Can a Prince Hall Mason join a lodge of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania?
When the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania extended fraternal recognition to one another in 1997, the recognition was "limited" in that Masons of both Grand Lodges in Pennsylvania were permitted only to visit each other's lodges. Today the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania permits "dual-membership," but the Prince Hall Grand Lodge does not permit "dual-membership." Therefore, if a Pennsylvania Prince Hall Mason wanted to join a lodge operating under the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, he would have to demit his membership while in good standing from his Prince Hall lodge and then petition a lodge of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. He would be permitted to join once balloted upon and would not be required to re-take the three degrees of initiation since he demitted while as a member in good standing from a recognized Grand Lodge. If the Prince Hall Mason was from a Grand Lodge not in fraternal recognition with the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, then he would need to renounce his membership in his Prince Hall lodge, petition a lodge of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and be balloted upon, and then would have to receive all three degrees of initiation in Pennsylvania.
(Source: Office of the Grand Secretary)
[Note: The only Prince Hall Grand Lodge other than the one in Pennsylvania that the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania is currently in fraternal recognition with, is the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Connecticut. Therefore, the same conditions would apply to their members seeking membership in our Grand Lodge as they do for Pennsylvania Prince Hall Masons.]
What is the "oriental" chair?
In lodge you hear the Worshipful Master's station referred to as the "oriental chair." "Orient" is derived from the Latin "Oriens," meaning "rising." Since the sun rises in the East to open and rule the day and in Freemasonry the Worshipful Master's station is in the East to open and rule his lodge, his chair is referred to as the oriental chair.
(Source: Masonry Defined, by E.R. Johnson, Kissinger Publishing)