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Grand Master 1979-1980


Paul Anthony Burkhardt, Jr. of Johnston was elected and installed the One Hundred and Twenty-Fourth Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons of the Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons for the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations at its 188th Annual Communication held at the Scottish Rite Cathedra] in Cranston, Rhode Island on May 21, 1979.

Most Worshipful Brother Burkhardt was born in Buffalo, New York on September 22, 1928, the son of Paul A. and Winifred (Whelan) Burkhardt, and younger brother of Charles S. Burkhardt II.

He was educated in the public schools in Buffalo, New York and graduated from Burgard Vocational High School, majoring in Aviation Mechanics, in June 1946.

After completing High School, Brother Burkhardt enlisted in the United States Navy in August, 1946. During nearly eleven years of service he graduated from the Navy Bugler's School, served in the Navy Construction Battalions and graduated from the Navy School of Music. He served in both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets aboard the U. S. S. Kearsarge (CV-33), U. S. S. Missouri (BB-63), U. S. S. Albany (CA-123), and the U. S. S. Coral Sea (CVA-43) and was honorably discharged in March, 1957.

After his service in the U.S. Navy, Brother Burkhardt entered the Rhode Island School of Design and graduated in 1961 with the degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts, in Interior Architectural Design. While attending the R. I. School of Design, he worked, part-time for Almacs Inc. and upon graduation, became a full-time employee for that company in the Store Design Department. His present position with the Almacs firm is Manager, Store Development.

On February 14, 1953, he married Miss Jane A. Capwell, daughter of Sidney A. and Vera (Cole) Capwell and have resided at 2165 Hartford Avenue, Johnston, Rhode Island since their marriage except for periods while away in the Service. Their Marriage was blessed by two sons, Paul A. Ill, and Steven C. Burkhardt.

The unexpected and very sudden death of Brother Burk-hardt's wife, Jane was a tragic blow to Paul and his family on January 17, 1980. Their loss was felt deeply by all Rhode Island Masons and by many friends and Brothers of our sister jurisdictions.

Most Worshipful Brother Burkhardt's Masonic record began in 1961 when he took his Entered Apprentice Degree in Ionic Lodge #28 in Greene, Rhode Island. He signed the Bylaws on Ionic Lodge on April 14, 1962 and served as its Worshipful Master in 1967-1968. Upon the death of his father-in-law, R. W. Sidney A. Capwell who was Secretary of Ionic Lodge and Grand Secretary of our Grand Lodge, he was appointed as Secretary and elected to that post in 1970 and has retained that office to this date, thus serving his own lodge as Secretary, while serving the State of Rhode Island as Grand Master.

He was appointed District Deputy Grand Master of the Seventh Masonic District in May, 1971 by Most Worshipful Arthur R. Medley and the following years was appointed to similar positions in other districts. He was elected Junior Grand Warden in May 1976, Senior Grand Warden in May, 1977, Deputy Grand Master in May, 1978 and Grand Master on May 21, 1979.

He holds membership in the following Masonic organizations: Sword of Bunker Hill — Gaspee Order; Harmony Royal Arch Chapter No. 15; Doric Council No. 7; Washington Commandery No. 4, K.T.; Valley of Providence, A. A. S. R.; Palestine Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.; Palestine Knights of Mecca; Queen of Sheba Chapter No. 10, O. E. S.; Honorary Member of Temple Lodge #18, Greenville, R. I.; and Secretary's Guild, presently Vice President.

Rhode Island People