In the year 1944, the young Black men of Melbourne Florida, decided that there was a need for a Masonic
Temple to be established in their city. Under the directions of Rev. J. H. Knowles, the necessary administrative
Masonic action was taken and transmitted to the Most Worshipful Union Grand Lodge PHA, Free and Accepted
Mason of Florida.
Most Worshipful Grand Master C. H. Henry the then seated Grand Master, granted permission and a charter was
dispensed. Thus, on April 24, 1944, under the supervision of District Deputy Grand Master W. D. Minus of Ft
Pierce, The Pride of Melbourne Lodge No. 318 was established with Rev. J. H. Knowles as the Worshipful Master.
Chartered members of Lodge No. 318 were: Rev. J.H. Knowles, Rev. H.G. Mc Millon Rev. Willie Byrd, Bro. Isaac
Johnson, Bro Harry Jenkins, Bro. Harry Lawrence Sr. Bro. Robert Austell, Bro Alex Maxwell, Bro Ned Harris Sr, Bro
Percy C. Taylor, Bro Azie Horne and Bro Nathaniel Jerry.
Through-out the years that Lodge No. 318 has existed, they have distinguished themselves as totally being
committed to the principles of Prince Hall Masonry. Below listed are but a few of the many Community Services
rendered and the tradition is still continued.
Yearly Widows Banquet, Senior Citizen and Community Picnics, Repairing Senior Citizen Homes, Delivery of
Thanksgiving and Christmas Baskets, Support of Community Little League Programs, Cleaning of the
Local Historical Cemetery, Participated in local Anti-Drug Marches, and Drug Education Programs, Co-Founder
of the Reginald E. Johnson Memorial Scholarship Fund Club, Support for the Percy C. Taylor Council Knights of
Pythagoras program, over 25 year support to the local Head Start Children and Teachers, Participation in the
local Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Coalition marches and programs, Allow Community Churches to use the ground
portion of the Lodge when needed, provide Scholarships to local graduating High School Seniors and continuous
visiting of the sick brothers and widows.
The latest project undertaken by Lodge No. 318 was the partnership with local city and county leaders to
eradicate youth gang violence through educational programs that have been established at local Middle Schools
and the community.
On November 2, 2007, Pride of Melbourne made a very significant historical move. The brothers voted
unanimously to partition the Grand Lodge to change the name of the Lodge to Eugene C. Johnson Lodge No.
318. This initiative was to honor Bro. Johnson for 45 continuous years of dedicated services, his loyalty, and for
his unselfish acts of kindness rendered, not only to Pride of Melbourne Lodge No. 318, but to the entire Masonic
district. the Most Worshipful Union Grand Lodge of Florida and the community.
On December 1, 2007, Rev Dr. Michael R. Moore, Most Worshipful Grand Master of Florida and Jurisdictions
PHA, honored the request and signed the necessary documents to rename Lodge in honor of District Deputy
Grand Master Eugene C. Johnson. The effective date on the Charter would be January 3, 2008. On March 22,
2008, this memorable occasion was celebrated with an Appreciation Banquet with over 250 Masonic family
members and Community leaders of Florida attending. The event was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at 2605
Highway A1A north, Indialantic Florida. Most Worshipful Grand Master Rev. Dr. Michael R. Moore was the
scheduled principle speaker, but due to illness, Senior Grand Warden Anthony T. Stafford was the speaker. He
presented the new charter to Deputy Johnson, who in turn presented the charter to W.M. Mc Neil for posting.
The laying of the new Corner Stone is scheduled for May 2008, and Past Grand Master Carl Finerson was
directed by Most Worshipful Grand Master Michael R. Moore to Lay the Corner Stone.