Interesting Facts About The Grand Lodge of New Jersey’s Annual Communication History

Article by RW Moises I. Gomez, Grand Historian of EventsPublished October 18, 2020

  • December 18, 1786 Organizational meeting White Hall Tavern New Brunswick
  • 1st Annual Communication January 30, 1787 Formation and installation of GL officers New Brunswick White Hall Tavern
  • April 2, 1787 Trenton
  • July 3, 1787 Trenton
  • 2nd Annual Communication December 20, 1787 New Brunswick
  • June 24, 1788 New Brunswick White Hall Tavern
  • 3rd Annual Communication December 30, 1788 at the home of John Reading Newark
  • July 3, 1788 Trenton
  • 4th Annual Communication January 5, 1790 Freehold
  • 5th Annual Communication January 11, 1791 Trenton
  • Emergent communication held on September 8, 1791 Trenton to grant the first and only warrant issued by the GL of NJ to brethren. In the Northwest Territory by the river Ohio named Nova Caesarea Lodge No. 10
  • 6th annual communication Trenton December 27, 1791
  • 7th annual communication Trenton December 31, 1792 $200 agreed to for the building of of a lodge in Trenton for the Grand Lodge to whenever they convene a GL
  • 8th annual communication Trenton January 6, 1794 in the new GL temple, a meeting held on July 3, 1794 it was decided not to hold GL meetings at New Brunswick
  • 9th annual communication Trenton December 30, 1794
  • 10th annual communication Trenton January 12, 1796 it was agreed that GL would pay the expenses of officers at the annual meeting if they did not reside within twenty miles of the meeting. It was also agreed that hereafter GL shall meet once a year and can sit alternately at Trenton, Newark or New Brunswick
  • Special meeting called at Newark January 5, 1797 to fix the day for the first meeting of the GL to be continued annually thereafter to take place on the second Wednesday of January
  • 11th annual communication Trenton January 10, 1798 voting privilege in the GL would not longer be extended to those who attended the convention of the formation of GL.
  • 12th annual communication Trenton January 9, 1799 that every master elect shall be installed by a lodge of past masters
  • 13th annual communication Trenton January 8, 1800 the GM announced the death of brother and President George Washington on December 14, 1799 aged 68.
  • 14th annual communication Trenton January 13, 1802 agreed that GL would meet in Trenton on the second Tuesday of November
  • 16th annual communication Trenton November 9, 1802
  • 17th annual communication Trenton November 8, 1803
  • From the 18th annual communication in Trenton November 13, 1804 through the 60th annual communication in Trenton on November 10, 1846 were held at the same location Masonic Hall of Trenton. At this session it was agreed to have a semi annual meeting on May 11, 1847 in Newark. It was also agreed that the annual meeting be held on the second Monday of January hereafter.
  • From the 61st annual communication in Trenton January 12, 1848 through the 68th annual communication were held at the Trenton Masonic Hall in January.
  • All GL meetings from the 69th annual communication Trenton January 9, 1856 was held in Odd Fellows Hall till the special communication in Trenton on July 31, 1867
  • From the 81st annual communication held in Trenton January 22, 1868, till the 83rd Trenton January 19, 1870 annual communication were held in Trenton Taylor Hall
  • 84th annual communication held in Trenton on January 18, 1871 at Freese’s Hall and 85th annual communication on January 17, 1872 were held at Freese’s Hall in Trenton
  • 86th annual communication held in Trenton on January 22, 1873 held at Taylor’s Hall till the 96th annual communication on January 24, 1883
  • 97th annual communication held in Trenton on January 23, 1884 was held at Washington Hall
  • 98th annual communication held in Trenton on January 28, 1885 at Taylor’s Hall
  • 99th annual communication held in Trenton on January 27, 1886 till the 105th annual communication held on January 29, 1902
  • 116th annual communication held in Trenton on March 11, 1903 till the 120th annul communication held in Trenton on March 20, 1907 during this communication it was agreed to change the date of the GL annual communication going forward to the first Wednesday after the third Tuesday in April.
  • 121st annual communication held in Trenton on April 22, 1908 till the 129th annual communication April 19, 1916 in Trenton in the 2nd Masonic Temple.
  • 130th annual communication held in Trenton April 18, 1917 Crescent Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S
  • 141st annual communication held in Trenton at the new and 3rd Masonic Temple on April 18, 1928 until the 160th annual communication held in Trenton on April 16, 1947
  • 161st annual communication held in Atlantic City on April 21, 1948 till the 194th annual communication in April of 1981
  • 195th annual communication held in Wildwood on April 28, 1982 held till the 203rd annual communication April of 1990
  • 204th annual communication held in Atlantic City April of 1991 and has been meeting there till April of 2019
  • 233rd annual communication held at Fellowship Hall Burlington November 9, 2020

Some facts

  • Our Current Grand Master is the 158th Grand Master of New Jersey
  • From 1786 till 1882 unlimited terms of office for a GM can be elected year after year.
  • From 1883 till 1903 GM’s serve two years terms
  • From 1904 till present GM’s serve one year terms, with exception of MW John S. Caie who served two years 1944-1946 due to WWII and restrictions placed by the Department of Defense limiting attendance at conventions to fifty persons after February 1, 1945. Just a limited meeting was held for continuity, and all officers stayed in their stations and places

Cities where GL annual communications were held in NJ

  • New Brunswick
  • Trenton
  • Newark
  • Freehold
  • Atlantic City
  • Wildwood
  • Burlington


  • White Hall Tavern
  • Home of John Reading Newark
  • 1st Masonic Temple in Trenton
  • 2nd Masonic Temple in Trenton
  • 3rd Masonic Temple in Trenton
  • Odd Fellows Hall
  • Trenton Taylor Hall
  • Freese Hall
  • Washington Hall
  • Crescent Temple A.A.O.N.M.S.

Months held for annual communication

  • January
  • March
  • April
  • May Semi Annual Meetings only
  • November
  • December

Grand Lodge Office

Grand Lodge office moved from their 2nd Masonic Temple to the Broad Street National Bank building till 1925. The GL offices were moved to the Old Trenton Masonic Temple until the new and 3rd Temple was built and opened in 1928.

The office space occupied since 1917 in a bank building was out- moded, and Grand Lodge required greater office space as a consequence of the post-war growth of the Craft. In 1925, M.W. Andrew Foulds, Grand Master, recommended that Grand Lodge enter into negotiations with the officers of the new Trenton Masonic Temple for suitable office space, which recommendation was adopted. The offices moved into the new Masonic Temple in April of 1928.

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