Chartered By: Thomas S. Roy
Charter Date: 12/20/1952 1952-276
Precedence Date: 01/24/1952
Current Status: Active
- Carl Erdhard Wahlstrom, 1952
- Don Day Swain, 1953
- William Lyle Macintosh, 1954
- Samuel Lopatin, 1955
- Jacob Jay Kressler, 1956
- James Evans Roy, 1957
- Milton M. Schultz, 1958; N
- George Green, 1959
- Abraham Sherman, 1960
- Albert Livingston Biller, 1961
- B. Lewis Garshman, 1962
- David Saul Cohen, 1963
- Louis Goldstein, 1964
- Franklin Burton Sher, 1965
- David William Sadick, 1966
- Woodrow Rueben Wilson, 1967
- Jerome Sol Siguel, 1968
- M. Howard Jacobson, 1969
- Gerald Earl Norman, 1970
- Abraham Sherman, 1971
- Gerald Finkle, 1972
- Stuart Ellis Glass, 1973; PDDGM
- Gerald Teran, 1974, 1990, 2007, 2008
- Joel Robbins, 1975
- David Lionel Rosen, 1976
- Arthur Bernard Jacobson, 1977
- Stephen Allyn Kressler, 1978
- Paul Steven Robbins, 1979, 1991
- Russell Owen Levine, 1980
- Barry Martin Finkle, 1981, 1982
- Kent Robert Van Hoven, 1983
- Howard Michael Katz, 1984
- Mark Own Cutler, 1985
- Fredrick Jay Glass, 1986
- Melvin Howard Shulman, 1987
- Ivan Robert Green, 1988
- Jonathon Frank Sadick, 1989
- Joseph Arthur Frem, 1992
- Steven Eric Greene, 1993
- Andrew Emery Hegedus, 1994
- Edward Paul Christian, 1995, 1996, 1999
- Michael Mayer Franklin, 1997
- Isaac Ahtof, 1998
- Jay Serper Pelletz, 2000, 2003
- Elliot Sacks, 2001
- Edward Laurence Sherr, 2002
- Gerald Robert Krieger, 2004
- MIchael Mudd, 2005, 2006
- Dan L. Manescu, 2009
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
- 1977 (25th Anniversary)
VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 1952 (Roy; Constitution of Lodge and installation; Special Communication)
- 1964 (Osgood; Reception for Senior Grand Warden Leonard Rawn)
- 1977 (Maxwell; 25th Anniversary; Special Communication)
- 2012 (Stewart; 2 visits)
- 1977 (25th Anniversary History, 1977-172; see below)
25TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY, NOVEMBER 1977
From Proceedings, Page 1977-172:
By Worshipful Albert L. Biller.
A poet once wrote something about the "distant footsteps echo through the corridors of time". To recount the highlights in the history of Level Lodge was a formidable task and was not easy to compile, so much having transpired over these many years. But there are those who were not privileged to participate in the activities of the Lodge in its early days and the re-telling of the story of this Lodge has become a duty of pleasure and nostalgia. An anniversary creates an occasion for the taking of an inventory of our past, which might also serve as a guide for the future.
There were those Masons in 1946 who liked to gather together for the sake of being together. This was the beginning of the Level Club which was organized formally in that year for the sole purpose of Masonic fellowship involving any members of various local Lodges. This group expanded in numbers over the next several years. The question soon arose as to the feasibility of starting a new Lodge in Worcester. This idea was brought to Most Worshipful Thomas Sherrard Roy, who was then the Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts. He looked kindly on this petition. He thought it over carefully and soon he granted a dispensation to form Level Lodge, U. D. The sixty-one members of Level Club, whose names were later to appear on the Charter, were elated. Level Club members each gave $100. as a loan toward the establishment of Level Lodge which was to be repaid when the state of the treasury would allow, and this money was in turn to be used as a Special Foundation Fund. Level Lodge was instituted with appropriate ceremonies on January 30, 1952 in the Grecian Chambers in the Masonic Temple. In that same year, Level Lodge, under the guidance of Most Worshipful and Reverend Doctor Roy, whose benevolence and magnanimity caused the Lodge to thrive, proved its worth. On December 20, 1952, Level Lodge was constituted with colorful ritual thereby making Level Lodge a living entity. (1952 Mass. 330-333)
The tenth anniversary of the Lodge was commemorated at a meeting held on March 20, 1962 with the following:
"On December 20, 1952, Most Worshipful Thomas Sherrard Roy officiated at the constitution of Level Lodge with appropriately beautiful and colorful ceremonies described elsewhere. Sixty-one Charter Members were present that evening. We have gathered here to pay homage to these dedicated and farsighted men to whom we owe so much. Without the unbounded energy and zeal of our founding Brethren Level Lodge could not have been realized and their dreams could not have borne such sweet fruit. It all started with Level Club in 1946. The first meeting Level Lodge had was on March 26, 1952. Since then Level Lodge has taken its place beside the other great "sister" Lodges in this community, and has done much to make itself felt in the world of Masonry and the community at large. We of Level Lodge have a heritage handed down to us by our founders. They have bequeathed this heritage unselfishly to the generations that are to follow and that includes those of us who owe our allegiance to our Mother Lodge. They have left us something sacred and dear to all of us, and we feel proud, yet with a sense of humility and honor. Let us never lose sight of the dreams of our founders. Let us keep the torch flaming and bright and pass it along to those who will follow and leave them a greater legacy ... if we will it so. Today we display our love and undying gratitude to our founders and benefactors."
Since then we have functioned uninterruptedly. The foundation was well laid, and the Lodge has grown in a healthy manner. Our membership today is 374. Sad to say, we have lost 76 to date.
Our first meeting place was in Dexter Hall at 544 Main Street, Worcester, Massachusetts. The first class of Entered Apprentices consisted of Jesse Edward Aronovitz, Albert Livingston Biller, Milton Carter, Morton William Cohen and Joseph Talamo. They received the First Degree on April 23, 1952. They proved their worthiness to go on to the Fellow Craft Degree on May 22, 1952. Once again, their proficiency was proved, and on June 25, 1952 these original candidates were raised in the Egyptian Room at the Masonic Temple. If one will look at the Lodge records one will note that Albert L. Biller was the first candidate to sign the By-Laws of Level Lodge. Later on, as time progressed, Brother Biller was the first person to advance through the various stations of Level Lodge as a 'pure product' of this Lodge to the rank of Worshipful Master of the Lodge. He later became Worshipful Master of the Sixth Lodge of Instruction and of Major General Henry Knox Lodge in Boston.
Soon we outgrew the meagre facilities of our first quarters and we moved over to the Odd Fellows Building at 674 Main Street, Worcester. Here we continued our very busy life until the building was condemned as a meeting place and suddenly we found ourselves without a home. A very welcome and true fraternal spirit was shown when Franklin Lodge in Grafton offered us the use of their lodge rooms, and with the consent and approval of the Grand Lodge, this is where we carried on the work of our Lodge from April 1967 through May 1968. We spent many hours and days looking for suitable quarters. We were ready to build a new home when we found permanent quarters at the Masonic Temple on Ionic Avenue in Worcester in June 1968.
Our formative years were difficult indeed. Worshipful Carl Ehrhard Wahlstrom, an outstanding student of Abraham Lincoln, and one of our staunchest friends, came to us from the oldest Lodge in this community, Morning Star. He became our first Master when he took over the helm of Level Lodge. His interest in the welfare of Level Lodge never waned and ceased only when he was admitted to the Celestial Lodge above. Level Lodge might never have come into existence without his efforts. He presented Level Lodge with a bound volume of a Masonic Encyclopedia.
Worshipful Don Day Swain, a Past Master of Athelstan Lodge, served as our first Senior Warden and later as Master. Judge and Worshipful Walter Dickey Allen, also from Athelstan Lodge, was our first Junior Warden and served us well until his duties at Court precluded the continuation of his services at Level Lodge.
Right Worshipful and Judge William Lyle Macintosh, also a product of Franklin Lodge, took over in due time.
Brother Edwin Robbins did yeoman work as our first Secretary for which he was presented an illuminated plaque and a Lodge medal. Brother Max A. Cohen, one of our guiding lights, served as our first Treasurer until his demise. Brother Samuel Lopatin worked hard and long for the Lodge starting off as our first Senior Deacon and later became Master of this Lodge. Shortly thereafter he passed away.
Right Worshipful Leonard Rawn, the Grand Lecturer and a member of Franklin Lodge, did excellent work for us as did Worshipful Walter Engstrom, who taught us the floor work. Worshipful Charles Wade also came to us from Franklin Lodge and acted as our Tyler until his passing. Many other Masonic notables joined our ranks and helped us immensely during our fledgling years.
Candidates were originally taught by an organized team consisting of Albeit L. Miller, B. Lewis Garsham, Raymond Garsham, Maurice Feldman, Harold I. Brown, Wallace Cotton and Harold Jaffee. These classes were originally held on a Sunday morning at various homes and offices and even in factories. Later, special classes were organized for the purpose of discussion of symbolism in Masonry which proved to be extremely popular. Special mention must be made in this connection of Right Worshipful Leslie B. Goff, Zone Committeeman and President of the Industrial Bank who gave me a key to the bank for proper entrance into the building where we held classes on Thursday nights.
It should be mentioned that Right Worshipful Milton Schultz, who was our first Marshal, later served as District Deputy Grand Master and recently filled in as Junior Warden. Worshipful Abraham Sherman during a stressful year for Level Lodge served a second time as our Worshipful Master. He first served us well as our first Tyler. Worshipful Woodrow R. Wilson also served as Tyler and a second term as Junior Warden. Their loyalties to Level Lodge have been exemplary. This historian also served two terms as Marshal and one term as Chaplain.
To say we were busy is to put it very mildly. I can recall the times when Level Lodge would initiate a full class of Entered Apprentices, and then pass or raise a full class of Fellow Crafts or Master Masons all in one night. It was not unusual for us to process candidates every week. Enthusiasm ran high and during those early years we worked hard and long and without complaints.
Most Worshipful Thomas Sherrard Roy presented a gavel to Level Lodge which in turn had been given to him by the Grand Lodge of Israel. It is made from stone found at the quarries at King Solomon's Temple site, and the wood was made from an olive tree in Jerusalem. Years later, a similar gift was given to the Lodge by Worshipful Abraham Sherman who also gave us a beautiful Marshal's baton. I gave the Lodge hand carved pedestal lights when we had no permanent quarters, at the time when the Lodge had to be assembled and then dismantled at each meeting. When we found a permanent home they found their way back to me.
Some other properties of Level Lodge include a sword donated to the Lodge by Mrs. Harold Hartwell which replaced the one loaned to us by Worshipful Carl E. Wahlstrom. Worshipful George Green gave us the beautiful pedestal scarves and a portable black light used to illustrate the "point within a circle" in the Entered Apprentice Degree lecture. Another feature of the activities of Level Lodge was that this speaker lectured for many years not only at the Sixth Lodge of Instruction but to many Lodges throughout this Commonwealth. He also wrote many original articles which have been published in national Masonic magazines.
Ladies Night and going to baseball games and other sports events proved to be popular with most of us. Blood banks started almost from the beginning of our existence. The most remarkable achievement in this area was the collection of 117 pints of blood in one evening of 1962. Brother Doctor Lewis Karp was properly commended for his devotion to this cause. Level Lodge at one time held a leading position among all Lodges in Massachusetts in obtaining donations of blood usually exceeding 200 pints in one year, and was so recognized by the Red Cross and the Most Worshipful Grand Master.
A physicians' degree team and a lawyers' degree team were features of the Lodge activities as was that of the police degree team. The Hiram Associates of Worcester always proved to be a very colorful and proficient degree team. Their Scottish apparel and music were always a happy occasion.
We had exchanges of meetings with Ezra Lodge in Taunton, Massachusetts. A sizeable contingent of our respective Lodges would travel back and forth to confer degrees, but when we became so busy as to preclude travel time this was discontinued.
Major General Henry Knox Lodge, the only military Lodge in Massachusetts, came to Level Lodge to exemplify the Master Mason Degree work.
Regular visits to the Masonic Home in Charlton, Massachusetts have been made to exemplify our work to the residents there.
Public installations have done much to allow the general public to see our work thereby enlightening them as to our purposes and reasons for our existence.
We also occupied ourselves with visits to temples, churches and synagogues, thereby showing the public that Masons do have a religious tie that brings us together.
Another innovation also occurred on the January 16, 1962 meeting when I opened a Lodge of Sorrow and Remembrance to commemorate our departed Brethren, a modified sample of which was conducted tonight; the lights were dimmed, the necrology was read and appropriate comments and prayers were used. Grave markers were designed, made and used in 1961 at the request of the families of our deceased Brethren.
Level Lodge is the youngest lodge in our District and we have made our indelible marks among the Masonic Lodges. We have been very happily busy and our work has been notable and exemplary. We do not hesitate to accept the challenge of the future tor even greater achievements. Even as we have remained loyal to our high ideals, we have also attained a goodly measure of confidence not only with our membership and "sister" Lodges but also with the community at large.
The year 1977 is a milestone for Level Lodge since it marks the twenty fifth anniversary of our existence as a Masonic body. Another quarter of a century now opens up to us, and the time is now at hand to renew our interests and to re-dedicate our efforts in behalf of Level Lodge in particular and to Masonry in general. We should also resolve to strengthen our individual "faith and to exhibit a goodly measure of hope for the future. This should afford us a moment of reflection on our past accomplishments. The lofty principles of Masonry have served as a beacon light and as an infallible guide to further upward progress. Even though our standards have been admittedly high, we should always strive for even higher goals. We hope our Masonic endeavors will be even better and more noteworthy. We should be determined to continue our work with even more enthusiasm and with renewed vigor, ever building higher and higher and better and better. Certainly, our behavior should always be a model for all to emulate. Each of us has the responsibility to promote good will. We have pride in our Lodge. The Officers have done a difficult job exceptionally well. We look forward to the future with eagerness.
Progress is the vitality and the life of our organization. We are dedicated to regular and inspiring meetings of ritualistic and educational value. We face our future with confidence. This history records the past, but we are living in the present with hope in the future. We intend to thrive and prosper in the years to come. We look forward to a bright and fruitful future.
Each of our line officers and Masters have given his best efforts like the Greeks of old who ran their relay races featured by the runner at the end of his lap handing over the lighted torch to his successor. And so it has been with us, over renewing our mission in Masonry. Our combined efforts over the years have brought us much inspiration and we believe this feeling has been transmitted to our membership. We are grateful for this inspiration and re-dedicate ourselves to the great Masonic principles.
The purpose of our founders that Masons in good standing could band together to promote good fellowship among its Brethren has thus far been vindicated.
I cannot help but recall Longfellow's lines:
"Lives of great men, all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints in the sands of time."
Another quotation may also be appropriate to outline our thinking: "What is past is prologue and acclaims our future". And if you will listen very carefully you will hear a few faint echoes of the steps Level Lodge will take in the future.
- 1968 (Mention in Grand Master's Address, 1968-139)
GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- Stuart E. Glass, DDGM, District 22 (Worcester), 1987, 1988
- Leonard Rawn, DDGM, District 22 (Worcester), 1951, 1952; Senior Grand Warden 1964; N
- Milton Schultz, DDGM, District 22 (Worcester), 1969, 1970; N