Synopsis of the Order
On August 20th, 1908 the M. W. Hiram Grand Lodge Ancient Free and Accepted Masons was organized in a place called Abbot Hall in the City of Buffalo in the State of New York. This birth came about by the marriage and consummation of three (3) parent bodies not the usual two (2) namely.
Keystone Lodge #1 Chartered by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania
Seneca Lodge #2 Chartered by the Grand Lodge of Illinois
St. Johns Lodge #3 Chartered by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts
The Presiding Officer for this occasion was the M. W. John G. Jones Grand Master of the Illinois Grand Lodge application for incorporation was made immediately and was received on October 14th, 1908 and with signatures of Justice James Blanchard Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, First (1st) judicial District; Charles Chatman, James A. Kearney, Philip W. Jones and Benjamin G. Lane.
The first group of elected offices was as follows:
M. W. Benjamin G. Lane, Grand Master
R. W. Clem Smith, Deputy Grand Master
R. W. Robert Buree, Senior Grand Warden
R. W. Charles Chatman, Junior Grand Warden
R. W. Joseph Moon, Grand Treasurer
R. W. Washington Hackett, Grand Secretary
In the early days the M. W. Hiram Grand Lodge was part of foreign affairs and had representation by its Grand Master the M. W. Grand Duchy of Luxenburg Germany. However all the good that was established at the International Congress was lost and became obscure due to the start of World War I in 1914.
This event, never the less, did not cause the M. W. Hiram Grand Lodge to change its course. In fact, it strengthened us and made us more determined to continue to function and work. Our Grand Masters have continued to do so in unbroken succession starting with our (1st) Grand Master the M. W. Benjamin G. Lane who served from 1908 to 1912.
He was followed by:
M. W. Johnson J. Burrell 1912-1914
M. W. Adolphus P. Thornton 1914-1922
M. W. Sidney Smith 1922-1923
M. W. Adolphus P. Thornton 1923-1926
M. W. J.S. Bennett 1926-1928
M. W. Henry A. Toppin 1928-1930
M. W. William Brooks 1930-1937
M. W. Van Speed 1937-1943
M. W. Samuel Valentine 1943-1946
M. W. Charles B. Willis 1946-1948
M. W. Alfred N. Brooks 1948-1951
M. W. Joseph B. Ferguson 1951-1952
M. W. William O. Waithe 1952-1970
M. W. David E. Jamison 1970-1971
M. W. Edwin Sturrup 1971-1978
M. W. Richard Davis 1978-1982
M. W. Norris Singleton 1982-1990
M. W. Nathaniel Simmons 1990-1995
M. W. George E. Upton 1995-2000
M. W. Joseph S. McFadden, Sr. 2000-2004
M. W. William H. Murchison 2004-2008
M. W. Kevin E. Fair 2008-2012
M. W. Andre Cannon 2012-Present
On June 26th, 1971 the M. W. Hiram Grand lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Inc. made history in the State of New York when the merger and unification of four (4) Grand Lodges took place. They were:
The M. W. Hiram Grand Lodge
The M. W. Universal Grand Lodge
The M. W. Orient Grand Lodge
The M. W. Alpha Grand Lodge
The newly merged organizations took the name of the M. W. Hiram Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Mason, Inc. State of New York. The four (4) Grand Masters involved in this merger were as follows:
M. W. David E. Jamison, Grand Master Hiram Grand Lodge, A.F. & A.M., Inc.
M. W. Edwin Sturrup, Grand Master Universal Grand Lodge, A.F. & A.M., Inc.
M. W. Sylvester Owens, Grand Master Orient Grand Lodge A.F & A.M., Inc.
M. W. P. Ira Weston, Grand Master Alpha Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M., Inc.
The first group of elected offices after the merger and under the unification of these Grand Lodges were:
M. W. Edwin Sturrup, Grand Master
R. W. Cecil Atkins, Deputy Grand Master
R. W. Norris Singleton, Grand Senior Warden
R. W. Winston S. Gibson, Grand Junior Warden
R. W. John L. Robinson, Grand Treasurer
R. W. Sidney L. Knight, Grand Secretary
In the months that followed that historic event, St. Germaine Grand Lodge under the leadership of M. W. Elijah Rawley and Oriental Grand Lodge under the leadership of M. W. Lancelot Hardy joined the ranks of those who truly desire the unification of all Masons into one Society under the ever watchful eye and eternal protection of the Supreme Architect of the Universe.
Also, with each Grand Lodge involved on the merger, there were several Past Grand Masters who made major contributions towards the consummation of this unification. They were the following:
M. W. Simon Chaney
M. W. Lester M.Clark
M. W. Obie S. Ellision
M. W. Ardell Holland
M. W. Marcus Legall
M. W. Charles Lester
M. W. Daniel Mason
M. W. Homer Mathias
M. W. Sylvester Owens
M. W. Elijah Rawley
M. W. William Turner
On June 25, 1983, in continuation of our quest to form one organization of Black Masons united and dedicated to achieve a collective goal of excellence, in the society of black men and women, a second merger took place between the M. W. Hiram Grand Lodge, A.F. & A.M., Inc. and the M. W. Athenian Grand Lodge, A.F. & A.M. in the State of New York.
The Officers elected at that time were:
M. W. Norris Singleton, Grand Master
R. W. Nathaniel Simmons, Deputy Grand Master
R. W. Frank Scott, Grand Senior Warden
R. W. J. David Jacobs, Grand Junior Warden
R. W. Clarence Cooper, Grand Treasurer
R. W. Robert Anderson, Grand Secretary
Also involved in the success of that merger were the following Past Grand Masters of Athenian Grand Lodge:
M. W. Peter Biggins
M. W. Ira Bishop
M. W. Theodore Washington
At present the presiding Grand Master is the M. W. Andre Cannon. The M. W. Hiram Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M., Inc. State of New York is a fraternal and benevolent Masonic institution with sovereign and legal powers to operate in the State without interference from or any source.
Our doors are open to anyone who possesses the necessary qualification and is desirous of being admitted with our sacred confines. We accept into our midst, those of lawful age, free born, sound in mind and body and of moral character.
An applicant must believe in God as the Supreme Architect of the Universe be willing to support the widows and orphans of his or her brothers and sisters and be willing to extend Charity to all mankind.
Every man has a train of thought on which he rides when he is alone. And the worth of his life to himself and others as well as his happiness depends upon the direction on which the train is headed, the baggage it carries and the country through which it travels. It is as we think in our hearts, the secrets of our souls whether we are victims of life or victors over it. Whether we stumble through our days of strike our stride and walk erect free and unafraid.
If then, Masonry can put that inner train of thought on the right track freight it with precious treasure and start it on its way to the City of God what other or higher ministry can it render to man or woman? and that what is does for any man or woman will but listen to it - Love it - embrace it - and lay its truth to their hearts.