Freemasonry in South Africa

Freemasonry was brought to South Africa by members of the Grand Orient of the Netherlands in 1772. Today there are lodges chartered under the United Grand Lodge of England, the Grand Lodge of Scotland, the Grand Lodge of Ireland, as well as the Grand Lodge of South Africa.

Early Colonial PeriodEdit

On 24 April 1772, Abraham van der Weijden, Deputy Grandmaster Abroad under the Grand Orient of the Netherlands, arrived in the Cape of Good Hope.[1] He issued a warrant allowing for the founding of a lodge, “De Goede Hoop”, ten days after arriving, which was ratified by the Grand Orient on 1 September 1772.[1][2] The founding members of Lodge de Goede Hoop were Abraham Chiron, Jacobus le Febre, Johann Gie, Pieter Soermans, Christoffel Brand, Jan van Schoor, Olof de Wet, and Petrus de Wit. [3][4]

While in 1774 the first two native-born candidates were initiated into freemasonry,[3] the lodge failed to gain a foothold among the local population, and was dependent on visitors, which led to the lodge becoming dormant in 1781 until it was revived in 1794, when more local residents were attracted to the fraternity, such as J. A. Truter, who was Chief Justice.[1],[5]

In 1795, the British occupied the Cape, bringing with them military Lodges, but no new lodges were established in Cape colony during this time.

British RuleEdit

Another lodge was formed in 1800 by the Dutch called "De Goede Trouw" Lodge,[6] and in 1802 Jacob de Mist arrived from the Netherlands and was installed as the first Deputy Grand Master National in South Africa.

The Napoleonic Wars brought a second British invasion of South Africa. With the beginning of British rule over the region, Dutch lodges saw an increase in members of English origin. Tensions arose between the British masons and their Dutch speaking counterparts, leading the English masons to form their own lodge in the Cape under the Moderns' Grand Lodge of England in 1811, "British" Lodge.[2][7] The Antients established a rival lodge, "Cape of Good Hope", the following year in 1812.

The British and Dutch freemasons started to work together and became one.[8] The advocate CJ Brand (He was a grandson of one of the founders of freemasonry in South Africa), the first Mayor of Cape Town, M. van Breda and the Master of the Supreme Court, J.H. Hofmeyer,[9] were some of the prominent Grand Masters through the early years. C.C. Silberbauer[10] was Grand Master in the times when the organization in South Africa, had financial problems. T.N. Cranstoun-Day (from the British side) was adamant that lodge stayed pure English. Cranstown-Day could not speak Afrikaans.[11]

Grand Lodge of South AfricaEdit

It was formed independently from the Netherlands and the UK. Under Colonel C.G. Botha it was established on 22 April 1961. Botha was named Grand Master. [12] The motto of the Southern Africa Grand Lodge is: "Deo et Collegio". It is Latin for "God and Order"[13] In November 1977, the Lodge admitted non-white members for the first time, as the South African Freemasons, previously were exclusively a white organization. [14]

Grand MastersEdit

Year term started Year term ended Surname Name(s) Date of birth Date of death Reference
1804 1813 de Mist Jacobus Abraham Uitenhage 20 April 1747 3 August 1823 [3]
1813 1831 Neethling Johannes Henoch 1 August 1770 4 June 1838 [3]
1831 1837 van Breda Michiel 12 August 1775 12 August 1847 [3]
1837 1874 Brand Christoffel Joseph 24 June 1797 19 May 1875 [3]
1874 1893 Hofmeyr Jan Hendrik 19 December 1818 25 April 1893 [3]
1893 1897 Faure David Pieter 11 November 1842 17 August 1916 [15]
1897 1903 Lewis Charles Edwardes 5 December 1855 13 January 1945 [3]
1903 1944 Silberbauer Conrad Christian 23 September 1863 21 July 1944 [16]
1944 1957 Rose John George 11 January 1876 18 February 1973 [15]
1957 1966 Botha Colin Graham 15 August 1883 1 February 1973 [17]
1966 1973 Conradie Eddie [17]
1973 1983 Gasson Sydney Richard 16 December 1927 20 March 2013 [17]
1983 1991 Groenewald Cornelius Botha 24 June 1922 30 May 2009 [17]
1991 1997 Bauser Reunert Sidney 25 December 1928 28 December 2017 [17]
1997 2003 Lindeque Barend Gerhardus 5 November 1940 10 April 2015 [17]
2003 2008 Bowen John Thomas 7 November 1935 26 November 2013 [17]
2008 2014 Watson Armiston 26 November 1944 12 October 2014 [17]
2014 present Edwards Geoffrey Robert 1945 [18]

Note: Until 1961 the Grand Masters were called Deputy Grand Masters, because it was either part of the Netherlands Lodge.[clarification needed] There was close cooperation with Thomas Nathaniel Cranstoun-Day from the British Freemasons during the years up to 1961.

Notable South African FreemasonsEdit

P.J. Blignaut - Government Secretary of the Orange Free State[19]

J.H. Brand - 4th State President of the Orange Free State[20]

L. Botha - 1st Prime Minister of South Africa[21]

T.F. Burgers - 4th President of the South African Republic[22]

P.A. Cronje - South African General

P.J. Joubert - South African General[23]

J.C. Laas - Organizer of the Ossewabrandwag

C.J. Langenhoven - South African poet[24]

J.P. Marais - Founder and maker of Klipdrift Brandy[25]

G.L.P. Moerdijk - Afrikaans architect, best known for the Voortrekker Monument.[26]

H.F. Oppenheimer - South African businessman[27]

M.W. Pretorius - First president of the South African Republic[28]

G.S. Preller - South African journalist[29]

F.W. Reitz - 5th State President of the Orange Free State[30]

T.J.deV. Roos - South African politician[31]

W.P. Steenkamp - Clergyman that erected churches in Namakwaland.[32]

D.J.S. Theron - Boer Army military leader[33]

J.H. de Villiers First Chief Justice of the Union of South Africa[34]

A.G. Visser - Afrikaans poet

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c http://www.grandlodge.co.za/in-the-beginning/
  2. ^ a b Mackey, Albert. Encyclopedia of Freemasonry and its Kindred Sciences. Jazzybee Verlag, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Cooper, A.A (January 1980). "The origins and growth of Freemasonry in South Africa, 1772 – 1876, page 16" (PDF). uct.ac.,za. University of Cape Town. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  4. ^ "The first Settler at the cape Hans Conrad Guy (J.C. Gie), page 38" (PDF). Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  5. ^ "Freemasons in the family". Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  6. ^ "de Goede Trouw". Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  7. ^ "The Founding Of The Sister Constitutions". Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  8. ^ "South Africa. 149". Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  9. ^ "Jan Hendrik Hofmeyr- a much loved Brother" (PDF). Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Book:Lodge de Goede Hoop: Brother Silberbauer's Oration - On the Nineteenth Century".
  11. ^ Dissertation presented for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Stellenbosch,Title -The effects of political, economic and social events on the order of Freemasons in South Africa, with some reference to the movement for the formation of a united Grand Lodge 1772-1961, page324, Author - Cooper, A.A., Publisher - University of Stellenbosch, Date - 1983
  12. ^ "The Grand Lodge of Southern Africa is formed". Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  13. ^ "Yearbook, page 3" (PDF). Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  14. ^ "Freemasons open ranks". Argus newspaper. 16 November 1977.
  15. ^ a b "Deputy Grand masters". freemasonrysd.co.za. Archived from the original on 25 September 2018. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  16. ^ "The Deputy Grand Masters of the Netherlands". Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h "Past Grand Masters, page 27" (PDF). grandlodge.co.za. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  18. ^ "Past Grand Masters, page 9" (PDF). Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  19. ^ Muller, H. P.N. ,Title(Dutch) -Oude tyden in den Oranje-Vrystaat. Naar Mnr. H.A.L. Hamelberg's nagelaten papieren beschreven (Translated:Past times in the Orange Free State. Documents left after Mr.H.A.L. Hamelberg death).
  20. ^ van der Merwe, J.J.P. (12 November 2013). "(Afrikaans) Vrymesselary voor die aanvang van die Suid Afrikaanse oorlog (translated: freemasonry before the start of the South African war)". Litnet. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  21. ^ "Notable South African Freemasons" (PDF). Freemasons.org.za. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  22. ^ Kleijn, A. "(Afrikaans)Voortrekkers, generaals en presidente was vrymesselaars (translated: Voortrekkers, presidents and generals were Freemasons)". Bronberger newspaper. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  23. ^ "Prominent persons in history who were freemasons". Englishlodgeofs.co.za. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  24. ^ Cooper, A. A. 1986. The Freemasons of South Africa. p178. Cape Town: Human & Rousseau
  25. ^ Venter, C. "(Afrikaans)Majoor JP Marais: Die Skepper van Klipdrift Brandewyn (Translated- The creator of Klipdrift Brandy)" (PDF). Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  26. ^ Swanepoel, F. "Verslag oor teenwoordigheid van okkultiese simbole in ons volksmonumente. Volksvergadering Majuba 5-7 Oktober 2012" (PDF). volksvergadering. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  27. ^ "Freemasons remember their Harry Oppenheimer". IOL news. 23 August 2000. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  28. ^ Tucker, M. (1 August 2016). "The (secret) story that started with Piet Retief". Zoutpanberger newspaper. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  29. ^ Zaayman, V. "(Afrikaans) Vertel my van vrymesselary (Translated: tell me about freemasonry)". Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  30. ^ "GLSA: Annual Report & Yearbook 2011, page 60" (PDF). Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  31. ^ Heymans, H. "(Afrikaans) Vrymesselaars (translated: freemasons), page 69". Nonfqai. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  32. ^ van wyk, J. (16 January 2009). "Gesinsafdeling: Nieuwoudtville". Landbouweekblad Magazine.
  33. ^ "(Afrikaans) Vrymesselary ten tye van die Suid afrikaanse oorlog (Translated: Freemasonry during the South African war)". Litnet. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  34. ^ van der Westhuizen, J. (January 1980). "Our chief judges". De Rebus Magazine. Retrieved 21 September 2018.