Founder & Director, MASONIC FORUM Magazine
Unbelievable – it’s been 20 years since I founded the MASONIC FORUM!
The reasons behind the creation of the magazine were simple. Dan Amedeo Lăzărescu and Horia Nestorescu Bălcești, who have been my Masonic godfathers for almost a quarter of a century now, told me that Freemasonry is like a big table, where everyone puts what he has and takes what he needs. At the time I was working in the press. As there was no coherent way of communicating with the Romanian society or the equivalent Masonic structures abroad, I decided that my contribution to the development of Romanian Freemasonry would be the founding of a magazine, in an attempt to create and promote an intellectual image of Romanian Regular Freemasonry. I managed to do it. The proof for this are the commentaries of many personalities in the Craft that were published on the magazine’s website (www.masonicforum.ro), as well as the dozens of interviews I made with leaders of World Freemasonry.
I was lucky to have at my side a group of people, of Brethren, who gave me all their trust. I want to thank them because, without them, MASONIC FORUM might have never existed. I bow before Traian Petrescu and Mihai Gîrjabu, who “blindly” covered the costs of printing and translating, as well as financially supported the national and international distribution of the first issues. I bow before Alecsandru Hociotă, who allowed me to use his office and computers for many years. I bow before Sorin Grigorescu, who learned DTP for the specific reason of producing this magazine and worked beside me day and night, in Alecs Hociotă’s office or at home, not caring that I was invading his private space. Sorin also created the first website for the magazine and was responsible for its online promotion. The name for the magazine was suggested to me by my Brother Virgil Nadolu – and this wasn’t Virgil’s only way of showing his support.
Over the years I received help from many people, to whom I must again express my gratitude and whom I must thank once again: brother Nawaf Salameh, who helped finance some of my trips to international Masonic conferences of the highest level; brother Vasile Ruse, who passed on many of his knowledge to me; brethren Adrian Melnic (who passed away) and Ionel Dumitru, who promptly answered our call when we were taking our first steps in the publishing world; brother Sebastian Ștefan, who made possible the existence of the new website of the magazine; Mr Adrian Paradovschi, who was patient enough to teach me the technical ABC, he himself dedicating a significant part of his time to building and managing the magazine’s website.
Through my presence at international conferences I have had the opportunity to interview some first-grade personalities. MASONIC FORUM thus reached the elite level of the Craft. Several years before we were recognized by the United Grand Lodge of England I published interviews with resounding names from the leadership of British Freemasonry or from the elite of worldwide Masonic research, awarded by UGLE.
I want to point out the fact that MASONIC FORUM gained its international momentum in 2003, when Eugen Ovidiu Chirovici was elected Grand Master. Eugen being a personality with a vast cultural horizon, a very talented writer, a man with experience in the press, he gave me credit and decided that the FORUM would become the official magazine of the National Grand Lodge of Romania, which meant that all the expenses – print, translation, national and international distribution – were covered by NGLR. He vouched for me with his name and position as Grand Master by presenting the magazine to some of his peers, thus creating for me a college of directors that included Thomas Jackson, as well as Grand Masters from Switzerland, Italy, Germany and Israel. They were joined by personalities in the field of Masonic research at a Craft level and by important names in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, from both the Northern and Southern Jurisdiction of the USA.
Being the visionary that he is and knowing the interest of the NGLR and the potential of the magazine, Grand Master Eugen Ovidiu Chirovici decided that my traveling costs to London or in other places in the United Kingdom, as well as to Washington DC, for various international Masonic conferences, would be covered by the NGLR.
I thus became the first and only publisher of Romanian origin who is believable in terms of international Masonic research.
I owe this to the MASONIC FORUM magazine and to the support granted to me without hesitation by Eugen Ovidiu Chirovici. Of all the Romanian Grand Masters I have known from 1997 (when I was initiated) to this day, Eugen Ovidiu Chirovici is by far the most valuable and important Grand Master that the Romanian Regular Freemasonry has ever had. I take the liberty to make this judgment on the basis of his achievements during his tenure. The important foreign Grand Masters liked him because they found in Eugen a real conversation partner, on any subject: literature, music, painting, international politics, world economy etc. Thank you, Eugen. I am honoured that I can call you my friend.
MASONIC FORUM is keeping up with the times and I have created a vlog on Masonic subjects: youtube.com/c/masonicforum. I have received ideas and support from brethren Alexandru Ene, Sorin Grigorescu and Naser Soboh, for which I am grateful.
I thank the hundreds of Romanian Freemasons who contacted me after I publicly resigned from NGLR in 2018 and asked me to continue publishing the magazine, saying that MASONIC FORUM is the only beacon of normality and Masonic quality. I can assure you I will continue to keep the magazine as far away as possible from the petty interests of groups or individuals who simply don’t belong in Freemasonry.
Of course, I will continue my esotherical activity on an international level, as I am a member of the United Grand Lodge of England (from 2010) and of the American Canadian Grand Lodge within the United Grand Lodges of Germany (from 2011). I thank my Masonic godfathers who took on the responsibility to vouch for me so that I could become a member of these two Jurisdictions: Alan Turton and Martyn Greene, and Gerhard Severin respectively (Past Grand Master of the ACGL).
Happy birthday, MASONIC FORUM!