Chartered By: John Albert Blake
Charter Date: 09/11/1907 1907-120
Precedence Date: 11/14/1906
Current Status: in Grand Lodge Vault; merged with Mount Carmel Lodge, 03/12/2001
- Benjamin F. Arrington, 1906, 1907
- Josiah P. Croscup, 1908
- John M. Nelson, 1909, 1910
- Jesse M. Holder, 1911, 1912
- Alonso E. Quick, 1913
- Frank E. Swain, 1914-1916; N
- Holder M. Jameson, 1917
- William A. Childs, 1918, 1919
- Frank L. Simpson, 1920
- Edward C. Kimball, 1921, 1922
- Thomas S. Bubier, 1923, 1924
- Louis F. P. Spindell, 1925, 1926
- John H. Mattson, 1927, 1928; N
- Harry W. Davis, 1929, 1930
- Alfred L. Poor, 1931, 1932
- Harry W. Braun, 1933, 1934
- John M. Nichols, 1935, 1936
- Earle N. Downing, 1937, 1938
- Edward P. Hamill, 1939, 1940
- Mial D. Chase, 1941; N
- Lester P. Marsh, 1942, 1943
- Marshall W. Hunt, 1944, 1945; N
- William H. Bates, 1946, 1947
- Harold J. Crowley, 1948
- Howard L. Hamill, 1949, 1950
- Robert G. Carlson, 1951
- Albion L. Hogan, 1952, 1953
- Oscar M. Keene, 1954, 1955
- Rodney L. MacNeill, 1956, 1957
- James R. Drolet, 1958
- John A. Duncan, 1959
- Paul L. Teal, 1960
- Frank B. Skalkos, 1961
- Arthur S. Smith, 1962
- George A. Downing, 1963
- Harry M. Kriebel, 1964
- Charles H. Miller, 1965
- Warren B. Bowley, 1966
- Francis E. Bates, 1967
- Harry W. Dill, Jr., 1968; N
- Harold Bartlett, 1969
- Dean E. Benedict, 1970
- Karl Mednis, 1971
- David Shadoff, 1972
- Joseph Milaiko, Jr., 1973
- Thomas Reid, 1974
- Leo Morgan, 1975
- Arthur S. Smith, 1976
- Robert E. Wetherell, 1977
- David Shadoff, 1978
- Warren B. Bowley, 1979
- Arthur S. Smith, 1980
- George L. Katz, 1981
- Stanley Smith, 1982, 1983
- John A. Foss, 1984, 1999, 2000, 2001
- Daniel P. Banker, 1985
- David Shadoff, 1986
- Robert L. Gove, 1987
- Neil S. Mitchell, 1988, 1990, 1991; N
- Bruce D. Mitchell, 1989
- Leroy E. Foss, 1992, 1993
- Robert L. Varnum, 1994, 1995
- James A. Mitchell, 1996
- George Rogosa, 1997, 1998
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- Petition for Dispensation: 1906
- Petition for Charter: 1907
- Consolidation Petition (with Mount Carmel Lodge): 2000
- 1956 (50th Anniversary)
VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 1907 (Blake; Constitution of Lodge and installation)
- 1908 (Blake)
- 1911 (Flanders; cornerstone laying in Swampscott)
- 1912 (Benton; cornerstone laying in Nahant)
- 1918 (L. Abbott)
- 1919 (L. Abbott)
- 1924 (Ferrell; 2 visits)
- 1956 (W. Johnson; 50th Anniversary)
- 2001 (Bauer; consolidation with Mount Carmel Lodge)
- 1956 (50th Anniversary History, 1956-339)
50TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, NOVEMBER 1956
From Proceedings, Page 1956-339:
By Right Worshipful Mial D. Chase.
It is well on the fiftieth anniversary of Damascus Lodge that we give pause to reflect on our attainments that our heritage may become a richer legacy.
On the 15th day of September in the year 1906, a meeting was held by a number of Craftsmen, which was the culmination of an activity that had been occupying the attention of this band of good and true Masons for more than a year. Individually and collectively, they had given of their time, energv and efforts to promote a project to which they were wholeheartedly devoted, inspired by the conviction that they were engaged in a needed and justifiable cause.
Freemasonry was flourishing in Lynn. The mother Lodge, Mount Carmel, instituted in 1805, had grown in numbers and influence, and was a large, thriving, and beneficent factor. Golden Fleece Lodge, in 1865, had outgrown its parent in stature and was proving its filial worthiness by emulating all its good works and deeds. There was need of another Lodge in our City to aid in carrying on and increasing the good of the Craft and the betterment of the Brethren.
This group of earnest and loyal Brothers, for the greater part members of Mount Carmel and Golden Fleece Lodges, had been brought together to further this cause, largely through the initiative of Wor. Josiah P. Croscup, and strengthened and supported by the enthusiastic aid of Wor. Benjamin F. Arrington. They had gathered about them several others who were especially active and helpful in advancing the purpose in view.
Many meetings had been held during the year or more prior to this time to consult, consider details, and exchange views and ideas, many of them impromptu, others specified, but all of an informal nature. The preliminaries having been completed, this meeting was called by notice for the evening of September 15, 1906. Every Brother in the group selected was in attendance.
Wor. Brother Croscup was unanimously chosen as Chairman of the meeting, and Bro. Frank E. Swain was elected as Secretary. The petition for dispensation for the new Lodge was presented in proper form and signed by all of the Brethren present.
It was voted that the Chairman appoint a Committee to present names for recommendation as Master and Wardens of the new Lodge. The Committee presented the following names, and they were unanimously chosen:
- Worshipful Master, Wor. Benjamin F. Arrington
- Senior Warden, Wor. Josiah P. Croscup
- Junior Warden, Bro. John M. Nelson
It was voted that the third Thursday of each month be selected for the regular communications. This was adhered to during the period of dispensation, but after the charter was granted, the regular meeting night was changed to the third Wednesday in each month.
Several of the Brethren presented names for consideration for the proposed Lodge, but none seemed to meet with general approval or acceptance. Bro. Charles S. Grover presented, with explanation of his reasons for selection, the name "Damascus", and this met with instant and unanimous approval. Brother Grover stated that his choice was made from its historic and peculiar Masonic significance. "Damascus is the oldest city extant in the world, antedating Nineveh and other ancient cities and towns of the old world long since destroyed, and thus links the present with the past with a record of continuous existence," such as he felt confident "would be the record of the new Lodge born under such auspicious circumstances. In Damascus originated, and from it comes, many noted and valuable articles: the Damask Rose, the Damson Plum, Damascus Lace, and Damascus, the beautiful silken fabric; perhaps best known of all, the Damascus Blade or Sword, which defied all attempts at imitation. It was particularly distinguished for its keen edge, capable of severing heavy iron spears, or cutting the most delicate gossamer fabric, famous for its hardness and elasticity, so much so that it could be bent to a right angle when it would spring back perfectly unchanged."
Bro. Grover stated that he felt "the peculiar characteristic and superior craftsmanship of Damascus steel was particularly applicable to our new Lodge, fine, keen, true, dependable, of enduring character."
On November 15, 1906, just two months later, by printed notice to the petitioners (the first Damascus Lodge notice), the initial meeting was held in Masonic Hall, corner of Market and Liberty Streets, Lynn. The dispensation had been granted by Most Worshipful John Albert Blake, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, dated November 14, A. D. 1906, A. L. 5906.
There were fourteen of the founders present at this first meeting. The Lodge was opened at 8:45 in due form by Wor. Benjamin F. Arrington as Worshipful Master. The dispensation was read and the following Brethren were announced as the first line of officers:
- Treasurer, Bro. Alexander J. R. Fiego
- Secretary, Wor. Albert R. Merrill
- Chaplain, Rev. Bro. William W. Bowers
- Marshal, Bro. Amos F. Chase
- Senior Deacon, Bro. Jessie M. Holder
- Junior Deacon, Bro. Alonzo E. Quick
- Senior Steward, Bro. Frederick W. Demick
- Junior Steward, Bro. Harry W. Crooker
- Inside Sentinel, Bro. Warren S. Hixon
- Organist, Bro. Samuel S. Shepard
- Tyler, Bro. Charles E. Irving
There were seventeen petitions for the degrees presented at this initial meeting, the first being that of Lyndon Vassar Grover, recommended by Bro. Charles S. Grover. The first only is recorded for purposes of this review, and merely for the fact that it was the first petition presented for the degrees in Damascus Lodge.
It was voted to adopt a cut of the City of Damascus for a frontispiece to the notices, and it appeared on the notice of the second meeting and for many years thereafter.
At the second meeting, Bro. Charles E. Harwood presented the Lodge with a gavel which he had purchased while in Jerusalem, wrought from a stone from King Solomon's quarry and a cedar of Lebanon, with the recommendation that it be used during the dispensation period and then placed in the archives. His son, Bro. Charles W. Harwood, although not then a member of the Lodge, presented a set of sterling silver square and compasses, as a token of his esteem and friendliness. The meeting of February 26, 1907, was especially noteworthy, it being a special meeting for the purpose of conferring the Master Mason Degree. Most Worshipful John Albert Blake was received on a fraternal visit and was accompanied by a number of distinguished Masons as members of his Suite.
The first candidate to be raised in Damascus Lodge was Bro. Lyndon V. Grover, by Wor. Benjamin F. Arrington. The second was Bro. Frank E. Vallier, by Wor. Josiah P. Croscup. The third was Bro. James F. Gibbs, by R. W. Albert B. Root, District Deputy Grand Master for the First Masonic District. The fourth was Bro. John C. Gibbs, by R. W. Harry P. Ballard, Acting Grand Marshal. The fifth, Bro. Joshua N. Anderson, was raised by Wor. Benjamin F. Arrington, with full form and ceremony. This was an enthusiastic meeting, with an attendance of 98, ot whom 16 were members Under Dispensation.
At the meeting in May 1907, the members, acting informally only and as an expression of sentiment, voted unanimously that there was need for a Masonic Home in Massachusetts, and also voted unanimously to support one financially if established. Mount Carmel Lodge presented Damascus with a complete set of officers' jewels and collars, and Golden Fleece Lodge presented a complete set of officers' aprons.
On August 15, 1907, the last meeting Under Dispensation was held. The Committee on By-Laws submitted a draft which was read article by article and adopted in its entirety. Bro. Charles S. Grover, representing the Charter Members, and the Brethren who had received the degrees during Dispensation, presented the Lodge with a complete set of paraphernalia, aside from the gifts received from the two sister Lodges; and the close of the Dispensation period found the Lodge equipped with every requirement for the work in hand.
The Lodge then proceeded for the first time to elect officers for the coming year. Wor. Bro. Arrington declared that the honor of serving the Lodge as first Master under the Charter should fall to the lot of Wor. Bro. Croscup, who had originated, and labored so zealously for, the new Lodge. Wor. Bro. Merrill announced that by reason of business engagements it would be impossible for him to continue as Secretary, and the result of the election was as follows:
- Worshipful Master, Wor. Josiah P. Croscup
- Senior Warden, Bro. John M. Nelson
- Junior Warden, Bro. Jesse M. Holder
- Treasurer, Bro. Alexander J. R. Fiego
Secretary Wor. Benjamin F. Arrington So the services of Wor. Bro. Arrington continued to the benefit of Freemasonry and the particular good of Damascus Lodge. He had been serving the Craft officially in a dual capacity for the past year as Secretary of Mount Carmel Lodge and as the first Master of Damascus. It had been his intention to relinquish the former position at the close of the current term and also to retire from official station in Damascus. He had been serving in some capacity in Mount Carmel Lodge for nearly seventeen years and was looking forward to a rest from active labors. The demand for a continuance of his services was unanimous and insistent, and while he accepted the office of Secretary of Damascus Lodge reluctantly, he could not overlook the fact presented to him that the Lodge had further need of him; and he filled the office with almost unparalleled ability and zeal during the rest of his life.
Thus ended the work of Damascus Lodge Under Dispensation. It had been voluminous. There had been 66 petitions presented for the degrees, of which 45 had been elected and 21 rejected.
The next event of moment for Damascus Lodge was the Constitution of the Lodge, which occurred on October 16, 1907. Constitutions of new Lodges fifty years ago were of rare occurrence and this occasioned elaborate and pleasingly acceptable arrangements.
The formal ceremony of Constitution of the Lodge took place at 3:15 o'clock p. m. in the main lodge-room. The Charter granted by Grand Lodge was signed by Most Worshipful John Albert Blake, Grand Master, and was read by the Grand Secretary, Most Worshipful Sereno D. Nickerson, confirming the following-named Brethren in the rights and privileges of a regularly constituted Lodge by the name of "Damascus:"
- Josiah P. Croscup
- Charles E. Harwood
- Charles S. Grover
- Benjamin F. Arrington
- Warren S. Hixon
- William D. Brown
- Frank E. Swain
- Chester V. Lewis
- Amos F. Chase
- Alonzo E. Quick
- William A. Burrill
- Alexander J. R. Fiego
- John M. Nelson
- Albert R. Merrill
- Jesse M. Holder
- Frederick W. Demmick
- Harry W. Crooker
- William W. Bowers
- Everett W. Pecker
- Charles A. Alley
The installation of the first line of officers under Charter followed, the Brethren named below being inducted into their respective offices by the Grand Lodge Officers: Worshipful Master, Wor. Josiah P. Croscup Senior Warden, Bro. John M. Nelson Junior Warden, Bro. Jesse M. Holde Treasurer, Bro. Alexander J. R. Fiego Secretary, Wor. Benjamin F. Arrington Chaplain, Bro. Rev. William W. Bowers Marshal, Bro. Frank A. Millett Senior Deacon, Bro. Alonzo E. Quick Junior Deacon, Bro. Frederick W. Demmick Senior Steward, Bro. Arthur B. Corrin Junior Steward, Bro. Fred K. Tobin Inside Sentinel, Bro. Fred E. Furbush Organist, Bro. Arthur J. Brown Tyler , Bro. Charles E. Irving A regular meeting of the Lodge immediately followed the installation, and Most Worshipful John Albert Blake was nominated for Honorary Membership, to which he was elected for the following month.
A committee, consisting of Wor. Albert R. Merrill and Brothers Charles S. Grover and Everett W. Pecker, was appointed to select a seal for Damascus Lodge.
Bro. Charles E. Harwood presented the Lodge with an elegant gavel of ivory, with ebony handle and sterling silver trimmings, to take the place of the one he had brought from Jerusalem, used Under Dispensation, and now to be preserved. The Grand Master, members of his suite and ladies, were met at the railroad station in Lynn and conveyed to Masonic Hall in automobiles. During the ceremonies within the Lodge, the ladies were taken on tours of the city and to adjoining points of interest; thence to the new Y. M. C. A. building where apartments had been placed at the disposal of Damascus Lodge and where the Brethren later joined them, and a collation was served.
At 7:15 a reception was held at Masonic Hall to the Grand Master, Grand Lodge Officers and ladies. At 8:00 o'clock Wor. Bro. Croscup warmly welcomed the gathering, composed of all the Brethren, invited guests and ladies. An especially fine musical entertainment was enjoyed, and the Grand Master made a short but inspiring address. At 9:00 o'clock an elaborate and excellent banquet was served. Dancing and social converse concluded the festivities of the day.
On March 18, 1908, Wor. Bro. Merrill reported for the committee to select a seal for the Lodge, and submitted a design described as "a circle, around the margin the words 'Damascus Lodge, Lynn, Mass.' with a representation of the East Gate of the City of Damascus in the center," and this design was adopted.
In June of that year, Most Worshipful John Albert Blake made another fraternal visit to the Lodge and expressed his appreciation of the honor conferred upon him in making him our first Honorary Member. He referred to the Constitution as the only one during his administration of three years, and stated that in these later days it is very seldom that a Masonic Lodge is constituted in Massachusetts.
In October 1909, Bro. George Wood first served the Lodge as Chaplain in the absence of Rev. Bro. William W. Bowers. This was but the beginning of a most faithful service rendered to the Lodge by Bro. Wood, and which culminated in his election to Honorary Membership in 1920, and the presentation to him of a Chaplain's jewel in 1923.
At the meeting in November the Lodge was notified of the passing on at Baltimore, Maryland, on October 22, 1909, of Charter Member Everett W. Pecker, the first in the Lodge to be removed by death.
In March 1910, the unique organization known as the Charter Members' Association of Damascus Lodge was inaugurated. The loss of Bro. Pecker brought forcibly to the thoughts of the remaining Charter Members that as time progressed the circle would diminish. Bros. Charles E. Harwood, Amos F. Chase and Benjamin F. Arrington proposed a reunion of those who had worked so closely in the formation of the Lodge, and a call was sent for a dinner and meeting of the nineteen remaining Brethren to be held at the Parker House in Boston on March 28th. A delightful evening was spent and regret expressed that such meetings were not held while Bro. Pecker was with us. At that meeting Bro. Charles S. Grover proposed the forming of an Association for the purpose of continuing the fraternal good feeling, keeping alive the memories and traditions incidental to the formation of the Lodge, and to promote Masonry in general. Then and there the Charter Members' Association was instituted. It was suggested that the Association always keep in harmony with Damascus members, and in a fatherly rather than corrective manner, act as advisor and counselor to the Lodge. The agreement of the association provided for an annual meeting of the members to be held as near the anniversary date of the institution of the Lodge as possible.
As the ravages of time would deplete the ranks of an organization limited in number and engaged in a specific purpose, and thus perhaps bring a sense of sadness to each anniversary, Bro. Chase proposed the proxy membership plan which has been adopted. In the event of the loss of any member of the Association, a new member or proxy is chosen from the membership of Damascus Lodge. The proxy, while enjoying all the rights and privileges of original membership, represents the original Charter Member, and thus the Charter Member's name is ever before the Association, and the entire membership of the Association is kept alive and active.
By 1921, the Association was in possession of some considerable means, and at the annual meeting, Bro. Harwood proposed to establish and maintain by donations and otherwise a fund to be known as the Damascus Charter Members' Fund. This fund may be used for any purpose of Masonic relief or charity as may be deemed advisable.
In May 1911, the first Ladies' Night was held. This was the forerunner of many successful and enjoyable similar occasions. On December 21, 1911, the Lodge joined with Philanthropic, Mount Carmel and Golden Fleece Lodges in escort to Most Worshipful Dana J. Flanders, Grand Master, and Officers of the Grand Lodge, who performed the ceremony of laying the corner-stone of the Hadley School in Swampscott. This was the first time the Lodge had appeared in public procession.
Again, on April 13, 1913, Damascus participated in laying the corner-stone of the new Town Hall in Nahant, by Most Worshipful Everett C. Benton, Grand Master, and Officers of Grand Lodge.
An interesting meeting was held on June 4, 1914, during which Wor. Bro. Arrington raised Bro. Exavier A. Byron, giving the ritual in the French language, it being the first time in 109 years of constituted Masonry in Lynn that that language had been so used.
On February 14, 1915, the Lodge acted as escort, in conjunction with other local Lodges, to Golden Fleece Lodge on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of that Lodge. The event was to attend public worship in the First Congregational Church, Lynn, a part of the commemorative exercises, and there were that Sunday more than 1000 Brethren in line.
On November 15, 1915, Bro. Holder M. Jameson was elected Worshipful Master of the Lodge, the first Master to be chosen from the elected membership. This occurred on the 10th Anniversary of the Lodge. In further commemoration of this Anniversary, the officers Under Dispensation occupied the stations and conferred the Master Mason Degree. On the prior evening an entertainment and banquet complimentary to the ladies had been given as a part of the observance of the Decennial Anniversary, which had been enjoyable in welcome degree, and the Lodge had made another addition to the list of social successes.
The Charter Members' Association was welcomed to the meeting of December 7th, and Bro. Harwood, in behalf of his associates, presented the Lodge a beautiful silk flag, the banner of our country. The Stars and Stripes were borne into the Lodge by Bro. Amos F. Chase, a veteran of the Civil War.
This was the beginning of a regular feature of the Lodge's activities, the Annual Charter Members' Night, which ever since has been an occasion of congratulation and happiness. No particular reference to these occasions is made herein, other than to record the 20th Anniversary as being a noteworthy event of similar character.
At the meeting on January 17, 1917, notification was given to the Lodge of the appointment and installation of one of its members, Wor. Frank E. Swain, as District Deputy Grand Master for the 8th Masonic District. The new District Deputy was present, and as his first pleasant duty, presented Bro. Amos F. Chase with a Henry Price Medal, as an award from Most Worshipful Leon M. Abbott, Grand Master, in recognition of Bro. Chase's more than half century of distinguished service as a Mason.
The records of Damascus Lodge bear evidence of the part the Fraternity as a whole and the Lodge in particular displayed during World War I. Exercises in all Lodges were filled with the spirit of patriotism and loyalty. Meetings were held with unprecedented frequency, and great activity was manifested in every direction.
The Grand Master in June 1917 requested that a record be made and preserved of all enlistments by Brethren in any branch of service to our country. Damascus Lodge subscribed liberally to the purchase of Liberty Bonds. The Masonic War Relief Fund was instituted and again Damascus was to the fore in the contributions of her members. Rev. Bro. Lyman Rollins, in the military service overseas, was appointed Chaplain,to be installed upon his return home. The Master announced that Damascus was to display a service flag in open Lodge, the stars representing the number of members in the military or naval service. A committee was appointed as a Rallying Committee for War Relief.
Special meetings were held under dispensations granting permission to confer degrees out of season on Brethren in the service, and for other reasons of similar import. Rules were formulated by the State Fuel Commission whereby Lodge meetings, in common with many other activities, were limited in duration to not later than ten o'clock P. M. Conservation of food was necessary, and consequently Lodge collations were of the most meagre sort.
On February 20, 1918, the Lodge was honored by a fraternal visit from Most Worshipful Leon M. Abbott, Grand Master.
On November 8, 1918, a special meeting was held, the first since early September, as Lodge meetings were entirely suspended "by reason of the prevalence of the so-called Spanish Influenza; and local communities, following the action of state authorities, prohibited public gatherings. Even churches abandoned their regular services. The Grand Master, by order, suspended meetings of all Lodges in the jurisdiction."
On November 18, 1919, Damascus joined with Mount Carmel and Golden Fleece Lodges in a Welcome Home Service Night at the Lynn Armory to their members who had donned khaki and blue in defence of democracy and right. This event was attended by more than 800 Brethren. A banquet was served, there was a roll call of soldiers and sailors, and gifts were presented to them, followed by an entertainment. This occasion was graced by the presence of the Grand Master, Most Worshipful Leon M. Abbott. The roll call of Damascus Lodge showed that 56 of our members had enlisted in the service of our country.
A tremendous influx of men into Masonry was also experienced at this period. The time was marked by a volume of applications never before exceeded in the history of the Fraternity. In Damascus, 109 petitions were presented in a period of six months. Meeting after meeting was held with great frequency. There were not enough nights in the week to supply the demand for special meetings on the part of the three Lynn Lodges; Damascus added to its numbers by a large increase. On December 19, 1919, Bro. Frank L. Simpson was installed as Worshipful Master by Most Worshipful Melvin M. Johnson, Past Grand Master, and in October 1920, Bro. Edward C. Kimball was installed by Most Worshipful Leon M. Abbott, Past Grand Master.
At the meeting of December 17, 1919, a petition was presented from a number of Lynn Masons requesting permission and recommendation for a dispensation to form a fourth Lodge in Lynn by the name of Bethlehem. This was unanimously granted on January 21, 1920, and at the time of a meeting of Damascus on March 5th, the new Lodge was instituted in an adjoining apartment, and later in the evening, the officers and members became guests of Damascus Lodge. At a later date Damascus presented to Bethlehem Lodge a Master's Gavel, Wardens' Truncheons, Baton for the Marshal, and Rods for the Deacons and Stewards.
Another occasion of moment occurred on January 11, 1921, when a special meeting was held, at which a reception was given to Wor. Frank L. Simpson in recognition of his installation as Junior Grand Deacon of the Grand Lodge; and to Right Worshipful Frank E. Swain, signalizing his preferment as Senior Grand Warden. The Lodge was honored at this meeting by the presence of Most Worshipful Arthur D. Prince, Grand Master, and suite of Grand Officers. Invaluable and beautiful gifts were bestowed upon the two Damascus members who had been so highly honored. This also brought to Damascus the honor of having one of its members, R. W. Brother Swain, hold permanent membership in Grand Lodge, the first in the history of Masonry in Lynn.
At the April meeting of 1923, Bro. Charles E. Harwood was presented with a Henry Price Medal, by order of the Grand Master, in recognition of his distinctive Masonic services for a period of over fifty years.
Damascus Lodge, as well as Wor. Frank L. Simpson, was further honored in 1924 when he was chosen as Deputy Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts. A most enjoyable meeting was held on January 16th in observance of this honor, graced by a fraternal visit from Most Worshipful Dudley H. Ferrell, Grand Master, and Officers of Grand Lodge.
In September of 1924, Right Worshipful Bro. Simpson installed Bro. Louis F. P. Spindell and officers, and presented a beautiful Secretary's jewel to Wor. Bro. Arrington as a mark of love and affection. This occasion was also honored by the presence of Most Worshipful Dudley H. Ferrell, Grand Master.
During the year the Lodge was recorded as favoring the proposed amendment to the Grand Constitutions establishing a per capita tax, or Grand Lodge assessment, for every Mason within the jurisdiction, the very greater portion of which was to be used for charitable and benevolent purposes.
At the regular meeting in December 1925, Damascus was notified of the grand honor to Right Worshipfu] Frank L. Simpson in his election to the post of Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts. At the February meeting following, Most Worshipful Brother Simpson, Grand Master, made an official visit to the Lodge, accompanied by a distinguished suite.
On March 10, 1926, there was removed from our midst our well beloved Senior Warden, Bro. George E. Richardson. The Lodge suffered a loss which cannot be measured by words, and the Craft an earnest and sincere Brother. His life, as well as his Masonic service, had been of high degree, and his future was most promising.
In December of that year, notice was also given of the passing of Most Worshipful John Albert Blake, our first Honorary Member, and Grand Master who had issued our Dispensation and signed our Charter.
A time of rejoicing came to the Lodge in January 1927, in the notice of the elevation of our revered Charter Member, Master Under Dispensation, and Secretary, Wor. Benjamin F. Arrington, to the office of Deputy Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts. This selection gave Damascus the unique and rare honor of having among her membership three permanent members of Grand Lodge. The September following, Right Worshipful Bro. Arrington installed Bro. John H. Mattson as Worshipful Master, and the other officers of Damascus, and was himself installed as Secretary to enter his 21st year of service to our Lodge. This was a distinctive installation, characteristic of Brother Arrington, in which the Deputy Grand Master divested himself of his official position for the time being, to enter the office of Secretary of a subordinate Lodge.
The records of Damascus Lodge dated December 21, 1927, inscribe the following from the hand of our Acting Secretary:
"The next business was a particularly solemn nature. The Worshipful Master announced the passing from all earthly activities of
Right Worshipful Benjamin Franklin Arrington
In Loving Remembrance—Our Secretary
Born in Leominster, Mass., July 6, 1854
Master of Mount Carmel Lodge 1886-1897
First Master of Damascus Lodge 1906
Secretary 1907 to date.
The first among his equals and a Mason.
"From the moment of his raising in 1888 it may be said that he devoted his life to Masonic service. His zeal, energy and ability gained him the highest esteem, respect and love of hosts of friends and brothers. In the preferment which last came to him, in which we so greatly rejoiced, probably no man was more generally esteemed. His domestic and home life was completely ideal. It can truly be said that by nature he was a great man and of extraordinary ability."
He passed away on December 4, 1927. It is difficult to realize we shall never again clasp the hand of this honorable man, this worthy Mason. May his influence continue to help us on in the work in which he found such delight.
Brother Mial D. Chase, who many times acted as Secretary pro tern, was elected to the Secretaryship and continued in that office many years before becoming Worshipful Master.
Bro. Alexander J. R. Fiego, a Charter Member, our Treasurer, passed away on April 17, 1928. He had served in that office since the beginning of the Lodge and had performed his duties in an excellent manner.
On January 18, 1929, there was received from Wor. Alonzo E. Quick and fifty-one other Masons, a request for recommendation for a new and fifth Lodge in Lynn to be named "Benjamin F. Arrington Lodge." This was unanimously granted at the next regular meeting of the Lodge.
In November 1931, the 25th Anniversary was celebrated in a quiet and fitting manner. Most Worshipful Frank L. Simpson, Past Grand Master, was the speaker, and Wor. John H. Mattson acted as Toastmaster. Wor. Josiah P. Croscup read a brief resume of the founding of the Lodge, and R. W. Frank E. Swain gave a brief history taken from the records as kept by R. W. Benjamin F. Arrington.
The depression was beginning to take effect and many activities were necessarily curtailed during the following years. A reception was held on March 16, 1932, honoring R. W. John H. Mattson, who had been appointed District Deputy Grand Master of the Salem Eighth Masonic District.
Damascus joined with the other local Lodges in observing the Bi-Centennary Anniversary of the birth of George Washington on April 21, 1932, at the First Universalist Church. Most Worshipful Leon M. Abbott, Past Grand Master, was the speaker. On October 19, 1932, Most Worshipful Frank L. Simpson, Past Grand Master, installed Bro. Harry W. Braun as Worshipful Master.
A "Roll Call" and Members' Night was held on April 15, 1936. It was well attended and messages were received from members who had been unable to attend meetings for many years.
In 1936, Brother Mial D. Chase resigned as Secretary to become Junior Warden, and R. W. Frank E. Swain assumed the duties of the office.
World War II, which began in December 1941, caused us once again to bend all our energies towards patriotism. Efforts were made to keep in touch with our members who were called to military duty.
In 1942, Wor. Mial D. Chase was appointed District Deputy Grand Master of the Salem Eighth Masonic District. This was the third time that Damascus Lodge had received the honor of having a Past Master assume this position.
The Charter Members' Association, ever conscious of their "fatherly" interest, presented a set of Officers' aprons to the Lodge in 1944.
In was in 1946, just forty years since our own beginning, that Mount Sinai Lodge was instituted, making a total of six Lodges now in Lynn.
Brother Ivan B. Dearborn became Secretary in 1947, the fourth change in Secretaries in our fifty years as a Lodge.
The first Christmas Party for children, under the direction of the Entertainment Committee took place in 1950 and since then has become an annual event.
Again Damascus Lodge was honored by the appointment of a Past Master as District Deputy Grand Master for the Salem Eighth Masonic District. In 1954, Wor. Marshall W. Hunt assumed the office and still holds that position.
Of the original Charter Members, numbering twenty, only four are now living: Wor. John M. Nelson, Rev. Bro. William W. Bowers, Wor. Jesse M. Holder, and Bro. Harry W. Crooker. The Charter Members' Association is always ready to aid, support and counsel when needed.
So we come to our Fiftieth year, with a membership of 609, with eighteen of our Past Masters still living and actively interested. May Damascus thrive anew in the years ahead, always being conscious of the Masonic virtues which have been exemplified in the past— "Quality in all things."
- 1936 (Reduction of fees)
GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- Benjamin F. Arrington, Deputy Grand Master 1927
- Dean E. Benedict, Grand Chaplain
- Harlan S. Cummings, DDGM, District 8 (Lynn), 1923, 1924; Memorial
- Mial D. Chase, DDGM, District 8 (Salem), 1943, 1944; N
- Harry W. Dill, Jr., DDGM, District 8 (Salem), 1983, 1984; N;
- Marshall W. Hunt, DDGM, District 8 (Salem), 1955, 1956; N
- John H. Mattson, DDGM, District 8 (Salem), 1932, 1933; N
- Neil S. Mitchell, DDGM, District 8 (Salem), 1995, 1996; N
- Frank L. Simpson, Deputy Grand Master 1924, Grand Master 1926-1928
- Frank E. Swain, DDGM, District 8 (Lynn), 1917, 1918; Senior Grand Warden 1921; N
- Myron E. Smith, Memorial