The oldest manuscripts are dated from the end of the year 1842 beginning of 1843, when the first Lodge was installed in Pelotas and called "Protector of the Orphanage". In 1849 the first Temple was built on Dr. Flores Street, today Andrade Neves Street, the same place of former Livraria Comercial workshop.
On December 7th, 1847 Mr. Nicolao Marcellino Thoulé, Custódio Manoel d'Oliveira, Joaquim Antônio de Carvalho Amarante, Telemaco Bouliech, Pio Evaristo Mursa Coelho, Manoel Dias Teixeira, Antônio Joaquim Gomes and José de Souza Cabral e Almeida founded the second Masonic Lodge denominated "Commerce and Industry".
A temple was built on rua dos Coqueiros St, presently called Gonçalves Chaves St in the site occupied nowadays by the Chapel of the Asylum of Orphans.
Due to the precarious financial situation of both Lodges they became a single one under the denomination "Union and Concord", functioning in the building of "Commerce and Industry". The other building was sold for payment of the debts and Mr José Lopes da Conceição opened a harware shop in its place.
With the establishment of a single Lodge an old dream came true - the foundation of an asylum of orphans, and it happened on September 7th, 1855 under the name of " Asylum of Abandoned Orphans, Our Lady of the Conception, suggested by Mrs Conceição de Mendonça Moreira with the assistence of the City Counsel, civil authorities and the aid of the population.
On August 25th, 1855 by proposition of the mason Frederico Gregório Ugarteche the Lodge "Honor and Humanity" was established and its first board of directors was: Domingos José d'Almeida, Frederico Ugarteche, João Cirer, Francisco Gerônymo Coelho e Telemaco Bouliech. The new members were almost all of them members of the Lodge "Union and Concord" that stopped existing. The new Lodge made its magnificent Temple on Andrade Neves Street, 2202 presently The Lodge" Fraternity".
The Lodge "Honor and Humanity" has golden pages of history. Its untiring worker mason José da Silveira Villalobos made an effort for raising funds and saved the Law School of the local University from being sold in a public auction.
On March 13th, 1871 the Lodge "Artists" was founded. This Lodge had a very agitated life and on November 14th, 1881 part of its members founded the Lodge "Rio Branco" and the former Lodge was closed. The name of the other Masonic Lodge founded in this town was "Fraternity and Honor", on November 16th, 1873. Its foundation directory board was: Ernesto Augusto Gernsgross, Joaquim da Fonseca Moreira, Diogo Ricardo Higgins, Luis Braga Junior and João Pinto Bandeira. This Lodge had quite a struggle in favor of abolition of slavery in Brazil. On the ocasion of the visit to this town of the Grand Master of the Brazilian Freemasonry Dr. Joaquim Saldanha Marinho, two little slave girls were given freedom, with a large public audience in honor of that great patriot.
The first board of Lodge Rio Branco was the following: Francico Netto de Moraes, Antônio Xavier de Oliveira, João Mendes da Costa Guimarães, Colimério Leite e Manoel de Souza Castro. João da Silva Silveira had an outstandig performance as the head of this Lodge which he directed with high criteria and efficiency, so that it was considered a distinguished lodge amont its similars in Brazil. Its work provided several assets, being its economic situation the best one in our state. This workshop has been one of the most productive in masonic work and one of its most recognized deeds was the foundation of Colégio Pelotense High School.
In October 24th, 1902 the Gimnásio Pelotense was created and the distinguished "brothers" Dr. Francico José Rodrigues Araújo, Venerable Master of Lodge "Rio Branco", Silvestre da Fontoura Galvão, Venerable Master of Lodge "Loyalty" and Dr Carlos Ferreira Ramos Venerable Master of Lodge "Antunes Ribas".
The words of the first report presented by the directory board are:
"... The Grand Master of the Riograndense Masonry, Chief Judge Antônio Antunes Ribas, trying to direct the work of our old institution to practical results suggested to the workshops of his jurisdiction to found schools, where by means of laycal teaching the freedom of conscience of children would be assured, so that future citizens would be prepared and able to live in a democracy where they woul be good assistants and not just mere disturbers of the order and progress as a result of narrow minded and fanatic education."
The foundation of a High School was accepted with aplause and for that purpose the Lodges would obtain a loan in the amount of one hundred "contos" or more, if possible."... " Imediately the venerable of the Lodges of Pelotas together designated a large commitee of brothers: Dr Carlos Ramos, Silvestre Galvão, Emílio Laquintinie, Fernando Röhnelt, João J. César, Antônio Ferreira Soares and Dr Cesar Dias."...
On February 2nd, 1903 Ginásio Pelotense temporarily placed in Itapocay building, on Miguel Barcellos St, 8 started its classes.
A new building was bought on the corner of Felix da Cunha St with Tiradentes St where the Ginásio moved in on September 20th, 1903.
After several problems and expansive work on January 8th, 1906 the decree considering Ginásio Pelotense equivalent to Colégio Pedro II - the standard high school of the country in Rio de Janeiro - was taken to the President of the Republic by the Minister of Education and by the special effort of Mr José Inácio do Amaral in convincing the State Representative Dr Pedro Moacyr.
Annexed to Ginásio Pelotense the Schools of Pharmacy and Odontology were created following the idea of brothers Silvestre da Fontoura Galvão and Dr Manoel Serafim Gomes de Freitas.
There was also a Law School founded on October 12th, 1912 that graduated four classes. It was an initiative of brother Dr Alípio Telles de Carvalho, also former Venerable of the lodge "Rio Branco".
In all these enterprises Dr Francisco José Rodrigues de Araújo, Pedro Luis Osório, Manoel Seraphim Gomes de Freitas, Manoel Luis Osório and many other distinguished masons had outstanding performance.
Since 1914 The Freemasonry delivered the administration of these institutions to the City Government that has been doing a very good job, maintaining their high standards and becoming a real pride for Pelotas.
On the session of July 15th, 1915 The Lodges " Honor and Humanity ", "Rio Branco" , from Pelotas and " Loyalty" from Capão do Leão merged into a single Lodge.
The agreement was signed by Dr Manoel Seraphim Gomes de Freitas as Venerable of the Lodge "Rio Branco", and Mr Alexandre Gastaud as Venerable of the Lodges "Honor and Humanity" and " Loyalty". The new Lodge took the denomination "United Lodges Honor and Humanity, Rio Branco and Loyalty". Its first directory board was : Dr Manoel Seraphim Gomes de Freitas, Alexandre Gastaud, Alberto Sanz Navas, Alfredo Augusto de Carvalho Bastos and Hormino Francisco Lopes.
In 1922 the directory was : Mr José Ernesto Augusto Lang, Alípio Batista de Oliveira, Dr Edson Barcellos Fagundes, Eduardo Francisco dos Santos and Catullo de Mattos.
These Lodges became Lodge "Fraternity" on March 6th, 1923 until now. Its first Venerable was Master Rocco Felipe.
Lodges "Black Rock" from São Gabriel, "Santanense Charity" from Santana do Livramento, "Fraternity" from Pelotas and "Friendship" from Bagé created in a memorable session, on January 8th, 1928 the "Grand Masonic Lodge of the State of Rio Grande do Sul". The first seat of the Grand Lodge was in the building of "Fraternity" where it remained until 1936 when it was moved to Porto Alegre, the State Capital. The first Grand Master was Dr Seraphim Gomes de Freitas.
Since then Lodge "Fraternity" works for the enhancement of the citizen of Pelotas, creating new Lodges, promoting the masonic doctrine, provides brothers decided to struggle for their neighbors and that anonymously serve their community. In 1995 "Fraternity" is awarded the tittle "Centennial Lodge" recognized by the Grand Lodge with the statement of the Grand Master Pedro Manoel Ramos from the "Very Respectable Grand Masonic Lodge of the State of Rio Grande do Sul" and was denominated "The Founder, Centennial, Meritorious, August, Respectable, Simbolic Lodge Fraternity Number 3".
In order to perpetuate this event the Lodge coined 200 medallions specially made for the ocasion, and distributed them in the session the tittle was awarded - August 25th, 1995.
This was the historical description of the oldest Masonic Lodge of the Municipality of Pelotas, successor of the first constituted Masonic Lodge called "Protector of the Orphanage" of 1842, followed by "Union and Concord", "Honor and Humanity" that merged with "Rio Branco" and "Loyalty" becoming the "United" that presently is called "Fraternity".
May the Great Architect of the Universe protect our brothers and our Masonic Lodges, giving them long life along the years so that together they praise His name and His glory.