Our History

"They came by wagon and donkey from the mines where they toiled in what is now North Korea, or from their places of work in then-named capital of Korea, Hanyang, through its unpaved streets to practice ancient rites signifying the Masonic virtues of brotherhood, justice and truth by the light of flickering oil lamps."

One Hundred Years of Freemasonry in Korea

In late 1907 and early 1908 a number of Freemasons then residing in Korea undertook to establish the first Masonic Lodge on the Peninsula. A Charter was issued by the Grand Lodge of Scotland on November 5th, 1908, and the name Han Yang, one of the ancient names for the capital city, was chosen to designate the new Lodge. The membership was initially comprised of merchants, miners, and missionaries; occupations that represented most of the foreign population in what was then known as Chosun.

Although intermittently forced into darkness by the great challenges of the Japanese occupation, World War II and the Korean Conflict, a century later the Lodge continues to uphold the great guiding principles of the Craft: brotherly love, relief and truth.

 

Click here to read a full account of Lodge Han Yang’s long and storied past.

 

(Above: Bro. Ernst Thomas Bethell's funeral in 1909 was attended by thousands of mourners. He was posthumously honored by the Korean government as a national hero. Click on the picture to learn more.)