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Prince Hall Freemasonry and The Grande Loge de France

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In the waning years of then-Grand Master Benjamin Barksdale’s administration, an historical event took place in Georgia, the likes of which had never been witnessed in the annals of our jurisdiction. For it was during this period that Past Grand Master Barksdale made the unprecedented move to reach across the Atlantic Ocean and extend the hand of Brotherly Love and Friendship to a foreign jurisdiction not of Prince Hall affiliation; that foreign jurisdiction was the Grand Lodge of France.

For the past ten years we have enjoyed an amicable relationship with our French brethren. Past Grand Master Barksdale has visited their jurisdiction in Paris, “The City of Lights,” and has been cordially received with all the pomp and circumstance befitting his high office. I too, made the journey to Paris in June of last year to bring fraternal greetings on behalf of our Grand Master and was received in a most cordial manner as well.

Last year, the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Jurisdiction of South Carolina followed our lead, as they too, reached out to the Grand Lodge of France and signed a Treaty of Amity with them. On December 9, 2008, in the city of Columbia, the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of South Carolina, while assembled in ample form, was presented the official Treaty of Amity by the immediate

Past Grand Chancellor of the Grand Lodge of France, Brother Jean Claude Hertz. And there, in the presence of a host of dignitaries,

the Honorable Nathaniel Durant, Jr., Grand Master, signed this historic document alongside the signature of the Honorable Alain Graesel, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of France.

There to witness this milestone were: Most Worshipful Grand Masters, Milton F. Fitch, Jr., (North Carolina); Ramsey Davis, Jr., (Georgia); Shelton D. Redden, (Maryland-and President of the Conference of Grand Masters); J. Raymond Murray (District of Columbia); Larry D. Christian, (Virginia); and, James R. Fitzgerald, Jr., (Delaware). Also present were Past Grand Masters, Benjamin Barksdale, (GA); Alonzo Haynes, (SC); Charles W. Davenport, (SC); Rollins Edwards, (SC); Lomas Gist, (SC); and, Rufus H. Foster, (SC). Today there are just two Prince Hall grand bodies in fraternal amity with the Grand Lodge of France. It is hoped that in the years to come more Prince Hall affiliated jurisdictions will join Georgia and South Carolina in extending the hand of friendship to our brethren across the Atlantic and around the world, as we practice the premise of “Universal Masonry.”

The Masonic Digest

I Nathaniel Durant, Jr. Grand Master on behalf of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of South Carolina signed a Treaty of Amity in English and French with the Grand Lodge of France on December 9th 2008. The Treaty was delivered on behalf of Grand Master Alvin Graesel of the Grand Lodge France by Past Grand Chancellor Jean Claude Hertz. During 2009 the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of South Carolina visited the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of France and the Annual Communication of the Supreme Council of France. This was the first time the American flag had flown in the Supreme Council of France in 45 years. Where there is a will the purpose can be accomplished.

The Grand Master's Address

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