Encyclopedia Masonica

The year 1866 saw the first Lodge established in Arizona when, on October 11, Aztlan Lodge at Prescott was chartered by the Grand Lodge of California. On March 23, 1882, delegates of three Lodges : Arizona, No. 257 ; Tucson, No. 263, and White Mountain, No. 5, held a Convention at Tucson, and the representatives of Solomon Lodge, under dispensation, were invited to take part in the proceedings. After adopting a Constitution a Lodge of Master Masons was opened, and the Grand Officers were elected.

Two days later the Grand Officers were installed, the Convention closed, and the Grand Lodge duly opened.

A Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, Arizona No. l, at Phoenix, Maricopa County, was chartered August 24, 1880.

On the invitation of Companion Past High Priest George J. Roskruge, of Tucson Chapter, No. 3, a Convention of Royal Arch Masons met in the hall of Tucson Lodge, No. 4, on November 13, 1889, to consider the organization of a Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons for the Territory of Arizona. Five Chapters were represented: Arizona, No. l ; Preseott, No. 2; Tucson, No. 3; Cochise, No.4 and Flagstaff No. 5. The Grand Chapter of Arizona was opened in Ample Form, Martin W. Kales was elected Grand High Priest, and G. J. Roskruge. Grand Secretary.

By a Dispensation dated July 1, 1893, a Council of Royal and Select Masters, Olive No. l, was organized at Prescott. It was chartered on August 22, 1893 but this Charter was annulled on October 6, 1903. Phoenix Council at Phoenix had a Dispensation dated April 4 l895, but this was surrendered, February 17, 1897, and a Dispensation dated April 5, 1895, was surrendered on September 2, 1897, by Tucson Council at Tucson. At a Convention in Tucson, February 14, 1922, General Grand Master Fay Hempstead presiding, representatives from Huachuca Council No. l, chartered August 31, 191a of Bisbee; Hiram Council No. 2, chartered August 31, 1915, of Prescott; Gila Council No. 3, chartered September 27, 1921, of Globe, and Phoenix Council No. 4, chartered September 27, 1921, of Phoenix, formed the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of Arizona, with M. I. Riekmer N. Frederieks of Preseott as Grand Master, and R. I. George J. Roakruge of Tuewn as Grand Recorder. "

On February 22, 1883, Arizona Commandery, No. l, was established by Dispensation at Tuewn, Pima County. Its Charter was granted on August 23, 1883. The Grand Commandery of Arizona was formed by Warrant from the Grand Encampment of the United States on November 16, 1893. Sir George J. Roskruge, acting as proxy for Sir Hugh Mccurdy, Grand Master of Knights Templar, aummoned together on November 14, 1893, in the Asylum of Phoenix Commandery, No. 3, the representatives of the three chartered Commanderies in Arizona-Arizona, No. l; Ivanhoe, No. 2; Phoenix, No. 3. A Constitution was adopted and Grand Officers elected. The following day at the same place the Grand Oflieers were installed and Sir George J. Roskruge declared the Grand Commandery then assembled to be duly constituted. A Charter was granted to Arizona, No. l, as a Consistory of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, at Tucson on October 20, 1909, and on the same date to a Council of Kadosh, Santa Cruz, No. I. A Chapter of Rose Croix, Santa Catalina, No. l, was chartered on October 23, 1907, and a Lodge of Perfection, Santa Rita, No. l, on April 25, 1883.

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The Encyclopedia Masonica exists to preserve the wealth of information that has been generated over the centuries by numerous Masonic authors. As Freemasonry is now Speculative and not Operative, the work of a Mason is now conducted in the quarries of symbolism, literature, history and scholasticism. Freemasonry encourages intellectual exploration and academic achievement in its members and many Masons over the years have taken up this calling. The result has been that an incredible amount of philosophy, symbolic speculation and academic insights have been created. However, as Freemasonry teaches, human knowledge is frail and fragile. It is easily lost in the turnings of the ages and unforeseen catastrophes can result in great setbacks to human knowledge.

For too long these great works have sat on forgotten shelves, gathering dust and concealing the light that could be shed on the darkness of our ignorance. The Encyclopedia Masonica has been created to act as an ark, sailing through time, to ensure that future generations of Freemasons have access to the same knowledge that inspired the Brethren that came before them. It will contain the works of such Masonic Luminaries as Albert G. Mackey, Manly Palmer Hall, G.S.M. Ward, Albert Pike and many others. The Encyclopedia Masonica is a living work and the volunteers of Universal Co-Masonry will continue to labor until the most comprehensive Masonic reference work the world has ever seen has been created. The Encyclopedia Masonica is open to any who wish to use it and will remain open so that the treasures contained within may increase the wealth of all those who seek its wisdom.

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