JOSEPH C. DeNICOLA 1958-
Deputy Grand Master, 2014
From the Grand Lodge web site, December 2013:
Joseph Carl DeNicola of Hanover was installed Deputy Grand Master of Masons for 2014. The Deputy Grand Master is the second highest ranking officer of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, comprised of over 30,000 members in more than 230 lodges statewide.
Harvey J. Waugh, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts and the presiding officer in the state, handpicked DeNicola to serve as Deputy Grand Master. He will assist the Grand Master and preside over the Grand Lodge during his absence for the next year. He is also the Grand Master ex officio should the Grand Master not be able to complete his term. Waugh, of Lynnfield, was installed as the 88th Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts during the same ceremony.
DeNicola is a native of Hingham, MA. He graduated from Hingham High School in 1976 and attended Suffolk University, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in 1980 and his Masters of Business Administration in 1982.
DeNicola works for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management as First Vice President, a company he has been with since 2007. He previously spent 22 years with Legg Mason Wood Walker, Inc. as Portfolio Manager and First Vice President. He also serves the Hanover Town Republican Committee as its Treasurer.
Brother DeNicola began his Masonic career in 1979 when he joined Old Colony Lodge in Hingham. He served as the Lodge’s Worshipful Master, or presiding officer, from 2008 until 2010. A member of multiple Masonic lodges, DeNicola also belongs to Phoenix Lodge in Hanover and Macedonian Lodge in Hingham. He first served the Grand Lodge as Junior Grand Deacon in 2011. He has also served as a Trustee of the Masonic Education & Charity Trust and on the Audit Committee since 2011. In 2012 and 2013, he served as District Deputy Grand Master of the Eighteenth Masonic District.
Active in several Masonic organizations, DeNicola is a 32° Mason in the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite – Valley of Boston. He belongs to the York Rite’s Saint Stephen’s Royal Arch Chapter, Boston Council of Royal and Select Master Masons, and Saint Bernard Commandery #12. He also belongs to the Aleppo Shrine Temple in Wilmington.
FEAST OF ST. JOHN, DECEMBER 2013
From Proceedings, Page 2013-190:
Most Worshipful Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brothers, Right Worshipful Brothers, Worshipful Masters, Distinguished Brothers, my Brothers all.
Freemasonry has so many wonderful traditions; some going back to the building of the Temple itself! I’m am so honored to be part of one of those distinguished traditions here in the premiere jurisdiction of Massachusetts claiming now the mantle once held by Most Worshipful Brother Richard James Stewart, who then passed it to R. W. Brother Robert Jolly. No, not Deputy Grand Master; but the much more awesome title of President of the Grand Lodge Hair Club for Men.
Traditions are important in Masonry, such as maintaining our value structure while adapting to a changing new world for our members and prospective members to be. Our Grand Lodge has led the way in North America by taking the bold step of introducing our Craft to the general public under Most Worshipful Brother Jeffery Black Hodgdon’s watch when he pulled back some of the veils of perceived secrecy and invited Good Men to join with us though the ‘Square & Compasses Day’ program. Fueled by the success of Dan Brown’s best sellers and the movies like National Treasure, the “Square & Compasses Days’ introduced (or reintroduced) our Fraternity to those who fed off the Patriotic fever of the day, when 9/11 was still fresh in everyone’s mind. Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery… soon our adjoining Jurisdictions followed suit to where now the program has been adopted in many more states. This bold initiative reinvigorated our Lodges, bringing fine young men to leadership roles in the Fraternity. I know for a fact that many of the Brothers sitting at this Feast came to Freemasonry because of Most Worshipful Brother Hodgdon’s Open House Program.
Success breeds success; Most Worshipful Brother Roger William Pageau continued to build on the momentum started by his predecessor. Realizing that we were expanding our roles with raw new young officers; Brother Pageau realigned and expanded our education programs to provide guidance and help these Brothers develop as great Masons. The ‘new normal’ progression through a line might mean that a Brother could be seated in the Oriental Chair in just a few years! Enhanced opportunities for learning were essential to the Crafts success and Most Worshipful Brother Pageau through his Education and Training Departments and Membership Development Committee realigned and updated training to best suit our newer Brothers.
The New Wardens Workshop, ‘Beyond the Third Degree’ and an updated Master’s Path Program provided insight that would inspire men to seek ‘more light’.
Though we saw advancing numbers in our roles and enthusiastic young Brothers, it was clear that the business of Freemasonry had not received the attention that it deserved for some time. Most Worshipful Brother Richard James Stewart moved to take on that daunting task… it has been said many times by many men that we as new Masons, so indebted to our forefathers for all they had given to us; could not and should not continue to live off the fruit from the trees that others had planted. All of us here assembled owe it to those who came before; to leave this fraternity better off than we had found it. Brother Stewart charged his team to adapt our Fraternity to ‘live within its means’ and to better serve our constituents. Through his efforts; our fraternity is finally able to stand on its own financially with improvements still to come.
Change comes hard, feelings are hurt at times and many times you won’t know if you’re right until time itself provides the answer. Though our membership rolls had grown and our new Brothers had been given the opportunity for more light… the general demographics of Freemasonry would catch up with us as our older Brothers passed to the Eternal Lodge above at a rate greater than new men were joining. Dan Brown was not penning any new novels, the History Channel was only running shows about Brother George Washington after 10 PM and we had almost exhausted the low hanging fruit - those men whose interest is piqued in the Craft by hearing a radio spot from Brother Franklin.
From the moment I became Junior Warden of Old Colony Lodge through my tenure as District Deputy of the 18th Masonic District I have had the opportunity to observe Most Worshipful Brother Waugh’s three immediate predecessors take on the difficult challenges of this Fraternity. From stemming the rapid decline in membership, to enhancing the learning experience of our young officers to putting your Grand Lodge on sound financial footing, each Grand Master took the necessary action at their time to move us forward. I have no doubt that our newest Grand Master is up to the challenges that await him and that with him we will enjoy great success.
My comments thus far have been limited to that of the accomplishments of those primarily seated at this head table. For this Fraternity to continue to endure it is up to each Brother in this room to begin to identify your local challenges… adopt a plan to meet those challenges then measure your own success. Each Region, District and Lodge has unique issues that will be best addressed at the local level. Are you properly capitalized? Does your current line of officers have the ‘right stuff’? Are we welcoming the best and brightest to join our Lodge? Is your building sound and inviting? You certainly would never invite guests into your home if there were cobwebs on the chandeliers or paint peeling from the ceiling; so why would you bring guests into your lodge if it were less than welcoming? The answers to these questions and others cannot be answered here at this head table, but the answers do lie with all of you sitting out in these halls tonight. Our Grand Lodge will continue to provide the working tools for our craftsmen, but it is up to each of us to employ those tools as efficiently as possible.
The ‘Gift’ of Freemasonry once given can never be taken back. Should the experience be less than satisfying the recipient of our gift will be less inclined to share what we all love. A poor ‘First Impression’ will be a stain on our organization and leave us with a very unhappy candidate a ‘Rusty Brother’ or a demit in short order. The new Entered Apprentice is the most important member of the Craft. When our new Brother is so impressed with the words and the beauty that surrounds him; he reaches his hand out first, to ‘Thank You’ for initiating him into your Lodge. Do not underestimate this Brother… the return on the investment your making in him can be twofold. First; he spreads his enthusiasm among his friends outside our circle. Secondly; and just as importantly, his zeal will reinvigorate our Lodges and our officers who will continue to do their great work. Conversely never take the Candidate for granted… should our work with him be less than satisfying, he will share THAT experience with those outside cheating us of potentially wonderful new Brothers.
The Fraternity, it is said, may continue to get a little bit smaller before it gets better. Should you concur with that premise I would simply ask that you emphasize that it will get better. It will be better because of your efforts today and tomorrow. Do your best work all the time and your efforts will pay-off handsomely. The good news is that we are getting younger with each new Brother initiated so the demographics are shifting in our favor.
Brothers all; go out and plant a new fruit tree for others to enjoy in the years to come. A Grand Master of tomorrow will most probably be raised this year and we haven’t even met him yet. Make his and everyone’s first impression of Freemasonry the best it can be and then we will be guaranteed success for years to come.
Most Worshipful Brother Waugh; this Feast of St. John no doubt will be the pinnacle of my Masonic journey. I thank you so much for this incredible opportunity and the faith you have shown in me. On behalf of your entire line of officers, we pledge our fidelity to you and our Grand Lodge. May God bless and keep you and strengthen our fraternity around you.