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From Proceedings, Page 1931-77:

Brother Burleigh was born in Chelsea March 1, 1862, and died in Malden May 6, 1931. At a very early age he entered the service of the American Bell Telephone Company, which was installing the first exchange in Malden. Fascinated by the new developments in the use of electricity, he devoted himself to the study and practice of electrical engineering and advanced in his profession until he became New England manager of the Central Station Department of the General Electric Company, holding that position until his recent retirement from active business.

During the war with Spain he was in command of the technical division of the Volunteer Electric Corps, having charge of the mining of Boston harbor.

Brother Burleigh became a member of Star of Bethlehem Lodge in 1890 and was its Master in 1897 and 1898. He was a Charter member of The Lodge of Stirling and was its Master while under Dispensation and the first Master under Charter, serving in 1910 and 1911. He was District Deputy for the Seventh Masonic District in 1915 and 1916 by appointment of M.W. Melvin M. Johnson. In 1923 he served as Deputy Grand Master by appointment of M.W. Dudley H. Ferrell.

He was a member of Shekinah Chapter, Naphtali Council, Beauseant Commandery, and the four Scottish Rite Bodies in Boston. He was State Chairman for the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association in 1920 to 1923, inclusive, and had charge of collecting the contributions to the Association in Massachusetts until the basis of contribution was changed in 1930. He was State Chairman for the Masonic Service Association of the United States in 1922 and 1923.

Brother Burleigh found in Masonry a field for the gratification of the great desire of his life - to be useful to his fellow men. As another exercise of this quality, he headed a committee for the industrial placement of demobilized soldiers after the World War and was remarkably successful in this work.

He was a member of a large number of scientific, professional, philanthropic, and social organizations, in several of which he was conspicuously useful.

Always genial and sympathetic, never too busy to lend a hand, never deaf to the call to service, he was one of the best loved Masons in our jurisdiction.

His widow and son survive him.


From New England Craftsman, Vol. XXVI, No. 8, May 1931, Page 202:

Charles B. Burleigh, for 40 years a leading electrical engineer, and one of tin- best known Masons in New England, died at 1:40 A. M., May 6, at his home, 262 Summer Street, Malden, Mass.. at the age of 69. He was a native of Chelsea, and until his retirement last September had served the General Electric Company and its predecessor in many capacities for 46 years.

During the Spanish war he was in command of the technical division of the volunteer electric corps, having charge of the mining of Boston harbor. At the end of the world war he conducted a committee for re-employment of war veterans.

He was a member of the Engineers' Club, Engineers' Blue Room Club, Kernwood Club of Maiden, National Association of Stationery Engineers. American Institute of Electrical Engineers. National Association of Cotton Manufacturers. Charitable Mechanics Association of Boston. New England Historical Genealogical Association Telephone Pioneers of America and New England Association of Commercial Engineers. He was a past master of two Masonic lodges, Star of Bethlehem of Chelsea, and Lodge of Sterling Malden, past president Past Masters' Association of the Third Masonic District, Shekinah chapter, Napthali council of Chelsea. Beauseant commanderv of Maiden, and all the Scottish bodies.


From Proceedings, Page 1932-28:

Death drew her restful curtains round his bed;
And though we call, he will not wake again.
Nor would we wish to wake him if we might;
For he has seen the Unseen face to face.

His work on earth is finished. Who would dare
To call him down again from his high place.
And yet, Oh friends, it is such men as he
That make the earth seem empty when they leave.

Yet not empty, " the sweet remembrance of his virtues shall last" - a happiness of thought in the companionship of which we who knew him will ever find an inspiration.

From boyhood, he found life very real. It was a matter of constant application in order to establish those personal adjustments that would enable him to make a living. And the record of his business affiliations reveals his skill in achieving success. In the various positions which he filled in the years which brought him to the important place he held, until just before his going from us, he displayed an application and an ability, a sense of responsibility and a measure of vision which warranted the confidence imposed in him by his associates and were the explanation of why and how he advanced from year to year to places of greater trust.

In his particular field of endeavor, no one ever more truly earned for himself the respect of his fellow workers than Charlie Burleigh. But life to him was not a matter merely of earning a living, there was a finer substance to be discovered than material stuff, a substance which, when rightly used, produced the immaterial but imperishable riches of satisfaction, contentment happiness. Life to him was a happy, daring adventure in service. We will never think of him and never speak of him without the picture coming before us of this man going out of his way to help his fellow men.

In the knowledge of men there are recorded only a few of the many deeds of kindness he performed. The company of those whose way was made a little smoother by his effort, whose spirits were lifted by his understanding and encouragement, is beyond our ability to number. And we like to think that this genius for unselfishness, this natural skill in friendliness, were somewhat cultivated by his association with the teachings of Masonry.

From the time he was raised in Star of Bethlehem Lodge in 1890, the idealism of our institution was to him a compelling power. He constantly sought its reality and submitted his own ideas and desires to its gentle persuasion. Thus he earned for himself the Mastership of his Lodge and when he was appointed Deputy Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts in 1923, his brethren rejoiced in his attainment of this high position; for the implications of his honorable title were frilly matched by the honorable reality of his character.

We delight to believe that he has gone on to greater tasks and we have joy in the remembrance that he once walked with us here.

Dudley H. Ferrell
Melvin M. Johnson
Lauren L. McMaster



From New England Craftsman, Vol. XXII, No. 6, April 1927, Page 440:

Just What Is Freemasonry

If the above inquiry were made either of an outsider or of a member if the fraternity, there is little doubt bat the reply would be that it is a secret society.

Webster tells us that a secret society is one which endeavors to maintain the utmost secrecy regarding its membership, objects, methods and place of meeting.

Freemasonry qualifies under none of the foregoing specifications, for no effort is made to conceal its membership; its objects are open to the world as being educational and charitable, and equally public are its methods of place of meeting.

The only secrecy attributable to freemasonry is that part of its method of so teaching its members as to enable them to identify one another. We may, therefore, state without fear of contradiction that Freemasonry is not a secret society.

Freemasonry is a fraternity, and this Webster defines as a brotherhood. Brotherhood is the acknowledgment of common parentage, and is credited as being the closest bond of mankind.

In further substantiation of the fact that Freemasonry is not a secret society, let us discuss its teaching to the extent of rehearsing a few of the definitions which have been promulgated.

The prime object of Freemasonry is to teach the member the desirability of, and offer him the opportunity for, so improving his character that it may merit the emulation of all with whom he may be brought in Bntact: therefore,

Freemasonry Is Character Architecture.

Freemasonry has been defined as designed to teach its members to view the errors of mankind with compassion and to strive, by the purity of their conduct to demonstrate the superior excellence of its tenets.

Its teachers strive to impress upon its members that Freemasonry is that common level upon which all men of every country, sect, and opinion are privileged to meet; the rich and poor, high and low, who as created by One Almighty Parent are to aid, support and protect each other and to be as solicitous for the comfort of others as for their own.

Freemasonry has also been defined as "A beautiful system of morals veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols." This is pleasing to the ear, but it in no way defines Freemasonry. It is a beautiful system of morals, the teaching of which is veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols, but so thickly veiled that but few have the persistence, if they do possess the mentality, to penetrate the veil.

Freemasonry has also been described as a "body of closely united men who, employing symbols borrowed principally from the mason's trade and from architecture, work for the welfare of mankind, striving morally to ennoble themselves and others and thereby bring about a universal league of mankind which they strive to exhibit even now on a small scale." This definition is an improvement, as it is more intelligible to the lay mind, and emphasizes one fact that is little appreciated either by the lay mind or by many of its devotees: that its benefits are intended to be inclusive and not exclusive, as its activities are designed to apply to all mankind, whether members or not.

In the opinion of the writer, the teachings which Freemasonry endeavors to inculcate are most clearly and concisely stated in the Bible (Matthew, 7th Chapter, 12th verse).

"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them."

Perhaps it might be well to insert the word "for" and transpose the language a bit. On this basis the writer would define Freemasonry as,

The Character Architecture of a brotherhood whose sole object is to teach its members that they may exemplify to the whole human facily the desirability of doing for and to others whatever they would wish others to do to and for them.

This latter definition covers every aspect of Masonic teaching. The onlv other instruction rendered is ritualistic and is designed to serve two specific purposes; first, to offer an unfailing means whereby one member may know another in the dark as well as at noonday; second, it is designed to create an atmosphere of benevolence, toleration and charity in which its meetings are conducted and offers an opportunity for the members to absorb the beneficial lessons from the precepts therein emphasized.


Freemasonry has been referred to by many and considered by some as a religious organization.

Taking Webster as an authority. Freemasonry is not religious, but is a monotheistic organization which he defines as a belief in but one God. the common Father of all men; and the teachings of Freemasonry are on the basis that the Holy Bible is His word.

Beyond these two facts Freemasonry makes no profession, and more than likely this is one of the prime reasons for its perpetuation over so long a period for, as has been wisely said, "principles unite while programs divide men."

Freemasonry neither recognizes, fosters, discourages, or antagonizes any religious sect or opinion, but provides a common ground on which all are privileged to meet and foregather in perfect harmony.


The writer stated at the inception of this article that Freemasonry was an educational and charitable organization, and having discussed its educational program, it would seem desirable to, as briefly as possible, discuss its charitable activities.

Most people think of charity onlv on a financial basis, while the writer can establish no legitimate Masonic connection between charity and finance, notwithstanding the fact that one of the definitions gives charity by Webster is "the giving of alms."

In the writer's opinion here is the dividing line between Freemasonry and other organizations, for the giving of alms by a Mason should be considered an insult as it cannot but help destroy the recipient's self-respect, for which reason Masonic charity for the relief of financial distress should be the placing of the distressed in a position to relieve the situation by his own efforts, thereby preserving his respect for himself.

Charity is synonymous with benevolence, which is defined as the "disposition to do good" or, any "act of kindness."

It is also closely allied to tolerance which is defined as "good will," "liberality of judgment" and "freedom from bigotry," recognizing every man's right to his own opinion and denying the right to force it on others.

So either tolerance or benevolence would really better describe Masonic Charity than would the word "Charity." notwithstanding the fact that Webster also defines charity and love as being synonymous.

In the writer's opinion love does not just express one's feelings for his fellowman. There is and always will be a difference between the feeling we have for our fellownien and the feeling we have for our Creator, our mother, wife or children, and there should be. The feeling may be just as strong, but it is, and must be different.

We worship, admire and respect our Creator; we love, admire and respect our family, and we enjoy, admire and respect our friends and their feelings. We would do anything that is humanly possible for them all. and derive pleasure in its accomplishment, but while the motive and gratification in each case would be equal it would, at the same time be different, hence the distinction. E The development of Masonic charity concerns itself with no man's belief other than his loyalty to the common parentage of all. On this basis its members are taught to extend their tolerant benevolence to mankind, regardless of nationality, religion or profession.

Freemasonry Is a Mission, Not a Profession,
Teaching Principles, and Not Programs.

A careful analysis of the foregoing may call to the mind of the reader that there is a vast difference in between and a member of the Masonic fraternity. Think it over.

Distinguished Brothers