The tradition of Military Lodges is not as strong today as it was two centuries ago, but it continues wherever troops have answered the call of duty. Lodges serving American and Allied forces and meeting in forward locations include Cross Swords Military Lodge No. 150, Tigris Military Lodge No. 151, VBC Euphrates Military Lodge No. 152, all under the MW Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Maryland. The newest lodge to proudly continue this tradition “down range” is Canada Lodge, U.D. under the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario.
On October 7, 2010, Canada Lodge, initiated two candidates at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan. The new Entered Apprentices are Major Robert Kelly and Corporal Satraj Toor.
WBro Vasta wrote this about Canada Lodge:
As you can see from the photos, our lodge is now beautifully furnished thanks to the generosity of the brethren from back home. Due to operational requirements we did not (all who had parts) have the chance (though try we did) to do a complete run through before the big night.
If I may say so myself, the ceremony was done as well as any I have seen back home (in my limited Masonic experience, mind you).
All of the parts came together seamlessly and it was quite evident that all of the brethren had put their heart and soul into the perfection of their work.
I am truly honored to have been a part of this historic Masonic event.
Our evening ended with a truly Afghan flavor as we were posing for photographs we came under rocket attack and had to hit the floor.
There are striking parallels with Rudyard Kipling’s description of the activities in his lodge in India more than a century before.
Outside— “Sergeant! Sir! Salute! Salaam!”
Inside— “Brother,” an’ it doesn’t do no ’arm.
We met upon the Level an’ we parted on the Square,
An’ I was junior Deacon in my Mother-Lodge out there!
—From Rudyard Kipling, “The Mother Lodge”