Lodge’s loy­alty to John­son, a lord of the ring

Daily Mail - - Moneymail: Borrow It -

THE MYTH is be­ing per­pet­u­ated that boxer Jack John­son went only to Canada and France out­side the U.S. (Mail). In fact, he came to Eng­land to fight ex­hi­bi­tion matches in New­cas­tle in 1911. How can I be sure of this? An Army of­fi­cer from Dundee was also box­ing there in Oc­to­ber 1911 and in­tro­duced John­son to my ma­sonic lodge. He trav­elled up from New­cas­tle and, on Oc­to­ber 13, 1911, be­came a freema­son in For­far and Kin­car­dine, No. 225 Lodge, in Dundee. This cost the mas­ter at the time a twoyear sus­pen­sion from the Craft. Two other past mas­ters re­ceived one-year sus­pen­sions and our lodge had its char­ter lifted for 18 months. This was be­cause its mem­bers re­fused to deny Jack John­son and bow to pres­sure from the Amer­i­can Grand Lodge and the Grand Lodge of Scot­land to send him back the three guineas he had paid to be­come a mem­ber. My records show they never did this. My past brethren fought tooth and nail, and at con­sid­er­able cost, and re­fused to aban­don Brother John­son, who’d com­mit­ted no crime in Bri­tish law. John­son was a very in­tel­li­gent and hard­work­ing man who not only in­vented an ad­justable wrench but had his own night­clubs. His tragedy was to have been 100 years be­fore his time. He was a wealthy World Cham­pion boxer who liked white women. His only fault, in 1911, was to be black. As a past mas­ter of his lodge, I’m proud that my brethren re­fused to aban­don him and took their pu­n­ish­ment. As far as For­far and Kin­car­dine Lodge is con­cerned, the Great Jack John­son is, and will for ever re­main, a freema­son. I’m proud of my past brethren and proud that Jack John­son was a mem­ber of my lodge.

GOR­DON WEB­STER, Dundee.

Proud: Gor­don Web­ster with his lodge book. Inset, Jack John­son

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