By Worshipful Master Jacob Vaughan
My journey in masonry began when I was exposed to the craft at the age of 16. Being the
first non-member to step in my Grand Father’s lodge hall in ten years imprinted on my mind I
was going to be the first to do some things in life. I was the first in my immediate family to go to
college and graduate. The first to join the fraternity. And the first out of the 24 years of
recognition to be installed as Worshipful Master under the M:. W:. Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Washington by an Honorary Past Grand Master of the M:. W:. Prince Hall
Grand Lodge of Washington and Jurisdiction.
After attending my first Prince Hall meeting many moons ago under the canopy of Fred
U. Harris #70 I was astonished by the differences between lodges. Not by the ethnicity of the
members or by the labors of the craft, but by the fellowship of acceptance and brotherly love. I
was put to work when the gavel was rapped as an equal and was expected to do so which I was
obligated to by my own free will and accord. My work was a little different from theirs, but was
accepted with open arms and smiles. To see and experience what I saw and felt that evening
cannot be described by words. It can only be lived by he who wishes to learn of that sacred bond which unites us.
The segregation of Blue Lodge and Prince Hall still exists to this day even after so many
improvements by both sides which has me question the fraternity’s tenets, principles and future. We are taught that there is only one Supreme Architect of the Universe who presides in the one and only Celestial Lodge above which we all strive to arrive at someday when our labors are finished here in this life. But, yet we can’t work, labor and enjoy fellowship as brothers under one Lodge here on Earth with each other. My hope is that one day the dreams of Prince Hall and William H. Upton will become a reality throughout the world. These two who are decades apart from different eras really understood and never lost sight of those truly masonic ornaments. Brotherly love, relief and truth.