- 1 MATTHEW JOHN WHITTALL LODGE
- 2 REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
MATTHEW JOHN WHITTALL LODGE
Chartered By: Herbert W. Dean
Charter Date: 03/13/1929 1929-47
Precedence Date: 06/12/1928
Current Status: Active
Need living PMs
- Albert R. Webb, 1928
- Frederick W. White, 1929; Mem
- Harold C. Martin, 1930
- Ernest F. Maynard, 1931; N
- E. Stanley Wright, 1932
- Harold E. Daniels, 1933
- Charles R. Webb, 1934
- Warren E. Buxton, 1935
- Tyler H. Day, 1936
- Harry O. Eaton, 1937
- Charles F. Woodward, 1938
- John W. N. Taylor, 1939
- Walter E. F. Estabrook, 1940
- Roger E. Holden, 1941; N
- Elroy B. Dean, 1942
- Leslie E. Clark, 1943
- George W. Woodburn, 1944
- Irving W. Schold, 1945
- Rolland E. Maynard, 1946
- Richard D. Duke, 1947
- Ralph E. Rawling, 1948
- Herbert G. Schold, 1949
- G. Merton Christiansen, 1950; N
- Paul A. Damstrom, 1951
- R. Lisle Marston, 1952
- Edward J. Snyder, 1953
- W. Ernest Stone, 1954
- Walter T. Carlson, 1955
- Robert A. Shaw, 1956
- A. Elmer Pihl, 1957
- George N. Gardner, 1958
- C. Cordingley Clark, 1959
- F. Raymond Anderson, 1960
- Claude A. Ide, 1961
- Michael P. Johnson, 1962
- Robert D. Brown, 1963
- Walter A. Scott, 1964
- Allen A. Cramer, 1965
- James W. Green, 1966
- John M. Shea, 1967
- Allen S. Peck, 1968
- Robert W. Comeau, 1969; PDDGM
- Donald L. Murray, 1970
- William Lowe, 1971
- Donald R. Gray, 1972
- Fred W. Jacobsen, 1973
- Paul P. Rexford, 1974
- Edward E. Holden, 1975
- Frederick H. Ricker, 1976, 1977
- Donald E. Benson, 1978
- Raymond J. Smith, 1989
- Milton E. Friars, 1990
- David C. Schnare, 1991
- Richard H. Fletcher, 1982, 1989
- Irving T. Nicoll, 1983
- Alden T. Sears, 1984
- Peter W. Johnson, 1985
- Norman E. Hendrickson, 1986
- James F. Buss, 1987
- Norman I. Hendrickson, 1988
- Harry A. Snyder, 1990
- Alfred E. Lesinski, 1991
- Vincent O. Stromberg, 1992
- Gerard S. Shelby, 1993, 1994
- William J. Rand, 1995
- Michael A. Pacheco, 1996, 1997
- Paul Michael Johnson, 1998
- Keith Allen Smith, 1999
- William J. Boyd, 2000
- Joseph G. Harkins, 2001, 2002
- Jay L. Krasner, 2003, 2004
- William F. Gibbs, II, 2005, 2006
- John T. Campbell, 2007
- H. Bradford White, Jr., 2008, 2009; DDGM
- Kyle E. Lindem, 2010-2012
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 1929 (H. Dean; Constitution of Lodge and installation; Special Communication)
- 1953 (Roy; 25th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 1978 (Maxwell; 50th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 1953 (25th Anniversary History, 1953-129; see below)
- 1978 (50th Anniversary History, 1978-62; see below)
25TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, MAY 1953
From Proceedings, Page 1953-129:
By Worshipful Merle E. Sturtevant.
It is fitting and appropriate, and in happy concurrence with ancient usages and customs to pause in our daily tasks and view in retrospect what has gone before. In this way we may take satisfaction for deeds well done and to some extent at least be guided along our future pathways.
Human intelligence universally conceives that somewhere, somehow, there is or was a beginning to everything. (It is written in the Book of Books, "In the beginning God created Heaven and Earth.") If we go on a journey anywhere, we start from some place. A new business is created. It has a beginning; so with Matthew John Whittall Lodge, A. F. & A. M. There was a beginning, and with this'we start on our way.
In a sense, the beginning of this Lodge is but a milestone, a marking post in the general progress of Masonry. But, for us here at this time, it sets up a sign post for all to see, testifying that hereby and hereon was organized in the year 1928, A.D., the Matthew John Whittall Lodge, A. F. & A. M.
To prepare a complete history from the written records of any group that has been in existence twenty-five years or more is a long and arduous task. The most interesting history we would find in the thoughts and experiences of the Lodge members. Here no attempt is made to present a complete record of all that has taken place in our Lodge, but rather we shall try to include in this brief paper a summary of some of the more outstanding and noteworthy events, hoping that at some time in the near future a much more detailed history may be prepared and deposited in the archives for safe-keeping.
Previous to June 5, 1928, when the petition was signed by over one hundred Masons living in Shrewsbury for a dispensation to form a Lodge here, much work was done by individual Masons towards this end. Brothers Ernest Maynard, Irving Sawtelle, Frederick White, Albert Webb, Lewis Everett, Ernest Larrabee, and Arthur Chapin were especially active. It may have been inevitable that in the due course of time a Masonic Lodge would have been established here, but that it had its beginnings when it did was certainly due in no small measure to the untiring interest and zeal with which Brother Ernest Maynard, with the help of Irving Sawtelle, prepared a list of the names and addresses of Masons then living in Shrewsbury. They started their work in 1924, and many conferences were held in a small room in the store then owned and managed by Brother Maynard in the so-called Chase Block on Main Street. As various Masons were talked with, it soon became evident that there was considerable interest in the project, and a meeting of a few of those especially and actively interested was held at the home of Frederick White on South Street in the early Fall of 1927. Those present at this meeting were Frederick W. White, Arthur B. Chapin, William Merrill Tuttle, Lewis W. Everett, Harold C. Martin, Albert R. Webb, Ernest F. Maynard and Ernest A. Larrabee. Frederick W. White was chosen Chairman of this committee.
Pros and cons of the feasibility of the establishment of a new Lodge in Shrewsbury were discussed at this and other meetings held later on. Two questions that seemed to require especial attention and discussion were:
- How many members were to be given the opportunity to become Charter Members? Decided that all known Masons in Shrewsbury be given an opportunity to join as Charter Members.
- What should be the Charter Membership fee? Decided that this should be $25.00.
During these early meetings the matter of choosing a suitable name for the Lodge was discussed. It seemed only natural on account of the most generous gift of Juniper Hall to the Masonic Fraternity for a hospital by Mrs. Matthew John Whittall that it would be most fitting that Brother Matthew John Whittall's name should be chosen to be the name of the Lodge. To make sure that this plan would be agreeable to all concerned, Brothers Arthur Chapin and Albert Webb were constituted a committee to confer with Mrs. Whittall. This committee reported that Mrs. Whittall was very much pleased with the plan. She asked what expenses there would be in the establishment of the Lodge and suggested that a list of such expenses be drawn up and presented to her.
As a matter of natural procedure, conferences were held as necessary with Most Worshipful Frank Leslie Simpson, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, and his advice was for the prospective new Lodge not to ask Mrs. Whittall for money at this time. Accordingly, it was decided to meet this expense, some $1,600.00 or $1,700.00 from our own treasury. Later on and beginning in January, 1933, our records show that Mrs. Whittall has given to our Lodge three gifts in money of $1,000.00 each and one additional gift of $500.00, this money to be used at the discretion of the Master and the Lodge.
On Tuesday, June 5, 1928, one hundred and five Masons of Shrewsbury and vicinity gathered in the vestry of the Congregational Church and there signed a petition for a dispensation to form a Lodge in Shrewsbury.
By permission and under a dispensation of Most Worshipful Frank Leslie Simpson, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, Right Worshipful Harry C. Midgley, District Deputy Grand Master of the Worcester 21st Masonic District, instituted Matthew John Whittall Lodge on Friday evening, July 20, 1928, in the Grecian Chamber of the Masonic Temple in Worcester. This dispensation provided that Brother Albert R. Webb be the first Master of the new Lodge, Brother Frederick W. White to be the first Senior Warden, and Brother Lewis W. Everett the first Junior Warden. The appointments of the Master of other officers were:
- Bro. Merle A. Sturtevant, Chaplain
- Wor. Ernest A. Larrabee, Marshal
- Wor. Harold C. Martin, Senior Deacon
- Bro. Ernest F. Maynard, Junior Deacon
- Bro. Edwin L. Smith, Senior Steward
- Bro. E. Stanley Wright, Junior Steward
- Bro. Charles F. Woodward, Inside Sentinel
- Bro. George H. Drinkwine, Tyler
Brother Clarence W. Warren was elected Secretary of the Lodge and Brother Carroll C. Smith, Treasurer. Also at this meeting Wor. Albert R. Webb, R. W. Frederick W. White,, Wor. Lewis W. Everett, Bro. Carroll C. Smith, and Bro. Clarence W. Warren were elected by the Lodge as members of a committee to draw up a set of by-laws to be submitted at the regular communication of the Lodge in September. Petitions for membership were received from Lewis Edward Gates, John Endicott, Elmer Julius Preston, and Harold E. Daniels. The first meeting closed in the fall with seventy-six members and sixty-five visitors present: so Matthew John Whittall Lodge was started on its way.
"There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at its flood, leads on to fame and fortune." Surely, the tide was right and our ship seems to have been launched in a most auspicious time and manner, for during the first year, thirteen new members were admitted, making the total membership at the end of the first year 118.
Some of the highlights of meetings that followed to the present time have been selected; many more could have easily been included; but time is much too short to do this.
Especially noteworthy are the arrangements that were made for a Bible to be used in our meetings. The Lodge did not own a Bible at first, and Wor. Albert R. Webb loaned to the Lodge his own family Bible, and this was used until the regular communication that was held on October 19, 1928, at which time, on behalf of Isaiah Thomas Lodge of Worcester, Wor. Harold C. Martin presented to Matthew John Whittall Lodge, U.D., a very beautiful Holy Bible to be placed upon the Altar and very fittingly expressed the sentiments of Isaiah Thomas Lodge, explaining that as Wor. Matthew John Whittall was their second Master, it was their privilege and honor to present this beautiful gift in loving memory of Wor. Bro. Whittall to the new Lodge in Shrewsbury, the home of Juniper Hall.
At this meeting also, Bro. Ernest H. Vaughn was called upon by the Master, and he gave a most glowing tribute to Matthew John Whittall. This address is printed in full in the booklet containing the by-laws of the Lodge.
At a special communication of the Lodge held in the Masonic quarters on December 6, 1929, officers were installed for the ensuing year by R .W. Henry H. Dyke and suite. The Lodge was further honored by the presence of Wor. and Rev. John C. Breaker, Grand Chaplain of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, and several past and present Masters of the neighboring Lodges. At this meeting, R. W. Otis C. White, Past Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge and a Charter Member of Matthew John Whittall Lodge, gave a most inspiring address, much too long to be included here except in part. The last paragraph reads:
You have established this new Lodge at the very threshold of a Masonic institution dedicated to a great benevolence, the relief of physical suffering. You have, most happily and appropriately, given your new Lodge the name of a Brother whose memory is cherished as a great-hearted Mason, whose accomplishments made possible our Masonic Hospital, Juniper Hall. You have founded in this busy community a Masonic Lodge consecrated to the tenets and principles of your profession as Masons. In so doing, you cannot be insensible to the consequences, for the attention of your fellow-townsmen will therefore be the most strongly focussed upon you, a constant reminder that you must assiduously "practice what you preach." Believing that you are fully cognizant of the added responsibility you have thus acquired as Masons, the Fraternity at large has full confidence in the future success of Matthew John Whittall Lodge.
On May 26, 1932, our records show that the Master and several members of the Fraternity gathered on the Juniper Hall Hospital grounds to dedicate an elm tree placed there on January 21, 1932, in memory of George Washington, and to be known as the George Washington Memorial Tree and so marked by a beautiful bronze tablet.
The meeting was opened by Wor. Ernest F. Maynard, Master, who requested Rev. John C. Breaker to ask the Divine Blessing and introduced Wor. Albert R. Webb, Chairman of this committee that consisted of all the Past Masters who were members of Matthew John Whittall Lodge. Wor. Bro. Webb spoke of the purpose of the meeting and introduced Most Worshipful Arthur D. Prince, the Relief Commissioner at that time, who responded with a most interesting address on Washington. The meeting was honored by the presence of Mrs. Gertrude Clark Whittall, R. W. Will A. Gray, District Deputy Grand Master for the Brookfield 21st Masonic District, his Marshal, Bro. Herbert E. Reed, R.W. Alfred E. Rankin, District Deputy Grand Master for the Worcester 22nd Masonic District, and his Marshal, Wor. Daniel N. Pickering.
At the close of the exercises, all present visited the Juniper Hall Hospital and viewed the picture of George Washington which had been given by Hon. Pehr G. Holmes, Member of Congress. This had been suitably framed and was hanging in the solarium.
On October 21, 1932, the 43rd regular and 4th annual communication of our Lodge was held in the Masonic quarters, Shrewsbury Club. Brother Matthew P. Whittall presented to Matthew John Whittall Lodge a very large picture of his father, the late R.W. Matthew John Whittall, in whose honor and memory this Lodge was named.
From the record of November 18, 1932, it is noted that on behalf of the Lodge, Wor. Brother Webb presented Wor. Ernest Maynard with a Past Master's jewel, and from the members of the Lodge, a Past Master's apron, the first such apron to be made under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. At the present time, it should be noted, that all Past Masters have now been presented with both jewels and aprons.
On January 19, 1934, the records show that Bro. Will Daniels presented to the Lodge an illuminated letter "G" and "All Seeing Eye." These were made by him personally.
In September, 1934, Wor. E. Stanley Wright presented to the Lodge an album of the Past Masters of Matthew John Whittall Lodge.
From the eighth annual report, October 16, 1936, we learn that Bro. Warren E. Buxton presented as a matter of record to the Lodge an account in detail of his duties as Master for the year just ended. This very clearly indicates the multiplicity of duties and responsibilities of the Master of our Lodge.
It is especially fitting and pleasing to note that one of our members, R.W. Ernest F. Maynard, was appointed by the Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, in 1938, to be the District Deputy Grand Master of the Worcester 22nd Masonic District.
Matthew John Whittall Lodge may justly be proud that one of its members in this way was appointed to receive this high and well-deserved honor. He was the first District Deputy Grand Master to be appointed from this Lodge.
On October 25, 1938, our new District Deputy Grand Master paid an official visit to Matthew John Whittall Lodge with his suite, consisting of Wor. Harold Daniels, Past Master of Matthew John Whittall Lodge and District Deputy Grand Marshal, and Wor. Eric Jacobson, Past Master of Olive Branch Lodge of Millbury and District Deputy Grand Secretary.
Brother Richard D. Duke first thought of a new altar for our Lodge when he drove by the Whittall mansion on Southbridge Street in Worcester, while it was being torn down. Bros. Ralph E. Rawling and Stanley J. Francis drove out to the mansion and selected various materials which appeared suitable for the project. These materials included sections of the pillars supporting the portico and choice pieces from the woodwork surrounding the large fireplace in the library. Bro. Stanley J. Francis, with help from Bros. Snyder and Duke, stripped many coats of paint from these sections and revealed sound pine and cypress pillars 14" in diameter built up from 18 segments each. The fireplace woodwork was found to be white wood. In August, 1946, Brother Francis started construction, endeavoring to complete a large but still portable altar with kneeling aprons. The altar and aprons were finished and upholstered in ample time to be used at the installation of officers at the Shrewsbury Congregational Church in October, 1946, when Bro. Rolland E. Maynard was installed as Master. Rev. Dr. Clarence E. Hellens dedicated the altar in the Lord's name at that time.
The center sections of the batons used by our Wardens and Marshal, also the handle section of the black gavel, were turned from black cherry wood obtained from a cherry tree on the Whittall Estate in Shrewsbury. The batons, baton racks, and gavel were also made by Brother Francis.
Our records show that we have had a steady increase in membership, until at the present time we have 320 active members.
The Lodge having in mind that sometime in the future it might be imperative to own a building for its meetings and other purposes, voted on October 10, 1947, that a committee of three be appointed by the Worshipful Master to draw up the necessary provisions to provide for a Building Fund. The committee so appointed consisted of Wor. Roger E. Holden and Brothers Chester W. Maynard and W. Ernest Stone. The articles approved appear under Article XVI of our by-laws.
Our meeting here tonight marks another noteworthy event, the first official visitation of a Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts to our Lodge here in Shrewsbury. We are indeed greatly honored by this visitation. In closing this brief reference to our deeds and accomplishments for the past quarter century, we find much to be proud of and much to aid us in a clearer perception of reasonable hopes for the future. May we be ever mindful in the years to come of our duties and responsibilities as Freemasons and of what we owe to ourselves, to God, and our fellow man.
50TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, MAY 1978
From Proceedings, Page 1978-62:
By Brother Everett W. Harrington.
(A detailed history of Matthew John Whittall Lodge for the period from 1928 to 1953 by Worshipful Merle A. Sturtevant may be found in the Proceedings of Grand Lodge for 1953, pages 148-156, inclusive).
A history. Where have we been in the last fifty years? What were our goals fifty years ago? Have they been achieved? Present day Freemasonry is classified as a fraternal organization developed from craft guilds dating back a few thousand years.
Today's goals in Masonry are to make the world a better place in which to live for all mankind. This is an enormous assignment. We try to reveal the high hidden human values in men and bring them forth. The benefits are received by the entire human race. Thus we have established the raw materials which can only produce an organization with humanitarian goals of charity and pure beneficence. Since our goals can only be realized by teamwork, we define ourselves as a fraternity, with help from Webster, the assembly of minds behind the teamwork which produces the beneficence enjoyed by humanity; all of this created by Friendship, Morality, and Brotherly Love.
The history of this Lodge may only be reassembled and rerecorded. It was made by the hundreds of Brethren whose untiring efforts made possible the continuance of the goals and ideals of men back in time to and before King Solomon's time. More intimately we are honoring with this document the efforts of men associated with Matthew John Whittall Lodge. Fifty years of minutes of meetings only briefly document the highlights which at the time seemed only "worthy of mention". This last phrase emphasizes the lack of importance we place on the history being made each day, such as the incident in Kentucky in February of 1809 when someone said, "Oh yes, Tom Lincoln had a son."
Our Brethren reported in the 25 year history that the task of reading records was too formidable and better history could be recorded from the living memories of the Brethren. Eleven brethren compiled those memories, little of which will be found in the minutes. At the time of this writing only three of that committee are still with us and only three of the 105 original petitioners are with us.
We learn from the hand written notes of Brother Charles F. Woodward and the 25 year history that men were in the habit of congregating, in the interest of friendship and brotherly love at Maynard's Store in the Chase Building on Main Street. They would talk over the events of the day, exchange yarns and on occasion play pitch or cribbage. This replaced the cracker-barrel conferences of the general store of a century before. On one of those occasions in late winter 1926, someone noted that the twelve present were all Lodge members very active in Worcester and neighboring town Lodges, as well as other associated Masonic bodies. That evening and for many weeks following, the subject of establishment of a Lodge was discussed. Included in these discussions was a survey of all Brethren living within the town. The jurisdictions at that time were town boundaries. A previous list had been started in 1924, a committee to organize was formed in 1927, also to consider the important subject of a regular meeting place. There being no King Solomon's Temple available in this town, a strict search was required for location and size. Shape must also be considered and economics of a non-profit fraternity. The name of Matthew John Whittall was selected partly to keep in permanent light the memory of a successful industrialist in whose mind the well being of his fellow citizens was always foremost. Mrs. Whittall was pleased with this and presented a gavel made from a stone of King Solomon's Temple with an olive wood handle. She also helped financially several times to give the Lodge a good start. The labors of the organizers bore fruit June 12, 1928 when a dispensation was granted. At last, Matthew John Whittall Lodge existed. On July 20th, the first action took place by the establishment of Matthew John Whittall Lodge, U.D. in the Grecian Chamber of the Masonic Temple, Ionic Avenue, Worcester. Three Past Masters and other officers were installed and the Lodge was well on its way to success. At the October regular meeting, Isaiah Thomas Lodge presented a Bible, prior to which Worshipful Albert Webb's family Bible had been used.
Thus you see, as a body, we have much to live up to in the character and mission exemplified by Matthew John Whittall and our Brethren of fifty years ago.
"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you?"
Just as every home should have a house to put it into, every established church should have a beautiful edifice as a house of God, our established Lodge should have a temple. Solomon's Temple with its magnificence of gold, stone and cedar existed in its splendor as a symbol of life for 400 years. Since its replacement by Zerubbabel could not equal it even with much stolen material returned, Masonry has ever since used Solomon's Temple as a reference edifice for a meeting place.
Our Brethren no doubt were asking, "Where shall we assemble?", when they began to compile a roster of Shrewsbury Masons even in 1924. It has been told that the meeting place question was foremost in the minds of the organizers. It was finally decided to rent suitable quarters from the Shrewsbury Men's Club on Main Street. This building was later offered for sale and purchased by the Knights of Columbus in 1964. Decisions were made at that time to relocate, and the auditorium at Fairlawn Methodist Church was contracted for our use. The subject of "our own building" was brought up many times during the early years, but due to the nation's low economy and war activity, nothing was done. Finally, early in 1947, it was formally entered into the By-Laws to establish a Building Committee and a definite plan to raise funds for a meeting place all our own.
In 1957, there was a Committee to look for quarters. By the year 1961, our philosophy had changed to discussions with neighboring Lodges for the purpose of establishing in some way a common meeting place. The year 1962 found our committees examining parcels of land and concerned over financing our own building. Grafton and Westboro had found buildings suited for their use. This resulted in a better plan in the end because it would have nearly been impossible to fit the Lodge, Order of Eastern Star, DeMolay and all other activities in one building. These are currently taking place in the three locations.
In April 1966, a bequest of our present site was accepted from the will of Brother Herbert Putnam and we were on our way to a new family of decisions. Committees were reformed with new impetus for funds for a definite purpose. After many legal details, specifications, etc., were worked out, January 1968 found us accepting a building contract for our present building. On December 20, 1968, our first meeting was held in the present temple.
We are grateful for all of the effort expended for the existence of our temple. This ranged from those who had only the strength of one stroke of a hammer, to those friends who have donated fixtures, artifacts, furniture, the many items in the kitchen, cleaning, polishing, painting, shoveling and incalculable other missions. We can be proud of the contribution our building has made to the community. We are thankful to all who have contributed financially, and due to general maintenance there will always be a need for funds. Thus we are proud to be a part of this building and the principle for which it stands.
The finest way to realize if, how, or when our accomplishments are or were achieved is to be a part of them. Thus all of you attending this fiftieth anniversary with its concert, dinner and dedication are now, whether you realize it or not, a part of Matthew John Whittall Lodge history. You are sharing with the God given duties of friendship and brotherly love the foundation upon which our success as a human race is based. Just look around and talk with one another and enjoy it; you only have to contribute half for full enjoyment. Freemasonry's achievements in these areas are never found in printed headlines or on billboards as proclamations, but realized in the hearts of people like you, the recipients. This celebration is a testimony of the success of our goals of fifty years ago. We are sharing the event with all of the world who wish to attend our concert, dedication, etc.
Within our organization our goals have been overwhelming. In our goal of "how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity", twenty-three visiting groups of Brethren have participated a total of seventy-four times in ritual honoring a close friend on becoming a Brother. Heald, Norton, and the Scottish Clan groups comprise over half of this number. We have exchanged participation in ritual with neighboring Lodges continually, even from Rhode Island and Connecticut and a few other states on request.
The first observance of Saint John's Sunday was noted to be in 1933 and has occurred annually. Our references to religion have been enhanced by a Bible from Isaiah Thomas Lodge and the beautiful altar made by the hands of Brother Stanley Francis from wood removed from the Whittall home on Southbridge Street.
The realization of the welcome mat offered by our membership is well documented in our statistics. Visiting members are always welcome from everywhere. Our statistics reveal that out of 757 meetings, visitors have comprised 26% of the total attendance from neighboring Lodges and states, plus Australia, England, Scotland, and Canada. One year this percentage reached 49%. During one unusual period of five consecutive meetings, there were no visitors. The Scottish Clan group drew the largest visitor count with 110 visitors from 42 Lodges and three other countries.
Our charitable acts have been realized by our Brethren in time of sickness need, and disaster, the 1938 hurricane and the 1953 tornado being the most famous. We have assisted in many civic needs and events as the years rolled by. The elm tree planted to commemorate George Washington's 200th birthday was dedicated forty-six years ago this week at Juniper Hall. This elm at this moment is alive and well at that location.
Other charitable acts have been noted in aid to hospitals and nursing homes and for the general well being of senior citizens. Our participation in the blood program adds life to those in need. We are grateful for the Brethren and the many other friends of the Lodge who have donated in our name. We still have a need for your blood.
Many of our Brethren have been honored by leadership positions in nearly every Masonic affiliated organization, with many at highest levels. Four have been honored by being the District Deputy Grand Master for the District. Right Worshipful Roger E. Holden was honored with the Joseph Warren Distinguished Service Medal for outstanding service. Worshipful George Gardner was honored by the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire with the General John Sullivan Medal. Thus we are honored and pleased to be associated with an organization with this type of success for fifty years. Now let us prepare ourselves for the great task lying before us; the next fifty years and more.
HIGHLIGHTS 1928 -1978
July 20, 1928. Matthew John Whittall Lodge was instituted in the Grecian Chamber, Masonic Temple, Worcester, Massachusetts by Harry C. Midgley, District Deputy Grand Master.
August 17, 1928. The first regular communication was held at the Shrewsbury Men's Club.
October 19, 1928. Isaiah Thomas Lodge presented a Bible for the altar with a tribute speech to Matthew John Whittall by Brother Ernest H. Vaughn.
Matthew John Whittall; A Tribute by a loyal friend on the occasion of a presentation by Isaiah Thomas Lodge:
This is a fitting ceremony of presentation by the Isaiah Thomas Lodge, A. F. & A. M. of Worcester, to Matthew John Whittall Lodge, A. F. & A. M. of Shrewsbury, of the Holy Bible, which from this time henceforth will always be used in the exemplification of the work of the Lodge.
Matthew John Whittall Lodge will mean much to its present and future members with its ever widening fraternal influence. Therefore, it is of interest and importance that your records should preserve in association with the gift received some statement as to who Matthew John Whittall was and what sort of man he was.
The little village of Kidderminster in the midlands of England near the Welsh border was the birth place of carpet weaving which is not the principal industry of that place.
Matthew John Whittall was born in Kidderminster, England, May 10, 1843 the son of Eli and Elisa Whittall. His father was a carpet weaver. Matthew John Whittall attended school until fourteen years of age, when he was apprenticed to a carpet weaver. He rose rapidly from "bobbin boy" by his energy and efficiency to higher positions and was manager of the carpet works at Stourport when he was 25 years old.
In 1868 he married Ellen Paget. Mr. Whittall came to Worcester in 1871, and entered the employ of Crompton Carpet Mills as Superintendent, where he remained until 1879.
He commenced manufacturing Brussels carpets in 1880, with eight looms which he had bought the previous year while on a visit in England and imported to Worcester. Those looms were set up and put in operation in a leased one-story wooden building in South Worcester, which is still standing.
The carpet and rug business of the Associates has been built up from that small beginning under Mr. Whittall's personal management, so that it is now one of the most important manufacturing industries in Worcester and is in fact one of the largest carpet mills in this country.
Mr. Whittall's first wife died in November 1895 leaving a son Matthew P. Whittall, who is the President and Treasurer of the Associates, and a daughter, Edgeworth Paget Whitin, who are the principal owners of the business.
In 1906, Mr. Whittall married Gertrude Clarke of Omaha, Nebraska.
Following the second marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Whittall built their large and attractive home in Shrewsbury, known as "Juniper Hall" where they lived until his death on October 31, 1922.
Recently, Mr. Whittall's widow most generously gave "Juniper Hall" to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in memory of her husband, as a convalescent home for invalid members of the Masonic fraternity.
Mr. Whittall had for many years been an active Mason and had received all the degrees, including the 33rd. He was a Charter Member of and Past Master of the Isaiah Thomas Lodge, the donor of the Bible which is the occasion of this gathering.
While always a Republican in politics, he never held public office in Worcester except that of Trustee of the Public Library, and of Trustee of the City Hospital.
He was a member of the Governor's Council serving under Governor McCall in 1917 and 1918 and under Governor Coolidge in 1919 and 1920.
Mr. Whittall had been a regular attendant and warden of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church of Worcester since 1874; and his generosity made it possible to erect a new church in 1894 when the original building was destroyed by fire.
He also gave the money with which to build the "Whittall Chapel" for St. Mary's Parish at Kidderminster, accompanied by a letter in which he wrote the Vicar of Kidderminster, "I have no hesitancy in offering the money for this purpose, for all that I have was made in fair competition and honest dealings. He has blessed me with health, a loving family, many friends and much prosperity. I have given this Chapel as a thank offering for all His loving kindness to me and mine."
The list in chronological order of the more important events in any man's life from birth to death is interesting in disclosing his environment, training, activities, accomplishments, associations and in general his career.
That much at least is in the record left by every man who is more than average importance as an individual.
But far more interesting is a brief summary of what he was, of his qualities and character as estimated by the people among whom he lived, and who knew his life and its activities.
Mr. Whittall was a man of distinguished appearance, with a rare and charming personality. He was modest and unassuming, dignified but approachable, serious but not severe, deliberate but not slow, intensely human and lovable, with a keen sense of humor.
Mr. Whittall was known for his activity, industry, generosity and integrity. His character and personality were such as to command the universal respect, admiration and confidence of his friends, associates, employees and acquaintances. And of him also it might be truly said,
"None knew him but to love him
None named him but to praise."
December 16, 1928. The death of Brother Irving Sawtelle was noted.
December 23, 1928. The death of our first Treasurer, Carroll C. Smith was noted.
March 21, 1929. Four brothers received the degree of Master Mason.
April 23, 1929. At the Grecian Chamber, Masonic Temple, Worcester, our period of Dispensation ended with the Lodge being constituted by Most Worshipful Herbert W. Dean, Grand Master. He reinstalled the Officers under our Charter with the exception of Treasurer when Brother George B. Smith replaced the late Brother Carroll C. Smith. Ninety-one members and one hundred and sixty-one visitors were present. The evening was celebrated with a banquet and entertainment. (1929 Mass. 93-97)
October 16, 1931. Brother Albert R. Webb was selected to find a "suitable tree" to be planted in memory of George Washington's bicentennial. On February 19, 1932, an Elm tree was planted southwest of the south corner of Juniper Hall. On May 26, 1932, this tree was dedicated by the Most Worshipful Past Grand Master Arthur D. Prince and others. This elm tree is still alive and healthy in 1978 at Juniper Hall.
June 18, 1933. The first annual observance of Saint John's Sunday by the Lodge.
January 21, 1938. Our Lodge honored our Brother Right Worshipful Ernest F. Maynard, District Deputy Grand Master, with Worshipful Harold E. Daniels as his Marshal.
March 2, 1946. Ladies' night was started and has continued annually since.
November 15, 1946. Our altar, built by Brother Stanley Francis, was dedicated.
May 22, 1953. We were honored by having Most Worshipful Thomas Sherrard Roy as our guest at this our Twenty Fifth Anniversary. Other honors this night were Right Worshipful Roger E. Holden as our District Deputy Grand Master with Worshipful Walter E. F. Estabrook as his Marshal. George H. Drinkwine, our Tyler for twenty-five years, was presented a life membership scroll. (1953 Mass. 144-156)
June 26, 1953. A tornado caused our Regular Communication to be late. Donations were made to disaster relief and to the relief of individual Brethren.
September 23, 1960. Brother George H. Drinkwine was presented a special Tyler's Apron on the occasion of being installed Tyler for the thirty-second time. Brother George passed away on November 11, 1960.
February 10, 1961. The Masters of Siloam, Franklin and Matthew John Whittall Lodges considered a common meeting place.
September 6, 1963. The Trowel Club, Inc. was established.
February 14, 1964. The Grange Hall was put for sale and purchased by the Knights of Columbus, October 9, 1964. The hall had previously been purchased by the Shrewsbury Grange from the Shrewsbury Men's Club in 1941.
December 11, 1964. Our meeting place is now Fairlawn Methodist Church following a few meetings in Worcester.
May 13, 1966. A building committee was established to prepare plans and build on the site bequeathed to the Lodge by Brother Herbert Putnam.
April 12, 1968. Construction was started on our new building.
December 20, 1968. Our first meeting was held in our present building and Brother Louis Michael Peter Rogan received his Master Mason Degree. Artemus Ward Chapter No. 220, Order of Eastern Star, has also made the Matthew John Whittall Lodge Temple their home.
February 5, 1971. Our Lodge honored our Brother Right Worshipful G. Merton Christianson, District Deputy Grand Master, with Worshipful John M. Shea as his Secretary and Worshipful Allen A. Cramer as his Marshal.
September 14, 1973. Our new pew type seats have been installed making our building complete.
March 8, 1974. A gavel was presented by the Lodge to Adelphi Council, Knights of Columbus, at the dedication of their new building.
November 15, 1974. Right Worshipful Charles A. Cross, District Deputy Grand Master, presented Right Worshipful Roger E. Holden with the Joseph Warren Medal for Distinguished Service.
January 24, 1976. The first annual dinner dance was held for the Brethren and ladies of Matthew John Whittall Lodge and the Adelphi Council, Knights of Columbus.
June 11, 1976. Worcester Assembly No. 9, Order of Rainbow, has joined our Masonic Family and is meeting in our hall.
October 23, 1976. We made an historical contribution to the time capsule in commemoration of the 250th Anniversary of our Town.
June 19, 1977. A Gulbransen organ was dedicated in our Lodge, replacing the Baldwin Orgasonic purchased in December 1955. Worshipful William Sylvester from Boylston Lodge entertained us with a concert. This organ was donated to the Lodge by Friends and Members.
November 11, 1977. Worshipful George Gardner was decorated by the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire with the Major General John Sullivan Medal.
May 20, 1978. Our fiftieth anniversary was celebrated with the Alethia Grotto Band playing a concert, the dedication of our Temple, open house, a banquet with its associated ceremonies graced by the Alethia Grotto Glee Club. Our distinguished guests, the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Arthur H. Melanson and his Suite.
GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- Herbert P. Bagley, Deputy Grand Master 1926
- G. Merton Christianson, DDGM, District 22 (Worcester), 1971, 1972; N
- Robert W. Comeau, DDGM, District 22 (Worcester), 1991, 1992
- Roger E. Holden, DDGM, District 22 (Worcester), 1953, 1954; N
- Ernest F. Maynard, DDGM, District 22 (Worcester), 1938, 1939; N
- Raymond J. McLean, DDGM, District 13 (Barre), 1978, 1979; N
- Frederick W. White, DDGM, District 21 (Worcester), 1920, 1921; Memorial
- H. Bradford White, Jr., DDGM, District 23, 2013, 2014