Bethune Appointed Deputy Grand Master for 2019

By Christopher Rooney |

Bethune, pictured here as District Deputy Grand Master in 2013.

Lawrence Eugene Bethune of West Newton is the Deputy Grand Master of Masons for 2019. The Deputy Grand Master is the second highest ranking officer of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, comprised of over 25,000 members in more than 225 lodges statewide.

The Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts is the oldest Grand Lodge in the Western Hemisphere and the third oldest in the world. It was chartered in 1733, following the establishment of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717 and Ireland in 1725.

Paul F. Gleason, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts and the presiding officer in the state, handpicked Bethune to serve as Deputy Grand Master. He will assist the Grand Master and preside over the Grand Lodge during any absence of the Grand Master for the next year. He is also the Grand Master ex officio should the Grand Master not be able to complete his term. Gleason, of Winchester, was installed for the third year of his three one-year terms as Grand Master during the same ceremony.

Born in Portsmouth, Virginia to a career U.S. Navy officer, Bethune lived in Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, and New Jersey before coming to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music where he earned his Bachelor of Music degree. He also pursued a Masters and a Doctoral degree in music research at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.

Bethune is a retired vice-president of Berklee College of Music where he was a professor since 1971, became vice president in 1979, retiring in 2015. He is married to Cynthia (Past Worthy Advisor of the Watertown Chapter of the Rainbow Girls), and has three daughters, Shana, Brittany, and Michaela, and a granddaughter Bronwyn.

He is a member of the Second Congregational Church in West Newton where he has chaired the Stewardship Committee and the Nominating Committee.

Bethune was a member of Harmony Chapter of DeMolay in Toms River, New Jersey. and began his Masonic career in 1999 by joining Dalhousie Lodge in Newtonville. He served as the Worshipful Master, or presiding officer, of Dalhousie Lodge in 2007 and 2008. Masons use the original definition of the word worshipful: honorable. English mayors and judges are addressed by the title of “Worshipful” even today. As Deputy Grand Master, members of the fraternity will call Brother Bethune “Right Worshipful.”

Active in several Masonic organizations, Bethune belongs to Garden City Lodge in Newton, The Masters Lodge in Needham, the Kilwinning Scottish Degree Club, A Knight in the Royal Order of Scotland, the Knights of St. Andrew, and is an Ambassador for the George Washington Masonic National Memorial.

Bethune is a 32° Mason in the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite – Valley of Boston, and is a member of Boston Lafayette Lodge of Perfection, Giles F. Yates Princes of Jerusalem, Mt. Olivet Chapter of Rose Croix, and the Massachusetts Consistory.

He first served the Grand Lodge when he was appointed Senior Grand Deacon in 2012, then was appointed District Deputy Grand Master of the Fifth Masonic District for 2013 and 2014. He was chair of the Grand Lodge Development Committee for 2015 and 2016 and a member of the Receivership Committee for 2016 and 2017.

He is currently member of the Board of Directors for the Masonic Health System and on the Board of Governors for the Children’s Dyslexia Center of Greater Boston where he serves as Board Secretary.

In November 2011, Bethune was presented the Joseph Warren Medal for Distinguished Service. Named for the Patriot killed during the Battle of Bunker Hill, Warren was the presiding Grand Master at the time of his death. The medal recognizes exceptional service at the Lodge level and is conferred by the Grand Master on the recommendation of the Lodge Master.