FRED WHEELER JOHNSTONE 1884-1974
Grand Master 1952-1953
From Proceedings of Grand Lodge of Rhode Island, 1953:
Fred Wheeler Johnstone, of St. John's Lodge, No. 1, Newport, R. I., was elected and installed the ninety-seventh Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons for the State of Rhode Island anil Providence Plantations at the One Hundred and Sixty-first Annual Communication held in Providence on Monday, May 19, A. L. 1952, A.. D. 1952.
Born in Wellesley, Massachusetts, February 14, 1884, the son of James T. and Lizzie (Wheeler) Johnstone, he obtained his early education in the public schools of Everett, Massachusetts, where the family resided after 1892. He later attended Boston University from which he graduated with a Bachelor's and a Master's degree. While doing his graduate courses, he was elected to the Phi Delta Kappa fraternity.
He was married on August 5, 1913 to Miss Reba E. Roves, of Leominster, Massachusetts, and they have two children, a son, Dr. Donald R. Johnstone, Professor of Microbiology at the University of Vermont, and a daughter, Ruth, Mrs. David M. Roche, of Concord, California. There are four granddaughters, one in Vermont and three in California.
After six years of business experience in Boston, he took up the occupation of teaching in 1909, being elected that year as Principal of the Houghton High School in Bolton, Massachusetts. In 1911 he was elected to the Commercial Department of Rogers High School in Newport, Rhode Island. The following year he became Head of the Department, in 1923 he became Vice Principal, and in 1934 he became Principal, which position he held until his retirement in 1949.
While serving in the school, he was an active member of the educational associations, both local, state, and national. He served nine years on the Rhode Island State Athletic Committee, was a member of the New England Council, and served a term on the New England College Entrance Board. He was a member of several committees whose work finally resulted in the establishment of the Teachers' Retirement System of Newport. He served several years as a Trustee of the System, and is now the Executive Secretary.
In civic and social affairs, he has been as active as the requirements of the position would permit. He served as Trustee, and Treasurer, of Channing Memorial Church for twenty-seven years, 1922-1949, and served in the chairs of the various church clubs. He has served :is Auditor for the Family Welfare Society since 1919; served several terms on the Y. M. C. A. Board of Directors; and is a member of the Newport Hospital Corporation.
The joining activities began in 190!), when he became a member of Middlesex Lodge, No. 17, I. O. O. F., of Malden, Massachusetts, a membership he still holds.
The Masonic Activities began on May 11, 1911 when he was raised in Palestine Lodge, Everett, Massachusetts.
In 1919 he demitted to join St. John's Lodge, No. 1, of Newport, Rhode Island, was shortly thereafter appointed in line, and served as Master in 1921.
He served several seasons as Master of Ceremonies for R. W. Bros. J. Irving Shepley and George F. Ward, and in 1940 was appointed Grand Marshal. In 1944 he was appointed District Deputy Grand Master of the Seventh District by M. W. Bro. Herbert A. Crowell, and the following years was appointed to a similar position in other districts, until in 1950 he was elected Senior Grand Warden. The next year he was advanced to Deputy Grand Master, and in 1952 was elevated to the position of Grand Master.
He joined Newport Chapter, No. 2, R. A. M., in 1918, and served as High Priest in 1926.
He joined DeBlois Council, No. 5, R. & S. M., in 1918, and served as Thrice Illustrious Master in 1921. In 1926 he was appointed in the Grand Council line, and in 1931 served as Most Illustrious Grand Master.
He joined Washington Commandery, No. 4, K. T., in 1918, and served as Eminent Commander in 1924.
He is a member of Van Rensselaer Lodge of Perfection in Newport, and the other Scottish Rite bodies in Providence.
He was made a member of the Knights of the York Cross of Honor in Knickerbocker Priory, No. 3, of New York City, and became a charter member of Roger Williams Priory, No. 48, of Providence.
He was made a member of the Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine in St. Andrews Conclave, No. 28, in Hartford, Connecticut, and became a charter member of Plantations Conclave, No. 30, of Providence.
He is a member of Palestine Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., of Providence: Kolah Grotto, M. O. V. P. E. R., of Newport; Massasoit Forest, No. 112, Tall Cedars of Lebanon, of Riverside: Masonic Veterans' Association, of Burlington, Vermont: an honorary member of St. Paul's Lodge, No. 14, of Newport; and a Past President of the Seventh District Past Masters' Association.