Florida Federation History
The Florida Federation was formed on March 18, 1934. A description of the first meeting, published in the American Theosophist in 1934, follows:
An important point in the history of Florida, theosophically speaking, was reached when thirty-eight enthusiastic workers and delegates from the various lodges in Florida met March 18, at Gainesville, Florida, to work toward the formation of a Federation of Florida lodges. Although the transaction was not fully completed at that time, this gathering was in essence the Federation, as those present were fully aware that an idea that has been in the minds of those interested for several years was really born.
The need for a Federation is very great in Florida particularly, as the cities are so scattered and the lodges have a feeling of isolation, being so far from Headquarters.
Before the regular business of the meeting had begun, a very pleasant surprise in the form of a most inspiring telegram from the National President, Mr. Sidney A. Cook, was read by Dr. Karl G. Knoche, which of course was most deeply appreciated by everyone.
The principal topic, aside from the various discussions regarding minor details, was "The Purpose and Functioning of Federations," so ably and interestingly given by Miss Anita Henkel, Field Worker; Mr. R. B. Kyle, president of Gainesville Lodge, also chairman of the meeting; Dr. Karl G. Knoche, president of Jacksonville Lodge; and Mr. Charles Henry McIntosh, of Chicago and Winter Park, Florida.
After a short recess Mr. R. S. Tracy, of Jacksonville, gave several beautiful musical selections, followed by a most helpful inspirational talk by Dr. Oscar G. Utesch, also of Jacksonville Lodge.
Gainesville Lodge was host to the Federation, and never was a Federation more royally entertained. The four hours spent in Gainesville will always be remembered by those who were fortunate enough to be present at one of those treats that come at rare intervals when there is caught a true glimpse of the beauty of Brotherhood in its reality.
The most beautiful spirit of harmony and good fellowship pervaded the gathering, and the meeting adjourned at 3:45 with a most cordial invitation from Mrs. R. H. Edwards, president of Tampa Lodge, to hold the next meeting of the Federation at Tampa, which is scheduled for the week-end of September 1.
A very important factor in the success of the Federation meeting was the untiring, enthusiastic and devoted work of Miss Anita Henkel. Her influence in Florida theosophical lodges during her visit there cannot be overestimated, and the members and lodges are deeply grateful for her loving service, and sincerely hope to have her with them again in the very near future.
Headquarters and the Section extend a genuine welcome to this new Federation. We are glad that Federation activities have found their way into as remote a corner of the country as Florida, and we are appreciative of the efforts which have made it possible.