- 1 JEFFREY B. HODGDON 1946-
JEFFREY B. HODGDON 1946-
Junior Grand Deacon, 1988
Deputy Grand Master, 1989
Grand Master, 2005-2007
TROWEL, SUMMER 1989
From TROWEL, Summer 1989, Page 11:
As a highly-motivated Mason and business man, our new Deputy Grand Master is a fellow we often have to catch while he is about to speed down some highway or leave an airport flying his own plane. R. W. Jeffrey B. Hodgdon heads automobile agencies, a realty trust, an insurance business, and a truck and auto rental I agency. He's also a flight instructor of single- and multi-engine planes, and when he has some leisure time, he can be found swinging clubs at the Lexington Golf Club, scuba diving, boating (power and sail) in the summer months, or skiing in the winter. Yet, he has found time to serve his Grand Lodge.
Born in Lexington 43 years ago to Milton F. and Virginia (Black) Hodgdon, he was educated in the local schools, at Chauncey Hall in Brookline, and graduated in 1969 from Bryant College, earning BA and BS degrees in marketing. Active duty in the Navy at Meridian, MS, is where he began flying jets. He has kept up his association with planes by serving in the Naval Reserve at South Weymouth Naval Air Station. In 1970, he was married to Carolee Johnson of Lincoln, and they are parents of Jeffrey Ernest, age 10, and Todd Milton, age 6.
In 1974, he put his education to work in the automobile business and is now President of Hodgdon-Noyes Buick-GMC Truck, Inc., of Arlington. For two years, he was the New England zone manager for Genway Corp., followed bj two years as Vice President and Director of Mass. Car and Truck Rental and Leasing Assn. He is the founder and Director of Bay State Insurance Co., Ltd., of Hamilton, Bermuda; Director of Depositors Trust Co. and founder and trustee of J. and S. Realty Trust, both of Lexington. He is also Director of Automotive Supply Inc. of Watertown and the Mass. State Auto Dealers Assn. of Boston.
His fraternal life began as a member of Battle Green DeMolay Chapter of Lexington, followed in 1979 by his Raising in Simon W. Robinson Lodge in the same town. When he was elected Worshipful Master in 1986, he continued a family tradition that began when his grandfather, Walter G. Black, was Master in 1945. His dad, Milton F. Hodgdon, was Master in 1962, making Jeff the first third-generation Master of his Lodge. In recognition of the family honor, our Deputy Grand Master established a Masonic Bible Endowment Fund that will provide Masonic Bibles to every candidate Raised in Simon W. Robinson Lodge. His keen motivation kept his officers and his Lodge busy enough to earn the Grand Master's Award in 1988.
Rt. Wor. Hodgdon holds membership in the Boston Valley, Scottish Rite Bodies, Aleppo Temple Shrine, Minuteman Shriners Club, Colonial Craftsman's Club, Past Masters Assn. of the Sixth Masonic District, and is a trustee of his Lodge. In 1988, he was the Junior Grand Deacon.
TROWEL, SPRING 2005
From TROWEL, Winter/Spring 2005, Page 2:
In his work life, Grand Master Hodgdon is the founder and chief executive officer for Hodgdon-Noyes Buick-Pontiac-GMC of Arlington, and was a co-founder of the Baystate Insurance Co. of Hamilton, Bermuda, where he currently serves as a member of the board of directors.
Born in 1946 in Lexington, the Grand Master attended Bryant College in Smithfield, R.I., where he graduated in 1969 with a bachelor's degree in marketing. After graduation, Bro. Hodgdon joined the U.S. Navy, was commissioned an ensign, and served as a Naval aviator. He served in the active Navy until 1972, when he started an 18-year hitch in the Naval Reserve, retiring in 1990.
While in the military, the Grand Master was awarded the National Defense Ribbon, the Military Sharpshooters Ribbon and the Reserve Service Time Award Ribbon.
In his Masonic life, Grand Master Hodgdon is a Past Master of Simon W. Robinson Lodge in Lexington, where he currently serves as a Trustee. He is a third-generation Master, the first for his Lodge.
In addition, Most Wor. Bro. Hodgdon is the presiding Commander for St. Bernard Commandery No. 12 of Boston. He is also a director of the Masonic Home and Overlook Health Systems, a member of the Finance Committee for the Masonic Home, and a director of the Scottish Rite Learning Center in Lexington. He is a member of the 7th Degree Massachusetts College S.R.I.C.F., and a member of the Past Master’s Association for the 14th Masonic District (the former Somerville Sixth).
Grand Master Hodgdon served the Grand Lodge in 1988 and 1989, first as the Junior Grand Deacon and then as the Deputy Grand Master. Most Wor. Albert T. Ames appointed him to both positions. He is also a past member of the Grand Lodge Education Committee. In 1989, he received the Henry Price Medal from Grand Lodge, and the Legion of Honor from the International Supreme Council of the Order of DeMolay.
The Grand Master got his fraternal start in Battle Green Chapter, Order of DeMolay. He is also a life member of DeMolay Lodge in Boston, a 32nd Degree Mason in the Scottish Rite bodies in Boston, and a member of the Mystic Royal Arch Chapter in Woburn and the Medford Council of Royal and Select Masons, also in Woburn. He is a member of Boston Court No. 103, Royal Order of Jesters; Aleppo Temple; and the Colonial Craftsmen's Club of Massachusetts.
In his civic life, the Grand Master is a reserve deputy sheriff, a member and past president of the Rotary Club of Lexington, and a member of The Hundred Club of Massachusetts, the Touchdown Club of Arlington, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the American Bonanza Society, and the Lexington Lodge of Elks. Among his hobbies, the Grand Master lists playing golf, flying, boating, fishing, skiing and antique and classic cars.
Most Wor. Bro. Hodgdon lives in Lexington with his wife Carolee. They have two sons: Jeffrey Ernest Hodgdon, 25, and Todd Milton Hodgdon, 21.
AT FEAST OF ST. JOHN, DECEMBER 1988
From Proceedings, Page 1988-194:
Most Worshipful Grand Master, Distinguished Guests, and Brethren All:
On many occasions I have had the great opportunity of witnessing and, yes, participating in this wonderful event. But never in my wildest dreams did I believe I would be honored with an appointment such as this. It is with a deep sense of humility that I accept this appointment, and 1 would be remiss if I did not thank you, Most Worshipful, for your trust and confidence in me and also those Masonic Brothers who have supported me in all my Masonic endeavors over the past number of years. You have all been a great inspiration to me.
An honor such as this must have some kind of foundation, and, in my opinion, it is the endorsement of the kind of Masonry practiced in the Sixth Masonic District, more particularly at Simon W. Robinson Lodge whose most recent Past Deputy Grand Master was the late R. W. Robert W. Custance, certainly a man who inspired me as well as many of you, I'm sure.
An evening I shall never forget at Simon W. Robinson Lodge, one I dare say none of us will ever forget, was that when my father raised me as a Master Mason. You see, my father could not speak, and, for that matter, he could barely walk because he had suffered a debilitating stroke. But he was mobile enough so that he could raise me while his best friend, Wor. Ken Smith, who preceded him as Master of Simon W. Robinson Lodge, spoke. To say that evening was emotional would be an understatement. For there were over one hundred brothers on the sidelines, and I dare say there was not a dry eye in the room.
That evening certainly implanted into me the true meaning of the third degree in Freemasonry, and I can truly say I saw the great light in Freemasonry that night. And as I alluded to earlier, I'm sure you have all had a similar experience. But, my brothers, that's where I feel the problem lies. For that experience did not end with that raising, but rather it only began. For, as we relive it daily in all that we say and do, as one of my predecessors said, "We are so close to the problem we can't even see it."
What is the problem, you say? The problem is that we are not making it known that Freemasonry is our way of life every day. Our Masonic teachings instruct us to act on the square, treat our fellow man like we would like to be treated ourselves, and walk uprightly in our several stations before God and all mankind. But, my brothers, our friends and peers who know us to live within these precepts do not know why we do so. Freemasonry, my brothers, that's why.
It's time we let others know that our teachings are not all secret, but, rather, before their very eyes every day as we are, so that they may once again begin to ask us what do I have to do to become a Mason. Each and every one of us in all that we say and do are Freemasonry's best advertisement, if you will. And the price is right. Car dealers ought to know that. Let us all make a commitment today to tell our peers and show our peers what Masonry has done for us, so that they may also desire to see that great light of ours.
If you will pardon a slight change to a very famous expression which I feel applies to this very situation, ask not what Freemasonry can do for you, but rather ask what you can do for Freemasonry.
M.W. Grand Master, I as well as all the other officers appointed for the Grand Lodge shall never forget this occasion, and I assure you that we will do everything within our power to serve you in this great Fraternity to the best of our ability in the coming year. We thank you sincerely, sir, for this opportunity and look forward to working with you, a person we have all great respect and admiration for.
My best wishes to each and every one of you for the coming new year. Thank you very much and God bless you all.
AT LIBRARY DEDICATION, MARCH 2006
From Proceedings, Page 2006-41:
For many years, one of Freemasonry’s most significant and well-stocked Libraries has been located on the third floor of this building.
To find the beginnings of The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts Library, we must look back nearly two centuries into the history of Grand Lodge. In 1814, R. W. Thaddeus Mason Harris, Grand Lodge’s first Grand Chaplain and Recording Grand Secretary at the time, submitted a letter to the Board of Directors recommending the formation of a library. Evidently the Reverend Mr. Harris had something particular in mind because early the following year, Grand Lodge purchased Brother Harris’ own small collection of Masonic books.
For some years of its early existence, the library was merely a collection of volumes available for use by those brethren who happened to visit the Masonic Building in Boston. In June 1850, however, a permanent Library Committee was authorized with the power to appoint a Librarian and buy books. Over time, many private collections became part of the Library. Prominent Massachusetts Masonic scholars and book collectors such as M. W. Winslow Lewis and M. W. Sereno Nickerson made gifts of particularly fine and valuable books. Tragically, in 1864, a fire in Winthrop House that contained Grand Lodge’s Masonic apartments completely destroyed most of Grand Lodge’s developing collection.
During the following years, Massachusetts Freemasons responded gallantly with many more book donations. The most outstanding bequest in the Library’s history was that of Past Grand Master Samuel Crocker Lawrence. Upon his death in 1911, he willed to Grand Lodge his entire Masonic library. In terms both of quality and quantity of Masonic research materials Samuel Crocker Lawrence’s generosity placed the holdings of the Library of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in the forefront of the five leading Masonic libraries in the United States.
Today, the Samuel Crocker Lawrence Library is acknowledged by Masonic scholars as one of the finest Masonic Libraries in North America. M. W. Fred K. Bauer, early in his term, having long felt the Grand Lodge Library was being underutilized and with the world entering the 21st Century, felt it was the proper time to make our Masonic brethren aware of the tremendous amount of knowledge and history available in the Grand Lodge Library.
He established the position of “Director of the Museum and Library” and appointed a Committee with a mandate to make the Library available to all Masons and non-Masons alike and have it located conveniently within the Grand Lodge building. His exact words were “Nothing is sacred, including my office.”
Changing circumstances within the Grand Lodge building and the structural deterioration in the existing Grand Lodge Library on the third floor made it necessary for the Library to relocate. Space on the second floor had become available, and it was agreed this would be a logical and proper location for the Library.
Certainly, the most important function of the Samuel Crocker Lawrence Library is to support the current Masonic research needs of Massachusetts Freemasons. The Library of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts serves as an irreplaceable resource not only of the history of Massachusetts, U. S., British, and European Freemasonry, but also of American social and political history and the history of ideas. Because of the richness of its holdings, the librarian addresses, each year, numerous written requests for information and welcomes Masonic visitors and scholarly researchers from many parts of the United States and the world.
Under the guidance and care of the Library Committee and its librarian, Cynthia Alcorn, the library’s circulating collection and numerous rare books have been classified and cataloged in such a way that any volume can be readily located. Computers are available in the library’s new location so that patrons now have access to the internet and will soon be able to use the computer to search our library holdings.
Grand Lodge’s commitment to the refurbishment of its library is a part of Massachusetts Grand Lodge’s broad 21st century program of Massachusetts Masonic development. Because of this commitment, the holdings of The Samuel Crocker Lawrence Library will continue to reflect not only Massachusetts Freemasonry’s historical interests but also 20th and 21st century evolving concepts of Masonic education, philosophy, and symbolism for many years to come.
AT OVERLOOK DEDICATION, SEPTEMBER 2006
From Proceedings, Page 2006-120:
How many pleasing considerations, my Brethren and friends, attend the present interview. Whilst in almost every other part of the world, political animosities, contentions and wars interrupt the progress of humanity and the cause of benevolence, it is our distinguished privilege, in this happy region of liberty and peace, to engage in the plans and to perfect the designs of individual and social happiness. Whilst in other nations our order is viewed by politicians with suspicion and by the ignorant with apprehension, in this country its members are too much respected, and its principles too well known, to make it the object of jealousy or mistrust. Our private assemblies are unmolested, and our public celebrations attract a more general approbation of the fraternity. Indeed, its importance, its credit, and, we trust, its usefulness, are advancing to a height unknown in any former age. The present occasion gives fresh evidence of the increasing affection of its friends; and this noble apartment, fitted up in a style of elegance and convenience, does honor to Masonry as well as the highest credit to the respectable buildings for whose accommodation, and at whose expense, it is erected. (I suspect this is a quote from some earlier dedication-?)
We offer our best congratulations to the officers and members of the Masonic Health System. We commend their zeal and hope it will meet with the most ample recompense. May these buildings be the happy resort of piety, virtue, and benevolence; may they be protected from accident, and long remain a monument of our attachment to Masonry; may the Masonic Health System continue to flourish, our union to strengthen, and our happiness to abound; and when we all shall be removed from the labors of the earthly lodge, may we be admitted to the brotherhood of the perfect, in the building of God, the hall not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Behold how pleasant and how good it is for brethren and friends, such as we, to dwell in unity. In this world of confusion, disaster and war, it is so fitting that we assemble here to once again practice our tenets of brotherly love, relief and truth. Thanks be to those who had the foresight to envision this endeavor. There are too many to list but some must be recognized: M.W. Arthur E. Johnson who spoke of this vision at the time of his being Grand Master; M.W. Fred K. Bauer and M.W. Donald G. Hicks Jr. who carried on the vision; R.W. David C. Turner and his entire staff who diligently carried the project to completion; and of course, all the members of the Craft who truly made this all possible by their generosity and dedication to the fraternity.
This land, these buildings, and the dedication of all those concerned demonstrates the fact that Freemasonry in Massachusetts is not only alive and well but is also growing. I wish all those who live in and walk the halls of these buildings much success and happiness. May God continue to bless our beloved fraternity and this wonderful country we all love so much, and may God bless each and every one of you.
AT BUNKER HILL REDEDICATION, 2007
From Proceedings, Page 2007-107:
Honorable Mayor Menino, Honorable Consul Gauthier, Deputy Consul Chun, Mr. Savage, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.
As the presiding officer of 40,000 Masons representing more than 240 lodges throughout the Commonwealth, as well as in Panama, Chile, Japan, and the U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, I bring you the warm fraternal greetings of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, as well as my own personal greetings.
Massachusetts Freemasonry dates back to 1733, when Henry Price, a tailor from London living in Boston, returned to Britain and received a charter from the Grand Lodge of England to organize the first Provincial Grand Lodge in the Americas. This precedent established the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts as the oldest Grand Lodge in the Western Hemisphere and the third oldest in the world. A distinction everyone in Massachusetts, Masons and non-Masons alike, should be very proud of.
Freemasons belong to the world’s oldest and largest fraternal organization. As you will soon witness, we use the simple tools of ancient stonemasons, like the square and compasses, the trowel, plumb and level to teach our members with symbolism and allegory the tenets of friendship, charity, and morality. Throughout our history, these ideals inspired men like George Washington and thirteen other United States Presidents, author Mark Twain, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, and Astronaut and Senator John Glenn to achieve the greatness in countless men whose names are not as well known. And, today, men throughout our Commonwealth are listening to our spokesperson, Brother Benjamin Franklin, who is asking “Is there Greatness in You?” And, I am pleased to say worthy men are responding by joining our Craft at a rate we have not seen in decades. In fact, earlier this month, one of the very descendants of our late Brother Joseph Warren joined The Harvard Lodge prior to graduating from the Divinity School at Harvard University.
As we busily prepare to commemorate our 275th Anniversary next year, we have occasion to look back on history and reflect on the accomplishments of the men who built our Fraternity, our communities, this Commonwealth, and our nation. And I cannot think of a more fitting intersection for these fabrics of our society to come together than the ground we are standing on today.
On June 17, 1775, Brother Joseph Warren was killed during the British Army’s third assault. While Warren is commonly known as a medical doctor, an ardent and active patriot, a newly commissioned General, he was, on that day, the Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, yes one of my predecessors. Serving as his Wardens at the time, were two other distinguished patriots, Brothers Paul Revere and Joseph Webb who both went on in later years to become Grand Masters themselves.
On another battlefield, in another time, Lincoln would describe the sacrifice of men like Warren as “the last full measure of devotion”. By becoming our nation’s first great martyr, Joseph Warren symbolizes the sacrifice Mason’s and non-Masons have made to this very day to establish and protect the liberties that we rightly cherish: among them, the notion that we are all created equal, and that political freedom and religious tolerance are our birthright. These uniquely American values are also our Masonic values.
In recognition of “Warren and his Associates”, King Solomon's Lodge of Charlestown decided to dedicate the first battle-related monument in their honor. On December 2 of that year an 18-foot wooden Tuscan pillar resting on a platform eight feet high and eight feet square was erected on this site. When the Bunker Hill Monument Association was formed in 1823, among its early members were Grand Masters Josiah Bartlett, Benjamin Russell, and John Soley; and the connection between the Association and the Masons has continued through to the present day. Two years later in 1825, King Solomon's Lodge donated part of this land to build the monument. And on the 50th anniversary of the battle, the Grand Lodge laid the cornerstone to this monument in full Masonic tradition with the help of our Brother, Marquis de Lafayette: a ceremony you are about to see repeated to commemorate today’s rededication and ribbon cutting. And most recently, when the opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to this site presented itself, one of my most recent predecessors, Most Worshipful Fred Kirby Bauer, provided a large gift from the Grand Lodge to ensure that the rebuilding of the monument would be not only successful but fitting to the many men and women who have dedicated their lives, and in many instances paid the supreme sacrifice, so we may stand on this hallowed ground today and exercise our inalienable right of freedom of speech and assembly.
Since 1733, through the Battle of Bunker Hill, the building of this great monument, and until today, Freemasons have been an integral part of the formation and history of Massachusetts and America. And although we are proud of our past and the role our members have played in the events that have shaped us, we are equally excited about the next 275 years and the role Freemasonry will have in the lives of our members and our communities.