- 1 BEAVER LODGE
- 2 REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
Chartered By: Dudley M. Ferrell
Charter Date: 09/22/1923 V-264
Precedence Date: 11/14/1922
- Amos L. Taylor, 1923; N
- Elmer C. Read, 1924
- Royal T. Brodrick, 1925
- John S. Moore, 1926
- A. Glenn Simm, 1927
- Herbert L. Davis, 1928
- Stanley A. Sparrow, 1929
- William H. Caswell, Jr., 1930
- Charles H. Wood, 1931
- Alexander Hutchins, 1932
- Torrance Parker, 1933
- Nathaniel H. Atkins, 1934
- Ralph W. Rogers, 1935
- Sidney L. Simonds, 1936
- Donald E. Puffer, 1937
- Chester L. Howe, 1938
- John W. Richardson, 1939
- George R. Giles, 1940
- Charles F. Giles, 1941; N
- A. Otis Shurrocks, 1942
- Edward C. Wilson, 1943
- Earle C. Parks, 1944
- John Butterworth, 1945
- Charles E. Lawrence, Jr., 1946
- Charles E. Kendall, 1947
- Ellery P. Koch, 1948
- Edward I. Kerr, 1949
- James W. Williams, 1950
- William E. Olsson, 1951; N
- Leslie W. Williamson, 1952
- Robert M. Little, 1953
- Francis Butterworth, 1954
- James T. Dewing, 1955
- Wallace G. Taylor, Jr., 1956
- John M. Sherman, 1957
- Horace P. Willson, 1958
- Lloyd B. Giles, 1959
- Roland P. Pigeon, 1960
- Donald H. Shaw, 1961
- Alan M. Downey, 1962
- James A. Anderson, 1963
- Gerald F. Tabeling, 1964
- Richard V. Tabeling, 1965
- F. Clifford Burdick, 1966
- Arthur G. Carlson, Jr., 1967
- James W. Currie, 1968
- Charles E. Kendall, Jr., 1969
- Philip B. Shoemaker, 1970, 1978
- Leslie Williamson, Jr., 1971
- Arthur H. Post, Jr., 1972
- Keith Heyward, 1973
- Richard I. Rebstead, 1974
- Allan M. Cox, Jr., 1975, 1979
- Laurence P. MacDonald, 1976, 1977
- William R. Morrison, Jr., 1980
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 1923 (Ferrell)
- 1940 (Perry)
- 1947 (Wragg; 25th Anniversary)
- 1972 (Vose; 25th Anniversary)
- 1980 (Melanson; merger with Belmont Lodge)
25TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, NOVEMBER 1947
From Proceedings, Page 1947-330:
By Right Worshipful Amos L. Taylor.
During the first World War, the Knights of Columbus and the Y. M. C. A. were allowed to maintain headquarters at each encampment for their respective members. Masons felt excluded, with the result that special Masonic Lodges were instituted at or near camps, and a great many of the soldiers hastened home at the first opportunity to join the Masonic Order, each in his own town. This demand for Masonry continued long after the War. I heard it stated repeatedly that a soldier in the service must be either a Mason or a member of the Knights of Columbus. This situation, together with increasing salaries and compensation, which produced more money for use, as well as the fundamental principles of Masonry, caused a rapid increase in membership in our Masonic Lodges. Belmont Lodge, organized on March 9, 1865, joined in this rapid increase. During the year 1920, when I was Master of that Lodge, ninety-two received degrees, with eight membership additions, making a total membership of over four hundred.
During this period the increase in population in Belmont was very rapid, doubling between 1910 and 1920 and again between 1920 and 1930. To meet all these conditions, it seemed desirable to have a new Lodge for the benefit of a large number of members of the Masonic Fraternity who were moving into the town.
The retiring Master and officers of Belmont Lodge for the year 1920, with many others, were much impressed with the need of some relief. Some of the line officers of Belmont Lodge, together with resident Past Masters, were asked to attend a conference in June, 1921. Worshipful Elmer C. Read, Past Master of Columbian Lodge, presided. An informal discussion took place, and it was decided that probably the time had come to organize a new Lodge. It was voted to appoint a committee to investigate the question for details of such organization. The committee appointed was Wor. Amos L. Taylor, Wor. Elmer C. Read, Wor. Royal T. Brodrick, and Bro. Louis A. Jones. This committee called a meeting for early in September, 1921, and recommended that a new Lodge be organized. A general discussion took place, and it appeared that the new Presiding Master of Belmont Lodge was opposed to this and requested that Belmont Lodge be given time to work out its problems. As a result, it was decided to do nothing further at this time. In June, 1922, Wor. Judge Arthur P. Stone, the Presiding Master of Belmont Lodge, conferred with Worshipful Brothers Taylor and Read. He stated that the membership of Belmont Lodge was over five hundred, the number of candidates for the decrees was maintained, and he felt there should be another Lodge. In the meantime, Belmont Royal Arch Chapter had been organized on October 13, 1920, with unusual success.
Thereupon, a petition was prepared for dispensation and signed by more than enough to meet the requirements of the Grand Constitutions. Notice was sent of a meeting of those who had signed the application, to be held September 19, 1922, in the Masonic Apartments, for the purpose of completing the organization, choosing a name, and completing all other details. This was signed by Wor. Brothers Taylor, Read and Stone.
The meeting was held and Wor. Brother Stone presided, with eighteen being present. Wor. Brother Taylor presented the petition for dispensation. A long list of names for the Lodge was suggested, and after discussion, it was unanimously voted to adopt the name Beaver Lodge, because of (1) the location of Beaver Brook and the beaver ponds and dams in the Waverley District. It was thought desirable to have something of a local character suggested by the name; (2) the fact that the beaver had long been an emblem of the Grand Lodge and appeared on its official seal; (3) the well-known characteristics of the beaver.
A written ballot was taken for suggested officers, and the following were unanimously elected:
- Wor. Amos L. Taylor, Worshipful Master
- Elmer C. Read, Senior Warden
- Royal T. Brodrick, Junior Warden
Committees were appointed to draft by-laws, provide for accommodations and other details. The matter of procuring further signatures to the application was left to the Master and Wardens, who thereafter circulated the petition for dispensation, and at the next regular monthly meeting of Belmont Lodge, held on September 21, 1922, after due notice, it was voted that Belmont Lodge recommend that the Most Worshipful Grand Master issue to the Most Worshipful Everett C. Benton, Worshipful Judge Arthur P. Stone and numerous other Master Masons, petitioners therefor, a dispensation for the forming and holding in the Town of Belmont a new Lodge to be known as Beaver Lodge. It was also voted to allow Beaver Lodge the use of the Masonic Apartments and equipment.
A list of Master Masons residing in Belmont and not belonging to Belmont Lodge was compiled and a written invitation sent to each one to sign the application for dispensation. The charter membership fee was fixed at $25. The petition for dispensation was dated September 12, 1922. The first two signatures were by Most Worshipful Everett C. Benton and Right Worshipful Roscoe Pound. This was presented to the Grand Lodge, and on November 14, 1922, Right Worshipful Dudley H. Ferrell, Acting Grand Master, granted a dispensation and appointed Worshipful Amos L. Taylor to be the first Master, Worshipful Elmer C. Read to be the first Senior Warden, and Worshipful Royal T. Brodrick to be the first Junior Warden, with instructions to return the dispensation with a transcript of all proceedings at the Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge to be held in September, 1923. The dispensation was delivered to Right Worshipful Fred M. Blanchard, District Deputy Grand Master for the 5th Masonic District, for the purpose of instituting Beaver Lodge under Dispensation.
A meeting was called and held November 18, 1922, at which Right Worshipful Brother Blanchard appeared, called the meeting to order, produced and read the official dispensation instituting Beaver Lodge. He then proceeded to install the Master and Wardens and the remaining officers as appointed by the Worshipful Master, being the first list of officers as set forth in the program for this celebration. The District Deputy Grand Marshal then made the proclamation declaring Beaver Lodge under Dispensation legally instituted. There were sixty members present. Short addresses were delivered by Most Worshipful Brother Benton, Right Worshipful Roscoe Pound, Worshipful Brother Stone, Master of Belmont Lodge, and Worshipful Brother Read, who extended the greetings of Belmont Royal Arch Chapter. All the officers so elected and appointed alternated—a member of Belmont Lodge with a member of some other Lodge outside the Town. Of the original ninety-two members, forty-six were members of Belmont Lodge, thirty-nine were members of other Lodges in Massachusetts, and seven were members of Lodges outside the State.
The work while under dispensation proceeded smoothly. Twelve candidates were raised, three entered, and one passed. Brother H. Thaxter Underwood designed the seal. Most of the Lodge equipment was donated by various Brethren, and the aprons, jewels, collars, and other articles of equipment procured as soon as they could be made.
At the second meeting, held on November 27, 1922, applications for degrees were presented by five. One of these was Brother Charles A. Prescott, who has been our Electrician ever since he received the degrees, with a special collar and jewel approved by the Grand Lodge. Another of these first candidates was Dr. Frank Clyde Leavitt, a dentist fifty years of age. While receiving the first section of the first degree at the altar, while the Worshipful Master held his hand for instruction, Dr. Leavitt fell over on the altar unconscious. The Master called the Lodge at ease. Fortunately, the Junior Steward was a physician, who took charge immediately. Brother Leavitt was carried out of the lodge-room. After half an hour, he was brought back, and Dr. Bean reported that he could go on with the work. After that, Brother Leavitt had no trouble.
During the winter, while the Lodge was conferring the Master's Degree upon one of the Brethren, while the candidate was reclining on a couch at the west of the altar, the lights went out. The Master ordered the Lodge to be at ease and communicated with the electric light department of the Town and was informed that it might be an hour before light service could be resumed. The Master then asked the Brethren to visit their automobiles or their homes in the vicinity and procure flashlights. This was done. About twenty-five flashlights were brought in, and the candidate was duly raised in the light of these flashes in full form.
An interesting event under dispensation was the first Ladies' Night, held April 27, 1923. William Lyman Underwood, an eminent scientist and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, delivered a very popular, illustrated lecture on the beaver, being entitled The Engineer of the Forest. He showed many pictures taken by him personally, showing the beaver, its home, habits, means of support, and living conditions. He stated that the drawing of the beaver upon the official seal had been submitted to him and he had approved it before its release. Among other things, he stated that the beaver was especially noted for his industry, foresight and engineering ability in constructing dams, cutting down trees, and building his home. It appears on a seal of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At the twelfth meeting of Beaver Lodge, held on September 24, 1923, appropriate resolutions were adopted in memory of Brother Warren Gamaliel Harding, twenty-eighth President of the United States, who died on August 2, 1923, in San Francisco.
At the Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge held on September 12, 1923, it was voted to approve the report of the Master and Wardens of Beaver Lodge, setting forth the proceedings of this Lodge under Dispensation, with the by-laws adopted, and showing its financial condition. Thereupon, a special meeting was called and held on October 15, 1923, when the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Dudley H. Ferrell and his Suite attended and duly constituted Beaver Lodge in ancient Masonic form. All the officers were installed to the positions occupied by each while under dispensation. There were 196 present at the meeting.
After these ceremonies, it was discovered that the Junior Warden was missing from the lodge-room, and after a search, he was found and brought into the room bearing a bronze casket as a receptacle for suitable tokens to be presented and deposited therein. This was done and the casket was sealed by the Most Worshipful Grand Master, after he had deposited in behalf of the Grand Lodge a Henry Price medal, to be opened only after fifty years. The Charter, as finally delivered, contained ninety-six names, as four more Brethren had asked to be included.
The history of the office of Chaplain in Beaver Lodge is interesting. While I was Master of Belmont Lodge, I raised there Rev. Brother Oliver B. Purrington, Pastor of All Saints Episcopal Church in Belmont, and he was the only minister who signed the application for dispensation. I asked him to serve as the first Chaplain. He said he didn't expect to remain in Belmont long, but he would serve while he was here and give us opportunity to get someone else. In the meantime, Belmont Methodist Episcopal Church had become established in the Town, and a young man from Boston University Theological School was installed as its first regular minister. His name was Daniel Joseph Imler, then twenty-nine years of age. I made inquiries and found that he was not a Mason and that there was no pastor of any church in Belmont who was a Mason other than Brother Purrington. Soon after this, Brother A. Glenn Simm told me that this Methodist minister had approached him about becoming a Mason, but before doing so, desired more information about its principles and purposes. Thereupon, by invitation, I called upon Mr. Imler with Brother Simm and spent a happy hour. Mr. Imler stated that in his early youth he had had unfavorable impressions of Masonry. Since he had come to Belmont, the impressions had been good, and he asked many questions about the Fraternity. He said he would like to join the Fraternity if he was satisfied that it was consistent with his duties as a Methodist minister. In due course, Brother Simm presented his application, at a meeting held March 26,1923, and he became the successor to Rev. Brother Purrington as our Chaplain.
When Rev. Brother Purrington retired, I asked him if he had enjoyed the work and his connections with the Lodge. He said: "Mr. Taylor, you don't know what a relief it is for me to come here among you men and get away from so many women." He was a bachelor, had been popular with his church membership, and especially the unmarried women.
Rev. Brother Imler has been our Chaplain ever since and is now Chaplain of the Grand Lodge. He has delivered charges to nearly all the candidates who have been raised since in this Lodge. It has become an event in our proceedings. Considerably later on, in due course, Dr. Edwin C. Broome, Jr., the minister of the Unitarian Church in this Town, was raised in this Lodge and appointed Associate Chaplain. Still later, Rev. Brother John P. Fitzsimmons, minister of the Plymouth Congregational Church, was raised in this Lodge and also appointed Associate Chaplain. Consequently, during the twenty-five years of its existence, the Lodge has had as Chaplain an Episcopal minister, a Methodist minister, a Unitarian minister and a Congregational minister, all of whom have worked with us and together on the highest plane and endeared themselves to our membership. It should be noted in passing that throughout our entire history we have attended Divine Worship substantially once a year in some church, often with other Masonic bodies in this Town or with other Lodges in the 5th Masonic District in adjoining places.
On May 24, 1926, Most Worshipful Brother Ferrell, then Past Grand Master, made us a visit and gave a stereopticon lecture on Masonry in Latin America, assisted by Right Worshipful Frank H. Hilton. Two hundred were present.
On October 25, 1926, we received a remarkable address by Rev. Brother Edward T. Sullivan.
On March 28, 1927, while Worshipful A. Glenn Simm was presiding Master, it was resolved "that Beaver Lodge has with great pleasure learned of the political, social and Masonic activities of our Worshipful Master, and especially congratulates him upon the birth of a daughter on May 22, 1927, being the first child born to a Worshipful Master of this Lodge while presiding Master, and that she be and hereby is adopted as the daughter of Beaver Lodge, and that a floral tribute be sent to her and her mother ..." Ever since, she has been called Beaver.
During the years 1928 and 1929 the then Worshipful Brother Amos L. Taylor was appointed District Deputy Grand Master of the Waltham 5th Masonic District. He appointed Worshipful Royal T. Broderick as his Marshal and Worshipful John S. Moore as his Secretary.
The District Deputy was especially charged by Most Worshipful Frank L. Simpson to organize a Lodge of Instruction in the 5th Masonic District, where he said there was opposition to it. Right Worshipful Brother Taylor duly accomplished this and organized the 34th Lodge of Instruction, of which Worshipful Elmer C. Read was the first Senior Warden and the second Master, after overcoming some serious opposition.
Right Worshipful Brother Taylor also raised his son, A. Leavitt Taylor, in this Lodge on May 22, 1939.
We have been fortunate in the fact that our members have, for the most part, been of the general class who have not called upon the Lodge for financial assistance. Only a very small amount has been required for this purpose, although the majority of our Charter Members were men somewhere around middle life. Perhaps we are too young yet to know just how this may work out. The important fact is that the financial position of the Lodge has always been very sound. We made a good start, as our report to the Grand Lodge at the end of the dispensation period and after payment for our equipment, regalia and organization fees showed a balance of $774.92, which the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge told me at the time was phenomenal. With that, through the years we have been able to build up our charity fund and our life membership fund and are now in excellent financial condition. We have had a line of good businessmen as Masters and Wardens.
Beaver Lodge has always responded promptly and generously from its general funds for the support of the Grand Lodge and its activities. These especially include special aid for the Masonic Home, Juniper Hall Hospital, for Florida relief, for the George Washington Memorial, for motion picture equipment at the Masonic Home, for afghans and other articles for the Red Cross, and especially for the Grand Lodge plan of Soldiers' Relief.
After Beaver Lodge was well established, there were six bodies in our Masonic Apartments which had been leased in Belmont for many prior years. Beaver Lodge took the initiative and organized the Belmont Masonic Association, which took over the lease, and arranges for sub-rentals to fit increasing demands. This was voted April 23, 1928. On February 22, 1932, there was a short service of celebration of the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Worshipful Brother George Washington.
Beaver Lodge, since its organization, has never had an official banner. We had long been looking for one, with the result that on February 22, 1933, Brother William C. Anderson presented as a gift to the Lodge the beautiful Beaver Lodge banner, made by his mother in Sweden, admitted duty free after some difficulty, and which now is displayed in our Apartment.
It is interesting to remember that when a young man was taking his first degree, in response to the ancient Masonic question, he first stated that he put his trust in the Masonic Fraternity. He demonstrated that he was sincere in his statement because afterwards he became Master of this Lodge, has been very active throughout his experience, and is now our esteemed and beloved Secretary, who has done much to make this program successful.
As already seen, Belmont Royal Arch Chapter was organized in 1920. This Lodge followed in 1922. Many of our organizers were members of the Chapter and Past High Priests. I especially refer to Charles E. Lawrence, who was the first High Priest of Belmont Royal Arch Chapter and Past High Priest of St. Andrew's Chapter in Boston. He was the first Marshal of Beaver Lodge, and it is interesting to note that his son, Charles E. Lawrence, Jr., is now Marshal of this Lodge, after having completed his Master's term.
Another of our organizers who was a member of the Chapter and Past High Priest is Worshipful Brother Elmer C. Read, who was the first Senior Warden of this Lodge, its second Master, the first King of Belmont Royal Arch Chapter, and High Priest of that Chapter when we were constituted. He was President of the Past Masters' Association; District Deputy Grand High Priest of our 15th Capitular District; and also Past High Priest of St. Paul's Chapter in Boston. He raised his two sons, Ellsworth W. Read and Leslie C. Read, to membership in this Lodge.
The association of our Lodge with Belmont Royal Arch Chapter has been continually friendly and co-operative. Some eight of our members have been High Priest of that Chapter, and a goodly number of members of this Lodge have always been and now are members of that Chapter. In fact, at the installation of our current officers on September 22, 1947, the installing officer, when he installed the Inside Sentinel, told him that his serious attention to his duties insured him election as Master of this Lodge and as High Priest of the Belmont Royal Arch Chapter in 1960.
The growth of this Lodge has been steady. We started with ninety-six names on the Charter. We now have left on our membership roll twenty-nine of the original charter members. Our membership to this evening is 284, with five more men accepted for the degrees. When we organized, there was considerable sentiment for limiting our membership to 250 members by provision of the by-laws. At the request of the Master of Belmont Lodge, this was eliminated. There is real sentiment to keep the membership of this Lodge about where it is. Personally I hope that we will not exceed three hundred. From my long years of experience and observation, and especially while I was District Deputy for this District, I formed the very definite opinion that the smaller Lodges much better meet the problems of the Fraternity and carry out its idealism and usefulness. This experience also has led me to believe that we should rarely, if ever, accept a man for the degrees who does not reside in our Town, and practically never have a Brother appointed to the line of officers unless he is a resident who understands our history and tradition and our local problems. We have been exceedingly fortunate in having a line of officers, without exception, of education, ability, judgment, discretion and understanding.
Our relations with Belmont Lodge have at all times been happy. Many of our members are still members of Belmont Lodge. The two Lodges have worked together on the question of general requirements, fees to be charged, use of these apartments and equipment, and the innumerable details which come up at almost every meeting; and we rejoice with that Lodge in its pride in having produced a Most Worshipful Grand Master, Joseph Earl Perry, while we had a Deputy Grand Master, Right Worshipful Louis A. Jones, and a Senior Grand Warden, Right Worshipful Frank H. Hilton, now Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge, who has served with distinction. Both of these Brothers were charter members.
An important phase of the situation is the relation of the Masonic Lodge to the Town to which it is accredited. We have been very fortunate as our relations with the official part of Belmont have been very friendly, even intimate. Many of our Past Masters, officers and members have been town officials. Many of these are Town Meeting Members in the representative form of town government which we have here. The influence of the three Masonic bodies in this town in town affairs is far-reaching for the accomplishment of good government. When I was Master of Belmont Lodge, the then Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons, at a Quarterly Communication, stated that he had received a letter from an esteemed citizen of an adjoining town to the effect that the Masons of that town were quite in control of the town government and its affairs, and he thought that the Grand Lodge might not approve. The Most Worshipful Grand Master stated that he had made some investigation and found that the statements in the letter were probably true; that the Masons were doing a good job in that town and he hoped the conditions there might long continue. He afterwards told me that he referred to Belmont and gave me the name of the man who wrote the letter, who was not a Mason, but whose sons are now Masons. I speak of this in no narrow or political sense. Masonry stands for political freedom if for anything during the conflict with absolutism in various forms. We may all properly work together for good government through the means that appeal to us most highly. Belmont has always been a Masonic town.
In conclusion, our relations with the churches, with the civic organizations, with all Masonic bodies, and with our citizens have been on a high plane. We have striven to demonstrate the fundamental principles of brotherly love, relief and truth, temperance, fortitude, prudence and justice, and in our humble way, to help, aid and assist. After the tumult and the shouting of this celebration have disappeared, may we join with the poet and say: "Lord, God of Hosts, be with us yet, lest we forget, lest we forget."
50TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, NOVEMBER 1972
From Proceedings, Page 1972-338:
By Worshipful John M. Sherman.
The need for a new Masonic Lodge in Belmont was realized in 1920 by some of the leading Masons in the town who had observed the rapid growth in population that had taken place during the preceding decade and were aware of the large number of veterans returning from service abroad in World War I and who had been seeking the opportunity to become Masons. In 1920, the strain on Belmont Lodge in trying to handle the flood of applications had been severe. In that year, ninety-two men received their degrees and with others affiliated with the Lodge, increasing the membership from around 300 to 40Q, a gain of about one-third in one year. As a result, a committee of Past Masters of Belmont Lodge, together with some other Masons who were newcomers to the town and belonged to Lodges elsewhere, made a study of the situation and recommended that a new Lodge be formed here. They decided on the name BEAVER LODGE because of the well-known parks and recreation areas in Belmont adjacent to Beaver Brook, as well as the reputation of the Beaver as one of Nature's best-known original builders.
After some controversy at the beginning, the approval of Belmont Lodge to have a second Lodge established in the town was obtained on September 21, 1922, and shortly thereafter a petition for a dispensation, signed by 96 Masons was submitted to the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Dudley H. Ferrell. This petition was approved and on November 18, 1922, Right Worshipful Fred M. Blanchard, District Deputy Grand Master for the Fifth Masonic District, appeared in his official capacity, called the meeting to order, read the official Dispensation and installed the first Worshipful Master, Worshipful Amos L. Taylor and the Senior and Junior Wardens. Worshipful Elmer C. Read and Worshipful Royal T. Brodrick. We are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of that event tonight. One year later, on October 15, 1923, Beaver Lodge was duly constituted in ancient form by the Grand Master, Most Worshipful Dudley H. Ferrell and his Suite. (1923 Mass. 364-368) At that time, a bronze casket was produced, and after suitable tokens of the occasion had been deposited therein, it was sealed, and not to be opened again for fifty years.
The history of the first twenty-five years of Beaver Lodge, which was written by Right Worshipful Amos L. Taylor, who founded the Lodge, was delivered by him at the formal celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Lodge on November 11, 1947. (1947 Mass. 327—341) It has never been printed for the benefit of the members of the Lodge, but did appear in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for 1947. (1947 Mass. 330—341) At that time we had 284 members and five candidates had been elected for the degrees. In that address, Right Worshipful Brother Taylor told us that it had been originally proposed to limit the membership to 250, and that he hoped it would not grow beyond 300, as he was convinced that the smaller Lodges were much better able to meet the problems of the Fraternity and carry out its idealism and usefulness. He also voiced his conviction that "we should rarely, if ever, accept a man for the degrees who does not reside in Belmont, and especially, no one should be appointed to the line unless he understood our tradition and our local problems."
In recent years, the urbanization of the communities in the Greater Boston Metropolitan Area and the increase in mobility of the labor force by highway and rapid transit have caused town and city boundaries to lose some of their former significance. Today the Lodges in the central city draw a large part of their membership from the oudying towns, which is true also of the suburban communities. Grand Lodge has modified its former strict regulations that a man must join a Lodge in the community where he resides, to meet this situation. Release of Jurisdiction is still required, but this is no longer a serious obstacle, the approval of the Grand Master being all that is necessary.
Beaver Lodge had 246 members at the latest count made last August. Of these, less than half, or only 1 11 are now residents of Belmont, with 83 others living in other parts of Massachusetts and the balance scattered over the rest of the United States and Canada. During the last ten years, three of our Masters have resided outside of Belmont, with little or no detriment to the Lodge as far as we can see. Of our present line of seven officers, three reside in Belmont, one in Bedford, one in Lexington, one in Waltham, and one in Concord. The Treasurer lives in Waltham and the Secretary in Belmont. These officers are as loyal to the Lodge and devoted to Masonry as anyone could ask. Of the remaining officers, the Chaplain, Marshal, Electrician and Tyler live in Belmont, and the Organist in Cambridge. They have the necessary qualifications of leadership and are energetic, enthusiastic, foresighted and ready to make personal sacrifices when necessary for the good of the Lodge. We cannot foresee anything but a bright future for the Lodge while these Brothers are guiding its course.
From the earliest days of Beaver Lodge up to the present time it has been a characteristic of its members to take an active part in Belmont Town affairs. But it would be difficult if not impossible to list all the names of the offices which they have held over the years. It would cover the whole range from Town Clerk, Selectman and other elected officials, department heads, town employees, town meeting members, members of special committees and boards as well as auxiliary police and firemen. And in addition, we have had at the State level, Representatives in the General Court, a Judge and a Tax Commissioner. We can sum it up best with a quotation from the 25th Anniversary history, written by Rt. Wor. Brother Taylor, who said:
"We have been very fortunate as our relations with the official part of Belmont have been very friendly, even intimate. Many of our Past Masters, Officers, and members have been town officials. Many of these are Town Meeting Members in the representative form of government which we have here. The influence of the three Masonic bodies in this town affairs is far-reaching for the accomplishment of good government. When I was Master of Belmont Lodge, the then Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge at a Quarterly Communication stated that he had received a letter from an esteemed citizen of an adjoining town to the effect that the Masons of that town were quite in control of the town government and its affairs, and he thought that the Grand Master should make some investigation. He found that the statements in the letter were probably true, that the Masons were doing a good job in that town, and he hoped the conditions there might long continue. He afterwards told me that he referred to Belmont and gave me the name of the man who wrote the letter, who was not a Mason but whose sons now are Masons. I speak of this in no political sense. Masonry stands for political freedom if for anything during the conflict with various 'isms' in various forms. We may all properly work together for good government through the means that appeal to us most highly. Belmont has always been a Masonic town."
Past Masters of Beaver Lodge who have rendered particular service to Masonry may be enumerated as follows:
- Rt. Wor. Amos L. Taylor, District Deputy Grand Master for the Waltham 5th Masonic District, 1928-1929.
- Wor. Elmer C. Read, Second Master of the 34th Lodge of Instruction, 1931.
- Rt. Wor. Charles F. Giles, District Deputy Grand Master for the Waltham 5th Masonic District, 1955-56.
- Rt. Wor. William E. Olsson, District Deputy Grand Master for the Brighton 5th Masonic District, Charter Member of Maugus Hill Lodge of Wellesley and Senior Warden there under dispensation, 1957.
- Wor. Roland P. Pigeon, 36th Master of the 34th Lodge of Instruction, 1964.
- Rt. Wor. & Rev. D. Joseph Imler, Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for 19 years during the period 1938-1962. Previously he had served Beaver Lodge as its Chaplain from 1926 to 1959.
- Wor. John M. Sherman, our Historian, who has been serving the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for six years 1967—72 as Curator of its Museum of Masonic Treasures, as well as assisting in the work of the Library. From January 1969 to September 1971 he was Acting Librarian there, following the retirement of Mrs. Muriel D. Taylor, December 31, 1968. Worshipful Brother Sherman holds a Veteran's Medal for fifty years as a Mason, is a Charter Member of Beaver Lodge, of which he was Master, 1957-58, is affiliated with Columbian Lodge of Boston, a 32° Mason and a member of St. Andrew's Royal Arch Chapter, of which he was historian for its 200th Anniversary in 1969.
Although Beaver Lodge is the smaller of the two Masonic Lodges in the town, and the younger one, it has not been lacking in initiative and energy. It has consistently taken the lead in promoting cooperation between the several Masonic Collateral Bodies in Belmont. In 1928, it took the initiative in forming the Belmont Masonic Association, which took over the lease of the Masonic Apartments in Belmont and arranged for subrentals to fit the increasing demands. Forty years later, in 1968, when we learned with surprise that the old building was to be razed to make room for a new and modern bank building, the Association was able to arrange for the two Lodges to meet, temporarily, in the new Masonic Temple in Watertown, but unfortunately the collateral bodies had to make other arrangements. Later that year, in December 1968, the Association negotiated the purchase of an excellent site for a new Masonic Temple in Belmont, on Mannix Road. Architects plans for the new structure have already been drawn up and a drive for funds is under way, by members of both Lodges, coordinated by the Masonic Association. We anticipate a successful campaign, and before long the erection of a beautiful new structure, and a stronger, finer and more united Masonic organization in Belmont than we ever had in the past.
Beaver Lodge has also been the leader in promoting cooperation between the two Lodges in carrying on social activities for Belmont Masons and their families. It is gratifying that in recent years we have been able to conduct our annual Ladies Nights and Children's Christmas Parties as joint activities of Beaver and Belmont Lodges. This has been good for both Lodges and has strengthened our ties of fellowship. A still further forward step in community relations that we have taken during the past three years has been to bring the Belmont Council, Knights of Columbus, into the group with the two Lodges for our annual Dinner Dances, which we have been holding at the Oakley Country Club. This undertaking has been very successful and has brought about a new feeling of friendship and cooperation between the Masons of Belmont and the Knights of Columbus. We are looking forward to the continuation of this joint undertaking in the future, and anticipate that it will promote harmony and enhance the reputation of both fraternal orders with the citizens of Belmont.
Beaver Lodge is today what its officers and members have made it in the past, and we have a tradition that we can be very proud of. We have three relics in particular that we cherish, and which we expect to hand down to our successors in office. They are symbolic of our past, present and future. The first is the bronze casket which is opened only on the celebration of an important anniversary. This was presented to the Lodge and sealed after its constitution on October 15, 1923, not to be opened until the celebration of our Fiftieth Anniversary, which is tonight. It will be sealed again after its contents have been examined and a new set of souvenirs of the present time placed in it, to be opened on a future anniversary. The second item is our Lodge Banner, which was presented to us in 1933 by Brother William M. C. Anderson, and in years gone by was always displayed in the Southeast corner of the Lodge Room when we held our meetings in Belmont. Brother Anderson is now living in Slidell, Louisiana, and because of his age (77), health and the distance, he is unable to be with us here tonight to join us in our festivities. The third item is our beautiful new punch bowl, which was presented to us in 1966 by Wor. Richard V. Tabeling, who presided over the Lodge during 1965-1966. This is the punch bowl which we always use in the anteroom for refreshment of our guests when we are honored by a visit from the Grand Master or his representative, or a Suite of visiting Lodge officers. Our large Bible, which is always on the altar when Lodge is open, was the gift of our founder, Rt. Wor. Amos L. Taylor. Our small Bible, which we use when examining visitors, was presented by Brother Wil-lard N. Cummings, and our Tyler's Sword was the gift of Brother Oscar N. Chandler. These last three items were received on October 15, 1923, at the time when we received our Charter from Grand Lodge.
Before closing we want to mention the names of the three original Charter Members who have survived the years and are still members of Beaver Lodge; They are Wor. Sidney L. Simonds, Wor. John M. Sherman and Brother Edward H. Shaw, the father of our Secretary. I know of no better way to conclude this history of Beaver Lodge, up to its fiftieth anniversary, than to repeat the closing words of the history of our first 25 years, which was written by our founder, Right Worshipful Amos L. Taylor. We cannot go far wrong if we continue to carry out the principles that he expressed at that time.
"In conclusion, our relations with the churches, with the civic organizations, with all Masonic bodies, and with our citizens have been on a high plane. We have striven to demonstrate the fundamental principles of brotherly love, relief and truth, temperance, fortitude, prudence and justice, and in our humble way to help, aid and assist. After the tumult and the shouting of this celebration have disappeared, may we join with the poet and say, 'Lord, God of Hosts, be with us yet, lest we forget, lest we forget.'"
CONSTITUTION OF LODGE, OCTOBER 1923
From New England Craftsman, Vol. XIX, No. 1, October 1923, Page 25:
Beaver Lodge, A. F. & A. M., youngest among the full-fledged members of the Grand Lodge of Masons of Massachusetts, was formally constituted Octoher 15th at Belmont. The ceremony was conducted in accordance with the ancient customs by Grand Master Dudley H. Ferrell of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, with the assistance of the other officers of the Grand Lodge. Other guests included the presiding Masters of a large number of lodges in and about Boston.
The officers installed are:
Worshipful Master. Amos L. Taylor; Senior Warden, Elinor C. Read; Junior Warden. Royal T. Brodrick; Treasurer, Francis H. Kendall; Secretary, Alfred F. Kendall; Chaplain, Rev. Oliver B. Purrington; Marshal, Charles E. Lawrence; Senior Deacon, John S. Moore; Junior Deacon, A. Glenn Simm; Senior Steward, Herbert L. Davis; Junior Steward, Harold C. Bean; Inside Sentinel, Sidney L. Simonds; Organist, George R. Loud; Tyler, Loring F. Fountain.
GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- Charles F. Giles, DDGM, District 5 (Waltham), 1954, 1955; N
- William E. Olsson, DDGM, District 5 (Brighton), 1960, 1961; N
- Amos L. Taylor, DDGM, District 5 (Waltham), 1928, 1929; N
- Dexter D. Brine, Biography