Galilei George Washington
Lodge No. 810a
AF & AM
Galilei George Washington # 810A
Condenced from a history prepared by Bro Martin E. James for the 25th Anniversary, 15th of July 1979
In the beginning there was darkness but then came the Light
Under a Special dispensation from the United Grand Lodges of Germany a meeting was held with American Brothers affiliated with the German Lodge Galilei Lodge 810 on 5 July 1954. the meeting was held in Landstuhl, Germany and was held for the purpose of discussing and establishing procedures for conducting Lodge business. Eleven petitions for membership were received at this meeting. Official Sanction for a Deputy Lodge Galilei 810A came on 15 July 1954, by decree of MWB Theodor Vogel, Grand Master of the United Grand Lodges of Germany. On 6 June the first elections were held and WB Ira E. Dabney became the first elected Master of Galilei 810A. The Lodge was Officially granted a charter as a regular Lodge on 30 June 1957.
Due to the amount of petitions received by August of 1955 The Lodge was having trouble keeping up with the work and created a dilemma. To solve this dilemma On 5 Sept 1955 a summons was ordered for a meeting to be held on 19 Sept to elect officers to form a deputy Lodge George Washington Lodge 820. WB Ira E. Dabney Master of Galilei 810A appointed Brother Dale Shores (Senior warden of Galilei 810A) as Master of the new Deputy Lodge. Accordingly elections were held on 19 Sept, and the newly elected officers were duly installed by the Master of Galilei 810A on 23 October 1955.
As far back as December of 1954 a committee was appointed to investigate the possibility of acquiring a new Lodge Hall. This was done as result of the Lodge being informed of the possibility of loosing it’s meeting place at Landstuhl. The Lodge was very involved in many fund raising projects and by June 1956 the building fund totaled $10,090. On 1 April 1957 the building committee was given permission to purchase a building located at Augustas Str # 2 in Kaiserslautern and on 6 May 1957 a down payment of 51,500 DM was made and a $200 a month payment on the loan . the United Grand Lodge of Germany Pledged 8000 DM to help with renovation costs. The renovations were completed and the first meeting was held in the new Lodge Hall on 1 July 1957. On 3 November 1958 the Temple was officially dedicated Unity Temple with RWB Peter M. Rasmussen presiding. By August 1959 a balance of 40,000 DM remained to be paid with a due date of June 1962. In April 1960 the brothers the building block program was reinstated to raise funds to pay off the loan. In November 1970 it was reported that the building would be sold for a sum of 280,000 DM. and under the terms of the sale the Lodge would be allowed to rent the building for a monthly rent of 650 DM until a new Temple could be constructed. Three sites were considered for the new meeting place. For reasons undetermined, the actual sale of the building did not transpire. Later attempts to sell the building were also fruitless. Thus to the present Unity Temple remains as the home of Freemasonry in Kaiserslautern.
And Then Came a Grand Lodge
In Sept 1961 a meeting of all Masters of English speaking Lodges in Germany was held in Berlin. The purpose of which was to discuss a proposed Grand Lodge for American and Canadian Lodges. This item came up for discussion at a meeting of Galilei 810A on 1 October 1962. The subject remained an item of discussion until January 1963 when the formation of a provincial Grand Lodge for American and Canadian groups A.F.& A.M., was brought before the Lodge for consideration. The Lodge chose to join the new Grand lodge and donated $100.00 to assist in it’s initial operating expenses. This endeavor was further highlighted when the provincial Grand Lodge convened in Kaiserslautern , on 15-16 July 1966, hosted by Galilei 810A.
As result of the years of the Military Draw down the resident membership dropped drastically and there were not enough members to maintain two Lodges so in Sept 2004 Galilei merged with George Washington 820 and formed the present structure of Galiliei, George Washington Lodge # 810A.