Once every 32 years, Geneva hosts the annual meeting of the Swiss Grand Lodge Alpina. Over 600 delegates were gathered (recently) at the Ramada Park transformed for the occasion in the Masonic Temple. The Alpina Grand Lodge with 83 lodges and 4,000 members is the most important Masonic District in Switzerland; she has thirteen lodges and 650 Brothers in Geneva.
"We are preparing the event for five years," said Michel Rollin, chairman of the organizing committee of the gathering at a press conference in the temple of the Rue de la Scie. "We welcome delegates from all over Switzerland, as well as representatives of international Grand Lodges."
The highlight of this Conference was reached with the election by secret ballot, of the new Grand Master of the Alpina. Elected for four years, it will be this time an original from Geneva. Delegates approved the choice of four members of his committee. "There were five candidates to start," said Jacques Butel, president of the Central Commission of Lodges (Geneva). "Two remained in contention after the first round. And we present one tomorrow”.
Saturday evening, after the election, the gala dinner. On Sunday morning, held a "facility" that is to say, a Masonic ceremony during which the Grand Master will be installed in his new role. The annual meeting will conclude with a closing dinner on Sunday night.
Temple in a hotel
Saturday evening, "We must reform a Masonic temple at a hotel," says Jean-Pierre Dousset, honorary member of the Swiss Grand Lodge Alpina, "and bring various symbolic objects indispensable to our ritual." A little arrangement is not trivial!
When asked about the desire of Freemasons Geneva out of their usual reserve in giving a press conference, the organizers of the meeting were clear. Jacques Butel: "We have nothing to hide. We're a society of initiation and should therefore be initiated to attend our works. There is nothing extraordinary! I remind you that we have been persecuted by the Catholic Church by the Nazis, by communism. It is normal that we be cautious.
In addition, the Swiss Freemasonry is unique. It is characterized by discretion, transparency and a clear spiritual search for the meaning. It is intimate, so must be discreet. Unlike the French Freemasons, we have no public and political commitment as masons. That is even prohibited. If we undertake (these commitments) is individually."
The site of the Grand Lodge Alpina of Switzerland is located here