Yesterday I received a little book in Dutch which was published to celebrate the 50th birthday of the international order Le Droit Humain in 1949. The contains a photo with has as subscription “some participants of the International Convent of Paris held in September 1934” (see above). I remembered similar photos that can be found online. On a German ‘Masonic wiki’ there is another photo from the same ‘series’ (see below) and another photo that was taken supposedly taken during the same meeting (lower).
I got the brilliant idea to try to figure out are who are on these photos. This started off nicely. If this is indeed the supreme council and the photo is from 1934 I should be able to find the head of the Supreme Council, probably sitting in the most prominent place. Lucien Lévi lead the Supreme Council from 1928 to 1934. Bingo, Lévi is the man in the middle. He is on all three photos.
My next thought was to find the Dutch Grand Commander. F.E. Farwerck had the position from 1923 to 1933 or E.J.F. Thierens from 1933 to 1953, if this is indeed in 1934, Thierens should be on the photo. I have found one photo of Thierens which is from 1925 so about a decade earlier. There is no face on the photos that I would say would be him.
Belgium then. The Grand Commander of the Belgian federation overlaps Lévi’s period. Gaston Vandermeeren lead the Belgian federation from 1928 to 1934, but no luck, I can’t find a photo.
In the USA the federation was under the command of Louis Goaziou from 1908 until 1937. So he is a candidate too. Goaziou had a black moustache and a narrow face. He could be the man hanging out a bit on the right of the photo in the second row from the top. That is not a very prominent place though.
I have tried to find Grand Commanders of other federations, but I can’t find the nice (Wikipedia) lists that I found the previous names in. Annie Besant lead the British federation from 1902 onward. She passed away in 1933 and she doesn’t appear to be on the photo either. Was she Grand Commander of the British federation until her death?
Does anybody care to see if we can identify other people on the photos?
I’ve got a similar search going on for photos of the International Convents on 1920/1 and 1925. See here. Strangely enough I can find no Dutchmen on the 1925 and 1934 photos, while there are many on the photo of the first convention, also apparently representing Germany, Austria and the Balkan where lodges were founded from the Netherlands.