ALBERT L. HARWOOD 1847-1938
Senior Grand Steward, 1894-1896
Senior Grand Deacon, 1897
Deputy Grand Master, 1898
From Proceedings, Page 1938-403:
Born in Hardwick, Mass., Sept. 10, 1847
Died in Newton, Mass., Sept. 30, 1938
Right Worshipful Brother Harwood was raised in King Philip Lodge, June 15, 1875. He dimitted from King Philip Lodge in 1880 and affiliated with Dalhousie Lodge on September 15, 1880 and was its Worshipful Master in 1886 and 1887. He was District Deputy Grand Master for the 5th Masonic District during the years 1890 and 1891 by appointment of M.W. Samuel Wells, Grand Master, and served the Grand Lodge as Senior Grand Steward from 1894 to 1896, and as Grand Deacon for the year 1897. In 1898 by appointment of M.W. Charles C. Hutchinson, Grand Master, he served as Deputy Grand Master. He had received at the hands of the Grand Lodge both the Veteran's and Henry Price medals.
He was exalted in King Philip Royal Arch Chapter in 1885. He was a member of the Cryptic Council and of Gethsemane Commandery, serving as Commander from 1885 to 1887, and as Associate Prelate, Prelate, and Prelate Emeritus until his death, a record of forty-eight years of continuous service in Gethsemane Commandery. He was the possessor of the Thomas Smith Webb forty-year medal.
For many years he was a member of the Board of Trial Commissioners, in which position he gave faithful and efficient service.
Right Worshipful Brother Harwood was a son of Andrew J. and Harriet (Parlin) Harwood. He was a direct descendant of Henry Harwood, who came in 1630 with Governor Winthrop and settled in Charlestown.
After attending the Ware schools and Williston Academy, he taught for several years in Ware and Fall River before going to the Mason School. He left teaching in 1890 when he was admitted to the bar following several years of law study in the Boston office of Judge Robert R. Bishop.
Besides many associations with community organizations, R.W. Brother Harwood was a charter member of the Neighbors Club in Newton, a founder and former Trustee chairman of the Wrentham State School, and a Trustee of the Newton Center Savings Bank.
He served as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives during the years 1895 and 1896, and of the State Senate from 1897 to 1899; and from 1900 to 1906 was a member of the State Board of Insanity.
He is survived by a son, Albert L. Harwood, and two grandchildren. Faithful and conscientious in every task he undertook; quiet and unassuming in his nature; friendly to all with whom he came in contact; keenly interested in his Masonic activities and all matters of public interest in the community in which he lived; successful in his work as a teacher in the early days of his life; he achieved an enviable reputation as a lawyer during his more than forty years at the bar; highly respected, dearly beloved by those who knew him best, he will be greatly missed in the City of Newton where he had resided for so many years, and in Boston where he had established many close business, personal, and social friendships.
"How brief this drama of our life appears,
The good die not. This heritage they leave -
The record of a life in virtue spent;
For our own loss at parting we may grieve -
Lives such as his build their own monuments."
AT CORNER STONE LAYING IN NEWTON, SEPTEMBER 1896
From Proceedings, Page 1896-261:
MR. PRESIDENT AND BRETHREN: This is an eventful day for the Masonic Fraternity of Newton! We see here the beginning of the realization of the hopes of our hearts long cherished. On these foundations will we build our future Masonic home. Here will be nurtured friendships, some of them formed years and years ago, while others are of more recent birth. Here in the future will new acquaintances be made, which will ripen into abiding mutual respect and helpfulness. But with all that shall here be established, not one whit shall be taken from, but rather shall be augmented, the flow of heart to heart and the offices of service which each man owes to other relations in life. He who shall take into his life the principles of Masonry will find his sympathies broadened, is sense of duty deepened, his devotion to principle strengthened, and his whole life enriched.
These general statements lead me to speak more specifically of those things which characterize our Fraternity and which take deep root in the heart of every true Mason. Said one of America's greatest statesmen, "I would rather be right than be President." However much to be desired, and however much honor may be connected with the rank of prince or potentate, much more to be sought for and far more honorable is the dignity of true manhood. Whatever institution, association or fraternity magnifies and emphasizes this principle is a blessing to society and ennobles human life. In political life, party strife and partisan feeling often blind the eyes of men to the virtues of their opponents.
In church relationships, denominational differences and sectarian creeds frequently separate men from their brothers, and hinder that acquaintance which would lead to the upbuilding of their lives and to the general good. While not for a moment would be understood as denouncing party affiliations in matters pertaining to government, nor sectarian beliefs and associations in the church world; for every thoughtful mind must recognize their value in view of the limitations of human knowledge, and of the wisdom of men. Yet it needs but to be stated to be admitted that a relationship among men, where party is unknown, and where the only creed is "The fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man," cannot be other than one which will broaden, enrich and elevate the lives of all those who immediately come within its influence, but will as well be a source of strength and blessing to humanity.
Such is the Fraternity, a branch of which is here to erect its temple. A brotherhood whose history reaches far into the past, and which has numbered among its members many of the worthiest and most honored of men. A brotherhood which to-day embraces the flower of manhood in every civilized nation of earth. A brotherhood which in the past and at present, both in numbers and in the character of its membership, outranks any other fraternal organization. These facts will enable us, in some measure, to comprehend the wide extent of the power and influence among men of the principles to which I have alluded.
Every one recognizes the fact that a creed, however simple or however comprehensive, amounts to but little until it ceases to be a creed and becomes a life. Such we claim in a degree has become the Masonic creed, which degree must inevitably increase as our members more fully imbibe the true Masonic principles. Man and fraternity! What splendid powers, what vast possibilities are in the former! How are they aided and developed by the latter! What wondrous achievements has man already made! But his greatest possibilities can only become achievements by the exercise and unfolding of his entire complex nature. He may from the heart of the mountain bring forth the ore there by nature stored, his skill may therefrom form the iron bands which he stretches across the continents, tunnelling mountains and bridging Niagaras, and thereon he may speed his engine with its sinews of steel, its heart of fire, its breath of steam and its eye of flame. He may chain the lightning to his car; may flash his thought from ocean to ocean as rapidly as his mind can evolve it; with his cunningly devised instruments may listen to his brother's voice uttered hundreds of miles away; may analyze the substance of the stars, and accurately compute the weight of suns and moons, — and yet come far short of the privilege and the possibilities of his divinely created powers.
But when he shall add thereto the devotion and the obedience he owes to his Maker, when his heart shall beat with truth, and his nature throb with love to his fellow-man, and the genial and inspiring spirit of fraternity possess his soul; then and not till then can he rise into the realm of his high privilege and greatest development. Then can he sing:
"Immortal love, forever full,
Forever flowing free,
Forever shared, forever whole,
A never ebbing sea.
"O Lord and Master of us all,
Whate'er our name or sign,
AVe own Thy sway, we hear Thy call,
We test our lives by Thine.
" To Thee our full humanity,
Its joys and pains belong,
The wrong of man to man on Thee
Inflicts a deeper wrong.
"To do Thy will is more than praise,
As words are less than deeds,
And simple trust can find Thy ways
We miss with chart of creeds."
Fraternity! The nature of man, the longings of his soul, his happiness and the evolution of his powers demand it. Man's whole being grows not by what it takes to itself from the world, but by what it scatters abroad into the world of love, of service and of aspiration. In the words of the Blessed Master, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." Solitude was never meant to be the abiding place of man. He was made to dwell among his fellows. Therefore laws have been enacted for his guidance in social relationship, and institutions have been established for his aid. As Brothers we meet in our Lodge-rooms; there we love, honor and respect true, honest, open, frank and genuine manhood; there we enlarge the circle of our friendships; there for the time are we separated from the strife and the competitions of life.
While distinctions of social position, of wealth, or of learning, as such, have no place in our creed, in no association of men does real merit find a quicker and a heartier recognition than it does in the Masonic circle. Among us as elsewhere, for a time indolence, thriftlessness, greed and selfishness may be tolerated, but rest assured, Brethren and friends, these characteristics meet with no greater respect among Masons than is generally accorded to them. These and similar weaknesses have no place in the life of the best manhood, and the halls of the structure we are here to build shall never become a genial home to any who can, but will not, contribute his share to the well being of our Order and of humanity in living a true and honorable life, and in the exemplification of the qualities of mind and heart which tend to mutual improvement and meet with general respect. With our aspirations high, with our purposes true, with our hearts abounding in brotherly love, and with our minds fixed on the pure and noble teachings of our ritual, we and those who follow us will make this spot a place where the best that is in men shall find expression and development. Here shall
We meet upon the Level, and here part upon the Square.
What words of precious meaning those words Masonic are!
Come, let us contemplate them, they are worthy of our thought.
In the very wall of Masonry the sentiment is wrought."
"We meet upon the Level, though from every station come,
The rich man from his palace, the poor man from his home;
For the rich must leave his wealth and state outside the Mason's door,
And the poor man finds his best respect upon the chequered floor."
"We part upon the Square, for the world must have its due;
We mingle with the multitude, a faithful band and true,
But the influence of our gatherings in memory is green,
And we long upon the Level to renew the happy scene."
Here shall be the meeting place of our Brethren, and here may none enter or depart except with the steadfast purpose to be true men. The great need everywhere is men — men of character, men of honor, men of industry and men of ability. They are needed in our homes;. they are needed in our churches; they are needed in society, in business, in the councils of the municipality, of the State and of the nation. Any institution, influence or fraternity which aids to bring them forth is a blessing to the world.
The influence of the fraternal relationships of our Order, when allowed to have only their legitimate and designed scope, are such as to awaken an active sense of the rights and feelings of others. The cultivation of the spirit of fraternity and the making it a ruling principle of life are not only most desirable, but are absolutely necessary to the general progress and upbuilding of society. Indeed, in this principle will be -found the solution of many problems which vex the human mind and disturb the body politic.
Let the employer and the employed, the capitalist and the wage earner, the rich and the poor, the learned and the ignorant, meet together from time to time on a common plane, meet one another simply as brother men, take one another by the hand, enter in. some degree into one another's life, acquire some knowledge of the burdens others are carrying, look at life's problems from other standpoints than the narrow base on which we individually stand, and as a result not only will burdens be lightened and, as it were, flowers strewn in a brother's pathway, but a. long, long step will be taken in the adjustment of those differences which separate man from man, class from class, and in every way hinder the progress of all.
Thank God, the first time has yet to occur when in a Masonic Body one lisp shall be heard which in the remotest degree has a tendency to array one class in a community against another. Brethren, the cultivation of the spirit of brotherly love is our privilege, our creed, our duty. AVe make no claim that in this we are chief or the most potent. We recognize that others are engaged heart and soul in this good work, and Masons themselves labor outside the Lodge-room. But we do claim as Masons to be laboring for this end, and we also claim in this direction to be able to accomplish certain results which no other organization has as yet been able to approach, much less accomplish. It is because, in the halls to be erected on these foundations, for years to come we hope to engage in this noble work for the upbuilding of the man, for the enrichment of the Fraternity, for the benefit of society, for the good name of our city, and for the blessing of all, that we to-day have invited this company to be present and rejoice with the Masons of Newton in the beginnings of this our undertaking.
We welcome to these ceremonies His Honor the Mayor of our city and the members of the city government. No citizens are more deeply interested in public affairs than are the members of our Order, and none will more loyally support the government, municipal, State or national, than they. It is a part of a Mason's creed "not to be concerned in plots and conspiracies against government, to pay a proper respect to the civil magistrate, and patiently to submit to the decisions of the Supreme Legislature." Whatever the world may think or guess, I affirm, with a knowledge of what I am saying, that the Masonic Order will ever be found, with their influence, and, if need be, with their swords, ready to support every institution of freedom, including free speech, a free press and free schools. Their last drop of blood will be shed, if need be, which God forbid, in defence of our country's flag from any foe who shall dare to assail it. Our homes, our institutions, our laws, our country, we as Masons as well as men, love, and we love them more sincerely because we are Masons.
No one conversant with the life and principles of our Fraternity "can reflect upon the regularity of a Lodge, its beauty, its perfect calm, without recognizing that this Institution is a most powerful teacher of conservative citizenship and a substantial bulwark of free institutions." The tyrant dreads its influence, and the superstitious and narrow-minded thunder their maledictions against its principles and organization. Let them vent their fury. For, as another has said, "Our Fraternity will survive to benefit mankind when the throne of one and the parchments of the other have crumbled into indistinguishable dust." We, in common with other loyal hearts, have some comprehension of the grandeur of our common country. We glory in its extent, stretching from ocean to ocean, in a single State of which we can give every man, woman and child in our borders a farm of two acres. We feel rich in its inexhaustible mineral wealth, in its almost boundless fertile prairies, its beautiful valleys, its varied climate, and its numberless useful productions. We rejoice in its institutions, literary, philanthropic, charitable, educational and religious. AVe glory in its spirit of freedom, its local self-government, and its government of laws and not of men. These, all these, for ourselves and our posterity, every loyal heart says, with all the emphasis of its being, can be and shall be preserved. In their defence Freemasons will always be found in the van with their possessions and their lives.
There is no other land like thee!
No dearer shore.
Thou art the shelter of the free;
The home and port of liberty,
- Thou hast been and shalt ever be
Till time is o'er."
AT CORNERSTONE LAYING AT AYER, MAY 1898
From Proceedings, Page 1898-36:
BRETHREN AND FRIENDS : We have here assembled for the purpose of laying the Corner-stone of this building, which is to be used by the Banks of this town, by the local Courts, and by the Masonic Lodges. These three purposes combined are very suggestive; they call into operation principles closely connected with the welfare of this community; indeed, principles upon which the very foundations of government are laid, principles upon which the prosperity and happiness of the people depend. It is difficult to imagine a combination of interests of greater public importance than those to which I refer.
How largely does the prosperity of any people depend upon their financial system! History shows that instability in a nation's finances is certain to result in its downfall; while security, good faith and honor in its dealings with its subjects and with the world at large bring a full measure of respect, confidence and stability. Give to a people the opportunity to earn, and afford them protection in their rights and security for their savings, and prosperity will abound. Loyal hearts and hands will then be ever ready not only to promote one another's welfare, but to defend their country's honor.
Have you ever considered the degree of convenience and security afforded by our American banking system? The close connection of one Bank with another, although located in States far apart, gives a quick as well as a secure medium of exchange, and facilitates the transaction of business. The government supervision insures the uniformity of value in the currency issued by the different Banks. It is no longer necessary to get the opinion of an expert to know whether a Bank note of a Bank located in another State may safely be received for its face value. Every citizen knows that the credit of the country is behind each Bank note, and that he can depend upon its being of full face value as implicitly as he depends upon his government to protect his life.
Do not understand me as saying that I consider our national banking system perfect. It is undoubtedly capable of improvement, and will in the future be increased in efficiency with the growth in wisdom and experience of the people. Still I submit that our banking system stands to-day the best system of exchange and of security that has ever been, devised by any people.
Our Savings Bank system in this Commonwealth, in those elements which, for stability and security, should enter into and control every financial institution, does not stand second to the National Banking system to which I have just alluded. In these Banks people of moderate means find a ready place for a safe investment of their savings. They encourage thrift among the working classes, they save from suffering and from pauperism, for these small amounts so securely laid away often are the only source from which necessities can be supplied in a day of need. It is a most powerful argument that our Commonwealth is in a prosperous condition, and that the condition of labor is both happy and promising, when we remember that over five hundred millions of dollars are now deposited in the Savings Banks of the State. The average deposit being less than four hundred dollars shows how widely these savings are distributed among the people. The Savings Bank that is to do business in the structure to be here erected has a deposit of over one half million of dollars.
Our laws regulating the investment of this money of the people, the supervision exercised over the management of these Banks by the Savings Banks Commissioners, and the character of the men chosen to manage their affairs, together afford such a measure of security that the confidence of the people has been secured and maintained. When from time to time they find it necessary to withdraw their deposits, they have ever received (with only the rarest exceptions), dollar for dollar and the interest thereon. So, my friends, I say that here, in the Banks which are to be located in this building, you will have institutions which have been developed with the growth of our civilization and are the outcome of honest purpose; wise thought and business sagacity. Around them are thrown all the protection that a Christian and enlightened people know how to give, by methods of supervision and the enactment of law.
Here, also, is to be the seat of the local Court. This naturally suggests a brief consideration of oar system of jurisprudence. It is the result of centuries of wisdom and experience. The best thought of the Roman Empire, the development of government under the Anglo-Saxon race, and the spirit of freedom as evolved in American life, are all embodied in our law. This system stands to-day to a very large degree a bulwark defending and protecting the liberties of the people. How admirably are life and property protected by law in this country! Personal differences are settled in a dignified and intelligent manner by our Courts; offenders are tried and punished; all without causing a ripple of disturbance upon the surface of society. Indeed, our government is a government of law and not of men.
Perhaps some of you will recall that this element has been, and is, a source of satisfaction and pride to thoughtful men, and that when the centennial of the adoption of the Federal Constitution was celebrated, Mr. Justice Miller dwelt with exceptional eloquence upon this fact.' It is the assurance which comes therefrom in times of national disaster that inspires confidence. When men high in the official councils of the nation are cut down, the financial markets are scarcely affected; business goes right, on; men are dazed for a moment, but soon push onward in the discharge of duty. It was such assurance which enabled Garfield, when President Lincoln was assassinated, to utter those memorable words: '"God reigns, and the government at Washington still lives."
Sometimes we are inclined to marvel at the wisdom of our fathers who drafted our fundamental law, known as the Constitution. They were indeed wise, but they became so, not because Providence had bestowed upon them exceptional gifts, but because they were learned in what the generations before them had evolved. So our code of statute law and of common law have been evolved from the experience and intelligence of the generations. The moral growth of the people is reflected in its provisions, and in its enforcement. Not the least of the influences which have made their impress upon our system of jurisprudence have been the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. This building is also to become the home of the Masonic Lodges of this town. Here will be cultivated the true spirit of fraternity. Here man will meet man with all the distinctions, save those which pertain to true manhood, laid aside. Here will be cultivated those qualities of mind and heart which enrich not alone the individual life, but sweeten and elevate the character of the community.
Political and religious differences will, for the time being, at the meetings of the Brethren, be forgotten; each remembering only that he and his Brother are citizens of a common country, and to it owe a common allegiance; that all are children of the same Heavenly Father, and as such should dwell together in the spirit of brotherly love.
Such influences, as the result of natural social law, will inevitably extend to all other relations in life in which the Brethren mingle. They will supplement other beneficent institutions in their efforts to purify and ennoble human society.
In closing let me express the hope that each of these future occupants of this edifice will fulfill its responsible office, being faithful to those whose interests it serves, true to the government under which it acts, and a blessing to the entire community in which its work is centred.