- 1 ARTHUR DOW PRINCE 1867-1950
- 1.1 TERM
- 1.2 NOTES
- 1.3 BIOGRAPHY
- 1.4 MEMORIAL
- 1.5 SPEECHES
- 1.6 CHARTERS GRANTED
- 1.7 RULINGS
ARTHUR DOW PRINCE 1867-1950
Deputy Grand Master, 1919
Grand Master, 1920-22
NEW ENGLAND CRAFTSMAN, 1937
From New England Craftsman, Vol. XXXII, No. 11, July 1937, Page 204:
Under the expressive title of "roses to the living" a brochure enumerating the qualities of a good man — and Mason — is circulating. Dedicated to the splendid personality of an able administrator in Massachusetts Freemasonry, it is a recital of the merits of a most deservedly popular past grand master of this jurisdiction, one of that rare species, who, tasting of success in his chosen field and advancing step bv step to its highest honors, yet retains the common touch, and keeps those lovable qualities of humanness which mellow with the years and insures a full measure of his fellows' friendship, appreciation and genuine good will.
Arthur Dow Prince, sometime grand master of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts, is too well known to need introduction. A recital of his Masonic affiliations so unpleasantly reminiscent of obituaries is not appropriate here. He has been up and down and across this Commonwealth for many years in many Masonic capacities since his introduction to the Craft in 1891; and now, to be exact on September 20, 1937, his friends are tendering him a dinner in Boston at which will he shown him in some small measure the great esteem in which he is held.
There is none in Massachusetts Masonry more deserving of honor than he, and The Craftsman, who has long counted "Arthur" Prince as a staunch friend. is glad indeed to record its hearty approval of this tribute of "roses to the living," with the equally hearty wish that he may continue long to enjoy the fair fruits of a friendly life — well lived.
From New England Craftsman, Vol. XXXIII, No. 2, October 1937, Page 47:
A tribute was paid to a Past Grand Master of Massachusetts recently, when at a dinner in Boston, several hundred by their presence testified to his merits as a man and a Freemason.
Since his birth in Lawrence. Massachusetts, July 5. 1867. Bro. Prince has been contributing in a sound, consistent and constructive manner, patiently and liberally, all the virtues and lasting qualities that miake for the best civic, economic, social, fraternal, religious, charitable and educational progress of this Commonwealth and Nation.
His contributions to society and mankind cannot be purchased by money, appraised by figures, nor destroyed by any invisible hand or destructive force. Bv character, patience and perseverance, he has purchased for himself and posterity, what no man nor group of individuals can buy. To posterity its value, perpetuity and influence is beyond the scope or range of any known method or system of calculus.
Thus he stands, steady and dependable, radiating by accomplishments and success, as a "Beacon in the Night," to unborn generations, the bright and lasting effects of a great and enduring life.
From New England Craftsman, Vol. XI, No. 3, December 1915, Page 76:
Most Excellent Companion Arthur D. Prince, Grand High Priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts was installed into his new office Tuesday, December 7th.
Arthur D. Prince is a well known citizen of Lowell where he has resided since early childhood. He was born in Lawrence, Mass., but removed to Lowell in 1871 when he was four years old. His school days, his business life and his fraternal associations have been found in Lowell and under their influence he has grown from childhood to manhood, respected by all for the noble qualities of his character and loved by a host of friends for his geniel and courteous companionship.
Most Ex. Comp. Prince was made a Mason in William North Lodge in 1891; since then his experience has been varied and active. He has served as Worshipful Master of William North Lodge, High Priest of Mount Horeb Royal Arch Chapter. Em. Commander of Pilgrim Commandery, K. T., Most Wise Master of Mt. Calvary Chapter of Rose Croix. He is also in line in Ahasuerus Council of Royal and Select Masters. He served 10 years in the Massachusetts State Militia, retiring from the Lowell Mechanic Phalanx with the rank of Captain.
He enters on the responsible duties of Grand High Priest with the hearty good wishes of innumerable companions and friends.
FROM PROCEEDINGS, 1950
From Proceedings, Page 1950-233:
Brother Prince was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, on July 5, 1867, the son of George C. and Emma A. (Dow) Prince and died at his home in Lowell on Friday, October 13, 1950. He received his education in the public schools of Lowell. He then entered the mercantile field in Lowell and was Treasurer of the following companies: G, C. Prince & Son, Inc., stationers and office outfitters; Prince-Cotter Co., jewelers; and Prince-Walter Co., musical instruments. He was for many years a Trustee of the Rogers Hall School and of the Central Savings Bank of Lowell; and was a member of St. Anne's Episcopal Church of that City. He held memberships in the Yorick, Vesper Country and Temple Clubs of Lowell, as well as the Engineers Club of Boston. Ill. Brother Prince was twice married: to Mabel Winslow in October, 1887, who died in 1890; and to Bertha Bass on October 17,1894, who predeceased him.
His Masonic record was long, varied and useful.
Raised a member of William North Lodge of Lowell on April 15, 1891, he was its Worshipful Master during 1904 and 1905. He later affiliated with St. Paul's Lodge No. 30 of Alstead, New Hampshire, and was a Charter Member of William Sewall Gardner Lodge of Lowell. In Grand Lodge, he served as Grand Steward in 1907, District Deputy Grand Master of the 1lth District in 1908 and 1909, Deputy Grand Master in 1919, Most Worshipful Grand Master from 1920-1922, and was Relief Commissioner from 1932-1948, all inclusive. He served as a Trustee of the Masonic Education and Charity Trust from January 1, 1927, until his death, and was President of the Trust during his term as Grand Master. He was the Representative of the United Grand Lodge of England and the Grand Lodge of New York near the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, and Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts near the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire. The high esteem in which he was held by the Fraternity is shown by the fact that Honorary Memberships had been conferred upon him by approximately thirty Symbolic Lodges; and he had also been decorated with the Henry Price Medal. Most Worshipful Brother Prince was the first Grand Master to visit our Lodges in China, which he did in 1922. While Relief Commissioner, he made frequent visits to the Masonic Home and was assiduous in becoming personally acquainted with all its residents.
He was a Past High Priest of Mount Horeb Chapter, R.A.M., of Lowell; Past Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Massachusetts and was the Grand Representative of the Grand Chapter of Scotland near that of Massachusetts.
Brother Prince was Past Illustrious Master of Ahasuerus Council, R. & S.M. of Lowell and Past Most Illustrious Grand Master of the Grand Council of Massachusetts.
He was Past Eminent Commander of Pilgrim Commandery No. 9, K.T., of Lowell and was the only Honorary Member of St. Bernard Commandery of Boston.
Brother Prince received the Scottish Rite degrees from the Fourth to Eighteenth, inclusive, in the Lowell Bodies in April and May of 1905, and the Nineteenth to the Thirty-second, inclusive, in Massachusetts Consistory of Boston on April 27, 1906. He was Most Wise Master of Mount Calvary Chapter of Rose Croix in Lowell during 1916 and 1917. He was coronetted an Honorary Member of the Supreme Councilr 33°, September 18, 1917, crowned an Active Member on September 18, 1930, and elected an Emeritus Member on September 29, 1948. In Supreme Council, he held the offices of Grand Standard Bearer, Grand Keeper of the Archives, and served as lll. Deputy for the District of Massachusetts from May 24, 1940, to April 23, 1948. He also served on many important Supreme Council committees.
A Memorial service was held at St. Anne's Episcopal Church, Lowell, at three o'clock on Sunday, October 15, 1950. The Grand Lodge was represented by the attendance of its Past Grand Masters, Directors, and Trustees of the Masonic Education and Charity Trust, who acted as Honorary Pallbearers. There were also present many other past and present officers of Grand Lodge, as well as Brethren from other Masonic Bodies of which he was a member. The Office for the Burial of the Dead was read.by the Rector, Rev. Laurence Henry Blackburn, D.D., followed by a beautiful tribute to our departed Brother by Right Worshipful and Rev. Thomas S. Roy, D.D. He said in part:
"Those of us who were associated with Most Worshipful Brother Prince in the Masonic Fraternity think of him as a great Mason - one of the stalwarts of the Craft. For fifty-nine years he gave himself in thought and work for Freemasonry. He brought a devotion to his tasks, a natural bent for leadership, and a skill in the discharge of his duties that strengthened the Craft, and in each case made his administration a model for those who succeeded him, He lives on in the quality and strength of the texture of the life of the Fraternity to which he gave himself so richly and so generously.
"We remember gratefully the peculiar flavor of his words. His speech was not that of the studied orator, but rather a native gift compounded of an inborn appreciation of words and their meanings, and an insight into great truth. His eloquence was not the forced effort of one trying to make an impression, but the warm expression of truths deeply felt and a desire to lead others into an appreciation of that which meant so much to himself.
"He had a natural gift of friendship. He had a real interest in, and sympathy for all that concerned those about him. He had a warm and kindling quality in his nature that drew others to him as to one whom they had known always. And so he left no wounds to be healed, no scars in the lives of others. His life had many facets, and he expressed himself in many abilities, but these are all lost in our thought of him as a friend.
He faced life with a rare spirit. "The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune," was more than a literary phrase to him. He felt them. But he took life as it came to him, accepting its rewards modestly and facing its misfortunes courageously. When the light faded from his eyes, then we knew how bright was the light of his spirit that burned within.
He would not have us come to this hour of farewell with bowed head and faltering steps, as those who faced defeat, but rather as those in whose faces shines the light of the morning upon which he has entered. To link the thought of death with such a one as Arthur would be a monstrous incongruity. It would be a violation of all that he was, so virile and vital, to think of him as dead.
With Robert Browning we can say that he was:
"One who never turned his back but marched breast forward,
Never doubted clouds would break,
Never dreamed, tho' right were worsted, wrong would triumph,
Held we fall to rise, are baffied to fight better,
Sleep to wake."
Cremation was at Mount Auburn in Cambridge and interment in Bellevue Cemetery, Lawrence, Massachusetts.
FROM NEW ENGLAND CRAFTSMAN, 1950
From New England Craftsman, Vol. XLV, No. 12, December 1950, Page 189:
On Sunday. October 15. 1950, historic St. Ann's Church in Lowell, Massachusetts was crowded with Freemasons and members of their families who assembled at 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon to pay their last tribute of respect to Arthur Dow Prince, widely acclaimed as the best-loved Mason in Massachusetts. His death was not unexpected. He had been blind for several years, suffered greatly in other ways, but had been to all who knew him a symbol of courage and patience.
The official balustre will record the details of his distinguished service to Freemasonry for 59 of his 83 years. His annual addresses as Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts in 1920, 1921 and 1922 were notably courageous and prophetic.
Ill. Bro. Prince received his 33° in 1917, was elected an Active Member of Supreme Council in 1930, served as Deputy from 1940 to 1948 when he retired because of failing health and was immediately elected an Emeritus Member. During his enforced retirement, I11.' Claude L. Allen, 33°, who succeeded him as Deputy, kept him in close touch with affairs – a fraternal thoughtfulness which he greatly appreciated.
The Rector of St. Ann's conducted the Burial Office of the Church, and the Rev. Thomas Sherrard Roy, 33°, Minister of the First Baptist Church of Worcester, Massachusetts, gave a beautiful and restrained interpretation of one who had meant so much as citizen, loyal friend and ardent Freemason. A few excerpts from this memorial address follow:
"The quality of his character speaks an eloquence beyond our poor words, with a sincerity which cannot be questioned. He lives in the quality and texture of the fraternity to which he gave himself so generously and so richly. . . . He had a natural gift for friendship, a real interest in any sympathy for all that concerned those about him. He left no wounds to be healed, no scars in the lives of others.
"He faced life with a rare spirit. 'The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune' was more than a literary phrase to him. But he took life as it came to him, accepting its rewards modestly and facing its misfortunes courageously. When the light faded from his eyes, then we knew how bright was the light of his spirit that burned within. He would not have us come to this hour of farewell with bowed heads and faltering steps as those who face defeat, but as those in whose faces shines the light of the morning upon which he has entered."
FEAST OF ST. JOHN, DECEMBER 1917
From Proceedings, Page 1917-433, speaking as Grand High Priest:
Most Worshipful Grand Master and Brethren:
I am still under the spell of that intensely human story of strife, struggle, battle, death, wounds, and sickness that this man Sergeant Pheeney has just told us. It makes what I may say seem weak and feeble to think of what this man who stood here a few moments ago has been through and come back to tell us about. It brings it pretty close home, and makes us think that is what our boys have got to go through.
I am sorry to say it, because by nature I am an optimist; and not even a pessimistic optimist, as we hear of many today, but it has left a little touch of sadness. But I do not believe, if the sergeant had talked a few minutes longer (as I would have liked to hear him), that that touch of sadness would remain with us, because he would have told us about some of the things that are going to bring good cheer to us. He would have told us of those very men, with whom he was on that day at Vimy Ridge, who went over the top singing, "Pack Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile," and it seems to me that while we want to take the serious lesson that he has given us here tonight, we ought to put away the sadness, and "Smile, Smile, Smile."
Brethren, when I listened to the gracefully turned phrases of our Grand Master, and to his message of inspired patriotism; when I listened to our Grand Chaplain—I might say my Grand Chaplain, because he is Chaplain of the Grand Chapter also—when I listened to his good Masonic sermon; when I have looked along this table and know that we have in prospect erudition and spontaneous eloquence, I feel in fervent sympathy with the prayer of the old ragged and dilapidated darky who, shabby and dejected, stood on the street corner one day, as a tall, straight, colored dandy went by, dressed in all the glory of frock coat, silk hat, spats, and patent leathers, a perfect pink of perfection. The old man's eyes glistened as he gazed on this vision of sartorial excellence, and as it passed from view he raised his eyes toward heaven and fervently said, "Envy, leave my soul." (Laughter.)
Enjoying, as I do at present, the privilege of presiding over our Grand Royal Arch Chapter, I might make this an opportunity for capitular propaganda, but I fear that we easterners do not take advantage of our opportunities to boost as do our California brethren. An eastern clergyman was called to take over a parish in southern California. Soon after his arrival there he was called to officiate at the funeral of one of his new parishioners. After the prayer and the Scripture reading, he said, "My friends, I have but recently arrived in this part of the country, and I do not feel that I know the life and character of our deceased brother well enough to make the proper comment thereon, and I will ask some of those present if they will say a few words." An old, white-whiskered, native son of California arose and said, "Well, parson, I don't know as I knew the deceased very well, and I can't say very much personal about him, but I would like to take this opportunity to make a few remarks about the glorious climate of southern California." (Laughter.)
Thrown as I am, by virtue of the- office I hold, with these eminent Masonic lights that are sitting at my right and left [referring to the Grand Master and Past Grand Master Johnson] I am at these times firmly convinced of the powerful lot of truth there is in the old adage that the shoemaker should stick to his last, and that those of us who are not equipped by education, experience, or profession to become teachers or speakers would be much better off if they stuck to their familiar job and were content to sit as listeners and learners.
An old darky was brought into court one day charged with chicken stealing. The evidence was clear against him, and he was eonvicted and sentence passed. The judge curiously asked him, "Uncle Zeke, I would like to know how you got away with those chickens, with the coop so near the house and a big dog loose in the yard. The old fellow replied, " 'Tain't no use, Jedge, for me to try to explain this thing to yon-all. Jest as like as not, if you try it you will get your hide filled full of buck-shot, and you wouldn't get no chickens, neither. If you is going to try any rascality, Jedge, you better stick to the bench, where you are familiar. (Laughter.)
Brethren, I doubt if ever before the Masons of Massachusetts gathered to celebrate the Feast of Saint John under circumstances like the present, fraught as they are with the greatest problems that have ever faced this nation. In days gone by we have met here during the great crises of our Country to pray for the success of the nation on land and sea, but never before have we been confronted by a supreme struggle between two opposing philosophies of government. Abraham Lincoln once said, "Two principles have stood face to face from the beginning of time, and will ever continue to struggle. One is the common right of humanity; the other is the divine right of kings." On the one hand, we have democracy, with its assurances of freedom for all the people. On the other hand, we have autocracy, with extension of empire by conquest. In the one, the State is the servant of the people; in the other, the people are the servants of the State. America has finally come to the realization that the very foundations of democracy are threatened by the brute force of autocracy, and there is only one way known to the human mind by which it is safe to defend those foundations, and that is by the sword, to the end that that monstrous doctrine, "They should take who have the power and they should keep who can," shall be forever driven from the minds of the people who hold it.
This feast does not dawn upon the old world with which we are familiar. There is in it more strife, more suffering, more bloodshed, more anguish, but, thank God, there is in it more of self-sacrifice, more heroism, more patriotism, more unity of purpose. We are a country changed over night, almost in the twinkling of an eye, from a nation bound to idols of commercial and financial gain, from a hybrid population influenced by a thousand different viewpoints, to one great, united people, inspired with the loftiest ideals.
Ten years ago in England, in France, in Germany, they would have said to you, "You are an American; you love money; you love to get rich." Then we could not deny it. Now the whole world knows better. Today, as never before, we can lift our heads and rejoice that we are Americans, for there never was a time in the history of the world when a dollar was so small and an ideal so great as in America today. (Applause.)
The outpouring of the material wealth of our Country in relief, in assistance to our allies, in support of our own preparation, the willing rush to the colors of hundreds of thousands of our splendid young manhood, prove to us that the spirit of our forefathers has not been entirely lost in the mad pursuit of gain.
Some may call this sacrifice. But what is it compared to the sacrifice that these young men are making who are willing to lay down their lives on the altar of liberty 1 When I hear some good man who has contributed liberally to the war relief fund talk about "doing his bit," I think of the story of the sham fight that was being carried on at one of the training camps when, to make it as realistic as possible, a member of one of the machine gun companies was detailed to simulate the noise of firing by shaking an old tin can half full of pebbles. His chum said to him, "I say, Tom, what are your kids going to think of you when you get back home, and they say to you, 'What did you do in the great war, father?' and you say to them, 'I rattled stones in an old tin can, my lads.'
What are we going to say to these men and lads who are going out today more or less thoughtless boys, but who will come back transformed by war into men of soul and vision t When the war is over they will come back changed beings. They will not be as they were once, or the lesson of war will have been in vain Through this war mankind must be reborn. War must lift men out of themselves and create in them a sense of the great realities of life which will astonish even themselves, and we who stay behind must also be swept by this purifying fire. War, which transforms the men who fight it, must cleanse the hearts of those who stay behind. This nation, which has given itself so completely to materialism in the past few years, must make itself worthy of the devotion of those who are willing to lay down their lives for its success. We must do all in our power to make the real American correspond to the ideal America, that ideal which carries our soldiers over seas and into enemy trenches singing "America, I love you."
Let us not forget the great ideals that are going to clarify self-sacrifice and develop a greater nation, a nation baptized in the blood of her sons and purified by the fires of a million homes burned to appease the War God of Europe, a nation which, please God, shall arise above itself, above the petty ambitions of individuals, until all men shall lay down their lives and fortunes only to find them again enriched an hundred-fold.
Let us rejoice that we live today, for we are learning that the things worth while are not bought with dollars; but with sacrifice and service. Strife, struggle, and affliction are teaching us faith, hope, and love.
Let us rejoice that we live today, for our forefathers longed to see this day. To Washington it was given to free the colonies; to Lincoln to free the nation, but to us it is given to free the world. (Applause.)
Our opportunities and privileges are greater today than were given to the men of all history, and do not forget that we are all engaged in the one business today, whether we shoulder a rifle, wield the hammer, or sit in the office— the business of winning this war for liberty, humanity, and civilization.
Let us rejoice that this Country discovered its soul in time, that when this burden fell upon us we did not shirk or evade it, but swung it to our shoulders with a shout of welcome.
Let us rejoice that we have escaped the heritage of shame which must have endured as long as thinking and speaking men read history on this earth. God has been good to us. We are the masters of our fate; we are the captains of our souls. (Applause.)
FEAST OF ST. JOHN, DECEMBER 1919
From Proceedings, Page 1919-477:
Brethren of the Grand Lodge: As I look into your faces, I have a feeling of despair come over me. While I do not compare the Grand Lodge to the place that I am going to refer to, yet my feelings are somewhat similar to those of the Seventh Day Adventist who, with a number of his companions of the same faith, went out one cold November night to the top of a high hill to watch for the coming of the Lord. The vigil keeping rather late, our friend fell asleep. While he slept his companions, to keep off the cold, gathered brush together and started a fire in a circle around the group. When the fire got to blazing merrily, our friend woke up suddenly. Seeing the blazing fire around him, he exclaimed in resignation and despair, "I knew it! I knew it! I knew it!" (Laughter.)
Bearing in mind the admonition I heard so many times in my youth that children should be seen and not heard, I feel a great deal of diffidence in rising to preside over this feast, because I may justly claim at this moment to be not only the baby Grand Master of Massachusetts, but of the whole United States.
By a custom so long in practice that it has almost become a law, the Grand Master is expected to say a few words to the Brethren at this time. For a goodly span of years, we have been privileged to absorb inspirational thoughts, expressed in clear-cut English and framed in beautiful rhetoric, as uttered by brilliant predecessor incumbents in the office of Grand Master, but, actuated by motives not yet understandable by your humble servant, the Brethren of Massachusetts have selected as their Grand Master a plain business man; a buyer and seller of merchandise. No longer, except as they may be — yes, must be — called upon to save the honor and reputation of the Grand Lodge will we be privileged to succumb to the spell of eloquence cast over us by these brilliant members of the legal profession.
I can best illustrate the future by a story. If I were to give you an orange, I would say, simply, "I give you this orange." But if this transaction is entrusted to a lawyer to put into writing, he adopts this form: "I give and convey to you, all and singular, my estate, interests, right, title, claim, and advantages, of and in said orange; together with all its rind, juice, pulp, and pits and all rights and advantages therein; with full power to bite, cut, suck, or otherwise eat the same; or give the same away, with or without the rind, skin, juice, pulp, or pits; anything hereinbefore or hereinafter, in any other deed or deeds, instrument or instruments of whatsoever kind or nature to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding." (Laughter.) And I presume the fee would be commensurate with the length of the document.
I feel that I have been drafted into this service for some equally potent reason as that given in the case of a man who went before one of the draft boards during the war, trying to prove that he had a dependent family and thereby escape the draft. To substantiate his claim, he presented a letter written by his wife, which read as follows:
"Dear United States Army : My husband asked me to write a writing that he supports a family. He can't read writing, so don't tell him. Just take him. He ain't no good to me. He ain't done nothing but play a fiddle and drink lemon essence since I married him, eight years ago, and I got to feed seven kids of his. Perhaps you can get him to tote a gun. He is good on squirrels and eating. Just take him and welcome. I need his bed and feed for the kids. Don't tell him I writ this, just take him." (Laughter.)
But it is said that apologies only account for things which they do not alter, so I shall make no more.
When we assembled around this board at the Feast of St. John two years ago, we felt that as a Fraternity and a nation we were facing the greatest crisis we had ever known, but we grappled with that problem in unity and courage, and carried on to a glorious victory. Today, under the present trying conditions, with our country seemingly at peace, our soldiers rinding their way back into civil life and trying to pick up the threads of existence they dropped in order that they might fight to serve humanity and save civilization, ourselves endeavoring to accommodate our lives to the new and trying conditions caused by the wastage of war in men and materials, we find ourselves confronted by a situation more serious and dangerous than any we have ever faced. We are passing through the aftermath of war, with all its attendant turmoil, its passionate unrest and discontent. Abroad, we see whole nations flung into chaos, where every man's hand is turned against his brother, and where there is no peace, no safety, and no sign of human fellowship. At home, we are witness to scenes of social strife and mob violence never before known in free America. Class hatred is being engendered by demagogues who neither understand nor appreciate the freedom under which we live. Well-meaning citizens are being led astray by false lights, following the will-o'-the-wisp that anything new is truth. Thousands of Red agitators from foreign lands, their slimy tongues released by the signing of the armistice, drunk with a freedom which they do not understand, are seeking now by insidious yet bold methods, to subvert the simple minds of those of their own races here in America, and to undermine the foundations and pull down the structure of a government which has given them a liberty and a safety never before dreamed of. We are witness to scenes of violence among our own people, our own race, which we deeply deplore. The splendid unity displayed by our people during the war is breaking up and giving opportunity to these reptiles to destroy the soul of America by engendering class hatred among our people.
Brethren, what is the remedy? What is the answer? Our forefathers gave us a form of government out of which could be evolved anything we wish to evolve. The Constitution grants us freedom- from the chains of vested power or hereditary privilege, or any might or power except of our own making. Our destiny is in our own hands. If we, enveloped in this nightmare of unrest and retreating before this advance of the red flag, allow our nation to weaken and collapse, it is all our own doing. But if by our moral courage, the strength of our moral fibre, we go forward with a singleness of purpose towards the ultimate goal, the goal of justice— human justice — then we shall have laid our course of stone square, upright, just and true on the broad foundation our fathers have given us.
To accomplish all this, we need education; American education; Masonic education; designed to give self-control to the individual, for only thus can the principles of our Republic be preserved. While the iconoclast by his insidious methods has been unremittingly, unceasingly for years trying to pull down our structure of government and preaching his doctrine of hate, we have been sitting by with folded hands, half amused, self-complacent, while he continued his traitorous work. We must arouse. We are aroused and societies are being formed every day in this country to combat this very evil. What of Freemasonry, the greatest and truest of American societies? Are we doing our part?
It was Daniel Webster who said, "God grants liberty only to those who love it and are ready to defend and guard it." And again, "Knowledge is the only foundation both of the love and of the principles of human liberty."
Brethren, is our lesson not clear? Is our mission not laid before us in plain language in these words? First, we must love liberty. Second, we must be ready to guard and defend it with our lives if necessary, but we must also have the knowledge of what that liberty and its principles mean.
I am happy to say to you tonight that American Freemasonry, as a national institution, under the name of the American Masonic Service Association, is taking its part in the crisis of the nation today. It will serve as a central bureau, will furnish the machinery for the dissemination of education and enlightenment, so that the principles of Masonry will go abroad through the individual, and will serve to educate the community, the state, and nation in the American and Masonic doctrine of justice, truth, and freedom.
We have won a great victory, Brethren; the victory of right over wrong, the victory of justice over injustice, the victory of civilization over barbarism,, a victory which bids men look up and hope again that there is a world where a free man can live, a victory which, if we use it rightly, will place justice and truth on the throne in the hearts of all mankind.
The battle has been fought and won by the spirit of American faith, but the battle has yet to be fought and won in the world of ideas. This being true, a tremendous responsibility rests upon every man who has the power to influence public thought and public opinion. In a great sense, the Freemason has that power to influence private and public judgment. That his influence has been large in the establishment of free government in this nation is well known to us, as Masons. The two great American documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, show plainly the impress of Masonic lessons. That their influence is large today is conceded, but that it might be larger—yes, must be larger—we must realize.
The Freemason, in order to sway public opinion, must be an exemplar of those principles which are taught in the Lodge. He must be familiar with the laws of justice, of liberty, of representative government as taught him in his Masonic Lodge, and then he must go out into his community and exemplify the practice of those principles in his contact with other men.
Our duty of humanity is to give better service to our fellow men, and that idea of service has permeated the whole institution and is accepted by all its forward-looking leaders. Therefore our duty today and in the future is to build up our own organization, to educate ourselves and become thoroughly imbued with our own principles, and we shall not then fear for the quality of our American citizenship. We must build up the character of our membership, and produce men. In closing, I can do no better, my Brethren, than to repeat the cry uttered in the troublous days after the Civil War, days similar to these, but not nearly so serious. "God give us men! The time demands great minds, strong hearts, true faith, and willing hands; men whom the lust of office does not spoil, men whom the spoils of office cannot buy, men who have honor, men who will not lie, men who can stand before the demagogue and damn his traitorous flatteries without winking, tall men, sun crowned, who live above the fog in public duty and private thinking."
"For, while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,
Their large professions and little deeds,
Mingle in strife, lo, freedom weeps,
Wrong rules the land and waiting justice sleeps."
DEDICATION OF APARTMENTS FOR THE TYRIAN LODGE, MARCH 1920
From Proceedings, Page 1920-20:
Worshipful Master and Brethren of the Tyrian Lodge:
We have dedicated to the purposes of Masonry according to ancient form these apartments of yours, which have been used for so many years in the inculcation of Masonic truth in the hearts and minds of many, many men who have by their public service and private lives enriched and broadened the community spirit of this city.
By this ceremony we do not believe we have added anything of value to the service of the past that has been sanctified by the lives of the distinguished men whose names appear on your membership rolls. I, for one, come into this old Lodge in a very humble spirit, anxious and willing to sit at the feet of those great men of the past and absorb the wisdom of their experience. You here, familiar as you are with these surroundings, can little appreciate the feelings of strangers who enter these halls which seem to whisper messages of those days when Masonry was actively engaged in cutting its mark on the foundation stones of the Republic.
Consider the high privilege we enjoy today in meeting here in this atmosphere of peace and harmony of counsel, when in all parts of the world there are sounds of dissension and bitter discussion, wars and rumors of yet more war. In spite of the hope that the Great War would idealize the spirit of mankind, we find ourselves slipping back into the old selfish ways again and asking ourselves the coward question, "Am I my brother's keeper?" The splendid unity displayed during the war is breaking up: the law of the jungle is again attempting to rule the world. But we, as Masons, enjoy today the communion of kindred souls inspired by high ideals *ind altruistic thought, and are meeting today in this old Lodge, breathing in the atmosphere of ancient days, which comes to us like the whiff of lavender from the old chest in the attic when we open it to take out and gaze again upon the intimate things which belonged to other days and to people whom we loved and who have gone before us. What memories it calls to our mind! With feelings of mingled awe and pride we realize that we are in the very Lodge where in the older days sat those sturdy ancestors of ours who laid the foundation upon which has been erected the mighty structure known as the United States of America. With what reverence we touch the jewels moulded by the hands of Paul Revere, that great patriot and distinguished Freemason whose life and character we of New England revere and strive to emulate.
With such examples before us, which could be repeated without number, is it surprising that the Masons of Massachusetts, in spite of our enjoyment of the cloistered peace and comfort of the Lodge-room, feel the urge and inspiration of those old patriots to go forth into the world and, like the Minute Men of '75, fight and defeat the evil and danger that face us today? And who shall say that we have not ample precedent to take our place among the active forces in the support of our free institutions in the establishment of which the lessons of Freemasonry were such a mighty force? Not perhaps as a political force, but rather as a body of men instructed in and sworn to the support of the great truths and high principles which make this Republic of ours the virile thing it is. These are thoughts which surge into our minds today as we meet, in this old Lodge, the organization of which antedates by many years the Declaration of Independence. Who can deny that the sons of light and liberty in this very Lodge laid their plans and inspired their Brethren to tljpse deeds of valor and self-sacrifice which they were later to accomplish?
Our splendid heritage would be shamed did we not measure up to our responsibilities as did those who in their day and generation did what appeared to them as their duty, but what appears to us in the light of later development the deeds of giants of courage and intellect. It is not to be thought that Washington could envisage the masterpiece he founded: he could not have looked forward to February 22, 1920, and dreamed of the tribute of gratitude paid his memory by millions of people in all parts of the world. Neither did Revere, Warren, Hancock, and Adams imagine for one moment that their names would still be echoing down the aisles of history or that their life attainments would be the common knowledge of every schoolboy. They were merely men, able men I grant you, who saw their duty clearly and did it as they saw it. We, as Masons, are wont to point with pride, a justified pride, to our splendid history of achievement in the formative days of this Republic. We glorify the names that adorned our membership rolls of those days, names which appear in the annals of the fight for liberty and in the great state documents of this free people. But what avail is all this pride today if. we, the Masonic successors of these great men, do not measure up, according to our respective capacities, to our noble forefathers? Is it possible that we have been living too much in the glory of the past, pointing to our splendid traditions and great men of old and expecting the present generation to take us at their face value? The Chinese people worship their ancestors more perhaps than any other, but it has not advanced them far along the road of nations. We cannot live on the reputation of our fathers. We must do our part in the work of the world if we expect our institution to live and the title of Master Mason continue to be the proud one of the past.
Our history is most valuable to us as an example and an inspiration. Our duty in our day and generation is to face our problems with the same high courage which our forefathers exhibited in other days. Who shall say that there are no more Paul Reveres born into the world? Abraham Lincoln rose from the obscurity of a log cabin to a fame which will outlast time. Every crisis brings forth its Master and we have faith to believe that the troubles we are facing today will be met and conquered by wisdom and greatness which will appear at the appointed hour. We need first a general and immediate realization of our dangers and the solid amalgamation of fill level-headed, right-thinking men, determined to combat the evil which would destroy our freedom and civilization.
Let us renew our vows of loyalty to the great principles of Freemasonry, trusting the power of truth, the worth of character and the 'wisdom of love. The future of our Fraternity lies in a return to the faith of our fathers, bringing the wisdom of the past to the service of the present, teaching the truth that makes men free, showing in our private lives and public service what Masonry means and the kind of citizens it produces. In short, to make of Masonry today on a large scale what it was in former times on a small scale, an order of men, initiated, sworn, and trained to make liberty, justice, and truth prevail. Did you ever stop to consider what a beautiful world this would be to live in, if every man was inspired by the principles of this institution ? Did you ever stop to consider what a powerful influence on the life and happiness of our country could be had if the two million Freemasons in this country would practice what they preach: if they would make living things of the high ideals to which they give expression? Just so far as we ourselves practice the simple yet fundamental truths taught by Freemasonry, just so far will we advance toward the millennium. And by this shall we be judged by the world which will ask of us, not "What have you done?" but, "What are you doing?" Out of the hell of war has come a nobler conception of Iranian^ relationship, a finer vision of human brotherhood, a more splendid ideal of patriotism and duty, and to these we must resolve to give body and permanence in our activities. We are standing in the dawn of a new era of world history and it is impossible that the spirit and genius of Freemasonry can be overlooked or forgotten, for in spite of the apparent sloughing back into the gutter of selfishness, yet there is heard from all over the world the insistent cry for human brotherhood and human justice. Only as we advance toward those great goals shall we come nearer to the dream of the centuries never yet realized, but toward which, in spite of delays and reactions we are advancing, and the task of Freemasonry will never be finished until that day shall come, as it surely will though Jong deferred, when all the threads of human fellowship are woven into one mystic cord of friendship, encircling the earth and holding the race in unity of spirit and the bonds of peace.
There is a sad need in the world today for a place where we can meet men of all nationalities and creeds on common ground. And what better place could be chosen than a1 the universal altar of Freemasonry where the only creed is that of love and the only faith is that in one common fatherhood? There, built upon the altar of Masonry could be laid the foundation of that ideal temple of the brotherhood of mankind, the pyramid of life, its base resting upon the Holy Book, its apex touching the clouds. There, men of all creeds, all tongues, and all conditions could meet on common ground. There, all men could serve their brothers and in serving them best serve their God.
"And then to my dreaming eyes there did appear
as far as the eye could reach,
A verdant plain: and soldiers tilled the soil
Where they of old did slay their brethren, scatter seeds of pain,
Did reap wild curses, burning as they slew,
Destroying all the strength of every age.
"They tilled the soil and builded Temples new,
And writ yet better deeds for history's page;
And all the land did blossom as the rose,
The wilderness did laugh and joyful sing;
Around the Pyramid assembled all,
And made Heaven above with praises ring."
- What Is, Shall Be, by Rev. Bro. J. G. Gibson
CORNERSTONE LAYING, FALL RIVER, MAY 1922
From Proceedings, Page 1922-117:
Brethren and Friends: It needs no words of commendation of mine to congratulate you on this splendid undertaking which you have carried through to this present accomplishment.
I wish to bring to your attention something of the antiquity of the ceremony of corner-stone laying. It is a necessary part of our building and it should be of exceptional interest to the younger Brethren present who are to carry on the work in years to come.
As I looked at the procession of members this afternoon and saw, as I estimated, that seventy-five per cent of them were under thirty years of age, I said to myself: "There is the heart of the Fraternity of the future. There is the strength of the Fraternity of the future. It is for them to learn the principles of the Fraternity so thoroughly that they will abide with them deeply and forever."
Our ceremony of corner-stone laying dates back into the dim ages of the past, beyond the beginning, even, of written history. The earliest evidenee discovered of anything showing a corner-stone laying is dated nine hundred years before the Christian era, in Assyria, the first Temple.
Down through the ages, this custom has been followed whenever a building of any importance was to be erected - these ceremonies attended the laying of the first stone. Throughout Europe are magnificent edifices built as temples and brought down to us for our admiration. Unfortunate it is that so many have been destroyed during the last six or seven years.
Many, however, still stand, a tribute to the skill of the workmen who builclecl them. But frorn those craftsmen, operative Masons, we have come to be speculative Masons. Modern Masonic Temples are the hearts of men, whereas the ancient were made of stone. And I believe we are succeeding in our building; we must succeed. We must extend our success farther and bring to bear an influence for good beyond the ranks of our own members.
I am proud of the history of Freemasonry. The ceremonies you have seen today, even to the language used in most instances, were first used. as far as it is recorded, in 1753 in Edinburgh. Scotland. We are the custodians of their craft and descendants of the old operative workmen. We have taken their tools and macle them symbols to build into men's lives lvhat they built into stone. We are building Temples of men's hearts.
I like to look back over the past two hundred years or so in the United States, over the history of corner-stone laying here, as conducted by the various Grand Lodges. There are more instances I might call to mind than I could possibly mention here. The one, for example, in which a Masonic president laid the corner-stone of the Capitol in Washington, when George Washington acted as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Maryland in laying that stone. The gavel, Bible, sash, and jewel used then are still treasured in the archives of Lodges in the District of Columbia and in Virginia.
Another was the corner-stone laying of the Masonic Temple in Washington, D. C., when Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, drove up in his presidential carriage, descended, produced a plain white leather apron, put it on, and requested the privilege of marching with the Brethren. When offered a place of distinction he declined, declaring : No! My place is with the Brethren."
Another is recorded of Theodore Roosevelt, of blessed memory, when he accepted an invitation to lay the cornerstone of the monument at Provincetown.
These are occurrences of which we may well be more than proud. We all certainly hope and believe that there will be many more such.
Our principles are the principles of fraternity. They are not secret principles, but are those that have guided civilization and humanity through all the ages, and are necessary for their continued progress.
The greatest tragedy of the ages, as the poet says, is "not that men are poor; who has not tasted the elements of poverty? Not that men are wicked; who can claim to be good? Not that men are ignorant; who can boast that he is wise? But that men are strangers."
One great teaching of Freemasonry is that men should be friends. The sole and only dogma we require is that a man believe in the Supreme Being. That's all a Mason is asked to subscribe to. Form or method are indifferent; we care not at what altar a man may kneel if he kneel there in sincerity and believe in one great God.
The brotherhood of man, in which we believe, necessitates that we believe also in the fatherhood of God. It means friendship and fellowship and fraternity. What man does not feel differently toward the Brother in his Lodge than he does toward a man who does not belong? It means friendship, companionship, fellowship. Without these, the old world will never see peace.
The criticism of any conference of the leaders of the world is that such conferences can never accomplish their great object, the stoppage of war and of the devastation of war until men are bound together in bonds of friendship - in other words, until there is a brotherhood of men around the globe.
Do you realize that our Fraternity is a chain of men that reaches wherever the sun shines on a civilized country? Do you realize the opportunity in that fact to make all men everywhere touch hands in a chain of Masonry around the world? As Burns said, "the day is coming yet for a' that and a' that." The day of brotherhood of men, when all men are friends, is coming yet, Brethren, for a' that. It must come and Freemasons can and must be a great force in hastening the day.
What else does Masonry stand for? Good citizenship, justice, liberty, light, the equality of every man, civil and religious liberty, the dignity of labor. You who are familiar with our degree work know how much that all means to us.
Freemasons, to do their full measure, must go out into the world and show what their principles are. They must practice what they learn in the Lodge-room. To the world,- not only among the Brethren, but in the shop, the office, the mill. Show what it means to you. Show them that they may learn what it is to have and to be a true friend.
I would like to give you the prophecy made by a famous Frenchman some fifty years ago. "The day will come when all the great European nations will blend into one higher fraternity and furnish one great European union. The clay will come when war will seem as impossible between Petersburg and Berlin as between Boston and Philadelphia. The day will come when bullets and bombs will be replaced by ballots and universal suffrage. The day will come when men will exhibit a cannon to be gazed upon much as we today gaze upon instruments of torture, and men will marvel that such things could be. The day is coming when the United States of Europe and the United States of America wiII face each other across the ocean and freely exchange art, genius, and products."
Yes, my Brothers, all this must some day come true. What shall we do to make it come true? The answer is in the doctrine we preach and should practice - love one another. No more hate! No more war! No more divisions! All men friends! Let's work for that great achievement.
FEAST OF ST. JOHN, DECEMBER 1928
From Proceedings, Page 1928-486:
This moment brings the keen recollection of a similar occasion nine years ago tonight, when the present speaker was faced with the problem of following the same galaxy of orators to whom you have just listened. History repeals itself. We have again installed a representative of the merchant class as Grand Master; again he follows a period of years made brilliant by men of the professions.
From the assured manner in which he has opened and conducted this Feast, I suspect he does not entertain the fear and trembling that possessed me on my maiden appearance as Grand Master. I recall that I opened my apology with a story that seemed to fit the occasion and was prophetic of future efforts, and in spite of the well known fact that Past Grand Masters never repeat themselves, I am going to risk the repetition. The story goes like this: "If I were to give you an orange, I should say simply. 'I give you this orange', but if this transaction was entrusted to a lawyer to put in writing, he adopts this form: 'I give and convey to you, all and singular, my estate, interests, right, title, claim, and advantages of and in said orange, together with all its rind, juice, pulp, and pits and all rights and advantages therein: with full power to bite, out, suck, or otherwise eat said orange, or give the same away, with or without the rind, skin, juice, pulp, or pits, anything hereinbefore or hereinafter in any other deed or deeds, instrument or instruments of whatever kind or nature to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding. (Laughter.)
You may draw your own conclusions.
You have been told that when this Past Grand Master program was suggested, I did not view it with favor. Well, I am still of the same opinion. I can see only one good thing about it and that is it serves to give the Immediate Past Grand Master his first lesson in humility (Laughter), and we can crack a sly joke at his expense without being guilty of lese majesté. A few hours ago, we should have addressed him as the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts but now he is just Frank Simpson, Past Grand Master.
Being well aware of the innate modesty and retiring disposition that is characteristic of every Past Grand Master, I could not believe it possible that all or any of them would consent to come and tell the story of their respective administrations; which they privately believe (and not so privately either), were the best in the history of Grand Lodge. But I find that I was in error and that every one of them is tickled to death to come here and bask in the sunshine of applause by his Brethren and tell again the old, old story.
From a somewhat intimate relationship with the Past Grand Masters, I have found that we possess certain characteristics in common. Each one is profoundly convinced that he was the greatest Grand Master that the Grand Lodge ever had. You cannot blame us so much for that, for how many times you have told each one of us that same story and of course, we must believe you. Each one is also convinced that any program projected by the presiding Grand Master, would have been much better presented in his day.
We are all agreed that the Quarterly Addresses are interminably long and are certain that no one of us ever burdened the Craft to such an extent.
The favorite indoor sport of the Past Grand Masters, in which there is considerable rivalry, is to check up the number of Brethren who have been selected for distinguished honor, whose first Grand Lodge service was performed under appointment by the respective participants in this game. I expected to hear Dana Flanders proudly boasting that three Grand Masters have been selected from his official family.
Well. I have been looking over the faces at the table and in Grand Lodge today, and I am going to beat him as sure as you are a foot high.
As for the administration of 1920-21-22, there is little to say. During Brother Abbott's administration, by what be terms his "devastations" but what we call his inspirational leadership, he so enthused the Craft and created such an impression on the profane that the following administration was literally swamped with innumerable applications for the degrees.
To illustrate the trials and tribulations of a Grand Master who happens to follow an inspired orator, let me tell you of an experience. Some of you will remember the old fashioned mottoes which used to adorn the walls of every New England Home, such as "God Bless our Home," "When shall we gather at the river," etc. Shortly after my installation, I was called to visit a Lodge not far from Boston. As I entered the room, I was confronted by largo placards hung about the walls, on which were printed excerpts and quotations from the wonderful addresses of Brother Abbott, and I think you can imagine the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, when I was called upon to respond, facing as I did those inspiring words in well rounded phrases, which 1 knew were still ringing in the ears of my audience. Brother Abbott's responsibility is heavy for what happened during this administration for it was largely due to his leadership that over 33,000 Master Mason diplomas were delivered during this period; that thirty-four new Lodges were constituted or given Dispensations, both figures a record in Grand Lodge experience.
Under the leadership of R. W. Brother Burleigh, Massachusetts was the first Grand Lodge to pay over its quota towards the Washington Memorial at Alexandria, Va.
The wise administration of the Charity Trust had brought the Williams Fund to the amount specified in the will and the plans were drawn and contracts let for the Williams Wing at Charlton and if was built during the succeeding administration.
Masonic Education appeared in embryonic form in the 1500 meetings planned to be addressed by a large number of volunteer speakers.
Masonic Funds reached a high point and our mortgage was reduced by the largest amount in many years: $35,000.
The total amount expended for benevolence increased from $94,000.00 to $133,000.00 annually.
The Rainy Day Fund contributions rose Brow $17,000.00 to $25,000.00 annually.
So, you see, my Brethren, there were no outstanding events in this administration and telling the simple story. I claim credit for just one thing. I have not attempted to say anything about China.
No serious problems appeared: the Craft seemed harmonious and happy and the Grand Master enjoyed his experience and treasures the friends he made. His hardest task was to keep a level head, remain a human being, and to retire gracefully, in which he hopes he was moderately successful.
Just one serious word and about the only one I shall speak. Past Grand Masters look back upon their service with gratitude and pleasure. We treasure the friends we have made in these contacts. It brings a flood of pleasant memories to clasp hands again with those with whom we worked in active days. As the years go by, these experiences grow more precious as they diminish in number. What we need, what we ask for is
The touch of human hands;
That is the boon we ask
For, groping day by day
Along the stony way,
We need the comrade heart
And the warmth, the living warmth
Of human hands.
- 03/10/1920 West Roxbury, Roslindale
- 09/08/1920 Theodore Roosevelt, Wollaston
- 12/08/1920 Isaiah Thomas, Worcester
- 12/08/1920 Victory, Watertown
- 12/08/1920 Bethlehem, Lynn
- 12/08/1920 Mount Nonotuck, Northampton
- 12/08/1920 Mystic Valley, Winchester
- 03/09/1921 Pittsfield, Pittsfield
- 03/09/1921 Norumbega, Newtonville
- 03/09/1921 Talien, Darien, Manchuria, China
- 06/08/1921 Paskamansett, New Bedford
- 06/08/1921 Atlantic, Quincy
- 06/08/1921 Samuel Crocker Lawrence, Medford
- 06/08/1921 Loyalty, Jamaica Plain
- 09/14/1921 Brookline, Brookline
- 09/14/1921 Richard C. MacLaurin, Cambridge
- 09/14/1921 Noddle's Island, Boston
- 09/14/1921 Wessagusset, Weymouth
- 12/14/1921 Manchester, Manchester
- 12/14/1921 Quittacus, New Bedford
- 12/14/1921 Budleigh, Beverly
- 12/14/1921 Chagres, Ancon, Canal Zone
- 03/08/1922 Samuel Osgood, Springfield
- 03/08/1922 Samuel D. Sherwood, Springfield
- 03/08/1922 Wamesit, Tewksbury
- 03/08/1922 Charles C. Spellman, East Longmeadow
- 06/14/1922 Manet, Quincy
- 06/14/1922 Azure, Walpole
- 09/13/1922 Galilean, Everett
- 09/13/1922 Hykes Memorial, Tientsin, China