Freemasonry Where I Live
by A Lebanese Brother
The oldest lodge to be consecrated in Lebanon was
Beirut No. 415 under the Grand Lodge of Scotland in
1826.The WM was the British Consular, and the said Lodge
used to work in French. Its warrant was renewed in 1868
and resumed works accordingly. No further information is
available about this Lodge, but for sure it does not
exist any more.
Lebanon Lodge: consecrated in 1869
One the hand, and from another source, Freemasonry in
Lebanon can be traced to the year 1869 with the
commencement of Lodges consecration under a prominent
French Mason (the name is not mentioned in the reference
book I have) and a member of the "Grand Orient de
France" under the Jurisdiction of the same. This French
Mason was the first WM of Lebanon Lodge. Thereafter, a
number of Lebanese assumed the chair in the East. Among
them were prominent personalities: political leaders,
men of learning, historians, and merchants. The working
in the Lodge was in Arabic, while the correspondence was
in French. The said Lodge used to meet weekly at night,
about half an hour from the American University in Ras
Beirut (Beirut city). Although the area where the
meetings used to take place was un safe, however, the
attendance continued uninterrupted.
As a result of the "Grand Orient de France"
abolishment of the condition belief in a Supreme Being
and the immortality of the soul, a number of Lebanese
Lodges, including "Lebanon Lodge" severed the relation
with GOF, however, continued a relation with the Lodges
under the English Jurisdiction.
(It is to be noted here and according to one source,
that the oldest Lodge to be consecrated in the Near
East, was "Aleppo Lodge" in Syria. The said Lodge was
established by "Alexander Dramond" around the end of
1751, and was under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge
of Scotland. All the members were from the British
community, some official employees, the others
The above Lodges do not exist any more. In this
respect, and as a matter of curiosity, I appreciate if
the UGLE can furnish us with some information about that
period and the names of the Lodges that once existed
under their jurisdiction. I also, appreciate if the GLS
have any information about that period too, especially
At the beginning of 1890s a number of Brothers
decided to establish a new Lodge in Beirut and they
chose the Lodge to be under the Egyptian National Grand
Lodge jurisdiction since it was working in Arabic. They
wrote to Brother Chahine Makarios (Author of the book:
The Virtues of Masonry" an Egyptian of Lebanese
descendency), in order help them in this respect.
Brother Makarios obtained the warrant in the beginning
of 1891, and it was agreed to name the Lodge: Phoenicia.
The Lodge started with fourty members, all prominent men
of learning. However, the "wali' (ruler of Beirut) at
that time, received information about the said Lodge,
ordered its closure and consequently the meetings were
interrupted. However, a number of its members revived
the activities of the Lodge around the end of the
nineteenth century, and started to meet secretly in the
caves of the remote peripheral of Beirut west,
practicing, consecrating, raising and planning to combat
injustice. The ruler, as they say had "eyes" and
"informants", the Lodge was discovered, as well as its
meeting place, and the time of the meetings. The
authority at that time, decided to encircle it. However,
information reached the Brothers before the attack, they
dispersed and were free from arrest.
Local and National Lodges
At present, there exist quite a number of "local
national Lodges and Grand Lodges" adopting Eccossais
Ancient and Accepted Rite, Scotish rite, or a
modification thereof as mentioned in their publications.
Some of them are offshoots from previous Lodges which
once existed in the beginning of 1900s.
Lodges under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of
Scotland (Scottish Rite)
There are five Lodges out of which three are
workings. The oldest dates back to the beginning of
Lodges under the jurisdiction of Grand Lodge of New
York (York Rite)
There are eleven Lodges out of which six are working.
Most of them were consecrated in the 1920s.
It is said, that there are about 300,000 "Freemasons"
in Lebanon. Is it a reality or a fantasy? Mostly, the
later is true. Let us put a realistic figure for would
be true Masons; 10-15% of the previously mentioned
There are no daily attacks or condemnations of
Freemasonry, either from the authority or the clergy.
However from time, a TV talk show, or a TV broadcasting
appear, exposing and condemning Freemasonry... and life
The above is a modest attempt to tell you something
about Freemasonry in Lebanon. The above information was
collected from some books I have. However, should you
have specific questions or clarifications, then I will
try to investigate further.
Your Brother in the Noble Craft,
A Lebanese Brother
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