Hawai‘i was first visited by Freemasons as early as the early-1790s, with the visit of George Vancouver. In addition, other lesser known Freemasons (mariners, merchants and professionals) visited the Islands. On April 8, 1843, during the reign of King Kamehameha III (Kauikeaouli), Freemasonry was formally established in Hawai‘i by Joseph Marie Le Tellier, Captain of the French whaling barque “Ajax” when he warranted Lodge Le Progres de l’Oceanie No. 124, of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of the Supreme Council of France.
Hawaiian Royalty soon looked to membership. Apparently, the lodge did not take the opportunity to enroll King Kamehameha III. The association between Freemasonry and the Hawaiian Monarchy started with Prince Lot when he was raised in Hawaiian Lodge in 1853, and became the first Native Hawaiian to become a Freemason (he later became Kamehameha V.) Later, in 1879, King Kalākaua (one of the most active members of the Craft in the Island Kingdom,) conducted a grand Masonic ceremony at the site of the new ‘Iolani Palace, using Masonic silver working tools specially crafted for the occasion.