On Tuesday 5th April 1994, seven master Masons gathered at the Nautilus restaurant, Rocio del Mar, to discuss plans for a new Spanish-speaking Lodge, to be called Logia de Las Salinas. Within 6 months these plans had come to fruition. Byelaws were formulated and the Lodge was consecrated on Saturday 22nd October 1994. The name of the lodge derives from the local salt lake industry, which has flourished in Torrevieja since Roman times and was suggested by Worshipful Brother Graham Knight who was the founding Senior Warden.
With a donation of 50,000 pesetas from founding Master, Worshipful Brother Peter Corrigan, and a founder’s fee of 7000 pesetas per head, the Lodge was able to design and purchase its own unique ceremonial banner that graces regular meetings to this day. Gradually other items of ceremonial regalia were added to the inventory, including a fine bible and candelabra.
The founding Brothers had set themselves a very high goal – to revive the historic movement of Spanish speaking Freemasonry in this area, a movement that had been suppressed during 35 years of Nationalist government. Their efforts met with some success but the high cost of membership proved a deterrent to recruitment so it was decided to form a luncheon club to help impecunious brethren with their fees. This became the El Salero Luncheon Club which thrives to this day.
These days, the aim of the luncheon club has moved on from personal assistance to raising money for selected charitable organisations with a local connection. Over the years, Las Salinas Lodge has received several awards for its charitable work, and money raised from El Salero and other fund raising activities has enabled the Lodge to assist in a variety of causes such as help for the homeless, children in need, and the provision of medical equipment and food banks.
With diminishing numbers of Spanish members it was eventually decided to return to the English form of Valencian Emulation, though the Lodge still opens and closes it’s regular meetings in Spanish; in respectful deference to the founders’ intentions.
Much has changed in a quarter of a century and yet Las Salinas Lodge may fairly claim to have remained true to its origins. Brotherly love remains at the heart of its beliefs, resulting in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, enthusiasm in its performance of ritual and effectiveness in the support of charitable endeavours. The stewardship of these principles passes this day into the capable hands of a new Worshipful Master, Worshipful Brother Keith Carter.