Freemasonry in Barbados, Trinidad and Grenada: British or Homemade?
Issue: Vol 1 No. 1 (2010)
Subject Areas: Religious Studies
This article treats the establishment of freemasonry on three British islands in the Caribbean and how it contributed to the formation of particular British-Caribbean identities. In the eighteenth and nineteenth-centuries West Indian lodges all worked under the aegis of a foreign Grand Lodge, either English, Scottish or Irish, and occasionally French or American, depending on local history. The first steps were very different in Barbados, Grenada and Trinidad, owing to different political contexts, and not to any Masonic idiosyncrasy. Masonry in Barbados, Trinidad and Grenada was originally imported from England, Scotland and Ireland, and marginally from France. Although lodges were pure products of the British Empire, yet they soon developed an identity of their own, and this was largely made possible by the solidarity between the islands. By taking part in religious and educational life and through their charitable actions they contributed to serve the community and thus indirectly brought their contribution to the forging of national identities and paved the way for emancipation.
Author: Cécile Révauger