THOMAS W. JACKSON
Executive Secretary, World Conference of Grand Lodges;
Honorary Grand Master ad vitam, NGLR;
Honorary Director, MASONIC FORUM Magazine
Regular Freemasonry continued to extend its territory and influence in the world through the consecration of its newest regular Grand Lodge on October 14th, 2011 with the birth of Freemasonry in the country of Albania. The consecration ceremony was held in the magnificent hotel “Villa Toscana” a few kilometers from the city of Tirana. Brother Elton Caçi became the world’s newest Grand Master. It is significant also, that the newest Grand Master at 36 years of age is also the youngest Grand Master in the world.
The consecration ceremonies were conducted by Most Worshipful Grand Master Gustavo Raffi of the Grand Orient of Italy, Most Worshipful Grand Master Petar Kostic of the Regular Grand Lodge of Serbia, and Most Worshipful Grand Master Nicolaos Vourgidis of the Grand Lodge of Greece and me. I was given the privilege of participating in the consecration of this birth as Honorary Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Italy and Honorary Grand Master of the Regular Grand Lodge of Serbia. Each participant enhanced the ceremony by speaking some sentences of the ritual in their own language.
Over 150 brothers from the following Grand Lodges attended the consecration ceremony: Grand Lodge of Austria, National Grand Lodge of France, Grand Lodge of Czech Republic, Grand Lodge of Japan, Grand Lodge Slovenia, Grand Lodge of Montenegro, United Grand Lodge of Bulgaria, National Grand Lodge of Romania and the Grand Lodges of Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Bahia, Pará, Paraná, Piauá and Rondonia from Brazil.
I reminded the new Grand Master of the significance that he now holds in the Masonic world emphasizing that the birth of Freemasonry in Albania is of fundamental importance for the development of Freemasonry in Eastern Europe and the contribution of this Grand Lodge will be of fundamental importance to the development of civil and political rights in Albania. He now wears that mantle of responsibility.
Grand Master Kostic expressed his pleasure in being present for this consecration demonstrating that while in the profane world the relationship between Serbs and Albanians may still be difficult, Freemasonry represents the better method in order to reestablish a dialogue founded on peace, love and harmony.
Grand Master Vourgidis conveyed in the the happiness of the Greek Brethren because the birth of the Grand Lodge of Albania represented the last link missing in the chain of Union of Freemasonry in Eastern Europe.
Grand Master Raffi exclaimed “Freemasonry Is Alive” stressing that young people are the future of Freemasonry, otherwise it would not be possible to transmit the patrimony of initiatic wisdom that can be found in the tenets of our Brotherhood.
Grand Master Nikolas Schwarzler of Austria also took part in the ceremony and expressed the hope that this Grand Lodge might remain safe from the destructive power of unbridled forces of nature and even bigger dangers of frenzied impulses of men that may destroy the solidity of its construction.
During the ceremony the Grand Lodges of Serbia, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and France declared their recognition of the Grand Lodge of Albania.
In closing, the new Grand Master thanked all the brothers and particularly, the Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Italy without whose help and support it would not have been possible for the realization of what only three years ago seemed a dream, the consecration of a national Grand Lodge in the so-called “Country of the Eagles”.
The ceremony was followed by a gala dinner organized by the Albanian brothers with traditional songs and folkloristic dances.
(My sincere appreciation for the writing and information provided by brother Pasquale La Pasa of Italy for this article.)