Location: Gatun, Canal Zone
Chartered By: Leon M. Abbott
Charter Date: 09/10/1919 1919-297
Precedence Date: 12/06/1918
- Robert S. Houston, 1918-1921
- H. Mortimer Lockwood, 1922, 1923
- Charles W. Duey, 1924
- Dow R. Walker, 1925
- Pearl R. Kiger, 1926
- Ernest Mueller, 1927
- Leon J. Egolf, 1928
- Ellis D. Stillwell, 1929
- Frank H. Townsend, 1930
- William C. Smith, 1931
- Frank L. Cunningham, 1932
- Walter L. Roberts, 1933
- Louis F. Hass, 1934
- Robert G. Noe, 1935
- Arthur R. Lane, 1936
- Ramon Otto, 1937
- Ray J. Bunnell, 1938
- Floyd E. Malone, 1939
- Starford Levy Churchill, 1940
- Herbert L. Brezeal, 1941
- Edwin F. Rigby, 1942
- Will R. McCutchan, 1943
- Paul R. Furr, 1944
- Fred A. Newhard, 1945
- Arthur A. Albright, 1946, 1947
- Robert J. Peterson, 1948
- William Badders, 1949-1951
- Curtis H. George, 1952
- Homer V. Crooks, 1953
- Frederick Charles Willoughby, 1954
- Whitman P. Garrett, 1955
- David C. McIlhenny, 1956
- Richard L. Pennington, 1957
- John A. Taylor, 1958
- William B. Wray, 1959
- Robert R. Arnold, 1960
- Walter T. McClure, 1961
- David M. Jenkins, 1962
- Alfred J. Benton, 1963
- Thomas L. Sellers, 1964
- Arthur C. Cherry, 1965
- Leon S. Fishbough, Jr., 1966
- George L. Cooper, 1967
- Ernest R. Yocum, 1968
- William E. Garner, 1969
- Edward C. Blount, 1970
- Donald C. Denis, 1971
- Raymond G. Bush, 1972
- Engelbert J. Berger, 1973
- Howard Nelson Golden, 1974
- Robert L. McAuslin, 1975
- Cullen D. Tomlinson, 1976
- Robert B. Thompson, 1977, 1989, 1991
- Samuel H. Rowley, Jr., 1978
- James B. Wallace, 1979
- Calvin M. Landrum, Jr., 1980
- Kenneth H. Willis, Sr., 1981
- Edsel Walshkey, 1982
- David J. Ley, 1983
- James W. Wood, Jr., 1984
- George M. Walker, 1985
- Victor C. Heyl, 1986, 1988
- Joe M. Taitano, 1987
- Albert J. St. Peter, 1990
- Robert D. Gordon, 1992
- Robert M. Craig, 1993, 1995
- Tommie L. Smith, 1994
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- Petition for Dispensation: 1918
- Petition for Charter: 1919
- Consolidation Petition (withBalboa] Lodge): 1995
VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 1921 (Prince)
- 1922 (Prince; cornerstone laying; Special Communication)
- 1925 (Ferrell)
- 1928 (Simpson; 2 visits, including cornerstone laying; Special Communications)
- 1934 (Chipman)
- 1937 (Allen; hall dedication; Special Communication)
- 1939 (Perry; Special Communication)
- 1949 (Keith)
- 1952 (Roy; 2 visits, including cornerstone laying; Special Communications)
- 1956 (W. Johnson; Special Communication)
- 1958 (A. Jenkins; Special Communication)
- 1965 (Osgood; Special Communication)
- 1967 (Booth; Special Communication)
- 1971 (Jaynes; Special Communication)
- 1973 (Vose; Special Communication)
- 1976 (Maxwell; Special Communication)
- 1979 (Melanson; Special Communication)
- 1982 (Berquist; Special Communication)
- 1985 (Richardson; Special Communication)
- 1988 (Ames; Special Communication)
- 1991 (Darling; Special Communication)
- 1994 (Lovering; Special Communication)
LODGE NOTES, SPRING 1993
From TROWEL, Spring 1993, Page 27:
Sibert Lodge (Panama Canal Masonic District. Gatun. Panama) recently had their installation of officers for 1993. The installation is of particular interest for several reasons. Three years ago. not many people thought that Sibert Lodge would ever have another installation. While membership remained well above two hundred members, the active membership was at an all time low. Many business meetings were canceled because not enough members showed up to open the Lodge. The membership of Sibert Lodge is mainly workers from the Panama Canal Commission and soldiers in the U.S. Army. The majority of the Panama Canal Commission members have retired and returned to the states, and at that time (pre just cause) the military members were often on alert and confined to Ft. Sherman. It was decided that Sibert Lodge would close its doors and merge with another Lodge in Panama. However, after repeated pleas from the active members and from candidates awaiting initiation, the District Grand Lodge agreed to wait another year before closing Sibert Lodge down. For this, we would like to thank Right Worshipful Donald P. Garrido (District Grand Master for the Panama Canal Masonic District) and Worshipful Calvin Maxwell Landrum, who agreed to be Master of Sibert Lodge another year, and Worshipful James William Wood, who agreed to take on the job of Secretary and bring all the records up to date.
We found enough Masons to fill the chairs who were willing to work, and we Raised five Masons that year. Last year we Raised nine more and have had several affiliations. Most of the chairs are filled by young Masons who are willing to put in long hours to ensure that the ritual work is done correctly, and at the installation we had sixty people present, counting the wives. Sibert Lodge is alive and prospering with candidates coming in all the time.
The wives of Sibert are active in supporting the Lodge and have contributed greatly to its success. They put on a dinner once a month and have organized themselves into a committee that meets once a month to plan dinners, picnics, a trip into the Interior to donate Christmas gifts to the children of needy families, a Christmas dinner and party for our own children. They have also contributed their personal time in doing work on the Lodge.
The Lodge has truly become a family Lodge. We share Thanksgiving dinner together. Christmas dinner together, and work together. And all of this in a Lodge that would have closed its doors only a few short years ago. Thanks to a lot of hard work by the membership and their families, Sibert Lodge is thriving.
Another point of interest is the fact that the Master and officers of Sibert Lodge wore their army dress greens for the installation this year. This year's installation was the first open installation for Sibert Lodge. The by-laws were changed last year to allow for an open installation, this again allowed the families to participate in the Lodge and has guaranteed another successful year for the Lodge.
God willing, Sibert Lodge will be around for a long time. Our public Awareness Program includes each family inviting another family to the monthly dinners. While we do not (and never will) recruit new members, by inviting new families to share in our closeness and love of each other, we spread good feelings about our Fraternity among those who know little if anything about it.
LODGE NOTES, FALL 1993
From TROWEL, Spring 1993, Page 29:
Sibert Lodge (Panama Canal Masonic District, Gatun. Rep. De. Panama) conducted an outside ritual for the Raising of Brothers Paul G. Roberts and Gerald V. Gorton on July 9, 1993. The ritual was conducted at the Historical ruins of Fort San Lorenzo. Fort San Lorenzo is located on the Atlantic side of the Isthmus, where the Chagres River dumps its murky waters into the Caribbean Sea.
The place is full of history. Christopher Columbus, himself, spent the Christmas of 1495. on board his ship at the base of the cliff where Fort San Lorenzo was built some years later. The fort is situated on a high bluff that juts out into the Caribbean Sea. Columbus sailed along its shores again on his fourth voyage in 1502. never realizing that the mouth of the Chagres River was one of the keys of the riddle in his search for a new way to India.
The river itself became an important transportation route between Spain and Peru once Peru had been overthrown and the Isthmus had been settled. The fold, however, was not normally transported down the river. Instead, it found its way across the famous Camino Real. A road cut through the jungles of Panama from the Pacific side of the Isthmus to the seaport of Porto Bello.
The fort was used to guard the river's entrance against pirates and proved very successful at fulfilling this mission, until 1671, when Henry Morgan, the pirate, captured and destroyed the fort during his raid across the Isthmus which climaxed with his capture and destruction of Panama Viejo.
In 1849 during the days of the "Forty-Niners." the fort again assumed its role as a guard on the Chagres River, when the river became a trans-shipping point for the thousands of pioneers, caught up in the madness of the Gold Rush to California. However, the completion of the Panama Railroad lessened the need of the river as a transportation route and the need of the fort to guard it. By the beginning of the 20th Century, the jungle had reclaimed both the Fort and the once prosperous village below it. The fort is located on the military base of Fort Sherman, home of the academy, and was restored by the Army in 1955. Maintenance by the Army was ongoing until the advent of the 1978 treaty between the United States and Panama which resulted in the Fort being returned to Panama's control in 1979.
While the United States is no longer responsible for the upkeep of the fort, volunteers from Fort Sherman, the Boy Scouts and Masons from Sibert Lodge assist in the upkeep and maintenance of the old fort.
This was the fourth time that Sibert Lodge has conferred the Third Degree upon candidates at the fort. The first on record was in 1980 when Sibert Lodge and Sojourners Lodge conducted a joint communication for the purpose of conferring the Third Degree on Brother James Lewis Mulligan. The second time was in 1991 when Brother Charles Carrol Carter was Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason. The third time was in 1992 when Brothers Kelly Steven May and Albert Paul Miceli were Raised. The Master in 1980 and again in 1991 was Wor. Calvin M. Landrum. In 1992, the Master was Wor. Robert D. Gordon, and I had the pleasure of being the Master in 1993. While I have enjoyed being at three of these communications, Wor. Bro. Landrum has attended all four and has been instrumental in the planning and preparation each time.
Brothers from all over the Isthmus have attended these communications. At the last one, we had an official visitation from R. W. Guy U. Hall, the District Grand Master of the Panama Canal Masonic District. Other officers of the District Grand Lodge. Balboa Lodge. Ancon Lodge and Thistle Lodge also had members present for the ritual. Dinner was served on the upper courtyard prior to darkness, and the ritual began as the last rays of the sun disappeared in the west.
The fort is surrounded by a moat, and the only entrance is down a flight of stairs, across the moat, through a dungeon that opens into the courtyard and finally across the courtyard to the particular dungeon where this year's ritual was performed. Sentrys were placed outside the walls of the fort, on the walls overlooking the moat, and finally, a Tyler was placed where the dungeon opens up at the moat surrounding the fort. The same security measures that were built into the fort four hundred years ago to protect its occupants from the attacks of pirates in the 16th century, served to protect from cowans and eavesdroppers just as well. Lighting was provided by candles, lanterns and chemical light sticks. The letter "G" was provided by a shadow box and candle light.
With the walls of the Fort guarding the north and east sides of the Fort, and the Fort's other two sides dropping off a bluff to the Caribbean Sea on the west and to the Chagres River on the south and with the beautiful starry decked heaven above us, we began our ritual.
At the completion of the ritual and the usual Brotherly 'gripping and grinning" and congratulating each other on a job well done, one could not help but reflect upon the beauty of the stars, of the night which surrounded us and of life itself when so many Brothers dwell together for the benefit of another.
GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- David C. McIlhenny, District Grand Master (Canal Zone), 1972-1974