The Historia de la Masoneria Cubana by Ricards A. Byrne, quoted freely in Symbolisme, November, 1925, and translated by us for the Builder, April, 1926, page 115, indicated that an Irish military Lodge was working at Havana from 1762. The 1798 insurrection drove some French Brethren to Santiago de Cuba from Santo Domingo where Lodges existed since 1748. These immigrants erected Lodges, Perseverance and Concord, Friendship and Benevolent Concord, in 1802 and 1803. Next year the Lodge Le Temple des Virtus Theologales was instituted at Havana by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania but the Franco-Spanish War in 1809 forced the French to leave for Louisiana.
On March 27, 1818, a Grand Lodge was organized, and April 2, General Louis de Clonet, a Frenchman, founded at Havana a Grand Consistory, Princes of the Royal Secret. But Masonic progress was hindered in 1823 by the arrest and execution of many Brethren, victims of the bloody persecutions ordered by Ferdinand VII. Masonic meetings were forbidden and only allowed after many years, in 1859. Again the War of Independence exposed Freemasonry once more to the attacks of the authorities and it survived in secret to resume open freedom on March 26, 1899, through intervention by the United States. Lodges resumed labor, others were organized, and the Gran Logia de la Isla de Cuba, founded in 1859, of which Brother Byme has been Grand Master, thrived accordingly. There is also recorded by the Annual an Oriental Grand Lodge, dating from I921, with headquarters at Santiago de Cuba but this is not mentioned in the data credited to Brother Byrne.
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