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Freemasonry-Uniting men even under aparthied
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Post Freemasonry-Uniting men even under aparthied 
Fraternal greetings!
My name is Bro. Ralph McNeal,Jr. I bring fraternal greetings from the Prince Hall Grand Lodge, Jurisdiction of Arizona(USA).
After reading with anticipation the article written about Prince Hall Masonry in South Africa by Bro. Desmond Lemmon-Warde, I sat back and re-read the actual history of the Prince Hall Lodges in question. My unreadiness with the paper is that it is mis-leading to many Freemasons here in the United States. The term Coloured, also known as Bruinmense, Kleurlinge or Bruin (brown) Afrikaners in the Afrikaans language, referred to a heterogeneous group of people of mixed KhoiSan, white European, Malay, Malagasy, Black and South Indian ancestry, who lived mainly in the Western Cape region of South Africa and mostly spoke Afrikaans. Thus it should be understood that in South Africa the term 'Coloured' had a specific legal meaning under the apartheid regime, quite different to its general use in the United States and other parts of the world, where the term coloured is taken to refer to black-skinned peoples.
To read this article, one would think that the coloureds of this Prince Hall lodges were the actual people who Stephen Bilko and Nelson Mandela represented.
The history of Prince Hall Freemasonry in South Africa started back in in the early 1900s. The lodges were founded by the late bro. Levi Coppin who was a Bishop of the African methodist Episcopal Church of the United States. According to the History of the United Supreme Council, NJ., PHA, Coppin was a district Deputy grand Master of the PHGL of Pennsylvania. He had been very active in propagandizing Freemasonry among the Black Natives in the Union of South Africa. The lodges were established in 1902 at Capetown(Ethiopia Lodge No. 75) and also at Kimberly(Coppin Lodge No. 76). However due to the Goverment implementing the intitution of Aparthied, the Black Africans were not allowed to practice freemasonry. Therefore when one from America reads the article in question, one has to research and see what exactly was the Goverment's position on the Black Africans from the 1970s.. The "Coloureds " more likely were the people from the country of India or some from mixed marriages.
I do have in my collection a picture of a brother from one of those lodges, along with a Past Grand Master from the PHGL of Pennsylvania. The brother from that lodge is surely not a black african from South Africa. If any are interested, I can forward a copy of the picture.

Bro. Ralph


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