Nanking Lodge No. 108

The Name

                   This lodge is named after Nanking, the capital of the province of Kiangsi in Eastern China, where the lodge was originally located.

The Lodge

                     In December 1932. Grand Master Antonio Gonzalez received a petition from sixteen Master Masons residing in Nanking belonging to various nationalities and Masonic jurisdictions asking for a dispensation to open a second lodge under Philippine Jurisdiction in China Gonzalez issued the dispensation and the Grand Lodge at its annual communication in January 1933 confirmed his action and granted a charter to Nanking Lodge No. 108.

                    The other Grand Jurisdictions that had lodges in China, that is the Grand Lodges of England, Ireland, Scotland, Massachusetts and Vienna, were alarmed by the decision of the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands to open lodges in China and filled a friendly protest On January 19, 1933, the Grand Master of Massachusetts sent a cablegram to Gonzales warning him that in view of its “earlier correspondence and respectful protest," his Grand Lodge could not regard the "establishment of new lodges in China as a friendly act”

                  The Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands disregarded the protest. Despite the warning, it constituted Nanking Lodge No. 108 on February 3, 1933.

Moreover, it issued a dispensation for the organization of a third Philippine lodge in China. Because of these actions, the Grand Lodges of England, Ireland, Scotland, Massachusetts and Vienna severed their fraternal ties with the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands. The break in relations would last up to 1939.

                In July 1937 the Japanese staged an all-out attack on China rendering the conduct of Masonic work extremely difficult and dangerous. To avoid the war Nanking Lodge moved its meeting place to Shanghai .Although the members of the Philippine lodges in China were unable to meet in lodge regularly they did not neglect their Masonic obligations. In his report to the Grand Lodge in 1939 Deputy District Grand Master David W K Au, said:

                Your brethren in China are carrying on the work of relief according to the time-honored traditions and usages of the Craft.  All the medical brethren have signed up for service with the base hospitals behind the front lines and I may mention in passing that the Minister of Health of our government, who is charged with the operation of all Military Hospitals in China, is a member of Nanking Lodge No. 108. Wor.  Bro. Sturton, a Past Master of West Lake Lodge No. 113. is still at Hangchow directing the hospital. Wor Bro. George Fitch, Past Master of Amity Lodge No. 106 and Associate Secretary General of the Young Men Christian Association at Nanking, refused to leave the city when requested to do so, so that he could look after the refugees placed in his care.

                 You see, therefore, the Brethren in China, though temporarily denied the privilege of meeting together in the lodge room, are practicing outside the lodge those great moral duties that are inculcated in it in spite of a most difficult and even dangerous situation.

                Eventually when the war in China grew in intensity and engulfed most of China. Nanking Lodge had to stop working altogether.

                 At the end of the war. Nanking Lodge was re-established along with the other Philippine lodges in China. In 1949 these lodges organized the Grand Lodge of China. Nanking Lodge transferred allegiance and became Nanking Lodge No. 2 under the Grand Lodge of China.