Chartered By: Arthur D. Prince
Charter Date: 03/08/1922 1922-44
Precedence Date: 03/23/1921
Current Status: Active
Need list of living Past Masters
- Herbert L. Trull, 1921, 1922
- Melvin G. Rogers, 1923, 1924; N
- Joseph W. Jordan, 1925
- Harry P. Nash, 1926
- Austin F. French, 1927, 1928
- George A. Marshall, 1929, 1930
- James C. Marshall, 1931, 1932
- Frederick M. Carter, 1933, 1934
- Wilfred C. Johnson, 1935, 1936
- Thomas W. Davies, 1937, 1938
- Augustus L. Dutton, 1939, 1940
- William A. Smith, 1941, 1942; SN
- George A. O'Connell, 1943, 1944
- Justin F. Fitzgerald, 1945
- Bernard H. Sherwood, 1946
- Lindsay L. Meister, 1947
- W. Arthur Scarlett, 1948
- J. Harper Gale, 1950, 1951
- George A. Ward, 1952, 1953
- Anstein Myhr, 1954
- Wilmer S. Garrick, 1955, 1956
- John L. McPhail, 1957, 1958
- Gilbert E. French, 1959
- Allan C. Osterman, 1960
- Richard Trull, 1961; N
- Gordon L. Jackson, 1962
- Eugene Winter, 1963
- Leonel V. Porter, 1964, 1965
- Norman W. Rice, Sr., 1966, 1967
- Gordon R. Vivian, 1968
- Donald G. Hicks, Jr., 1969, 1970, 1999, 2013
- Kenneth E. Vinal, 1971, 1972
- Dester E. Bowers, 1973
- Alan S. Hunter, 1974
- William B. Carey, 1975; N
- Warren S. Lees, 1976
- David H. Hicks, 1977
- Alfred L. Morin Jr., 1978
- James W. Lennox, 1979
- Dana S. MacAllister, Sr., 1980; PDDGM
- Donald W. Carter, 1981
- Richard J. Thompson, 1982
- William A. Hamm, 1983; N
- Henry E. Breault, 1984
- John Appleby, 1985, 1986; PDDGM
- Roland L. Noel, 1987
- Norman W. Rice, Sr., 1988
- David W. Wellington, 1989
- Alfred L. Morin, Jr., 1990
- Keith L. Bennett, Sr., 1991
- Joseph A. Bowden, 1992
- David W. DuCom, 1993
- Herbert A. Ramsdell, 1994
- Kevin J. Resca, 1995
- William L. Lindsey, 1996
- Grant L. Thorne, 1997, 1998
- Archibald H. Campbell, 2000, 2001
- Charles E. Kirk, 2002, 2003
- Grant L. Thorne, 2004
- John T. Haines, 2005, 2006
- Joseph C. Roux, 2007
- Jay E. Cheney, 2008, 2009, 2011
- Robert F. Kinckle, Jr., 2010, 2012
REFERENCES IN GRAND LODGE PROCEEDINGS
VISITS BY GRAND MASTER
- 1922 (Prince; Constitution of Lodge and installation; Special Communication)
- 1959 (A. Jenkins; Ladies' Night)
- 1976 (Maxwell; Cornerstone laying and hall dedication; Special Communication)
- 1979 (Melanson)
- 1987 (Ames; 2 visits; Reception for Deputy Grand Master Donald G. Hicks, DeMolay Legion of Honor)
- 1991 (Darling)
- 1993 (Lovering; Hall rededication)
- 1999 (Bauer; 2 visits, including installation)
- 2002 (Hicks; 7 visits, including reception for Grand Master, held in Lowell; Special Communication)
- 2003 (Hicks; 2 visits)
- 2004 (Hicks; 7 visits, including installation)
- 2012 (Stewart)
HISTORY AT HALL DEDICATION, JULY 1976
From Proceedings, Page 1976-234:
By Brother Richard J. Thompson.
It is safe to assume that the history of Wamesit Lodge began in a private home in Tewksbury, Massachusetts in either late summer or early fall of 1920. It was at this time that Adolph B. Moore, the Senior Warden of Friendship Lodge in Wilmington, and Harry L. Mann, a member of the same Lodge, met and decided that there was a need for a Masonic Lodge in the Town of Tewksbury.
In the post World War I period, a man who did wish to become a Mason was forced to travel to Lowell, Andover, Billerica or Wilmington. Obviously, this situation had a detrimental effect upon the growth of the Fraternity. Moore and Mann, two men who were devoted to Masonry and its growth, were determined to correct this situation and erect a new Lodge.
They began their work by compiling a list of all Master Masons who resided in the town. Assisted by Edgar and Walter Smith, they made personal visits to most of the men, who finally numbered 56. When they saw that there was some interest in their idea, they decided to hold their first meeting. On November 22, 1920, twenty-eight Master Masons met in the temporary Town Hall on Main at East Street. As the first order of business they elected Henry M. Billings the Chairman and Harry L. Mann the Secretary of this and all future sessions. Billings then called for a discusson of the main concern for the meeting, the possibility of forming a Lodge in the Town. Many points were presented, but no definite action was taken. It was decided, however, to hold a second session.
This second session was held on December 6, 1920 and there was increased attendance and a stronger feeling for a new Lodge. Although the consensus was strong and seemingly sufficient to justify a final vote, it was decided that a third meeting should be held before the decision was actually made. January 31, 1921, was the chosen date for this third and final meeting. The feeling at this session was at its strongest and it was voted to form a Lodge in Tewksbury and request a Charter from the Grand Lodge. It was also decided to name the new institution Wamesit Lodge after the tribe of Indians who populated the area during the pre-colonial era.
Finally, the Chairman appointed Roland T. Cresse and Herbert L. Trull to a nominating committee and asked them to retire, discuss possible candidates for office in the new Lodge and return to the assembled Brethren. This committee presented the assembly with the following list of officers:
- Herbert L. Trull, Worshipful Master
- Melvin G. Rogers, Senior Warden
- Joseph W. Jordan, Junior Warden
- Eugen N. Patterson, Treasurer
- Harry L. Mann, Secretary
The assembled Brothers considered each man who was nominated by the committee and duly elected them to their respective office. Wamesit Lodge was now close to reality.
Herbert Trull, then the presiding Master of William North Lodge in Lowell, and Harry Mann journeyed to Boston on February 3, 1921, with the formal request for a Charter. They presented the request to Right Worshipful Frederick W. Hamilton, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge, who then forwarded it on to the Grand Master.
Two months later, on April 11, 1921, Charles F. Fleming, District Deputy Grand Master, presented a dispensation to the Lodge in the temporary Town Hall. Some six months after the birth of the idea, Wamesit Lodge was real.
After receiving the dispensation, the elected Officers assumed their stations and Worshipful Trull announced his appointments. The first officers of Wamesit Lodge were:
- Rev. George F. Sturtevant, Chaplain
- Wor. Adolph B. Moore, Marshal
- Wor. Hector Jackson, Senior Deacon
- Wor. Harry P. Nash, Junior Deacon
- Bro. Harry A. Wilson, Senior Steward
- Bro. Austin F. French, Junior Steward
- Bro. George A. Marshall, Inside Sentinel
- Bro. John H. Feifer, Tyler
Steps were immediately taken to find a more suitable place to conduct the business of the Lodge. Worshipful Adolph Moore offered the use of the second floor storeroom over his store on East Street. The offer was accepted and the remodeling of the structure began. Among the changes that were made were the addition of an outside entrance and the partitioning of the interior, which would make it more suitable for use as a Masonic Temple. This building would be the home of Wamesit Lodge for the next 53 years.
The renovations could not be started until there were sufficient funds available to complete the project. As a result, two fund raising events were held and were designed to pay for all changes. On May 5, 1921, a Fair and Supper was held in the new Town Hall, with a Dance and Entertainment Night on the following evening. The two projects, together, raised a total of $1800 and paid for all the necessary work.
The Lodge continued to work under a dispensation until March 8, 1922 when a Charter was granted to Wamesit Lodge of Massachusetts. The constitution ceremonies were held in the Masonic Hall in Lowell on April 27, 1922. (1922 Mass. 101-104)
On May 13, 1922, the Lodge convened to receive Most Worshipful Arthur D. Prince, Grand Master, and his suite. The Grand Master had travelled to the Town to preside over the cornerstone ceremony at the Tewksbury Congregational Church and the Lodge accompanied him to the site. (1922 Mass. 123-125)
In recognition of the part he played in the formation of Wamesit Lodge, Most Worshipful Arthur D. Prince was elected an honorary member on October 2, 1922. He was the first person to receive this important distinction, a gift which the members of Wamesit Lodge seldom confer.
As with most Masonic Lodges, it is the early years which carry the greatest interest. In those years which followed, the Lodge carried on its work of providing a fraternal relationship for its members. Since that fall day in 1920, there have been 483 men who have called Wamesit Lodge home.
The interest of the members, however, is not limited to Masonry and they have always given their support to the youth of the community. In fact, Wamesit Lodge is one of the few Blue Lodges in Massachusetts who sponsor both a DeMolay Chapter and a Rainbow Assembly. Wamesit Assembly No. 88 of the Order of Rainbow for Girls was instituted on November 17, 1956, and has continued to grow along with the Lodge. Today, they represent an important part of the Tewksbury Masonic family.
Six years later, the Lodge was again on the road to sponsorship of a fraternal youth group. In the fall of 1961, the members of Wamesit Lodge petitioned the International Supreme Council of the Order of DeMolay for permission to organize a Chapter. The request was granted on November 1, 1961 and the Chapter was instituted on January 25 of the following year.
As the Lodge continued to grow, it became evident that the facilities which had served the group for so many years were no longer adequate. In 1969, Wamesit Lodge began its most ambitious project, the building of a new Temple.
It started as a dream which most felt would never become a reality. Members of the Wamesit Association, however, were convinced that, with a great deal of work and dedication, a new Temple could be built. At the head of this group were three; Worshipful Leonel V. Porter, Worshipful Donald G. Hicks, Jr., and Worshipful Kenneth E. Vinal, who gave the project the effort that was needed and, for the most part, insured its success. They could not have done it alone, but they did receive the assistance of many Lodge members, who lent their talents wherever they could. This project was truly a group effort.
After a long period of talk and inactivity, the Lodge and the Association finally decided that a new Temple was possible. Worshipful Dester E. Bowers appointed a building committee and before too much more could be done, it was decided to locate an architect and a builder. Arthur Peters, a prominent designer, was commissioned to be the architect while Ralph House was chosen as the builder. Everything was about ready and the work was set to begin.
On December 2, 1974, Worshipful Alan S. Hunter closed what appeared to be a normal Masonic meeting. This was not just any meeting. Worshipful Hunter had closed the final session at the East Street Temple and had ended an era in the Lodge's history. The Lodge moved to the Billerica Masonic Temple for what was to be a short time. It was expected that the new Temple would be ready by the next September.
As is so common in projects of this magnitude, the delays began and the optimism of the members faded. September, 1975 came and went and the new Temple was no closer to a reality than it was the year before. Many thought that a great mistake had been made.
Suddenly, things began to fall in place and on October 5, 1975, Worshipful Williams B. Carey called the Lodge together for the ground breaking ceremony. The enthusiasm of the members started to climb and their fears disappeared.
This enthusiasm began to retreat as the delays returned. The opening of the Temple was moved from one month to the next and it appeared as if the members of Wamesit Lodge would be forever denied their Temple. Of course, the great day finally came.
On May 13, 1976, Worshipful Carey included in the June Notice a letter which began, "This is the month, the one we have all been waiting for. Through the efforts of many people, too numerable to mention, we will hold our FIRST communication in the NEW Wamesit Temple on Monday evening, June 7, 1976 . . ." Wamesit Lodge, again, had a home.
The meeting of that evening, to the memories of all, was the most spectacular in the Lodge's history. Over 150 Masons gathered to witness the work and to enjoy one of the newest Temples in Massachusetts. At 5:30 P.M., Worshipful Carey called the Brethren together and launched the Lodge into the future. The program was appropriate to the occasion. Right Worshipful Richard Trull, District Deputy Grand Master and a Past Master of Wamesit Lodge, paid a Fraternal Visit. He was accompanied by a suite of 46 distinguished Master Masons. Brother Frederick Stewart Penney was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason and Brother Charles Thomas Nash was presented a 50 Year Veteran's Medal. The highlight of the evening, however, was the presentation of the Joseph Warren Medal for outstanding service to Brother Howard Kenneth Oldmixon.
When the work of the evening was completed, Worshipful Carey handed the gavel to Right Worshipful Trull, who closed Wamesit Lodge. The first day in the new Temple was, truly, an exciting one.
In 56 years, Wamesit Lodge has grown from the idea of two men into an important part of the Masonic Fraternity. Today, the Lodge is embarking on a new frontier and a new life. Only the future can see exactly what lies ahead.
HISTORY AT HALL REDEDICATION, MAY 1993
From Proceedings, Page 1993-25:
For earlier history of Wamesit Lodge please refer to page 234 of the 1976 Proceedings of the Grand Lodge.
The first special communication in the new Temple was held on Saturday, June 26, 1976, when the Fellowcraft Degree was conferred on Brother Kevin D. Gordon. The ladies were invited to join the Brethren for a delicious pot-luck supper which was enjoyed by all.
The culmination of efforts to build the new Temple took place on Saturday, July 3, 1976, the day before America was to celebrate her Bicentennial, when Wamesit Lodge was privileged to have Most Worshipful Stanley Fielding Maxwell, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts conduct the Laying of the Cornerstone and the Dedication of the Temple ceremonies in full form. The day's events included a ladies' tea and entertainment and a delicious roast beef banquet and was attended by an overflow crowd. A highlight of the program was the presentation by Most Worshipful Maxwell of Meritorious Service Certificates to Worshipful Brothers Leonel V. Porter, Donald G. Hicks, Jr., and Kenneth E. Vinal in recognition of their efforts toward the building of the new Temple.
On September 11, 1976, the first Public Installation of Officers was held in the new Temple with a capacity attendance when Worshipful Brother Warren S. Lees was installed as Worshipful Master. This began a renewed interest in Lodge activities with large attendance and many new applicants, both for affiliation and for the Degrees. Many social events and fundraising activities were scheduled and were well attended, helping to pay off the costs of the new Temple as well as increasing the fraternal relationships between all. Events included Ladies Nights, Flea Markets, Organ Recitals at the Methuen Organ Hall, family cookouts, Christmas Parties, Table Lodges, Social Nights, Square Dances, Bean Suppers, Auctions, Chicken Barbecues, Family Picnic and Corn Roasts, Big Band Night Concerts, Fishing Trips, Pancake Breakfasts on Thanksgiving morning for football enthusiasts, and other events too numerous to mention.
At the September, 1976 Communication six applicants for the Degrees were elected, beginning a surge of applications which grew to twelve in 1981 and kept Lodge activities at high levels through the 1980's. At that time of moving into the new Temple in 1976 it was reported that 483 men had called Wamesit Lodge their Home Lodge. Since that time 108 more have joined, of which seven were affiliated members and one was an Honorary member.
On September 14,1976, Acacia Chapter No. 80, Order of the Eastern Star, transferred their home from the Wilmington Masonic Temple to Wamesit Masonic Temple and held their first meeting there.
On September 22, 1981, the Warren G. Harding Court No. 5, Order of Amaranth, transferred their home from the Billerica Masonic Temple to Wamesit Masonic Temple and held their first meeting there.
Both the Eastern Star and the Amaranth have been welcome additions to the Wamesit family and have made themselves a significant part of Masonry's presence in Tewksbury. The Lodge has particularly benefited from their willingness to cater many of the dinners at their meetings.
Brotherhood Nights with Father Coppens Council, Knights of Columbus of Tewksbury were initiated on May 17, 1966, when 300 men gathered in the K of C Hall for a delicious dinner and program designed around the subject of brotherhood and ecumenism. Those events continued for several years and sponsored a scholarship to a Tewksbury High School student each year during those years. Improved relationships between people resulted and continue to this day.
The Masonic Blood Donor Program became an important part of Wamesit Lodge's public activities in the early 1950's and has continued with great success up to the present time. The Grand Lodge Blood Certificate has been awarded to the Lodge seventeen times beginning in 1962, the special Grand Lodge 250th Anniversary Blood Certificate was awarded in 1984, and in 1990 the American Red Cross awarded the Lodge a Special Certificate for the contributions over the years. Credit for these awards goes to Right Worshipful Richard Trull and especially to Right Worshipful William B. Carey for chairing the program and encouraging the Brethren to participate so successfully over the years.
Two Honorary Life Memberships have been awarded since the 1950's: one to Brother Clifford Haines for the many years he served as Secretary and one in 1982 to Worshipful Nicholas Georgoulis in appreciation for the many years that, though not a member of Wamesit Lodge, he prepared the dinners for the Table Lodges without compensation.
On September 16, 1984, Wamesit Lodge entered a float in the 250th Tewksbury Anniversary Parade and, along with many other Lowell area Masons, proudly marched with several other fraternal organizations.
When Massachusetts Masonry entered into the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) Program in 1987, Worshipful Roland L. Noel, on becoming Worshipful Master, initiated the Lodge's participation and soon thereafter activities were begun. Since that time Worshipful Noel has continued as Chairman and many programs have been run to raise funds and provide educational opportunities for the town's youth.
On October 3, 1992, when the new Muster Fountain sculpture by Mico Kaufman was unveiled in the new Muster Park in South Tewksbury, Wamesit Lodge's name was included on the history plaque as a supporter and contributor to that community effort. One of our members, Brother Edward H. Bowley, Jr., was the Chairman of the Committee of Interested Citizens through whose efforts the park and sculpture were created. Sadly, Brother Bowley died July 9, 1992, before the sculpture was erected and the new park was dedicated in his memory. Brother Bowley had been one of our benefactors in the fundraising for the new Temple.
Over the years after the new Temple was completed many of the Brethren continued to contribute to the building fund and, thanks to them and the fundraising projects, income from the lease, rents of the five bodies who called the Temple their home, plus occasional rentals of the facilities, the mortgage and operating expenses were kept paid. However, in 1989 income had fallen off to the point that it was necessary to place a two-year assessment of $25.00 per year on the members to carry the Association until the Lease of the property in Tewksbury center would be renewed at a higher rate. That assessment, a first for the Lodge, did the trick and at the time of this writing the financial picture is bright.
Wamesit Lodge has been fortunate to have had many members who went beyond the doors of the Home Lodge and contributed their time and talent to the larger Masonic community. The following Worshipful Masters became Masters of the Lowell 32nd Lodge of Instruction:
- Worshipful Augustus L. Dutton
- Worshipful J. Harper Gale
- Worshipful Leonel V. Porter
- Right Worshipful William B. Carey
- Right Worshipful William A. Hamm *
- Worshipful George A. O'Connell
- Worshipful Wilmer S. Garrick
- Right Worshipful Donald B. Hicks, Jr.
- Worshipful Richard J. Thompson
- Worshipful Alfred L. Morin, Jr.
The following were District Deputy Grand Masters:
- Right Worshipful Melvin G. Rogers
- Right Worshipful William A. Hamm
- Right Worshipful William A. Smith
- Right Worshipful Richard Trull
- Right Worshipful William B. Carey
The following were Grand Lodge Officers:
- Worshipful Herbert L. Trull, Senior Grand Steward
- Right Worshipful Richard Trull. Grand Pursuivant
- Right Worshipful Donald G. Hicks, Jr., Deputy Grand Master
- Right Worshipful William B. Carey, Junior Grand Steward
- Worshipful David H. Hicks. Grand Standard Bearer
With the renewal of the lease in 1991, the Association has been able to repair and replace items wearing out and to do a number of things that were beyond the financial ability at the time of building the Temple in 1975. Complete refurbishing of the interior and exterior, completion of the parking lot renewal of the driveway, re-landscaping with a driven well and automatic watering system, new and larger rear entry and handicap ramp, canopy with new lighting over the Masonic Emblem mosaic on the front of the building, roof over and new door and stepson the emergency exit out of the Lodge room, replacement of the electric heat pumps with new gas furnaces and air conditioning units, new ceilings over the banquet hall, restrooms, and outer rooms to the Lodge room, tiled restrooms, new carpeting in the lounge and corridor, exhaust canopy over kitchen stove, automatic exterior lighting controls, are s°me of the improvements accomplished such that the Temple is again like new and ready to carry Tewksbury Masonry well into the next century.
With more than "ten weeks of years" of service working for the betterment of mankind, Wamesit Lodge now looks forward to a renewal of our commitment to our task. Masonic renewal programs are now well underway and promise that, if we get into the action demanded by these programs, we Can "make the difference". We must let the world know that we are open to Membership of men of all faiths and creeds so long as they believe in the monotheistic God. We must also let them know that no Mason will directly ask them to join that they must make the first move by asking and that once they ask, their path into our Fraternity will be lined with good will and pleasant experiences. Our future depend on them.
We have built the foundation and the Temple — now let us use it to the glory of The Grand Architect of the Universe.
- 1922 (Participation in church cornerstone laying, 1922-123)
GRAND LODGE OFFICERS
- John Appleby, DDGM, District 12, 2003, 2004
- William B. Carey, DDGM, District 12 (Lowell), 1987, 1988; N
- William A. Hamm, DDGM, District 12 (Lowell), 1993, 1994; N
- Donald G. Hicks, Jr.; Deputy Grand Master 1987; Grand Master 2002-2004
- Dana S. MacAllister, Sr., DDGM, District 12, 2009, 2010
- Melvin G. Rogers, DDGM, District 12 (Lowell), 1937, 1938; N
- William A. Smith, DDGM, District 12 (Lowell), 1955, 1956; SN
- Richard Trull, DDGM, District 12 (Lowell), 1975, 1976; N