Friday, 31 December 2010

First Freemasons welcomed the new year 2011

Brethrens of American Samoa have entered the new year 2011. In American Samoa there are two Masonic Lodges under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand: Calliope No. 252 Lodge and Benjamin Kneubuhl No. 441 Lodge (founded in August 1974). Brethrens of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand also welcomed the 2011 new year.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Freemason Dumitru Prunariu receives the "Ten for Romania" Prize

Brethren Dumitru Dorin Prunariu (Dr. Ing. and Major General), Romania's first and only cosmonaut received the "Ten for Romania" Prize. Brethren Prunariu said:, when receiveg the prize that: "I dedicate this trophy to all who supported me."

Brethren Prunariu (born on September 27th, 1952, in Brasov Valley) is President of the UN Committee on Peaceful Use of Outer Space (COPUOS), former Romanian Ambassador to Moscow and one of the prominent international figures of the second half of the 20th century of Romania. In his honor, the Republic of Moldova issued a stamp with his name and photograph.

Brethren Dumitru Prunariu is Freemason, Knight Templar and member of York Rite and the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Secret agreement in Cancun (COP16)?

If you had to define the meeting in Cancun in a word, it would be: distrust. Many fear a secret deal that could alter or replace the Kyoto Protocol. Japan is viewed with wariness by many participating countries. G77 and China have adopted a common position at the meeting. Columbia requires transparency, and Venezuela ask for a more action from the United Nations.

Yemen and Egypt have demanded guarantees that they will not carry out secret negotiations and agreements. Australia, the Philippines, Nigeria, Bolivia, Afghanistan and Congo required the same transparency. The European Union representative, Connie Hedegaard said that the EU is concerned that the texts available on the desktop are not ready for signing.

On Friday, November 3rd, ALBA, backed by Arab, African countries and the G77 and China have confirmed that a group of developed countries do not want to sign a second compromise period of the Kyoto Protocol.

Source: APMR - COP16

Thursday, 2 December 2010

The Masonic Press Agency of Romania participates actively in the COP16's side events

Courtesy of APMR Chancellery on Foreign Affairs

Monday, at the presentation of the U.S. - India Joint International Program "Energy Efficiency" in Cancun, Mexico, event was held in the U.S. Center 2010 Cancun, the Masonic Press Agency of Romania asked the speakers: India has a big marine and oceanic coast line. Also it has, in the north, its mountains. Why is not implementing projects for the use of wind and water energy? There are examples in Holland, in Spain etc. And India is a bigger economy then these two countries.

Dr. Santhaye answered the question after which he was completed by Ajay Mathur (Director General of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency of the Government of India). The answer of both was that India is one of the largest wind energy producers and consumers. Also, there is a problem that the wind of India, and China is much stronger than in other parts of the world. And therefore manufacturers of wind turbines are left to solve this problem.

Also on Monday, asked by APMR (Masonic Press Agency Romania) on weather anomalies and their effects in the economic (In Romania we see more and more often tornadoes (most of them in the South, South-West and South-Est regions of the country). Can we expect that due to Climate Change to see more and more tornadoes? And how this will affect the agricultural life of a economy, especially and a economy generally talking? Can we use them to produce energy?), Tom KNUTSON from NOAA - U.S. Government Agency (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) said that it is hard to say if you do not have more data.

Tom Knutson said that he believes that we need more data and further analysis to see if the increase of the number of tornadoes is at a national level or on isolated issues. Mr. Knutson of NOAA has returned at end the conference with more information on tornadoes, giving graphic examples in this regard.

On Tuesday, at the second and last conference of the day (Adaptation and Sustainable Management for U.S. Forests), presented by Dave Cleaves (U.S. Forest Service), APMR inquired Mr. Cleaves about the policy of the Republic of Gabon regarding forests (Gabon covers a total area of 268,000 square kilometers. Forests cover an estimated 220,000 square kilometers. Gabon’s population of 1.2 million is mainly urban (73%). Until 1970s, Gabon’s economy was largely dependent on its forests, which contributed 75% of its export earnings. Our question is how can a country such Gabon have a better policy regarding forests then other more developed countries or multinational political entities such as European Union? And when talking about Gabon we do not talk necessary about national education, but governmental national policies. Will be such countries affected more by climate change then others in the future?).

Dave Cleaves said that everything depends on a balance, the ratio of urban population to rural population, etc.
There are issues in the short and long term. Everything depends on the various reports.

Monday, 29 November 2010

COP16 Summit in Cancun, Mexico

At 10:00 am (Mexico time) began the official opening ceremony of the COP16 Summit. The event takes place in Cancun, the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, where representatives of almost 200 countries around the world are participating. After several speeches, at 11:10 am took place the presentation of a short film made by Willy Sousa, through Mexican children say they welcome all those present.

At 11:14, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa (President of Mexico) stated his speech in which he spoke about the difficult period experienced by his country, he spoke of humanity's right to act globally and our duty to future generations. "Our relationship with nature comes at a critical point," said the president of Mexico. Mexican President's speech was a relatively philosophical, calling everyone's responsibility and the responsibility of world leaders. The speech lasted 26 minutes. Thus, at 11:40 am the COP16 Summit opening ceremony was concluded.

The main question of this summit still remains: Can Cancun Salvage the COP15 from Copenhagen? We do not know yet, but there are voices saying that COP16 will not bring something new for Climate Change.

After the COP15 Summit in Copenhagen in 2009, pessimism grew and there were many saying that COP16 in Cancun will bring nothing more than the last meeting from Denmark. We must remember that Rüdiger Templin (Grand Master of the United Grand Lodges of Germany) criticized last year summit. Brethren Templin asked all Freemasons to prevent Climate Change with a more appropriate behavior - by reducing energy consume in all their Lodges and at home.

Grand Master Templin was talking about a Masonic modern style of life. In his open letter to the German Brethrens, titled "The protection of the environment is a part of the Masonic modern style of life", Grand Master Rüdiger Templin was asking that all the German Lodges under the jurisdiction of the United Grand Lodges of Germany to introduce in their 2010 agenda the Climate Change issue.

The APMR (Masonic Press Agency of Romania) Secretary-General also stated a few days ago that "Freemasonry and Freemasons can not, must not and will not wait to see their Masonic Natural Temple - the Earth - breaking into pieces and leaving to the future generations a world in a natural chaos." Through the Masonic International Program "Save the Planet", APMR wants to make all Freemasons to react to the deadly virus: Climate Change.

Article of the Masonic Press Agency of Romanian on the COP16 Cancun Summit

Friday, 26 November 2010

Masonic Press Agency of Romania broadcast he COP16 Summit

The Masonic Press Agency of Romania has the pleasure and honor to inform that in the period November 29th to December 10th, 2010, will broadcast (audio-video and text) the COP16 Summit, an event which will take place in Cancun, Mexico, informs His Excellency, the Secretary-General of APMR (Masonic Press Agency of Romania).

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

IV Reunion of the Grand Lodges of the Midwest Region of Brazil

The opening ceremony took place at 10.12 p.m., on November 18th, 2010, in the Convention Center of the Naoum Plaza Hotel in Brasilia. Grand Masters and representatives of all 27 Brazilian Grand Lodges were present, besides a large number of Freemasons, political and military personalities and guests.

After the entry of the Grand Masters and the composition of the board of directors, there was the solemn entrance of the Grand Masters of the four Grand Lodges of the Midwest Region: Ruy Rocha (Grand Lodge of Goias), Juvenal Amaral (Federal District), José Carlos de Almeida (Mato Grosso) and Jordão Abreu Júnior (Mato Grosso do Sul). Then the Band of the Presidential Guard Battalion played the National Anthem, accompanied by the entire audience.

The XXXIX CMSB's president, José Nazareno Nogueira Lima in his speech highlighted the tremendous growth of the Brazilian Freemasonry and at the end criticized the federal government's interest in recreating the CPMF (Provisional Contribution on Movement or Transfer of Values and of Credits and Rights of Financial Nature).

On the next day, opening the lecture series of the IV Reunion of the Grand Lodges of the Midwest Region of Brazil, the Most Serene Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the State of Goiás, Ruy Rocha de Macedo, presented his lecture. The theme was "Freemasonry in the social context."

To an audience of Grand Masters, Grand Secretaries and Freemasons from around the country, the Grand Master of GLEG began talking about the origins of Freemasonry and its principles. Then exposed the doctrinal and philosophical aspects of the Order. "Freemasonry is an institution that is teaching God's (GAOTU) rule by the laws of nature, the principle of freedom, equality and fraternity, and finally happiness. It is not dogma, does not require truth, and is based on brotherly love" said the Grand Master.

During the focus of his lecture, Ruy Rocha also made a point to pay tribute to women: "Without Women we would not be the Brethrens that we are nor the Freemasons we pretend to be. Our gratitude to Women." The Most Serene Grand Master of GLEG demanded more action and involvement of the Order and of its initiated fellows.

"Masonry is not doing anything. He lives only for the glories and achievements of our ancestors. It has to be more active," he said. Brethren Ruy warned that "Being a Mason is all started. Being a Mason means taking Masonic Awareness. You do it every day, aiming to convert humanity into a happier one, within the principles of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity."

Concluding his speech the Grand Master of GLEG (former CMSB President - the largest Masonic Regular Organism of Brazil - with more then 100.000 regular Brethrens) said that exercising the practice of virtues should be a factor of transformation in society, anywhere in which he - the Freemason - is. With attitude, ideas, ethics and practical examples. "In social life we must behave not as a society apart, but as an active part of society," he said.

Before closing the lecture he said: "We must take concrete actions in all sectors. Saying no to accommodation. Technological development and progress of science is not sufficient to guarantee the achievement of Peace. The Masonic practice today has lost direction. Possible causes are there to challenge our participation: Amazonia, Anti-drugs and corruption, Violence, Environment and the moralization of Brazilian politics." At the end the Most Serene Grand Master Ruy Rocha was warmly applauded by all present.

At 3.30 p.m. started the lecture of Senator Cristovam Buarque. He began by explaining the definition of educational movements, since the topic of his lecture is "Educationalism and the construction of Brazil."

According to the Senator, the educationalist movement is created by an action for itself and defends the idea that Brazil needs a revolution in education to catch up the other countries. Therefore, the educational movements seeks to ensure an equal school for all and quality education as a national priority to transform Brazil. More than an educational program, educational outcomes is an ideology that focuses progress and utopia in a revolution for education. In the traditional view, education is a service; in educationalism, it is an instrument of building and social transformation: is the vector of civilization.

Also according to Cristovam Buarque, the utopia of Educationalism is represented by equal opportunities, ensuring the same chance for any human being, through education and sustainable development. The proposed system would build well equality of opportunity between classes - for equal education for all - and between the generations - for ecologically sustainable development. In place of the revolution of the economy, especially through the state ownership of capital and an omnipresent and authoritarian state, educationalism proposes a way for equality in access for all to quality education with a view to their empowerment and ability to participate in a libertarian vision. "I was tired, along with many others, with the difficulty of changing the tragic reality that characterizes Brazil. But I awoke.

I woke to the risk that these problems seem small in the face of overwhelming risk ahead: that of a society so divided that its parts do not notice the similarity. I awoke to the fact that Brazil has not yet become a nation. Independence, abolition, the Republic, democracy were not enough to unite our people, living in a compact and supportive inequalities.

I awoke to the realization that the solution lies not in the mere maintenance of democracy and economic growth, or in a social and economic revolution that offered so much good to Brazil in the last decades, democratic freedom, economic infrastructure, monetary stability.

I awoke to the fact that our role is to awaken the people of Brazil, and all their classes, not only for fatigue with reality, but for the hope and the need for an educational revolution: making schools with the same quality throughout the country for all classes and in all cities. Schools as good as the best in the world. Also I awoke to the need of patience, because this revolution will take decades to complete. But, inwardly, I awoke to the urge to immediately start fresh this revolution.", concluded the senator.

After the senator's lecture took place a Special Session held in the Convention Center of the Naoum Plaza Hotel. The presidium of the event remained in the hands of Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Federal District, Brethren Juvenal Batista Amaral.

All the Grand Masters and representatives of the 27 Brazilian Grand Lodges were awarded with the Masonic Medal offered by GLFD.

On occasion, after receiving the Medal, Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the State of Goiás, Ruy Rocha de Macedo handed a plaque honoring the host Grand Master of the meeting.

Sunday, as the day was free, the organizers of the Reunion prepared a City Tour to the main sights of the Federal Capital. The first place visited was the JK Memorial. Located in the West Monumental Axis in Brasilia, the JK Memorial is a museum designed by Oscar Niemeyer, opened on September 12th, 1981 and dedicated to former Brazilian President Juscelino Kubitschek, founder of the city of Brasilia.

The next destination of the City Tour was the Dom Bosco Sanctuary. One of the most famous churches of Brasilia and one of the most common images on the postcards of the city. Designed by Carlos Alberto Naves.

Finishing the ride, all headed to the Gaucho Traditions Center of Brasilia, where they served a tasty lunch. At 9.00 p.m., the same day, took place the official closure of the event with a dinner at the headquarters of the AABB of Brasilia.

The entire event was broadcast live from Brasilia by the Masonic Press Agency of Romania, with the help of the APMR (Masonic Press Agency of Romania) International Correspondent to Brazil, Brethren Gladston Charles Rezende Reis (Grand Secretary of Press of the Masonic Grand Lodge of the State of Goias).

Anniversary of the Supreme Council of Israel

44 years ago, on November 17th, 1966, the Supreme Council for Israel was installed. Brethren Isaac Grassiani 33° was the one who was tasked with the development of the Scottish Rite in Israel. Following this, Grassiani has formed a team of Brethrens and a petition to the European Conference of Sovereign Grand Commanders, an event that took place in the Hague Valley, Netherlands, in 1963.

As a result of this petition, the Sovereign Grand Commander of Turkey, Most Powerful Brethren Hazim Atif Kuyucak became responsible for the official start of the installation of a Lodge of Perfection in Israel. But because of political problems in Turkey, the Supreme Council of Turkey could not perform the task.

In these circumstances, the Supreme Council of Germany was appointed to replace the Supreme Council of Turkey. On November 9th, 1964, Brethrens from Israel have sent an invitation to Dr. Erich Schalscha 33°, Most Powerful Sovereign Grand Commander of Germany, and he arrived in Israel on December 23rd that year. The Sovereign Grand Commander is received with great pomp by Grassiani and Israeli Brethrens. Also, the Sovereign Grand Commander Schalscha attended the ceremony of Installation of the Romanian speaking Hashchar Lodge, an event which took place on December 28th, 1964.

On January 3rd, 1965 the first meeting took place in Tel Aviv, an event attended by the following Brethrens: Yehuda Treivish, Menachem Talmon, Fellman Abraham, Isaac Grassiani, Dr. Erich Schalscha, Dr. Ron Jona, Dr. Joseph Lamm, Jacob Segal, B. Katinka, Zvi Levy, Joseph Bar-Ner, I. Werber, M. Weintraub, B. Tiomekin, Asher King, Hans Koehler, Zevulun Caspi, Pinchas Biezunski, M. Amity, W. Guttman, Joseph Schattner, Itzhak Hacohen, MY Levy, D. Chorin, E. Heinemann, S. Slonim, M. Shmerling, R. Moskuna, Alex Candrea, M. Maor Shor, Moshe Tagari, Rabbi Jacob, Zvi Artzi, Shlomo Gross, Mordechai Falkovitz, Haron Z. Abraham Abir, Felix Klug, Issar Choroshansky, Joseph Stark and Martin Gehl.

On May 30th, the Sovereign Grand Commander of Germany presented a report to the Conference of Laussanne. From January 8 to 19, 1966 took place the coronation ceremony of Sovereign Grand Inspector Generals of Israel, a ceremony organized by the German Supreme Council, headed by Lieutenant Grand Commander of Germany Selter. On this occasion, were crowned the following SS.GG.II.GG.: Abraham Fellman, Max Silverstone, Dr. Michael Joseph Lamm, Isaac Grassiani, Dr. Ron Jona, Zoltan Harmat and Ionel Branisteanu.

Falling ill suddenly in hospital Grassiani is hospitalized and Roger Nicolet immediately contacts by phone the Sovereign Grand Commander of Germany. He comes immediately to Israel and on the morning of June 16th, at his bedside, Schalscha proclaimed Grassiani Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of Israel. Over time his medical condition improved.

On November 2nd, 1966, 15 Sovereign Grand Inspectors General were established in a Supreme Council. They voted the constitutions and recognized Brethren Isaac Grassiani as Sovereign Grand Commander. The official Installation Ceremony of the Supreme Council took place on November 17th, 1966. The ceremony was led by the Sovereign Grand Commander of Germany, assisted by Lazzaro Emilio Franco 33° and by Hazim A. Kuyucak 33° (Supreme Council of Turkey), Willem Hofman 33° (Sovereign Grand Commander of the Netherlands), Otto Bachman 33° (Supreme Council of Switzerland).

Greetings from around the world have arrived after the event from: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, England, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Scotland, Switzerland, Turkey , USA (North and South Jurisdiction) and Venezuela.

Romanian Isaac Grassiani 33° - Israel's first Sovereign Grand Commander

Brethren Isaac Grassiani (born on March 7, 1886 in Silistra, Romania) has spent a good part of life in Romania, from where he and his family went to Bavaria (Germany), and then in Austria.

In 1904 he became a graduate of Commerce High School in Vienna and then he went to Bulgaria, where he became sales manager of a grain company. In 1918 he married and returned to Bucharest, Romania, where he opened a travel company, becoming the agent for the North Eastern Europe Deutscher Lloyd. In 1950 moved with his wife in Isarel (Tel Aviv) and joins the Eastern Carmen Travel Office (where he worked until his death).

In the country, namely in Romania, was an Illustrious Mason. He was initiated in the (Steaua Dunarii) Danube Star Lodge on March 22nd, 1922; from 1924 to 1925 was Grand Treasurer of the Grand Lodge. In 1938 he joined the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, and in 1946 he was crowned Sovereign Grand Inspector General, and became an active member of the Supreme Council of Romania (founded in 1881 by Most Powerful and Most Woshipful Brethren Constantin Moroiu 33° and being led now by Most Powerful Sovereign Grand Commander Andre Pierre Szakvary 33°).

In Israel he was a member of the Romanian speaking Hashahar Lodge, installed in 1951; the Lodge practice the ritual in Romanian (the Lodge still exists and is active in the obedience of the Grand Lodge of Israel). Until 1954 he was elected and reelected several times as Worshipful Master.

It also was the Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Israel, and at age 80, he became Grand Chaplain of Honour ad vitam. On November 17th, 1966, Brethren Grassiani became Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of Israel, until 1968. On May 12th, 1969, Isaac Grassiani died at the age of 83 years.

Source: Jurnalul Ritului Scoţian

With special thanks for the courtesy of the Masonic Press Agency of Romania Founder for the biography of Brethren Isaac Grassiani 33°

The fifth anniversary of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mono-Couffo

The Provincial Grand Lodge of Mono-Couffo celebrated five years of its foundation. The event took place on November 13th, 2010, in Agoue, at 9:00 a.m.. At 1 p.m.m the Provincial Grand Master organized a fraternal buffet, inviting both Brethrens and their wives. The Provincial Grand Lodge works within the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge Benin.

Mircea Gheordunescu could have won the elections of NGLR Grand Master

Courtesy of the Masonic Press Agency of Romania

Our Brotherhood can not function properly in a democratic and modern state without being accepted by the society

Mircea GHEORDUNESCU (born on January 26th, 1947, in Bucharest) finished the Gheorghe Lazar High School in the capital in 1965, after this he graduated the Faculty of Physics, University of Bucharest, in 1970. For several years he worked as a teacher in several institutions of education (High School Ion Creanga and High School Spiru Haret), and was member of the Board of Directors of the two High Schools.

He was Director General of the Directorate of International Relations of the City Hall, later became President of the National Agency for Control of Strategic Exports and Prohibition of Weapons (ANCESIAC), with the rank of Secretary of State. On March 14th, 1997, he became Deputy Director of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), until November 1st, 2001. Later, he became Consul General of Romania (2002-2007) in Italy, during which he made an important contribution to the Romanian diplomatic activity abroad, being appreciated by the Milan Consular Corps (he was elected dean of the consular corps in Milan), the third largest in the world after New York and Hong Kong.

Mircea Gheordunescu is a founding member of the SECI Center in Bucharest and of the National Security Authority (NSA). During Romania's accession to NATO, Mircea Gheordunescu has made an important contribution, being responsible of the Chapter IV of the Annual Security NATO Accession. Mircea Gheordunescu is a fluent speaker of Italian and French, is married and has a daughter. He is the author of several specialized works.

Professor Mircea Gheordunescu was a member of the PNT-CD party (one of Romania's two traditional parties, revived after 1989, where he served as Deputy Secretary General) until 1997, when he ceased political activity. He believed in the European future of Romania and, as he said: "Immediately after the revolution of 1989 I knew that Romania should become an European state, democratic and modern and it has become my main goal."

Mircea Gheordunescu was initiated into Freemasonry in 1996 by Sever Frenţiu himself, the Grand Master of the National Grand Lodge of Romania. A year later, in 1997, became a Master Mason. In 2002 he went into sleep since he was appointed Consul General of Romania in Milan. From October 17th, 2007, he resumed his Masonic activities, and in 2008-2010 was elected Worshipful Master of Sever Frenţiu Lodge. In 2009 he became Knight Kadosch in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite (the Brethren is also a York Rite Knight Templar, Order led by Stefan Masu). In 2010 he was one of the initiators of the Order of DeMolay in Romania.

After returning to the country has been active in the NGLR Maosnic diplomacy, participating in several Masonic events abroad. Brethren Mircea Gheordunescu became Pro Grand Master, and from this dignity he ran for the of office of NGLR Grand Master.

Professor and Master Mason Mircea Gheodunescu expressed interest throughout their campaign for greater openness in the society and regarding the authorities, falling in a perfectly normal and necessary international trend.

Brethren Mircea Gheordunescu wanted that in his mandate to bring a breath of freshness and novelty of the Grand Lodge. He believes that Freemasonry must unequivocally support the initiatives of the country abroad and their contribution to the prosperity of the nation we belong.
Also, he wanted to promote the values of the Grand Lodge and the achievement of perpetual harmony in the relationship between the Grand Lodge and the Lodges of its jurisdiction, holding that the Lodges should remain autonomous, and the Worshipful Master to be a major landmark and point of support.

He believes that any action of the Grand Lodge must be done with transparency and all the Brethrens to be regularly informed regarding all actions. But not only the Grand Lodge should have responsibility, but each Brtehren separately. He wanted to put emphasis on performance, but also on continuity, saying that he will continue the good projects that have already been started by otherBrethrens .

Brethren Mircea Gheordunescu wanted that unity within the Order to be a priority, and the Worshipful Masters to become a pillar of support in the implementation of all the Masonic projects. Brethren Gheordunescu put so much emphasis on the field of communication, seeking implementation of formal channels of communication of the Grand Lodge. One of the eternal problems of the Grand losge, that of the NGLR Temple, was also on the list of priorities. Regarding Masonic foreign affairs, he wanted to encourage Lodges visit abroad and foreign relations among Brethrens.

Radu Bălănescu elected Grand Master of the NGLR

Courtesy of the Masonic Press Agency of Romania

Most Worshipful Grand Master Radu Bălănescu is a graduate of the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy "Carol Davila" (another Illustrious Brethren of the Romanian Masonic Order). He is Chairman of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery department of the same institution. Since 2007 serves as Medical Director of the Emergency Hospital for Children "Grigore Alexandrescu", in Bucharest. He led several research programs and has presented over 150 scientific works and is author of several specialized books. He also participated in several international conferences in Germany, Belgium, Italy and in the United States of America.

Grand Master
National Grand Lodge of Romania (founded in 1993)

Most Worshipful Brethren Radu Bălănescu (Past Master of the Dale Woodword Lodge from Bucharest) was elected in 2006 to serve as Pro Grand Master of the National Grand Lodge of Romania and, a year earlier, he was Expert Inspector for Bucharest Valley. He was the one who conceived and developed the Medical Assistance Program and has developed the NGLR Center pilot project to provide medical assistance for the Grand Lodge Brethrens. For the past two years and until now has dedicated his activity to the Scientists and Culture men Forum of the NGLR.

He is an honorary member of several Lodges in the country, including: Lafayette, Leonardo da Vinci, Novus Ordo, Pitagora, Cavalerii Sfântului Gheorghe, Cavalerii Luminii etc.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

235 years since Jame Monroe was initiated in Freemasonry

On November 11th, 1775, James Monroe, fifth President of the United States of America, was initiated into the mysteries of Universal Freemasonry, in Williamsburg Lodge No. 6.

James Monroe (April 28, 1758 – July 4, 1831) was the fifth President of the United States, serving two terms from 1817 to 1825. Monroe was the last Founding Father of the United States, the last one from the Virginia dynasty and the Republican Generation to become the U.S. President. His presidency was marked both by an "Era of Good Feelings" – a period of relatively little partisan strife – and later by the Panic of 1819 and a fierce national debate over the admission of the Missouri Territory. Monroe is most noted for his proclamation in 1823 of the Monroe Doctrine, which stated that the United States would not tolerate further European intervention in the Americas.

Brethren James Monroe
United States of America

Born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, Monroe fought in the American Revolutionary War. After studying law under Thomas Jefferson from 1780 to 1783, he served in the Continental Congress. As an anti-Federalist delegate to the Virginia convention that considered ratification of the United States Constitution, Monroe opposed ratification, claiming it gave too much power to the central government. Nonetheless, Monroe took an active part in the new government and in 1790 he was elected to the Senate, where he joined the Jeffersonians. He gained experience as an executive as the Governor of Virginia and rose to national prominence when as a diplomat in France he helped negotiate the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.

During the War of 1812 Monroe held the critical roles of Secretary of State and the Secretary of War under President James Madison. Facing little opposition from the fractured Federalist Party, Monroe was easily elected president in 1816, winning over 80 percent of the electoral vote. As president, he sought to ease partisan tensions and embarked on a tour of the country. He was well received everywhere, as nationalism surged, partisan fury subsided and the "Era of Good Feelings" ensued. The Panic of 1819 struck and the dispute over the admission of Missouri embroiled the country in 1820. Nonetheless, Monroe won near-unanimous reelection. In 1823, he announced the Monroe Doctrine, which became a landmark in American foreign policy. Following his retirement in 1825, Monroe was plagued by financial difficulties. He died in New York City on July 4, 1831.

Ambassador to France

Monroe resigned his Senate seat after being appointed Minister to France in 1794. As ambassador, Monroe secured the release of Thomas Paine when the latter was arrested for his opposition to the execution of Louis XVI. He managed to free all the Americans held in French prisons, including Madame Lafayette. He issued American passports for the Lafayette family, (since they had been granted citizenship), before she traveled to Lafayette's place of imprisonment, in Olmutz. A strong friend of the French Revolution, Monroe tried to assure France that Washington's policy of strict neutrality did not favor Britain. But American policy had come to favor Britain, and Monroe was stunned by the signing of the Jay Treaty in London. With France and Britain at war, the Jay Treaty alarmed and angered the French. Washington discharged Monroe from his office as Minister to France due to inefficiency, disruptive maneuvers, and failure to safeguard the interests of his country. Monroe had long been concerned about untoward foreign influence on the presidency. He was alarmed at Spanish diplomat Don Diego de Gardoqui who in 1785 tried to convince Congress to allow Spain to close the Mississippi River to American traffic for 30 years. Here Monroe saw Spain overinfluencing the republic, which could have risked the loss of the Southwest or dominance of the Northeast. Monroe placed faith in a strong presidency and the system of checks and balances. In the 1790s he fretted over an aging George Washington being too heavily influenced by close advisers like Alexander Hamilton who was too close to Britain. Monroe favored France and so opposed the Jay Treaty in 1795. He was humiliated when Washington criticized him for his support of revolutionary France while he was minister to France. He saw foreign and Federalist elements in the genesis of the Quasi War of 1798–1800 and in efforts to keep Thomas Jefferson away from the presidency in 1801. As governor he considered using the Virginia militia to force the outcome in favor of Jefferson. Federalists responded in kind, some seeing Monroe as at best a French dupe and at worst a traitor. Monroe thus contributed to a paranoid style of politics.

When his presidency was over on March 4, 1825, James Monroe lived at Monroe Hill on the grounds of the University of Virginia. This university's modern campus was Monroe's family farm from 1788 to 1817, but he had sold it in the first year of his presidency to the new college. He served on the college's Board of Visitors under Jefferson and then under the second rector and another former President James Madison, until his death. Monroe had racked up many debts during his years of public life. As a result, he was forced to sell off his Highland Plantation (now called Ash Lawn-Highland; it is owned by his alma mater, the College of William and Mary, which has opened it to the public). Throughout his life, he was not financially solvent, and his wife's poor health made matters worse. For these reasons, he and his wife lived in Oak Hill, Virginia, until Elizabeth's death on September 23, 1830. In August 1825, the Marquis de Lafayette and President John Quincy Adams, were guests of the Monroes there.

Upon Elizabeth's death in 1830, Monroe moved to New York City to live with his daughter Maria Hester Monroe Gouverneur who had married Samuel L. Gouverneur in the first White House wedding. In April 1831, John Quincy Adams visited him there. Monroe died there from heart failure and tuberculosis on July 4, 1831, becoming the third president to die on July 4. His death came 55 years after the U.S. Declaration of Independence was proclaimed and 5 years after the death of the Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. He was originally buried in New York at the Gouverneur family's vault in the New York City Marble Cemetery. Twenty-seven years later in 1858 the body was re-interred to the President's Circle at the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia. The James Monroe Tomb is a U.S. National Historic Landmark.

Since its 1824 renaming in his honor, the capital city of the West African country of Liberia has been named Monrovia. It is the only non-American capital city named after a U.S. President.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Dilma Rousseff: Freemasonry or not?

Dilma Vana Rousseff (born December 14, 1947) is an economist, politician and President-elect of Brazil. She was appointed Chief of Staff by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in June 2005, becoming the first woman to assume the position. Rousseff was Lula's designated successor and the winning candidate in the 2010 presidential election.

The daughter of a Bulgarian immigrant and a schoolteacher, Rousseff was raised in an upper middle class household in Belo Horizonte. She became a socialist during her youth, and following the 1964 coup d'état joined left-wing urban guerrilla groups that fought against the military dictatorship.

Her Excellency Dilma Vana Rousseff
President of the Federative Republic of Brazil

After a presidential election we are always wondering if he (the elected president) is or is not a Freemason! In Brazil, the greatest Masonic Community in Latin America, with more then 160.000 regular Freemasons, a woman will lead for the next years the country. We can ask which will be her relation with Freemasonry? What the Brazilian Brethrens think about this? What will happen with the feminine Lodges in Brazil? For the moment we can not see further but certainly think will or should change in the following months or probably years.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Freemasons from Argentine and Romania pay homage to Néstor Kirchner, former President of Argentine Republic

Freemasons from Argentine and Romania pay homage to Nestor Kirchner, former President of Argentine Republic. Yesterday died the former President of the Argentine Republic, Néstor Carlos Kirchner (60 years old), at El Calafate, Santa Cruz.

Néstor Carlos Kirchner (25 February 1950 – 27 October 2010) was an Argentine politician who served as the 54th President of Argentina from 25 May 2003 until 10 December 2007. Previously, he was Governor of Santa Cruz Province since 10 December 1991. He briefly served as Secretary General of the Union of South American Nations - UNASUR - and as a National Deputy of Argentina for Buenos Aires Province.

Kirchner, who had been operated on twice in 2010 for cardiovascular problems, died at his home in El Calafate, Santa Cruz Province, on 27 October 2010, after reportedly suffering a heart attack. He died at 9:15 AM. His wife, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, was present with him until he died.

Many leaders around the world (Barack Obama, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Hugo Chávez, Felipe Calderón of Mexico, Sebastián Piñera, Fernando Lugo, Alan García, Evo Morales, Rafael Correa, Álvaro Colom, Daniel Ortega, Dmitry Medvedev, Giorgio Napolitano, Aníbal Cavaco Silva, Bronisław Komorowski, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and others) sent condolences to President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and to the Argentine people. Argentine Republic, Venezuela and Brazil declared three days of national mourning.

Also Freemasons sent condolences to Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and to the Argentine nation. The Grand Master of Argentine Freemasons, Most Worshipful Angel Jorge Clavero, in name of the Grand Lodge of Argentine sent an official announcement through which he expressed "its deep sorrow for the death of former President of Argentina Néstor Carlos Kirchner. No doubt his death is a loss for democracy, for the debate of ideas and for the projects of the republic. Beyond the daily differences, Néstor Kirchner was able to contribute to balance and social peace during his presidency, after the economic and social crisis of the beginning of this century in our country.", said Most Worshipful Brethren Angel Jorge Clavero.

His Excellency Nestor Kirchner
President of the Argentine Republic (2003-2007)
Union of South American Nations

Also, from Romania, the Secretary-General of the Masonic News Agency of Romania sent condolences to President Cristina Kirchner and to the Argentine nation.

"The day of October 27th, 2010, remains in the nation's history as a day of mourning for an entire country and an entire continent. The pass to the Eternal Orient of His Excellency Néstor Carlos Kirchner, Secretary General of the Union of South American Nations and former President of Argentina, awakens in the Argentine Brethrens feelings that Nestor Kirchner has sown in the spirit of Argentina after the social and economic crisis through which this nation passed at the beginning of the 21st century.

Néstor Kirchner has marked the history of Argentina and of the South America for a decade. Néstor Kirchner entered in the South American history as the first Secretary-General of UNASUR, an European Union of the South American continent.", it was said in the official statement of the APMR (Agenţia de Presă Masonică din România) Secretary-General.

Monday, 25 October 2010

The Grand Lodge of France invaded the Grand Masonic Jurisdiction of Bulgaria

Last week in Bulgaria took place the foundation of another Grand Lodge, other then the United Grand Lodge of Bulgaria (at this time the United Grand Lodge of Bulgaria is divided in two: the United Grand Lodge of Bulgaria and the Grand Lodge AF&AM of Bulgaria). The Grand Lodge of France (irregular) one of the main three Grand Lodges of the French Republic was the main artizan.

The Grand Lodge of France led by Most Worshipful Grand Master Alain-Noël Dubart already did this in other Grand Masonic Jurisdictions such us Romania (also in Moldova and the Russian Federation) by recognizing the National Grand Lodge of Romania, other then the National Grand Lodge of Romania led by Most Worshipful Grand Master Eugen-Ovidiu Chirovici.

It became a habit that the Grand Lodge of France to invade the Grand Masonic Jurisdictions of Central and Southeastern Europe. Until now was not made public the name of the new Obedience and of its Grand Master.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

11th World Conference of Masonic Regular Grand Lodges will be held in Colombia

The 11th World Conference of Masonic Regular Grand Lodges will be held in Colombia. The host, the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Colombia at Cartagena de Indias, decided to organize the event at the Hilton Hotel, one of the most luxurious resort in the city. The Masonic conference will take place from May 12 to 14th, 2011.

During May 7th to 10th, 2010, Brethren Thomas W. Jackson visited Cartagena de Indias (Colombia), as Executive Secretary, to inspect the facilities and to meet Brethrens of the Grand Lodge and the then Grand Master (Most Worshipful Brethren Hernando Osorio Rico) - President of the 11th World Conference of Masonic Regular Grand Lodges. At that session participated Ildefonso Baldiris Silva (Deputy Grand Master), Ernesto Ahumada Trujillo (Grand Secretary), Hugo Leal Rojas (Deputy Grand Secretary) and members of the Committee: Alfonso Osorio Rico, César Cabarcas, Helí Hernández Ayazo, Roberto Figueroa Beltrán, Luis Alberto Moreno Erazo and Roberto Vallejo Jiménez.

Read the latest news from the 11th World Conference in SPANISH and ENGLISH, news brought to you by the Masonic Press Agency of Romania (APMR).

Friday, 22 October 2010

Argentine Freemasonry strongly condemns assassination of the young Mariano Ferreyra

Argentine Freemasonry strongly condemns the assassination of the young Mariano Ferreyra, which took place yesterday during clashes in the district of Barracas.

Unfortunately, political violence has already taken too many lives in recent decades and we fell into one of the darkest periods in our country which we have left almost 27 years ago with a restored democracy.

Freemasonry, which constantly preaches values like tolerance, is calling on all sectors of the country to make its contribution to finding consensus that will allow us to consolidate democracy, starting from a strong republican faith.

Ángel Jorge Clavero
Grand Master
Grand Lodge of Argentine

Source: Masonic News Agency of Romania (Secretariat of Communications)

Political persecution in Cuba reaches again the Grand Lodge and the Supreme Council

After being expelled the Past Grand Master (on grounds totally unfounded and unjustifiable) now, the Masonic leaders from Havana wish to expel another Illustrious Cuban Mason Brethren: Gustavo Pardo Valdés.

Gustavo Pardo Valdés (former political prisoner in Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz's regime) was Chancellor of the Supreme Council of Cuba, now being President of the Cuban Academy of High Masonic Studies. He is also a collaborator of the CUBANET (NGO supported by the U.S. Government through the National Endowment for Democracy).

On October 16, 2010 took place a Supreme Council meeting where it was decided to put under accusation and to expel the Sovereign Grand Inspector General Gustavo Pardo Valdés and other seven Brethrens. However, the Secretariat General of the APMR stated that the mere presence of only 11 of the 31 members who had to vote should not have Masonic validity. In the same statement the APMR Secretariat General considered political interference in the internal affairs of Freemasonry as contrary to democratic rights and believes the Freemasonry subjugation by the state as contrary to the Landmarks of Universal Freemasonry.

Cuban Masons are wondering why such a personality and Brethren as Gustavo Pardo Valdés is removed before the 2012 election for the office of Grand Master. Should also be noted that in 2007 (August, 2nd), when Gustavo Pardo Valdés should become the Sovereign Grand Commander of Cuba, there was political interference to prevent it. These are orders coming from Caridad Diego, head of the Religious Affairs Bureau of the Central Committee of Communist Party of Cuba. She did not wanted to see Gustavo Pardo Valdés leading the Supreme Council of Cuba (in which he was, at that time, Chancellor of the Supreme Council).

Source: Masonic News Agency of Romania (Canchellery on Foreign Affairs) & CUBANET

Memphis-Misraim third International General Assembly

The Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis-Misraim of Italy will organize in November, 13th, 2010, the Memphis-Misraim third International General Assembly, which will be an open event to the profane public. The event will be hosted by the Victoria Hotel in Rome (from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.). After the general assembly will take place a public conference titled "The spirituality and divine presence in the new age man and the Mission of Universal Freemasonry and of the entire humanity".

Her Imperial Highness
Princess Kaoru NAKAMARU of Japan

Three international personalities will attend the event as speakers. One of the speakers, Her Imperial Highness Princess Kaoru NAKAMARU of Japan (granddaughter of His Majesty Emperor Meiji) will talk about "The mission of governments and of the entire humanity for searching and reconciliation of all faithfuls and religions". After her will talk Christopher KNIGHT - "Connections between Templars and Masonry" and Leo LYON ZAGAMI - "The Essenes".

Source: Masonic News Agency of Romania (Canchellery on Foreign Affairs)
Photo: Her Imperial Highness official website