Wednesday, September 23, 2015

‘ICHF 2017?’

It was announced at the 2011 International Conference on the History of Freemasonry in Alexandria, Virginia that the next conferences would be hosted in Edinburgh in 2013, Toronto in 2015, and England in 2017, that being the tercentenary of the Grand Lodge of England. This year’s event did not come to fruition due to financial obstacles, and it was announced today by the Grand Lodge of Scotland that it is weighing the concept of hosting a smaller event (date TBD) in Scotland that would be “more focused on Scottish Freemasonry,” indicating ICHF 2017 in England is not to be.

Courtesy GLS
I think this spells the demise of the ICHF tradition if Scotland will become the lone thematic and geographic locus. ICHF might remain an international affair by attracting presenters and audience from around the world, but if everything delivered from the podium will be Scot-centric—and don’t get me wrong: I love most of what I know of Scottish culture—then I wonder how long it could be sustained before it becomes a forum only for Scottish lodge histories and biographies.

As for England in 2017, as reported months ago in the pages of The Journal of The Masonic Society, Quatuor Coronati 2076 will host a tercentenary celebration at Queens’ College, Cambridge next September. Planning is advanced by now (call for papers, etc. was long ago). I’ll share news of this as it becomes available.

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