(20200107) 20 години от взетото решение за създаване на ВС33°СПШР (+ГАЛ)

Новина 34 от 701
(20200107) 20 години от взетото решение за създаване на  ВС33°СПШР (+ГАЛ)

На 7 януари 2020 г. се навършват 20 години от Обикновенното Общо събрание на ВЛ ССиПЗ в Бългаиря, на което е взето решение с даване на мандат на НВУ ВМ Бр Иван Ставрев за започване на работа по инсталиране на Върховен Съвет 33° на Стария и Приет Шотландски Ритуал в България. Тази стъпка указва значителен принос в забързването на процесите по присъединяване на Република България към НАТО. За съжаление се намират и противници на това решение на Великата ложа, които още в същата година, несъгласни с решението на мнозинството, ще направят така, че да се дублира по име и вид Великата ложа. Сега 20 години по-късно историята доказва, че сигурността на България, българския народ и въжделенията на Братята, подкрепили решението за инсталиране на ВС33°СПШР в България от Южната Юрисдикция и Ориент НАТО са били в контекста на избора за мир, просперитет и хармония в името на добруването на българската нация.

 

Предлагаме на Вашето внимание малко материали от публикации от годините преди, по време и след създаването на ВС33°СПШР в България.

 

Masonic Light in Bulgaria

Photo: The beautiful new building of the Grand Lodge of Bulgaria in Sofia is marked by an elegant Square and Compasses logo and a dedication carved in stone.

Masonic Light in Bulgaria

Donald L. Saint, 33°
Deputy Grand Master, American Canadian Grand Lodge (ACGL)
Wetziarer Strasse 18, 35435 Wettenberg, Germany

In April 2000, Sovereign Grand Commander C. Fred Kleinknecht, 33°, received a letter from the Grand Master of Bulgaria, M.W. Ivan Stavrev, requesting him to form a Scottish Rite Supreme Council in Bulgaria. As an initial step in fulfilling this request, Ill. Kleinknecht asked Ill. Robert W. Woodward, 33°, Deputy for the Orient of NATO Bases, to coordinate efforts that would result in the conferring of the 4th through the 32nd Degrees on those Master Masons that the Grand Master of Bulgaria recommended.

The Grossloge A.F.u.A.F. von Deutschland (The Grand Lodge A.F.& A.M. of Germany), within The United Grand Lodges of Germany, had assisted the Grand Lodge of Bulgaria in re-establishing itself in 1997. Therefore, Ill. Kleinknecht contacted Sovereign Grand Commander Hubert V. Koop, 33°, Scottish Rite Supreme Council for Germany, and informed him of the request from the Grand Master of Bulgaria and his own willingness to accommodate that request.

Ill. Woodward commenced planning for this great event by tasking his American Military Scottish Rite Bodies (AMSRB) in Frankfort, Germany, to prepare to confer the Degrees on the Bulgarian Brothers in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. He met with M.W. Stavrev at the Chateau St. Anne in Brussels, Belgium, on April 6 to accomplish this goal and was asked to provide two seminars in Sofia about American and international Masonry. Ill. Woodward asked Ill. Donald L. Saint, 33°, Deputy Grand Master of the American Canadian Grand Lodge (ACGL) and the author of this article, to give those presentations. He enthusiastically agreed.

Preparations commenced immediately. Ill. Saint telephoned the Masonic Service Association/Masonic Information Center (MSA/MIC) and Masonic Renewal Committee of North America (MRC) and purchased all necessary brochures, booklets, and pamphlets on Freemasonry. He also copied more than 30 Masonic videos into the PAL system used in Europe (as opposed to the NTSC system used in America) and about 12 diskettes and two CDs of Masonic graphics and data, along with many other educational materials to be presented to the Bulgarian Brethren.

The General Secretary for the AMSRB, Ill. Charles E. Glidewell, 33°, and Ill. Saint selected the members of the Degree Team and packaged the equipment, materials, and presentation items necessary to make these efforts successful. Unfortunately, Ill. Glidewell was unable to accompany the Degree Team due to ill health.

On July 1, 2000, a Degree Team composed of Brethren from the American Military Scottish Bodies and the American Canadian Grand Lodge conferred the Scottish Rite Degrees on 34 Bulgarian Master Masons in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Due to the travel costs involved, the Degree Team was limited to seven Brothers from the AMSRB and ACGL in Germany and four members of the AMSRB from Italy. The seven from the AMSRB and ACGL were: Ill. Robert W. Woodward, 33°; Ill. Alister Boyd, 33°, Ill. Woodward’s Personal Representative; Ill. Saint, 33°; Ill. Armando G. Solis, 33°; Ill. Elmer C. George, 33°; Bro. Juan A. Goytia, 32°, K.C. C.H.; and Bro. K. Janotta, 32°, K.C.C.H. The Brothers from Italy were from Vicentza, George Washington Lodge No. 585; Clarence B. Daniels, 32°, Terry D. Davenport, 32°, Robert L. Launius, Jr., 32°, and Forrest S. Sutton, Jr., 32°, K.C.C.H. Representing Portugal was our faithful Ill. Bro. Mario Martin Guia, 33°, Deputy Grand Master of Portugal and Grand Secretary of the Supreme Council for Portugal.

Ill. Bros. Woodward and Guia arrived in Sofia on Wednesday, June 28th, and met with the Grand Master and others preparatory to the arrival of the Degree Team on Friday, June 30th. The Degree Team had two purposes. The Team’s first purpose was to confer the 4th through the 32nd Degrees of Scottish Rite Freemasonry on 35 Bulgarian Master Masons. Its second purpose was to make two presentations about American and worldwide Freemasonry to the members of the Grand Lodge of Bulgaria on June 30 and, on the following day, July 1, to the same Brothers plus guests, including journalists from five Bulgarian newspapers.

M.W. Stavrev’s personal representative met the Degree Team at the airport, escorted them into the VIP lounge, and had their passports and baggage processed. After settling into their rooms at the Kempiaski Hotel Zografski in Sofia, they then gathered in a spacious conference room which had four large TVs for viewing parts of some of the Masonic videos previously mentioned. When the meeting began, M.W. Ivan Stavrev made the introductions, Ill. Woodward gave a short presentation concerning the purpose of the visit, and Ill. Boyd introduced all the American, German, and Portuguese Brethren attending.

Then Ill. Saint, the guest speaker for the occasion, thanked the Grand Master in the name of the ACGL and the Supreme Council, 33°, for the invitation to come to Bulgaria and for the opportunity to assist him and his Grand Lodge by providing information about the origins and purposes of Freemasonry. This comprehensive presentation revealed how the universally accepted landmarks of Freemasonry would be of value to every member of the Grand Lodge of Bulgaria and the good people of their country. This presentation was followed by a fine late dinner and warm fraternal fellowship.

On Saturday morning, the Brethren were transported to the beautiful Grand Lodge building, located at the foot of Viotosha Mountain. The property, only recently built by the Grand Lodge, has impressive Gothic-style windows and is used by five Lodges for their meetings. A beautiful and excellently designed building, it met every requirement for the conferral of the Degrees. Everyone did a superb job, especially Ill. Boyd as Class Director; Ill. Solis in charge of the five Obligatory Degrees; and Ill. Saint as General Secretary. Following lunch, the Degrees were completed, and Ill. Elmer C. George, 33°, conducted a Cold Sands Ceremony for four candidates for the Shrine prior to departure from the Lodge. Then the Brethren were transported back to the hotel.

For Saturday evening’s talk on Freemasonry, the conference room was equipped with translation capabilities from a booth behind and above the conference room. Many guests were in attendance along with eight representatives from the press. Pamphlets and brochures from the MSA/MIC, MRC, and the Scottish Rite, S.J., were given to the press. Again, Ill. Saint gave a fine presentation followed by a Q&A session which was very informative for all attending, especially for the reporters.

Freemasonry, the ACGL, and the Scottish Rite, S.J., made very favorable impressions on everyone in Bulgaria and on those who read the newspaper articles covering this event. Freemasonry’s reputation as a law-abiding group made up of men of good will was proven. Dinner and fellowship concluded this historic day.

On Sunday morning, the Brethren were treated to a tour of Sofia that culminated with a visit to St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral Stauropigual Memorial Church. The Bishop, a young man of 43 who is a Master Mason, gave a private audience to the Brethren, took them personally on a tour of the church, made a presentation to each Brother, and posed for pictures with the group. In turn, Ill. Saint presented the Bishop with a high quality leather billfold with the ACGL logo on it. That afternoon, the visiting Brethren were transported to the airport and given a warm fraternal goodbye before returning safely to their homes. Prior to departing, Ill. Bros. Woodward and Guia had more meetings with the Grand Master of Bulgaria.

It is a rare occasion when Freemasonry has the opportunity to spread Light in a former East Block country and to have that Light received so positively. It is even rarer that such efforts result in positive reviews by the press. Yet both happened in Bulgaria. Five newspapers, evidencing the freedom of the press in Bulgaria, reported fairly and accurately on the Masonic events. This signals a significant start towards more freedom for all Bulgarians. We are sure that the Masons there, including the 34 new Scottish Rite Brethren, will be active in making that increased freedom a reality.

Donald L. Saint was raised in U. S. Hessen Lodge No. 844, Darmstadt, Germany, in 1967, and is also a member and Past Master of Friends of the Lahn Lodge No. 860, Giessen, and of Oregon Military Lodge No. 936, Frankfurt. A 32° member of the American Military Scottish Rite Bodies since 1967, he has served in many offices, including Recorder and Assistant Secretary, and was invested with the K.C.C.H. in 1991 and coroneted a 33° in 1995. Licensed as a minister and then trained in management, his life career has been in the U.S. Army, from which he retired in 1982.

The establishment od the Supreme Council

The Supreme Council in Bulgaria was consecrated on January 7, 2001, in a historic ceremony attended by many international Masonic dignitaries.

A magnificent new statue in downtown Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, is titled “Old Bulgarian Mason.” Created by Bro. Valko Tzenov, it represents the old and new Masonic efforts in Bulgaria

Ill. C. B. Hall, 33°, S.G.I.G. in West Virginia (standing), addresses the assemblage of Masonic dignitaries gathered to assist in the establishment of the Supreme Council in Bulgaria. Seated (l. to r.) are R.W. Ivan Stavrev, 33°, Grand Master of Masons in Bulgaria, Ill. Petar Kalpaktchiev, 33°, Sovereign Grand Commander, Supreme Council of Bulgaria; Ill. Robert W. Woodward, 33°, Deputy of the Supreme Council, American Military Scottish Rite Bodies, Orient of NATO Bases; and Inspector Hall.

The establishment of a Supreme Council of the 33°, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in Bulgaria, was near at hand, and all the hard work, planning, and sacrifice was about to pay off. On Thursday, January 4, 2001, Deputy Robert W. Woodward, 33°, American Military Scottish Rite Bodies, Orient of NATO Bases, and an enthusiastic group of Bulgarian Masons greeted my wife, Virginia, and me at the airport in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.

At our arrival, final preparations were underway for the Consecration Ceremony scheduled for Sunday, January 7, which was St. John the Evangelist Day in Bulgaria. Under the leadership of Most Worshipful Ivan Stavrev, Grand Master of Masons in Bulgaria, and with the cooperation of the Supreme Council for Germany, Deputy Robert W. Woodward, 33°, ably directed the Bulgarian Brethren and the ceremony’s participants toward a most successful event.

The Christian Orthodox Bishop of St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral in Sofia, who is also a Mason, personally conducted a service for Masonic dignitaries attending the Consecration Ceremony of the Supreme Council in Bulgaria. Bishop Paul is pictured here with Ill. C. B. Hall, 33°, S.G.I.G. in West Virginia, who represented Grand Commander Kleinknecht at the establishment of the Supreme Council in Bulgaria. Ill. Hall is accompanied by his beloved wife, Virginia.

On Friday, visiting dignitaries, wives, and Officers Elect of the Bulgarian Supreme Council attended a Christian Orthodox service, conducted by Bishop Paul, at the beautiful and historic St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral in Sofia. Following the service, we had a private audience with Bishop Paul, an important religious leader in Bulgaria and a Master Mason. Later, our delegation toured the Bulgarian Archeological Museum, which contained a fine collection of the remains of Thracian, Greek and Roman settlements, and gold treasure from the 4th century B.C. During the tour, we were entertained by the Sofia Philharmonic String Quartet, performing works by Mozart, Bach, Handel, Beethoven, and other famous composers.

Pictured just prior to the consecration of the Supreme Council in Bulgaria are (l. to r.): M.W. Ivan Stavrev, 33°, Grand Master of Masons in Bulgaria, installed as Grand Prior of the new Supreme Council; Ill. Robert W. Woodward, 33°, Deputy of the Supreme Council, American Military Scottish Rite Bases, Orient of NATO Bases; Ill. Petar Kalpaktchiev, 33°, Sovereign Grand Commander, Supreme Council in Bulgaria; Ill. C. B. Hall, 33°, S.G.I.G. in West Virginia and Second Grand Equerry of the Supreme Council; and Bro. Venelin Valchiev, 32°, Deputy Grand Master of Masons in Bulgaria. In the background is Ill. Charles E. Glidewell, 33°, General Secretary, American Military Scottish Rite Bases, Orient of NATO

Saturday was spent making final plans for the Consecration Ceremony and visiting the home of the new Supreme Council in Bulgaria, at 1 Vitosha Boulevard, 1040 Sofia, Bulgaria. The facility is located on the busiest street in Sofia. When Masons purchased the building, they discovered it had been built over the “Roman Way,” a highway of cobblestones leading across Europe to Rome. A hole has been cut in the floor of the building to display the “Roman Way,” in its original form, for all visitors to see.Early on Sunday morning, January 7, Scottish Rite members from throughout Bulgaria began assembling at the Sheraton Balkan Hotel. At 10:00 am, the historic Consecration Ceremony began with Deputy Woodward serving as Sovereign Grand Commander. With a great sense of humility and pride, I participated in the service, along with Ill. Spyros Th. Camalakis, 33°, Grand Chancellor–Grand Secretary General, Supreme Council for Greece; Ill. Mario Martin Guia, 33°, Lt. Commander, Supreme Council of Portugal; and Ill. Charles E. Glidewell, 33°, General Secretary, American Military Scottish Rite Bodies. During this inspiring ceremony, Ill. Petar Kalpaktchiev, 33°, was installed as Sovereign Grand Commander, Supreme Council in Bulgaria, and other elected officers were installed as well. With emotions running high, Grand Commander Kalpaktchiev gave a powerful challenge to the Scottish Rite Brethren to work to make good men better through Scottish Rite Freemasonry in Bulgaria. Sov.Gr.Cmdr. Halkiotis of Greece and Sov.Gr.Cmdr. Umur of Turkey witnessed the ceremony.

Group photo of the Officers of the Supreme Council, 33°, in Bulgaria and other Masonic dignitaries from around the world attended the consecration of the Supreme Council in Bulgaria in Sofia on January 4, 2001.

 

The following article is from:

The Scottish Rite Journal – September 2000

URL: http://www.srmason-sj.org/council/journal/sep00/saint.html

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Masonic Light In Bulgaria Donald

L. Saint

Donald L. Saint, 33°
Deputy Grand Master, American Canadian Grand Lodge (ACGL)
Wetziarer Strasse 18, 35435 Wettenberg, Germany
Freemasonry has been well received in Bulgaria.


Photo: The beautiful new building of the Grand Lodge of Bulgaria in Sofia is marked by an elegant Square and Compasses logo and a dedication carved in stone.


In April 2000, Sovereign Grand Commander C. Fred Kleinknecht, 33°, received a letter from the Grand Master of Bulgaria, M.W. Ivan Stavrev, requesting him to form a Scottish Rite Supreme Council in Bulgaria. As an initial step in fulfilling this request, Ill. Kleinknecht asked Ill. Robert W. Woodward, 33°, Deputy for the Orient of NATO Bases, to coordinate efforts that would result in the conferring of the 4th through the 32nd Degrees on those Master Masons that the Grand Master of Bulgaria recommended.

The Grossloge A.F.u.A.F. von Deutschland (The Grand Lodge A.F.& A.M. of Germany), within The United Grand Lodges of Germany, had assisted the Grand Lodge of Bulgaria in re-establishing itself in 1997. Therefore, Ill. Kleinknecht contacted Sovereign Grand Commander Hubert V. Koop, 33°, Scottish Rite Supreme Council for Germany, and informed him of the request from the Grand Master of Bulgaria and his own willingness to accommodate that request.

Ill. Woodward commenced planning for this great event by tasking his American Military Scottish Rite Bodies (AMSRB) in Frankfort, Germany, to prepare to confer the Degrees on the Bulgarian Brothers in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. He met with M.W. Stavrev at the Chateau St. Anne in Brussels, Belgium, on April 6 to accomplish this goal and was asked to provide two seminars in Sofia about American and international Masonry. Ill. Woodward asked Ill. Donald L. Saint, 33°, Deputy Grand Master of the American Canadian Grand Lodge (ACGL) and the author of this article, to give those presentations. He enthusiastically agreed.

Preparations commenced immediately. Ill. Saint telephoned the Masonic Service Association/Masonic Information Center (MSA/MIC) and Masonic Renewal Committee of North America (MRC) and purchased all necessary brochures, booklets, and pamphlets on Freemasonry. He also copied more than 30 Masonic videos into the PAL system used in Europe (as opposed to the NTSC system used in America) and about 12 diskettes and two CDs of Masonic graphics and data, along with many other educational materials to be presented to the Bulgarian Brethren.

The General Secretary for the AMSRB, Ill. Charles E. Glidewell, 33°, and Ill. Saint selected the members of the Degree Team and packaged the equipment, materials, and presentation items necessary to make these efforts successful. Unfortunately, Ill. Glidewell was unable to accompany the Degree Team due to ill health.

 

 
On July 1, 2000, a Degree Team composed of Brethren from the American Military Scottish Bodies and the American Canadian Grand Lodge conferred the Scottish Rite Degrees on 34 Bulgarian Master Masons in Sofia, Bulgaria. 

Due to the travel costs involved, the Degree Team was limited to seven Brothers from the AMSRB and ACGL in Germany and four members of the AMSRB from Italy. The seven from the AMSRB and ACGL were: Ill. Robert W. Woodward, 33°; Ill. Alister Boyd, 33°, Ill. Woodward’s Personal Representative; Ill. Saint, 33°; Ill. Armando G. Solis, 33°; Ill. Elmer C. George, 33°; Bro. Juan A. Goytia, 32°, K.C. C.H.; and Bro. K. Janotta, 32°, K.C.C.H. The Brothers from Italy were from Vicentza, George Washington Lodge No. 585; Clarence B. Daniels, 32°, Terry D. Davenport, 32°, Robert L. Launius, Jr., 32°, and Forrest S. Sutton, Jr., 32°, K.C.C.H. Representing Portugal was our faithful Ill. Bro. Mario Martin Guia, 33°, Deputy Grand Master of Portugal and Grand Secretary of the Supreme Council for Portugal.

Ill. Bros. Woodward and Guia arrived in Sofia on Wednesday, June 28th, and met with the Grand Master and others preparatory to the arrival of the Degree Team on Friday, June 30th. The Degree Team had two purposes. The Team’s first purpose was to confer the 4th through the 32nd Degrees of Scottish Rite Freemasonry on 35 Bulgarian Master Masons. Its second purpose was to make two presentations about American and worldwide Freemasonry to the members of the Grand Lodge of Bulgaria on June 30 and, on the following day, July 1, to the same Brothers plus guests, including journalists from five Bulgarian newspapers.

M.W. Stavrev’s personal representative met the Degree Team at the airport, escorted them into the VIP lounge, and had their passports and baggage processed. After settling into their rooms at the Kempiaski Hotel Zografski in Sofia, they then gathered in a spacious conference room which had four large TVs for viewing parts of some of the Masonic videos previously mentioned. When the meeting began, M.W. Ivan Stavrev made the introductions, Ill. Woodward gave a short presentation concerning the purpose of the visit, and Ill. Boyd introduced all the American, German, and Portuguese Brethren attending.

Then Ill. Saint, the guest speaker for the occasion, thanked the Grand Master in the name of the ACGL and the Supreme Council, 33°, for the invitation to come to Bulgaria and for the opportunity to assist him and his Grand Lodge by providing information about the origins and purposes of Freemasonry. This comprehensive presentation revealed how the universally accepted landmarks of Freemasonry would be of value to every member of the Grand Lodge of Bulgaria and the good people of their country. This presentation was followed by a fine late dinner and warm fraternal fellowship.

On Saturday morning, the Brethren were transported to the beautiful Grand Lodge building, located at the foot of Viotosha Mountain. The property, only recently built by the Grand Lodge, has impressive Gothic-style windows and is used by five Lodges for their meetings. A beautiful and excellently designed building, it met every requirement for the conferral of the Degrees. Everyone did a superb job, especially Ill. Boyd as Class Director; Ill. Solis in charge of the five Obligatory Degrees; and Ill. Saint as General Secretary. Following lunch, the Degrees were completed, and Ill. Elmer C. George, 33°, conducted a Cold Sands Ceremony for four candidates for the Shrine prior to departure from the Lodge. Then the Brethren were transported back to the hotel.

For Saturday evening’s talk on Freemasonry, the conference room was equipped with translation capabilities from a booth behind and above the conference room. Many guests were in attendance along with eight representatives from the press. Pamphlets and brochures from the MSA/MIC, MRC, and the Scottish Rite, S.J., were given to the press. Again, Ill. Saint gave a fine presentation followed by a Q&A session which was very informative for all attending, especially for the reporters.

Freemasonry, the ACGL, and the Scottish Rite, S.J., made very favorable impressions on everyone in Bulgaria and on those who read the newspaper articles covering this event. Freemasonry’s reputation as a law-abiding group made up of men of good will was proven. Dinner and fellowship concluded this historic day.

On Sunday morning, the Brethren were treated to a tour of Sofia that culminated with a visit to St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral Stauropigual Memorial Church. The Bishop, a young man of 43 who is a Master Mason, gave a private audience to the Brethren, took them personally on a tour of the church, made a presentation to each Brother, and posed for pictures with the group. In turn, Ill. Saint presented the Bishop with a high quality leather billfold with the ACGL logo on it. That afternoon, the visiting Brethren were transported to the airport and given a warm fraternal goodbye before returning safely to their homes. Prior to departing, Ill. Bros. Woodward and Guia had more meetings with the Grand Master of Bulgaria.

It is a rare occasion when Freemasonry has the opportunity to spread Light in a former East Block country and to have that Light received so positively. It is even rarer that such efforts result in positive reviews by the press. Yet both happened in Bulgaria. Five newspapers, evidencing the freedom of the press in Bulgaria, reported fairly and accurately on the Masonic events. This signals a significant start towards more freedom for all Bulgarians. We are sure that the Masons there, including the 34 new Scottish Rite Brethren, will be active in making that increased freedom a reality.


Donald L. Saint
was raised in U. S. Hessen Lodge No. 844, Darmstadt, Germany, in 1967, and is also a member and Past Master of Friends of the Lahn Lodge No. 860, Giessen, and of Oregon Military Lodge No. 936, Frankfurt. A 32° member of the American Military Scottish Rite Bodies since 1967, he has served in many offices, including Recorder and Assistant Secretary, and was invested with the K.C.C.H. in 1991 and coroneted a 33° in 1995. Licensed as a minister and then trained in management, his life career has been in the U.S. Army, from which he retired in 1982.

 

The following article is from:

The Scottish Rite Journal – May 2001

URL: http://www.srmason-sj.org/council/journal/may01/contents.html

 

The Establishment Of The Supreme Council, 33°, In Bulgaria

C. B. Hall

C. B. Hall, 33°, S.G.I.G. in West Virginia and Second Grand Equerry of the Supreme Council
PO Box 908, Charleston, WV 25323–0908
The Supreme Council in Bulgaria was consecrated on January 7, 2001, in a historic ceremony attended by many international Masonic dignitaries.


Ill. C. B. Hall, 33°, S.G.I.G. in West Virginia (standing), addresses the assemblage of Masonic dignitaries gathered to assist in the establishment of the Supreme Council in Bulgaria. Seated (l. to r.) are R.W. Ivan Stavrev, 33°, Grand Master of Masons in Bulgaria, Ill. Petar Kalpaktchiev, 33°, Sovereign Grand Commander, Supreme Council of Bulgaria; Ill. Robert W. Woodward, 33°, Deputy of the Supreme Council, American Military Scottish Rite Bodies, Orient of NATO Bases; and Inspector Hall. Photo: Romeo Cholakov


The establishment of a Supreme Council of the 33°, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in Bulgaria, was near at hand, and all the hard work, planning, and sacrifice was about to pay off. On Thursday, January 4, 2001, Deputy Robert W. Woodward, 33°, American Military Scottish Rite Bodies, Orient of NATO Bases, and an enthusiastic group of Bulgarian Masons greeted my wife, Virginia, and me at the airport in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.

At our arrival, final preparations were underway for the Consecration Ceremony scheduled for Sunday, January 7, which was St. John the Evangelist Day in Bulgaria. Under the leadership of Most Worshipful Ivan Stavrev, Grand Master of Masons in Bulgaria, and with the cooperation of the Supreme Council for Germany, Deputy Robert W. Woodward, 33°, ably directed the Bulgarian Brethren and the ceremony’s participants toward a most successful event.

 

The Christian Orthodox Bishop of St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral in Sofia, who is also a Mason, personally conducted a service for Masonic dignitaries attending the Consecration Ceremony of the Supreme Council in Bulgaria. Bishop Paul is pictured here with Ill. C. B. Hall, 33°, S.G.I.G. in West Virginia, who represented Grand Commander Kleinknecht at the establishment of the Supreme Council in Bulgaria. Ill. Hall is accompanied by his beloved wife, Virginia. Photo: Romeo Cholakov 

On Friday, visiting dignitaries, wives, and Officers Elect of the Bulgarian Supreme Council attended a Christian Orthodox service, conducted by Bishop Paul, at the beautiful and historic St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral in Sofia. Following the service, we had a private audience with Bishop Paul, an important religious leader in Bulgaria and a Master Mason. Later, our delegation toured the Bulgarian Archeological Museum, which contained a fine collection of the remains of Thracian, Greek and Roman settlements, and gold treasure from the 4th century B.C. During the tour, we were entertained by the Sofia Philharmonic String Quartet, performing works by Mozart, Bach, Handel, Beethoven, and other famous composers.

 

Pictured just prior to the consecration of the Supreme Council in Bulgaria are (l. to r.): M.W. Ivan Stavrev, 33°, Grand Master of Masons in Bulgaria, installed as Grand Prior of the new Supreme Council; Ill. Robert W. Woodward, 33°, Deputy of the Supreme Council, American Military Scottish Rite Bases, Orient of NATO Bases; Ill. Petar Kalpaktchiev, 33°, Sovereign Grand Commander, Supreme Council in Bulgaria; Ill. C. B. Hall, 33°, S.G.I.G. in West Virginia and Second Grand Equerry of the Supreme Council; and Bro. Venelin Valchiev, 32°, Deputy Grand Master of Masons in Bulgaria. In the background is Ill. Charles E. Glidewell, 33°, General Secretary, American Military Scottish Rite Bases, Orient of NATO Bases. Photo: Romeo Cholakov 

Saturday was spent making final plans for the Consecration Ceremony and visiting the home of the new Supreme Council in Bulgaria, at 1 Vitosha Boulevard, 1040 Sofia, Bulgaria. The facility is located on the busiest street in Sofia. When Masons purchased the building, they discovered it had been built over the “Roman Way,” a highway of cobblestones leading across Europe to Rome. A hole has been cut in the floor of the building to display the “Roman Way,” in its original form, for all visitors to see.Early on Sunday morning, January 7, Scottish Rite members from throughout Bulgaria began assembling at the Sheraton Balkan Hotel. At 10:00 am, the historic Consecration Ceremony began with Deputy Woodward serving as Sovereign Grand Commander. With a great sense of humility and pride, I participated in the service, along with Ill. Spyros Th. Camalakis, 33°, Grand Chancellor–Grand Secretary General, Supreme Council for Greece; Ill. Mario Martin Guia, 33°, Lt. Commander, Supreme Council of Portugal; and Ill. Charles E. Glidewell, 33°, General Secretary, American Military Scottish Rite Bodies. During this inspiring ceremony, Ill. Petar Kalpaktchiev, 33°, was installed as Sovereign Grand Commander, Supreme Council in Bulgaria, and other elected officers were installed as well. With emotions running high, Grand Commander Kalpaktchiev gave a powerful challenge to the Scottish Rite Brethren to work to make good men better through Scottish Rite Freemasonry in Bulgaria. Sov.Gr.Cmdr. Halkiotis of Greece and Sov.Gr.Cmdr. Umur of Turkey witnessed the ceremony.

 

Group photo of the Officers of the Supreme Council, 33°, in Bulgaria and other Masonic dignitaries from around the world attended the consecration of the Supreme Council in Bulgaria in Sofia on January 4, 2001. Photo: Romeo Cholakov 

After the Consecration Ceremony, we traveled to downtown Sofia for the dedication of the first Masonic statue in Bulgaria, a magnificent work by Brother Valko Tzehou, a member of Light of the Traki Lodge. Titled “Old Bulgarian Mason,” the statue represents the old as well as the new Masonic efforts in Bulgaria. Amid a crowd of more than 150 Masons, Bishop Paul, of St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral, dedicated the impressive Masonic statue. What a fitting conclusion to the most historic day in Scottish Rite Masonry and a lasting tribute to the hard work and dedication of the Masonic Brethren of Bulgaria! May all their efforts and good intentions meet with great success.

 

A magnificent new statue in downtown Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, is titled “Old Bulgarian Mason.” Created by Bro. Valko Tzehou, it represents the old and new Masonic efforts in Bulgaria. Photo: Romeo Cholakov 

As we prepared to leave Sofia for London, we received a surprise visit from Bishop Paul, who came to say good-by and to present us with a beautiful religious icon. This gift, given and received with love, was another example of the true Masonic friendship and brotherly love so evident in the Bulgarian Brethren. How wonderful it felt to be a small part of bringing more Masonic Light to Bulgaria.

Many distinguished guests attended the Consecration of the Supreme Council in Bulgaria, including the following.
R.W. Ivan Stavrev, 33°, Grand Master of Masons in Bulgaria, also installed as Grand Prior of the Supreme Council
Bro. Venelin Valchiev, 32°, Deputy Grand Master in Bulgaria
Bro. Alexander Vitanov, Grand Secretary of Grand Lodge of Bulgaria
Ill. Georgios Halkiotis, 33°, Sovereign Grand Commander in Greece
Ill. Spyros Th. Camalakis, 33°, Grand Chancellor in Greece
Ill. Sohu Umur, 33°, Sovereign Grand Commander in Turkey
Ill. Dimitri Atanosof, 33°, Sovereign Grand Inspector General in Turkey
Ill. Mario Martin Guia, 33°, Lieutenant Commander in Portugal
Bro. James Botkos, Grand Secretary Foreign Affairs, Symbolic Grand Lodge of Hungary
Bro. Dimitar Kalchev, Mayor of Rousse, Bulgaria
Bro. Stoyan Delchev, Educator and Civic Leader
Bro. Terry D. Davenport, 32°, NATO S.R. Bodies, Vincenza, Italy
Bro. William H. Stapleton, 32°, NATO S.R. Bodies, Frankfurt, Germany 

 

 

The following article is from:

The Scottish Rite Journal – October 2003

URL: http://www.srmason-sj.org/web/journal-files/Issues/oct03/contents.htm

Masonic Festivities In Bulgaria

Demitar Nedkov

Demitar Nedkov, 33°
The Supreme Council, 33°, in Bulgaria
1 Vitosha Boulevard,1040 Sofia, Bulgaria

During a recent visit to Eastern Europe, Deputy Robert W. Woodward, 33°, G.C., shared in the fraternal vitality of the Scottish Rite and Freemasonry in Bulgaria.

During his recent visit to Bulgaria, Deputy Robert W. Woodward, 33°, G.C. (left), conferred with Ill. Michael Mavronichis, 33°, District Grand Master of Cyprus.

During the week of June 21-27, 2003, as Deputy Robert W. Woodward, 33°, G.C., visited their country, Bulgarian Freemasons showed the power of fraternal enthusiasm and Masonic building. On June 21, Bulgarian Brethren welcomed Ill. Woodward, Deputy, Scottish Rite Bodies, NATO Bases, as a Brother whose name is engraved with golden letters in the Masonic history of Bulgaria. Deputy Woodward and over 300 Brothers, leaders, and members of the Sister Grand Lodges of the Grand Lodge of Bulgaria, together with representatives of eight other Grand Lodges, attended the installation of Grand Master Roumen Raltchev, Grand Lodge of Bulgaria, who is also the Lieutenant Grand Commander of the Supreme Council, 33°, in Bulgaria. Ill. Woodward’s greeting to the assembled Brethren was welcomed as an example of Masonic wisdom, strength, and tolerance. He shared the truth about Freemasonry and the work of the Bulgarian Brothers to benefit the Craft and their own country.

The installation ceremony was purposefully held in Veliko Turnovo, the ancient capital and spiritual center of Bulgaria. More than 50 large Christian monasteries, over 30 churches, and many ancient spiritual sanctuaries are located in or around the town. Also, it was in Veliko Turnovo that the constitution of the Supreme Council, 33°, of the Scottish Rite in Bulgaria was accepted on March 7, 2001.

On the following day, Sunday, June 22, the regular conference of the Supreme Council, 33°, in Bulgaria welcomed Ill. Woodward, elevated five deserving Bulgarian members of the Scottish Rite to the 33°, and announced the election of Sovereign Grand Commander C. Fred Kleinknecht, 33°, and Ill. Woodward, 33°, G.C., as honorary members of the Bulgarian Supreme Council. Following this, the Supreme Council created a class, starting from 5° to 14°, of 12 Scottish Rite Brethren and established the Lodge of Perfection at “Orient-Veliko Turnovo.”

Later during the same day, the American College was established with all the required educational licenses from the USA. The American College is built with the sponsorship of the Grand Lodge of Bulgaria and the Supreme Council, 33°, in Bulgaria and will function under their auspices. Deputy Woodward, who became the College’s first Chairman of the Board, placed a time capsule carrying a message of hope and inspiration to future generations.

After these ceremonies, the members of the Supreme Council, 33°, in Bulgaria, the new 33° Brethren, Ill. Woodward, as well as foreign guests from sister Supreme Councils and Grand Lodges, visited the grave of Ill. Ilia Pavlov, 33°, Grand Minister of State for the Supreme Council, 33°, in Bulgaria, to pay their respects. Ill. Woodward placed a lovely flower wreath on the grave on the behalf of the Southern Jurisdiction, USA. He then highlighted the merits of Ill. Pavlov for the development of Freemasonry and the Scottish Rite not only in Bulgaria but also for the rest of the world.

The same evening of this busy day, the Brethren traveled 200 kilometers to the city of Dobrich where they visited the local Lodge and shared thoughts regarding the philosophy of Freemasonry. An hour later in the city of Balchik, at the old palace of the Bulgarian kings on the coast of the Black Sea, the members of the Supreme Council attended a ritual of the Lodge of Perfection, 14°.

Members of the Supreme Council, 33°, in Bulgaria, the new 33° Brethren, Deputy Woodward, 33°, G.C., as well as foreign guests from sister Supreme Councils and Grand Lodges visited the grave of Ill. Ilia Pavlov, 33°, Grand Minister of State for the Supreme Council, 33°, in Bulgaria, to pay their respects. Pictured above (l. to r.) are Ill. Roumen Raltchev, 33°, Grand Master, Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M., of Bulgaria; Deputy Woodward; and Petar Kalpaktchiev, 33°, Sovereign Grand Commander, Supreme Council, 33°, in Bulgaria.

The following day, Monday June 23, at the marine capital of Bulgaria-Vama, another meeting and ritual of the Lodge of Perfection, 14°, took place. Then, on June 24, in the ancient town of Nesebar, close to Burgas, the largest port of Bulgaria, Deputy Woodward met with Brethren from the Lodge “Orient-Burgas” and told them about the value of the Scottish Rite. On June 25, at noon in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, Sovereign Grand Commander Petar Kalpaktchiev, 33°; Grand Master Roumen Raltchev, 33°; and Ill. Woodward, G.C., were received at the presidential palace by the Honorable Georgi Parvanov, the President of the Republic of Bulgaria. President Parvanov, who has met with Deputy Woodward three times in the last three years, stated his willingness to support the Scottish Rite and Freemasonry. Ill. Woodward, speaking for the Brethren of the Southern Jurisdiction, presented his own warm regards and expressed admiration of the President’s efforts towards Bulgaria’s acceptance in NATO.

On June 26, Ill. Woodward, together with the Sovereign Grand Commander, the Grand Master, and this author, visited the government building to meet with Ill. Dimitar Kalchev, 33°, the Minister of National Administration and a member of the Supreme Council, 33°, in Bulgaria. Ill. Bros. Kalchev and Woodward remembered their participation in the Bicentennial Biennial Session festivities in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2001 when Ill. Kalchev was coroneted a 33°.

The visit of Ill. Woodward to Bulgaria elicited several prominent newspaper stories, thus benefiting the positive profile of Freemasonry and the Scottish Rite in Bulgaria. With a sense of fraternal accomplishment, Ill. Woodward concluded his visit to Bulgaria with warm fraternal hugs at Sofia Airport on June 27, 2003. All Brethren wished for additional meetings in the near future and more efforts for the development of the Scottish Rite and Freemasonry around the world, for the strengthening of the democracy in Eastern Europe, and for the safeguarding of freedom.


Dimitar Nedkov
was initiated into one of the first Bulgarian Blue Lodges shortly after the fall of communism in Eastern Europe in the early 1990s. He is an active participant in the restoration of Freemasonry in Bulgaria and has served as Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Bulgaria. An avid Masonic scholar, he is the author of 
Freemasons Returned to Bulgaria (1998) and The Third Millennium of Freemasonry (2000). One of the founders of the Masonic magazine Svetlina (Light), he is also the web master of www.freemasonry.bg.

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