REF: Iolani Palace www.iolanipalace.org
The Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Hawaii celebrates its first birthday 132 years after the formation of its first Commandery.
On November 19th last year, Hawaii’s three Commanderies submitted their application for the formation of a Grand Commandery. This date was meaningful to us, because in the year 1119, the Order of Poor Knights of Jesus Christ was formed. During the 65th Triennial of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar in Virginia, over 400 Delegates from around the world voted unanimously in favor of the application.
S.K. Gerhart Walch and S.K. David Dixon Goodwin, newly installed Most Eminent Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States, celebrated this momentous event with a picture for the three Knights Templar Commanderies in Hawaii which are: Honolulu Commandery No. 1, Kalakaua Commandery No. 2 and Hilo Commandery No. 3.
During the 34th Annual Convocation of the Grand York Rite Bodies of Hawaii, held on September 13, 2012, Most Eminent Sir Knight William H. Koon, II, Past Grand Master, presented the charter of The Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Hawaii in a very impressive ceremony. He then installed the very first Grand Officers with the assistance of Right Eminent Department Commander Sir Knight David J. Kussman and Right Puissant General Grand P.C.W. Milton S. Roberts, Past Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of K.T. of Oregon.
Grand Commander S.K. Cecil A. Ryder, Jr.
Deputy Grand Commander S.K. John B. Connell
Grand Generalissimo S.K. Stuart M. Cowan
Grand Captain General S.K. Monty J. Glover
Grand Treasurer S.K. Arnold L. Winters
Grand Recorder S.K. Gerhart W. Walch
These officers will serve until the 1st Annual Conclave in November.
The history of The Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Hawaii would not be complete without some reference to its royal connection. In the days of the Hawaiian kingdom, a special relationship was enjoyed between Freemasonry and the monarchy as well as some men closely associated with the monarchy. This favorable situation was due to several members of the Hawaiian royalty being members of the Craft, and some Caucasian Freemasons who had settled in the islands and married into the royal families.
King David Kalakaua
Honolulu Commandery No. 1
1878 and 1879
Our most famous Knight Templar is King David Kalakaua. He was the seventh and last King of the Kingdom of Hawaii. He was raised a Master Mason in Lodge Le Progres de l’Oceanie No. 124 in 1859 and served as Worshipful Master in 1876. Shortly after he was crowned King of Hawaii, Honolulu Commandery No. 1 was formed in 1870 with King David Kalakaua serving as Eminent Commander during 1878 and 1879.
In 1881, King Kalakaua, Past Commander, Honolulu Commandery No. 1, left Hawaii to tour the world. He was the first Hawaiian monarch to be received by heads of state including France, Italy, Austria, England, and Ireland. He had an audience with Pope Leo XII, dined with Queen Victoria, and discussed trade policy with President Chester A. Arthur. He truly loved Vienna where he grew fond of the royal residences, music, and arts. Upon his return, he envisioned a Hawaiian palace of equal beauty with arts and furniture from Europe. Thus, it was only natural that the celebration program included a visit of the Royal Iolani Palace and its Masonic Museum. A warm Mahalo to S.K. Douglas Crum, docent at the Iolani Palace, for his efforts, research, and fantastic private tour.