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Bicentennial HJR 361  

State of Alabama Legislature

House Joint Resolution 361

March 17, 2005

By Represantitives Ball, Garner, Schmitz, and Sanderford


WHEREAS, highest commendations are herein extended to Helion Lodge #1, the first and oldest lodge in the State of Alabama; and

WHEREAS, Freemasonry is the world's oldest and largest Fraternity with its history and tradition dating to antiquity; its singular purpose is to make good men better and its bonds of friendship, compassion, and brotherly love have survived even the most devise political, military, and religious conflicts through the centuries; Freemasonry is neither a forum nor a place for worship, but a friend of all religions which are based on the belief in one God; and

WHEREAS, on August 2, 1811, in the town of Twickenham in Madison County, Madison Lodge #21 was founded; this was before the State of Alabama or the City of Huntsville existed; Twickenham was a small settlement that had started in 1805 by John Hunt, and following the War of 1812, the town was renamed Huntsville in honor of John Hunt who was a Master Mason and a charter member of Madison Lodge; and

WHEREAS, in 1817, the Alabama Territory was created with a territorial capital at St. Stephens; Huntsville continued to grow, and a second lodge was formed on April 6, 1818, and named Alabama Lodge #21; and

WHEREAS, on December 14, 1819, the State of Alabama was formed, becoming the 22nd state to join the United States of America; Huntsville also had grown to one of the largest towns in Alabama and was selected as the site for the first Alabama Constitutional Convention and General Assembly; and

WHEREAS, on June 15, 1821, the Grand Lodge of Alabama was created; on December 18, 1822, Alabama Lodge #21 changed its name to Bethesda Lodge #2; two years later in December of 1824, the two Huntsville lodges, Madison #1 and Bethesda #2, were combined and renamed to Helion Lodge #1; and

WHEREAS, prominent on the rolls of Helion Lodge #1 are the names of members who are widely regarded in the founding of the State of Alabama and the City of Huntsville; James Penn, Helion's only Grand Master, is recognized to be the father of Alabama's present day Masonic ritual; now therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA, BOTH HOUSES THEREOF CONCURRING, That it is with highest commendations that Helion Lodge #1 is recognized and congratulated and a copy of this resolution shall be provided for appropriate presentation with our sincere tribute and praise.

State of Alabama Legislature

HJR 361

March 17, 2005


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