Teodoro Serrano Ė sent to
prison for being a Mason
When retired Keswick hotelier Teodoro
Lopez, a Spaniard by birth, applied to
become a Mason in Derwentwater Lodge
No. 6375 in the Province of Cumberland
and Westmorland, he was anxious to
follow in the footsteps of his late father,
Teodoro Lopez Serrano, who had been
a Freemason in Spain.
He knew nothing about his fatherís
Masonic career, but was anxious for the
Lodge to help him trace any background
that would help enlighten him, given that
Spanish Freemasonry was banned during the
dictatorship of General Franco.
The story that was to unfold was
remarkable and terrifying, as it transpired that
Teoís father was no ordinary Mason. Indeed,
following research in England and Spain, it
was revealed that his father had been none
other than the Grand Secretary of the Grand
Orient of Spain.
Moreover, his father had been sentenced
to 18 years imprisonment for his Masonic
beliefs, and served seven years of this
sentence, being released in 1948. During this
difficult time the needs of the family had
been assisted by persons unknown to Teo.
His father, undaunted by his years in
prison for his Masonic beliefs, had been proactive
in the reintroduction of Freemasonry
into Spain, joining the reincarnated Lodge
la Matritense No. 7 of the Provincial Grand
Lodge of Castille, which meets in Madrid.
This Lodge itself has a most distinguished
history, having been consecrated as Lodge
No. 1 in Spain in 1728, but following
turbulent times in Spanish Freemasonry,
has twice been reorganised. As the current
Grand Lodge of Spain is recognised as
regular by the United Grand Lodge of
England, it seemed appropriate that Teo
and other members of Derwentwater Lodge
should visit his fatherís old Lodge in Madrid.
Contact was made with Manuel Calvo,
then Master of Lodge la Matritense No. 7,
and 14 brethren and three wives flew out
to Spain for a meeting last September.
A lecture was given at the meeting for the
benefit of the visitors, who also included
a Mason from Cuba and one from Chile.
At the meeting Teo presented the new
Master, Primitivo Mendoza, with a wall
clock manufactured from Lakeland slate and
suitably inscribed with Masonic symbolism
and a presentation plaque, a fitting and
lasting tribute to his father. The Master
broke with tradition and embraced Teo
in open Lodge and presented him with
his fatherís application form to Lodgela
Matritense No. 7 and a Lodge tie.
The toast to Absent Brethren included
Lionel Nutley of Derwentwater Lodge who,
at 100 years of age, thought the trip would
be too much for him. Then the visiting
Masons rounded off the evening with a
rendition of the Absent Brethren song. For
the two Lodges, regular communication
now takes place, and Derwentwater Lodge
has added Spain to its list of overseas countries
it has visited for Masonic gatherings such as
Canada, the United States, Thailand and
Australia, underlining Masonry worldwide.
The trip was a great success, due largely to
the arrangements made the Master and the
Immediate Past Master, Manuel Calvo, and
one Brother has discovered the courage and
tenacity of his father.
Tom Forsyth is secretary of
Derwentwater Lodge No. 6375