In Afghanistan

Discussion in 'Finding a Lodge' started by Efrain.Portillo, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. Efrain.Portillo

    Efrain.Portillo Registered User

    Hi my name is Efrain Portillo I am 23yrs old I am from Houston Texas, I am currently working in afghanistan on camp Leather Neck, is there a way I could join from here or do I have to wait until I am back in Texas?
  2. Bro_Vick

    Bro_Vick Moderator Premium Member

    If you want to join prince hall it might be an option, though I have never heard of it being practiced at leatherneck. I would wait until you got back. PM if you have any further questions about Freemasonry in Afghanistan.
  3. cjapgar

    cjapgar Premium Member

    There is a Prince Hall lodge in Afghanistan, although I don't remember where. I'd also suggest waiting until your return to CONUS. From one Marine to another, be safe out there Brother and get back home safe.
  4. Efrain.Portillo

    Efrain.Portillo Registered User

    Thank you sir, I might just wait until I get home, I dont leave here until Novemer... it also gives me more time to expand me knowledge...
  5. Michaelstedman81

    Michaelstedman81 Premium Member

    First of all, you will need to make your mind up as to if you are wanting to join a Prince Hall lodge or a "mainstream" lodge. That is a decision that you are going to have to make anyway, but the reason why I am telling you right now is because there is an active Prince Hall lodge on one of the bigger bases there in country. Becoming a Mason while you are in country could be a pretty memorable experience and add to your story. But, if you are wanting to join "mainstream" Masonry, you will have to wait till you get back here. I also believe that Bro. Vick is correct that there is not an active Prince Hall lodge on Leatherneck.

    If you are going to wait till you get back here to join which is probably the best idea, stay in touch with this forum. When the time comes, this forum can be really helpful in finding a lodge that is close to where you are going to be when you are home and can even get you in contact with someone there to help you start filling out your petition. You can also find out a lot about Masonry and what it means to be a Mason from some very knowledgable Brothers and not have to worry about it being fudged up stuff. Plenty of us here to answer your questions and also help guide you to start you on your Masonic journey.

    Good luck with your decision, and stay safe!
  6. Efrain.Portillo

    Efrain.Portillo Registered User

    What about a petition, do I have to requests one, or my sponsor?
  7. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

    I am not familiar with Leatherneck. Where is it in relation to Kabul? The reason I ask that I ran across this article on Pietre-Stones Review of Freemasonry.

    Freemasonry in Afghanistan - Swisher Lodge

    Swisher Lodge U.D. Operational in Afghanistan

    By W.B. Patrick Barger, Personal Representative of the Grand Master

    Nebraska Masonry is Alive and Afghanistan! The travelling men of Nebraska Freemasonry flew that well-known pseudonym to renewed heights in the last few weeks. Swisher Lodge Under Dispensation was open once again in the war-torn country of Afghanistan, half-way around the globe. Acting under dispensation from Most Worshipful Brother Bruce A. Baker, Swisher Lodge opened its doors in Kabul, Afghanistan in early December 2011. The Grand Lodge of Nebraska shipped the famous "Swisher Kit" containing all tools and accessories necessary to conduct a lodge communication to me and all items were put to good use.

    As you know, Swisher Lodge was named after Bro. (SSG) Christopher Swisher of Lincoln Lodge No. 19, killed in Iraq in 2003. Everything we do is dedicated to him.

    This lodge formed and I was installed Worshipful Master, WB Ritchie Inns of Cotner Lodge No. 297 as Senior Warden, and Brother Blair Talley of Lancaster Lodge No. 54 as Junior Warden. It was nice to have the top three officers of this lodge be Nebraska Masons, as all three of us are currently stationed at various locations across Afghanistan. The three of us extend our Masonic greetings to all of you.

    The lodge currently has fifteen members hailing from all corners of the earth. Besides Nebraska, the Phillipines, Nova Scotia, Texas, Virginia, Germany, Washington, Colorado, and South Dakota are represented.

    Since the lodge was formed, we initiated and passed Brother Phil Holguin, a retired Command Sergeant Major and Army Ranger in the U.S. Army. As the lodge continues to grow in numbers, we hope to have enough members to perform the entire Master Mason degree for him. We were very fortunate to have WB Ritchie Inns in attendance on the evening of the Fellow Craft degree, as he delivers a flawless rendition of the Middle Chamber lecture, as many of you already know. Without Ritchie present to do that, we could not have performed the degree. This, however, is the first time he has delivered the lecture using pictures of the staircase, pillars, and orders of architecture printed on cardstock (there isn't room in the Swisher Kit to roll up a twenty-foot long canvas or two 18 cubit-high pillars). An ammunition box with a towel on top served as the kneeler for the candidate, and a wooden stand used to hang our Individual Body Armor and helmet served as the square that supporte d his left elbow. Three more of these stands served as the pedestals for the top three officers as well. Brother Phil Holguin is pictured in the center with WB Patrick Barger on his left and WB Ritchie Inns on his right. Bro. John Gruehl of Virginia is on the far left and Bro. Mark Buechler from South Dakota is on the far right.

    I am pleased to report that we have a number of people stationed here who are interested in joining Masonry. Perhaps it is true that many (if not most) of them will return to their homes and join local lodges. No matter our very existence in Afghanistan is evidence that Masonry is a worldwide fraternity and they will always remember their first experience in Masonry was in a Nebraska lodge.

    It might be something worth checking out.
  8. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

    FYI, it refers to a picture in the article but there wasn't one actually on the website.
  9. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

    I understand that the Canadian lodge has closed in Kandahar. I would like to get an update. I work in Afghanistan (other locations). I shall always cherish the experiences I had at the lodge there.

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