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Sojourners' Club, the National
According to data in its own publications the National Sojourners' Club, like the Masonic Fraternity itself, is unable to put its finger on the exact place and date of its origin. More or less tentative experiments, made at widely- separated places and in different years, both proved the need of and prepared the way for it. As Sojourners' Club was founded by army officers (from other services, also) in Manila, P. I., in 1900, it: finally became Manila Lodge, No 342, on October 10, 1901. Another club of Sojourners appeared in the same city, in 1907, Manila being then, as it is non fruitful in Masonic origins, and, it may well be destined to be a Mother City of Freemasonry in the Far East where it maw have nobody can tell how large a future.
The present organization in America began when fifteen officers met at the Hamilton Club in Chicago (which is among clubs what Manila is among cities, for it is a mother of clubs), in 1917. A formal organization was completed February 28, 1918 Membership was made eligible to commissioned officers in the uniformed services who are Masons; patriotism was proclaimed its chief tenet. At the first meeting twenty-four were present; Captain F. C. Russell was elected President.
The roster of its local and national officers contains names made famous the World over by two World Wars; and also contained at least one President of the United States. Masons in the services on land and sea will always find each other out and form circles regardless of difficulties, for the Mystic Tie means much to them. For two centuries the Craft has tried out Army Lodges, Navy Lodges, Lodges on board ship, Mariners' Lodges, Ambulatory Lodges but they have not everywhere been satisfactory. The Sojourners is not a Lodge but a club, and it may in the future be proved to have found the most satisfactory formula for Masonic fellowship among Masons in the armed services.
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