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The Lodge of Friendship No. 1696

Consecrated 11th October 1877

Meeting at: Mauritius - Masonic Complex, Phoenix

Meeting Dates: 2nd Friday (ex Dec, Jan) 2nd Sat Sep, Inst Sep

Contact (00230) 253 1216

Please also visit the Lodge Web Site

Lodge History

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When, in 1984, this lodge was brought into the Transvaal District it became, at one and the same time, the oldest and youngest of our lodges. The story, from 1993, is told in Chapter 13 but there is much of interest in the lodge's earlier history.

Prior to 1814, Mauritius was under French rule and the first six lodges to work on the island all fell under the Grand Orient of France. The earliest of these (`La Triple Esperance') was constituted in 1778, although it is on record that a report made to the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Paris in 1754 stated that masonic lodges, amongst other 'vile amusements', had been suppressed! The first English lodge was consecrated in 1816 and altogether, from 1778, nine French, seven English (including two military lodges), three Irish and one Scottish lodge have worked on the island. In 1877 United Grand Lodge withdrew recognition from the Grand Orient of France and this not only contributed to a severe weakening of French masonry on the island but created problems for the two surviving English and Scottish lodges, which met in premises owned by the French lodges.

So, after meeting for many years in 'La Triple Esperance' premises, The Lodge of Friendship moved three times before building its own masonic hall, which was completed in 1937 and dedicated by the Bishop of Mauritius, then the Chaplain of the lodge. It now shares the use of these premises with Friendship Lodge No 439 (SC) and Friendship Royal Arch Chapter No 160.

As indicated in chapter 13, the inclusion of The Lodge of Friendship in the Transvaal District has been a 'success story'

Reference: 'A Century of Brotherhood' by A A Cooper & D E G Vieler