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A History of

King Leopold 1st Lodge No. 3 (Continued)

THE MIDDLE YEARS

The early 1970s was a time of trouble for King Leopold 1st and in 1975 the lodge building was condemned and a new lodge building would have to be found expeditiously.  In February the Lodge opened in its new location at Chievres. In 1975 attendance and membership remained a problem.  However, the Lodge continued its charitable work and the Lodge sponsor a group of children from a local orphanage.

In May 1975 twenty three Brothers were present at the Lodge Elections and the Installation duly took place on 27 May in Chievres. In late 1975 Lodge work continued a pace and the Lodge thrived. In 1975, during a visit by representatives of the Grand lodge of American Canadian Lodges the Lodge was presented with a representation of the American Declaration of Independence.

In the autumn of 1976, the Grand Lodge of Belgium was considering a mandatory one year period between degrees for members of King Leopold 1st.  This would enable military personnel to progress quickly.  A suitable meeting place continued to be a topic for discussion and the Worshipful Master stressed the need for premises that would guarantee stability.  In 1977 occupied temporary accommodation in Mons until a new temple could be constructed.  A search for a suitable Lodge Jewel was ongoing through this period.  During this period and due to what was in retrospect a misunderstanding between The Grand Lodge of Belgium and the Grand Lodge there was discussion as to the validity of the Grand Lodge of Belgium.

 

DARK TIMES

Lodge business proceeded normally through the winter until January, when Worshipful Master Sellar reported on a meeting of the Grand Lodge of Belgium.  The election of Grand Lodge officers was pending, and with two different lists of candidates having differing views on regularity, there could be potential problems with recognition by other Grand Lodges.

During 1978 there was considerable discussion as to the regularity of The Grand lodge of Belgium.  Although the election for Grand Master of The Grand Lodge of Belgium would cause no problem, the election of the Grand Secretary and Grand Orator had gone in favour of the anti-pluralist side.  He assured the Brethren that no immediate action would be taken by the Grand Lodge of New York or the United Grand Lodge of England concerning recognition of the Grand Lodge of Belgium.

On 10 April 1978 it was reported that the Grand Lodge of New York had withdrawn recognition of the Grand Lodge of Belgium and that five other North American Grand Lodges were considering the same action. Additionally, if the United Grand Lodge of England were to take the same action, the Grand Lodge of France would follow suit.  It was reported that the annual communication of the American Canadian Provincial Grand Lodge would be held from 26-28 April and the Right Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Belgium would be attending on the 27th.  If regularity became an issue, it was considered that the peace and harmony of the craft would be advanced if King Leopold 1st was to come under the obedience of the American Canadian Provincial Grand Lodge.

In 1979 it was announced that the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Belgium had resigned, and the Lodge decided to seek to enter under the obedience of the American Canadian Provincial Grand Lodge.

The Worshipful Master reported that a new regular grand lodge was forming in Belgium and that it was imperative that King Leopold 1st should decide its own fate because the United Grand Lodge of England would shortly withdraw recognition of the Grand Lodge of Belgium.  The options available were to enter under the American Canadian Provincial Grand Lodge or to become a charter member of the newly forming Regular Grand Lodge of Belgium.  Ultimately the Lodge decided to become a charter member of the Regular Grand Lodge of Belgium and to notify the United Grand Lodge of England, the Grand Lodge of France (G.L.N.F.) and New York.

On 25 September 1979, King Leopold 1st opened in due and ancient form as King Leopold 1st Lodge 3, of the Regular Grand Lodge of Belgium.  It was reported that the United Grand Lodge of England and the Grand Lodge of France (G.L.N.F.) had withdrawn recognition of the Grand Lodge of Belgium during the summer.  He reported that the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania had recognized the Regular Grand Lodge of Belgium, and that the Grand Lodge of France (G.L.N.F.) was expected to do so on 28 September.  Through the Autumn and Winter, recognition statements of the Regular Grand Lodge continued to be reported.  By the new year, it was reported that the Regular Grand Lodge of Belgium had been recognized by the Grand Lodge of India and the Grand Lodge of Scotland.

History Part 3