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MOUNT MORIAH LODGE (Westfield)

Location: Westfield

Chartered By: Winslow Lewis

Charter Date: 12/12/1856 V-65

Precedence Date: 02/12/1856

Current Status: Active


PAST MASTERS

  • Patrick H. Boise, 1856, 1857
  • William A. Johnson, 1858, 1859
  • Henry B. Lewis, 1860, 1861
  • Isaac N. Weston, 1862, 1863
  • Lucius B. Walkley, 1864
  • John M. Mosely, 1865, 1877, 1878
  • George W. Turner, 1866, 1875
  • Millard L. Robinson, 1867-1869
  • Charles A. Pierce, 1870, 1871
  • Lyman W. Phelps, 1872-1875
  • Stephen B. Cook, 1876, 1877
  • 1879??
  • James A. Lakin, 1880-1881
  • William B. Cornwall, 1882-1884
  • Olin C. Towle, 1885-1887
  • George W. Waterman, 1888-1890
  • Leonard W. Steiner, 1891-1892
  • William F. Carson, 1893
  • William H. Farnsworth, 1894-1895; Mem
  • Ernest Crowson, 1896-1897
  • William L. Bartlett, 1898-1899
  • James R. Savery, 1900
  • Herbert W. Kittredge, 1901
  • Arthur C. Mosely, 1902
  • William A. Flouton, 1903
  • Harry M. Gowdy, 1904
  • Ernest F. Schmidt, 1905
  • William E. Gibbs, 1906; Mem
  • Charles H. Clark, 1907
  • Frederick H. Scott, 1908
  • Harris B. Moulton, 1909
  • Frederick J. Tooke, 1910
  • George H. Cushing, 1911
  • J. Harry Johnson, 1912
  • Charles B. Wilson, 1913
  • George E. Robinson, 1914
  • Nelson B. Richardson, 1915
  • Clarence A. Brodeur, 1916
  • George J. Tucker, 1917
  • Raymond H. Cowing, 1918
  • James Cornish Taylor, 1919
  • Frank Norman Strickland, 1920
  • Malcolm Bennett Harding, 1921
  • Frank L. Merrill, 1922
  • Stanley L. Plaice, 1923
  • Milton F. Gardner, 1924
  • Robert P. McMahon, 1925
  • Edgar Fielding, 1926
  • Stanley M. Healey, 1927
  • Arthur B. Long, 1928
  • Raymond G. Barnes, 1929
  • Ray T. Bryant, 1930
  • Andrew A. MacDonald, 1931
  • Oscar C. Baker, 1932
  • Archie J. Agan, 1933; N
  • Raymond H. MacNulty, 1934
  • Harold Whittemore, 1935
  • J. Chambers Dewey, Elected 9/4/1935, Deceased 9/24/1935
  • Merle F. Miles, 1936
  • George W. Roraback, 1937
  • W. Alfred McGilpin, 1938
  • Clarence J. Hills, 1939
  • Irving C. Barnes, 1940
  • Paul E. Brodeur, 1941; N
  • Stanley A. Burke, 1942
  • Bemis P. Wood, 1943
  • Ralph D. Neth, 1944
  • Leolyn F. Speare, 1945
  • Albert K. Cormier, 1946
  • Albert G. Prince, 1947
  • Ralph R. Roberts, 1948
  • Albert L. MacLean, 1949
  • William Farr, 1950
  • George A. Jacobson, 1951
  • Henry S. Wackerbath, 1952
  • Raymond C. Smith, 1953
  • Arnold T. Wiggin, 1954; SN
  • Richard E. Chandler, 1955
  • Ray L. Bartlett, Jr., 1956; SN
  • Daniel J. Quimby, 1957
  • James Hague, 1958
  • Irving F. Kohrs, 1959
  • Roger H. Perry, 1960
  • James W. Myco, 1961
  • Gordon J. Smith, 1962
  • Martin J. Morrow, 1963
  • Thurmond P. Woodbury, 1964
  • Elmer M. White II, 1965
  • Frederick S. Richer, 1966
  • Dexter R. Hatch, Sr., 1967
  • Virgil W. Liberty, 1968; N'
  • Charles M. Arnold, Jr., 1969
  • Reynolds Earl LaBay, 1970
  • Walter Ducoff, 1971
  • Luman S. Wood, Jr., 1972
  • Roger A. Page, 1973
  • Joseph A. Hoyt, 1974
  • Charles H. Darling, 1975
  • Richard A. Burt, 1976
  • Ernest R. Burt, 1977
  • Herbert W. Mogul, Jr., 1978
  • Joseph H. Hopp, 1979
  • James F. Adams, 1980
  • Richard L. Elliott, 1981
  • John R. Paluch, Sr., 1982
  • Wilfred J. Duplaise, 1983
  • James Ballantyne, 1984
  • Philip F. Zych, 1985; PDDGM
  • Donald H. Lockwood, 1986
  • Robert B. Betts, 1987
  • George H. Chapdelaine, Sr., 1988
  • Fred E. Barber, 1989, 1990
  • John F. Greaves, Sr., 1991
  • Roland H. Tetrault, 1992
  • Donald E. Keene, Sr., 1993; SN
  • Richard A. Incorvati, 1994
  • Howard A. Loehn, 1995
  • Gregory G. Daulplaise Sr., 1996
  • David H. Gile, 1997
  • William de Forest, 1998
  • Mark A. Stewart, 1999
  • Dennis R. Yefko, 2000
  • Robert A. Simmons Jr., 2001
  • George A. Iwasykiw, 2002
  • Lawrence A. Oakland, III, 2003
  • Robert D. Fife, 2004, 2006
  • Richard W. Noble, 2005
  • Scott A. Rogers, 2007-2009; DDGM
  • Joseph A. McGavin, 2010
  • Daniel F. Melbourne, 2011
  • William D. Crawford, III, 2012
  • Taidgh Joseph Buckley, 2013
  • Jonathan Scott Flagg, 2014, 2015
  • Joseph G. Fournier, Jr., 2016
  • Melvyn D. Hook, 2017, 2018

REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS

  • 1856 (Petition for dispensation, 02/12; Westfield)
  • 1856 (Petition for Charter, 12/10; granted.)
  • 1993 (Restoration of Charter, 12/08)
    • 1993-132: Grand Master: "The charter of Mount Moriah Lodge was temporaily suspended in July to investigate allegations . . . effective today I am restoring their charter with certain restrictions."

ANNIVERSARIES

  • 1906 (50th Anniversary)
  • 1956 (100th Anniversary)
  • 2006 (150th Anniversary)

VISITS BY GRAND MASTER

BY-LAW CHANGES

1870 1874 1875 1877 1878 1889 1901 1903 1905 1912 1914 1925 1926 1927 1931 1937 1942 1946 1949 1953 1957 1963 1967 1974 1975 1978 1979 1982 1988 1989 1990 1993 2001 2013

HISTORY

  • 1956 (Centenary History, 1956-44)
  • 1987 (History at Mortgage Burning, 1987-71; see below)
  • 2006 (150th Anniversary History, 2006-16; see below)

CENTENARY HISTORY, FEBRUARY 1956

From Proceedings, Page 1956-44:

By Right Worshipful Paul E. Brodeur.

PROLOGUE

The very word "history" having been thought to originally have been "his Story" reminds us that any history is apt to be colored by the interpreation given it by the writer. And, as any history is too often an uninteresting recital of a chain of events, this historian will endeavor to keep as much of these two elements as possible out of the centennial history of Mount Moriah Lodge. Lest we forget, the clarity of the fifty year history has enabled the writer to obtain a firm grasp of the struggling years of our Lodge. We hereby acknowledge his great contribution.

NARRATIVE

The founding of Mount Moriah Lodge was not an accident nor a haphazard event. It has been carefully planned by a group often adventurous Brethren in order to provide Masonic advantages for the folk of Westfield and nearby towns. The first meeting was on February 18, 1856, with nine present. The building which housed this historic meeting no longer stands, but was at the location of the present U. S. Postoffice Building, then housing the rooms of the Woronoco Lodge of Odd Fellows. Previously this group had obtained a dispensation from the Grand Master. The following served as officers during the period of dispensation:

  • Wor. Patrick H. Boise, Master
  • Bro. William A. Johnson, Senior Warden
  • Bro. Andrew Campbell, 2nd, Junior Warden
  • Bro. Emerson V. Greene, Treasurer
  • Bro. Charles H. Rand, Secretary
  • Bro. Josiah S. Knowles, Chaplain
  • Bro. F. Fowley, Senior Deacon
  • Bro. I. B. Walkley, Junior Deacon
  • Bro. G. L. Laflin, Senior Steward
  • Bro. I. N. Weston, Junior Steward
  • Bro. John Avery, Tyler

Except for the Worshipful Master and Treasurer, all were members of Hampden Lodge, Springfield. Four petitions for initiation were presented at this meeting; and between the first two meetings twenty-nine Brethren became members by dispensation. Our first work was done on February 26, 1856. Brother Reuben Nobel was the first candidate to receive the Sublime Degree of Master Mason on March 4, 1856.

The first by-laws were adopted on December 3rd, and nine days later, on December 12, 1856, the Grand Master granted the charter under which meetings have since been held.

The first officers elected were those who served under the dispensation with the exception of Bro. E. B. Greene, who was replaced by mutual agreement by Bro. Samuel Dow in the office of Treasurer. Had monthly calendars been printed in the early years, they would have been full as as ours, for candidates were often elected and entered the same night, with the second and third degrees worked on other candidates. This together with the usual order of business! Stout fellows, our forebears! Despite the length of those evenings, we find the early records reading, "The lodge was closed in harmony."

The first death to occur in the membership of Mount Moriah Lodge was that of Bro. E. V. Greene, who was one of the petitioners for dispensation and our first Treasurer. He was buried with Masonic honors at Southbridge, Massachusetts, the first of a long line of our Brethren who have been called from the labor of life to the refreshment of Heaven. Over many of these the last words have been said in the beautiful language of our burial service, with the spray of evergreen reminding us of the immortality of the soul.

And so we reach the end of "our firsts," and as from a tiny acorn grows the mighty oak, so from humble beginnings has Mount Moriah Lodge grown to her full stature. During the past one hundred years seventy-eight of our Brethren have served as Worshipful Master, men whose names march through the pages of local history as faithful churchmen and honorable public servants, a group of whom we can all feel proud. Their pictures still grace the walls of our ante-room to serve as examples to us all and to gently remind us of their diligence; for it was not unusual for a Worshipful Master to serve two years in the East nor extraordinary to serve three years!

No body of men wherever assembled nor of what persuasion can exist over a period of years without vexing problems. Nor did our forebears. Continued restlessness resulting from inadequate quarters in "Harrison's Hall" over the present store known as Smiths Inc., where meetings had been held since the Lodge was two years old, resulted in the purchase of "the second lot from Arnold St." in 1868, probably the second site from the present Gowdy Block. The Grand Officers laid the corner-stone of our new building on June 24, 1869, St. John's Day, preceded by a long procession from the lodge-rooms to the site of the new building and return. One year later the building was dedicated. Furnishings were purchased through subscriptions by the 155 members of the Lodge, the committee collecting $4344.43! Dedication was by the Grand Lodge. Participating were Springfield Encampment, Knights Templar, with the Armory Band; Ionic Lodge of Easthampton; Continental Band of Worcester; Chicopee Lodge of Chicopee; Jerusalem Lodge of Northampton with the Haydenville Band; and Mount Moriah Lodge with Colts Armory Band of Hartford, Connecticut. An elaborate line of march finally brought the parade to the lodge-rooms.

One very vexing problems of those early years was the tax of one dollar per affiliated member levied by Grand Lodge to retire the mortgage on the Masonic Temple in Boston, which had been completed in 1867. This tax was to continue for thirteen years, thus adding a financial burden of $4,043 upon the struggling Lodge in Westfield. But that is not all! Towards the end of the thirteen years, Grand Lodge renewed the tax for fifteen years at one dollar per member or a cash settlement of $10 per member. The final payment of this tax came hard.

How hard? Well, during the twenty years of this taxation, the Treasurer's books show less than seventy-five dollars paid from Lodge funds for refreshments, cigars, etc. But sociability did not cease. Individual members provided personally what the Lodge could not afford.

Honorable mention must be made of twenty-eight members who endorsed a note for $3600 in 1875, interest 7% per annum, to help pay for the building. For twenty years these Brethren thus stood in the gap with time and reputation that the Lodge might have a home. On January 4, 1888, forty-seven Brethren contributed the last $280 necessary to clear away this debt. In June of 1888, Wor. Henry Lewis delivered an historical address in commemoration of the great emancipation from our debt. But the breathing spell was short-lived; for on March 11, 1896, less than eight years later, fire broke out near the furnace in the basement of the store beneath the lodge-rooms. In a few short hours the flames had reduced the home, of which its members had been so justly proud, to naught but ashes. But wait! Our safe was still intact, preserving our valuable records. The next home for Mount Moriah Lodge was in Parks Block. Better days were seen ahead by the Brethren, with the hope that in years to come a new and better home would become possible.

From the turn of the century until the depression of the thirties, Mount Moriah Lodge enjoyed prosperity numerically as well as financially. We note that nearly every year showed an increase in membership with a correspondingly large increase in cash balance. This period provided one great advance for Westfield Masonry, a new Temple, just as predicted by our historian of fifty years ago when he said: "The struggle (of the past thirty years) was not fruitless; Mount Moriah Lodge may have seemed disheartened, but it was not defeated. The time will soon come when undismayed by previous misfortunes and trials, the same spirit which reared the first home shall raise another house better even than the first; willing hands and hearts will be consecrated to the new duty; and before many years shall have passed, the sons of their fathers shall arise in their might, a new Temple shall replace the old, and the glory of the latter house shall be greater than that of the former." How true that prediction; for only three short years later our present Temple was dedicated. On September 15, 1909, Most Worshipful Dana J. Flanders and Suite dedicated this Temple with proper ritualistic ceremonies at a semi-public gathering, at which three hundred persons were present. After the ceremonies a banquet was held, followed by speeches and "appropriate replies." So says the record.

The Lodge records are surprisingly sparse for the year 1908 concerning what, to this scribe, was an important event in the history of Mount Moriah Lodge. Although our Lodge-rooms were severely damaged by fire on April 24, 1908, no mention of any fire appears in the monthly records of the Secretary. In perusing these records, the only hint one gets o( anything unusual is the fact that the heading of these records suddenly changes from reading: "Parks Block, Wednesday Evening, April 1908" to "Odd Fellows Hall, Thursday, April 1908" together with a dispensation "for just cause" to change our stated communications from the first Wednesday to the first Thursday. We also find no mention of any discussion or announcement concerning the formation ot the Westfield Masonic Association until its meeting of June 4, 1908, when that Association borrowed $2000 from Mount Moriah Lodge. Next we read that on December 3, 1908, "the W.M. appointed a committee to arrange for the dedication of 'our new Masonic Temple'." This was the first indication that such was even contemplated.

On June 29, 1909, was held the annual Past Masters' Night and the opening of "our new Masonic Temple." On that date came the announcement from the East that future stated communications would be held on the first Wednesday.

Mount Moriah Lodge has enjoyed a rare degree of fraternalism during its long history. We find in the records mention not only of fraternal visitation of other Lodges, but also return visits by our Lodge and mention of many individual Brethren from many other Masonic jurisdictions visiting our Lodge and "making appropriate remarks." We quote from the Secretary's records of November 4, 1914: "A special car left at 8 p.m. with about forty brothers making over sixty brethren from Mt. Moriah Lodge in attendance at Huntington Lodge for the final visitation of R. W. William E. Gibbs. A very fine banquet was served by the fair sex of Huntington." It is to be regretted that delegations of this magnitude are no longer the custom. On May 26,1915, Mount Moriah Lodge first journeyed to Huntington Lodge for the purpose of working degrees. Many such fraternal exchange visits, too numerous to catalog, have since taken place in this and other Masonic districts. So may they long continue.

For many years Mount Moriah Lodge has enjoyed a reputation for excellence in ritual and floor work. September 9, 1857, the Grand Lecturer reported: "Found the work in the third degree nearer the required form than in Lodges previously visited." In the same year the District Deputy Grand Master wrote as follows: "Evening Star, Mystic and Mount Moriah Lodges I shall class under one and the same head, as being THE Lodges in the district." This from a new Lodge! Nor has our ritualistic work been the cause of worry or shame for Past Masters. Succeeding Masters have adhered to excellence in our work to this very day.

Candidates' lectures have been consistently learned over a long period of years, Mount Moriah having required proficiency prior to such Grand Lodge regulations. Such requirements became a part of our by-laws on June 5, 1878. And on January 9, 1916, the Worshipful Master, commenting on lectures, emphasized the fact that "new candidates should learn the lectures by personal interview and not from books that are around."

World War I changed the complexion of all Masonry more than most active Masons of that day would have believed possible. Many men were given their three degrees in as many successive weeks, some even in as many successive evenings, with little or no time for learning lectures. Many Lodges worked as many as eighty candidates in a year. Some of those "war Masons" have become active in our work and made splendid officers. Some are still active. Many others, however, fell by the wayside and thought too little of the Masonry given them too quickly to retain any interest in it when the lean years came along. And come along they did, for the 1930's were grave times. "The War years" saw many of our Brethren enter the service of their country, some never to return. Our own late Wor. Raymond H. Cowing, presiding Master in 1917, was called into service, serving much of that year in Camp Devens, keeping us informed by letter, as well as in person, of Masonic and military activities at that point. These were busy years for Mount Moriah Lodge, many, many candidates having passed through her portals. An interesting note gleaned from the records of our Secretary reminds us of the severity of the times; the usual word "collation" was changed to "Hooverized refreshments." Some reminders of these "war years" may still be seen in Mount Moriah Lodge. Returning servicemen revamped our floor work, the "Hollow Square," so familiar to us and peculiar to Mount Moriah Lodge, was created by them. And many of them still attend our meetings.

With the close of the period now referred to as World War I, the Lodge resumed its more accustomed pace. Those who had had to relinquish offices upon entering the service were returned to the line of officers, sometimes creating temporary ill feelings on the part of those replaced. In most instances, however, the replacement was taken with a Masonic spirit, those replaced often taking their old stations again another year. Such is true Masonry.

The "great depression" found its reaction in Mount Moriah Lodge just as every where else. For a year or two we noticed a lessening of applications and a growing list of unpaid dues. Soon we had no applicants and a long list of delinquent Brethren.

Every effort was made by each succeeding Master to care for those who found the payment of dues a burden. We wanted to lose no Brother because of hardship. The tragedy of the situation lay in the failure of some of the Brethren to reply to a Master's letter concerning his delinquency. Oh, that these Brethren had only answered those regular summonses! The bright part of those disastrous nine years lies in the number of those same Brethren who have since returned to membership, truly the silver lining to the dark cloud.

Before the effects of the thirties had ceased to be felt, another blow struck! Pearl Harbor. How many of us remember the uncertainty and unrest brought on by that event. Again we in Mount Moriah Lodge were to feel the austerity of the times and were again hampered by the lack of officers for our degree work. Candidates became more numerous; fuel became scarcer; and frequently Past Masters were called to fill vacant chairs. During one winter, Mount Moriah Lodge even held its meetings in the banquet hall in order to save fuel; and we decided to forego our usual celebration of Washington's birthday for patriotic reasons.

Since the end of what is now known as World War II we have seen great strides in membership with correspondingly good increases in cash balances. Let us compare, for a moment, incomes and balances of two meetings: Annual report of the Treasurer for September 5, 1900, showed expenditures of $1210.09 with a cash balance of 59£. Membership was 292 and dues were $2.00 per annum. Report of the Treasurer for September 3, 1955, showed expenditures of $12,382.03 with a cash balance of $3,907.87. Membership was 599 and dues are $12 per annum. Such is progress! The year 1955 to 1956 shows Mount Moriah Lodge in a strong financial position. Its membership has climbed steadily since the end of the depression years. Like our historian of 1906, we see a vision of prosperity ahead for Mount Moriah Lodge. We, too, expect that in the unforeseeable future "a new Temple shall replace the old;" for such is progress and prosperity that, as changes take place, so change our needs; that which was more than adequate yesterday will be found wanting tomorrow. Most of us here present will never see another anniversary of Mount Moriah Lodge. We feel, however, that the first one hundred years are the hardest and that the experiences of Mount Moriah Lodge's first century should guide her serenely over the next one hundred years.

Go with me now, in retrospect, if you will, and train your mind's eye on the "signs of the times" as viewed by Mount Moriah Lodge for a century. We must reply on the written history for much of this view, but let us visualize the changes that came with progress, what might be called a "century of progress."

The first meeting of Mount Moriah Lodge was undoubtedly aided by coal oil lamps. And those early years unquestionably saw three burning tapers literally placed you know where. Transportation locally was by horseback or by carriage; to more distant points, by the still not quite reliable railroad. Westfield was a Town of wooden buildings and gravel streets ranging from quagmire in spring to dust clouds in summer. Let us now move on. The year 1888. A blizzard! And what a blizzard! All traffic was tied up for days; and no social gatherings took place for more than a week. Lighting? Still by lamps; and in that first owned Temple we had progressed to furnace heat. We are now entering the gas light period with its occasional failures and sputterings; the electric car is making its bow. "Rapid transportation" was emerging. And during the "Gay nineties" we find paving blocks laid the entire length of Elm Street; but still the watering-tub stays in the center of Park Square. Changes? Yes, but also progress! The manufacture of whips and bicycles becomes the principal business in Westfield with the Smith Foundry a close second.

Educational facilities have always been of chief interest in Westfield, even from the earliest days when we read that the Town engaged the services of a teacher for the children nearly a hundred years before the Revolutionary War. By the turn of the century, we find public schools well established, an academy on Broad Street, and a new "Normal School" for the purpose of training teachers.

Let us now consider the 20th century. The "trollies" are here to stay and transportation failures are reduced to a minimum. But what is that moving along the car tracks on Elm Street? Of all things! A "Horseless carriage," electrically propelled, too. And what do we see now? With clouds of steam in its wake it moves with apparent effortlessness down the street. A steam automobile! What will they think of next? Next, you ask? Why, a "gas-buggy," of course. Truly, such forms of transportation are fantastic and cannot last.

Headlines! The Wright Brothers fly! What are we coming to? Man will never be able to fly! That is for the birds. Have people lost their senses? Mr. Bell's telephone is still an apparatus for wonderment and is already a familiar adjunct in the homes of the well-to-do; and all up-to-date business houses display that instrument prominently as a symbol of changing business methods. Progress!

Street lighting has changed from gas to arc lights, even in the residential areas. The complacency of the past is gone. Things are changing too rapidly! Surely, something must be done to stop this headlong plunge into man knows not what.

WAR! Khaki-clad figures appear on our streets. The beautiful elm trees which once lined Elm Street have begun to disappear as age and disease take their toll. Concrete has been poured over the paving blocks on Elm Street as all wires are phiced underground and poles vanish from the business section. But still the watering-tub maintains its conspicuous place in the center of Park Square. The familiar watering-cart plods over the streets, trying to alleviate the dust nuisance. Camp Bartlett is in full swing on our plains.

The war is over; the uniforms disappear; but our open trollies, long accustomed to carry many, many extra khaki-clad figures from camp to town, many perched precariously along the running-boards, forever retain a sag to one side. Westfield celebrates its 250th anniversary with appropriate parades, speeches and a giant pageant. Westfield becomes a City. Bro. George W. Searle is our first Mayor. The airplane has become sufficiently common so that people are less apt to stop and look skyward when one is heard overhead. Now our trollies have been replaced by busses. Manufacturing has become diversified and public buildings have begun to put on that new look in order to attract business.

The stock market crash! Groups of idle men appear on the streets and soon W. P. A. signs become familiar. And with the advent of World War II, we begin to see the City which we know todays.

One facet of our journey through a century must not go un-mentioned. During the years, seven Protestant Churches have established themselves in our down-town area. One of these was born only a few weeks after Mount Moriah Lodge held its first meeting. In visiting these houses of worship, we find many "Masonic faces" gracing the walls, faces of those who have served their God honorably and long as deacons or ministers. There is no doubt in the mind of this writer that a large part of the success of Mount Moriah Lodge has been a result of the firm religious convictions and practices of so many of her officers and members, past and present. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

HISTORY AT MORTGAGE BURNING, JUNE 1987

From Proceedings, Page 1987-71:

Brief History of Mount Moriah Lodge, 1956-1987
By Brother Ralph E. Cortis.

The name Mount Moriah is attributable to its connection with the Temple of Solomon. According to the prophet Isaiah, the Temple of Solomon was built upon ""Mount Moriah. the mountain of the Lord's house." Mount Moriah is by no means the most popular name of Masonic lodges, being outnumbered by lodges with names, or variations of names such as St. John's, King Solomon. King Hiram. Doric, and Ionic. There are lodges by the name of Mount Moriah, or variations thereof, in thirty-seven Grand Jurisdictions of the United States and eight Grand Jurisdictions in other countries. The oldest lodge bearing the name dates back to England in 1754.

In Westfield, Mount Moriah Lodge of Masons was formed February 12, 1856, by ten Brethren: one from Mount Tom Lodge: one from Apollo Lodge in Suffield. Connecticut, and eight from Hampden Lodge. They first met in the rooms of Woronoco Lodge of Odd Fellows on Broad Street at the location of the old U.S. Post Office. The first By-Laws were adopted on December 3, 1856. and a charter was granted on December 12. 1856, by Most Worshipful Winslow Lewis. Grand Master.

Two years later, on June 10, 1858, the lodge moved into Harrison's Hall, over the store of Snow and Hayes Dry Goods near the Park Square Hotel on Elm Street. This lease lasted twelve years. On June 3, 1868, the lodge voted that "the trustees be instructed to purchase from D.L. Gillett, the second lot from Arnold Street on Elm Street." A building committee was appointed and a building erected with Darwin Lathrop Gillett. he taking the southern half, and the lodge the northern portion.

On June 24, 1869, St. John's Day. the cornerstone was laid, and in the following year, 1870. also on St. John's Day, the building was dedicated. The dedication was preceded by a parade through town. Several area Masonic bodies and bands took part in the parade and dedication. Following the ceremonies, a concert was held in the park which was well attended by the townspeople.

The total cost of the building, with furnishings, was $22,503.25. The building stood at the coiner of Arnold and Elm Street, the present location of the Westfield Gas and Electric Company.

Although the lodge grew steadily in numbers, there seemed to have been a financial stress for the next twenty years. The cost of a new building and the Grand Lodge levy, in 1867. of a dollar a year per member was a burden on the young and struggling lodge. Finally, on January 4, 1888, forty-seven members contributed the remaining $280.(X) to pay off all debts. Eight years later, on March 11, 1896. fire broke out near the furnace in the basement. The building, furnishings, and portraits of Past Masters were completely destroyed. The only thing that was not destroyed was the safe containing lodge records.

The Metacomet Tribe of Red Men offered Mount Moriah the use of their quarters in the Lane and Loomis block on Elm Street. In February of 1897, the lodge moved again into the Parks Block, which in later years was known as the Professional Building. The lodge met here for ten years when on April 24. 1907. their quarters were again heavily damaged by fire, with $73,000.00 damage to the building. Lodge meetings were then held in the Odd Fellows Hall.

On July 15, 1908, the Westfield Masonic Association purchased property on Elm and Chapel Street from the First Universalist Church. The purchase included the church building, organ, heating apparatus, and gas fixtures. The association remodeled the building and it was considered one of the best equipped Masonic temples in the state. At the time. Mount Moriah Lodge had approximately 300 members.

The Temple was dedicated on September 15, 1909 (1909 Mass. 111-113). Masonic-bodies at this time were: Mount Moriah Lodge A. F. & A. M., instituted on February 12, 1856, and chartered on December 12, 1856: Evening Star Royal Arch Chapter. instituted on June 8, 1871: and Golden Chapter, Order of Eastern Star, organized in 1873. Westfield Council, Royal and Select Masters, was instituted in 1915.

Mount Moriah met in these quarters for the next 54 years. Membership grew from 300. in 1910. to about 600. in 1956, with some reduction in new applicants and an increase in delinquencies during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The 100th Anniversary of Mount Moriah Lodge was held on February II, 1956, with Most Worshipful Whitfield W. Johnson. Grand Master, and his suite of Grand Officers as guests (1956 Mass. 42-54). Included in the festivities was the reading by Right Worshipful Paul E. Brodeur of his history of Mount Moriah Lodge covering the first 100 years. After the Grand Lodge ceremonies, the Brethren adjourned to the Methodist Church where about 300 people enjoyed a bounteous turkey dinner prepared by the women of the church.

In 1963, the building at Elm and Chapel Streets was sold to Westfield Savings Bank and razed to make room for a new bank which stands on that site to this day.

The Westfield Masonic Association purchased the Sanford home at 72 Broad Street on May 19, 1961. from Mary Ruth Sanford for a price of $44,000.00 with possession by December 31, 1961. Portions of the building were remodeled and a large addition was built to the rear for a lodge room upstairs and a dining room downstairs. The dedication and laying of the cornerstone was held June 15, 1963, with the presence of the full suite of the Grand Master. Most Worshipful A. Neill Osgood of Wellesley (1963 Mass. 158-161). Mount Moriah Lodge remains a very active lodge and enjoys one of the best Masonic buildings in the area.

150TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, FEBRUARY 2006

From Proceedings, Page 2006-16:

Compiled by Brother Ralph E. Cortis, Lodge Historian
and Read by R. W. Phillip F. Zych

The name "Mount Moriah" is attributable to its connection with the Temple of Solomon. According to the prophet Isaiah, the Temple of Solomon was built upon Mount Moriah, "the mountain of the Lord's house". Mount Moriah is by no means the most popular name of Masonic Lodges, being outnumbered by lodges with names such as St. John's Lodge, King Solomon, King Hiram, Doric, and Ionic. There are Lodges by the name of Mount Moriah, or variations, in thirty-seven Grand jurisdictions of the United States, and eight Grand jurisdictions in other countries. The oldest Lodge bearing the name dates back to England in 1754.

In Westfield, Mount Moriah Lodge Masons was formed February 12, 1856 by ten brethren: One from Mt. Tom Lodge, one from Apollo Lodge in Suffield Connecticut and eight from Hampden Lodge. They first met in the rooms of Woronco Lodge of Odd Fellows on Broad Street, the location of the old Post Office. The first By-Laws were adopted on December 3, 1856 and a Charter was granted December 12, 1856 by M. W. Grand Master Winslow Lewis.

Two years later, on June 10, 1858, the Lodge moved into Harrison's Hall, over the store of Snow and Hayes Dry Goods store near the Park Square Hotel on Elm Street. The lease lasted twelve years. On June 3, 1868, the lodge voted that " The Trustees be instructed to purchase from D.L. Gilbert, he taking the southern half, and the Lodge, the Northern portion.

On June 24, 1869, St. John's Day, the cornerstone was laid, and in the following year, 1870, also on St. John's Day, the building was dedicated. The dedication was preceded by a parade through town. Several area Masonic bodies and bands took part in the parade and dedication. Following the ceremonies, a concert was held at the park which was well attended by the townspeople.

The total cost of the building, with furnishings, was $22,503.25. The building stood at the corner of Arnold and Elm Streets, the present location of Westfield Gas and Electric Company.

Although the Lodge grew steadily in numbers, there seemed to have been a financial stress for the next twenty years. The cost of the new building and the Grand Levy, in 1867, of a dollar a year per member was a burden on the young and struggling Lodge. Finally, on January 4, 1888, forty-seven members contributed the remaining $280.00 to pay off all debts. Eight years later fire broke out near the furnace in the basement. The building, furnishings, and portraits of Past Masters, were completely destroyed. The only thing that was not destroyed was the safe containing Lodge records.

The Metacomet Tribe of Red Men offered Mount Moriah the use of their quarters in the Lane and Loomis block on Elm Street. In February of 1897, the Lodge moved again into the Paris block, which in later years was known as the Professional Building. The Lodge met here for ten years when on April 24, 1908 their quarters were damaged by fire, with $75,000 damage to the building. The Lodge meetings were then held at Odd Fellows Hall.

On July 15, 1908, the Westfield Masonic Association purchased property on Elm and Chapel Streets from the First Universalist Church. The purchase included the church building, organ, heating apparatus, and gas fixtures. The Association remodeled the building and it was considered one of the best equipped Masonic Temples in the state. At the time, Mount Moriah had approximately 300 members.

The various Masonic bodies held dedication services on September 15, 16, and 17, 1909. Masonic bodies at the time were: Mount Moriah Lodge A.F. & A.M., instituted on February 12, 1856 and chartered on December 12, 1856; Evening Star Royal Arch Chapter, instituted June 8, 1871; and Golden Chapter, Order of Eastern Star, organized in 1873. Westfield Council Royal and Select Masters was instituted in 1915. Mount Moriah met in these quarters for the next 54 years. Membership grew from 300 in 1910 to about 600 in 1956, with some reduction in new applicants and an increase in delinquencies during the Great Depression of the 1930's.

The 100th anniversary of Mount Moriah was held on February 11, 1956 with Most Worshipful Grand Master Whitfield W. Johnson and his suite of Grand Officers as guests. Included in the festivities was a reading by R. W. Paul E. Brodeur of his history of Mount Moriah Lodge covering the first 100 years. After the Grand Lodge ceremonies, the brethren adjourned to the Methodist Church where about 300 people enjoyed a bounteous turkey dinner prepared by the women of the church.

In 1963, the building on Elm and Chapel Streets was sold to Westfield Savings Bank and was razed to make way for a new bank which stands on that site to this day.

The Westfield Masonic Association purchased the Sanford home at 72 Broad Street on May 19, 1961 from Mary Ruth Sanford for a price of $44,000 with possession by December 31, 1961. Portions of the building were remodeled and a large addition was built to the rear for a Lodge room upstairs and a dining room downstairs. The dedication and laying of the cornerstone was held June 15, 1963, with the presence of the full suite of Grand Lodge led by Most Worshipful Grand Master A. Neal Osgood of Wellesley.

Mount Moriah Lodge remains a very attractive Lodge and enjoys one of the best Masonic buildings in the area.

OTHER

  • 1858 (Hall Dedication, 06/24; by Rt. Wor. F. Weston)
  • 1886 (Resolution of dispute with Hampden Lodge regarding jurisdiction over a rejected candidate)
  • 1924 (Springfield, Corner-stone laying for a Masonic Temple, 06/24; Special Communication)
  • 1937 (Reduction of fees refused, 09/08)
  • 1937 (Reduction of fees approved, 12/08)

EVENTS

INSTALLATION, DECEMBER 1857

From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XVII, No. 3, January 1858, Page 96:

The annual meeting of this flourishing Lodge, which now numbers some sixty members, was held on the 2d Dec., and the following Brethren were elected officers for the ensuing year : —

  • P. H. Boise, W. M. ;
  • Wm. A. Johnson, S. W. ;
  • A. Campbell, 2d, J. W. ;
  • Samuel Dow, Treas. ;
  • C. H. Rand, Sec.;
  • Deac. Josiah S. Knowles, Chaplain;
  • H. K. Daniels, S. D ;
  • L. B. Walkley, J D. ;
  • Geo. LaBin and I. N. Weston, Stewards ,
  • H. N. Carter, Tyler.

At a Special Communication, held on the evening of the 4th Dec., the above named officers were installed by Past Master P H. Boise.

HALL DEDICATION, JUNE 1870

From Moore's Freemason's Monthly, Vol. XXIX, No. 10, August 1870, Page 315:

This new and elegant Hall of Mount Moriah Lodge was dedicated by the Grand Lodge of this State on Friday, the 24th of June, on which occasion there was a public parade of the Lodges in the neighboring towns, under escort of the Springfield Commandery of Knights Templars. The occasion was one of marked interest, and, we do not doubt, gratification, not only to the brethren participating in it, but to the hundreds of spectators who witnessed and greeted the procession as it passed along the streets of the town. The following is a description of the Hall: —

The ante-room, which is quite large, 20 by 18 feet, and neatly carpeted, is fitted up with black-walnut hat and coat racks, and other modern conveniences.

Adjoining this room is a banquet hall 35 by 20 feet, with a carpet of a tasty green pattern, a reception room 25 feet squnre, and a kitchen 20 by 25 feet containing sink, wash-room, pantry, etc., The Lodge room proper, is a really magnificent apartment, 60 feet long, 45 feet wide, and 18 feet high. The first thing which attracts the eye of the visitor is the frescoing executed by Strauss of Boston. The colors are warm, yet not glaring, and the Masonic designs and emblems traced by skillful and artistic hands. The furniture consists of about thirty settees of black walnut upholstered with imperial green rep.

Black-walnut chairs for the officers, of a peculiar pattern, are covered with crimson velvet, and the altar, handsomely carved in black walnut, is covered with the same material.

INSTALLATION, SEPTEMBER 1905

From New England Craftsman, Vol. I, No. 2, November 1905, Page 64:

The Officers of Mount Moriah Lodge, Westfield, Mass. were publicly installed, Monday Sept. 25, by Bro. Oliver A. Roberts of Boston. About 400 persons were present, including ladies. An address was made by the installing officer. The occasion proved the value of public installations, ten applications for the degrees having since been received from persons whose interest in Freemasonry was awakened by the exercises of the evening.

50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, MAY 1906

From New England Craftsman, Vol. I, No. 9, June 1906, Page 359:

The Semi-Centennial of the institution of Mount Moriah Lodge. A. F. & A. M., at Westfield, Massachusetts, was celebrated Wednesday, May 16th.

The members nf the lodge, with many friends and the representatives of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts were in attendance. The members of Mount Moriah Lodge and their guests formed in procession and headed by a band of music marched to the church where the exercises look place. The procession was under the direction of Brother Gowdy and two of his aids were sons of two of the original members of the lodge.

Worshipful Master William E. Gibson extended a cordial welcome to the brethren who had gathered to assist in the celebration and closed his address by presenting to Most Worshipful John Albert Blake, Grand Master, the charter under which the lodge was established. The Grand Master responded to the welcome and expressed the appreciation of the Grand Lodge for the reception which had been given them, and congratulated Mount Moriah Lodge upon its prosperity and upon its hopes for the future and urged all to aspire continually towards a higher and better masonic character.

The hisorical address was by Brother Clarence A. Brodeur, District Deputy of the Sixteenth Masonic District and Principal of the Westfield Normal School. The history, which was quite complete, was presented in the most interesting manner and held the attention of all present.

The oration of the day was delivered by Rev. Dr. W. H. Rider of Gloucester, Junior Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge, and was replete with practical suggestions, and delivered with such eloquence and force that it made a deep impression upon all present.

The gallery of the church was thrown open to the public and there were about six hundred in attendance.

Following the church exercises a reception was given to the Grand Lodge Officers; a luncheon was served in the Lodge Room from five to seven and a banquet in the evening at the Gem Opera House. Worshipful Brother William E. Gibbs was
toast-master.

The number taking part in the banquet was about three hundred and seventy-five. The speakers were Grand Master John Albert Blake; Recording Grand Secretary Sereno D. Nickerson; Grand Marshal Melvin M. Johnson; Grand Chaplain Rev. Dr. W. H. Ryder; District Deputy Grand Master C. A. Brodeur; Past Junior Grand Warden Henry G. Fay, and William Skinner Woods, Past Master of Hampden Lodge. The last speaker was present at the institution of Mount Moriah Lodge fifty years ago.

HALL DEDICATION, SEPTEMBER 1909

From New England Craftsman, Vol. V, No. 1, October 1909, Page 20:

Dedication of Masonic Temple, Westfield Mass.

WestfieldTemple.jpg

The history of Freemasonry in Westfield, Mass., was marked with one of the most important events in its career during the past month by the dedication of a Masonic Temple. The interesting and imposing ceremony was performed with the assistance of the officers of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, and in the presence of a large number of Masonic brethren of Westfield and adjoining towns.

The exercises began on Wednesday, September 15th and were continued on Thursday and Friday and concluded by religious services at the Methodist church on Sunday.

The exercise connected with the dedication began in the lodge room at 3:30 Tuesday afternoon. The room was filled with the brethren and members of their families, Grand Master Dana J. Flanders and his suite were received with formal ceremony. The Master of Mount Moriah Lodge, Worshipful Harris B. Moulton, spoke the words of welcome to which the Grand Master replied with a brief and appropriate address.

The order of exercises was as follows :—

  • Entrance of Most Worshipful Grand Master. Dana J. Flanders and Suite


* Anthem, Amphion Male Quartet

  • Prayer by the Grand Chaplain, Rev. Edward A. Horton
  • Address of the Architect
  • Address to the Grand Master. Wor. H. B. Moulton, Master of Mount Moriah Lodge.
  • Reply of the Most Worshipful Grand Master.
  • Examination of the Building by the Grand Officers.
  • Ceremonial Dedication to Free Masonry.
  • Ceremonial Dedication to Virtue.
  • Ceremonial Dedication to Benevolence.
  • Invocation by the Grand Chaplain.
  • Proclamation by the Grand Marshal, Wor. Harry P. Ballard.
  • Address hy the Most Worshipful Grand Master.
  • Address by the Grand Chaplain.
  • Dedication Hymn, Amphion Male Quartet.
  • Benediction.

Grand Master Flanders in his address congratulated the members of Mount Moriah Lodge on their new temple and their achievements in advancing the principles of the order.

The address of Grand Chaplain Rev. Edward A. Horton was bright and full of inspiring thought.

At 7 o'clock a banquet was held in the large dining hall. An excellent menu was provided for the 300 brethren who surrounded the tables. The room was attractively decorated with flags. Alter ample time had been given to the good things of the table the brethren were called to order by Worshipful Harris R. Mouiton who introduced Brother George W. Winslow, Principal of the Normal Training School, as toastmaster. Brother Winslow proved an adept in his position of toastmaster.

HarrisBMoulton.jpg GeorgeWWinslow.jpg
Harris B. Moulton; George W. Winslow

He said, among other things: "If I am to take part in tonight's proceedings, 1 am honored and glad to be toastmaster, for he is supposed to be modest and brief. It is his task to arrange the galaxy of oratorical stars and bring them to the front, ring the bell, pull up the curtain and then modestly retire behind the scenes. You may always know him for his shibboleth is, That reminds me, and We have with us tonight. When the tables are turned and I am sitting elsewhere shiveringly awaiting to hear my name announced I take an entirely different view of the toastmaster. After consulting the books, I have come to the conclusion that the toastmaster has no place in history, at least not the kind that is mentioned in the books. He is a kind of social bacillus, irritating men into making remarks of a more or less unprintable character. All he does is to single out some one with a vulnerable hide and a shy disposition, insert his proboscis into some unguarded weak spot and goad him into speech. 1 have encountered the bacillus of mumps, received frequent visits from the germs of croup, and spent long nights in earnest communion with the winged messenger of grip, but these things 1 have endured, and nature, struggling against odds, has thrown out a defensive armor against them. But there is no antitoxin, no specific, no serum for the man who makes you talk in public when you have nothing to say. I have seen husky men of undoubted power, aggressive energy, great attainments, turn as white as chalk when this infernal germ so much as headed their way; seen them tremble, cough, turn with counterfeited interest to the waiter, or to the bore on the other side, and sweat cold drops of pure and limpid anguish until he passed over and stung the man beyond. A thing like this has no place in history. Is it any wonder that history makes no mention of him? But when it comes to the after-dinner speaker, that is another matter. Mere history is replete. In spite of the toastmaster after-dinner speaking has always been popular and always will be, because it takes us away from this busy, exacting, fault-finding old world, and gives us a chance to let care slip from our shoulders while

"In fragrant smoke our thoughts ascend,
And fleeting fancies with them I lend,
While bitterness, and arid pride,
And every evil thought beside
Are vanquished quite in quip and joke,
Completely lost in fragrant smoke.

"After-dinner speaking is popular because it brings together men whom we love to honor, not only because of their talent and position, but because of their true worth. It is popular because we find at such times a subtle chord of good will, sympathy, brotherhood, good fellowship and harmony of interests that unites us all. It is popular because it brings the smile. Who has a better right to smile than we whose founder made the discovery that there is a time to smile. I do not mean the kind of a smile defined by the dictionary, but the smile as defined by that splendid speaker, Henry Ward Beecher, who said, The smile — it is the color which love wears, and cheerfulness and joy, these three. It is the light in the window of the face by which the heart signifies to father, husband or friend that it is at home and waiting."

The Grand Master in his remarks referred to the fact that he was a member of the Universalist convention of the state, and while he did not favor the sale of the church in Westfield, yet he felt that as long as the property was to be sold he knew of no better hands in which it might fall than the Masons.

Those who responded to toasts besides the grand master were:—

The members of the Grand Lodge who were present during the day were:— Dana J. Flanders, Most Worshipful Grand Master; M. M. Johnson, Senior Grand Warden; Allen T, Treadway, Junior Grand Warden: Thomas W. Davis, Recording Grand Secretary; O. A. Roberts, Past Junior Grand Warden; C. C. Spellman, Past Junior Grand Warden ; F. E. Pierson, Past Junior Grand Warden; George H. Graves. Senior Grand Deacon; Harry P. Ballard, Grand Marshal: David T. Remington, Past Grand Warden; Worshipful Rev. E. A. Horton, senior Grand Chaplain; Worshipful Rev. W. H. Rider, junior Grand Chaplain ; Worshipful C. E. Peck, Grand Lecturer; Worshipful W. E. Gibbs, junior grand steward; Brother G. W. Chester, Grand Tyler. Members present from other lodges of the district were as follows:

  • Hampden Lodge: Worshipful W. J. Schlatter, A. E. Braman, H. A. Buzzell;
  • Roswell Lee Lodge: Worshipful G. H. Chamberlain, J. H. Grant, D. J. Kimpton;
  • Springfield Lodge: R. L. Munn, G. W. Gordon;
  • Chicopee Lodge: Worshipful C. H. Nutting, F. M. Beesley, A. B. Armstrong;
  • Esoteric Lodge: W orshipful F. O. Hartwell, T. C. Hawks, Worshipful E. A. Blodgett;
  • Belcher Lodge: Worshipful K. L. Davis, R. H. Fay, K. V. Schadee;
  • Mt. Tom Lodge: Worshipful A. K. Webster, Louis Strauss, E. T. Newton;
  • William Whiting Lodge: Worshipful Abraham Davis, W. H. Stedman, I. W. Davis;
  • Huntington Lodge: Worshipful L. G. Mambert, C. E. Crafts, I. L. Pomeroy;
  • Ionic Lodge: Worshipful W. M. Gaylord, E. L. Sheldon, John Leitch;
  • Newton Lodge: John W. Robb, J. O. Martin;
  • Mt. Holyoke Lodge: Worshipful E. T, Brown, C. H. Smith;
  • Brigham Lodge, Walter Winton, H. B. Payne.

The dedication of Thursday was in charge of Evening Star Royal Arch Chapter, the leading feature was a banquet at 7.30 o'clock. Excellent Companion Charles B. Wilson, High Priest, served as toastmaster. The speakers announced were:—R. E. Companion Charles W. Delano of Worcester: Rev. C. A. Wight. Chicopee; Hon. H. C. Parsons, Greenfield, and Arthur S. Kneil. Music was furnished by the Masonic male quartet of Springfield. On Friday a supper was given at 7 o'clock by Golden Chapter No. 5, O. E. S., which was followed by dancing and card playing.

The Grand Lodge officers were generously entertained while at Westfield. They were met in Springfield by a committee from Mount Moriah Lodge and escorted to Westfield in automobiles. Their headquarters were the Hotel Bismark. The general committee of arrangements consisted of: Clarence A. Brodeur, chairman: Harry L. Bradley, James R. Gladwin, Wm. F. Carson, Frederick H. Scott.

Mr. Brodeur, chairman of the general committee, is a 32nd degree Mason, and a Past Master of Belcher Lodge of Chicopee Falls. In 1906, 1907 and 1908 he was the efficient District Deputy Grand Master of the 16th Masonic District. He has compiled an interesting and instructive history of Mount Moriah Lodge, of which he is an honorary member, which is greatly appreciated by the officers and members.

Mount Moriah Lodge was instituted in 1856. Its membership has grown steadily. In 1857 there were 66 members. In 1860 the 100 mark was reached. In 1872 there were 200 members; 300 in 1901; 391 in 1906; and the present membership numbers about 430.

The present officers of the lodge are: Harris B. Moulton, worshipful master; F. J. Tooke and Charles B. Wilson, wardens; V. W. Crowson, treasurer; Frank W. Alderman, secretary; J. Harry Johnson and Luther E. Hollister, deacons; E. A. Kittredge and Harry A. Fowler, stewards: Harry M. Husk, marshal; Charles H. Clark, chaplain; Fred E. Beals, inside sentinel; Ernest Crowson, tyler, and Willis E. Burnett, organist.

SPECIAL MEETING, SEPTEMBER 1998

From TROWEL, Winter 1998, Page 19:

Mount Moriah Lodge Receives Fraternal Visitation From Three Presiding Grand Masters.

On Friday night, September fourth 1998. Mount Moriah Lodge of Westfield MA was honored by the Fraternal Visitation of M. W. Arthur E. Johnson, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts. If that were not enough attention to draw to this Lodge of the Springfield 18th Masonic District, the distinguished members of his suite included: M. W. Stanley S. Sheldon, Grand Master of Masons in Connecticut, who brought most all of his Grand Lodge Officers along with him, and M.W. Edward J. Wildblood, Grand Master of Masons in Vermont and Brothers from his home state. The evening was preceded by a dinner put on by the Eastern Star and served by the Rainbow Girls.

After M.W. Arthur E. Johnson introduced this very distinguished suite of Grand Lodge Officers from three states, the presiding Master of Mount Moriah Lodge, Wor. William E. de Forest, greeted the twenty or so Past Masters from various states that were on the Reception Committee chaired by Wor. Gordon Smith. M. W. Bro. Johnson accorded the two Grand Masters seats in the East. The sight of three presiding Grand Masters seated in the East of a Lodge is a sight which will not be soon forgotten.

The reason for the Special Communication was to confer the Entered Apprentice Degree on one candidate, Edward Francis Prendergast Jr. The Officers of Mount Moriah exemplified the Degree. The District Deputy Grand Master, R. W. Myron G. Swain, was present.

At the conclusion of the work, Wor. William E. de Forest returned the Oriental Chair to M. W. Arthur E. Johnson. The Grand Master called on his two counterparts for remarks. M.W. Edward Wildblood began by recounting a telephone conversation he had with the Grand Lodge of England about a visitation from Masons in Vermont to the Grand Lodge. The talk drifted to Grand Lodge staffing where England had about one hundred and, at the time, M.W. Edward Wildblood was there all alone. M.W. Bro. Johnson commented on how efficient the Grand Lodge of Vermont must be.

Next was M. W. Stanley S. Sheldon, Grand Master of Masons in Connecticut who spoke stirringly on revitalizing Freemasonry by going "Back To The Future." After bringing his warm greetings, M.W. Bro. Johnson closed Mount Moriah Lodge and brought an evening of inspiration and fellowship to a close. At a light collation in the banquet hall the brethren took advantage of the opportunity to expand on these fraternal benefits, to renew old friendships and make new ones.

MountMoriah1998.jpg
Bro. Robert Simmons, Junior Deacon and Bro. Prendergast's Sponsor; M. W. Arthur E. Johnson, Grand Master of Masons in MA; Bro. Edward F. Prendergast, Jr.; M. W. Stanley S. Shelton, Grand Master of Masons in CT; Wor. William E. de Forest, Master of Mount Moriah Lodge and M. W. Edward J. Wildblood, Grand Master of Masons in VT.


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The curator for this page is Brother Michael Nemeth. Please direct informational updates and questions to him.