Thanks and that's good to hear, I was wondering if any of the black members hold resentment to any of the White members since apartheid was that long
ago or white members not being fans of black members?
This is a difficult question to answer because appearances and private feelings are not always the same, and what I see may not necessarily always be
the case. However, in order for a man to have joined, he must have had a white ball in the ballot from every member of the Lodge. If there was a
racist in the Lodge, he could have put in a black ball (which would have been anonymous) to prevent the black candidate from joining. The fact that
10-20% of the membership in most South African Lodges are black members would suggest that nobody is a serious racist.
The other question (about black members holding resentment) is even more difficult to answer. In the older generations, I believe that resentment does
exist. However, the younger crowd does not even know what apartheid is - it's something they read about in history books or hear from their
grandparents. As a university lecturer, I can see no racism or even any racial tension whatsoever in the 18-30 year old age group. Seeing black and
white mixed couples holding hands is every bit as common as same-race relationships. In my research group of 5 postgraduate students, 2 are in
mixed-race relationships (both white men and black women.)
In Freemasonry, I would go so far as to say that all black men that I know of are under 40 years of age - and they are the ones who don't hold
resentment. As there are no older black men, I can't really give you an answer in this regard.
I was also wondering what are the differences between South African Freemasonry and American Freemasonry plus if Catholic's also give masonry
a hard time like in America? Thanks
South African Freemasonry is in amity with American Freemasonry, which means that visitation between the constitutions is allowed. This is only
normally allowed if all of the ancient landmarks of the Order are upheld by both constitutions. This means that both are substantially similar in most
respects, although they might be small differences within the rituals. Most South Africans Masons (about 60%) are English (United Grand Lodge of
England) Masons, but there are four other constitutions present in South Africa, namely the Scottish (not to be confused with the Scottish Rite), the
Irish, the South African and the Grand Lodge of the Netherlands.
Catholics are the second largest denomination in South Africa, with 3.3 million members (6% of South Africans), the first being the Zion Christian
Church (5 million members, about 14% of South Africans), and the other big one being the the Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk (Dutch Reformed Church,
about 1.1 million members (3%).
Of the three, the Zion Christian Church has no problem with Freemasonry at all, the Catholic Church is pretty much silent on the matter, and the Dutch
Reformed Church is strongly and actively opposed to Freemasonry.
There are very few Dutch Reformed Church Masons, with the notable exception of one of their pastors, who is in my Mother Lodge (although he is
extremely secretive about it outside of Lodge.) We have many Catholics in our Lodges, but few Zion Christian Church Members. The Zion Christian Church
has some rather esoteric beliefs (which incorporates Ancestor belief in a similar fashion to how Saints are regarded in Catholisism, except that
intercession through all Ancestors is possible in ZCC belief), as well as prophets and prophecies within the church, and few of them feel the need to
P.S. The references from which I got my figure are:
Zion Christian Church
Roman Catholicism in South Africa
Dutch Reformed Church