Wednesday, September 21, 2022

‘Bolívar’s Scottish Rite regalia’

Magpie file photo
The Thirty-Second Degree collar and apron owned by Simón Bolívar. I shot this photo at Fraunces Tavern Museum twenty years ago when Tom Savini curated an exhibit of Livingston Library treasures there. I had this published in The Northern Light not long after.

One week from tomorrow, the Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library will host an online discussion of the Scottish Rite regalia owned by Bro. Simón Bolívar. Bro. Alexander Vastola, Director of the library, will be the presenter, explaining Bolívar’s Masonic life, and how his Thirty-Second Degree collar and apron became the property of the library.

Thursday, September 29 at 7 p.m. Click here to register.

Simón Bolívar (1783-1830), “the George Washington of South America,” was a military and political leader essential to the liberation of multiple South American nations from Spanish colonial control, including Venezuela, Colombia, and, of course, Bolivia. His Masonic lodge is unknown, but history remembers him, with Argentine José de San Martin and Cuban José Martí, also Freemasons, as heroes of their nations’ wars of independence.

Central Park Conservancy
Our city has been adorned with several Bolívar monuments since 1891. The current statue was dedicated at Bolivar Hill in 1921. President Warren Harding, made a Mason the previous year in Marion Lodge 70 in Ohio, delivered a foreign policy speech on relations among the Americas at the dedication. The statue was moved to Sixth Avenue at 59th Street, at Central Park, in 1951, after Sixth was dubbed the Avenue of the Americas. (The statues of San Martin and Martí were added there later.)

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