Photo by Hayden Merrill.
KINGMAN – The Free Masons Fraternity began centuries ago with original members being descendants of stonemasons and craftsmen.
The Fraternity continued to grow over the many years and it went on to expand across the American Colonies throughout the 1700s. Many of the nation’s founding fathers became members, including Benjamin Franklin and George Washington.
Freemasonry continued to expand over the years to encompass the nation, including the Arizona Territory about 150 years ago.
Kingman’s local Freemasonry lodge, No. 22, came into existence in 1915. The fraternity, including Lodge No. 22, has become well-known throughout the world for their philanthropy and charity work that Mayor Monica Gates has proclaimed June 24, 2017 as Free and Accepted Masons Day in the City of Kingman.
The proclamation of a specific day to honor the Freemasonry fraternity is a big step for an organization that has been in existence for centuries.
“We try to improve not only the individual, but also the community,” said Ken Chism, Kingman lodge’s Worshipable Master. “We make good men better. It’s not a political fraternity. It’s not a religious fraternity.”
June 24 will be the official 300th anniversary of Free and Accepted Masonry.
While the fraternity has been around for much longer than 300 years, the title and recognition of Free and Accepted Masons was not established until 1717.
The Mayor’s official recognition of the fraternity, as well as the proclamation of “Free and Accepted Masons Day” on June 24 has excited many of the local lodge members.
“It means a strong growth for the fraternity,” said Chism.
Along with Kingman’s dedication of the 300th anniversary, Arizona’s Governor Douglas Ducey also proclaimed June 24 as Freemasons Day.
“On behalf of the Grand Lodge of Arizona, I have requested and received a Proclamation from Governor Douglas Ducey that this day will be proclaimed Freemasonry Day in the State of Arizona,” wrote Scott Thomas, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Arizona in a post on the lodge’s website. “We should as Masons, all be proud of our Fraternity because we will have the benefit of this public recognition in our community to commemorate this anniversary.”
To celebrate this monumental anniversary, the local Kingman lodge will hold an open house event for the community.
Chism said that locals will be welcome to come by and tour the lodge.
The Lodge No. 22 membership will serve refreshments, and attendees will be able to learn a little bit more about the fraternity.
The open house will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 24 at the Kingman Masonic Lodge located at 212 N. Fourth St.