Ten days after the Lahaina Fire tore through the western shore of Maui, Marty Alexander’s phone wouldn’t stop ringing. A past grand master of the Grand Lodge of Hawaii and its current grand secretary, he was on the receiving end of hundreds of phone calls and emails every day from Masons across the islands—and from just about every corner of the world—asking how they could help deliver Hawaii Masonic relief.
Already, a GoFundMe drive had brought in more than $40,000, while close to $150,000 had been pledged by Masonic grand lodges abroad.
A national fundraising call was also put out by the Masonic Service Association, which will likely match that number. (In 2018, the MSA raised more than $200,000 for assistance in the wake of the California wildfires.) “I’m getting calls from England, from all over Europe, Japan—it’s just overwhelming,” Alexander says. “And individuals giving $15, $100, $300. It’s making me tear up just thinking about it.”
By Alexander’s count, at least a third of the members of Maui Lodge, the only Masonic body on the island, had been directly affected by the fire, which killed more than 110 people. He knew of several who’d lost everything. A few still weren’t accounted for. Alexander himself had seen flames reach within a hundred yards of his own home. But “the Great Architect sent us an angel,” he says, and his own home was saved.
Of course, the grand lodges of California and Hawaii have a long shared history: From 1882 until 1989, Hawaii fell under California’s Masonic jurisdiction. Today, the Grand Lodge of Hawaii includes 11 constituent lodges and has a roster of about 1,600 members.
To donate, visit msana.com/current-appeals/.
More from this issue:
For new CEO Terry Quigley, there’s a solid foundation—and amazing potential—at the Masonic Homes of California.