Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Gate City Dismisses Complaint Against Grand Lodge of Georgia

COMPLAINT DISMISSED AGAINST GRAND LODGE OF GEORGIA

A civil Complaint filed against the Grand Lodge of Georgia, F.&A.M., and several
individual Masons has been dismissed today by Gate City Lodge No. 2 and Michael Bjelajac, its Worshipful Master. “We were very sad that we had to bring the Complaint initially,” said Bjelajac. “It was necessitated by the unrestrained actions of a few, which were contrary to the principles of Freemasonry and a prior written statement of our Grand Master.”

On February 25, 2009, J. Edward Jennings, Jr., Grand Master of Masons in Georgia, issued a written statement in response to inquiries from some members about Gate City Lodge No. 2’s having admitted Victor Marshall, a man of African American heritage. In his statement Grand Master Jennings said, unequivocally “. . . [Marshall] is a regular Mason and should be received as such.”

Despite Jennings’ determination two members of other lodges brought Masonic Charges against Bjelajac and Gate City Lodge No. 2 for admitting a “non-white man.” Gate City and Bjelajac, represented by members David J. Llewellyn and C. David Johnston respectively, then brought a Complaint in DeKalb Superior Court against the Grand Lodge of Georgia, those individuals who preferred the Masonic Charges, and the individual who agreed to chair the trial of the Charges. According to Johnston, “The Complaint was justified and resulted in the withdrawal of the Masonic Charges, which were without merit and totaling lacking in due process.”

However, Llewellyn said: “It is now appropriate to dismiss the Complaint in light of a recent Edict issued by the Grand Master, as well as other actions of the Grand Lodge.” In the Edict referred to by Llewellyn, Grand Master Jennings reaffirmed the universal principles of Freemasonry adopted by the Grand Lodge of Georgia, including: “Freemasonry is universal in scope, being a Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God, and . . . welcomes to its doors and offers its privileges to men of all races, colors and national origins who believe in a Supreme Being, . . .” Speaking on behalf of Gate City Lodge No. 2, including Bjelajac and its members, Llewellyn said: “We trust that the leadership demonstrated by Grand Master Jennings will be followed by all other members of the Grand Lodge of Georgia so that it is clear that any issues involving our basic principles have been resolved once and for all.”

Said Bjelajac: “It is time for all Masons to get back to what we do best – attracting the best men in our communities to improve themselves and work for a better world through our many Masonic organizations and charities.”

Gate City II is an Atlanta Masonic Lodge. We are Free and Accepted Masons working under the jurisdiction of The Grand Lodge of Georgia. We meet at the Atlanta Masonic Center (formerly The Atlanta Masonic Temple) 1690 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA 30309

4 comments:

stevennewnan said...

Salutations! I'm glad all this is behind us now. I agree with the WGM of Georgia in his statement. I hope the next time a person found to be worthy isn't given the same trouble if he is a person of color as Bro.Marshall was. Fraternal Greetings from Lodge#82 at Senoia, GA and a Fraternal Brother whose kinsman George Washington would have been proud today.

The K.N.O. said...

I applaud this action. I think GM Jennings and Gate City acted admirably and appropriately. It is my fondest hope that Freemasonry in Georgia go forth in Light. I wish Gate City Lodge and Brother Marshall the best for their future.

S&F,
Kevin Olson

Bull Jones said...

Best news from a Southern Lodge in ages! I pray we see more GL's do the right thing and reaffirm the Landmarks.

Bull Jones said...
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