|History of Harmony Lodge #25
The establishment of Harmony Lodge #25 at Freeport, Grand Bahama was
a long and difficult one that offically began with a formal petition to form a
lodge at Freeport, Grand Bahama in the name “Aaron Lodge” during June
1974. This first petition to form Aaron Lodge was presented at the annual
session of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge held at the Jack
Tar Hotel, West End, Grand Bahama hosted by Nebo Lodge #21. The
petitioning brothers were hoping for the establishment of Aaron Lodge #22.
Prior to Harmony Lodge there was no Prince Hall Masonic Lodge in the city
of Freeport. There however were lodges established outside the city at
High Rock, St. Nicholas #23, Nebo #21 at West End and the Pride of
Grand Bahama #7 at Eight Mile Rock. Because Freeport, known as the
nation’s second city was a young and budding metropolis, it was
considered proper that a lodge be established in the city.
This idea of a Freeport lodge was proposed long before 1974, however
due to objections from the ‘Pride’ and Nebo lodges, the older lodges on the
island, “Aaron Lodge” was not allowed. The original request for
dispensation to form this new lodge had signatures from approximately
sixteen masons, who were at the time mostly members of the Pride of
Grand Bahama. Edward Bastian was proposed as it’s Worshipful Master,
Clifford Newton as Senior Warden and James Rolle as Junior Warden.
Efforts to secure a Freeport lodge continued. In the meantime
dispensations were granted for a lodge at High Rock, Grand Bahama and
Moore Island, Abaco. Harmony Lodge reorganized itself and again
reapplied a dispensation. A dispensation was granted Harmony Lodge #25
in 1978, conditional to receiving a dispensation, all lodge parifanailia,
swords, aprons, collars, etc. had to be in place. Past Master Ivor
Colebrooke was it’s first Worshipful Master. This office was familiar ground
to Past Master Ivor Colebrook having presided at Columbus Lodge#16 in
Nassau as Master before moving to Freeport. Edward Bastian was the
founding Senior Warden and Richard Demeritte the founding Junior
Warden. Other founding members were Audry Stubbs, Cedric Nesbitt,
Reginal Sears, Eugene Edwards, Wilfred Richardson, Clement
Pennerman, Harold Pennerman, George Ferguson, Alrick Ferguson, Basil
Laroda, V.A. Knowles, Wendel Knowles, Leroy Watson, Anthony
Cumberbatch, Ben Johnson and Leroy Bowe.
In April 1979 Grand Master Clyde Bethel came to Freeport and delivered
Harmony Lodge #25 it CHARTER. It is a standing joke amongst those
witnessing the ceremony that the Grand Master, on setting up the new
lodge, humorously threatened then District Deputy Grand Master, Spurgeon
Smith to do his physical harm, if Harmony Lodge was allowed to fail.
Fortunately, there was no need to carry out that threat and maybe this is why
Harmony Lodge has evolved into one of the strongest lodge in the
In December of 1979, Edward Bastian was elected Worshipful Master of
Harmony Lodge. At this time Harmony had no home. For approximately two
years meetings were held at the Y.M.C.A. building on Settlers Ways, just
down the road from where the present lodge site. From the Y.M.C.A. the
lodge moved several times, its communication were held at the Red Cross
building on Jobson Avenue, the Jewish Synagogue on East Sunrise
Highway, and the Progressive Liberal Party headquarter building on East
Sunrise Highway. Harmony lodge’s tenure at this location was contrivial
among the brethren, which resulted in another move. The lodge then held it’
s meeting at the ‘Pride’ in Eight Mile Rock, where it remained until they
moved to their own building.
During the tenure of Past Master Wilber McDonald the cornerstone for the
present edifice was laid by Past Grand Master Zephaniah Bullard through
the courtesy of then Grand Master Charles Sands. During the build years,
brothers like Past Master Clement Pennerman, Lindy Burrows, Keith Finley
and Carlton Pendor stood out. Many tireless hour spent building and doing
much of the work so as to reduce cost to the lodge in a time when there was
not much money.
The original temple of Harmony Lodge was to be built downtime Freeport
on land adjacent to the Bahamas Telecommunications Corporation’s
headquarter building across the street from the Lucayan Medical Centre.
This land was granted Harmony by the Grand Bahama Port Authority. The
architectural drawings for a beautiful three storey building, which the
brethren thought too lasvish died slowly. After two years and no movement
the Port Authority withdrew that piece of land, exchanging it for the present
lodge site. The construction of the lodge at it’s present site was not an easy
one. As difficult times befell the lodge, construction was slow and well short
of expectation of the land grant with the Port Authority who threaten to void
the terms and conditions of the land grant. The land and uncompleted
temple was in jeopardy of being confiscated.
Funds and help was solicitated wherever possible including the Grand
Lodge, but there was very little help. Then along came a saviour in Brother
Arthur Nesbitt. Demonstrating tremendous faith and brotherly love
Worshipful Master Nesbitt loan the money. The temple was completed and
saved from confiscation by the Port Authority.
Harmony Lodge meets on the second and fourth Tuesday in each month. Its
difficult beginning and the perseverance of the its members are testaments
for all in sundry. This lodge has grown into the ideal lodge throughout the