Camden Chapter No. 59, Sojourners Club

The fabric of Camden's social life in the days before television was woven in great part by the many social, service, and fraternal groups that were active in the city. Most of these are long gone, some are extinct and some are on the verge of disappearing. One group that was active in Camden in the 1920s but gone from the city today is the Sojourners Club. The club met, in the late 1920s, at the Walt Whitman Hotel at Broadway and Cooper Street.

The Sojourners Club is a Masonic organization comprised of active and retired military officers who are Master Masons. The clubs roots go back to America's overseas participation in the Spanish American War, the first club having been organized in the Philippines in 1898.

Although long gone from Camden, the Sojourners Club, now known as the National Sojourners, is still active.


January 31, 1928

Charles Bratten Dubell
Amos Shirley
Walt Whitman Hotel
St. John's Episcopal Church

About the Soujourners Club


The Purposes of National Sojourners shall be to organize Commissioned Officers, Warrant Officers and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers of the uniformed services (past and present) of the United Sates, and Honorary Members who are Master Masons, into Chapters for the promotion of good fellowship among its members, for assisting such as may be overtake by adversity or affliction, for cultivating Masonic ideals, for supporting all patriotic aims and activities in Masonry, for developing true Patriotism and Americanism throughout the Nation, for bringing together representatives of the uniformed forces of the United States (past and present) in a united effort to further the military need of national defense and for opposing any influence whatsoever calculated to weaken the national security.


National Sojourners believe in God as The Supreme Architect of the Universe.

We hold that political, economic and social problems are subsidiary to and ever separate from that steadfast belief in God.

We maintain that God must motivate man if present day problems are to be solved and we urge active participation in maintaining that Government for which our forefathers fought.

Sojourners remember that George Washington once said, When we assumed the solider we did not lay aside the citizen.


National Sojourners originated in the Philippines upon the arrival of a North Dakota Regiment of volunteer infantry about 1 August 1898. The Grand Lodge of North Dakota granted a dispensation for a field Lodge. It first met 12 August 1898. Meetings were held each Wednesday and Sunday, and were well attended. The 22 February 1898 meeting in Culi Culi Church was held under fire. Bullets came through the roof and Lodge officers wore sidearms. The regiment departed 31 July taking their dispensation with them

Early in 1900, a Sojourners Club was organized in Manila. On 1 July 1901, the Grand Lodge of California authorized them to form a Lodge. After formation of the Lodge, the Sojourners Club lost its identity.

Late in 1917, officers of various services and some of our allies found a great need for a Masonic Club in Chicago. They began to hold a series of meetings; thus began a Sojourners Club. By 1919, a charter was obtained from the State of Illinois and then a club was formed in Detroit, which has become known as Detroit Chapter #1.

During World War II, National Sojourners chapters were formed throughout the world, wherever there were American Forces. Today there are chapters in France, Guam, Okinawa and Germany as well as 169 chapters in the United States.


Active membership in National Sojourners shall be open to citizens of the United States who are Master Masons in good standing in any duly constituted Lodge of Master Masons recognized by, and maintaining fraternal relations with, a majority of the Regular Grand Lodges in the United States and who are serving, or have served honorably, as Commissioned, Warrant Officers or Senior Non-Commissioned Officers of the United Sates in the ARMY, NAVY, AIR FORCE, MARINE CORPS, COAST GUARD, PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE or NATIONAL OCEANIC ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, in peace or war, foreign or domestic, in the Regular, Volunteer, National Guard, the militias of the United States (as defined in 10, USC 311) or have served honorably as commissioned officers in any armed service of a nation allied with the United States in time of war, or have been elected to Honorary Membership.

National Sojourners' Projects

The following are the main projects of National Sojourners:

  • Americanism

  • ROTC Awards

  • Bridge of Light

  • Masonic Education

  • Patriotic Observances

  • Building the Flag Program

  • Service Flags Program

  • Historic Flag Program

  • Collingwood Library & Museum on Americanism

We also support the following Youth Organizations:

  • Boy Scouts

  • Girl Scouts

  • DeMolay

  • Job's Daughters

  • Rainbow Girls