Joseph Montfort Medal Recipients
The Joseph Montfort Medal is the highest award that can be bestowed upon a Freemason by the Grand Master of North Carolina.
Joseph Montfort was Treasurer of the Province of North Carolina, Colonel of Colonial troops, a patriot, and ardent Freemason. Montfort was born in England in 1724 and died in North Carolina, March 25, 1776. He was a member of Royal White Hart Lodge at Halifax.
Montfort's exuberance for the fraternity led to his commission as Provincial Grand Master on January 14, 1771. Montfort's commission, which hangs in the Grand Lodge Office in Raleigh, was granted by Henry Somersest, the fifth Duke of Beaufort and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of England.
Montfort's short tenure as Provincial Grand Master proved to be a watershed for the development of Freemasonry in North Carolina. Montfort tirelessly promoted and organized the fraternity into an efficient and productive organization. He chartered at least ten lodges and helped reorganize a half dozen more and laid the foundation for the creation of the Grand Lodge in 1787.
Montfort's affect on North Carolina Freemasonry cannot be understated, and for that reason his name bears the highest award offered by the Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina. Upon the recommendation of the Committee on Masonic Jurisprudence this special recognition was officially established on April 17, 1940 with the passing of Code Regulation number 278. This regulation reads as follows:
"The Grand Lodge hereby establishes a medal or emblem to be known as the 'Joseph Montfort Medal,' to be presented by the Grand Master to any Master Mason in good standing and recognized by the Grand Lodge who, in the opinion of the Grand Master, is deserving thereof because of distinguished service or achievement. Not more than three Joseph Montfort Medals shall be presented in any one term of a Grand Master."