Two forms of freemasonry were present in the Caribbean in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: that associated with European colonialism, the military and trade (which embraced Britain, France, the Low Countries, Sweden and other European nations); and that associated with emancipation, socio-political change, and the adoption of Enlightenment principles by black independence and civil rights movements.
Present-day Caribbean Freemasonry is an amalgam of both sets of influences and operates under English, Scottish, Irish and several other Masonic jurisdictions.
Caribbean Masonic institutions which fall under the jurisdiction of UGLE include the District Grand Lodges of Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, the Bahamas & Turks, and Trinidad & Tobago.
The Grand Lodge of Ireland has Provincial Grand Lodges in Bermuda and Jamaica & the Bahamas. District Grand Lodges in Barbados, Bermuda, Jamaica, and Trinidad & Tobago operate under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Prince Hall Grand Lodges operate in the Caribbean and in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. The Grand Orient of the Netherlands operates through its Provincial Grand Lodge of the Caribbean, with lodges in Aruba and St Maarten. And Independent Grand Lodges operate in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Puerto Rico, and in Cuba, one of very few communist states to permit freemasonry, with over 300 lodges.
The following papers were delivered at QC’s 2018 US Conference in Alexandria, VA, or published in AQC.