Amity Lodge No. 106
The Name Amity stands for friendship; friendly, peaceful relations as between nations, groups, etc.
On October 10, 1930, 27 Masons of Chinese nationality, who were members of lodges under various jurisdictions, filed a petition for the issuance of dispensation to open a new lodge in Shanghai, China to be named Amity Lodge.They were all graduates of American universities and they proposed to conduct their work in the English language. Among them were many prominent Chinese such as Chengtin Thomas Wang, Minister of Foreign Affairs Jui-Heng Jui. Minister of Public Health and Way-Sung New. Surgeon General of the Chinese National Army .
The petition coincided with a growing sentiment among Philippine Masons to participate in Masonic work in China, and since China was Masonically free territory. Grand Master Vicente Carmona had no misgivings about granting the petition. On October 28, 1930 he signed the requested dispensation "It is hoped," he said, "that Amity Lodge may in time serve as the cornerstone of a Sovereign Grand Lodge of the China Republic, its members being select and enthusiastic Masons well qualified to lead in constructive work"
On January 27 1931, upon MW Carmona's recommendation, the Grand Lodge of Pl granted Amity Lodge a charter The following May. PGM George Harvey, on orders of the new Grand Master William W Larkin, sailed for China, on board the Empress of Japan, to constitute Amity Lodge No. 106. Ten of the fifteen officers of the new lodge were Chinese, including the Master, James L E Chow The ceremonies took place at the American Masonic Temple, No 178 Route Default Shanghai.
At the time Amity Lodge was instituted on November 22,1930, the officers knew little or nothing of Philippine ceremonial. The founders came from lodges under the jurisdictions of the Grand Lodges of England, Scotland, Massachusetts and New York They could hardly decipher the Philippine Blue Book They made poor guesses at the esoteric mysteries and blundered with the floor work They were fast learners, however. When WB Edwin Lawson of Cavite Ledge No. 2 was assigned as the Inspector of the lodge, in no time at all, he was able to whip the officers into efficient degree teams
In the best tradition of Masonry, Amity Lodge raised good men and true. In time, fourteen nationalities and six or seven religions were represented in the lodge.
Enthused by the support given by the Grand Lodge of PI to Amity Lodge, the Masons in China subsequently organized five other lodges which they placed under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of PI For their proper supervision the Grand Lodge authorized the Grand Master in 1933. "to appoint a District Deputy Grand Master to represent him and the Grand Lodge in the entire territory of China, with such powers and duties as the Grand Master may see fit to confer and impose upon him "Hua-Chuen Mel. the Master of Amity Lodge, was appointed DDGM Four years later the Grand Lodge created a District Grand Lodge in China and Hua-Chuen Mei was promoted to District Grand Master.
The outbreak of the Sino-Japanese war seriously hampered the activities of Amity Lodge. Thus, on February 7, 1931, Hua-Chuen Mei wrote: "Curfew rings at 10, and people unconnected with the defense forces are prohibited from the streets after dark, hence, all Masonic activities have been called off. Every lodge has suspended meetings and so has Amity " After 1931, there was a lull in the fighting and Amity Lodge was able to meet again. After the resumption of hostilities in 1937, however, the holding of meetings became more and more difficult until eventually Amity Lodge had to shut down completely.
Amity Lodge was reactivated soon after the war Two years later, it invited the other lodges in China to a convention for the purpose of organising the Grand Lodge of China The six lodges in China chartered by the Grand Lodge of PI attended the convention. In January 1949 they brought forth the Grand Lodge of China. Amity Lodge became Lodge No. I under the new Grand Lodge.