CHAPTER XV. The Grand Lodge of Maine Today. 1945
In its 125th Anniversary Year, the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Maine consists of its fifty-two Grand Officers, its fifty-four Permanent Members, and the Masters and Wardens of its 206 subordinate Lodges, which have a combined membership of 36,963 Master Masons.
The Craft in Maine is ruled and governed by the M. W. Charles E. Crossland of Orono, an administrative official of the University of Maine. Bro. Crossland is a Past Master of Mechanics Lodge, No. 66. He has served the Grand Lodge as District Deputy Grand Master of the Sixth District in 1932-1933, as Grand Junior Deacon in 1936, as Grand Lecturer from 1937 to 1943, and as Deputy Grand Master in 1943. He also served on several important committees. He is the Representative of the Grand Lodge of Vermont near the Grand Lodge of Maine.
His Deputy Grand Master is R. W. Carroll W. Keene of Clinton, whose previous service to the Grand Lodge was as District Deputy Grand Master of the Twelfth District, as Grand Junior Deacon, and as Junior Grand Warden in 1940. His Senior Grand Warden is R. W. Harold L. Gerrish of Augusta, former Grand Senior Deacon. His Junior Grand Warden is R. W. Earle D. Webster of Portland, a former District Deputy Grand Master of the Eighteenth District and now, as for some years past, Corresponding Grand Secretary and Librarian.
The funds of the Grand Lodge are in the efficient custody of R. W. H. Norton Maxfield, who succeeded his beloved father as Grand Treasurer in 1941. The responsibilities of the Grand Treasurer have grown to immense proportions through the passing years. In 1945, the total assets of the Grand Lodge amount to $420,651.95, divided as to the several funds as follows:
|George Washington Memorial Fund||
|Pott War Fund||
|Masonic Service Association Fund||
In addition to his other duties, R. W. Bro. Maxfield is the Committee on the George Washington National Masonic Memorial. He represents the Grand Lodge of Indiana near the Grand Lodge of Maine.
The Grand Secretary's desk is presided over by R. W. Convers E. Leach of Portland. Bro. Leach's record of Masonic service is unequalled by that of any living member of the Grand Lodge and is well worthy of comparison with those of his distinguished predecessors, Grand Secretaries Ira and Stephen Berry. He became a member of the Grand Lodge in 1895, as Junior Warden of Portland Lodge, No. 1, and is a Past Master of that venerable body. He served as Grand Steward from 1901 to 1910, as Assistant Grand Secretary from 1903 to 1918, as Junior Grand Warden in 1911, as Corresponding Grand Secretary from 1912 to 1931, in which year he succeeded to his present post. He has also served on various important committees and is at present Chairman of the Committee on Returns and Secretary of the Trustees of the Charity Fund. He is the Representative of the Grand Lodge of Ohio near the Grand Lodge of Maine. The work of the Grand Secretary's office has increased tremendously in the last few years. Approximately 15,000 pieces of correspondence pass through the office each year. This figure includes Grand Lodge correspondence alone, taking no account of that of the other Grand Bodies of which Bro. Leach is also Secretary and Recorder.
The Membership Files alone entail a tremendous amount of work. One file is arranged by Lodges and contains the records of the current membership and of former members for several years past. The other and much larger file contains the personal record cards of every known Maine Mason, arranged in alphabetical order. Approximately 123,340 cards are found in this file.
The Grand Lodge Library was founded in 1850 with twenty-six volumes. Its shelves now contain approximately 6,000 bound volumes with about another thousand not bound. Some years ago, our Library ranked tenth among the Masonic Libraries of the country. We make no attempt to equal such great Libraries as those of Iowa and New York in the field of general Masonic literature, but our file of official Proceedings is unsurpassed. Our Library includes the Josiah H. Drummond and Samuel B. Furbish Memorial Libraries. Some of the volumes in the Drummond Library are of immense historical value. The Grand Lodge Museum contains many articles of historical and sentimental interest. R. W. Earle D. Webster renders efficient and courteous service as Librarian of the Library and Curator of the Museum. The work of the former Committee on Masonic Education is now vested in the Committee on Library, of which Bro. Webster is the Chairman. For the last few years, an attractive little Masonic publication, known as The Occasional Bulletin, has been published from time to time, with Bro. Webster as its editor.
When a brother serves in any of its first four offices, he automatically becomes a Permanent Member of the Grand Lodge. These Permanent Members gives to the Grand Lodge the benefit of their long experience and matured wisdom, and can be counted upon to furnish a conservative element in the consideration of Masonic legislation. The Permanent Membership has often been referred to as the Masonic Senate of the Grand Lodge, and its functions are, in many ways, similar to those of the Upper House in a parliamentary body. Among the Permanent Members of our Grand Lodge we find eleven Most Worshipful Brethren who have filled the highest office within the gift of the Craft. Brief outlines of their Masonic service follow:
(1) Our senior Past Grand Master, M. W. Ashley A. Smith, has spent his entire life in the Christian Ministry of the Universalist Church. He holds the degree of Doctor of Divinity. He served the Grand Lodge as Deputy Grand Master in 1908-1909, as Grand Master in 1910-1911, and as Grand Chaplain from 1914 to the present time. Since 1916 he has served on the Committee on Foreign Correspondence and, since the death of M. W. Albro E. Chase, has written the Maine Correspondence Report. He has served on many important committees and is at present one of the Trustees of the Grand Lodge Charity Fund. He represents the Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan near the Grand Lodge of Maine. Bro. Smith is a Past Master of Phoenix Lodge, No. 24, of Belfast.
(2) M. W. Edward W. Wheeler of Brunswick is one of the leading members of the Maine Bar. He served the Grand Lodge as Deputy Grand Master in 1918-1919, and as Grand Master in 1920-1921. Since his retirement from the Grand East, he has served continuously on the most important committees of the Grand Lodge. He is now a Trustee of the Grand Lodge Charity Fund and Chairman of the important Committee on Masonic Jurisprudence. He is the Grand Representative of New York near the Grand Lodge of Maine. He is a Past Master of United Lodge, No. 8, of Brunswick.
(3) M. W. David E. Moulton is a lawyer, an official of the Portland Water District, and a gentleman farmer, whose Jersey cattle and beautiful peonies are nationally famous. He is a Past Master of Hiram Lodge, No. 180, of South Portland. He served he Grand Lodge as Grand Steward in 1914-1915, as Grand Junior Deacon in 1916-1917-1918, as Grand Senior Deacon in 1919-1920-1921, as Deputy Grand Master in 1922-1923, and as Grand Master in 1924-1925. He is at present a Member of the Committee on Jurisprudence, and represents the Grand Lodge of North Dakota near the Grand Lodge of Maine. It is Bro. Moulton who annually installs the Grand Officers in an impressive manner that can never be forgotten by anyone who has been privileged to hear him.
(4) M. W. and Rev. David L. Wilson, L. H. D., has spent his life in the service of God as a clergyman of the Congregational Church. He is a Past Master of Pheonix Lodge, No. 24, of Belfast. He has served the Grand Lodge as Grand Chaplain from 1911 to 1923 and from 1928 to the present time, as Deputy Grand Master in 1924-1925, and as Grand Master in 1926-1927. He is now a Trustee of the Grand Lodge Charity Fund and the honored Representative of our Mother Grand Lodge of Massachusetts near the Grand Lodge of Maine.
(5) M. W. Cyrus N. Blanchard of Wilton is a lawyer by profession and a Past Master of Wilton Lodge, No. 156. He was Deputy Grand Master in 1928-1929, and Grand Master in 1930-1931. It is Bro. Blanchard who so efficiently and expeditiously conducts the annual elections in our Grand Lodge. He is a Trustee of the Grand Lodge Charity Fund and is Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of Quebec.
(6) M. W. Ernest C. Butler of Skowhegan, is a practicing Attorney. During World War I, he served at the front as a Y. M. C. A. Secretary, attached to the famous 2nd Division. He is a Past Master of Somerset Lodge, No. 34. In Grand Lodge, he served as District Deputy Grand Master of the Thirteenth District in 1912-1913, and again in 1928-1929, as Grand Senior Deacon in 1916-1917, as Deputy Grand Master in 1930-1931, and as Grand Master in 1932-1933. He now serves on the Committee on Amendments to the Constitution and as a Trustee of the Grand Lodge Charity Fund. He is the Representative of the York Grand Lodge of Mexico near the Grand Lodge of Maine.
(7) M. W. Clark D. Chapman is a grandson of M. W. Josiah H. Drummond and, like his distinguished grandfather, is a prominent member of the legal profession. He is a Past Master of Ancient Landmark Lodge, No. 17. He served in Grand Lodge as Grand Junior Deacon from 1923 to 1925, on the Committee on Grievances and Appeals from 1924 to 1932, as Grand Pursuivant in 1926, as Grand Senior Deacon from 1927 to 1931, as Deputy Grand Master in 1932-1933, and as Grand Master in 1934-1935.
He now serves on the Committee on Doings of Grand Officers and on the Committee on Masonic Jurisprudence. He was a member of the special committee which raised the Maine Masonic War Fund. He represents the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations near the Grand Lodge of Maine.
(8) M. W. Henry R. Gillis was a high officer in the Customs Agency Service of the United States. He served as a volunteer during the Spanish American War. He is a Past Master of St. Croix Lodge, No. 46, of Calais. He was District Deputy Grand Master of the Second District in 1918-1919, Deputy Grand Master in 1934-1935, and Grand Master in 1936-1937. He was the leading member of the Committee on Masonic Education and was General Chairman of the special committee which raised the Maine Masonic War Fund. He is a member of the Committees on Finance and Amendments to the Constitution and the Special Committee on Ritual. He is Grand Representative of Virginia near the Grand Lodge of Maine.
(9) M. W. George F. Giddings served for many years as Clerk of the Maine Public Utilities Commission, and, since his retirement, is an official of the Augusta Water District. He is a Past Master of Augusta Lodge, No. 141. He was Grand Senior Deacon in 1914-1915, Grand Marshal in 1930-1931, Junior Grand Warden in 1932, a member of the Trial Commission from 1934 to 1936, Deputy Grand Master in 1937, Grand Master in 1938-1939, and Chairman of the Grand Masters' Conference of the United States in 1940-1941. He is a member of the Committee on Doings of Grand Officers and the Special Committee on Ritual. He is the Representative of the Grand Lodge of Scotland near the Grand Lodge of Maine.
(10) M. W. Harold H. Murchie of Calais has a distinguished record of public service as County Attorney of Washington County; Assistant Attorney-General of Maine; Representative in the Legislature; State Senator, and President of the Maine Senate. He was Corporation Counsel for several large corporations, a Director of the Maine Central Railroad, and President of the Maine State Bar Association. He is now one of the Honorable Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine. Bro. Murchie is a Past Master of St. Croix Lodge, No. 46. He was Deputy Grand Master in 1938-1939, and Grand Master in 1940-1941. He is now a member of the Committee on Doings of Grand Officers. He represents Wisconsin near the Grand Lodge of Maine.
(11) M. W. Benjamin L. Hadley of Bar Harbor, is Superintendent of Acadia National Park. He is a Past Master of Bar Harbor Lodge, No. 185, and is the son of R. W. Benjamin L. Hadley, who served the Grand Lodge as Junior Grand Warden in 1896, and was, for many years thereafter, a member of the Committee on Grievances and Appeals. Bro. Hadley served as a Lieutenant in World War I. He was Grand Steward in 1926-1927, served on the Committee on Pay Roll from 1927 to 1936, was District Deputy Grand Master of the Twenty-first District in 1937, Deputy Grand Master in 1940-1041, and Grand Master in, 1942-1943. He was a member of the Special Committee which raised the Maine Masonic War Fund, and is at present Chairman of the Special Committee on War Fund Distribution. He also serves on the Special Committees on Ritual and World War II Service Records. He is the Representative of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey near the Grand Lodge of Maine.
The Grand Lodge exercises supreme legislative, executive, and judicial authority within its jurisdiction. It functions very largely through the instrumentality of its various standing committees. Of these the most powerful and important, in so far as the domestic policies and legislation of the Grand Lodge are concerned, is the Committee on Masonic Jurisprudence. On this committee, Robert P. Dunlap, Josiah H. Drummond, Albro E. Chase and Thomas H. Bodge did some of their best work for the Fraternity. This committee renders opinions on questions of abstract law, advises on the constitutionality of proposed legislation, and reveiws the legal acts and decisions of the Grand Master. It cannot undo his acts, but it can and does prevent unsound interpretations of law from becoming precedents. At the present time, this important committee is composed of three distinguished lawyers, M. W. Bros. Edward W. Wheeler, David E. Moulton and Clark D. Chapman.
Another committee exercising a considerable influence on legislation is the Committee on Amendments to the Constitution, now composed of Bros. Ernest C. Butler, James A. Richan and Henry R. Gillis.
The only elective committee is the Committee on Finance, now composed of Bros. Henry Gillis, E. Murray Graham and David F. Drew. It is the duty of this committee to examine the books and accounts of the Grand Treasurer and the Grand Secretary and the annual report of the auditor, and also to recommend all appropriations of money to the Grand Lodge.
The most important committee having oversight of executive matters is the Committee on Doings of Grand Officers. Ordinarily the duties of this committee are pleasant, but, on occasion, it has been obliged to report adversely on certain sins of either commission or omission. This committee is now composed of M. W. Bros. Clark D. Chapman, Harold H. Murchie and George F. Giddings.
Committees handling administrative details include the Committee on the Condition of the Fraternity (Carroll W. Keene, John M. Littlefield, Norris G. Estabrook); the Committee on Credentials (Ralph H. Burbank, George H. Anderson, Frank A. Farwell); the Committee on Dispensations and Charters (James Abernethy, John J. Marr, Arthur H. Lander); the Committee on History (John L. Tewksbury, George W. Haskell, Harold L. Bowen); the Committee on Library and Museum (Earle D. Webster, Lewman B. Sopor, Willis A. Ricker); the Committee on Pay Roll (Alvoid E. Cushman, John C. Arnold, John H. Lancaster); the Committee on Publications (I. James Merry, Elbert G. Moulton); the Committee on Returns (Convers E. Leach, Sullivan L. Andrews, Fred C. Chalmers); and the Committee on Unfinished Business (George H. Minott, John L. Polleys, William A. Levensalor). Upon these committees depends the smooth and efficient functioning of the Grand Lodge.
The administration of Masonic justice is in the hands of two important tribunals. Actual trials take place before the Board of Commissioners of Trials, now composed of Bros. Frank P. Preti, Harry S. Grindall. George B. Barnes, Ralph W. Ferris and Benjamin C. Kent. This Board does not impose sentence but makes recommendations which are reviewed by the extremely important Committee on Grievances and Appeals, of which a distinguished jurist, Judge Granville C. Gray, is chairman, the other members being Bros. Harry E. Rowe and Edward H. Britton. Upon the recommendations of this Committee, the Grand Lodge itself passes judgment and imposes punishment.
The foreign relations of the Grand Lodge are in the hands of the Committee on Foreign Correspondence. Upon the recommendations of this Committee, the Grand Lodge determines its foreign policy and extends or withholds recognition from applicant Grand Lodges. Our standards for recognition are very high, Maine . being one of the most conservative of Grand Lodges in this respect. The Grand Lodge of Maine is in Fraternal relationship with the Grand Lodges of England, Ireland and Scotland, with all other Grand Lodges in the British Empire, with all Grand Lodges in the United States, with the Grand Lodges of Norway. Sweden and Denmark, with the Grand Lodges of Porto Rico and the Philippine Islands, with the Grand Lodges of Costa Rica, Cuba, Panama and Peru, and with the York Grand Lodge of Mexico. Representatives are exchanged with all Grand Lodges adhering to the Grand Representative system. The Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Correspondence is, ex officio, the writer of the Maine Correspondence Reports. For many years, these reports have been written by M. W. Ashley A. Smith, who has ably sustained the great tradition established by his illustrious predecessors, Cyril Pearl, Josiah H. Drummond and Albro E. Chase. His " Forewords," in particular, are little gems of English literature which have attracted favorable comment throughout the country. Serving with him on the committee at the present time are R. W. Bros. Ralph J. Pollard and Frank J. Cole.
The Charity Fund of the Grand Lodge of Maine has now grown to very respectable proportions. Including the Farrar, Rich. and Thayer Funds, the invested fund now amounts to $298,114.26 This fund is in charge of a Board of Trustees, now composed of Bros. Charles E. Crossland, Convers E. Leach, Carroll W. Keene. Harold L. Gerrish, Earle D. Webster, Edward W. Wheeler, David L. Wilson, Ashley A. Smith, Ernest C. Butler, Cyrus X. Blanchard and Frank J. Cole, the Grand Officers acting ex-officio, and the Grand Treasurer also in attendance. The Charity of the Grand Lodge of Maine has always been administered in such a way as to give the maximum of relief with the minimum of overhead expense. As for many years past, R. W. Frank J. Cole serves as Chairman of the Committee on Distribution. During the year ending April 1, 1945, the amount of $16,215 was expended in relief. The several Lodges paid out in charity an additional sum of $10,354.
As always, Maine pays much attention to the proper teaching of the Ritualistic Work. The important office of Grand Lecturer and Custodian of the Work is now held by R. W. Ervin E. J. Lander. A Special Committee on Ritual is now in existence, composed of Bros. Ervin E. J. Lander, Benjamin L. Hadley, Henry R. Gillis, George F. (Giddings, Allen L. Curtis, Convers E. Leach. Arthur W. Stockbridge, and the Grand Master.
The Grand Lodge of Maine has always been a believer in the District Deputy system, and in no other jurisdiction has this system worked to better advantage than in Maine. There are three reasons for this success. First, our Grand Masters have appointed Deputies according to ability and not because some Lodge felt that it was its turn to furnish a Deputy, or because some brother
was personally popular in the District. Second, our Districts have been kept small enough so that the Deputy can give proper attention to every Lodge. Third, the Grand Lodge has paid the actual expenses incurred by the Deputies on their official visitations.
In the earlier days, the District Deputy Grand Masters had power to grant certain dispensations and were responsible for the collection of all money due to the Grand Lodge. Today, the dispensing power is vested in the Grand Master alone, and Lodge remittances are made directly to the Grand Treasurer. Even without these duties, the District Deputy Grand Master remains an officer clothed with very real authority and charged with very real responsibilities. In the words of M. W. Bro. Moulton he is, after the Grand Master and Grand Secretary, the most important officer in the Grand Lodge. Upon him, more than upon any other individual, depends the welfare and the well being of the Craft. Without his approval, no new Lodge may be formed, no new Lodge room may be occupied, nor the location of an existing Lodge be moved. It is his duty to advise his Lodges in all matters of Masonic law and procedure. At his annual inspection, he makes searching investigation into every department of Lodge activity. He inspects the quarters of the Lodge for safety, suitability, and convenience. He examines the books of the Secretary and Treasurer and collects statistics therefrom for the Grand Lodge. The ritualistic work is presented for his inspection, and it is his duty to criticise and correct the same. He is received with the honors due him as the personal representative of the Grand Master, clothed with a part of that officer's prerogatives and powers. As the result of the work of our District Deputies, the Maine Lodges of today are among the best inspected, disciplined, and instructed Lodges in the country.
The Jurisdiction of Maine is today divided into twenty-four Districts, officered as follows:
|1st District||R. W.||Ralph T. Scott||Caribou|
|2nd District||R. W.||Everett S. Higgins||Lubec|
|3rd District||R. W.||Chester C. Curtis||Harrington|
|4th District||R. W.||Frank L. Milan||Deer Isle|
|5th District||R. W.||Elmer E. Sayward||Guilford|
|6th District||R. W.||Elmer P. Smart||Bangor|
|7th District||R. W.||Lester P. Gross||Jefferson|
|8th District||R. W.||James A. Sanker||Belfast|
|9th District||R. W.||Judson P. Lord||Warren|
|10th District||R. W.||George A. Ward||Bristol|
|11th District||R. W.||George R. Caswell||Augusta|
|12th District||R. W.||Aubrey L. Burbank||N. Vassalboro|
|13th District||R. W.||Ralph Jenkins||Skowhegan|
|14th District||R. W.||Daniel E. Kelley||Lisbon Falls|
|15th District||R. W.||Herschel P. Boynton||Farmington|
|16th District||R. W.||Harry E. Jewett||Fryeburg|
|17th District||R. W.||Leon M. Sanborn||Standish|
|18th District||R. W.||Lewis T. Brown||Limington|
|19th District||R. W.||Forrest E. Blaisdell||York Village|
|20th District||R. W.||Linwood A. Witham||Dixfield|
|21st District||R. W.||Fred I. Ames||East Orland|
|22nd District||R. W.||Fred J. Lowell||Newport|
|23rd District||R. W.||Linwood S. Barbour||Lewiston|
|24th District||R. W.||George 0. Webster||Lincoln|
In recent years, a Past District Deputy Grand Masters' Association has been formed, which meets annually during the Grand Lodge Session.
Maine has always been honored by the number of distinguished clergymen serving as Grand Chaplains in our Grand Lodge. The following Reverend Brethren are now acting in that capacity:
|Rev. Ashley A. Smith, D. D.||Bangor|
|Rev. David L. Wilson, L. H. D.||Bath|
|Rev. I. James Merry||Pownal|
|Rev. Cornelius E. Clark, L. H. D.||Portland|
|Rev. Hazen F. Rigby||Caribou|
|Rev. Percy Cotton||Houlton|
|Rev. J. Homer Nelson||Bar Harbor|
The following appointive Grand Officers are now serving the Grand Lodge:
|Grand Marshall||Frederick D. Lounder||Ellsworth|
|Grand Senior Deacon||Edmund D. Muzzey||Greenville|
|Grand Junior Deacon||Bernie E. Plummer, Jr.||Orono|
|Grand Steward||Stanley W. Perkins||Saco|
|Grand Steward||Parker R. Jacoby||Dixmont|
|Grand Steward||Clive E. Bagley||Albion|
|Grand Steward||Harold Kelley||Belfast|
|Grand Sword Bearer||Ernest H. Chapman||Kittery|
|Grand Standard Bearer||Gerald York||Rangeley|
|Grand Pursuivant||Emery L. Leathers||Bangor|
|Grand Pursuivant||Ralph H. Burbank||Saco|
|Grand Organist||Fred Lincoln Hill||Kittery|
|Grand Tyler||Perley S. Hamilton||Portland|
In the year 1945, the Grand Lodge of Maine has 206 constituent Lodges on its register with a total membership of 36,963. The average Lodge membership is 179. The largest Lodges in the State are Deering Lodge No. 183, of Portland, with 780 members; St.
Andrews Lodge, No. 83, of Bangor, with 756; Hiram Lodge, No. 180, of South Portland, with 715; and Waterville Lodge, No. 33, of Waterville, with a membership of 702. The smallest Lodge is Excelsior Lodge, No. 151, of Northport, with thirty-one members.
There are 136 Lodges reported as occupying quarters either owned by the Lodges themselves or by Masonic Temple Associations. The total value of this Masonic property is reported as $1,760,675.
Fees for the degrees range from the minimum of $30.00 up to $60.00, charged by Ancient Landmark Lodge, No. 17. Dues range from $2.00 up to a maximum of $10.00, charged by Ancient York Lodge, No. 155, of Lisbon Falls.
The 36,963 Master Masons in Maine include some of the most worthwhile and substantial citizens in the State, leaders in the professions, in business, and in every field of endeavor. His Excellency Governor Horace Hildreth is a member of Casco Lodge, No. 36, of Yarmouth. Governor Hildreth is the twenty-seventh Governor of Maine to be a member of the Fraternity. The Honor Roll of these distinguished brethren who have been honored by the highest office within the gift of the people of Maine follows:
|Hon.||William King||Hon.||Edwin C. Burleigh|
|Hon.||William D. Williamson||Hon.||Llewellyn Powers|
|Hon.||Albion K. Parris||Hon.||John F. Hill|
|Hon.||Nathan Cutter||Hon.||Bert M. Fernald|
|Hon.||Jonathan G. Hunton||Hon.||Frederick W. Plaisted|
|Hon.||Robert P. Dunlap||Hon.||William T. Haines|
|Hon.||William G. Crosby||Hon.||Oakley C. Curtis|
|Hon.||Samuel Wells||Hon.||Frederick H. Parkhurst|
|Hon.||Sidney Perham||Hon.||Ralph Owen Brewster|
|Hon.||Nelson Dingley, Jr.||Hon.||William Tudor Gardiner|
|Hon.||Daniel F. Davis||Hon.||Lewis O. Barrows|
|Hon.||Harris M. Plaisted||Hon.||Sumner Sewall|
|Hon.||Frederick Robie||Hon.||Horace A. Hildreth|
|Hon.||S. S. Marble|
Since the days of Robert P. Dunlap and Hezekiah Williams, the people of Maine have sent many Masons to represent them in the Halls of the National Congress. The two great statesmen, who today so ably represent the State of Maine in the United States Senate, the Hon. Wallace H. White, Jr., and the Hon. Owen Brewster, are both members of the Fraternity.
Today, the Grand Lodge of Maine is one of the most influential and respected of Masonic bodies. This high standing does not result from its wealth or numerical strength, for in these respects, Maine is not among the great Grand Lodges of the World. It does result from the solid and substantial character of the Masonry taught and practiced by the Grand Lodge of Maine and from the solid and substantial character of the Masons who compose it. Maine is one of the most conservative of Grand Lodges. Here the Ancient Landmarks are revered. Here no innovations in the body of Masonry are tolerated. Here the prerogatives of the Grand Master are respected. Here no tinkering is allowed either with the Ritual or the Laws of the Grand Lodge. The Masonry of Maine is Masonry as it was received from the founding Fathers and as it has existed from time immemorial.
So much for the past and for the present. What of the future ? That, my brethren, is in your hands and the hands of those whom you shall, by your ballot, admit among you. In this hour of prosperity, when great numbers of candidates are again knocking at the doors of our Lodges, it is particularly fitting that we recall the words of M. W. Josiah H. Drummond: " We fear nothing from without. All our danger is from within. Masonry has stood the test of ages and the waves of persecution which have beat against her have only established her on a surer foundation. Her strength and support depend on the character of those who seek admission among us. Our strength depends not on the quantity but the quality of our members. One unworthy member casts a blot on the whole Fraternity."
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