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Henri van Ginkel (1880-1954)

The influence of Hendricus Johannes (Henri) van Ginkel on Farwerck must have been immense. Van Ginkel lived in Laren not far from Hilversum where Farwerck lived. Both were active in the Theosophical Society, where they appear to have met. In 1917 Farwerck lead that Hilversum lodge. Both were active in the Universal Sufism movement and the Coué foundation.

In 1911, Van Ginkel initiated, passed and raised Farwerck into mixed gender Freemasonry in a lodge that he himself had initially set up in his house, but which would quickly move to Hilversum. Both Farwerck and Van Ginkel were of the opinion that Freemasonry and Theosophy should not mix. As a matter of fact, the lodge that Van Ginkel started (for which he left the first mixed gender lodge in the Netherlands) and in which Farwerck was initiated, was the first lodge with a non-Theosophical (or rather: less Theosophical as Van Ginkel’s reforms weren’t ready yet then) ritual that Van Ginkel himself had written.

Farwerck also proved himself deeply interested in Masonic rituals and history and I’m sure that the two (or more) worked closely together on reforming the rituals of Le Droit Humain.

Van Ginkel was the first Grand Commander of Le Droit Humain from 1913 to 1923 and he was followed by Farwerck who also had the position for a decade. After Farwerck came Jan Thierens who doubled the years in function.

Henri van Ginkel was an active person. Together with (brother) J.F. Duwaer (1869-1944) he had several publishing houses. He and Duwaer translated books, wrote books, had other people write and translate books, had periodicals and all that spread over several companies, Masonic, Theosophical, Nautical. A bibliography can be found here (in Dutch). Van Ginkel and Duwaer were also active in politics together.

Van Ginkel and Duwaer had one publishing enterprise that was mostly meant for internal publications for Le Droit Humain. It was called “Maçonnieke Uitgevers Maatschappij” (‘Masonic publishing company’). MuM also published Farwerck’s first book and the periodical that Farwerck also published in, Bouwsteenen. Also interesting, quite a few of Van Ginkel / Duwaer publications were later republished by Nick Schors, including Farwerck’s debut.

I don’t know how friendly Farwerck and Van Ginkel were, but they must have cooperated a lot and met each other frequently. They were both hard workers who preferred to stay out of the lime-lights, but sometimes had to step into them.

Amsterdam archives have frequent listings of a Hendricus Johannes van Ginkel born on 6 July 1880 in ” ‘s Hage”. Would that be short for ‘s Gravenhage or The Hague?

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