Lodge Cosmopolitan No. 428 [1]

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The following extract from the Grand Lodge of Scotland’s Reporter for July 1870 is reprinted in full.


China. — Shanghai, Lodge Cosmopolitan, No. 428, Festival of St. Andrew.

The Grand Lodge of Scotland Annual Festival of St. Andrew was celebrated on the 30th November, 1869, by the Lodge Cosmopolitan, S.C. Brethren, to the number of between fifty and sixty, sat down to a sumptuous Banquet in the new Masonic Hall—this comparatively large number being a good criterion of the usefulness and prosperity of the Lodge, and of the esteem in which the R.W. Master is held by his brethren. During the evening much regret was expressed at the absence, owing to severe illness, of the R.W.M. Bro. Birt.

Among those present were R.W. Bro. A. R. Tilby, P.D.P.G.M., English Constitution; R.W. Bro. Blanchard, P.G.M., American Constitution; W. Bro. Gundry, P.M.; Bro. Dr. Johnston, W.M., of the Northern Lodge of China, E.C.; Bro. I. B. Eames, W.M., of the Ancient Landmark Lodge, E.C.; Bro. Cowderoy, W.M., of the Tuscan Lodge, E.C.; Bro. Alex. Johnston, Acting R.W.M., of the Lodge St. Andrew in the Far East, S.C.; Bro. C. M. Donaldson, P.M.; Bro. Dr. D. J. Macgowan, and others.

In the absence of the R.W.M., the chair was occupied by Bro. C. M. Donaldson, P.M.; Bro. E. M. Terry presided at harmonium. The Lodge having been opened pro forma, the brethren retired for refreshment. The dinner was provided by Messrs. Guiraud, Favre, & Co., with their usual success. The usual Scotch delicacies showed prominently, and were done ample justice to. After the table was cleared, the following toasts were given, and were received, we need scarcely say with growing enthusiasm to the close.

“The Queen and the Craft.” Proposed by the Chair. He said that though the Lodge was Cosmopolitan, no one there would feel that there was anything inappropriately any narrowing of their sympathies, when they associated with the toast of the Craft that of the illustrious lady, the Queen of England. Her virtues, even more emphatically than her dominions, were Cosmopolitan. Beneath all the adornments of her lofty rank, she bore, as her most attractive ornament, the simple naturalness of woman, and, as they all knew,

“A touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”

The toast having been enthusiastically pledged, was followed by

Music. — “The Masonic National Anthem.”

The “Rulers of our Respective Countries” was next given by the Chair. Masonry was in its very idea allied to the cause of order and loyalty. And assembled as they were that night of different nationalities, and from all parts of the globe, yet associated together in a Cosmopolitan Lodge, their regards went forth to those who conduct the affairs of all nations, and they joined in wishing all rightful rulers stability and success.

This being warmly received, was succeeded by

Music. — “Pot-Pourri.”

The Chairman then proposed “The Prince of Wales,” P.G.M. of England, and Patron of Scotland. He regretted that they had no official information of the Masonic progress of one who, high in station already, looked forward to still loftier dignities; but the information they had, left them no doubt as to the reality of his connection with the Craft, and, as such, they pledged him in this Masonic gathering.

Music. — “God bless the Prince of Wales.”

The Chairman then proposed what might be regarded as the toast of the evening:

‘The Grand Lodge of Scotland, whose Annual Festival we celebrate, and the Grand Lodges of all other Constitutions.”

This being drunk enthusiastically, was succeeded by

Music. — “Home, Sweet Home.”

R.W. Bro. Tilby replied on behalf of the G. Lodges of England, and R.W. Bro. Blanchard, on behalf of the G. Lodges of America. In the course of his remarks, he spoke in high terms of the obligations under which American Masonry lay to the assistance of Lodges working under the Scottish Constitution; and traced the progress of Masonry in America among the early English and Scotch settlers, till it culminated in the establishment of the Massachusetts Lodge in 1732.

In proposing the next toast—The Provincial Grand Lodge of China, under the English Constitution,—the Chairman dwelt at some length on the fact that it was to England that Masonry owed its origin and success in China.

The toast, which was warmly received, was followed by

Music. — “The Fine Old English Gentleman.”

R.W. Bro. Tilby replied in brief but cordial and appropriate terms.

The next toast — “Our Sister” Lodges in Shanghai, under the English Constitution,—was proposed by Bro. Doheny, S.W., who said, he greatly felt his inability to treat a subject so worthy of admiration and respect. He would say nothing of the antiquity of English Masonry, for its origin, in common with that of sister constitutions, was all but lost in the mists of the past; but English Masonry was undoubtedly the greatest promoter of Masonic science in the world. There was not a civilised country on the globe where English Brethren could not be found, implanting and propagating the influence of the Craft, and that with such success that it could be said with truth that English Masonry alone formed a net-work round this convex sphere, and there was no paradox in saying that a meridian sun was incessantly lighting up their labours. Having said so much for the English Craft in general, he proceeded to notice the many and valuable services rendered to Masonry by their English Brethren in Shanghai, some of whom he was happy to see present. Only a few years ago Freemasonry was unknown in China; but as one of the first results of the partial opening of the country, there were soon found pioneers of Masonic progress, and in regard to their success, it could be judged of by a simple statement of results. For in this small community there were no fewer than six Blue Lodges; two R.A. Chapters; an Encampment of Knight Templars; one Chapter of the R.O. of Scotland; the Provincial Grand Lodge of the Order of H. D. M. of K. W. N. G., and we expect shortly to hail another Sister Lodge under the “Grand Orient of France.” And when they added to that formidable Masonic array the magnificent Temple in which they met that evening, they must admit how goodly was the structure that had risen on the foundation laid by their English Brethren. It was to these pioneers he now asked the Brethren to drink success in flowing bumpers, and with Masonic honours, and with the toast he would join the names of W. Bro. Dr. Johnstone and W. Bro. Cowderoy.

The toast was drunk with Masonic honours.

Music. — “The Roast Beef of Old England.”

The toast was responded to by Bro. Dr. Johnstone, W.M. of the Northern Lodge of China, and by Bro. Cowderoy, W.M. of the Tuscan Lodge.

Acting Treasurer Bro. W. D. Gray in proposing—Our Sister Lodges, under the American Constitution, referred to the natural and peculiar cordiality between them and their American Brethren owing to the great similarity of their style of working; and spoke in enthusiastic terms of the ever ready and valuable help they have always got from Brethren of the American Constitution.

The toast was followed by

Music. — “Hail Columbia.”

Bro. I. B. Eames, W.M. of the Ancient Landmark Lodge, in responding, said he was happy to remember that he was among friends, for it was only from friends that they could endure the flattery that had just been poured upon them. He would make no invidious distinctions, but he would say this for the Cosmopolitan Lodge, that whenever the Landmark Lodge needed advice or assistance, they were sure to see at their meeting at least one member of the Cosmopolitan; and if that member did criticise their proceedings with a pungency peculiarly Scottish, and if they were obliged to carry on their work with the fear of that Brother in their hearts, they were sure that his advice was invaluable, and that those criticisms were abundantly needed. And if, in disclaiming much of the praise which Bro. Gray had given them, he (the speaker) was forced to confess that he did not give an adequate return in kind to the Cosmopolitan Lodge, it was from no want of friendly feeling, but chiefly from the conviction that with such guidance as it possessed within itself, the Lodge Cosmopolitan could never be in need of any assistance of his.

The next toast — “Our Sister Lodge in Shanghai, under the Scottish Constitution St. Andrew in the Far East” — was proposed by Acting J.W. Bro. Gaerte, who hoped in another year to see that Sister Lodge blended with them in the filial duty of celebrating the Festival of their Patron Saint and Parent Lodge.

The drinking of the toast was followed by

Music. — “The Blue Bonnets over the Border.”

Bro. A. J. Johnston, D.M. in charge, responded.

Bro. A. J. Eames then proposed “Prosperity to the Lodge Cosmopolitan.” He would not burden them with a long speech. No eloquence was needed to induce them to do hearty justice to the toast. Nor was it necessary that he should see for proofs of the existing prosperity of the Cosmopolitan Lodge. In the goodly company of members now assembled they had sufficient evidence of the fact. And all they could do was to join heartily in wishing that that prosperity might long continue. It was delightful to have such evidences that this Lodge was not in name only, but in spirit and in action, Cosmopolitan.

A suitable reply was made by the Chairman.

The next toast “Our Guest of the Evening,” was proposed by the J.W.

The drinking of the toast was followed by the Chorus “For we are jolly good fellows.”

Bro. Dr. D. J. Macgowan replied, — He thought it was considerate in those who lived under the aegis of a tutelary saint to invite to their festivals men who hail from a saintless land. They (in America), had no saint to look after them, and were obliged to get through their Thanksgiving without inviting their presence Canonization came into vogue too early and too late for them. Had such a practice prevailed when the father of that Great Mason Solomon reigned, he was sure that they would have had a St. Jonathan, which would by this time have sounded natural enough. On the other hand they found themselves too late, for saint making ceased to prevail before the Yankees were invented. But perhaps his hearers doubted whether Yankees had the material out of which saints were made. He could assure them they had any amount, that is, if they took as a muster that ancient Army Contractor, or Commissary General, who in olden time provided measly pork for soldiers, squeezing the poor fellows and defrauding the Government, and then with the proceeds bought a bishopric in which he lived prosperously till he was one day executed by order of Judge Lynch. He was sure that if they took that St. George as their type, they had attached to the American army, as much as would make a brigade like him — folk whom their Scotch brethren called “Scalliwags,” which is long for “Scamp.”

But the festival of that evening was not in commemoration of any Georgian Saint. St. Andrew was worthy of the reverence of good men to the end of time. Indeed there could be no doubt that Scotland turned out the genuine article, for they knew that she gave to Ireland her tutelary guardian. And no doubt St. Andrew was a church builder also; moreover, being a Scotsman, he was necessarily canny and respectable. He did not emigrate, it is true, travelling was not so easy then as now. If it had been he would certainly have become as Cosmopolitan. The cosmopolitan character of their Lodge afforded an apt illustration of the Catholic character of Freemasonry; and its population in Shanghai showed that it met one of the needs of the community. Men from every clime here found equality fraternity; here by friendly attrition were worn of the rough angles arising from conflicting interests, and sectional prejudices. Long might the Lodge Cosmopolitan be an Agent in making their exile more endurable by promoting good fellowship, for good fellowship and masonry were correlative terms.

The next toast “Our absent Brethren,” was given by Bro. Blanchard, who touchingly alluded to the fact that the shifting nature of this community was constantly increasing the number of the “absent ones,” and binding their hearts by new ties to the lands to which they had gone.

Music. — “Should auld acquaintance be forgot.”

The toast of “The Press” which stood next was deferred to a later stage, when it was proposed by the Chairman and suitably acknowledged by Bro. Gundry.

Bro. Doheny, S. W., then proposed “The Ladies” in a speech overflowing with chivalry, poetry, and humour, which our space prevents us from reproducing.

The toast was received with all due honour, and was followed by the Song — “Here’s a health to all good lasses.”

Bro. Barlow responded with characteristic amiability and effect.

The Tyler’s toast was next proposed by the Tyler, and drunk in solemn silence with the usual tokens of feeling. Then followed the Tyler’s Song — “Get up and bar the door.”

The Chairman said they had omitted just one toast which he would give, “Happy to meet, Sorry to part.”

The Lodge was then closed soon after Low XII; but many convivial souls prolonged for some hours more, one of the most successful Masonic Meetings that has ever been held in the Far East.