HISTORY OF MASONRY
There is nothing permanent except change
Heraclitus from Ephesus
Although there is no public record, in 1809 , it is believed that hidden behind the famous Literary Gatherings supported by the Corregidor Don Miguel Dominguez and his wife Doña Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez where Mexico’s Independence was forged Freemasonry begins. However, this a Freemasonry with no patent or Regular Lodges or with Membership to a Great Grand Lodge. It was not until 1821, when the illustrious Don Manuel Gomez Pedraza from Queretaro who competes and beats Vicente Guerrero in Mexico’s Presidential Campaign that Freemasonry is formally introduced in Queretaro. Over the next years , the top of political power would lie between the Liberals and Conservatives, Scots and Yorkers.
In that time there were only two recognized Great Lodges; the Great Grand United Mexican Lodge in Veracruz and the Great Grand Lodge of the Valley of Mexico in Mexico City. All Masons of that time would belong to one of the other.
In was between the years 1826 and 1827 that the York Rite formally establishes the first lodges ever recorded in Queretaro; “Filantropia”, “Martires de la patria”, “Astro Polar”, “Sosten de York” and one more in San Juan del Rio called “Virtud perseguida” ,and in 1833 the Governor of Queretaro Don Lino Ramirez, lifts the Columns of the Lodge “Luz de Queretaro No 2, such lodges lasted not long, because were dissolved by the General Montaño who prohibited the secret societies.
It was not until 1876 with Don Porfirio Diaz Mori, that freemasonry booms again, not as an Academic Freemasonry , but more “Organizational”, because in order to aspire to a position in the Dictatorial Government of President Porfirio Diaz, it was needed to be a member of a Masonic Lodge. During those years and until 1909, all the Regular Lodges would belong to the Great Grand Lodged of whose Great Grand Worshipful Master was of course, the President himself.
In 1833 during the Presidency of Don Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada a lodge of the Scottish Rite arose under the name of “Rosa del Perfecto Silencio” with a patent issued by the Lodge Great Orient of Mexico.
There is no doubt that many of the ideas of the Mexican Revolution came from Many of the Liberal Members that used to work is such Lodges. Queretaro, just like the rest of the Country, resented by the Dictatorship, begins to manifest against it, first in private (trough Literacy Gatherings) and afterwards during the presidential Campaign that led to the Armed Movement in 1910. It was in Queretaro in 1917 at the Theater of the Republic, where the Constitution is written and promulgated , where the ideals of the Revolution and aspirations of the Mexican People forged by the members of the lodges took shape and legal content, in fact 74 out of the 118 Members of the Congress were freemasons who imprinted in the New Constitution their liberal thought and ideas of social justice.
At the beginning of 1921, the Great Grand Lodge of the Valley of Mexico lifts the Columns of the Lodge Ezequiel Montes No 3, where in 1931 is initiated who shortly after would become Governor of the State of Queretaro Don Saturnino Osornio, that same year by the order of Don Saturnino Osornio a number of Lodges of the Scottish Rite are created, such as Antorcha de Libertad N° 29, Constelación N° 33, Melchor Ocampo N° 36, Luz y Verdad N° 43, Estrella de la Sierra N° 52, Benito Juárez García N° 102, San Juan del Río N° 104 y Cerro de las Campanas N° 113. All of them with a patent granted by the Great Grand Lodge of the Valley of Mexico.
At the beginning of 1932 administrative procedures are carried out to give in the territory of Queretaro to a New Grand Lodge to be settled in the State of Queretaro. Once again the Governor himself (Brother Saturnino Osornio) travels up to the City of Monterrey in Nuevo Leon in order to sign off the treated where the new territory to the new Grand Lodge is granted in October the 14th of 1932 in accordance with the decree Number 916 issued by the Great Grand Lodge of the Valley of Mexico, whose Great Grand Worshipful Master Brother Jesus Rodriguez de la Fuente formally installs the Grand Lodge of Queretaro, having the privilege of being its first Great Grand Master the Venerable Brother Martin V.
Gonzalez, Majored in Education, supervisor of Education in the Northern states of the Republic, founding of the Teacher Training College of San Juan del Rio and President of the Chamber of Deputies who receives the territory with a membership of 9 lodges.
Afterwards being Great Grand Master the Venerable Brother Agustin Romero Lopez and with the consensus of the Grand Assembly gathered on August 3rd of 1935 it is promulgated the first Grand Masonic Constitution that begins to govern the destiny of the freemason in Queretaro taking effect on August 4th of 1935. On October 28th of 1936 the Grand Lodge of Queretaro is recognized as a Confederated Grand Lodge with the Diploma Number 225 issued by the Masonic Latin American Confederation (Now known as Interamerican Masonic Confederation). It is the state governors who initially support the settlement of Freemasonry in the State of Queretaro many of them distinguished members like for example the beloved brothers Ramon Rodriguez Familiar initiated freemason in the Lodge Ezequiel Montes No 1 in 1938, and Noradino Rubio Ortiz initiated in 1939 in the Lodge Estrella de la Sierra No 4 located in municipality of Jalpan, elected Governor of Queretaro a year after, Agapito Pozo Balbas and the Dr. Octavio S. Mondragon among many others. Even though many members of Freemasonry have or have had the privileged to serve in the public service or have successful carriers in the private sector, it has been through their discreet, effective and everyday labor how they have contributed to the Greatness of this our beautiful State.
During its first years the Grand Lodge of Queretaro did not count with a formal facility, however it is known that it was installed in the building that would be later occupied by the City Hall located in front of Guerrero Square. A few years later in 1944, there is record that the address of the Grand Lodge was located on Allende No 10 North Street. In 1947 the address of the Grand Lodge is now located on Madero 26 street , and with a library located on Gerrero 18 South Street. In 1952 having been elected Great Grand Master Brother Noradino Rubio (Former Governor of Queretaro) begins negotiations with the Federal Government to obtain a formal space for the Grand Lodge at the Back of the Regional Museum. Brother Jose Rodriguez Ramirez elected Grand Master in 1953-1954 and re-elected for the next period 1954-1955 along with Brother Agustin Romero Lopez (Both initiated in the Lodge Ezequiel Montes No 1) started to collect the resources needed for the construction , the Money collected in used to build the Militarized School “Benjamin N. Velasco), in what is now the Hotel Señorial, being the facilities of the Great Grand Lodge located inside that Building. Then in 1955 we found that the address of the Grand Lodge is located on Regules 6 Street. In 1957 during the administration of the Grand Master Brother Antonio P. Torres the remodeling works begin of a building given up by the Grand Master himself to the Grand Lodge to build the new facilities located on Carrizal 2 Street. In the year 1959 Brother Gonzalo Adalid Romo is elected Grand Master and during his administration the Temple is demolished by the State Government due to enlargement of Zaragoza Street with no retribution from the Government. In 1962 the Illustrious and Powerful Brother Juan Jose Gastellum Salcido having been elected Grand Master and lately Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of Mexico decides to provide a Bailment for 99 years in favor of the Grand Lodge of Queretaro inside the facilities of the Miltary Zone located at the time at the Ex-convent of Capuchinas on Gerrero 27 street, beginning with the construction of the new Temple that is inaugurated in 1963. Later in March 2007 and due to the increase in the Membership, consequently in the number of Lodges as well, the Grand Lodge decides to expand its facilities to the House of Manuel de la Peña y Peña located on Hidalgo 29 street where two new Temples were installed. In the year 2010 thanks to the assistance and diligence of some brothers the Municipality of Queretaro donated a lot of 3125 m2 where the Grand Lodge has begun with the construction of our new facilities.
The Lodges of this Grand Lodge like in many Orients have had their ups and downs, like in the early times when the Grand Lodge went from 9 to 5 active Lodges , sometimes having to work along with other lodges to compensate the membership reduction, however in 1957 and with the arrival of Brother Juan Jose Gastellum Salcido and a Group Brothers from Mexico City the lodges are re-enforced and the Lodge Simon Bolivar No 10 lifts its columns (whose member where all in the Military), later in 1967 this same group of brothers create the Lodge Lazaro Cardenas del Rio No 11.
It is during the administration of Grand Master Captain Luis LLampallas Torres (1971-1989) when the Grand Lodge is consolidated and takes National Relevance being part of a Number of Regional and National Events that are crowned with the Organization of the XX and XXIV National Masonic Congresses. In April 1987 being Grand Master the Brother Eloy Felipe Ruelas Sanchez the Lodge Luz No 12 lifts its columns followed a year after by the Lodge Luis LLampallas Torres No 13.
In 2007 a group of brothers decided not to recognized the Grand Master elected at the time ripping off a number of valuable items from the “Benito Juarez” Temple such as the Grand Patent and the Patent and Standards of most of the Lodges associated to the Grand Lodge, including its Historical Archive, due to the aforementioned situation new Patents are requested to the Great Grand Lodge of the Valley of Mexico to replace the old ones. This division forced the remaining members to rent new spaces to accommodate the new lodges being created at the time; like Canteros a cal y Canto N° 14 that lifts columns in San Juan del Rio and the lodges Templarios N° 15 , Hermanos del silencio N° 16, Hipocrates de Cos N° 17 (Lodge dedicated to the study of our state), the Lodges Pitagoras No 18, Energia y Luz del Picachu in the Municipality of Peña Miller, Atzilut N° 20, Paracelso N° 21, Porfirio Díaz Mori N° 22 y Phoinix N° 23.
The Grand Lodge has also hosted the Philosophical Grades of the A.:A.:S.:R.: jurisdictional to the Supreme Council of Mexico, also one of our Temples in rented to the Gran Lodge “Grand Teocalli” member of the Supreme Council of Puente de Alvarado with its to Lodges , and to the Grand Lodge “Valle de Sion” of the Mexican National Rite with its 4 lodges , the York Rite and some affiliated masonic groups such as the Shriners , Female Lodges, and the AJEF and Molay Youth groups.
The Great Grand Lodge of the State of Queretaro of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite has the Goal of Becoming the Most recognized Masonic Institution in the country based on its members who are educated in Universal Values, being example of leadership, committed to the best social causes and to themselves and their families, their community and their Country, and the Mission that our members become leaders in their field of work, trough and Integral education based on the masonic ideals to aid progress and social welfare.
In the last years the Grand Lodge of Queretaro has been trying to elevate the reputation of Freemasonry trough a number of charity events in Benefit of the society such as food and clothing collects to help orphanages and so on. In the year 2016 from October through out November in collaboration with Queretaro’s Institute of Culture and the Museum of History , the Grand Lodge organized the first National exhibition on the Role of Freemasonry in the Mexican Emancipation in the Museum of the Conspirators, and of course by promoting fraternal relationships with other Masonic Powers in the National and International arena.
M∴M∴ Fernando Cruz López
Ex∴ Gr∴ Mm∴