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Empty Chair Ceremony – Palatine Lodge 2447

On 26 February 2024, Paletine Lodge 2447 held the empty chair ceremony. The brethren of the lodge solemnly paraded in the chair and a speech was given. All the brethren in attendance had a part to play in laying evergreen on the chair.

The Empty Chair ceremony is American in origin with its roots firmly in the American Civil War, and came about from the untimely death of John Holt Beaver who was the first Mason to be killed in action in the northern plains of the Dakota territory in 1863.

There were many masons in the army during the civil war and it was masonry that overcame the feelings of animosity and hatred that the war fermented. The bonds that tie us as brothers together were not broken, and there are many stories of compassion, generosity and the good and selfless deeds that men are capable of even in wartime.

Bro. Beaver’s name remains in this ceremony as a reminder of the mission of the Frontier Army Lodge of Masonic Research. That mission is to research and memorialise regular members of the Craft in the frontier period from 1860 through 1890, especially in the northern plains and in the original Dakota Territory.

Empty Chair Ceremony – Palatine Lodge 2447