|Meridian Chapter of Installed 1st Principals No. 9386||Accra|
Lodges established in different cities in Ghana include:
|Gold Coast Lodge No. 773||Cape Coast|
|Victoria Lodge No. 2392||Accra|
|Accra Lodge No. 3063||Accra|
|Sekondi Lodge No. 3238||Sekondi–Takoradi|
|Taquah Lodge No. 3356||Tarkwa|
|Ashanti Lodge No. 3717||Kumasi|
|St. George’s Lodge No. 3851||Sekondi–Takoradi|
|McCarthy Lodge No. 4132||Kumasi|
|Harmonic Lodge No. 4190||Accra|
|Three Pillars Lodge No. 4867||Accra|
|Travellers Lodge No. 6758||Accra|
|Amity Lodge No. 7140||Accra|
|Wassaw Lodge No. 7141||Tarkwa|
|Mfantsipim Lodge No. 7260||Cape Coast|
|Coronation Lodge No. 7309||Sekondi–Takoradi|
|Gold Coast Jubilee Masters Lodge No. 7457||Accra|
|Keta Lodge No. 7467||Keta|
|Osu Lodge No. 7627||Accra|
|Exelsior Lodge No. 7670||Kumasi|
|Tema Lodge No. 7718||Tema|
|Adisadel Lodge No. 7791||Cape Coast|
|University of Technology Lodge No. 7792||Kumasi|
|Tamale Lodge No. 7823||Tamale|
|Brong Ahafo Lodge No. 7862||Sunyani|
|Mfantsiman Lodge No. 7863||Cape Coast|
|Concordia Lodge No. 7199||Accra|
|Winneba Lodge No. 7708||Winneba|
|Sir Charles Tachie–Menson Lodge No. 8058||Accra|
|Legon Lodge No. 8266||Achimota|
District Grand Lodge of GhanaEdit
|District Grand Master||Tenure of office|
|D. J. Oman||1931–1934|
|Major G. T. Kingsford||1935–1945|
|Major Charles Owen Butler||1947–1950|
|Sir Charles W. Tachie-Menson, KBE||1950–1962|
|Dr. Stanley Walker Coope||1963–1968|
|Dr. Ebenezer A. Sackey, OBE||1969–1988|
|Dr. J. V. L. Philips||1988–1998|
|E. A. B. Mayne||1998–2002|
|B. K. Otoo||2002–2004|
|Kow Abaka Quansah||2004–2015|
|Isaac Owulaku Hood||2016–|
Grand Lodge of GhanaEdit
|Grand Master||Tenure of office|
|Charles William Stanley-Pierre||2009–2013|
|Otwasuom Osae Nyampong VI, Kamenahene of the Akwamu||2013–2017|
|Naval Captain (rtd.) Kwadjo Adunkwa Butah||2017–|
Sister organisations in Anglophone West AfricaEdit
Freemasonry in Liberia started in 1867 when the craft was brought to the country by Americo–Liberian settlers, descendants of freed slaves in the United States. The Grand Lodge of Liberia is based in Monrovia, its traditions are steeped in the Prince Hall Freemasonry, the United States Masonic Lodge, predominantly populated by African–American men. The Grand Lodge of Liberia is the first independent, self–initiated Masonic lodge in Africa. With 1750 members, 14 out of 19 subordinate lodges were re–activated in 1988 after the Liberian Civil War. The fourth edition of the 1992 Prince Hall Masonic Directory lists 500 members from the 19 lodges before the conflict. The fifth edition of the directory (1997) listed 13 lodges and there was no entry for the sixth edition (2003). In 1999, the United Grand Lodge of England recognised the Grand Lodge of Liberia. In 2000, the Government of Liberia Gazette noted the death of the Deputy Grand Master of Liberia.
With 51 lodges, the Grand Lodge of Nigeria is based in Calabar near Cross River and on the coast of southeastern Nigeria. The Masonic society was founded on 3 November 2012 by the Grand Master Mason of Scotland. The pioneer Grand Master of the Nigerian Grand Lodge was consecrated by the Grand Master of Ireland. About 20 lodges of the Irish Provincial Grand Lodge and 31 of the 45 lodges of the Scottish District Grand Lodge came together to form the unified grand lodge. Like its Ghanaian counterpart, the District Grand Lodge of Nigeria, English Constitution, declined to join the new partnership. As such, none of 33 English Constitution lodges became members of the Grand Lodge of Nigeria and are still under the UGLE. The remaining 14 lodges under the Scottish tradition are still members of the District Grand Lodge, Scottish Constitution.
Heads of StateEdit
- Akwasi Afrifa, soldier, farmer and Head of State of Ghana, 1969 –1970
- John Kufuor, President of Ghana, 2001–2009; Senior Grand Warden, United Grand Lodge of England
- James Aggrey-Orleans, diplomat and civil servant, High Commissioner of Ghana to the United Kingdom, 1997 – 2001
- Edward Asafu-Adjaye, lawyer, diplomat and politician, first High Commissioner of Ghana to the United Kingdom, 1957 – 1962
- Charles Odamtten Easmon, first Ghanaian surgeon specialist and the first Dean, University of Ghana Medical School, Deputy District Grandmaster, Masonic District of Ghana
- Ernest James Hayford, Gold Coast physician and lawyer
- Augustus Molade Akiwumi, lawyer, judge and second Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana, 1958 – 1960
- Jacob Hackenburg Griffiths-Randolph, judge and Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana in the Third Republic, 1979 –1981
- Nii Amaa Ollenu, jurist, judge and Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana in the Second Republic, 1969 – 1972
- Emmanuel Charles Quist, barrister, judge and the first African Speaker of the Legislative Council and first Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana, 1949 –1957
- Ebenezer Sekyi-Hughes, lawyer and Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana, 2005 –2009
- Isaac Kobina Abban, Chief Justice of Ghana, 1995 – 2001
- Vincent Cyril Richard Arthur Charles Crabbe, jurist and Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana
- Kobina Arku Korsah, first Chief Justice of Ghana, 1957 –1963
- Edward Kwame Wiredu, Chief Justice of Ghana, 2001 – 2003
- Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin, lawyer and politician
- Ebenezer Ako-Adjei, politician and member of the 'Big Six'
- Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, academic and politician
- J B Danquah, lawyer, politician, scholar and a member of the 'Big Six'
- Albert Kan Dapaah, politician and chartered accountant
- John Henry Martey Newman, lawyer, Chief of Staff under the presidency of John Atta Mills
- Emmanuel Obetsebi-Lamptey, lawyer, politician and a member of the 'Big Six'
- Victor Owusu, lawyer and politician, former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Leader of the Opposition in the Third Republic,1979 –1981
- Harry Sawyerr, politician and quantity surveyor
- John van der Puije, Gold Coast merchant, newspaper publisher, traditional ruler and politician
- Henry van Hien, Gold Coast merchant and politician
Traditional rulers or monarchsEdit
- Ofori Atta I, Okyenhene or King of Akyem Abuakwa, 1912 – 1943
- Azzu Mate Kole II, Konor of the Manya Krobo Traditional Area, 1939 – 1990
- Osei Tutu Agyeman Prempeh II, Asantehene, 1931 – 1970
- Oyeeman Wereko Ampem II, Gyaasehene of Akuapem and Amanokromhene 1975 - 2005
- Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene, 1999 – present, Grand Patron, Grand Lodge of Ghana and Sword Bearer, United Grand Lodge of England
Urban planning and architectureEdit
- Theodore S. Clerk, urban planner and first Ghanaian architect
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