Freemasonry in Holland
A recent trip to Amsterdam and Delft reminded me of another trip last year and a brief introduction to Freemasonry in Holland, Dutch Freemasonry and a Dutch Lodge.
A while back ago I had been in contact with a Brother who is a Freemason in Holland, Amsterdam. As I was due to travel back to Amsterdam again this year, I recontacted this Brother and asked if there was any Masonic activities that I might attend or join in. Lucky for me the answer was yes and he put me in touch with Bro. Joop van den Burg, Secretary of Lodge Concordia Vincit Animos, Loge Fonda Trice, No. 5 in the East Amsterdam.
Since my schedule arrival in Amsterdam was to coincide with a national holiday, King’s Day, and I would not be expected on the work site until Tuesday, I took advantage of the day and arranged to meet Bro. van den Burg. We met at my hotel in the lobby and he escorted me through the throngs of party goers enjoying the King’s Day festivities to his Lodge in East Amsterdam, about a 20 minute walk. As we walked along he explained many of the sites we passed on our walk to the Lodge.
On arriving at the Lodge he we spoke about the history of his Lodge and the building they occupied. The interesting part of the building was that although it was a nicely kept and a good sized building, it was fairly nondescript from the outside.
Bro. Joop explained that leading up to and after the Nazi occupation of Holland during the 2nd World War the state of Freemasonry and Freemasons in Holland and all that had transpired then and since. All the records and furniture of the Lodge had been confiscated during WWII and the Lodge was lucky enough to have gotten some of the items back over the years but most was lost.
Once inside the familiar sights and objects of Freemasonry began to show themselves. There is a photo gallery of images in this post and the Lodge room or what we would call the Lodge room is spectacular. The building itself was recently renovated and some rooms still show signs of the renovations and some small details still needing completion.
After showing me the lodge rooms and meeting rooms, Bro. Joop also then invited me to join the lodge for an informal meeting that Thursday at the Lodge. I had to check my schedule as I was not sure I would be able to make it depending on work demands. Eventually I had to email him and let him know I could not make it as the project I was there for was experiencing some delays and I had to be on hand to make corrections and get it back on track. I do wish I could have made it and enjoyed the company of Brothers in a familiar setting and wonderful Lodge building.
I have some other items graciously given to me to commemorate my visit including 2 small books (written in Dutch), a complete CD recording of Jean Sibelius’ music, as he was Finnish composer and also composed music for the Grand Lodge of the State of NY. Also I was given a firing glass with the Lodge crest on it. I true festive board firing glass complete with heavy glass bottom for “firing the canons”. I in turn presented Bro. Joop a Grand Master’s pin from 2015 on behalf of Potunk Lodge #1071. Unfortunately I had limited space in my luggage to carry much more with me.
It was truly a pleasure to meet a Dutch Brother and to be show around his Lodge. Traveling is a privilege that should be exercised as often as possible in continuance of friendship and brotherly love.