Minutes of the Gripsholm Meeting
MINUTES OF THE EMERGENCY MEETING OF LODGE "STAR IN THE EAST" No. 640 S.C.
HELD ON BOARD THE S.S. "GRIPSHOLM" ON AUGUST 8th, 1942, AT 3 p.m.
OPENING On the Chair being taken the R.W.M., Wor. Bro. Joseph Leroy McSparran, addressed the Brethren present stating that by virtue of the power vested in him as R.W.M. of Lodge "Star in the East", and assuming the authority of District Grand Master because of his being the only reigning Master remaining, he thereby issued a Dispensation to hold the meeting on board the "Gripsholm", subject to confirmation and approval by the Grand Lodge of Scotland, thereupon proceeding to open the Lodge informally. The notice convening the meeting was read.
MINUTES CONFIRMED The Minutes of the regular meeting of November 11th, 1941, held at the Masonic Temple, No. 3, Bluff, Yamatecho, Yokohama, Japan, were read, voted and confirmed.
CORRESPONDENCE The Secretary read two communications from Grand Lodge, one dated August 19th, 1941, received November 29th, 1941, where the Acting Grand Secretary, Wor. Bro. L. Melrose, acknowledged receipt of letter of condolence sent by Lodge "Star in the East" on the occasion of the demise of Wor. Bro. T. G. Winning, Grand Secretary and stated that upon the late Grand Secretary's request there were to be no mournings. The other communication, dated Sept. 18th, 1941, received on November 22nd, 1941, accompanied receipt from the Grand Treasurer and stated that the amount of 9 pounds received from Bro. Caj Gericke, I.G., as dues for his Life Membership, was placed to the credit of Lodge "Star in the East"'s Suspense Account with Grand Lodge.
PRESENTATION OF M.M.M. DIPLOMAS The R.W.M. invited Bros. R. W. N. CHILD and DENIS KILDOYLE to approach the East and presented them with their M.M.M. diplomas issued by Grand Lodge, making opportune remarks regarding the unique occasion, perhaps unprecendented in masonic history, of those Diplomas having escaped detection by enemy authorities and being presented on board an evacuation ship. Bros. Kildoyle and Child thanked the R.W.M. for the presentation and affixed their signatures and marks on the Diplomas at the Secretary's desk.
REPORT TO GRAND LODGE The 3rd item on the business agenda being that of making a report to Grand Lodge informing the present condition of the Lodge, the R.W.M. proposed from the Chair, and Wor. Bro. John Wallace Rust seconded, that the Secretary be instructed and appointed to write to Grand Lodge explaining in full the happenings in Japan after the outbreak of the war with regard to Lodge "Star in the East". The R.W.M. also prepared a draft copy of an affidavit regarding the loss of the Charter of Lodge "Star in the East" and proposed that it be sworn before a British Consul at Rio de Janeiro, if possible, there to be signed by five members in good standing, and together with the abovementioned letter, to be sent by Brother Secretary to Grand Lodge. Put to the vote the motion was carried, the R.W.M. appointing Wor. Bro. Peter Henry Kipp, Bros. Denis Kildoyle, F. F. Booth, Carlos Rodriguez Jimenez, and himself, to sign the affidavit.
LIFE MEMBERSHIP The Lodge then proceeded to deal with the 4th item of the agenda, that of receiving propositions for Life Membership certificates to be granted to Commuting Members in accordance to Section 3, Article VII of the Bye-laws. Brother Carlos Rodriguez Jimenez proposed and the R.W.M. seconded that a Life Membership be granted to Bro. R. W. Burrell. Put to the vote the motion was carried, the Secretary informing the Lodge that Brother Burrell, previous to the outbreak of the war had paid in the amount of Yen One Hundred and Fifty usually charged for it to the Treasurer, Wor. Bro. M. Apcar. Brother Ch. W. Biddle then proposed and Bro. R. W. Burrell seconded, that Wor. Bros. Peter Henry Kipp, John Wallace Rust, Joseph LeRoy McSparran, and Bros. R. W. N. Child, F. F. Booth, E. L. Vest, Denis Kildoyle and Carlos Rodriguez Jimenez, be also granted Life Memberships in the usual terms, viz, ¥150.00 or its equivalent in American currency, roughly $35.00 at the rate of ¥4.25 per dollar. The proposal was put to the vote and carried. Thereupon Brother Robert Wallace Burrell proposed, being seconded by Bro. Fay Fredean Booth, that the R.W.M. be authorized, in the absence of the treasurer Wor. Bro. M. Apcar, to receive the money due to Lodge "Star in the East" for Life Memberships, to deduct therefrom the necessary expenses in connection with the closing of the Lodge, and to use the balance for the relief of distressed members and for the good of the Order. The motion was put to the vote of the Lodge and carried unanimously.
DISPOSAL OF PROPERTY AND DOCUMENTS With regard to the 5th item in the agenda, Brother Ch. W. Biddle proposed, seconded by Bro. R. W. Burrell, that all valuable documents, minutes books, papers and archives of Lodge "Star in the East", now in the hands of Bro. Secretary, Bro. Carlos Rodriguez Jimenez, due to disembark in Rio de Janeiro, be delivered to the R.W.M. to be held in trust by him in the understanding that he may deposit them with the British Embassy in Washington, D.C, if possible and desirable to do so. After a lengthy discussion the motion was put to the vote and carried.
GENERAL PURPOSES The floor being tendered to members for any proposal for the good of the Order, Bro. F. F. Booth suggested that the R.W.M. should in his discretion notify members residing in the United States of America, as well as other absent members of the swearing of the affidavit before the British Consul at Rio de Janeiro. The suggestion was favourably commented upon by the Lodge, and then Bro. R.W. Burrell, as an addition to Bro. Booth's suggestion proposed that the gist of all the business transacted before the Lodge at the present meeting should also be communicated to the membership at large. The R.W.M., in giving his assent, informed the Lodge that he had in mind sending a copy of the Minutes of today's meeting to all members in the United States as well as to others outside the Union provided they could be reached by the usual postal means.
CLOSING Nothing further being offered for the good of Freemasonry in general or Lodge "Star in the East" in particular, the R.W.M., after touching words with regard to the present occasion, closed the Lodge informally, the Brethren departing in P. L. & H., after having read the Minutes of the meeting and affixed their signatures thereto.
J. L. McSparran (R. W. M.)
Wor. Bro. P. H. Kipp (S.M.)
Wor. Bro. J. W. Rust (Almoner)
Bro. R. W. Burrell (Sr. Deac.)
Bro. R. W. N. Child (Assist. D. C.)
Bro. E. L. Vest. (Steward)
Bro. Ch. W. Biddle
Bro. Denis Kildoyle
Brother F. F. Booth
Bro. Carlos Rodriguez Jimenez (Secretary)