The story of the establishment of the Narod Lodge

The founders of the Narod Lodge were active in the movement of the national liberation. The assembled around František Sís and the magazine Narod and also around Alois Rašín and Maffie (the main organ of the Czech home resistance during the WWI) The goals of Freemasonry, related to great words of “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”, inspired the founding members of the Narod Lodge thanks to the Masonic participation in liberating revolutions of oppressed nations. In 1914, František Sís was already meeting with an Italian Mason Ugo Dadone, the member of the Italian Consulate in Prague. With his help, Sís turned to the Grand Lodge of Italy with a request about possibility of establishing a Lodge in Prague through the Italian Freemasonry. They response was positive, but next plans were thwarted by World War I. 

Historical masonic passport of Lodge Narod.

In 1918, the idea of founding the Czech independent Narod Lodge returned with even higher intensity. They desired, enriched by experience from the war underground activity of resistance groups Národ and Maffie, to crown the Lodge as the guard of young liberty in the liberated country. Its task was to defend everything won by the national revolution on October 28. The first confidants of Sís were Alois Rašín, Přemysl Šámal, a mayor of Prague, Josef Scheiner, a mayor of Sokol and professor Bohumil Němec, a future rector of the Charles University. In March 1919, the first applicants were accepted in an administrative way (per procuram) to the Nazionale Lodge in Rome to all three degrees, the Entered Apprentice, the Fellow Craft and the Master Mason. Plus, they were encouraged to establish a Proper Lodge in Prague.

František Sís invited all Master Masons to the meeting on March 21, 1919 in the National Club (Národní klub) where they took an oath and pledge of Master Mason to the hands of a delegate of the Italian Supreme Council. After, they agreed unanimously to establish a Freemasonic Lodge in Prague in “the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite” and to call her “Narod”– in memory of a group which gathered under the leadership of František Sís around the revolutionary magazine “Narod” during the War.

The Constituent Lodge meeting, on March 28, 1919 in the National Club, was initiated by the delegate of the Italian Supreme Council Ugo Dadone. He made a talk on statutory regulations and ceremonies and announced the election of the Lodge Officers. The following were elected: Worshipful Master František Sís, Senior Warden Bohumil Němec, Junior Warden Ladislav Syllaba, Orator Emil Svoboda, Secretary Viktor Dvorský, Lecturer Viktor Dyk, Inner Guard Jindřich Čapek, Ritualist Jan Ventura, Steward Jan Thon.

The Narod Lodge with all necessary Officers was thus officially consecrated on March 28, 1919.

The National Grand Lodge of Italy approved the Narod Lodges the Lodge No. 40 in its bulletin, the Charter is dated to June 15, 1919. The ceremonial opening of the Work was held in June 1919.

The founding members of the Lodge Národ were František Sís, Jan Ventura, Jindřich Čapek, Viktor Dvorský, Ladislav Syllaba, Bohumil Němec, Josef Scheiner, Alois Rašín, Jan Matys, František Stašek, František Nušl, Josef Folprecht, Emil Svoboda, Viktor Dyk, Jan Kapras, Přemysl Šámal, František Táborský, Karel Hoch, Josef Borovička, Vilém Pospíšil, Edward Babák, Vladimír Slavík, Jan Thon, Josef Svatopluk Machar, Karel Čapek, Josef Čapek, Vilém Heinz.

To constitute own Czechoslovak Obedience, an association of Lodges operating in a country as well as an organisation which arches over them and represents them abroad, it was necessary to establish more Lodges. By dividing the finding members and initiation of new members, other six Lodges were founded in December 1919: 28. říjen, Dílo, Fügner, Dobrovský, Šafařík and Týn. 

The first ritual ceremony of all new Lodges was held on December 15, 1919. These seven Italian Lodges then constituted the Grand Lodge of Czechoslovakia at the Constituent Assembly on December 29, 1919. Meanwhile, the Italian Supreme Council designated enough members of the High Degrees, so that on January 12, 1920, the Supreme Council of the 33° Degree was temporarily established in Czechoslovakia. The first goal was achieved – the main work on the building of the external structure of an independent Czechoslovakian Masonic unit was completed.