OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF THE BOOK TITLED THE FREEMASONS – WHO WE ARE, WHAT WE STAND FOR & DO, OUR RELEVANCE (AN INSIDER’S VIEW)
BY ABRAHAM GYESIE
The book was launched on Wednesday, 29th November 2017 by the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ghana, Bro. Nav/Capt Kwadwo Adunkwa Butah. It was under the auspices of His Royal Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene and Grand Patron of the Grand Lodge of Ghana and chaired by Bro. Otwasuom Osae Nyampong VI. The Guest of Honour was the Former Head of State of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. John Agyekum Kufuor who is also Past Grand Senior Warden of the United Grand Lodge of England.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Abraham Gyesie was born in the garden city of Kumasi, in the Ashanti Region of Ghana on 14th October 1943. He is a Pharmacist by profession and a Health and Development Consultant. He was initiated into Freemasonry on 11th June 1973 when he was admitted into Concordia Lodge No. 7199 English Constitution at Freemasons Hall, Adjabeng, Accra. Abraham Gyesie is a Masonic student, researcher, teacher, author and entertainer. He is a prolific writer on matters relating to Freemasonry.
He gives lectures and talks in Lodges and Chapters in all Constitutions throughout Ghana and has participated in radio and television programmes which aimed at opening up Freemasonry to the Ghanaian public. From 2006 to 2009 he served as a Member of the Steering Committee for the formation of the Grand Lodge of Ghana and for a period served as its Secretary.
On the day of the Constitution and Consecration of the Grand Lodge of Right Worshipful Junior Grand Chaplain. He is currently Honorary Senior Grand Warden as well as Chairman of the Grand Lodge Masonic Education Committee. He is also a Past District Grand Senior Warden of the District Grand Lodge of Ghana English Constitution.
ABOUT THE BOOK
This book deals with Freemasons’ Lodges and Brethren who belong to regular Grand Lodges. It does not deal with any other organizations which may also call themselves Lodges. The work of the Lodge is that of a school of instruction based on a system of moral and spiritual philosophy which offers its members an approach to life that seeks to reinforce thoughtfulness for others, kindness in the home and community, honesty in business, courtesy in society, and fairness in all things. Members are urged to regard the interest of the family as paramount.
Freemasonry also teaches and practices concern for people, care for the less fortunate and help those in need. It is the duty of every Freemason to learn to interpret the symbolism of our Order and to employ and exhibit the genuine principles and tenets of Freemasonry in his daily life. Only thus can he become a Freemason in fact instead of being a Freemason just in name. This is an alluring book of reference and instruction to Freemasons and non-Masons alike who are wishful of trustworthy knowledge and guidance in Freemasonry. It is also hoped that non-Masons who read this book may come to appreciate the noble objectives of Freemasonry and that some may wish to join our Fraternity.
BOOK REVIEW BY THOMAS W. JACKSON
I consider it a great privilege to be asked to write a message for the introduction of a book that should carry considerable influence on an educational process for African Freemasonry. I have been a Freemason for 53 years and for most of those years a serious student of our Craft. During those years I have presided over 18 Masonic bodies on local, jurisdictional, national and world levels and wrote reviews on Masonic books for 25 years. I say this not to inflate my significance but rather to justify my qualification to write this message.
I was first exposed to Freemasonry in Africa over 20 years ago and I have observed with great interest the evolution of the Craft on this continent. I have watched the emergence of Freemasonry within the indigenous population of Africa and been greatly impressed and pleased with the success shown to rise above the challenges that exist here. There has probably been no environment in the world in which there has existed a greater diversity in cultures, religions, languages and personal interests to challenge the emergence of Freemasonry than on the continent of Africa.
The success of Freemasonry has always depended upon our ability to educate not only the general population of a country but of Freemasons themselves on the significance and purpose of our Craft. For this reason, I am highly pleased to see a Masonic publication of this quality produced in Africa. The attraction of quality men from society has always been and remains a requirement for the success of our Craft. However, in any successful organization, there will be a very select few rational and devoted individuals with a dedication and commitment to the principles of that organization who help cement the intellectual base in the environment in which they live. They are the men who will go far beyond the norm to spread the message of Freemasonry. Abraham Gyesie has proven himself to be such a man for Freemasonry.
This book provides a very concise explanation of not only what Freemasonry is, but what a Freemason’s responsibility is, as a member of our Craft and what he may receive from it, both the tangibles and the intangibles. It includes many incisive observations regarding the negatives we must confront in our environments and the significance of support by members who are clergymen to combat the bigotry of our society. It should assist the Grand Lodge of Ghana as well as other African grand lodges in developing a style of the Craft that will fit it into the needed niches in their societies. It is well to remember, however, that we must provide what society needs, not what society wants. This book could well serve as a guide to that end.
Gyesie does not hold back with his critical observations, as it should be, for the benefit of Ghanaian Freemasonry. His emphasis on the need for quality versus quantity should be the bulwark of all Freemasonry. His opinions of the need to adapt to the world in which we now live without changing the principle foundations of the Craft are astute.
His very words in this book should form the foundation of Ghanaian, African and World Freemasonry. “There can be no compromise with quality in any facet of our Institution”, and “We cannot change the product and remain in the same business.”
I would recommend this book to every Masonic library in the world.
FOREWORD BY NANA DR. FREDUA MENSAH
(OSM, Hon. Grand Master of
the Grand Lodge of Ghana)
I am extremely delighted to be invited by the author, Bro. Abraham Gyesie, to write a foreword to this instructive and interesting book titled “The Freemasons – Who we are – What we stand for and do – Our relevance – An insider’s view”. A book which is intended by the author to help rekindle the interest of our Brethren and make our Lodges and Chapters more vibrant and relevant to our communities, to enable Brethren seeking information, knowledge, explanation and instruction to understand the true meaning and purpose of Freemasonry, and become true and faithful Freemasons willing to devote and dedicate their lives to the service of God, country and fellow men.
It is to me, a compliment and I consider it a privilege to be associated with the publication of the book, not only on account of its intrinsic value. The fact that the work will provide a much-needed means by which diligent Brethren can make advancement significant in Masonic knowledge – but also that Brother Gyesie’s intuitive altruism and example by writing this fairly large book will serve as an inspiration and spur to the Brethren who have a gift of the pen to provide works of Masonic literature – something woefully lacking in the country. The author, whom I have known for many years, was initiated in 1973, into Concordia Lodge No. 7199 EC in which he was installed Master in 1989.
On admission into Freemasonry, he soon found himself fascinated by Freemasonry, not only by its moral teachings which had a salutary influence on him, but also by its existence as a complex organization. He belongs to the Craft, Royal Arch, Mark, Royal Ark Mariners, and the Rose Croix of the Antient and Accepted Rite. He is Hon. Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Ghana and a holder of the rank of Past Senior Grand Deacon o the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England and Wales and its Districts and Lodges overseas. He gives lectures and talks in Lodges throughout Ghana and participates in radio and television programmes which aim at opening up Freemasonry to the Ghanaian public.
Such wide interest and involvement in Masonic activities and many branches of Freemasonry are reflected in the extent of the coverage and depth of his present work. I have read the manuscript with avowed interest and find the book to be a well-conceived and skillfully executed project. It is easy to read and will fit in a vacant niche in the libraries of both a Masonic student and a seasoned Freemason. A Brother instructed to extend his Masonic knowledge will find no agreeable way of doing so than that of reading the book. The author, after extensive efforts and research, has been able to provide tremendous information.
The book, besides being a source of reference, also gives impetus to enquiry, resolves doubts and enables judgment to be formed in various subjects he has treated. His thoroughness of research is amply demonstrated by the many topics of various aspects of Freemasonry he dealt with, the fascinating details given and the numerous references made to the views and comments of renowned Freemasons. Bro. Gyesie’s explanation of the Masonic problems raised in the book is lucid, accurate, and supported by a number of quotations of opinions and comments of acclaimed Masonic writers and thinkers.
To a Brother who seeks to enjoy Freemasonry, the book will bring a new depth in all that he sees and hears in the Lodge, provide an indispensable guide to the duties and responsibilities of officers of a Lodge, and thereby offer a very useful learning exposure to any Brother elected to an office, or is progressing up the ladder of office in a Lodge.
It will also prove extremely invaluable for Lodges that wish to educate their Brethren, as sections can be read out aloud in open Lodge from which the Brethren will, no doubt, benefit. Bro. Gyesie must be congratulated for writing this deeply absorbing and persuasive book and for presenting the many subjects he has dealt with in a way that will appeal to Brethren whatever their Masonic Constitutions or their stations in the Order.
He concluded the book with the following statement: “I hope this book will generate debate and discussion among Freemasons everywhere and help in rekindling our ‘passion’ so as to rededicate ourselves in service of God, and to mankind. It is also my hope that non- Masons who will read this book may come to appreciate the usefulness and goodness of Freemasonry.” I share these hopes.
The book deserves success and I have no doubt that it will achieve success. I further hope that the author’s initiative and example will serve to urge Brethren who have the requisite talent and knowledge, to produce Masonic books. In conclusion, I unhesitatingly commend this alluring book of reference and instruction to Freemasons and non-Masons alike who are wishful of trustworthy knowledge and guidance in Freemasonry.
SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM HIS ROYAL MAJESTY MOST WORSHIPFUL BRO. OTUMFUO OSEI TUTU II ASANTEHENE
Most Worshipful Grand Patron Of The Grand Lodge of Ghana, Very Worshipful Past Grand Sword Bearer of The United Grand Lodge of England.
I am very happy to contribute this Special Message to Brother Abraham Gyesie’s latest book at his invitation. I have known Abraham as a very knowledgeable Freemason and a prolific writer and an accomplished lecturer on Masonic subjects with several publications to his credit. He has served as Chairman of the Masonic Education Committee of the Grand Lodge of Ghana; an appointment he has executed with honour. Indeed, I have read most of his publications and I believe that these have helped a lot of Brethren to expand and deepen their own understanding of the principles and tenets of Freemasonry.
This book is however different from his previous publications; it is a reissue of an earlier publication titled “The Work of the Lodge and Duties of the Brethren”. Brother Gyesie had previously written it for the benefit of Freemasons.
This latest edition is however addressed to and meant for both Freemasons as well as the general public all over the world and is available in both hard copies and eBook formats. It will serve the dual purpose of educating and stimulating Brethren to appreciate the true meaning and purpose of Freemasonry, i.e. it serves as a tool to help Brethren and those of the outer world to develop themselves for duty to God and country.
This book provides information and instruction to any non-Mason wishing to know more about Freemasonry from an insider and an authority in this domain. This will no doubt help to remove some of their misconceptions that Freemasonry is a secret society or a strange religion.
“To so high an eminence has the credit of Masonry been advanced, that in every age Monarchs themselves have been promoters of the Art, have not thought it derogatory to their dignity to exchange the Scepter with the Trowel, have studied our mysteries, and joined in our assemblies”. With such a testimonial it is no wonder my illustrious predecessor, His Royal Majesty Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, Asantehene was a Freemason. His Royal Majesty Sir. Agyeman Prempeh II, Asantehene and I have been Freemasons at heart and mind. I am a proud Freemason and I confirm that the principles and tenets of Freemasonry that we are taught in the Lodge, especially in the areas of Governance and Accountability have always stood me in good stead in my daily functions as Asantehene. Indeed Freemasonry is a way of life.
I support the publication and launching of this book “the Freemasons; Who we are; What we stand for and do; Our relevance – An insider’s view” by Bro. Abraham Gyesie. I recommend this book to every Freemason and to members of the general public.
Keep up the good work Abraham, the Craftsman and spread the light of Freemasonry through your dedicated writings to the glory of our noble Institution for the benefit of mankind.
OTUMFUO OSEI TUTU II
EXTRACT FROM THE MESSAGE FROM BRO. REV’D CANON EBEN TETTEH QUAYNOR
The First Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Ghana, Parish Priest of St. Ann Anglican Church, Tesano, Accra.
I see Bro. Abraham Gyesie’s work is a long-awaited platform that promises to lay bare the workings of the lodge and hopefully, and to a large extent, remove or reduce the stigma in which the lodge had been shrouded for a long time as a result of ignorance. As a religionist myself, I have never believed that the lodge is at variance with religion, especially the Christian religion.
Ignorance had been the main factor that leads people to believe all sorts of untruths about the Freemason Lodge. The situation had perhaps been worsened by the proliferation of all sorts of cheap cultic films and videos on our television screens. It is my sincere hope that this book may provide the basic and simple truths about Freemasonry and disabuse the minds of many who have erroneously associated the lodge with any form of occultism.