History of

Masonry in Hawaii



 By: Herbert G. Gardiner, PGS, Grand Historian

        In  1908  The  Masonic  Directory  of  the Territory of Hawaii listed  five  Masonic  Lodges  in the Islands. They were Hawaiian Lodge No.21, F.& A.M., Pacific Lodge No.822, A.F. & A.M., Oceanic Lodge  No.  371,  F  & A.M., Kilauea Lodge No. 330, F.& A.M., and Maui Lodge No.984, A.F. & A.M.


        In  1908  Theodore Roosevelt who was a Freemason was President of   the   United   States.  The  U.S.  Congress  authorized  the construction   of   Naval  Station  Honolulu   at  Pearl  Harbor.

        In  1908  Mainly  to impress Imperial Japan that the U.S. Navy could  shift from the Atlantic to the Pacific President Roosevelt ordered  the  "Great  White  Fleet" to sail around the world. The fleet consisted of sixteen new battleships of the Atlantic Fleet. The   battleships  were  painted  white  except  for  the  gilded scrollwork  on  their  bows.  The  journey  took fourteen months.  The  squadrons  were manned by 14,000 sailors, the voyage covered 43,000  miles  and  called  at  twenty  ports  on six continents.

     Since  the  Panama  Canal  was still under construction the fleet sailed  through  the  Straits  of  Magellan near the southern tip of  South  America.  The armada  arrived in Honolulu on July 16th and  remained  for  six  days.  After many celebrations and luaus the   fleet  headed  for  New  Zealand.  From  there  the  armada continued  on  around  the  world  returning   to  Hampton Roads, Virginia on February 22, 1909. There President Roosevelt reviewed the   Fleet  as  it  returned  home  after  completing  a  highly successful  voyage  around  the  world,  a  feat  not  previously accomplished by any of the world's leading naval powers.

     In  1908 the City & County of Honolulu was created with Joseph James  Fern  as  its  first  Mayor. Walter F. Frear was appointed Governor  of  Hawaii  by President  Roosevelt. Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniianole  was  the  Territorial Delegate to Congress, and the Hawaiian   Pineapple Growers Association was founded and launched a successful campaign to popularize the consumption of Pineapple.


     In  1908 the three Masonic Lodges on Oahu were: Hawaiian Lodge No.  21  F&AM  which  had  been  chartered  by the Grand Lodge of California  on  May  5,  1852; Lodge le Progres de l'Oceanie  No. 124  had  been  constituted  under  he  auspices of the Ancient & Accepted  Scottish Rite of the Supreme Council of France on April 8,  1843.  However  in  1905 the Lodge transferred its allegiance to  the  Grand  Lodge  of  California  and was designated Oceanic Lodge  No.  371  F  &  AM.  In  1916 the Lodge requested and  was authorized  to  revert  to  its  original name and was designated Lodge  le  Progres  de  l'Oceanie  No. 371. Pacific Lodge No. 822 A.F.  &  A.M.  was organized by dispensation on January  4, 1895, through   the  District  Grand  Lodge  of  Queensland,  Australia (Scottish  Constitution)  and  was  Chartered  by the Grand Lodge of Scotland on August 1, 1895.


     The  first  Lodge  constituted  on  the  Island  of  Maui  was Chartered  by  the  Grand  Lodge  of California as Maui Lodge No. 223  F&AM  in  1872.  The  Lodge prospered for a few years but in 1877  surrendered  its  Charter  due  to a lack of participation. In  1904  the  Brethren  on  the Island of Maui once again sought to  establish  a  Lodge  on  the  Island. An inquiry to the Grand Lodge  of  California  failed  to elicit any encouragement so the Maui  Brethren  contacted  Henry  Ernest  Cooper  Past  Master of Hawaiian  Lodge  and  founder  of Pacific Lodge No. 822 under the Grand  Lodge  of  Scotland,  for recommendations. It appears that Worshipful  Brother  Cooper  was  the representative of the Grand Lodge  of  Scotland  in Hawaii at the time. As a result the Grand Lodge  of  Scotland  on  February  2,  1905  Chartered Lodge Maui No. 984 in Wailuku.


     The  first  Lodge  to  be  constituted on the Island of Hawaii was  Kilauea  Lodge  No. 330, F. & A.M.  located in Hilo in 1897. It  was Chartered by the Grand Lodge of California.



IN THE 1908  ERA    


     Archibald  Scott Cleghorn 1835-1910. Cleghorn was the husband of  Princess Miriam Kapili younger sister of King David Kalakaua. Cleghorn  was  the  father  of  Princess  Victoria  Kaiulani.  He succeeded  his  brother-in-law  John  Dominis  (husband  of Queen Lili'uokalani)  as  Governor  of  Hawaii.  Cleghorn was the first president  of  Queen's  Hospital,  and  was  a member of he privy council  under  Kalakaua,  the  Board of Health, and the Board of Immigration. He was Honolulu's first park commissioner and became known  as  the father of Hawaii's Park System. He designed Thomas Square,  Kawaiahao  Church  grounds,  Royal Mausoleum grounds and Kapiolani   Park.   Cleghorn's  mansion   on  Queen  Emma  street eventually  became  the  original  Pacific  Club  of which he was president  for  forty-six  years.  Cleghorn became a Master Mason in  Hawaiian Lodge No., F & AM in December 1873. He was an active member  of  the  Lodge  and  served as a  Trustee from 1882-1895.  Archibald  Scott  Cleghorn  was  a  highly  valued advisor to the Hawaiian Monarchy for a good many years.


     Curtis  Piehu  Iaukea,  1855-1940.   Curtis Iaukea served the Hawaiian  Monarchy  during the reign of King Kalakaua as a highly competent  One-man Diplomatic Corps. He was sheriff of the County of  Oahu  from  1906-1908.  In  1909  he  served  a  term  in the Territorial  Senate.  He was appointed secretary of the Territory in  1917 and often served as acting governor until his retirement in  1921.  He  became  a  member  of  the Achieves Commission and custodian   of  the  throne  room  of  Iolani  Palace. Iaukea had faithfully  served  the Hawaiian Monarchy, the Republic of Hawaii and  the  Territory  of  Hawaii. He was the most decorated man in Hawaii.  Curtis  Piehu  Iaukea  was a member of Pacific Lodge No. 822, A.F & A.M.


      Henry Ernest Cooper, 1857-1929.  Henry Cooper became a Master Mason  in  a  Lodge  in San Diego, California in 1870. He was the Worshipful  Master  of  Hawaiian  Lodge  No.  21  in 1894. Cooper organized   Pacific  Lodge  No.  822, A.F. & A.M. under the Grand Lodge  of  Scotland  through  the  then  District  Grand Lodge of Queensland,  Australia.  He  served  as  its first Master in 1895 and  again  in  1896.  Cooper also served as Deputy of the Orient of Hawaii for the Scottish Rite Bodies from 1896-1915. 


     Henry  Cooper  was  a  member  of the Committee of Safety and was  a  very  close  associate  of  Lorrin  Thurston the  leading advocate  to  depose  Queen  Lili'uokalani.  Along  with Thurson, Cooper  was  actively  involved  in  establishing the Provisional Government,  the Republic of Hawaii and ultimately the annexation of  Hawaii by the United States. He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs  in  1895.  Cooper  served  in  various key positions and served  as  Acting  president  of  the  Hawaii Republic for three months during the absence of President Sanford Dole.


     Unfortunately   in  the  current  highly  charged  atmosphere created   by   some  elements   of  the  Hawaii  population  that castigates  anyone  who  supported  deposing  Queen Liliu'okalani (Mrs.  John  Dominis), Henry  Ernest Cooper  has virtually become a  "Non-person"  or,   along  with  Lorrin Thurston  is portrayed as  one  of  the  arch  villains  in Hawaiian History.  To pursue the  interesting  and  productive  career  of Henry Ernest Cooper would  involve  us in the realm of politics...so, for the purpose of  this  paper  we'll  close  this  particular segment here with the  knowledge that Henry Ernest Cooper was a dedicated Freemason and a very capable public servant.


     Benjamin   Franklin  Dillingham,  1884-1918.  Dillingham  was a  member  of  Oceanic  Lodge  No. 371, F& AM. Ben Dillingham was the  founder  of  the Dillingham clan of Hawaii. He was the first officer  of  the  bark  "Whistler"  which  stopped in Honolulu in 1864. While riding along the shore  he was thrown from the horse which  resulted  in a long stay in the hospital. While recovering he  was  befriended  by  the Reverend Lowell Smith whose daughter Emma  Louise  married  Dillingham in 1869. Dillingham gave up the life  of  a  sailor  and  began a business career as a clerk in a hardware  store.  He subsequently bought the business and changed the name to Dillingham & Company. In 1889 he directed his efforts to  linking  Honolulu  with  the  North Shore of Oahu by means of a  railroad.  Along  with  his  associates  he  later  obtained a franchise  for  the  Oahu  Steam  Railway. "Dillingham's Folly as some  folks  referred  to it, laid 170 miles of track and  became the  greatest  single  factor  in the agricultural development of Oahu. By 1890 railroad operations were established on the Islands of  Maui  and  Hawaii.  Dillingham  help to develop several Sugar Plantations  by  building  extensive  railroad facilities on Oahu and  the  neighbor  islands. He later built on Hawaii what became known  as  the  Hawaii  Consolidated  Railway.  His son Walter F. Dillingham  took  over  the  operation  of the various Dillingham business  activities  around  the  time  of  the  annexation. Ben Dillingham  retired  and  enjoined the realization of his dreams, but  remained  the  President  of  Oahu Rail & Land Company until his death.


     Lester  Petrie,  1878-1956.  Petrie  was  a member of Hawaiian Lodge  No.  21,  F  &  AM.  He was a member of the Honolulu Board of  Supervisors  from  1913  to  1930.   Petrie was a territorial senator  for  four  years  and  was  Mayor of Honolulu during the years  of  WW  II.  He was Mayor from 1941 to 1947. Lester Petrie P,4 was   one   of   the  Freemasons  who   helped  to establish   the Shriner Hospital  for  Crippled  Children in Honolulu. Petrie was the  Potentate in 1917 and The Master of Hawaiian Lodge in 1920 Gerrit  Parmale  Wilder,  1863-193  Wilder.  was  a member of Hawaiian  Lodge  No.  21,  F  &  AM. Wilder was born in Honolulu. He  attended  Punahou  School and worked for the Kahului Railroad Company.  In  1896  he  became  its  president.  He  retired from business  two  years  later  and  devoted  his  entire efforts to horticulture.   In  1924  he  earned  a  master's  degree  at the University  of  Hawaii  and  subsequently  became an associate in botany  at  the  Berniice  P.  Bishop  Museum.  He  made  several expeditions  to  the  South  Pacific, Ceylon, the West Indies and other areas. Wilder introduced many plants and trees into Hawaii. He  also  hybridized  and created many new varieties of Hibiscus. In 1907 he published "Fruits of the Hawaiian Islands."


     Charles  William  Dickey,  1871-1942.  Dickey was a member of Hawaiian  Lodge  No.  21,  F  &  AM. Dickey was a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He designed many buildings in  Hawaii.  Among  the  more  notable were Kamehameha School for Boys,  Montague  Hall  at  Punahou  School,  the  Castle  & Cooke Building,  Waikiki,  Varsity, Toyo, and Hilo Theaters; Halekulani Hotel,  Kona inn, Naniloa Hotel in Hilo; Wilcox Memorial Hospital at  Lihue and the Kula Sanatorium on  Maui. Dickey was associated with  the  design  of  Honolulu's  City  Hall.  He  served on the Honolulu City  Planning Commission from 1931 to 1938.


     Wallace  Rider Farrington, 1871-1933, Farrington was a member of   Oceanic  Lodge  No.  371, F & AM.  Farrington came to Hawaii as  managing  editor  of  the  Pacific  Commercial Advertiser. He later  became  editor  of  the  evening Bulletin which was merged with  the  Hawaiian  Star  in  1913,  and  Farrington became vice president  and  general  manager  of the resulting Star-Bulletin. Farrington   resigned  these  positions  when  he  was  appointed governor  of  the  Territory  of  Hawaii  by  President Warren G. Harding  (also  a  Freemason)  in  1921.  He  was  reappointed by President  Calvin  Coolidge  in  1925.  Farrington  supported the continuation  of  land  grants  to  Hawaiians and the work of the Hawaii  Homes  Commission.  Farrington  was  a lifelong proponent of statehood for the territory.


     John  Harris Soper, 1846-1944. Soper was a member of Hawaiian Lodge  No.  21,  F  & AM. Soper was born in  Plymouth, England and came  to  Hawaii  via  California  in 1877. He became involved in raising  sugar  cane  and  became  manager of the Pioneer Mill at Lahaina,  Maui.  He  was  first  appointed marshal of the kingdom in  1884  succeeding  William  C. Parke also a member of Hawaiian Lodge.  After  two  years  he  resigned  to reenter business, but King Kalakaua again called him to the post in 1888.


     Soper  headed  the force that suppressed the Robert W. Wilcox rebellion  in  1889  and  resigned  again.  Soper was recalled by the  Provisional  Government  to  lead  their  forces, and it was under  his  command  that  the  Hawaiian  Monarchy was overthrown in   a   bloodless  takeover.  He  also  suppressed  the  counter revolution  of 1895 led by Robert Wilcox and Sam Nowlein a member of  Oceanic  Lodge  No.  371.  He  continued in this office until 1907,  when  he  was retired by the War Department in Washington, D.C.  with  he  rank  of  Brigadier  General. Soper was Master of Hawaiian Lodge in 1895.


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   Henry Berger 1844-1929

        Henry  Berger  who  arrived  in  Honolulu  during the reign of Kamahameha  V  to  serve as Band Master was still active in 1908. Berger  was  not a Freemason. He had helped Lili'uokalani compose "Aloha  Oe"  and  wrote  Hawaii's national anthem "Hawaii Ponoi." Berger  led  the  Royal  Hawaiian  Band  for fory-three years and made  it  world  famous.  Henry  Berger served under the Hawaiian Monarchy,  the  Republic  of  Hawaii and the Territory of Hawaii. He retired in 1916 at age 72. 


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Masonic  Directory, Territory of Hawaii 1908. Honolulu Mercantile Printing Co., LTD. 1908

History  Makers  of  Hawaii,  By  A. Grove Day, Mutual Publishing of Honolulu. March 1984.

Assorted Papers by the author covering a period of  15 years