Henry Mackelbert, Honorary Grand Commander of the Suprême Conseil de Belgique du Rite Ecossais Ancien et Accepté (1996 – 2002).
He is a lawyer by training and now retired. He was initiated in 1973 and soon became interested in the history of Freemasonry. He has given numerous lectures, both on the history and on the specificity of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in Belgium.
He was invited to ICOM 2017 where he made a presentation on the history of the Lodge La Bonne Amitié in Namur, incorporated at the Rite Ancien in 1765 under the name La Parfaite Union under a warrant issued in 1770 by the Grande Lodge of Scotland.
Since then, his research has led him to study the constitution of the Supreme Council for the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1817 (since independence, the Supreme Council of Belgium) and the influence of its founder, General Jean-Pascal Rouyer. He was also interested in the causes of the schisms that affected this jurisdiction in the second half of the twentieth century.
Axes of research :
His presentation “Trials and Tribulations of Masonry in the Austrian Netherlands” will attempt to present a summary of the history of the “Belgian” lodges during the period under review (1735 – 1785) during which they experienced a boom remarkable, before risking to disappear after the Edicts of the Emperor Joseph II of 1786. They would not see a revival until the end of the XVIIIe century, under French occupation, and particularly during the imperial period.