Alexandru Rufanda

Contribuții la istoria francmasoneriei din Banat și Arad. Artefacte și dovezi din muzeele și presa masonică britanică / Contributions to the History of Freemasonry in Banat and Arad. Artifacts and documents from museums and press of British Freemansonry

Jan. 1, 2020

Istoria Banatului
History of Banat



The history of Freemasonry in Banat still hides many unknown things. The historical course of many lodges in this region is not yet fully known. If we know enough data about some lodges such as the one in Reșiţa, those in Timișoara and others, we have too little data about some lodges, such as the one in Caransebeș or Lipova. Moreover, the museum artifacts that come from lesser-known lodges allow us to reconstruct their history and even the history of certain characters. In this sense, the museum institutions from Great Britain are very helpful; they keep in their collections medals of some lodges from Banat or even original documents, lists of lodges from Banat, etc. These artifacts and documents have not been studied so far and represent a novelty in reconstructing the history of Banat Freemasonry. Examples are the medals of the Irenea lodge in Caransebeș and Concordia in Lipova. The history of these lodges is known only in fragments, and the study of these medals allows us to complete the data on these little known lodges. Another piece unknown to the Romanian academic public is a medal of the „Three white lilies” lodge from Timișoara. The Museum of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Worcestershire and the Museum of Freemasonry in London are very helpful in this regard by offering the opportunity to study the pieces kept in their collections. In our study, we also present the work of a Serbian Freemason from Paris, D. Tomitch, on the rights and interests of Serbs in Banat Timisoara on certain territories within Romania. The English Masonic press is another resource that has not been fully exploited so far. Usually, studies on the history of Romanian Freemasonry cite foreign literature, but very little or almost no Masonic foreign press, especially the old press. However, in the British Masonic press, we find valuable references to Freemasonry in Romania and including Banat, from different historical periods. In the case of Banat Freemasonry, the references in the British press date from the second half of the 19th century. We find references regarding the lodges in Arad, Timișoara, Oraviţa, Lipova, and Caransebeș. All this information, compared to what we know so far, gives us the chance to detect the mistakes made in previous chronological dating but also to complete what we lacked in terms of information.