History of the Hialeah Masonic Temple
The history of the construction of our Lodge building, we hope is of interest to all who have participated so unselfishly in its beginning, in its growth to its present stature, and all who may work toward making its history in the future.
Our story begins with a group of Master Masons living in Hialeah, who bonded together as a Masonic group and obtained the permission of the then District Deputy Grand Master to commence practicing for proficiency in the esoteric work, with hopes of obtaining a charter for a Lodge in Hialeah.
These Brothers realized the need for a Masonic Lodge in the growing City of Hialeah. in 1951 Hialeah's population rapidly grew to over 18,000 people, and at the time was the largest city in the State of Florida without a Masonic Lodge.
With this purpose at heart, our founding Brothers met on September 12, 1951 in the then incomplete Eastern Star building on West 5th Street, to elect temporary officers. Due to the incompletion of the building and inadequate facilities for proper tiling, the District Deputy Grand Master recommended finding a more suitable place to hold meetings.
In the following months, meetings were held over the City Hall garage on any day the building was available, even Sunday afternoons. Edison Center Lodge allowed them to rent their facilities a few times in the interim. When one of the organizations using the city building vacated, the Brothers were able to get regularly assigned time for the use of this facility. Before a U.D. (Under Dispensation) charter could be given to this group, it was necessary to have the permission of neighboring Opa-Locka and Oleeta Lodges, who shared jurisdiction of the area in which they were seeking to establish a Lodge. According to Masonic Law, Hialeah Lodge was required to be proficient in the three degrees, and give the several lecture appertaining thereto.
The Brothers practiced for two year while facing trials and tribulations at every turn. The acting Worshipful Master was hit in the head by a large piece of plaster which fell from the ceiling of the garage during practice one night. Two years after their first meeting on September 12, 1951, a U.D. charter was given the group on October 24, 1953 and they began to hold regular Masonic Communications.
During this period of dispensation, the Brothers found themselves having to open a Lodge of Sorrow twice in one week for the purpose of holding a funeral for two Brothers who had contributed so much in the founding of their Lodge. Although they did not live to be charter members, you will find their names listed among the names of our deceased Brothers, as they will always be considered members of our Lodge.
On April 22, 1954, Hialeah Lodge No. 320 was constituted as a regular Lodge in the State of Florida, and granted a charter empowering them to work.
Less than a year later the Brothers of Hialeah Lodge petitioned the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons of Florida to again move our charter, as the city needed the space we were occupying over the garage, to expand its facilities. In February of 1955, the Lodge moved to then Eastern Star Hall which had been completed, and held regular communications. This new home would only be temporary though, as the Building Committee created two years earlier was working hard toward the dream of having their own Masonic Temple.
On October 12, 1955, less than two years after being chartered, ground was broken for the construction of the Hialeah Masonic Temple. Pages upon pages could be written about the obstacles faced when trying to raise money for the building, buying the property, and all of the work that was done by our devoted Brothers in acquiring the site for our home, but with unfettered determination the members never gave up, and on Columbus Day in 1955, our Grand Master officiated the ground breaking for our building.
With their customary optimism, the Brothers made a positive date for the cornerstone laying - December 1, 1955 - less than two months hence, and definite plans were made with the Grand Master for him to again come to Hialeah to conduct the ceremony. Many said it would be physically impossible, but on that day, true to our Masonic tradition, our Grand Master conducted the laying of the cornerstone for Hialeah Masonic Temple.
It took a year and a half of painstaking labor, magnanimous contributions of materials, money and sweat to raise the Temple from its foundation to a point where a very impressive meeting “Under the Stars” could be held on the second floor on June 6, 1957. Present for this momentous occasion was the Grand Master along the brethren present who would forever remember that night. Few Masonic Temples in the State of Florida have ever been privileged to have as many visits from a Grand Master, as the Hialeah Masonic Temple.
From 1957 to the present, Our Lodge has seen the merging and consolidation of several lodges, as well as the creation of new Lodges. From the days of Hialeah Lodge No. 320, to the consecration of Meridian Daylight Lodge, to the chartering of our current lodge, Hialeah-Opa-Locka No. 391, many Brothers have worked hard and contributed lots of time and money to bring our Temple to its present state of completion. From our founding fathers to the Brothers who grace the halls of Hialeah's Masonic Center today, we have, we have all made a commitment to Freemasonry and made it our mission to cement the Craft together with Brotherly love and affection.
All of the Brothers meeting in this Temple today, owe a great debt of gratitude to the Brothers who stood together in accomplishing such monumental task. We also stand humbly before the Grand Architect of the Universe, who has given us the strength and knowledge to continue in their footsteps. We are ever mindful of his presence, especially when Brothers are gathered together in unity, and we seek his blessings on all our doings in the future.
TIMELINE OF IMPORTANT EVENTS
September 12, 1951
FORMATION TO MEET
October 24, 1953
GRANTED U.D. CHARTER
April 22, 1954
October 12, 1955
December 1, 1955
June 6, 1957
MEETING UNDER THE STARS
January 26, 1958
FIRST MEETING IN COMPLETED TEMPLE
October 10, 1962
MASONIC DAY IN THE CITY OF HIALEAH
October 10, 1962