The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Massachusetts will formally re-open its symbolic lodge, African Lodge No. 459, the first lodge for men of color established in the western hemisphere, on April 24, 2004. The program will honor Black Freemasonry with a re-enactment raising ceremony on historical Castle (William Island).

Black Freemasonry began when Prince Hall and fourteen other free black men were initiated into Lodge No. 441, Irish Constitution, attached to the 38th Regiment of Foot, British Army garrisoned at Castle William Island (now Castle Island) in Boston Harbor on March 6, 1775. Prince Hall, one of Boston's most prominent citizens during the revolutionary period, was the founder of the African Lodge, the western hemisphere's first lodge of black Freemasons and the first society in American history devoted to social, political, and economic improvement.

The ceremony will pay tribute to Prince Hall and the other very brave men who chose the route of Freemasonry to help their people and to have a legitimate vehicle by which to advance and enrich the lives of generations to follow. These original Masons will be represented by fifteen current and true Fellowcrafts from fifteen different Prince Hall Masonic jurisdictions to be raised in due and ancient form. They and the other participants will be dressed in period costume from the 18th century. The officers’ stations in the lodge will be filled by currently seated Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Masters from among the 47 Prince Hall jurisdictions.

In addition to the re-opening of African Lodge No. 459, the weekend will include a number of other events and activities including an historical tour of Prince Hall and African-American history in Boston, a Foxwoods Resorts excursion, two shopping tours for guests, culminating in a concert / dance featuring MW Bro. Jerry Butler, the Ice Man, Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Jurisdiction of Illinois.

Only Prince Hall Masons in good standing will be allowed to register for this event with members of African Lodge No. 459 having preference given space availability. If you are not a member of African Lodge No. 459, and would like to join, Click Here.

The following links will allow you to complete and print the form online. There is a link at the bottom of the page that will allow you to download all five documents. Instructions for completing the forms are included on each form. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or better to either view or complete the forms. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, Click Here to get a free version.

Registration Form

Souvenir Journal Form

Schedule of Events

Hotel Information

Press Release

Download Forms (605 kb)

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