Brief History of the Most Worshipful Union Grand Lodge of Florida
In 1865, Brother Charles F. Dailey accepted the Deputy Grand Mastership for the Southern Jurisdiction, under Hiram Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. Brother Charles F. Dailey 33°, was born in St. Thomas, West Indies in 1820. In 1840, he was in the fruit trade between Florida and Europe. He was the leading black Mason in the South. Brother Dailey received his first three degrees in a lodge in Liverpool, England and the Scottish Rite in Glasgow, Scotland and was knighted at Greenock, Scotland. It is believed that Brother Dailey was unaware of the irregularities of Hiram Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and the National Compact Lodge at the time of his appointment. Brother Dailey was a man of unusual ability to be able to organize black men in the south during the time period of high racial tension.
In 1867, the first three lodges were established by Brother Dailey in the state of Florida: Solomon Lodge # 50, Saint Johns Lodge # 51, and Mt. Moriah Lodge # 52. The lodges were chartered by Hiram Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. (Note: Hiram Grand Lodge was a spurious offspring of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. The two Grand Lodges later reconciled after the dissolution of the National Compact). On June 17, 1870 in the city of Jacksonville, Florida, a general assembly of the Craft was called to meet, presided over by the RW Charles F. Dailey, Deputy Grand Master for the Southern Jurisdiction, under Hiram Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, with RW Charles H. Pierce as Grand Secretary. The convention lasted two days. A code of laws for the jurisdiction was adopted and the lodges were consolidated, renumbered, and charted by the Most Worshipful Union Grand Lodge of Florida. The following Grand Officers were elected for the ensuing year: Harry H. Thompson, Grand Master; John H. Robinson, Deputy Grand Master; Robert Smith, Grand Senior Warden; James Roberts, Grand Junior Warden; Emanuel Fortune, Grand Treasure; F.H. Dunkins, Grand Secretary; Rev. Charles H. Pierce, Grand Chaplin. This is the creation of The Most Worshipful Union Grand Lodge of Florida. In 1877, in Wilmington, Delaware, the dissolution of the National Compact Grand Lodge occurred. A resolution was unanimously adopted: Resolved that each State is its Sovereign head… etc. With this action being taken, the State of Florida was on its own to decide if it would go its own way or be affiliated with other Prince Hall Bodies. The State chose to be among the legal and legitimate Prince Hall Bodies and became Prince Hall Affiliated.
The Most Worshipful Union Grand Lodge, Most Ancient and Honorable Fraternity, Free and Accepted Masons, Prince Hall Affiliated, Florida and Belize, Central America, Incorporated, has existed for 133 years and counting. The Grand Lodge is located at 410 Broad Street, Jacksonville, Florida.
“Submitted by A.T. Stafford, SGW Approved by Reverend Dr. Michael R. Moore 33°, Grand Master”
The current 2009 Grand Lodge Officers are as follows:
MW Anthony T. Stafford, Sr. 33°, Grand Master;
RW Walter Gulley, Jr. 33°, Deputy Grand Master;
RW Jeffrey Jones 33°, Senior Grand Warden;
RW Gus Harris 33°, Junior Grand Warden;
RW Phillip Robinson 33°, Grand Secretary;
RW Melvin Wright 33°, Grand Treasurer;
PM W. J. Carpenter 33°, Grand Chaplin;
PM Dwayne Jones 33°, Committee Chairman of Foreign Correspondence
The Grand Lodge currently has chartered one hundred fifty-eight lodges and has a membership over 3000.