November 2010

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.