Lodge Hiogo & Osaka No. 498 [6]

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First Post-War Meeting

Extract from the Minutes of the Regular Meeting of Lodge Hiogo & Osaka No. 498 held on Thursday, 5th September, 1946.

This was the first Meeting held by the Lodge following the end of the Pacific War. Bro. J. Levy (R.W.M. in 1934) was in the Chair.

Address by the R.W.M.

We meet here this evening, in open lodge for the first time in four years and eleven months, with mixed feelings of happiness and sadness. Happiness at being able to resume with complete freedom, our Masonic work, and sadness, at the thought that when the final count is taken, so many of our Brethren would have answered the final call.

We meet in humble thankfulness to the Great A. of the Universe for the many blessings and tender mercies bestowed upon us in His Infinite goodness.

We meet with a great debt of gratitude to the U.S. Army for their sympathetic consideration in granting us permission to use this building, for our meeting, and we also owe a great deal to the Brethren of the Kobe Base Masonic Club for their moral and spiritual support, as well as their generous assistance in setting us on our feet again.

Several of our former members who have now returned to their respective homes will no doubt be pleased to know, that we are now reaping the harvest of the seeds that they have sown, and we are hoping that by the time they come back, we will have improved further our temple and placed it on a firmer basis by securing permanently the building for the use of all the Lodges, in the district.

Lodge Hiogo and Osaka No. 498 received its charter Seventy-six years ago, from the Grand Lodge of Scotland. This charter which had been carefully kept by our Secretary at the American Embassy in Tokyo, very fortunately escaped the fire, and was only recently recovered together with some of the Lodge’s records. This important document will hereafter occupy its honoured place in the Lodge, thus enabling us to hand it pure and unsullied to our successors.

Our lodge has in its long years of existence, seen many years of happiness, but it cannot be denied that it has had its share of sadness and adversity particularly since the start of the Pacific War, when not only were our properties confiscated, but several Brethren were thrown in jail, on some put-up charges, but their real crime being that of, members of our Ancient and Honourable institution.

I will not dwell this evening on the trials and sufferings of the individuals while in jail, but suffice to say, it was at times beyond human endurance. By the confiscation of our records, as well as our furniture and all Masonic regalia, the Authorities were under the impression, that they had broken the Masonic backbone. But as you Brethren are all well aware the Masonic backbone consists of its excellent principles, tradition and tenets.

These true Masonic principles, as well as, the Ancient landmarks of our Honourable Institution, are safely lodged in the repository of faithful breasts, and are thus transmitted unimpaired even under the most adverse circumstances, through a succession of years.

In our hour of triumph, we must not for a minute overlook, nor forget the factors which contributed towards the restoration of our Lodge and our happy meeting again. That is why, it is my command that this evening be dedicated to the memory of those who lost their lives in the gigantic struggle which has been brought to a glorious and successful end, and also to offer our sincere condolences to the relatives of our dear departed Brethren.