2018 Grand Lodge Quarterly Communication

By Christopher Rooney |

On December 12th, Masons from all over Massachusetts assembled in Boston for the final 2018 business meeting of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

At 1:30pm, M.W. Paul F. Gleason was escorted by his Grand Marshal R.W. Richard Maggio to the East of Ionic Hall.

Prior to formally opening the meeting, the grand officers from the Massachusetts Order of the Eastern Star presented the colors. They were represented by:

  • Paula Burge, Most Worthy Grand Matron
  • Bro. Stephen Donahue, Most Worthy Grand Patron
  • Karen Grabau
  • R.W. Michael Podymaitis
  • Wor. David Frizzell
  • Bro. Charles Jones
  • Ruth Jones
Secretary of the Year
2018 Secretary of the Year winners Robert Khouri and William McFadden join the Grand Master in the East. Patricia Latham and Lisa Hastings from the Grand Secretary’s office assisted with the presentation.

After the colors were presented, the Grand Master invited Patricia Latham and Lisa Hastings into the meeting. As representatives of the Grand Secretary’s office, they assisted the Grand Master with presenting the 2018 Lodge Secretary of the Year awards. This award is given to Lodge secretaries who have performed the duties of their office to the highest degree of excellence over the last year. In 2018, the winners were:

  • Bro. Robert Khouri, West Roxbury-Dorchester Lodge (Westwood)
  • Wor. William S. McFadden, Rural Lodge (Quincy)

Following this presentation, the Grand Master proceeded with the opening of Grand Lodge. After introducing the distinguished guests in attendance, the Grand Master called on M.W. Albert T. Ames, Grand Secretary, for the report on the recognition of proxies and voting powers of Lodges. It was in this report that Bro. Ames clarified which Lodges would be eligible to vote in the day’s forthcoming elections.

R.W. Scott T. Jareo, Deputy Grand Master, then delivered the necrology report, which regrettably included the names of six Masons who entered the Celestial Lodge above.

R.W. Jareo then called for R.W. John W. Hanson to read the necrology for M.W. Edgar W. Darling, who passed away in October.

The first order of official business that followed the necrology was the election of the 2019 Grand Master. M.W. Paul F. Gleason yielded the East to his Deputy Grand Master, R.W. Jareo, so he could preside over the ballot.

While the ballots were collected, R.W. Stephen Cohn delivered the report of the Committee on Charter & By-Laws. R.W. W. Warren Richardson then delivered the report of the Committee on Records.

M.W. Gleason was unanimously elected to serve a third consecutive term as Grand Master in 2019, and he humbly announced he would accept the results of the ballot and continue to serve.

Resuming his duties in the East, the Grand Master opened the floor for balloting on the office of Senior Grand Warden. The Grand Marshal presented the two candidates (R.W. Geoffrey Kromer and R.W. David J. Raymond) to the East, where the Grand Master wished them each well and thanked them for their efforts to travel throughout the jurisdiction since September before having them escorted from the room.

A committee of Past Senior Grand Wardens was appointed to oversee the ballot count, and return with the results. During the count, M.W. Donald G. Hicks, Jr. presented the report of the Committee on Foreign Relations. In his report, he recommended the brethren adopt formal recognition of the Grand Oriente do Parana’, Brazil. The brethren adopted this recommendation when they voted to approve the report.

Kromer
Geoffrey Kromer humbly accepts the position of Senior Grand Warden for 2019.

The past Senior Grand Warden election committee then returned to Ionic Hall and announced that R.W. Geoffrey Kromer had earned a majority of the ballots cast. R.W. David J. Raymond then stood up and thanked the Grand Master for the opportunity to run for office, and conceded his ballots to R.W. Kromer so that he may enjoy a unanimous ballot on the record. The Grand Master asked R.W. Kromer if he would accept the position of Senior Grand Warden, and R.W. Kromer said he would be honored to serve.

R.W. Donald H. LaLiberte and R.W. Walter Hunt were pleased to announce that the Masonic Education & Charity Trust has re-printed The Masonic Way of Life, a collection of the addresses of M.W. Joseph E. Perry (Grand Master 1938-1940). The book is available from the Grand Lodge supply office.

Next, the Grand Master opened the floor for balloting on the office of Junior Grand Warden. The Grand Marshal escorted R.W. Edgar R. De Leon and R.W. Timothy S. McGavin to the East, where he wished them well before having them escorted from the room. A committee of Past Junior Grand Wardens was appointed for the same task as the Past Senior Grand Wardens, and were asked to return with the ballot results as soon as they had them.

While the count took place, the Grand Secretary, M.W. Ames, read two petitions for consolidation. Palestine Lodge and William Sutton Lodge were approved to merge and continue to meet under the name of William Sutton Lodge; Simonds Lodge and William Parkman Lodge were approved to merge and continue to meet under the name of William Parkman Lodge.

Next, the petition for the institution of a new Lodge was read. The Lodge of the Royal Secret will begin operating in Boston as a result.

The Grand Master also announced the start of a Grand Lodge Dues Amnesty Program for the 2019 calendar year. Any brother who has been suspended for non-payment of dues who wishes to re-activate his membership in 2019 will not have to pay their accrued Grand Lodge dues since their suspension. They will, however, have to pay Grand Lodge dues for the current year and each year moving forward to stay active. Each local Lodge will have to decide whether or not they wish to provide the same amnesty for their Lodge dues in addition to this effort; the Grand Master strongly recommended they consider doing so.

McGavin
Timothy McGavin humbly accepts the position of Junior Grand Warden for 2019.

The committee of Past Junior Grand Wardens then returned and announced that R.W. Timothy S. McGavin had earned a majority of the ballots cast. R.W. Edgar R. De Leon also conceded his ballots to R.W. McGavin so that he may enjoy a unanimous victory on the record. When asked if he would serve as Junior Grand Warden, R.W. McGavin humbly accepted.

The Grand Master then entertained a motion to direct the Grand Secretary to cast one ballot for the remaining slate officers. The motion passed, and as a result the following brethren were elected for 2019:

  • Grand Secretary: M.W. Albert T. Ames
  • Grand Treasurer: R.W. Mason W. Russell

Board of Directors:

  • R.W. George F. Hamilton
  • R.W. Richard Maggio
  • R.W. Allan J. Martin

Masonic Education & Charity Trust Trustee:

  • R.W. John C. Harris, III – Term Ending 2026

It’s always a pleasure to see great work rewarded. The Grand Master asked the Grand Marshal to present R.W. Peter Culbertson to the East. He thanked him for all his hard work over the past year helping plan several membership programs, as well as for his role in creating the Robert Johnston Award.

Next, the Grand Master welcomed M.W. Jeffrey B. Hodgdon in the East, and allowed him to present the Worshipful Master (Wor. Tim Conte) of Simon W. Robinson Lodge (his mother Lodge) with his official Grand Master portrait. He asked Wor. Conte to make sure it is proudly displayed in their Lodge building in Lexington.

The Grand Master was happy to present R.W. Culbertson with the Joseph Warren Distinguished Service Medal in front of the brethren assembled, saying it was well deserved.

Following this, the Grand Master asked for R.W. Alfredo Canhoto to be presented to the East. R.W. Canhoto discussed the Lewis Jewel Initiative. He and the Grand Master presented R.W. Fred A. Dobson, Jr. with a Lewis Jewel – R.W. Dobson’s father passed away about 20 months after he was raised, and he never had an opportunity to receive the jewel from his Dad.

The Grand Master also made a special presentation to R.W. Canhoto, thanking him for his efforts with the recent Bow-Tie Benefit fundraiser.

Several Lodges and Districts made presentations of donations to the Grand Master. Following those presentations, the Grand Master delivered his address. He closed Grand Lodge in ample form at approximately 4:15pm.