En: Grand Lodge of Mauritius

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Grand Lodge of Mauritius

Freemasonry was introduced in Mauritius by the French who occupied the island from 1715 to 1810. The first Lodge, LA TRIPLE ESPERANCE, holding its Charter from the Grand Orient de France, was constituted and consecrated in 1778. From the date onwards French Masonry, in spite of all the odds, flourished. It continued to do so during the British occupation (1810-1968) and even after Mauritius acquired Independence from England in 1968. To day the most important French Grand Lodges are represented in Mauritius viz, - The Grand Orient de France, the Grande Loge de France, the Droit Humain (Mixed), Grand Loge of Memphis-Misraim and the Grande Loge Féminine de France.

The First British Lodge which laboured in Mauritius appeared to be an Irish military Lodge in 1848. Several British Lodges (English, Scottish and Irish), mostly military, were thereafter constituted, but, only two survived at the turn of the twentieth century.

Lodge Friendship No. 439 (S.C.) consecrated in 1866
Lodge of Friendship No. 1696 (E.C.) consecrated in 1877

Since 1877, no regular Masonic Lodges have been consecrated in Mauritius. However, in 1992, a happy event occurred when a few Mauritian brethren petitioned the Grande Loge Nationale Française (GLNF), the only regular Masonic body in France, for a Warrant to create a regular francophone Lodge in Mauritius. The Lodge took the name of Louis Auguste Ormières No. 710 was consecrated on 23rd January 1992 by R.W. Bro. Jean Charles FOELLNER, Ass. Grand Master of GLNF and V.W. Bro. Lindsay DESCOMBES, one of the petitioners, a Past Master of the Scottish Lodge no. 439 was installed as the first Master of that Lodge. W. Bro. Kurt BARNES, another petitioner who played a pivotal role in bringing the project to fruition, was made Honorary Wor. Master of the new Lodge.

That event was milestone in the history of regular Freemasonry in Mauritius and several brethren from the centenary English and Scottish Lodges which have operated in splendid isolation joined the newly constituted French Lodge and for the first time the Brethren thus grouped started to talk openly about the creation of a regular National Grand Lodge.

From 1992 to 2002, five new regular French Lodges were constituted in Mauritius. A sixth Lodge, Trinity Lodge No. 925, was consecrated on the 31st March 2001 holding its Charter or Warrant from Grande Lodge of Ireland. Among the Petitioners of the Irish Lodge were many Brethren from Newly created French Lodges.

On 14 December 2002, with the agreement of the United Grand Lodge of England, the Grand Lodge of Ireland and the Grand Lodge of Scotland, the Grande Loge Nationale Française constituted and consecrated the District Grand Lodge of Mauritius and placed the six francophone lodges consecrated since 1992 under the authority of the District, R.W.Bro. Lindsay DESCOMBES was appointed District Grand Master. History has it that the first Freemason to hold such an office before R.W.Bro. Lindsay DESCOMBES in Mauritius was R.W.Bro. Sir Robert FARQUHAR, the first British Governor of Mauritius, who was appointed Provincial Grand Master in 1811. Two new Lodges were created under the authority of the District of Mauritius.

On the 12th March 2005, on the occasion of the 37th Anniversary date of the Independence of Mauritius and 227 years after the introduction of Freemasonry in Mauritius, the Grand Lodge of Mauritius was consecrated by the Grande Loge Nationale Française which transferred the eight Lodges under their Jurisdiction to the Register of the Grand Lodge of Mauritius. R.W.Bro. Lindsay DESCOMBES was installed as the first Most Worshipful Master of the Grand Lodge of Mauritius.

In an unprecedented decision, on 9th March 2005, the United Grand Lodge of England granted recognition to the newly constituted Grand Lodge of Mauritius. That was followed by the Grande Loge Nationale Française and the Grand Lodge of India, on the 12th March 2005.

Today the Grand Lodge of Mauritius is recognized by most of the most important Grand Lodges in the world.

Eight new Lodges were consecrated from 2005 to 2010 bringing the total of Lodges under the roll of the Grand Lodges of Mauritius to sixteen with workings in different rituals