- 1 GRANITE LODGE
- 2 REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- 2.1 ANNIVERSARIES
- 2.2 VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 2.3 BY-LAW CHANGES
- 2.4 HISTORY
- 2.5 GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- 2.6 OTHER BROTHERS
- 2.7 DISTRICTS
- 2.8 LINKS
Chartered By: Samuel Crocker Lawrence
Charter Date: 09/14/1881 1881-93
Precedence Date: 10/30/1880
Current Status: in Grand Lodge Vault; merged with Solomon's Temple Lodge, 09/16/1993.
- Loammi B. Carr, 1881-1883; SN
- Charles G. Bacheler, 1884
- Joshua T. Carter, 1885, 1886
- George F. Searles, 1886
- Charles H. Harrison, 1887
- Ireanus H. Low, 1888, 1889
- Luther M. Smith, 1891
- John Gunn, 1892, 1893
- Walter W. Dudley, 1894, 1895
- Frank G. Foster, 1896
- William J. Johnson, 1897, 1898
- Henry A. Owen, 1899, 1900
- William H. Dixon, 1901, 1902
- Clifford B. Arnold, 1903, 1904; SN
- Frank E. Bates, 1905, 1906
- Albert K. Pratt, 1907, 1908
- William J. Willis, 1909, 1910
- Artie M. Meader, 1911, 1912; SN
- Harmon D. Nelson, 1913, 1914
- Albert L. Morrill, 1915, 1916
- Robert G. McKaig, 1917, 1918
- Robert L. Metcalf, 1919, 1920
- Amos E. Whipple, 1921, 1922; Mem
- Wesley G. Webster, 1923
- Arthur S. Richardson, 1924
- Herbert H. Sanders, 1925
- Albin W. Nelson, 1926
- William B. Appleton, 1927
- F. Arthur Bigelow, 1928
- Leroy A. Rollins, 1929; SN
- Raymon F. Meader, 1930; N
- George F. Hanna, 1931
- Thompson Boyd, 1932
- Robert F. Keeler, 1933
- Arthur I. Fullerton, 1934
- Alvin Spencer, 1935
- C. Leon Houghton, 1936
- Alfred Sutcliffe, 1937
- Wilfred G. Harriman, 1938
- Joseph H. Bragdon, 1939
- William E. Haworth, 1940
- Albert Clarke, 1941
- Maurice G. Terrill, 1942
- Richard G. Cunningham, 1943
- Herman Buma, 1944
- Robert C. Walker, 1945; N
- Lloyd E. Flint, 1946
- John H. Cosgrove, 1947
- Howard O. Wilbur, 1948
- Elmer F. Benton, 1949
- Kenneth W. Crossman, 1950
- William Crossland, 1951
- John Bloen, 1952
- Myron B. Chace, 1953; N
- Sidney R. Buma, 1954
- Howard E. Cook, 1955
- Harry F. Drinkwater, 1956
- Thomas H. McCallum, 1957
- Raymond F. Blizard, 1958
- Ralph B. Wood, 1959; N'
- Donald H. Amiro, 1960
- Voitto A. Oby, 1961
- Alku A. Oby, 1962
- Roy S. Lermond, 1963, 1964
- Thys Baker, 1965, 1966
- Edward Ebbeling, 1967
- Millard M. Hicks, 1968
- Oscar A. Buma, 1969
- Harold R. Tauson, 1970
- Omer Couillard, 1971
- Stanley E. Mason, Jr., 1972
- Stanley P. Lisak, Jr., 1973
- Newell S. Wallace, 1974
- Albert J. Vincent, 1975
- Bernard E. Tucker, 1976
- Russell S. Wise, 1977
- Craig S. Wallace, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1987; N
- Carl W. Ruth, Sr., 1980, 1981, 1983
- Rodney S. Ruth, Sr., 1984, 1985
- Harvey Crook, Jr., 1986, 1990
- Robert M. Streeton, 1984, 1987
- David E. Masters, 1988
- Walter H. Bennett, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993
- George F. McInerny, III, 1991
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- Petition for Dispensation: 1880
- Petition for Charter: 1881
- Consolidation Petition (with Solomon's Temple Lodge): 1993
VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 1881 (Lawrence; Constitution of Lodge and installation; Special Communication)
- 1896 (Holmes; 2 visits)
- 1908 (Blake)
- 1930 (H. Dean; 50th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 1955 (W. Johnson; 75th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 1980 (Melanson; Centenary)
- 1980 (Lovering; Consolidation)
50TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, OCTOBER 1930
From Proceedings, Page 1930-389:
By Wor. Arthur Sylvester Richardson.
At the outset I wish to acknowledge my indebtedness and to express my thanks to those Brothers who have assisted me in the preparation of this history. I am particularly indebted to Brothers John Hamer and Henry T. Whitin. two of our living Charter members, who have given me much interesting data concerning the early activities of the Lodge and of the events leading up to its formation.
Previous to the formation of Granite Lodge there were a goodly number of Masons living in the town of Northbridge, particularly in the village of Whitinsville. In the words of one of our Charter members, "Most of the men who were prominent in the community at that time were members of the Fraternity." The majority of these were members of Solomon's Temple Lodge, of Uxbridge, but many were members of Lodges located much farther away, several being members of Lodges in England, Scotland, and Ireland. A certain local pride, the belief that their home town could and should have a Lodge of its own, and the great inconvenience of attending meetings out of town, led to agitation among members of the Craft for a Lodge in Whitinsville which finally, in the autumn of the year 1880, crystallized into definite action.
Among those who were most active in this movement were Brothers Loammi B. Carr, William Barr, Charles Z. Bacheler, David Bostwick, Henry T. Whitin, and Cyrus F. Baker, who consulted Rt. Wor. Arba C. Slater, who was at that time District Deputy Grand Master for the 12th Masonic District of Massachusetts, regarding what course of action should be followed in order to get a Lodge started here. Rt. Wor. Brother Slater, generally known as "Deacon Slater," was superintendent of the Linwood Cotton Mill and was intimately acquainted with the local Brethren. He entered enthusiastically into the movement and gave generously of his time and effort in assisting to get the new Lodge started.
On the evening of Tuesday, October 19, 1880, a meeting was held in Pythian Hall on Railroad Street, now Linwood Avenue, for the selection of a Worshipful Master, Senior Warden, and Junior Warden of the Lodge; to decide upon the evening of meeting; and to adopt a name for the Lodge, to be inserted in the petition that would be sent to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. At this meeting the following Brethren were present: Joseph G. Allen, Charles Z. Bacheler, Clarence H. Bacheler, William Barr, David S. Bostwick, Rowland II. Brown, Phineas Buckley, Loammi B. Carr, Albert B. Carpenter, Walter S. Carpenter, Joshua T. Carter, David B. Chase, Robert C. Conant, Henry M. Dudley, William Dunning, Samuel T. Fowler, Jr., Robert Gilmore, Samuel Graham, Charles II. Hamilton, Robert H. Hamilton, Joseph Hanna, John Heathcote, Charles W. Holt, James Howard, Alexander Kingsbury, John Melvin, George N. Scott, George F. Searles, John Shippee, Benjamin L. M. Smith, James L. Watson, Henry T. Whitin, and G. Marston Whitin. Brother George L. Searles was chosen chairman, and Bro. David S. Bostwick, clerk. Bro. Loammi B. Carr was unanimously elected Worshipful Master, and Brothers Charles H. Hamilton and Samuel Fowler, Jr., were unanimously elected Senior and Junior Wardens.
The next business was the selection of a name for the Lodge, three of which, "Granite", "Valley", and "Tuscan" were suggested. By a vote of the Brethren present the name "Granite" was adopted. One of our Charter members says that the selection of the name "Granite" was due in part to the fact that among the founders of the Lodge there were many who were from the "down East" states of Maine and New Hampshire where the quarrying of granite was an important industry with which either they themselves or some member of their family had at some time been connected. He further assures us, however, that the name Granite was not chosen hastily or haphazardly, but was intended to symbolize a material eternal, and carried with it the hope that the Lodge would be as firm and everlasting as the mineral from which it derived its name.
By a unanimous vote, it was then decided that the regular meetings of the Lodge should be held on the Wednesday evening on or before the full of the moon. All, or nearly all, of the older Lodges held their regular meetings on a night near the full of the moon so that the Brethren attending the meetings might have the advantage of the moonlight. To some at this time it may seem that the phase of the moon should be of little or no consequence in relation to the meetings of a Masonic Lodge; but in these early days there were no electric lamps to brighten the road nor any automobiles with glaring headlights to speed the members on their way. The journey was made by the slow means of horse and wagon, or more often on foot, and with a lantern to whose flickering and uncertain light the moon's radiance was a most welcome and even a necessary assistance.
With reference to this travel by lantern light, it is related that a certain Brother on his way home one night was invited in for refreshments, consisting principally of hard cider. The following morning there came a knock at the door, and when the good Brother opened it he found a boy there with a lantern in his hand, who said Good morning, Mr. Brown, here's your lantern; and my mother says for me to bring back the bird-cage that you took home last night."
The regular meetings of Granite Lodge continued to be held on the Wednesday evening on or before the full of the moon from the first meeting above mentioned until 1923, when it seemed that with improved methods of transportation, and with modern lighting systems, it was no longer necessary to chase the moon over the calendar, and, accordingly, by an amendment to our by-laws the night of regular meetings was established on the second Wednesday of each month. As the Quarterly Communications of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge are held on the second Wednesday of the month, it was found to be very inconvenient for the Worshipful Master and Wardens to attend the meetings of the Grand Lodge and to be back here in time for the meetings of their own Lodge, it usually being necessary for them to leave Boston before the closing of the Grand Lodge, our by-laws were again amended in 1926, establishing the second Tuesday of the month as the time of our regular meetings, which arrangement has continued up to the present time.
At the preliminary meeting of October 19, 1880, Bros. B. L. M. Smith, Charles Z. Bacheler, and Henry T. Whitin were appointed a committee "to circulate and prepare the petition to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge." This petition was duly prepared, signed by fifty-two Brothers, and presented to Most Worshipful Charles Alfred Welch, Grand Master, who, under date of October 30, 1880, granted a dispensation, signed by himself and attested by Rt. Wor. Tracy P. Cheever, Recording Grand Secretary, empowering the signers of the petition to do business under the name of Granite Lodge.
On Wednesday, November 10,1880, the first regular meeting of Granite Lodge, Under Dispensation, was held in Pythian Hall, the first business being the election and appointment of the remaining officers; and the first corps of officers as organized at this meeting, was as follows:
- Loammi B. Carr, Master
- Charles H. Hamilton, Senior Warden
- Samuel Fowler, Jr., Junior Warden
- Cyrus F. Baker, Treasurer
- David S. Bostwick, Secretary
- George F. Searles, Chaplain
- Clarence H. Bacheler, Marshal
- Charles Z. Bacheler, Senior Deacon
- Phineas Buckley, Junior Deacon
- Samuel G. Graham, Senior Steward
- Albert A. Andrews, Junior Steward
- Benjamin L. M. Smith, Organist
- John Shippee, Tyler
Gifts were made to the Lodge as follows: The Three Great Lights, by Bro. Cyrus F. Baker; Gavel and Marble Blocks, by Bro. Loammi B. Carr; Altar, by Bros. Samuel G. Graham and L. B. Carr; Three Lamps, by Bro. George F. Searles; Senior Deacon's Jewel, by Bro. Charles Z. Bacheler; Record Books, by Bro. David S. Bostwick; and the aprons were made by the wives and friends of members.
At this meeting an application for degrees was received from Ebenezer J. Noyes, who was later duly elected and, on February 24, 1881, was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason by Rt. Wor. Arba C. Slater, District Deputy Grand Master. Brother Noyes, who was the first Mason made in Granite Lodge, was born in Newburyport, Mass., September 11, 1837; died in Linwood, Mass., January 15, 1886. At the time when he was raised he was overseer of spinning in the Linwood Cotton Mill, of which his friend Rt. Wor. Brother Slater was superintendent. His son, Arba Slater Noyes, so named in token of the friendship and high regard that his father had for Rt. Wor. Arba C. Slater, was raised a Mason in Granite Lodge, July 20, 1892, and is prominent in the business, political, and social affairs of the town. At this meeting the Lodge voted "to pay Eureka Lodge No. 64, K. P., $75.00 a year for the use of its hall three evenings a month, or 39 evenings in a year, and the secretary was instructed to communicate this offer to Eureka Lodge." From this record it appears that at that time a prospective tenant made an offer for the desired quarters instead of asking for terms of rental, as is usually customary at present. It also appears that our Brothers figured on having three extra evenings with no additional charge when the rental was considered on a yearly rather than on a monthly basis, no doubt calculating with Yankee shrewdness that this addition of three extra meetings would escape the notice of the Pythians.
At any rate, the offer was accepted and Pythian Hall became the regular meeting place of Granite Lodge. The arrangement apparently continued to be mutually satisfactory until September 15, 1882, when we find a record of a special communication called for the purpose of considering a request from Pythian Lodge No. 64, K. P., "for some arrangement about letting or selling a portion of the Lodge Room furniture owned by Granite Lodge." A committee was appointed with full power to let, but not to sell, the furniture referred to, and at a stated communication held September 27, 1882, on recommendation of this committee, it was voted to rent the furniture to Pythian Lodge for the sum of fifteen dollars a year. This seems to have been unsatisfactory, for on January 9, 1884, it was voted to sell the furniture for $183.00.
On July 6, 1892, a special communication of the Lodge appears to have been rather hurriedly called for the purpose, as set forth in the records, "of considering action on a proposition to lease, engage or build new quarters for Lodge Room purposes" and, by vote of the Lodge, a committee of nine was appointed to see Mr. Marvin Prentice to learn what arrangements could be made for the use of a hall in his building on Cottage Street, with full power to act in the matter. This committee was further instructed to consider and report later what could be done for other quarters in case they were unable to come to satisfactory terms with Mr. Prentice. Evidently the committee was not very active, for it appears that they were unable to do business with Mr. Prentice and, perhaps discouraged by this failure, did nothing else and on November 30, 1892, the Lodge having become impatient at the continued delay voted that the committee be required to make a report at the next regular meeting of the Lodge. The report, if any, was apparently unsatisfactory for on December 28, 1892, it was voted that this committee be discharged and a new committee of two be appointed "to confer with the trustees of I. O. O. F. Hall about the terms of rental, and to report at the next regular communication, for the Lodge to take action thereon." This committee was more successful, and at the regular meeting of January 25, 1893, reported in favor of engaging quarters in I. O. O. F. Hall. The Lodge, however, with due caution deferred action until the next regular communication, and in the meantime, for the purpose of trying out the prospective quarters, held a special communication in Odd Fellows' Hall on February 8, 1893, when the Master Mason degree was worked on four candidates.
This trial meeting seems to have been satisfactory, for at the next regular meeting of the Lodge, held in Pythian Hall, March 1, 1893, it was voted to accept the terms of the Odd Fellows and to move the Lodge property to the new tjuarters immediately after the next regular communication. Accordingly, Granite Lodge met on April 26, 1893, for its first regular meeting in Odd Fellows' Hall, then located in Harrington's Building on Church Street, which continued to be its place of meeting until April, 1899, when the Lodge was moved into its present quarters in the Odd Fellows' Building on Cottage Street.
Granite Lodge functioned under the Dispensation in a manner satisfactory to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, and on September 14, 1881, by order of Most Worshipful Samuel C. Lawrence, Grand Master, the Lodge assembled for a special communication in Sutton Hall, Masonic Temple, Boston, at which time it was granted a Charter, and was constituted into a regular Lodge in due and ancient form.
On this Charter appear the names of the following Brethren:
- Loammi Baker Carr; stage proprietor; dimitted from Solomon's Temple Lodge, of Uxbridge; served the Lodge as Worshipful Master under the Dispensation and for the first two years under the Charter, and was District Deputy Grand Master in 1895.
- Charles Henry Hamilton; physician; dimitted from Solomon's Temple Lodge; Senior Warden from the organization under Dispensation until the annual meeting in the fall of 1882.
- Samuel Fowler, Jr. ; dealer in granite; dimitted from Solomon's Temple Lodge; Junior Warden under the Dispensation, and Senior Warden from the annual meeting of 1882 till that of 1883.
- Cyrus Franklin Baker; woodworker; dimitted from Solomon's Temple Lodge, in which he had served as Senior Deacon from 1864 to 1866; Junior Warden 1866 to 1867; Senior Warden 1867 to 1870; Wor. Master from November 3, 1870 to December 12, 1872. He was Treasurer of Granite Lodge from its organization under Dispensation until October, 1891.
- David Simons Bostwick; bookkeeper; dimitted from What Cheer Lodge No. 21, of Providence, R. I.; Secretary of Granite Lodge from its organization, U. D., until October 31, 1887. He was familiarly known as the Chauncey Depew of Granite Lodge, having marked physical resemblance to the real Chauncey Depew besides being a very able after-dinner speaker.
- George Franklin Searles; tinsmith; and also the proprietor of the hardware store on Church Street, Whitinsville, which is now conducted by his grandson, Brother George L. Searles. He dimitted from Solomon's Temple Lodge, and was Chaplain of Granite Lodge from its organization, II.D., until 1883, and from November, 1886, to October, 1889. He was Senior Warden in 1884, and Worshipful Master in 1885 and 1886.
- Clarence Hammond Bacheler; stage proprietor; dimitted from Solomon's Temple Lodge; was Marshal under the Dispensation; made a life member of the Lodge, March 13, 1928; was awarded the fifty-year Veteran's Medal by the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge in March, 1928, but died before it could be presented to him.
- Charles Zeri Bacheler; dealer in wood and lumber; dimitted from Solomon's Temple Lodge, of which he was Senior Deacon in 1872; Junior Warden 1873, and Senior Warden in 1874. He was Senior Deacon of Granite Lodge, U. D., and under the Charter until November, 1882. He was Worshipful Master in 1884.
- Phineas Buckley; moulder; dimitted from Grecian Lodge of Lawrence, Mass. He was Junior Deacon of Granite Lodge in 1881.
- Samuel George Graham; harness maker, and conducted the small shop on the south side of Memorial Square, now operated by one John W. Searles; dimitted from Solomon's Temple Lodge; Senior Steward under the Dispensation; Junior Deacon in 1888; Marshal 1890 to 1892.
- Albert Alonzo Andrews; machinist; dimitted from Solomon's Temple Lodge; Junior Steward under the Dispensation.
- John Shlppee; overseer of cotton weaving; Tyler under the Dispensation and first year under Charter.
- Benjamin Lloyd Mason Smith; foreman machinist; dimitted from Solomon's Temple Lodge; Organist of Granite Lodge from its organization, U.D., until 1893; Trustee from 1882 to 1907; Musical Director 1894 to 1921; Treasurer 1907 to 1922; Associate Member of the Board of Masonic Relief, 1912 to 1922. On February 5, 1913, the Lodge presented him a silver tea service in token of its appreciation of his long and faithful service as Musical Director. As Associate Member of the Board of Masonic Relief he was greatly interested in the charitable work of the Grand Lodge, and was especially interested in the Masonic Home
at Charlton, and constantly urged the Lodge to be generous in its contributions to the support of that institution. He gave freely of his time and energy to promote the welfare of Granite Lodge during his lifetime, and at his death bequeathed a substantial sum to our Permanent Fund.
- Joseph Gatchel Allen; tinsmith; dimitted from Solomon's Temple Lodge; was elected Trustee at the second annual meeting of Granite Lodge, but the records are not clear as to how long he served in that capacity. Brother Allen is said to have been rather rough and hard in some respects, but that he was kind and generous at heart is proven by the following incident: While he was working as a tinsmith in the employ of the Whitin Machine Works a certain young Irishman, fresh from the Old Country, came to work in that department shortly before the 17th of March. The day before St. Patrick's Day, Brother Allen approached the newcomer and said, "Well, Jerry, I suppose all you Irishmen will be out tomorrow celebrating." "Not I," replied Jerry, "for I haven't any money; so I'll have to work. With the remark that Jerry would probably be better off if he did work instead of celebrating. Brother Allen left him for the time being. But before night he came back again and asked Jerry how much money he needed to celebrate the day properly. Jerry replied, "Well, Mr. Allen, I think I ought to have at least twenty-five dollars to do it right." Whereupon Brother Allen took out his purse and offered the money to Jerry, which, however, was not accepted. "Jerry," here referred to is Jeremiah W. Koran, now (1930) foreman of the Tin-shop Department of the Whitin Machine Works.
- George Augustine Armsby; foreman woodworker; dimitted from Mt. Tom Lodge of Holyoke, Mass.
- William Barr; moulder; dimitted from a Lodge in Scotland.
- Hial Cram Carr; stage proprietor, dimitted from Solomon 's Temple Lodge. He was the first member of Granite Lodge to be removed by death to "that undissolving Lodge where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides."
- Joshua Tucker Carter; woodworker; later carried the mail between Whitins Station and Whitinsville Post Office; dimitted from Solomon's Temple Lodge; Junior Warden under first year of Charter; Senior Warden 1883 and 1884; Worshipful Master 1885 and 1890. He was a shrewd Yankee, and a believer in the old saying: "If you look after the pennies, the dollars will look after themselves." It is related by many of the older residents of Whitinsville that when Wor. Brother Carter was on his way after the mail and saw anyone who appeared to be waiting for the electric car, he would pause and ask him if he wanted a ride to the station. The traveler, thinking to save the car-fare, usually accepted the invitation, and on arriving at the station would be surprised and chagrined when Bro. Carter would suggest that the amount of the car-fare could properly be paid to him since he had brought him down, and had also saved him the annoyance of having to wait for the trolley.
- David Bemis Chase; accountant; dimitted from Solomon's Temple Lodge. He was the second member of the Lodge to be removed by death, and was the first to be buried with Masonic honors. At his funeral, Worcester County Commandery No. 5, acted as escort.
- Alexander Clark; painter; dimitted from Solomon's Temple Lodge.
- Robert Chaffin Conant; carpenter; dimitted from Mumford River Lodge, of East Douglas; Senior Steward 1882 and 1883; Tyler 1885 to 1895; made an honorary life member of the Lodge November 10, 1926. As Tyler he declined to accept the salary of fifty cents per night, giving his time freely and gladly to the Lodge and donating the salary of his office to the Lodge treasury.
- William Dunning; woodworker; dimitted from Lodge No. 30, Killyleagh, Ireland; Senior Steward first year under Charter; Senior Deacon 1889 to 1891. On January 4, 1882, he was appointed "Janitor" of the Lodge at a salary of twenty-five cents an evening, to look after the jewels and the regalia. As "Janitor" he undoubtedly acted as assistant to Brother John Shippee who was Tyler, and at that time in poor health.
- Henry Marchant Dudley; apothecary; dimitted from Solomon's Temple Lodge.
- George Thomas Fowler; farmer; dimitted from Solomon's Temple Lodge; was presented the fifty-year Veteran 's Medal, March 3, 1929, by Rt. Wor. William L. Stokes, D. D. G. M. for the 20th Masonic District.
- Robert Gilmore; woodworker; dimitted from Lodge No. 30, Killyleagh, Ireland.
- Joseph Hanna; machinist; dimitted from Solomon's Temple Lodge.
- John Hamer; tinsmith; dimitted from Solomon's Temple Lodge. At the time of writing this history Brother Hamer is living in Providence, R. I., and enjoying good health at the age of 77.
- Robert Henry Hamilton; painter; dimitted from Jenks Lodge No. 24, Central Falls, R. I.
- Charles William Holt; tin peddler; dimitted from Solomon's Temple Lodge; Tyler 1882. The records state that he died suddenly, probably from heart failure, in Ux-bridge, April 6, 1885, and that his body was found beside the road near his cart from which he had fallen.
- Alexander Kingsbury; machinist and cotton mill superintendent; dimitted from Solomon's Temple Lodge.
- Leprelet Miller Logee; overseer of spinning; dimitted from Mt. Vernon Lodge No. 75, of Jewett City, Conn. At the time when this history is being written, Brother Logee is living at the Masonic Home in Charlton, enjoying good health at the ripe old age of 104, having been born in Burrillville, R. I., February 5, 1826. He is a life member of this Lodge; wears a fifty-year Veteran's Medal presented to him January 8,1927, and a Henry Price Medal presented to him February 5, 1929, his 103rd birthday, by Most Worshipful Herbert W. Dean, Grand Master. On his 104th birthday, February 5, 1930, which was appropriately celebrated at the Home, Brother Logee received messages of congratulation from the Hon. Frank G. Allen, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; our Most Worshipful Grand Master, and from the Grand Masters of several other Masonic jurisdictions; from the Mayors of several cities; and from a host of other distinguished citizens, friends, and Brothers. Brother Logee's claim to being the world's oldest Mason has never, to my knowledge, been disputed.
- John Melvin; carpenter, dimitted from St. John's Lodge No. 107, of Perth, Scotland. He was a man of fixed habits and decided opinions, with strong likes and dislikes. In connection with the stated communication of the Lodge January 5, 1898, it is recorded that before the Lodge was opened Brother Melvin objected to the presence in the Lodge-room of certain visitors. The Worshipful Master thought best to tile the Lodge before taking any action in the matter, whereupon Brother Melvin went home and as there was no further objection the visitors remained.
- Henry Clay Peck; carpenter; dimitted from Solomon's Temple Lodge; Junior Deacon 1883 to 1885; Senior Deacon 1886; Junior Warden 1887; Senior Warden 1889. Why he was not elected Master is unknown to the writer, but that there was some difficulty in the election of officers at the annual communication of October 2, 1889, appears from the record that the tellers, Wor. Bro. Chas. H. Harriman, Bro. B. L. M. Smith and Bro. A. W. Fish, were given a vote of thanks by the Lodge for the patient manner in which they had performed their arduous duty."
- Jerome Vernon Prentice; carpenter and builder; dimitted from Solomon's Temple Lodge; Junior Deacon 1883; Marshal 1884.
- James Robertson; machinist; dimitted from Solomon's Temple Lodge.
- Robert Sproat; foreman blacksmith; dimitted from Solomon's Temple Lodge; died April 22, 1900, and was buried with Masonic honors.
- Oscar Fitzland Taft; machinist; dimitted from Solomon's Temple Lodge.
- James Lyle Watson; machinist; dimitted from Solomon's Temple Lodge; buried at Danielson, Conn., with Masonic honors.
- George Marston Whitin; manufacturer; dimitted from Solomon's Temple Lodge; was Treasurer and General Manager of the Whitin Machine Works, and prominent in the business, political, and social activities of the town.
- Henry Thomas Whitin; dimitted from Solomon's Temple Lodge; manufacturer; President of the Paul Whitin Mfg. Co., Northbridge, Mass.; a Charter member of the Lodge, and one of the prime movers in getting the Lodge started; presented a fifty-year Veteran's Medal, March 3, 1929, by Rt. Wor. William L. Stokes, D. D. G. M. for the 20th Masonic District. At the time when this history is written, he is still active in the business and social affairs of the town at the age of 76.
- Edward Walker Wood; timekeeper; dimitted from Solomon 's Temple Lodge.
After receiving the Charter from the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, Granite Lodge continued to be a living organization, composed of enthusiastic Brethren who had at heart the present welfare and future prosperity of the new Lodge. The records show that applications for membership were carefully scrutinized, and much discrimination shown in the admission of candidates. The social activities of the Lodge were considerable, and we find frequent references in the records to the holding of "sociables and entertainments" to which the ladies were invited.
There has been much activity in promoting interest in the work, and in encouraging fraternal good fellowship, not only among the members of Granite Lodge, but also among the several Lodges in the vicinity, for the records abound with accounts of visits of Granite Lodge to other Lodges and of other Lodges to Granite for the exchange of work and the sharing of each other's hospitality. It appears that the social activities of the Lodge were not always financially profitable, for at the regular meeting of June 20,1888, it was voted that "Bro. Walter W. Dudley be authorized to collect funds to pay expenses of the last sociable" ; and "by order of the Worshipful Master, the committee on sociables and picnics was dissolved," perhaps to save the Lodge from further embarrassment on account of its generous hospitality and lavish entertainment.
That the Lodge at times felt that it was overcharged for its refreshments appears from the record of the regular communication of April 19, 1905, when a committee was appointed to "make terms of settlement for suppers furnished March 15th." This committee reported on May 17, 1905, that it had arranged for settlement at a reduction of fifteen cents a plate.
Evidently sociables and entertainments were not as profitable when run by the Lodge as when run by individual members for the benefit of the Lodge, for we find that on March 1, 1882, the Lodge was presented the sum of fifty dollars by Wor. Loammi B. Carr and Bro. David B. Chase, being as the records state "the proceeds from an entertainment they had managed for the benefit of the Lodge on their individual responsibility." At this meeting the foundation of our Permanent Fund was laid when the Lodge voted that "the treasurer be allowed to deposit his surplus funds in the Whitinsville Savings Bank."
On November 5, 1891, the tenth anniversary of the Lodge was celebrated in Odd Fellows' Hall, Harrington Building, by a public installation of officers by Rt. Wor. Jeremiah Getchell and suite, followed by a banquet, speaking, and dancing.
A special communication of the Lodge was held January 20, 1896, for the purpose of receiving a visit from Most Worshipful Edwin B. Holmes, Grand Master, who was accompanied by Rt. Wor. Sereno D. Nickerson, Grand Secretary. It would seem that the officers of the Grand Lodge were quite neighborly at that time as it appears of record that Most Worshipful Brother Holmes, G. M., accompanied by the Grand Secretary, again paid the Lodge a fraternal visit on the regular meeting of April 4, 1896.
On May 24, 1899, by vote of the Lodge, "three old altar lamps were presented to Wor. Joshua T. Carter. In this transaction there seems to have been some "Scotch" on both sides as the Lodge gave away something that it could no longer use, having recently moved into its present quarters, and Wor. Bro. Carter accepted as a gift something which apparently could be of little or no value to him.
On October 11, 1905, a committee was appointed to arrange for the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Lodge; but at the next regular meeting, November 8, 1905, it was voted that this celebration be "deferred until next year. No record appears that it was ever held.
On May 22, 1907, Wor. Frank M. Lord, Master of Morning Star Lodge, of Worcester, Mass.. presented Granite Lodge with an hour-glass "in token of his appreciation of the cordial reception accorded him on a recent visit to the Lodge."
On April 15, 1908, the Lodge was honored by a fraternal visit by Most Worshipful John Albert Blake, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, who was accompanied by several other of the Grand Lodge Officers. After the meeting a dinner was served in the banquet hall, followed by an address by the Most Worshipful Grand Master and remarks by other distinguished guests. It is recorded that Most Worshipful Brother Blake spoke particularly of the "New Masonic Home at Charlton," which many of our older members will remember was an institution dear to his heart, and which was an object of care and solicitude to him from the time of its inception until his death.
On February 5, 1913, a special communication, preceded by a banquet and entertainment, was held for the purpose of presenting jewels to the Past Masters of the Lodge. With the exception of Rt. Wor. Loammi B. Carr and Rt. Wor. Clifford B. Arnold, who had been presented Past Master's jewels while in the office of District Deputy Grand Master, none of the Past Masters of the Lodge had received a jewel. On this occasion Rt. Wor. Melvin M. Johnson, afterward Most Worshipful Grand Master, was the guest of the evening and presented jewels to ten Past Masters. Three were unable to be present and two had already received theirs, so that it appears that on this date there were fifteen living Past Masters. After the presentation of the jewels, Rt. Wor. Loammi B. Carr, in behalf of the Lodge, then presented a silver tea service to Bro. Benjamin L. M. Smith "in token of the appreciation of his long and faithful service as Musical Director of the Lodge," as previously mentioned. Rt. Wor. Brother Johnson was then called on by the Worshipful Master and responded with a very interesting address. If the writer has been correctly informed, it was on this occasion that some of the Brethren who had previously worn Commandery charms and Shrine pins with a considerable amount of conscious pride, were somewhat shocked when Rt. Wor. Brother Johnson said, in substance, that although there were many other degrees in Masonry besides the first three, they were supplementary thereto rather than higher, for there was no degree higher than that of Master Mason.
On October 14, 1921, the fortieth anniversary of the Lodge was observed by a "Ladies' Night" with a banquet, entertainment, and speaking in Odd Fellows' Hall. On this occasion a history of the Lodge was read by Wor. Harmon O. Nelson.
Preparations were made and arrangements completed to receive and entertain Most Worshipful Arthur D. Prince, Grand Master, and other Grand Lodge Officers in our Lodge room Tuesday evening, November 29, 1921, when the Grand Officers were to be the guests of Rt. Wor. Merton L. Griswold, D. D. G. M. for the 22nd District, and the several Lodges of the District; but the affair had to be called off on account of a severe ice storm which started Sunday, the 27th, and completely paralyzed communication with the outside world. Northbridge and neighboring towns were several days entirely without trolley-cars, electric lights, or telephones. Roads were rendered impassable by a tangled mass of fallen trees, poles, and wires. And it was with great difficulty that a messenger got through by train to Boston to acquaint the Grand Officers with the fact that even if they could reach Whitins station by train, it would be impossible for them to proceed thence to our Lodge-room. The writer, who happened to be chairman of the committee in charge, well remembers the difficulties that confronted Rt. Wor. Brother Griswold and himself in straightening out this affair after it had been found impossible to carry it through as planned; especially when we refunded the money received from the sale of tickets, and deducted thirty-nine cents from the purchase price of each ticket to cover expenses incurred.
During its fifty years of activity, Granite Lodge has been ably served by the following Masters:
- Rt. Wor. Loammi Baker Carr, Master, 1881, 1882, and 1883; District Deputy Grand Master for the 19th Masonic District in 1895.
- Wor. Charles Zeri Bacheler, Master, 1884.
- Wor. Joshua Tucker Carter, Master, 188") and 1890.
- Wor. George Franklin Searles, Master 1886; Chaplain Nov. 1886 to Oct, 1889. He was also Ex. High Priest of St. Elmo Royal Arch Chapter in 1901, and Worthy Patron of Dekamus Chapter No. 20, O. E. S., in 1887, 1888, and 1889.
- Wor. Charles Henry Harriman, Master, 1887.
- Wor. Ireneas Hezekiah Low, Master, 1888 and 1889; Chaplain 1891; Treasurer, 1892, 1893, and 1894.
- Wor. Luther Martin Smith, Master, 1891; oldest living Past Master, 1930.
- Wor. John Gunn, Master, 1892 and 1893; Chaplain 1895 to 1898; Ex. High Priest of St. Elmo Royal Arch Chapter, 1902 and 1903.
- Wor. Walter Wiiitin Dudlev, Master, 1894 and 1895; Ex. High Priest of St. Elmo Royal Arch Chapter, 1897 and 1898.
- Wor. Frank Gilmore Foster, Master, 1896.
- Wor. William John Johnston, Master, 1897 and 1898.
- Wor. Henry Arthur Owen, Master, 1899 and 1900; Ex. High Priest of St. Elmo Royal Arch Chapter, 1899 and 1900.
- Wor. William Henry Dixon, Master, 1901 and 1902; Trustee from 1919 to 1922, and from 1927 to date; Ex. High Priest of St. Elmo Royal Arch Chapter, 1905 and 1906; Treasurer of the Lodge, 1923 to 1926 inclusive.
- Rt. Wor. Clifford Bowen Arnold, Master, 1903 and 1904; D. D. G. M. for the 19th Masonic District, 1905 and 1906; Ex. High Priest of St. Elmo Royal Arch Chapter, 1904. He was appointed Rt. Ex. District Deputy Grand High Priest for the 4th Capitular District in December, 1909, but resigned from this office in September, 1910, before his term of office had expired.
- Wor. Frank Emerson Bates, Master, 1905 and 1906; Ex. High Priest of St. Elmo Royal Arch Chapter. 1910 and 1911; Worthy Patron of Dekamus Chapter No. 20, O. E. S., 1903.
- Wor. Albert Kennedy Pratt, Master, 1907 and 1908; Worthy Patron of Dekamus Chapter No. 20, O. E. S., 1906 and 1907.
- Wor. William James Willis, Master, 1909 and 1910; Ex. High Priest of St. Elmo Royal Arch Chapter, 1915.
- Rt. Wor. Artie Meyer Meader, Master, 1911 and 1912; Trustee from October 20, 1915 to date; D. D. G. M. for the 22nd Masonic District, 1916 and 1917; Ex. High Priest of St. Elmo Royal Arch Chapter, 1924 and 1925; Worthy Patron of Dekamus Chapter No. 20, O. E. S., 1913, 1914, 1915, and 1929. He was especially favored by the Supreme Architect of the Universe in having the pleasure and the privilege of raising his son, Raymon Francis Meader, to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason on January 5, 1921, and of installing him as Master of this Lodge November 12,1929, being the only Master of Granite Lodge to have been so favored.
- Wor. Harmon Oscar Nelson, Master, 1913 and 1914; Trustee, Oct. 24, 1917, to date.
- Wor. Albert Leonard Merrill, Master, 1915 and 1916.
- Wor. Robert Gilmore McKaig, Master, 1917 and 1918; Musical Director, Oct. 8, 1921, to date, and Associate Member of the Board of Masonic Relief from October 23, 1923, to date.
- Wor. Robert Leland Metcalp, Master, 1919 and 1920; Associate Member of Board of Masonic Relief, 1923.
- Rt. Wor. Amos Earle Whipple, Master, 1921 and 1922; D. D. G. M. for the 22nd Masonic District, 1924 and 1925.
- Wor. Wesley Churchill Webster, Master, 1923; Worthy Patron of Dekamus Chapter No. 20, 0. E. S., 1930.
- Wor. Arthur Sylvester Richardson, Master, 1924; Secretary, Dec. 10, 1924 to Nov. 13, 1928; Ex. High Priest of St. Elmo Royal Arch Chapter, 1926; Worthy Patron of Dekamus Chapter No. 20, O. E. S., 1925; Illustrious Master of Hiram Council, R. & S. M., Worcester, 1929; Rt. Ex. District Deputy Grand High Priest for the 4th Capitular District, 1930. On the 26th of April, 1927, he had the pleasure of raising his son, Sylvester Goddard Richardson ; being the second Master of Granite Lodge to enjoy the privilege of raising his own son.
- Wor. Herbert Henman Sanders, Master, 1925; Ex. High Priest of St. Elmo Royal Arch Chapter, 1927.
- Wor. Albin William Nelson, Master, 1926, brother of Harmon 0. Nelson who was Master in 1913 and 1914; Secretary, 1929 and 1930.
- "Wor. William Bigelow Appleton, Master, 1927.
- Wor. Frank Arthur Bigelow, Master, 1928.
- Wor. Lerov Augustus Rollins, Master, 1929; Treasurer, 1930.
- Wor. Raymon Francis Meader, Master, 1930; under whose able direction plans for this celebration of our fiftieth anniversary have been perfected.
That great historian, Edward Gibbon, has said that "Man is able to construct monuments far more enduring than the span of his own existence, but in the boundless annals of time his life and his labors are, alike, as but a fleeting moment. Granite Lodge stands as a monument to its founders; a monument which, from its inception, has slowly but steadily increased in size and strength; directing the way to Friendship, Morality, and Brotherly Love; a stimulus and an inspiration to its members to lead lives characterized by Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice; and an unfailing source of comfort and relief to the afflicted and distressed.
At the present time, after fifty years of service, Granite Lodge is sound in membership, strong financially, and secure in its ability to continue to be a powerful influence in the community toward the realization of those high ideals set forth in the teachings of Masonry. But in the boundless annals of time," and even compared to the age of many of our older Lodges, fifty years is "but a fleeting moment" and it remains for us and for those who shall come after us to determine whether or not, by continued effort, hearty co-operation, and steadfastness of purpose, Granite Lodge shall continue to be a creditable monument to its founders on down into the ages, "until time shall be no more."
75TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, NOVEMBER 1955
From Proceedings, Page 1955-271:
By Worshipful Peter Hackett.
The Lodge celebrated its Fiftieth Anniversary November, 1930, at which time a paper was written and read by Bro. Arthur S. Richardson covering the history of the Lodge for its first fifty years. The present paper treats principally the period from 1930 to November 11, 1955.
In a strict search of the archives and records, and in and about the Lodge generally for something that might make a suitable exhibit for this memorable occasion, I could find nothing, absolutely nothing, of a mineral or metallic substance. I did find, however, many items in the records which, in a symbolic sense, might well be considered as memorial stones, or landmarks, along the way of our seventy-five year travel. They might also be considered as the rough and smooth ashlars, which taken together, have gone into the building of this fine temple which we are pleased and proud to call Granite Lodge.
At this point I should like to say thanks to Brothers Leroy A. Rollins and Myron B. Chace for their ready assistance in gathering together the statistical information which follows in due place.
The records of Granite Lodge are, I am pleased to say, excellent, well written, accurate and well preserved, for which our thanks are due the faithful secretaries who wrote them. From the founding of the Lodge in 1880 to the present day, there have been eleven secretaries as follows:
- David S. Bostwick, Oct. 30,1880 to Oct. 31,1887— 7 years
- Oscar L. Owen, Nov. 30, 1887 to Nov. 12,1902 — 15 years
- Newell W. Wood, Nov. 30, 1902 to Nov. 1903 — 1 year
- John Farrand, Nov. 1903 to Dec. 10,1924 — 21 years
- Arthur S. Richardson, Dec. 10, 1924 to Nov. 13, 1928 — 4 years
- Albin W. Nelson, Nov. 13, 1928 to Nov. 11, 1930 — 2 years
- Leroy A. Rollins, Nov. 11, 1930 to Nov. 13, 1934— 4 years
- Raymon F. Meader, Nov. 13, 1934 to Nov. 1943 — 9 years
- Alvin Spencer, Nov. 1943 to Oct. 1945— 2 years
- W. Edgar Haworth, Oct. 1945 to Oct. 11, 1955 — 10 years
- Myron B. Chace, Oct. 11, 1955
Another faithful officer in any Lodge is the Tyler. Since 1880 there have been nine of them and they are as follows:
- John Shippee, Nov. 15, 1880 to Nov. 1, 1882 - 2 years
- Charles W. Holt, Nov. 1, 1882 to Nov. 26, 1884 - 2 years
- Robert C. Conant, Nov. 26, 1884 to Nov. 13, 1895 - 11 years
- Clifford B. Arnold, Nov. 13, 1895 to Nov. 18, 1896 - 1 year
- Bertram R. Sweet, Nov. 18,1896 to Dec. 7, 1898 - 2 years
- Lewis C. Fletcher, Dec. 7,1898 to Nov. 11, 1914 - 16 years
- Henry J. Todd, Nov. 11, 1914 to Oct., 1948 - 34 years
- John Lodder, Oct. 1948 to Oct. 1954 - 6 years
- Elmer F. Benton, Oct. 1954
Another group of Brethren who, in a special way, brought honor to our Lodge were those who answered the call to the colors for World War II. The Honor Roll consisting of sixteen names is as follows:
- Clarence E. Aldrich
- Arthur R. Broadhurst
- John W. Lasell
- William L. Baird
- Wilfred C. Harriman
- Arthur W. Litke
- Edward C. Thomas
- William H. Hoch
- Albert L. Ames
- Richard J. Cunningham
- Frank. B. Lightbown
- John Bloem
- Harold A. Johnston
- William W. Smith
- John P. Walsted
- Sidney R. Buma
PAST DISTRICT DEPUTY GRAND MASTERS
Since 1930 three members of Granite Lodge brought distinction and honor, not only to themselves, but to Granite Lodge as well, by serving the district as District Deputy Grand Masters. They are as follows:
- R. W. Leroy A. Rollins, Dec. 1930 to Dec. 1932
- R. W. Raymon F. Meader, Dec. 1937 to Dec. 1939
- R. W. Robert C Walker, Dec. 1948 to Dec. 1950
The honored list of Past Masters from 1880 to the present day are as follows:
- Loammi B. Carr, 1881-2-3 †
- Charles Z. Bacheler, 1884 †
- JoshuaT.Carter, 1885 & 1890 †
- George F. Searles, 1886 †
- Charles H. Harriman, 1887 †
- Ireaneus H. Low, 1888-89 †
- Luther M. Smith, 1891 †
- John Gunn, 1892-3 †
- Walter W. Dudley, 1894-5 †
- Frank G. Foster, 1896 †
- William J. Johnston, 1897-8 †
- Henry A. Owen, 1889-1900 †
- William H. Dixon, 1901-02 †
- Clifford B. Arnold, 1903-04 †
- Frank E. Bates, 1905-06 †
- Albert K. Pratt, 1907-08 †
- William J. Willis, 1909-10 †
- Artie M. Meader, 1911-12 †
- Harmon O. Nelson, 1913-14 †
- Albert L. Merrill, 1915-16 †
- Robert G. McKaig, 1917-18
- Robert L. Metcalf, 1919-20 †
- Amos E. Whipple, 1921-22 †
- Wesley C. Webster, 1923
- Arthur S. Richardson, 1924 †
- Herbert H. Sanders, 1925 †
- Albin W. Nelson, 1926
- William B. Appleton, 1927
- F. Arthur Bigelow, 1928
- Le.roy A. Rollins, 1929
- Raymon F. Meader, 1930
- George F. Hanna, 1931
- Thompson Boyd, 1932 †
- Robert F. Keeler, 1933 †
- Arthur I. Fullerton, 1934
- Alvin Spencer, 1935 †
- C. Leon Houghton, 1936
- Alfred Sutcliffe, 1937
- Wilfred C. Harriman, 1938
- Joseph H. Bragdon, 1939
- William E. Haworth, 1940
- Albert Clarke, 1941 †
- Maurice G. Terrill, 1942
- Richard G. Cunningham, 1943
- Herman Buma, 1944
- Robert C. Walker, 1945
- Lloyd E. Flint, 1946 †
- John E. Cosgrove, 1947
- Howard G. Wilbur, 1948
- Elmer F. Benton, 1949
- Kenneth W. Crossman, 1950
- William Crossland, 1951 †
- John Bloem, 1952
- Myron B. Chace, 1953
- Sidney R. Buma, 1954
- Howard E. Cook, 1955
Veteran's Medal Members who have been awarded the Veteran's Medal are as follows:
- Benjam E. Bates †
- Robert Clarke, Sr. †
- Robert M. Goodnow
- Edward Jennings
- Fred Mattheman
- John O. Nutter †
- E. Kent Swift
- Paul Whitin
The oldest member in point of age is Bro. William L. Munt, born 1868. He will receive his Veteran's Medal this coming January.
The oldest member in point of years' membership in the Lodge is Bro. Robert M. Goodnow (long resident of Hopedale). He signed the by-laws March 20, 1900.
Yearly Membership from 1930 to 1955 The following list gives a good quick picture of the membership status of the Lodge for the past twenty-five years. In view of the vast social changes which have come about during this period, the membership has remained remarkably even, much more so than I had anticipated. In 1930 the number stood at 305 and at August 31, 1955, it was 293, a negligible decrease of twelve members in twenty-five years.
- 1930: 305
- 1931: 300 Increase: 1 Decrease: 6
- 1932: 307 Increase: 10 Decrease: 3
- 1933: 298 Increase: 2 Decrease: 11
- 1934: 290 Increase: 2 Decrease: 10
- 1935: 285 Increase: 4 Decrease: 9
- 1936: 285 Increase: 7 Decrease: 7
- 1937: 286 Increase: 8 Decrease: 7
- 1938: 278 Increase: 2 Decrease: 10
- 1939: 274 Increase: 4 Decrease: 8
- 1940: 265 Increase: 3 Decrease: 12
- 1941: 258 Increase: 4 Decrease: 11
- 1942: 261 Increase: 9 Decrease: 6
- 1943: 258 Increase: 7 Decrease: 10
- 1944: 264 Increase: 12 Decrease: 6
- 1945: 266 Increase: 9 Decrease: 7
- 1946: 269 Increase: 8 Decrease: 5
- 1947: 270 Increase: 7 Decrease: 6
- 1948: 277 Increase: 12 Decrease: 5
- 1949: 285 Increase: 17 Decrease: 9
- 1950: 298 Increase: 18 Decrease: 5
- 1951: 305 Increase: 14 Decrease: 7
- 1952: 302 Increase: 6 Decrease: 13
- 1953: 297 Increase: 8 Decrease: 13
- 1954: 300 Increase: 11 Decrease: 8
- 1955; 293 Increase: 10 Decrease: 17
THE MINUTES OF THE LODGE
In scanning the records of the past twenty-five years, I found little of unusual interest that might be singled out for this history. We are a little too close to the present to get the right historic perspective. Then too, Freemasonry is not particularly noted for revealing its private affairs, especially in its records. Since the quarter century which we have just passed through had its beginnings in the depression years of the thirties, I was somewhat surprised to find no reference to the depression.
Not too long after the depression came the war years of World War II. The first reference to the War appeared under date of September 8, 1942, when the Lodge voted to remit the dues of any member serving with the Armed Forces of the United States during the present World War.
A very recent minute is of especial interest at this time. It refers to a letter dated October 29, 1955, from one Allan C. Maclntyre, grandson of Loammi B. Carr, first Master of Granite Lodge. The letter goes on to say that the writer, together with his brother Arthur, and his nephew Morris Maclntyre, were presenting to the Lodge the Past Master's Jewel, Apron and Traveling Card of the late Wor. Bro. Carr. This item concludes what I believe to be a fair cross section of the Lodge statistics. I believe, however, a history of this kind, even though brief, calls for some comment.
The quarter century we have just passed through has been a very critical one, critical for the whole world, to say nothing of Granite Lodge. It started off with the depression years of the 1930's, depression not only in business, but in general morale as well. It was a period of gloom and moral despair and has probably affected our social life and standards far more than we then realized it would. Out of it came the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal, the re-activation of labor unions, and Social Security. These events and programs have made marked changes in our political and social lives. Fraternal orders, many of which combined sick benefits and insurance, lost much of their reason for being and consequently suffered a decline from which there is little hope of recovery. Social life is changing fast. New organizations are taking the place of the old. We hear more of the Kiwanis, Rotarians, Lions Clubs and the like. The P.T.A. (Parent-Teacher Association) and many civic organizations, including labor unions, are comparatively new and reflect the trends of our changing social order. Freemasonry you will remind me is not in the same category as these newer groups, nor the older groups either. True, I agree. But it is true only in a limited sense. Freemasonry is not invulnerable to the changing social order. If it tries to compete socially with other groups, its position can deteriorate. It is not a social order. It was never intended to be such. Basically its mission is to build character and if it stands by that mission, it will be able to withstand all the inclemencies and vicissitudes of the fast changing political, economic and social climate that is sweeping over our Western civilization.
After the depression came World War II with its tremendous impetus and acceleration to the changes just referred to. To add emphasis to what I have said, I take pleasure in quoting from an address made by no less a person than our beloved and most highly respected Melvin M. Johnson, Senior Past Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, at the Conference of Grand Masters, Washington, D. C, February 24, 1942. Said he, "The mission of Freemasonry is to build character in men and inspire their joining in the worship of a common God, to teach mankind that its only hope for the preservation and advance of civilization is to rebuild our crushed and bleeding world upon that which still remains untried as the basis of a state — the power of love."
Before bringing this brief history to a close, I feel compelled to offer another, but most different kind of, quotation. Not that I believe it, but rather because it is certainly provocative and probably indicates a trend in modern thought. I refer to the book, Gentlemen Talk of Peace by William B. Ziff, published in 1944. From it I quote, "The phrases Freedom, Democracy, Fraternity, Equality, are fading into empty words robbed of the human will and experience which gave them vitality. Today fhese ideas have lost their inward meaning. They are no longer stalwart principles throbbing with life, part of the essential nature of social existence, and seem to bear no real relation to the problems posed by modern industrial concentration and sociological complexity."
In closing, as I began, may I remind you of the minerals and metals which could not be found. The reference is purely symbolical, but here, as elsewhere in symbolism, there are hidden truths and meanings which often go unnoticed and which constitute something of a challenge to our Masonic training in mysticism. "Minerals and metals" is the Masonic way of saying "Materialism," and since our Masonic forefathers were strongly opposed to materialism, they barred it from their ceremonies. To carry the allegory a little further with respect to my search in and about the temple, actually I was pleased to find nothing of a mineral or metallic substance for I then knew that Granite Lodge was performing its labors as skilled Craftsmen true to tradition. This became especially evident when, as my search continued, I did find something, something of tremendous value. I found the working tools of the Entered Apprentice, the P'ellow Craft and the Master Mason, and in the center of them all I found the altar around which the Masonic system revolves. And in them all, taken together, were symbolized Masonry's greatest pre-occupation — Character Building, the great opposite to materialism.
In this character building of the Speculative Mason, as against the cathedral building of the Operative Mason, lies the secret of Freemasonry, the secret of its strength, the secret that will insure its survival against the political and social changes of the mechanized world we now live in, to which Mr. Ziff refers. I may be all wrong, I could be all wrong, but I don't think I am when I say that despite the views of men like Mr. Ziff, the world will always need men of good character, men of high principle, men of religion, men believing in true charity and benevolence. This need becomes greater rather than less, if men are not to become slaves to the push buttons of automation.
We may rest assured then that since there will always be a need for free men of good report and well recommended, there will always be a need for Freemasonry with its peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.
And since there will always be a need for Freemasonry, there will always be a need for our Lodges. Granite Lodge of Whitinsville then can take pride and joy, not only in the knowledge that it now celebrates its seventy-fifth anniversary, its diamond jubilee, but also in the further knowledge that it can continue with full confidence, for all time to come, in its noble and glorious work of raising up men, dedicated and fitted by solemn obligation, to give point and meaning to the words of Robert Burns, that, "Its coming yet for a 'that that man to man the world o'er will brethers be for a'that."
GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- Clifford B. Arnold, DDGM, District 19 (Southbridge), 1905, 1906; SN
- Loammi B. Carr, DDGM, District 19 (Southbridge), 1895; SN
- Myron B. Chace, DDGM, District 20 (Blackstone), 1961, 1962; N
- Artie M. Meader, DDGM, District 22 (Blackstone), 1916, 1917; SN
- Leroy A. Rollins, DDGM, District 20 (Blackstone), 1931, 1932; SN
- Raymon F. Meader, DDGM, District 20 (Blackstone), 1937, 1938; N
- Robert C. Walker, DDGM, District 20 (Blackstone), 1949, 1950; N
- Craig S. Wallace, DDGM, District 20 (Blackstone), 1995, 1996; N
- Amos E. Whipple, DDGM, District 22 (Blackstone), 1924, 1925; Memorial
- Ralph B. Wood, DDGM, District 20 (Blackstone), 1973, 1974; N
- Leprelet Logee, Memorial