THE FREEMASON

Douglas MacArthur  became a Freemason while serving as field marshal in the capacity  of military
advisor to the commonwealth government of the Philippines. He did not join the Craft in the
conventional way by petitioning a Lodge for the degrees of Masonry.  For that matter, either by design
or by fate MacArthur did very few things during his lifetime in the conventional manner.  



For the second time in the history of the Grand Lodge of the  Philippines,  Most  Worshipful  Samuel  
Hawthorne  exercised his  prerogative to make a "Mason at sight" on January 17,  1936, in the
presence of over six hundred Master Masons who watched in breathless  silence in a crowded hall,
Samuel Hawthorne, Grand Master of Masons in the Philippines made General Douglas MacArthur a
Mason at sight. MacArthur was visibly moved throughout the ceremony. The Entered Apprentice
Degree was given with P.G.M. Frederick H. Stevens presiding. Immediately following, P.G.M. Francisco
A. Delagado conferred the Fellowcraft Degree on MacArthur. When it was concluded, M.W. Samuel
Hawthorne raised General MacArthur to the sublime degree of Master Mason.

It was an impressive ceremony and it included an address  by P.G.M. Eugene Stafford who recalled his
very close association with MacArthur's father, General Arthur MacArthur when he commanded the
Philippine division and later served as Military Governor of the Philippines in 1900-1901. Concluding
the ceremony, some twenty grizzled veterans still possessing the military bearing  of a bygone era, and
almost all Past Masters, who had served  with General Arthur MacArthur, 36 years before, lined  up in
the East. It was an extraordinary ceremony, the Freemasons of the Philippines welcomed a prominent
American General into the Craft as a brother, and also paid  homage to his father a Freemason who
some of the brethren had fought along side of, and others had undoubtedly fought against a
generation before. It was a golden moment for Freemasonry in the Philippines and for Douglas
MacArthur who had always wanted to be a Freemason like his father. The ceremony lasted for two
hours.  

After being raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason, Douglas MacArthur affiliated with Manila
Lodge No.1 and on March 13th joined the Scottish Rite. On October 19, 1937, he was  elected Knight
Commander Court of Honor, and on December 8, 1947, he was coroneted Honorary 33rd Degree at
the American Embassy in Tokyo. He became a life member of the Nile Shrine Temple in Seattle,
Washington.  

By Herbert G. Gardiner, PGS