WHY MASONS CELEBRATE PRINCE HALL DAY
Prince Hall was born in British Barbados on September 12, 1735, moving to Boston at a later date, sometime before 1775.
On March 6, 1775, Prince Hall and fourteen (14) other men of color, were initiated, passed and raised to the degree of Master Mason in a Military Lodge attached to an Irish Regiment of the English army. This was the early beginning of what has become the oldest and largest Black Fraternity in America.
Prince Hall was an advocate for freedom, and was an active Civil Rights fighter for the Africans living in New England at the time. One such action was to file petitions for the stopping of taking Free Men supposedly runaway slaves from the Deep South. He was also instrumental in getting funding for the first Black school in New England, patterning after Philadelphia and the Society of Friends. The school was in his house.
Prince Hall was a volunteer in the Revolutionary War, joining more 5,000 other Blacks fighting for a freedom that would not come to them, even though the war was successful. Following the war, Prince Hall continued with his Masonic works, becoming the first Worshipful Master in 1775 and Grand Master in 1797.
TODAY IN PRINCE HALL MASONRY
Today, there are some 250,000 Master Masons, 150,000 ladies of the Eastern Star and over 50,000 members of the various Youth Fraternities in many parts of the world, but more especially in the United States. There are Grand Lodges and Appendant Masonic Bodies in Barbados, Ontario Canada and the Bahamas, making the fraternity the oldest and largest fraternity in the world.
Like our first Grand Master, we have found a strong Biblical base in Freemasonry, and like our Patron Saint, Prince Hall, we seek the refuge of Sacred Walls to have a celebration in worship service, thanking our God for His Creation and His greatest gift to us, His Son, Jesus the Christ. Our fraternity works with churches, not against them.
As the Christian has a revival, the Moslem has a pilgrimage to Mecca, so do Prince Hall Masons have revivals, and they are called Prince Hall Americanism Day, celebrated on or as close to September 12th each year. It is a time for the Prince Hall Mason to take stock of his life, renew his faith in God, Country and Fraternity, which will include his neighbor. It is a time to renew his faith in God, his patriotism to his country and his duty to mankind. It is in the truest sense a Masonic Revival.
Freemasonry has always been called a Secret Organization, but rather we are an organization with a secret. That secret is within the individual Mason, much like the secret of your own relationship with God is your own and can't be shared with anyone else, except through your works. That secret cannot be told, for your conception and perception of God is changeable like the wind, even though God Himself, never changes. Therefore, everything else can be seen in our rituals, heard in our conversation and felt in the grips of handshakes showing our search for true Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.
We come today, to renew our strength, to renew our faith, to renew our hope in the resurrection, and to extend charity to all mankind, but more especially a Brother Mason. We are part of the African American Community and when you see us in church or on the way to the Lodge Hall, we hope you can say, "There goes a Mason, there goes a man!"