A study of these interactions between Grand Lodges can be most educational, simply interesting, and sometimes humorous – especially when viewed over the distance of time.
From a perusal of the history of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free Masons of South Carolina, the following random bits of information can be found.
In 1882 and concerning the Grand Lodge of Idaho’s decision to cease Masonic intercourse with the Grand Lodge of Scotland due to Scotland’s dispute with the Grand Lodge of Quebec, South Carolina’s Grand Secretary at the time, Charles Inglesby wrote:
To adopt resolutions of non-intercourse is an extreme measure, and a Grand Lodge which is yet in its teens, ought not hastily to take to such action.1Following South Carolina’s recognition of the Grand Lodge of South Australia in 1886, South Carolina’s Grand Master J. Adger Smyth had this to say.
This is a vital question, and affects the very existence of Masonry. The rule has been that not less that three Lodges in any territory where no Grand Lodge previously exists are competent to form a Grand Lodge. Most of the older Jurisdictions now hold, however, that a majority of the Lodges in the new territory must concur in such a formation. Some even go so far as to hold that it must have the unanimous consent of all the Lodges in the new territory. We adhere to the majority rule. This would prevent a minority – as in the case of New South Wales – from attempting to coerce the majority.2Though an unfamiliar subject to many Freemasons, the diplomacy between Grand Lodges has been – and remains – an important part of the cement that holds the Fraternity together.
1. Cornwell, Ross & Willis, Samuel M. A History of Freemasonry in South Carolina; The Years 1860 - 1919. The Grand Lodge of Ancient Free Masons of South Carolina, 1979, p. 106.
2. Ibid, pp. 127-128