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JOHN ALBERT BLAKE 1843-1926

JohnAlbertBlake1908.jpg

  • MM 1866, WM 1877, 1878, Amity
  • DDGM, Salem 8, 1889-1891
  • Junior Grand Warden 1892
  • Grand Master 1906-1908

TERM

1906 1907 1908

NOTES

PRESENTATION OF PAST GRAND MASTER'S JEWEL, MAY 1909

From New England Craftsman, Vol. IV, No. 8, May 1909, Page 283:

Presentation of Jewel to
Past Grand Master J. Albert Blake

There has rarely assembled a more notable gathering of the Masonic brotherhood than the two hundred and twenty-five brethren who met at the Hotel Somerset on Saturday evening, May 1st, to do honor to Right Worshipful John Albert Blake, Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

Right Worshipful Brother Blake is a worthy successor of the long line of able Masons who have served the interests of Freemasonry in Massachusetts, who have sustained its good name and made it an honor to all who bear it. Every Grand Master has done the duty that lay before him, some of them were heroes in the days when to acknowledge one's self a Mason was to invite the contempt and perhaps the persecution of the community in which he resided. The bravery of these men and their associates sustained our Order and has made their names immortal.

Among the forvnost duties resting on the Masonic fraternity is the practice of Charity, that charity which not only makes us patient and forgiving in our attitude towards each other, but that charity which 6eeds the hungry, clothes the naked and provides shelter for those who by misfortune have been deprived of these essentials to comfort and even existence. This aspect of Masonic duty is the one which most deeply impressed Grand Master Blake. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts has never owned a home to which its aged and unfortunate members could turn for refuge in days of adversity. Hitherto obligations resulting from fires and other causes have prevented active measures for establishing a home. These conditions have been changing for some time and on the election of Brother Blake to the office of Grand Master he felt that the time had arrived when the Masons of Massachusetts should be aroused to an active interest in this subject

With a splendid membership of more than fifty-four thousand brethren he believed that all that was required to obtain the desired result was leadership and enlightenment, He began work at once, and up and down the state during three years he has walked and talked until at last success dawned and before he stepped from his chair as Grand Master the Grand Lodge had in its possession the title of a magnificent estate which will soon open its doors to the unfortunate of our Craft.

Only those who have kept in close touch with Right Worshipful Brother Blake have any idea of the great work he has done. Enough, however, is understood to make
the brethren anxious to show him their appreciation of his services while he is with us in the vigor of manly activity; and this feeling is at the bottom of the grand demonstration on the evening of the first day of May. The most natural way of expressing the appreciation of the brethren was by a complimentary banquet and presentation of a Past Grand Master's Jewel.

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Grand Masters of other New England states accepted invitations to attend with cordial expressions of interest.

The exercises of the evening proceeded as follows: — Rt. Worshipful Brother Blake received the brethren as they arrived, all of whom expressed the warmest interest in the demonstration in his honor. The other exercises began when the company were seated, which was admirably planned, with one long table at the head for the guest of honor and speakers, the others were seated at a series of small tables, each arranged for the accommodation of six persons. Those at the head table were Right Worshipful Arthur G. Pollard, Past Deputy Grand Master of Grand Lodge, the chairman of the committee; the honored guest, Rt. Worshipful John Albert Blake, Past Grand Master; Most Worshipful Dana J. Flanders, Grand Master of Grand Lodge; Most Illustrious Everett C. Benton, Commander-in-Chief, Massachusetts Consistory A. A. S. R. and Grand Master of Grand Council R. and S. Masters; Most Worshipful Frederick W. Sawyer, Grand <aster of New Hampshire; Most Wor. William H. Chatterton, Grand Master of Rhode Island; Most Wor. Edmund H. Mallett, Grand Master of Maine; Rt. Eminent John D. Munroe, Grand Commander of K. T.; Right Worshipful Edwin B. Holmes and Charles T. Gallagher, Past Grand Masters of Massachusetts; Past Illustrious Commander-in-Chief J. Harvey Young of Massachusetts Consistory, A. A. S. R.; Rt. Worshipful Thomas W. Davis, Grand Secretary; Rt. Wor. William H. L. Odell, Past Deputy Grand Master; Rt. Wor. William D. T. Trefry, Deputy Grand Master; Rt. Wor. Melvin M. Johnson, Senior Grand Warden; Rt. Wor. William M. Belcher, Past Senior Grand Warden; Rt. Wor. Allen T. Treadway, Junior Grand Warden; and Rev. Edward A. Horton, Grand Chaplain.

The floral decorations at the guests' table represented the various bodies—purple for the council of royal and select masters, red and while for the consistory, blue for the grand lodge, red for the chapter and white the Knights Templar-. After the divine blessing had been invoked by the grand chaplain the Harvard and Weber quartets chanted "Remember Thy Creator," the orchestra, led by Thomas M. Carter, playing the accompaniment, and 1 nth furnished delightful music during the feast.

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Arthur G. Pollard
Chairman of Committee

Rt. Wor. Arthur G. Pollard, the chairman, in introducing the toastmaster, Rt. Wor. Everett C. Benton, announced that the company had met under the most pleasant circumstances to honor one of the most able and accomplished Masons in Massachusetts — John Albert Blake. During the three years he had been Grand Master he had magnified the office. With warm hearts and cordial greetings they welcomed their distinguished guest, pledged their brotherly love and sincere hope of his future happiness. When the history of the Grand Lodge would be written it would show no name of greater luster than that of the present junior Past Grand Master.

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Everett C. Benton
Toastmaster


Past Deputy Grand Master Benton was glad that he was able to join in paying his respects to Past Grand Master Blake, who had complimented him in the highest manner possible by naming him a Deputy. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts was the oldest in America and a guiding light to Masonry — a sentiment that elicited cheers.

Grand Master Dana J. Flanders was warmly greeted when he arose. He spoke of the dignity and high standing of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts and of those who had preceded him in office, he said that "The junior Past Grand Master of Massachusetts is the peer of any of his predecessors," and that he desired to pay his respects to the man all delighted to honor, he believed in the great work that he had inaugurated and hoped that he would live to see the fruition of his Worts. This new venture, a Masonic home, had practically been started by Past Grand Master Blake, and the speaker promised his best efforts to carry along the undertaking.

Grand Master Frederick W. Sawyer of New Hampshire was introduced as representing a daughter of Massachusetts Masonry. He made a pleasing address saying he was delighted to join in honoring Past Grand Master Blake also presenting the congratulations of his state to Grand Master Flanders. Grand Master William H. Chatterton of Rhode Island and Grand Master Edmund H. Mallett of Maine also extended their congratulations and hearty good wishes to Past Grand Master Blake.

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William H. L. Odell
Presenter

The striking incident of the evening was the presentation of a Past Grand Master's Jewel to Right Worshipful Brother Blake; this was done by Right Worshipful William H. L. Odell, a long time personal friend of the recipient. Bro. Odell said in part:

"Right Worshipful Brother Blake: — It is now my duty to say a few words to you in behalf of the brethren who are sealed around us. You and I have been warm personal friends for many years — I have been privileged through your confidence to accompany you in your travels all over our commonwealth and I know that you have woven your personality into the hearts of the brethren — I will not dwell on your great and persistent efforts to establish a Masonic Home in our state. But, my brother, that work will redound to your honor for generations to come — you have established a perpetual monument to yourself — it has seemed fitting to some of us that we should show to you our love, our confidence, our esteem in something more than words. We have therefore made this dinner our excuse for asking you to come here and in the presence of not only many distinguished Masons of our own state, but with the Grand Masters of sister New England jurisdictions — to present to you this Past Grand Masters jewel of the M. W. Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. It bears the inscription, 'Presented by brethren of Massachusetts to M. W. Grand Master Blake, 1905-1908.'

"In placing it on your breast, my life long friend. 1 know that I voice the sentiment of every brother in the hearing of my voice, aye, of the 55,000 Masons of this dear old Bay State, when I say to you,—

'With such a comrade, such a friend,
I fain would walk the journey's end:
Through Summer's sun and Winter's rain
And then farewell — we shall meet again.' "

Past Grand Master Make was deeply affected by the presentation, After the company had finished singing, "He's a jolly good fellow," he replied, expressing his deep sense of this action of his brethren assuring them that it gave great pleasure to receive their congratulations. He complimented the craft on the selection it had made to succeed him. To the visiting grand masters he expressed his thanks for their greetings. He was profoundly grateful for the double honor conferred on him. He thanked their spokesman, who presented the jewel, and said, "The prayer of my life shall be. God make me worthy of my friends."

Grand Chaplain Horton, Past Grand Master Holmes and Gallagher and Grand Commander Munroe spoke in eulogistic manner of Past Grand Master Blake.

Rt Worshipful William M. Belcher, secretary of the committee, read letters from Past Grand Master Nickerson and the Grand Master of Vermont regretting their inability to be present.

A very handsome souvenir program was given each person, which bore an excellent steel engraved likeness of Right Worshipful Brother Blake and a picture of the Masonic Home at Charlton.

Among officers of the Grand Lodge present, were District Deputy Grand Masters Leon M. Abbott, James Gould, R. Walter Hilliard, Arthur W. Beckford, Horace S. Bacon, Thomas Deane, J. Fayette Stone and Herbert F. French; Chauncey L. Peck and Frederic L. Putnam, grand lecturers; George H. Graves, Senior Grand Deacon; Walter H. Smith, Arthur H. Burton, and Benjamin S. Frost, Grand Stewards; William H. Glover, Grand Pursuivant; and George W. Chester, Grand Tyler.

The committee of arrangements consisted of Arthur G. Pollard, chairman; William H. L. Odell, Everett C. Benton, William M. Belcher, Melvin M. Johnson. Allen T. Treadway, William H. Emerson, Forrest E. Barker, R. Walter Milliard. Clarence A. Brodeur, Walter F. Medding, Homer S. Joslin, Nesbit G. Gleason, Robert K, Scars and William L. Walker.

The exercises of the evening closed with the singing of Auld Lang Syne. The company were photographed while seated at the table.

BIOGRAPHY

NEW ENGLAND CRAFTSMAN, 1906

From New England Craftsman, Vol. I, No. 4, January 1906, Page 110:

John Albert Blake
Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts

Most Worshipful Brother Blake, the new Grand Master of Massachusetts, was born in Danvers, Mass., April 15, 1843, where he received his education in the public schools. He enlisted in the U. S. Navy July 13, 1863, serving on the frigates Wabash and New Ironsides in the South Atlantic squadron off Charleston, S. C. He participated in the bombardment of the forts in Charleston harbor. He was discharged July 13, 1864. He is a member of Post 90, of which he was commander in 1880. Brother Blake has been identified with the shoe business as a manufacturer nearly all his life and has conducted large factories in Maine and Massachusetts. For a period of seven years he lived in Haverhill but during the last ten years has been a resident of Malden. Brother Blake served in the State Legislature as representative in 1878.

His Masonic record is as follows: He was raised in Amity Lodge, Danvers July 13, 1866 and was Wor. Master in 1877 and '78. He has been President of the Past Masters Association of the 8th Masonic District, and District Deputy Grand Master of the same district 1889, '90 and '91. He was Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge in 1892.

He was Exalted in Holton R. A. Chapter, Dauvers, October 14, 1872 and was High Priest in 1881. He was Distirct Deputy Grand High Priest for the 2nd Capitular District 1882, '83 and '84. He was Deputy Grand High Priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter in 1885 and Grand High Priest 1891, '92 and '93. He is a Permanent Member of the Grand Chapter of Massachusetts and of the General Grand Chapter of the United States.

He received the degrees of the Cryptic Rite in Salem Council of Royal and Select Masters, April 8, 1878 and was Thrice Illustrious! Master in 1884, '85 and '86. He was Most Illustrious Grand Master of the Grand Council, 1894, '95 '96, He is a Permanent Member of the Grand Council of Massachusetts and of the General Grand Council of the United States, in which body he General Grand Captain of the Guard.

He was Knighted in Winslow Lewis Commandery Knights Templars, October 10, 1876 and was Eminent Commander in 1882, '83 '84 and '85 and Honorary Member in 1891. He is at the present time Em. Grand Standard Bearer of the Grand Commandery of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He received the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, 32nd degree in Massachusetts Consistory, September 27, 1877 and was Second Lieut. Commander in 1895, '96 and '97. He is a Life Member of the Council of Deliberation in which he was 1st Lieut. Commander in 1894.

He is an Honorary Member of the Supreme Council of Sovereign Grand Inspectors-General, having received the 33d grade Honorary, September 18, 1900.

He was elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, Dec 13, and installed at the Feast of St. John, Dec. 27, 1905. His election was remarkable for the unity of the brethren in his choice, not a single rival candidate dividing the votes for the office.

Brother Blake comes to his new responsibility well fitted for the discharge of its duties. His experience in other departments of masonic work has been large and much of it in the line which he now assumes; this with the training of an extensive business career qualify him for prompt and judicious administration of the affairs of the Grand Lodge. This fitness is backed by a deep veneration for the traditions and requirements of his office and with courage to do its work according to the dictates of his conscience. He comes to his work with loyalty unquestioned, with ability to perform and with assurance of the united support of the masons of Massachusetts. May the performance of his many duties be a pleasure, may harmony be so constant that he may always say, "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for Brethren to dwell together in unity."

NEW ENGLAND CRAFTSMAN, 1910

From New England Craftsman, Vol. VI, No. 2, November 1910, Page 50:

John Albert Blake
Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Mass. and R. I.

JOHN ALBERT BLAKE, who has won the rare distinction of arriving at the head of the Templar, Cryptic, Capitular and Craft rite was born in Danvers, Mass., April 15, 1843, where he received his education in the public schools. He enlisted in the U. S. Navy. July 13, 1863. He was discharged July 13, 1864. He is a member of Post 90, of which he was Commander in 1880. Brother Blake has been identified with the shoe business as a manufacturer nearly all his life and has conducted large factories in Maine and Massachusetts. For a period of seven years he lived in Haverhill but during the last fourteen years has been a resident of Maiden. Brother Blake served in the State Legislature as representative in 1878. His Masonic record is as follows: he was raised in Amity Lodge, Danvers, July 13, 1866, and was Wor. Master in 1877 and 1878. He has been President of the Past Masters Association of the 8th Masonic District, and District Deputy Grand Master of the same district 1889, 1890 and 1891. He was Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge in 1892.

He was Exalted in Bolton R. A. Chapter, Danvers, October 14, 1872, and was High Priest in 1881. He was, District Deputy Grand High Priesi for the 2d Capitular District 1882, '83 and '84. He was Deputy Grand High Priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter in 1885 and Grand High Priest 1891, '92 and '93. He is a Permanent Member of the Grand Chapter of Massachusetts and of the General Grand Chapter of the United States.

In the last named he holds the office of General Grand Master of the Third Veil.

He received the degrees of the Cryptic Rite in Salem Council of Royal and Select Masters, April 8, 1878, and was Thrice Illustrious Master in 1884, '85 and '86. He was Most Illustrious Grand Master of the Grand Council, 1894, '95, '96. He is a Permanent Member of the Grand Council of Massachusetts and of the General Grand Council of the United States, in which body he is General Grand Deputy Master. He was knighted in Winslow Lewis Commandery Knight Templars, October 10, 1876, and was Eminent Commander in 1882, '83. '84 and '85 and Honorary Member in 1891. He received the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, 32° in Massachusetts Consistory, September 27, 1877, and was Second Lieut. Commander in 1895, '96 and '97. He is a Life Member of the Council of Deliberation in which he was 1st Lieut. Commander in 1894.

He is an Honorary Member of the Supreme Council of Sovereign Grand Inspectors-General, having received the 33d grade Honorary September 18, 1900.

Me was elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, Dec. 13, and installed at the Feast of St. John, Dec. 27, 1905. His election was remarkable for the unity of the brethren in his choice, not a single rival candidate dividing the votes for the office.

His election to the office of Right Eminent Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Massachusetts and Rhode Island took place October 26, 1910.

FROM TROWEL, 2000

From TROWEL, Fall 2000, Page 18:

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M. W. John Albert Blake
The Creator and Guide of The Masonic Home
by R. W. James T. Watson, Jr., TROWEL Staff

M. W. John Albert Blake was born in Danvers, MA, on April 15. 1843. Educated in the public schools, he married Abbie Dodge Hyde there on December 13, 1868. Their three children, two sons and a daughter, made this family happy and complete.

Blake was made a Mason in Amity Lodge May 4, 1866. Raised July 13, 1866, he served as Senior Deacon in 1874, Senior Warden in 1875 and Worshipful Master in 1878, becoming Secretary of the Lodge in 1885.

In Grand Lodge Blake was District Deputy Grand Master of Lynn 8th Masonic District in 1889 and 1890. He served as Junior Grand Warden in 1892 and as Grand Master from 1906-1908 inclusive. Immediately after his election in 1905, he announced that the chief object of his administration would be to increase charitable effort, the present goal being the establishment of a Masonic Home. At this same meeting the Grand Marshal was elected Senior Grand Warden. Thus, the custom that was started of rewarding a retiring Grand Marshal, an uncontested election as Senior Grand Warden, prevails to the present time.

This idea of a Masonic Home had been proposed first by M. W. Bro. Lawrence in 1888 and later by M. W. Bro. Briggs in 1892, but never materialized. On December 2, 1904, Mount Hope Lodge, Fall River, had donated $1000 for establishing a Masonic Home. At the December 14th Quarterly. M. W. Baalis Sanford acknowledged receipt of the money and placed it in the Masonic Education and Charity Trust for the Masonic Home Fund.

To further this endeavor. M. W. Blake traveled extensively to all parts of the state. Coincidentally. during his first year in office, 3000 candidates were initiated, the greatest number raised in the jurisdiction up to that time. At the June 12th Quarterly, 1907, the subject of the Masonic Home was raised again. The DDGMs were directed to ascertain if the membership would support such a venture. The response was so affirmative that a committee of 15 was appointed and reported at the December 11th Quarterly that it had expanded to 35 members to represent all areas of the state.

A letter to each Lodge asked for a survey to determine those eligible for admission to the Home. A 100% response revealed that more than 200 were eligible. The committee was authorized to solicit and receive subscriptions, none of it to be spent. By the September 9, 1908, Quarterly, close to $48,000 had been received or pledged, rising to over $76,000 by the time of the December 9th meeting. The committee then recommended the purchase of the Overlook Hotel at Charlton with 397 acres for not over $50,000. At the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, December 29, 1908,

P. G. M. Blake informed all present that on that date he had completed an agreement that made them owners of what would be the Masonic Home. He guided the Home's destiny until his death in 1926.

On the date of the sale $20,000 was paid, followed by $7,500 on February 17, 1909, and a final payment of $22,000 on April 30th, all from cash donations. Lodges furnished many of the rooms, with donations and purchases furnishing the rest, for a total of 42 sleeping rooms. By September 8th, $79,676 had been received in cash, $91,186 by December 8th. Many Lodges kept the pledges in their files, sending in only the cash.

The dedication of Overlook took place. May 25, 1911. A platform was built before the main entrance to the building, set up as a Lodge, where the dedication took place, with the exception of the examination of the building ceremony.

In 1922 it was voted that the Williams Building be erected from a bequest, the cornerstone being laid a year later. These 37 rooms were furnished by various lodges and dedicated on October 25, 1924, when the total number of residents was 65.

It now became apparent that the water supplied by the 397 acres of high ground would hamper further building. Attempts to purchase more land were unsuccessful until the Home bought the Bond Farm, whose 36 acres provided an excellent water supply and whose renovated farmhouse became the infirmary.

Sarah Davenport willed money for the Orlando Davenport Building, honoring her late husband. It contained 68 bedrooms, an auditorium, laundry, and recreation room. While dedicated in 1929 after Blake's death, he had been involved in the planning and arrangements.

M. W. John Blake was absent from the September 8, 1926, Quarterly because of serious injuries from an auto accident. Although the senior P. G. M. seemed to recover, he died November 27th after a few hours of illness. A Mason for 60 years he had served as head of most bodies in Massachusetts and of two national bodies. For the 20 years before his death he was creator and director of the Masonic Home. His compassion for every guest made it a true home. The facility at Charlton is an enduring monument to his memory.

Blake's funeral was held in Maiden on November 30th in St. Paul's Church, followed by a Masonic burial service and a tribute by M. W. Dudley H. Ferrell in Danvers. His portrait by James H. Young hangs in Ionic Hall on the fifth floor.

MEMORIAL

FROM PROCEEDINGS, 1926

From Proceedings, Page 1926-400:

The entire Fraternity in Massachusetts was shocked and grieved beyond expression when the unexpected news went forth that our loved and venerated Senior Past Grand Master had passed from life on the 27th day of November after a few hours illness. Most Worshipful Brother Blake had been a Mason for sixty years. He had held many offices including those of Grand Master, Grand High Priest, Grand Master of the Grand Council, Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, General Grand Master of the General Grand Council, and General Grand High Priest, which office he held at the time of his death.

The last twenty years of his life were given to the benevolent work of this Grand Lodge. During his administration as Grand Master he started the movement which resulted in the building of the Masonic Home which was under his care and direction from its inception to the end of his life. As Relief Commissioner he was the agent for the administration of the charities of the Grand Lodge both inside and outside the Home. This duty he discharged with untiring zeal broad sympathy, and infinite patience.

His was a singularly strong and sunny nature, always calm, always tolerant. IIe saw his objectives clearly and attained them unerringly, not by force or indirection, but by gentle and effective persuasion. The loss which his death brings to us is not merely the loss of a faithful and trusted official; it is the loss of a loved and valued friend. Those of us who knew him will ever hold his memory in' our hearts. To future generations the great charities of the Grand Lodge will be his monument.

FROM PROCEEDINGS, 1927

From Proceedings, Page 1927-57:

Brother Blake was born in Danvers, Massachusetts, April 15, 1843. Ile received his education in the public schools. Soon after the breaking out of the Civil War his patriotic instincts, like those of other young men of his age, induced him to enlist in the navy, in which he served until some time in 1864. His naval experience acquired during the war was a matter of considerable pride to him during his life. On returning from the war, he engaged in the business of manufacturing shoes, and remained in that occupation until the early part of the present century, when he gave up his business and became Relief Commissioner for the Board of Relief of the Grand Lodge, participating in the development of the Masonic Home, in which occupation he remained until his death.

He was married at Danvers, December 13, 1868, to Miss Abbie Dodge Hyde who survives him. The children born to them were two sons and a daughter. Those who were favored with the acquaintance of Brother Blake and his wife will agree, we are sure, that they grew old together beautifully.

I{e was made a Mason in Amity Lodge May 4, 1866; passed June 8, 1866, and raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason July 13, 1866. He served as Senior Deacon in 1874, Senior Warden in 1875, and Worshipful Master in 1878. He was Secretary of the Lodge in 1885. He served the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts as District Deputy Grand Master in 1889 and 1890 (Salem 8), was Junior Grand Warden in 1892, and Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts from 1906 to 1908, inclusive.

One can hardly think of Masonry in Massachusetts during the last generation without thinking of Most Worshipful Brother Blake. IIe was so much a part of it all that his life is woven into the warp and woof of Massachusetts Freemasonry as completely as a design is woven into cloth by the hand of the skilled workman. He was a part, and a vital part, of Freemasonry, and during these many years it has been the chief object of his thought and life. In this he was constructive and not destructive. For instance, immediately after his election as Grand Master in 1905, he let it be known that the chief object of his administration would be to awaken the Fraternity to greater charitable effort, the immediate and concrete form of which should be a Masonic Home. To this end he devoted the greater part of his three years of service as Grand Master going from one end of the jurisdiction to the other and everywhere crusading in behalf of the establishment of such an institution by the Grand Lod'ge' Early in his administration the Grand Lodge gave him, a Committee upon his recommendation to aid in this work. Almost the final act of Brother Blake's administration as Grand Master was the passing of papers for the purchase of the property in Charlton now used as a Masonic Home and dedicated during the administration of his successor. So great had been his devotion to this purpose ancl so eminently fitted was he by character and disposition that immediately upon the establishment of the Masonic Home there sprang up a unanimous demand from the Fraternity that Brother Blake should devote thp rest of his career to its development and to the other charitable work of the Grand Lodge. His business affairs permitting, he accepted the appointment as Relief Commissioner in which capacity he was still acting at the time of his death.

Many instances of constructive work by him could be cited, but we content ourselves in this report with but one other.

Following the custom of centuries, it had been usual at the celebration of the Feast of St. John the Evangelist to serve wine with the dinner. Brother Blake made no pretence of being himself a total abstainer. In spite of this, as Grand Master he ordered that no wine should be served at the celebration of the Feast and alcoholic beverages have ever since been banished from all Grand Lodge functions.

To do this sort of thing required conviction and courage, and Brother Blake had both of these in abundant measure. Withal, he was a lovable man. "He who would have friends must show himself friendly." Brother Blake had hosts of friends, and few, if any, enemies. He had the faculty of making friencls and retaining them. Everyone had for him respect, regard, and affection so that in Masonic affairs he was a power beyond most of his colleagues.

Large in physical stature, he had an equally large heart and radiated the warmth of Fraternal affection characteristic of Masonry in its highest development. That he was a natural born leader is indicated by the almost innumerable offices which he held in various Masonic organizations, culminating in his service, not only as Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, but also as Grand High Priest, Grand Master of the Grand Council, and Right Eminent Grand Commander of this jurisdiction. He was also Most Illustrious Grand Master of the General Grand Council and, at the time of his death, General Grand High Priest of the General Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the United States.

A brief record of his official service to the Fraternity other than in Symbolic Freemasonry is as follows: He received the degrees in the Cryptic Rite in Salem Council, Royal and Select Masters, in 18?8, was Thrice Illustrious Master in 1884, and Most Illustrious Grand Master of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters in Massachusetts in 1894 to 1896 inclusive. He served in various offices in the General Grand Council of the United States, beginning in 1900, and was its Most Illustrious Grand Master in 1912 to 1915. He received the orders of Knighthood in Winslow Lewis Commandery in 1876 and was its Eminent Commander in 1882 to 1885. He served in various offices in the Grand Commandery of Knights Templars of Massachusetts and Rhode Island and was Right Eminent Grand Commander in 1910.

In the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, he received the degrees of Perfection at Haverhill, Mass., where he was for one term Thrice Potent Master, and the other degrees to the 32° in Giles F. Yates Council, P. J., in Mt. Olivet Chapter, R. C., Boston, and in Massachusetts Consistory. He was Second Lieut. Commander of Massachusetts Consistory in 1895 to 1897 inclusive. In September, 1900, he was coronetted a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, Honorary Member of the Supreme Council, 33°, and was First Lieut. Commander in Massachusetts Council of Deliberation in 1894 to 1895.

He passed away at his home in Malden, November 2?, 1926, after only a few hours' illness. Funeral services were held in St. Paul's Episcopal Church and the burial took place at Danvers on November 30th, 1926. Brother Blake was always a good citizen, but his public service was limited to one year in the House of Representatives of the State Legislature.

Thus ends the brief record of our good Brother and your Committee in writing the word "finis" deems it not improper to recall the. quotation with which our Brother was so familiar -

Thus wastes man: today he puts forth the tender leaves of hope; tomorrow blossoms and bears his blushing honors still upon him; but the next day comes a frost which nips the shoot and while he thinks his greatness still aspiring, he falls like, autumn leaves to enrich our Mother earth."

Dana J. Flanders
Melvin M. Johnson
Arthur D. Prince

FROM NEW ENGLAND CRAFTSMAN, 1926

From New England Craftsman, Vol. XXII, No. 2, December 1926, Page 353:

Most Worshipful John Albert Blake, General Grand High Priest of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons in the United States, died Saturday, November 27, at his home, 15 Grace Street, Malden, at the age of eighty-three years,following a two days' illness .Bro. Blake was born in Danvers, Mass. During the Civil War fcerved on the New Ironsides as a member of the navy. After the war he became a shoe manufacturer in Haverhill and Calais, Me.

He became a member of Amity Lodge of Masons of Danvers when he was twenty-one years old, and had always retained membership in that lodge. He was one of its past masters. He took capitular degrees in Holton Royal Arch Chapter of Danvers, ten years after becoming a Mason, was immediately appointed to office and went through all the chairs. He was high priest in 1883, but declined re-election to accept the position of district deputy grand high priest of the second capitular district. His council degrees were taken in Salem Council of Royal and Select Masters and he was four times its illustrious master.

Bro. Blake received the Knights Templar orders in Winslow Lewis Commandery of Salem and was its commander four years. He was a past commander of Ward Post 90, G. A. R., of Danvers. He represented Danvers as a Democrat in the Legislature in 1879.

In 1906-7-8 M. W. Brother Blake was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. In 1910 he was Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He had charge of the charity work in this State, and was general supervisor of the Masonic Home at Charlton.

Bro. Blake was past Grand Master of the General Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of the United States, past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Masons of Massachusetts, Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Massachusetts, Thrice Illustrious Grand Master of the Grand Commandery of Royal and Select Masters of Massachusetts and Right Eminent Grand Commander of the Knights Templars of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

He was an honorary member of Lodge of Stirling (Masonic) and Beauseant Commandery. K. T.. of Malden, and was an honorary member of Masonic bodies in several places. He was a thirty-third degree Mason. Surviving him are his wife and three children. Albert N. Blake of Boston. Ernest H. Blake of Boston and Mrs. Carolyn Reid Chick of Harrisburg. Penn.

Funeral services at St. Paul's Episcopal Church Malden, largely attended, were held on Tuesday. Nov. 30, at 1:30 p. m.


SPEECHES

AT CENTENARY OF PENTUCKET LODGE, MARCH 1907

From Proceedings, Page 1907-4:

Brethren of Pentucket Lodge and Friends:

It gives me more than ordinary pleasure to respond to your cordial greeting. I join with you heartily in the pleasures of this hour— the one hundredth anniversary of Pentucket Lodge.

It has been a marvelous century in material development, scientific progress and human welfare. It has also been a notable century for the growth and influence of Freemasonry. For an hundred years Pentucket Lodge, with others, has wrought in the quarries of Freemasonry, and the result of their labors is not only spread upon the Records but has been treasured in the life-work of its members. Who can question that the great and ennobling truths of our Fraternity, as taught by this Lodge for an hundred years, have brightened the lives of the members, illumined their understandings, and given them clearer views of the duties and obligations which we all owe to God, our country, our neighbor and ourselves? This fidelity to Masonic truth not oidy tends to strengthen and bless our Institution but it makes for the welfare and progress of our race.

Pentucket Lodge, with the sister Lodges in this city, has undoubtedly done its share of the labor which has resulted in placing the Fraternity foremost in all that has helped to advance the fame of this fair city.

The lights and shadows of the one hundred years which have passed since the institution of Pentucket Lodge will be vividly portrayed in the Historical Address which is to follow, and it only remains for me to extend to you the congratulations of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge upon the success that has attended you in the past, the strength and harmony of the present, and to offer you our kindest wishes for the future welfare of Pentucket Lodge.

I now, Worshipful Sir, return to you the Charter of Pentucket Lodge. It is a precious document. This is the identical parchment which M. W. Timothy Bigelow presented to Worshipful Isaac Coburn an hundred years ago. Time has not effaced its conditions nor obliterated the autographs of the Grand Officers of a century ago. Care for it with tender solicitude and transmit it as a precious legacy to succeeding generations.

CHARTERS GRANTED


RULINGS



Grand Masters