1916 - 2009
(Implemented on the World Wide Web in 1998)
Updated in 2009
Charles B. Rongey - Historian
|ACKNOWLEDGEMENT||JAMES E. HITT|
|PREFACE||- The Three Charges|
|THE MANY HATS OF A SELF-PUBLISHER||- The Temple Fund|
|DEDICATION - GEORGE WASHINGTON||A NEW TEMPLE|
|- A Masonic Creed||THE LAST MEETING AT THE MILWAUKEE AVENUE TEMPLE|
|THE EARLY YEARS||- Brother Nigel's Contribution|
|- Dr. Wilkie's Resume||NEW TEMPLE COMPLETED|
|- Founding Fathers||1964|
|EARLY FACILITIES||WHEN HAVOC STRUCK|
|THE DEPRESSION YEARS||RESOLUTION|
|BROTHER DONALD ROEBLING||HONORARY MEMBERS|
|FUND RAISERS||SPECIAL - PAST MASTERS DAY|
|THE FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH||- Brother Cecil Englebert|
|RECOVERY||PAYING OFF THE MORTGAGE|
|- Dr. Wilkie's Grave Site||DUNEDIN CHAPTER NO. 132, ORDER OF THE EASTER STAR|
|- DeMolay's Founding||1975 - 1976: THE LIBRARY ANNEX|
|1940: OUR SILVER ANNIVERSARY||1980: PAST MASTER PETER KEUPP|
|HOBO PARTIES||LAYING OF THE CORNERSTONE|
|- A Tramp's Ritual||RENAISSANCE (1993 - 2009)|
|THE FABULOUS FIFTIES||ADDENDUMS:|
|ACACIA CLUB||GEORGE WASHINGTON AS A MASON|
|HONORABLE MENTION||PAST MASTERS OF DUNEDIN MASONIC LODGE NO. 192 F.& A.M.|
|THE SENSATIONAL SIXTIES||PAST OFFICER LINES OF DUNEDIN MASONIC LODGE NO. 192 F.& A.M.|
|- James F. Sullivan||PAST SECRETARIES OF DUNEDIN MASONIC LODGE NO. 192 F.& A.M.|
|DeMOLAY||PAST PRES. OF THE SUNCOAST MASTERS & WARDENS ASSOC.|
|AN INTERESTING NOTE IN HISTORY||RECIPES|
|- Hobo Stew|
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Knowing full well that the time to publish a history of Dunedin Lodge No. 192
had arrived, it became my great pleasure to form a historical committee to
perform this task.
The persons I selected to fulfill this assignment were:
The persons I selected to fulfill this assignment were:
Their research, writing, editing, designing, and self-publishing truly is a labor
of love. To the entire staff I say a hearty "Bravo!" Thanks for being who
and what you are.
Ron L. Lough, Worshipful Master A.D. 1994
Ron L. Lough, Worshipful Master A.D. 1994
After Dunedin Lodge No. 192 celebrated its 75th year of existence in 1990 by
setting the cornerstone at the northeast corner of our present Lodge, several
past masters conceived the plan to write the colorful history of this noble
fraternal organization. It was no secret that some interesting if not bizarre
happenings had occurred through the years. However, to describe all of them
would have taken volumes hence only a select few are included in this
condensed version of history.
The research for information proved to be less troublesome than first
anticipated, partly due to the splendid minutes during James F. Sullivan's
reign as secretary of the lodge. Great help came from The First Presbyterian
Church of Dunedin and Dunedin Historical Society. A bouquet of flowers to
Vivian Skinner Grant, curator of Dunedin Historical Society, for her energetic
assistance in locating historical date and pictures! Past Master Elbert
Waterson also contributed greatly by furnishing many pictures you see between
the covers of this book.
It is hoped that you will read this history book, Seventy Five Years
On The Square, from cover to cover and enjoy reading it as much as
we enjoyed compiling it.
- Romeo B. Scerbo, PM
Co-Chairman of the Historical Committee
The research for information proved to be less troublesome than first anticipated, partly due to the splendid minutes during James F. Sullivan's reign as secretary of the lodge. Great help came from The First Presbyterian Church of Dunedin and Dunedin Historical Society. A bouquet of flowers to Vivian Skinner Grant, curator of Dunedin Historical Society, for her energetic assistance in locating historical date and pictures! Past Master Elbert Waterson also contributed greatly by furnishing many pictures you see between the covers of this book.
It is hoped that you will read this history book, Seventy Five Years On The Square, from cover to cover and enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed compiling it.
- Romeo B. Scerbo, PM
Recorded history, trivia information, humor, anecdotes, and the precepts
of morality embedded in the teachings of Masonry. These things and much more
are conveyed to you in an unusual approach to the writing of the history of
Dunedin Lodge No. 192.
What is unique about Seventy Five Years On The Square is the tremendous
body of fascinating information that has been distilled so the history of the
Lodge is quite clear. Brother Charles Rongey has performed a meritorious
job of extraction and condensation. Seventy Five Years On The Square
will be around for a long time...so long as Friendship, Morality and Brotherly
Love remain the watchwords of Freemasonry.
- Cecil P. Englebert, PM, PDDGM
What is unique about Seventy Five Years On The Square is the tremendous body of fascinating information that has been distilled so the history of the Lodge is quite clear. Brother Charles Rongey has performed a meritorious job of extraction and condensation. Seventy Five Years On The Square will be around for a long time...so long as Friendship, Morality and Brotherly Love remain the watchwords of Freemasonry.
- Cecil P. Englebert, PM, PDDGM
When an author starts out to write and self-publish a historical book of
any significance, the basic truth for most is they start out alone. That being
the case, the author finds himself wearing many hats.
Hopefully the hats fit well enough for you to have a pleasant experience
in reading this book.
Hopefully the hats fit well enough for you to have a pleasant experience in reading this book.
OPERATIVE TO SPECULATIVE
Membership in medieval craft guilds, including whatever type of organization the Masons had at that time, was not strictly confined to the workers of one particular craft. Other workers, and sometimes gentlemen and noblemen, occasionally sought and gained admission. This must have been especially true in the Masons' organizations. The writers of the earliest manuscripts was most always certainly a priest and no doubt many churchmen held a kind of Masonic membership. Later, after church building had ceased, the nature of Masonic organization changed with the new conditions, members form the outside the building craft continued to be accepted.
To His Excellency George Washington, Esq.: In testimony as well as his exalted
services to his country, as of his distinguished character as a Mason, the
following book, Seventy Five Years On The Square, a three/quarter
century history of the Honorable Dunedin Lodge No. 192, Free and Accepted
Masons of Dunedin, Florida, is ordered and dedicated.
An an expression of the simplest form of the faith of Masonry, not
exhaustive, but incontrovertible and suggestive, the following is
An an expression of the simplest form of the faith of Masonry, not exhaustive, but incontrovertible and suggestive, the following is
Masonry teaches man to practice charity and benevolence, to protect chastity, to respect the ties of blood and relationship, to adopt the principals and revere the ordinance of religion, to assist the feeble, guide the blind, raise up the downtrodden, inculcate morality, promote learning, love man, fear God, implore His mercy and hope for happiness.
Dunedin is a city in Pinellas County, Florida, United States. The first land deed was recorded in 1852 by Richard L. Garrison, only seven years after Florida became a state. Although it was George L. Jones who put up a sign over his General Store in 1870 that read "Jonesboro," a petition in 1882 by two Scottish merchants, J.O. Douglas and James Somerville, officially named the Post Office, then the town itself, Dunedin, the original name of Edinburgh, their hometown in Scotland. In fact, the name comes from the Scots Gaelic Dùn Èideann meaning Edinburgh. The town was incorporated in 1899, and a city in 1925. In commemoration of its ancestral ties, Dunedin has chosen Stirling, Scotland, and Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada as its sister cities.
Dunedin Lodge No. 192, Free and Accepted Masons, is the oldest continuous organization in the city of Dunedin. The thought that Dunedin should have its own Masonic Lodge came about through a conversation, in the fall of 1914, among three Dunedin citizens who were already affiliated with the Masonic Order. These three, Ward H. Barnum, P.M. of North Bangor Lodge No. 556 in North Bangor, New York and Ralph F. Blatchley of the Ladoga Lodge No. 187, Ladoga, Indiana and Right Reverend W.B.Y. Wilkie, member of Orlando Lodge No. 69, Orlando, Florida.
One week later these three brethren met with five other Masons from Dunedin who had Masonic ties from other lodges and agreed to petition the Grand Lodge of Florida to charter a lodge in Dunedin. Historical documents indicate these five brethren to be Walter Bull, Mayor of Dunedin and member of Clearwater Lodge No. 127; J.M. Elrod, of Pine Log Lodge No. 136 near Cartersville, Georgia; J.A. Mills, of Sutherland Lodge No. 174, Sutherland, Florida (now Palm Harbor, Florida); W.F. Meyer, a member of Farmers Lodge No. 232 and Brookport Lodge No. 93, Brookport, Illinois and, Robert L. Addington, of Coldwater Lodge No. 148, Bessemer, Alabama.
The first meeting December, 1914, was held in the office of Sam C. Young, a pioneer real estate broker of Dunedin. It was located on the second floor front room in the newly built Bank of Dunedin Building on the Northeast corner of Broadway and Main Street.
A motion was made and seconded that Right Reverend Dr. William B.Y. Wilkie present a petition, together with seven demits, for a Masonic Charter to the Grand Lodge of Florida. This Dr. Wilkie did with great dispatch at the January, 1915, Communication of the Grand Lodge at Jacksonville, Florida. Dispensation was granted February 22, 1915, to Dunedin Lodge U.D. to the following members;
|Ward H. Barnum||Worshipful Master||North Bangor Lodge No. 556, New York|
|Ralph F. Blatchley||Senior Warden||Ladoga Lodge No. 187, Indiana|
|J.M. Elrod||Junior Warden||Cartersville Lodge, Georgia|
|William F. Meyer||Senior Deacon||Brookport Lodge No. 93, Illinois|
|James A. Mills||Junior Deacon||Sutherland Lodge No. 174, Florida|
|Robert L. Addington||Secretary||Bessemer, Alabama|
|Walter Bull||Treasurer||New Jersey|
NOTE: Right Rev. Dr. W.B.Y. Wilkie of Orlando Lodge No. 69, although very active in the Dunedin Lodge Under Dispensation, did not demit into Dunedin Lodge at this time. Elected Grand Chaplain in 1902, he served through 1929. As a U.D. Lodge has no standing until it receives its charter, Dr. Wilkie would have had to resign his position with Grand Lodge.
Right Reverend Brother Doctor William Barlas Young Wilkie, (affectionately nicknamed "Alphabet Wilkie" by his colleagues at Grand Lodge) was Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge in Florida for 27 years (1902 thru 1929); he was made Grand Chaplain Emeritus until his death on February 15, 1933. Minister of the Andrews Memorial Church (later to become First Presbyterian) from 1899 thru 1924 (25 years) Dunedin, Florida; Brother Wilkie also served on the Grand Lodge Committee to locate the Masonic home in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Dr. William B.Y. Wilkie was born in Edinborough, Scotland January 8, 1845. He studied at the University of Edinborough and was graduated from both the College of Law and College of Divinity. He emigrated to New Madrid, Missouri, in 1871. There he met and married Fannie D. Barroll.
Dr. Wilkie held pastorals at Troy, Missouri, at Fairbault, Minnesota, and Columbia, Missouri. A nervous breakdown caused him to move to Longwood, Florida in 1893 to regain his health.
After engaging in citrus growing until 1899, Dr. Wilkie accepted a call to the Andrews Memorial Presbyterian Church in Dunedin, Florida. The population of Dunedin in 1899 was 113. During the 25 years of his pastoral in Dunedin, the population of Dunedin increased to 1,300.
Before receiving their dispensation, the group met in a vacant house owned by Mayor Walter Bull located at 224 Albert Street for the purpose of organization. It was mutually agreed that the members of this lodge who signed their name to the petition for dispensation, make a joint note (dated February 1, 1915) to the Bank of Dunedin to secure the amount of $100.00 for the purpose of paying for paraphernalia and other things necessary before organization. Meeting was then adjourned.
Ward H. Barnum
At the Regular Communication of Dunedin Lodge U.D., July 12, 1915, the secretary was ordered to draw a warrant on the Lodge treasury for $100.00 payable to the Bank of Dunedin for repayment of note of February 1, 1915.
It should also be noted on this date, Jul 12, 1915, Brother Walter Bull demurred about placing his demit into a U.D. Lodge because a few weeks earlier he had placed his demit at Clearwater Lodge No. 127 for consideration of membership in that Lodge. However, Dr. Wilkie prevailed upon him to join the Dunedin group in their endeavors to secure a lodge.
Brother Walter Bull later proved to be one of the great prime movers in the establishment of Dunedin Lodge No. 192. It should be further noted Brother Walter Bull died on September 1, 1919, the 72nd year of his life. His mortal remains were conveyed to their last resting place at the old home in New Jersey. Members of Dunedin Lodge No. 192 acted as escort to the train. Dunedin Lodge was called on to mourn the loss of one of its strongest, most influential and distinguished members. His interest in all the affairs of Masonry were well known. He was a charter member of Dunedin Lodge No. 192, and Treasurer for four years, a 32nd Degree Mason, a Shriner and was a charter member of Egypt Shrine.
Walter Bull should not be confused with his nephew, William H. Bull, who was Master of Dunedin Lodge No. 192 in 1926 and 1927 nor W.H. (Billy) Bull, Jr. All three were members in their own times. Lastly, Brother Billy Bull was raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason by his father William H. Bull, Sr.
William F. Meyer
(One observation this Historian made in June of 1994 was the picture of past masters on the wall of the recreation room shows the name of Walter Bull as Master of Dunedin Lodge in 1926 and 1927. This is untrue. William H. (Bill) Bull was Master of Dunedin Lodge in 1926 and 1927. The following question naturally arises in the Historian's mind, "Whose picture is on the wall?" Brother Robert Tharin, knowing the Bull Family quite well, has promised to clarify this part of history.)
Regular meeting nights for Dunedin Lodge No. 192 were set for the second and fourth Monday nights of the month. Degree work of practices were designated for the first, third and fifth Monday nights. That selection has remained until this date.
During the U.D. period, the lodge met on the second floor of a building at 319 Main Street, Dunedin. The first regular communication of Dunedin Lodge, U.D., was held on Monday, March 8, 1915. Seven officers and five visitors were present. A Lodge of Master Masons was opened in due form.
At this first meeting seven petitions were received (NOTE: There were seven signers for the dispensation petition and seven petitions for the degrees at the first meeting). These seven petitioners were: James E. Hitt, Nels Peterson, Percy D. Niven, Jesse J. Sanders, John E. Rush, R.P. Dillinger and Manly R. Thalin. Proper investigating committees were appointed. The first degree work of Dunedin Lodge U.D. was the conferring of the Entered Apprentice Degree upon Candidate James E. Hitt, Percy D. Niven and Nels Peterson on April 12, 1915. James E. Hitt, the third Master Of Dunedin Lodge No. 192, received his Fellow Craft degree on May 17, and was Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason on June 18, 1915. Brother Hitt was the first Master Mason to be raised in Dunedin Lodge and this was during the time it was Under Dispensation. He was raised by courtesy of Clearwater Lodge No. 127 during a school of instruction.
James A. Mills
Robert L. Addington
NOTE: The reason Clearwater Lodge No. 127 did this courtesy work is Dunedin Lodge was not proficient in Florida work at that time.
At a Regular Communication of Dunedin Lodge U.D., December 27, 1915, a demit from Orlando Lodge No. 69, Orlando, Florida, in favor of R.R. Brother W.B.Y. Wilkie received and balloted on resulted favorable and membership granted.
A special communication was called on January 31, 1916 for the purpose of installing the duly elected and appointed officers of Dunedin Lodge 192. Minutes of this Called Communication reads as follows: Dunedin Lodge No. "192" was constituted and dedicated under a charter granted by the Grand Lodge of the State of Florida at its last regular communication, held at Jacksonville, Florida, on January 19, 1916. CHARTER GRANTED AND DELIVERED!
Right Reverend Dr. W.B.Y. Wilkie
Most Worshipful Grand Master James E. Crane of the Grand Lodge of the State of Florida and a staff from Hillsborough Lodge of Tampa, Florida, performed the ceremonies of installation.
Grand Lodge records differs from this historian's interpretation of the installation ceremonies by stating in their history book the following account;
Dunedin Lodge No. 192 was chartered January 19, 1916 to meet at Dunedin in Pinellas County.
The Line Officers at Chartering were:
Ward H. Barnum - Worshipful Master
Ralph F. Blatchley - Senior Warder
James E. Hitt - Junior Warden
The chartering Grand Lodge Officers were:
C.L. Wilson - Grand Master
James E. Crane - Deputy Grand Master
A.S. York - Senior Grand Warden
T. Picton Warlow - Junior Grand Warden
W.P. Webster - Grand Secretary
Brothers W.H. Barnum, W.M. - R.F. Blatchley, S.W. - James E. Hitt, J.W. - Walter Bull, Treasurer - R.L. Addington, Secretary - W.F. Meyer, S.D. - R.P. Dillinger, J.D. - M.W. Moore, S.S. - Jim S. Nels Peterson, Tyler - Right Reverend Dr. W.B.Y. Wilkie, Chaplain.
The Charter Members were: Ward H. Barnum, Ralph F. Blatchley, J.M. Elrod; Robert L. Addington; Walter Bull; William F. Meyer; James A. Mills; James E. Hitt; Nels Peterson; J.J. Sanders; Percy D. Nivens; Robert P. Dillinger; Manley R. Tharin; L.B. Skinner; M.W. Moore; A.J. Grant; Neil T. McLean; Dr. W.B.Y. Wilkie; and E.M. Hardin. (Grand Lodge lists four more as charter members. They are: Arthur Davies, F.C.; James Merchant, E.A.; Thomas J. McGahagin, E.A.; and Thomas T. Zimmerman, E.A. Of these 23 members, fourteen had received their degrees in Dunedin Lodge, U.D.) NOTE: Almost lost in antiquity, a little known fact must now be brought to light. The last meeting of the lodge while under dispensation was held on the second floor of 319 Main Street, Dunedin. When the gavel sounded at the closing, the lodge members adjourned, walked three doors East to 325 Main Street, the new location for their first meeting under charter. It was a special communication called for the purpose of installation of officers on January 31st, 1916.
319 Main is shown in the far right of the photo.
325 Main is four doors down (the taller white building).
Dunedin is the second lodge to be given number 192. This number was first assigned to Rodman Lodge No. 192, January 20, 1910. That lodge met at Rodman in Putnam County. However, the Lodge Charter was arrested on October 12, 1914.
It should be noted this Special Communication of January 31, 1916, was held on the third floor of the Moore, Niven and Boyd building located at 325 Main Street. Dunedin Lodge No. 192 F.& A.M., remained at this new location until January 1, 1925. Upon this date it moved to another location known as Dunedin Library Hall.
Dunedin Library Hall was located in what today is known as Edgewater Park. (Records are very hazy, sketchy and scarce about the occupancy dates of these locations). However, it is known that Dunedin Lodge No. 192 F.& A.M., met here from the time it left the 325 Main Street location (probably about July 1, 1925) until it located at its own building at Park Street and Milwaukee Avenue on June 24, 1927.
from an early illustration.
photographed in 1940.
A contract with Mrs. M.J. Wilder, September 8, 1924, extended the Library Hall
lease on the following basis: 1 year from January 1st, 1924 to January 1st,
1925 @ $260.00/year. Six months from January 1st, 1925, payable quarterly
in advance. At the Regular communication of Dunedin Lodge No. 192,
January 26, 1925, in response to a letter written by a Mrs. M.J. Wilder the
Lodge Secretary writes: From Mrs. M.J. Wilder notifying the Lodge to vacate
on April 1, 1925. Motion not carried - the letter of Mrs. Wilder was tabled. Motion
made and carried that a committee be appointed to confer with Mrs. Wilder in regard
to rent of the hall. A.J. Grant and Building Committee were appointed. The contract
alluded to above is the apparent result of this committee's negotiations.
By available accounts, it is believed that Dunedin Lodge remained at
Dunedin Library Hall until June 24, 1927. By 1925 Dunedin Lodge had increased
its membership until it was necessary to seek larger and more permanent
quarters. This resulted in the eventual building of their own temple at the
corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Park Street. The building of the temple was
begun in 1926 and upon completion was dedicated on June 24, 1927, at a cost
NOTE: In the early 1960's, the growth of the lodge again determined the need for
enlarged facilities. A large tract of land on the south side of Michigan
Boulevard was purchased from P.M. F. Lee Nigels. Construction began in
July, 1963. The 7,000 square foot temple was completed in the Spring of
1964 at the cost of $65,000.00.
By available accounts, it is believed that Dunedin Lodge remained at Dunedin Library Hall until June 24, 1927. By 1925 Dunedin Lodge had increased its membership until it was necessary to seek larger and more permanent quarters. This resulted in the eventual building of their own temple at the corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Park Street. The building of the temple was begun in 1926 and upon completion was dedicated on June 24, 1927, at a cost of $18,000.00
NOTE: In the early 1960's, the growth of the lodge again determined the need for enlarged facilities. A large tract of land on the south side of Michigan Boulevard was purchased from P.M. F. Lee Nigels. Construction began in July, 1963. The 7,000 square foot temple was completed in the Spring of 1964 at the cost of $65,000.00.
The minutes for the year 1933, together with other valuable documents, were missing from Dunedin Lodge No. 192 for over 20 years. In 1954, Lodge Secretary Ralph Blatchley found and with great foresight bound them and preserved one of the most interesting eras of history that Dunedin Lodge will ever experience. He, Lodge Secretary Ralph Blatchley, referred to the recovered records as Dunedin Lodges' Trials, Troubles and Tribulations during the "depression years." The two most trying troubles were both due to financial woes the lodge experienced. The lodge defaulted on both a bank loan and dues to Grand Lodge. Your historian will try to glean from the scant records the time and proper sequence of events that threatened the existence of this lodge and find if Dunedin Lodge No. 192 really did go defunct for a short period of time as was rumored it did.
The first record that can be found that Dunedin Lodge was indeed in great trouble with Grand Lodge is a letter from the District Deputy dated July 8th, 1933, reads in part:
At the Clearwater meeting a couple weeks ago, some of your members approached me regarding the standing of Dunedin Lodge with the Grand Lodge, and there seemed to be a feeling that the Grand Lodge was rather drastic in its action toward delinquent lodges. You should note Grand Lodge law provides the entire matter is up to the discretion of The Grand Master. The letter went on to state: I feel sure you know the Grand Master well enough to assure the Brethren he will not be arbitrary. Therefore, I trust your lodge will see fit to send in what money they can to apply to the $179.25 you are in arrears.
A report at the Regular Communication December 12, 1932 states that a motion was made and carried that a payment of $59.62 on interest $109.62 due Acacia Mutual Life Insurance Co. September 30th, be paid and $25.00 be forwarded to Grand Lodge to apply on balance due on 1931 dues. On June 26, 1933, motion made and carried that balance of interest due Acacia for September 30th, 1932, of $50.00 be paid; On July 10, 1933 a motion was made and carried that balance of $50.00 be paid Grand Lodge. The Secretary also reported he telephoned and asked that interest due Acacia March 30th, of $109.63 be paid in three monthly payments; On October 9th, 1933, the finance committee, chaired by Brother A.J. Grant, presented to lodge a very elaborate plan to finance indebtness for 15 years, with no payment on principal for five years. Plan was not accepted by Acacia.
Running concurrently for many years with the financial problems with Grand Lodge were the financial difficulties with the lodge building committees, insurance companies and banks. One temporary measure for capital that came back to haunt the lodge for the next 40 years occurred at a regular communication dated July 25, 1927, two years before "the resounding crash of the stock market on Wall Street."
Brother A.J. Grant, acting chairman of the auditing committee of the building fund, made his report. The report stated the cost of building and present indebtness. Immediately following this report, a motion was made by Brother McLean, seconded by Brother A.J. Grant the lodge sell 40 life memberships @ $125.00 each. Motion carried.
At a stated meeting, June 27, 1927, a motion was made by Jay Upton and seconded by Brother J.B. McLean for a committee to be authorized to negotiate a loan not to exceed $4,000.00, secured by a first mortgage; said mortgage to run three or more years on the Real Estate and Temple, to finish construction of the Temple. Interest not to exceed 8%; payable semi-annually. Motion Carried.
At the next stated meeting a motion was made by Brother Bost, seconded by Brother J.B. McLean the Building Committee be authorized to negotiate an additional loan for $500.00. This made the loan total $4,500.00.
Two years prior to this negotiation, on March 23, 1925, Lodge minutes made the following notation: Communication from the Dunedin Development Co. offered four lots of 25 feet each, located at the corner of Park Street and Milwaukee Avenue, and a mortgage of $9,500.00, in exchange for the lodge's present lot. (This lot was located on the northeast corner of Wood Street and Douglas Avenue.) Motion made to consider this offer at the next stated meeting. The Building Committee recommended the lodge sell their present lot for $12,500.00.
On September 23, 1925, motion was made that action of the Worshipful Master and officers to release mortgage on former lodge property and reinvesting monies at 8% interest, covered by $17,000.00 collateral be taken. Motion carried.
WHEREAS, the members of the Dunedin Lodge No. 192, F.& A.M., deem it necessary,
expedient and for the best interests of the Corporation to negotiate a loan of
Forty-Five Hundred Dollars ($4,500.00, and
WHEREAS, arrangements have been perfected for the negotiation of said loan with Acacia Mutual Life Association of Washington, D.C., NOW THEREFORE,
BE IT RESOLVED, by the members of Dunedin Lodge No. 192, F.& A.M., that William H. Bull, Worshipful Master, R.S. Grant, Senior Warden and J.V. Bost, Junior Warden, as Trustees, be, and they are, hereby authorized and directed to negotiate a loan of Forty Five Hundred Dollars ($4,500.00), which shall bear interest from date until paid at the rate of six percent, (6%), per annum interest, and to execute twenty-four (24) notes, each in the sum of Two Hundred Sixty Five Dollars and Seventy Three Cents ($275.73), of the said Dunedin Lodge No. 192 F.& A.M., to the order of Acacia Mutual Life Association, payable consecutively. one every six months after date, for twelve (12) years in all, to secure said indebtness,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the said William H. Bull, as Worshipful Master and as Trustee, R.S. Grant, as Senior Warden and as Trustee, and J.V. Bost, as Senior Warden and as Trustee, be, and they are, hereby authorized and directed in the name of this corporation, in its behalf and under its corporate seal, to execute a mortgage to secure the prompt payment of the said promissory note given to secure said indebtedness, which mortgage shall cover the following described real estate, situated, lying and being in the city of Dunedin, County of Pinellas and State of Florida, to wit:
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the promissory notes herein provided for, and the mortgage given to secure the same, when executed and delivered, shall be and become a valid and binding obligation of this corporation, according to the tenor thereof.
Passed by the unanimous vote of the members present of Dunedin Lodge No. 192, F.& A.M. this day of August 8, 1927.
Installation of officers for 1932 was held on December 31, 1931, and the following officers were installed:
W. Lovett Douglas, W.M. - James Houghton, S.W. - Charles K. Miller, J.W. - C.H. Shaw, S.D. - L.R. Gunder, J.D. - G.L. Beardsley, S.S. - T.L. Taylor, J.S. - P.M. James E. Hitt, Marshall.
Regular Meeting of February 8, 1932, has first mention of ways and means committee discussing paying off Lodge Indebtness. Discussion was also held on ANNUAL HOBO CONVENTION; EXACT DATE FOR OCCASION TO BE SET BY "HOBO KING". March 24, 1924, minutes read: Discussion was held on "Hobo Convention" for the purpose of raising money for building fund. Total receipts were $88.61. Obviously, the first "Hobo conventions" were conceived for the sole purpose of raising monies for the Building Fund.
The Dunedin Lodge had relied heavily on the yearly Lodge dues to help pay the Grand Lodge their dues and the mortgage payments (Mortgage Loan #995) to Acacia Mutual Insurance Company. Due to mass suspensions for non-payment of dues and lack of volunteer donations, Dunedin Lodge suffered a shortfall of cash flow that proved to be disastrous. Just and upright men that had been taught to pay their debts on time and never to wrong, cheat or defraud anyone out of the value of one cent, suddenly found themselves unable to pay their financial obligations. Instead, they found themselves begging for extension of time to meet these obligations.
Below are some excerpts from Acacia Insurance Co. communications:
January 28, 1933, Re; mortgage #995
We do not understand why we have not received a reply to our letter of January 13, 1933, nor the remittance of $50.00 requested by us in payment of the balance of the interest sue September 30, 1932. We now insist upon the prompt payment of the balance owed.
February 20, 1933.
For some reason unknown to us we have not received a remittance of $50.00 for balance of interest owed.
March 24, 1933. Re: Loan #995.
Won't you kindly arrange to let us have your check for the small balance of $50.00.
April 22, 1933, Re: Loan #995.
The Mortgage Loan, secure by Loan #995, Milwaukee Avenue, Dunedin, Florida, is delinquent for the following items:
Balance Interest due 9/30/32 . . . . . . $ 50.00
Semi-annual installment due 3/30/33 . . . 265.73
We cannot permit your loan to remain delinquent indefinitely.
There were many more letters found that were in the same vein and attitude noted above. There is no need to bore this reader by publishing them. Neither is there any need to disclose the similar financial problems Dunedin Lodge No. 192, F.& A.M., had with Grand Lodge. Suffice it to say: Dunedin Lodge was in a heap of trouble. Let us now move on to better and happier times for the lodge. However, before we do, let the records show the lodge never did go defunct.
Let us digress for a few pages and introduce a person at this time who has, more than any other single individual, impacted Dunedin Lodge in a positive way. This person was Donald Roebling. Over the years this writer has heard many stories about him and most are true. One of the more intriguing stories was during his stay in the Clearwater area. He was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason "On Sight" by the Grand Master of Florida. Read on if you wish to find out if this is true or not as well as to read the rest of the story.
Donald Roebling was born in 1909. He showed very little interest in scholastic subjects, and at a time when other rich men's sons were headed for Ivy League colleges, Donald chose to enroll at Bliss Electric School in Washington, D.C. Though he showed signs of being a genius, seeing through problems quickly, he was strong-willed and could not get along with his teachers.
Another idiosyncrasy was his love for sweets. He was a candy addict. His usual weight ranged on either side of 400 pounds, usually on the high side.
In the 1920's he moved to Clearwater and built a beautiful home at 700 Orange Avenue, overlooking Clearwater Bay. He named the place "Spottswood."
Don's grandfather, the builder of the Brooklyn Bridge, commissioned him to develop an amphibious tractor to rescue persons endangered by Florida hurricanes and known as the "Alligator."
First he contracted with Mr. John D. Crummy, President of the Farm Machinery Corp., for the FMC plant in Dunedin to build the hulls and install the innards as they flowed in from other manufacturers. This amphibious tractor was later developed into the first Marine Amphibious Tank.
The utility of the amphibian tractor as a personnel carrier plus myriad of other uses has not been lost on nations worldwide. The current U.S. version, known as the M113, is manufactured exclusively today by Food Machinery Corporation in a San Jose, California, plant which will rival any of Detroit's automotive assembly lines. Practically every country in the world now has this versatile vehicle of war.
Now, a few choice remarks about this complex individual, Donald Roebling,
who inadvertently opened his Pandora's box with only the best intentions,
namely the alleviation of human suffering. We have already noted he was
eccentric, but not just how eccentric. It is reported he once gave away a
$35,000.00 airplane simply because he was tired of it. Invariably after
acquiring a new car, he would give it a coat of aluminum paint. He
seemed to have a fixation for aluminum. Once, on a whim, when he decided to
rid himself of a cabin cruiser, he had it loaded with dynamite and anchored
offshore from 700 Orange Avenue, Clearwater. Then, from the porch of his
mansion, he fired at it with a high-powered rifle until it blew up.
He was noted for his weird Halloween parties, at which he would offer
guests chocolates with chewing-tobacco centers, and took a keen delight
in photographing their shocked expression when a "devil" would jump from an
exploding tomb on the lawn. He was an avid stamp collector. The
CLEARWATER SUN, a newspaper of his day, claimed he had 90% of all stamps
ever issued. He finally sold Spottswood and moved to Belleair because he
felt the assessment of his Clearwater estate was excessive.
Yet, with all these peculiarities, he was one of Clearwater's outstanding
philanthropists. During the depression, when the People Bank of
Clearwater was running low on funds, Roebling deposited a large sum of
money, thus giving their customers more confidence in the stability of the
He contributed huge sums to Morton Plant Hospital, especially the Roebling
wing. He also underwrote the construction of the Roebling Hall at the
Presbyterian Church, built a Boy Scout Hut, and made many other
contributions. He refused as much as one cent from the U.S. Government
for the use of his "Alligator" patent and design. After World War II, he
was presented the Medal for Merit by a grateful U.S. Government. The
Citation was signed by President Harry S. Truman on December 18, 1946.
May 21, 1934
Lodge was called and opened in the Entered Apprentice degree, Mr. Donald
Roebling being in waiting, was duly initiated as Entered Apprentice Mason.
Lecture was given by Brother J.D. Smith of Tarpon Springs Lodge. Charge
was given by Brother James E. Hitt.
July 9, 1934
Dunedin Lodge was called and opened for the purpose of the degree on
Entered Apprentice Brother Donald Roebling.
Entered Apprentice Brother Donald Roebling was duly passed to the
degree of Fellow Craft.
Lecture was delivered by Brother C.H. Shaw in a very able manner. The
Fellow Craft Charge was read by Brother James E. Hitt.
September 17, 1934
Dunedin Lodge No. 192 was called for the purpose of conferring the degree
of Master Mason on Fellow Craft Brother Donald Roebling.
Lecture was given by Brother H.E. Winchester.
Brother Donald Roebling was raised by Brother J.R. Williams,
thus repudiating the rumor he was Raised "on sight" by the Grand Master.
He was noted for his weird Halloween parties, at which he would offer guests chocolates with chewing-tobacco centers, and took a keen delight in photographing their shocked expression when a "devil" would jump from an exploding tomb on the lawn. He was an avid stamp collector. The CLEARWATER SUN, a newspaper of his day, claimed he had 90% of all stamps ever issued. He finally sold Spottswood and moved to Belleair because he felt the assessment of his Clearwater estate was excessive.
Yet, with all these peculiarities, he was one of Clearwater's outstanding philanthropists. During the depression, when the People Bank of Clearwater was running low on funds, Roebling deposited a large sum of money, thus giving their customers more confidence in the stability of the bank.
He contributed huge sums to Morton Plant Hospital, especially the Roebling wing. He also underwrote the construction of the Roebling Hall at the Presbyterian Church, built a Boy Scout Hut, and made many other contributions. He refused as much as one cent from the U.S. Government for the use of his "Alligator" patent and design. After World War II, he was presented the Medal for Merit by a grateful U.S. Government. The Citation was signed by President Harry S. Truman on December 18, 1946.
May 21, 1934
Lodge was called and opened in the Entered Apprentice degree, Mr. Donald Roebling being in waiting, was duly initiated as Entered Apprentice Mason.
Lecture was given by Brother J.D. Smith of Tarpon Springs Lodge. Charge was given by Brother James E. Hitt.
July 9, 1934
Dunedin Lodge was called and opened for the purpose of the degree on Entered Apprentice Brother Donald Roebling.
Entered Apprentice Brother Donald Roebling was duly passed to the degree of Fellow Craft.
Lecture was delivered by Brother C.H. Shaw in a very able manner. The Fellow Craft Charge was read by Brother James E. Hitt.
September 17, 1934
Dunedin Lodge No. 192 was called for the purpose of conferring the degree of Master Mason on Fellow Craft Brother Donald Roebling.
Lecture was given by Brother H.E. Winchester.
Brother Donald Roebling was raised by Brother J.R. Williams, thus repudiating the rumor he was Raised "on sight" by the Grand Master.
One of his most magnanimous contributions will be, for the first time, revealed to the general public through the chronicling of the history Dunedin Lodge No. 192 F.& A.M.
September 10, 1935 Dear Brother Shaw, In accordance with my conversation with Brother A.J. Grant last evening, I am enclosing my check for $3,600.00, which I want you to hold in escrow at the bank until a suitable satisfaction of mortgage has been returned from the Insurance Company. This amount is an outright gift to Dunedin Lodge No. 192 and I do not want any repayment of this sum. I have expressed my sentiments concerning announcements of this gift with Brother A.J. Grant and he will pass them on to you. He told me of your fund-raising plans but on account of the storm damage the lodge building has recently suffered, I doubted he would have had much success. Whereas Dunedin Lodge No. 192 has never solicited a donation from me, which is more than any other institution I belong to can say; I have decided to give you this which, I believe, will do the greatest good. Sincerely yours, Donald Roebling
[(The reference Brother Roebling made regarding his sentiments about announcements refer to his reluctance to having it publicly known he had made this generous donation to the lodge.)]
September 11, 1935 Brother Roebling, I received your letter and check this morning and have complied with your instructions. Also, I have written an air mail letter to the Acacia Mutual Life Insurance Co., and have requested that they forward all necessary documents as soon as possible to the Bank of Dunedin for settlement. This thoughtful and generous consideration on your part, Brother Don, certainly does justify the utmost appreciation from every member of this lodge and I am sure it does. We have all felt a keen responsibility regarding this obligation, especially in view of the very kind and patient treatment we have received from Acacia thru the personal efforts of their president, Brother Montgomery and now that you have made it possible for us to enjoy the final settlement of it, certainly leaves us without words sufficient to express our thanks to you. I will inform you when settlement is made, giving the closing figures, and no announcements, other than the regular course of lodge business will be made and that will be done at the proper time. Sincerely many thanks, Shaw, Secretary
WHEREAS Dunedin Lodge No. 192, Free and Accepted Masons has for
several years had the responsibility of carrying a mortgage on its Lodge
Building and property
AND WHEREAS, although this obligation was made in good faith and its payment seem well in our ability, we suffered the misfortune of loss in our membership sufficient to render us unable to fulfill our contract.
AND WHEREAS, at a time when this debt burden seemed beyond our honest efforts to control, BROTHER DONALD ROEBLING, as a member of our Lodge and feeling the Lodge would be greatly benefited by the retirement of this mortgage made it possible by a gift to the Lodge, sufficient money to settle completely our obligation to the ACACIA MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY.
W.M. G.L. Beardsley
S.W. Eugene A. Nigels
J.W. Gus A Davis
Secretary, C. Hadley Shaw
The following letter was received by Secretary Shaw, dated September 24, 1935, from Acacia Insurance Co.:
Dear Sir: Thank you for your letter of September 20, enclosing the duly acknowledged receipt form forwarded you by our legal Department in connection with the transmittal of the various papers released by reason of payment in full of your loan. Very truly yours, MORTGAGE LOAN DEPARTMENT
The previous letter was followed immediately by another:
September 24, 1935 Mr. C.H. Shaw, Secretary Dunedin Lodge #192, F.& A.M. Dunedin, Florida Dear Mr. Shaw: I have been told by the Mortgage Loan Department that during my absence from the city last week, Dunedin Lodge paid off its mortgage in full. Needless to say, I was very pleased to have this information because it indicated to me the hard work done by you and other officers has borne fruit. It has been a pleasure to cooperate with you and I hope the cooperation we have given you is in some measure responsible for your improved condition. Very truly yours, J. Montgomery President
This writer would like to relate a story he heard in the recreation hall of Dunedin Lodge some 30 years ago. He put it into the category of an anecdote because he could not believe such a dignified group as this body of members represented could conceive such a diabolical and outrageous scheme to raise money to put into a building fund to pay off its indebtness.
One brother offered a considerable donation to the fund if he could be made to smile during the next stated meeting. This offer attracted an enormous turnout and as you can readily guess, no one was able to make the brother smile. (Probably because the brother suffered from facial paralysis). The master expressed his great disappointment that this donation was forever lost.
The Building Committee described again the need and advisability of monies to pay the arrears to Grand Lodge and the mortgage company. The Master promptly made a fervent plea for all that would, under a personal firm and binding obligation, make a donation of $500.00. "If you are so inclined to make this donation," the Master continued, "Signify to all present by now rising to your feet," whereupon, every seated brother arose with more alacrity than dignity. WHY? Because some diabolical mind had conceived the idea of wiring each folding chair to an old Ford Motor-A impulse generator, and when the button was pressed, BEHOLD, a universal eagerness to arise pervaded the entire group.
(Verbatim lodge episode as told to Brother Charles Rongey by Past Master James F. Sullivan)
The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Jurisdiction of Florida, assembled in Special Session at the Hall of Dunedin Lodge No. 192, Free & Accepted Masons, Dunedin, Florida, on the 6th day of July A.D. 1926, A.L. 5926, with the following officers present;
|Rev. Wm. B.Y. Wilkie||as Grand Master|
|R.F. Blatchley||as Deputy Grand Master|
|Leroy Brandon (Clearwater Lodge)||as Senior Grand Warden|
|A.J. Grant||as Junior Grand Warden|
|James E. Hitt||as Grand Secretary|
|R.P. Dillinger||as Senior Grand Deacon|
|Henry Houghton||as Junior Grand Deacon|
|J.T. McGanghey||as Grand Standard Bearer|
|E.I. Hinson||as Senior Grand Stewart|
|H.B. Hatch||as Junior Grand Stewart|
|Reverend D.S. Hotchkiss||as Grand Chaplain|
|J.B. McLean||as Grand Tyler|
|N.T. McLean||as Grand Marshall|
|L.B. Skinner||as Principal Grand Architect|
A constitutional number of representatives of particular lodges being present, the Grand Lodge was opened in ample form by the Right Rev. W.B.Y. Wilkie as Grand Master, with prayer by the Rev. D.S. Hotchkiss, as Grand Chaplain.
A communication from the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Cary B. Fish, authorizing this special session was then read; the purpose of which was to lay the corner stone of the First Presbyterian Church of Dunedin.
The Grand Lodge officers and members then marched in a body to the site of the First Presbyterian Church of Dunedin and laid the cornerstone in due and ancient form, then returned to the Hall.
After remarks by Brothers Brandon, Blatchley and Reverend Wilkie, the Grand Lodge was then closed in ample form, peace and harmony prevailing.
|Left: Standing||L.B. Skinner|
|Laying Corner Stone||A.J. Grant|
|Between Chains||H.E. Hill?|
|Next right||Neil McLean|
|Next between McLean and Wilkie||James E. Hitt|
|Holding Bible||Reverend Wilkie|
It should be mentioned at this point of time, July 8th, 1935, that Dunedin boys were being inducted into the newly organized Chapter of DeMolay located in Clearwater, Florida. It would be a full quarter century later, 1960, before members of Dunedin Lodge No. 192 would form their own chapter.
By 1938 the economy had vastly improved and the word "depression" had been replaced with the word "recovery." Many of the brothers that had lost membership during the depression years were coming forth and asking what it would require to be reinstated to full membership.
In reply to one of these inquiries, March 12, 1938, Secretary G.L. Beardsley wrote, "It has been our custom to accept $10.00 and issue current year's card regardless of how much back dues had accumulated before suspension for non payment."
During the "depression years," when Dunedin Lodge was in arrears to the mortgage company, insurance companies and to Grand Lodge, a very high percentage bailed out and refused to pay their dues. A committee of current members was formed to contact all delinquent members. Most all that were contacted refused to contribute $10.00 to be reinstated. The majority used the excuse that Dunedin Lodge was a lost cause and it was likely to go defunct for them to risk their good money after bad. This Historian will never understand why these just and upright men did not have the courtesy to take out demits and show some quality of responsibility.
At a Regular Communication on May 22, 1939, with Logan D. Davis as Worshipful Master, an interesting item was brought up for consideration. Although this item has very little historical value, it certainly reflects the Masonic Attitude that prevailed in this era of Masonry in Dunedin.
Brother Blatchley suggested that in memory of Dr. Wilkie, who was so active in the affairs of Dunedin Lodge and Grand Lodge for so many years, our lodge should assume the care and upkeep of his lot in Dunedin Cemetery. The Worshipful Master appointed Brothers Blatchley, Grant and Hitt to supervise the work.
The minutes of Dunedin Lodge reflect this was done for many years. However, a quarter century later, when this Historian inquired into the life and works of Dr. Wilkie, no one was aware of the extent of the Civic, Moral, Religious and Masonic deeds Dr. Wilkie performed during his lifetime.
Another point should be made at this time. It is essential and imperative this history of our lodge be completed in the most thorough, comprehensive and exhaustive technique possible. Also, it must be done in deliberate haste.
A letter, dated September 12, 1939, from The Advisory Council of the Paul Revere Chapter Order of DeMolay, sponsored by The Tampa Consistory, was received by Dunedin Lodge No. 192. It read in part: As Regional Vice-President of the Order of DeMolay, it is my privilege to tender to you the proposal for the establishment and sponsorship of a chapter of DeMolay in your lodge for the purpose of serving your immediate community.
The proposal was respectfully declined by Dunedin Lodge, stating the lodge was well satisfied with the joint efforts of Largo, Dunedin and Clearwater Lodges. While quite successful working together, this lodge was insecure and unsure it could survive alone with its own chapter.
As stated in the beginning of this reported history of Dunedin Lodge No. 192, our dispensation for charter was granted on February 22, 1915. The year 1940 therefore represents their silver anniversary. The year began by the installation of officers for the year.
At the Regular Communication of December 11, 1939, Worshipful Master Logan D. Davis, announced the order of business was the election of officers for the ensuing year. He appointed Brothers A.J. Grant, James E. Hitt and Ralph Blatchley as tellers.
The following officers were elected:
|Joel McLean||Worshipful Master|
|F. Lee Nigels||Senior Warden|
|Herbert Lorrillier||Junior Warden|
|Gus A. Davis||Secretary|
Appointed officers were:
|R.V. Bos||Senior Deacon|
|Charles Gates||Junior Deacon|
|James Hussey||Senior Stewart|
|Charles O. Bell||Junior Stewart|
|James E. Hitt||Marshall|
The year 1940 started off with an almost utopian attitude. There had been an installation of a stellar group of Line Officers. The officers of the previous year, 1939, had left the group in good financial shape; the group of officers elected were excellent in their proficiency in ritual; they had an excellent staff of teachers of catechism for the few initiates and the lodge had fully recovered from the trauma of the depression years.
Although Dunedin Lodge was celebrating their Silver anniversary as a chartered lodge, slight mention of this fact is in the minutes. No mention was made until the Regular Stated Meeting of June 24, 1940. At this meeting, P.M. Brother James E. Hitt spoke in regard to our 25th Anniversary and gave some very interesting information of the past.
The most interesting historical occurrence in 1940 was bestowed upon Candidate Charles Meyers. It is so different from the norm, (actually doubly so as you will probably agree) it should be recorded for posterity. It starts with the following letter to the lodge:
Dear Brethren: I have the pleasure of advising you and herewith enclosing special dispensation as requested by your lodge from The Most Worshipful Grand Master, through my office. It is indeed a pleasure to serve you at any time on any subject which may be on interest to, or of value regarding things of Masonry. I would suggest, if I may, through your secretary, write directly to the Grand Master expressing to him the appreciation of this fine act of putting through a dispensation upon such short notice. Yours for better Masonry, Will Rogers, D.D.G.M. 16th Masonic District Masons of Florida
Brother Smith L. Turner Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons of the State of Florida To: Dunedin Lodge No. 192 Greetings: Upon due application and for good and sufficient reasons have been made known to us, we do hereby grant you this Dispensation: To confer the E.A. Degree, Pass and Raise Charles Myers within a period of three days. Mr. Myers is with Admiral Byrd and has returned from Little America for a few days on business. He is leaving soon for either Little America or Iceland for an indefinite stay. Given under our hand and seal at the city of Williston This 5th day of June A.L. 5940 A.D. 1940 Smith L. Turner Grand MasterAn identical dispensation was issued by Most Worshipful Grand Master Smith L. Turner at Williston, Florida, on June 7th 1940. It read: To raise seven days short of time, Brothers C.L. Mitchell, Harry Myers, W.J. McCarthy and D.B. Hunter to provide material for exemplification for Grand Lodge Officers' visit. Also, the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Dunedin Lodge No. 192. Dunedin Lodge No. 192 acknowledged the courtesy extended this lodge by the following letter.
Our lodge wishes to express our appreciation for the special dispensation granted us. We also extend to you and all the Grand Lodge Officers our invitation to attend our 25th Anniversary next Monday, June 17th, 1940. Lodge will open at 5 p.m. and supper will be served at 6 p.m. Fraternally yours, Dunedin Lodge No. 192
Dunedin Lodge met in special communication under Special Dispensation from the Grand Lodge of the State of Florida on the 17th day of June, 1940.
Mr. Charles L. Meyers, being in waiting was introduced and initiated into the Entered Apprentice Degree.
Entered Apprentice Lecture was given by Brother G.L. Beardsley and the charge given by Brother James E. Hitt.
Lodge was opened in due form in the Fellow Craft Degree.
Brother Charles L. Meyers being in waiting was duly received and passed to the degree of Fellow Craft. The lecture was delivered by Brother Joel McLean and the Charge by A.J. Grant.
Lodge was opened in the Master Mason Degree in due form.
Brother Charles L. Meyers being in waiting was duly received and raised to the degree of Master Mason.
The lecture was delivered by Brother H.E. Winchester and the Charge by Brother Hitt.
Brother G.L. Beardsley congratulated the degree team on their proficiency. Brother Charles Meyers responded.
One last note on the year 1940. On July 22, 1940, at the lodge's Regular Communication, a discussion on the consideration of purchasing the lot in the rear of the lodge was debated. Brother A.J. Grant stated that the lot could be purchased for about $300.00 or $350.00. No action was taken.
A special meeting of the Building Committee was held at the Temple on Monday evening, February 3, 1941. The purpose of this meeting was to consider the purchase of the lot adjoining the Temple on the west. This lot fronted Park street.
Present were A.J. Grant - Ralph Blatchley - Henry Houghton - J.V. Bost - James E. Hitt - Eugene Nigels - Joel McLean - Gus A. Davis - Lee Nigels, Master and R.B. McMasters, Secretary.
The meeting was organized by selecting A.J. Grant Chairman and G.L. Beardsley, Secretary.
The Chairman presented a proposal from the Dunedin Development Co. for the lot to be sold to Dunedin Lodge No. 192 for the sum of $280.00. Terms to be, $150.00 cash payment and the balance of $130.00 to be paid within two years at 5% interest.
After much discussion, the committee decided to make a counter proposal of $250.00 cash payment. The committee agreed with the understanding said lot be deeded to the lodge free of all liens and taxes and the title insured.
Brother A.J. Grant reported on the meeting of the Building Committee on the proposal for the purchasing the 40 foot lot in the rear of the Temple. Brother Blatchley moved we purchase this lot. Motion seconded by Brother Herb Lorrillire. Brother Hitt moved we amend the motion to read that we give the Building Committee authority to purchase this lot for $250.00. Motion carried.
On May 15, 1944, application was made by Lt. David Tomlin Woodruff, of the U.S. Marine Corps, located in Dunedin, Florida, for special dispensation to take the three degrees short of the required time and proficiency. Dispensation granted.
David T. Woodruff received his Entered Apprentice Degree May 29, 1944; his Fellow Craft Degree June 5, 1944 and his Master Mason degree on June 12, 1944. He was shipped out for Marine duties on July 25, 1944.
Brother Woodruff returned to Dunedin and was a faithful member. He demitted to another lodge but honored Dunedin Lodge with his energy, money, sound advice and good works until his death.
The year of 1946 was highlighted on November 4, 1946, by one of the largest gatherings in the history of Dunedin Lodge No. 192. Approximately 165 lodge members were present at their annual Past Masters Meeting. The lodge was honored by the presence of 21 of the 25 Past Masters and filled all the stations in the ceremony.
During the impressive ceremony, Master Mason Degrees were conferred upon Charles Hazelhurst, C.W. Moore and William Bull, Jr. The latter was raised by his father, P.M. William H. Bull, Sr.
Following the meeting, ice cream and cake were served to all present. R.J. Clifford, Chairman of the Lodge Refreshment Committee was in charge of the serving.
Large beautiful bouquets of red rose buds were placed in the lodge in memory of the three deceased Past Masters, Ward Barnum, Jo Springer and G.L. Beardsley. The flowers were sent to Mrs. W.H. Barnum, in memory of Ward Barnum; Mrs. Joel McLean and Mrs. Lyman Mitchell, daughters of Jo Springer; and Mrs. G.L. Beardsley in memory of her husband following the meeting.
A picture of the Past Masters can be found in the minutes of the 1946 book. Photo was taken by the Dunedin Times.!!!!!!!
The hobo parties, or as they were referred to in their beginning, hobo conventions, originally were designed to raise money to pay off the lodge's indebtedness. The first mention in the lodge minutes of these conventions were in the 1920's. However, newspaper accounts of these festivities state that the annual hobo party had been held since 1915. The first one mentioned in the minutes noted that it was successful and it netted the treasury $88.00. It seemed the members enjoyed the fellowship so much that it became a tradition with the lodge.
In later years, when the younger generation of Masons did not know what a true hobo was, the interest in hobo conventions waned and other methods of money raising were substituted. The young members never understood how Masonry and the human product of the great depression had any correlation. However, in the 1950's and even a little later, the Hobo Party was big time in Dunedin.
Brother Secretary Leonard Merrill published an account of one of the
largest turnouts for the convention. The date was March 22, 1951. It
was published in the Dunedin Times and is very typical of the hobo
parties of the 1950's.
Approximately 200 assorted bums attended the annual hobo party of the Dunedin Masonic Lodge No. 192, F.& A.M. Monday night at Grant Field. Some of the citizens who witnessed the parade said it was the greatest collection of bums they had ever seen in Dunedin or elsewhere.
The evening's program started with a parade at 6:30 from the old Food machinery building on North Broadway and thence to the ball park. Charles O. "Chuck" Bell and his helpers had prepared a supper that included fish, grits, pickles, Greek Bread, salads, doughnuts, coffee and a lot of other eats. Chuck said that the menu included 100 pounds of fish, 10 pounds of grits, 40 dozen doughnuts, and an assortment of other foods. Chuck admitted he highly underestimated the demand for grits and ran out of them in the very height of serving.
Following the supper, there was an entertainment program. Winner of the prize for being the best dressed, (or worst), was Robert E. Martin. Runner-up was James E. Hitt. Martin also won the prize for telling the best tall-story.
Kangaroo Court was held in the traditional manner. P.M. Hitt was the stern Judge and Brother Bob Tharin was the prosecuting attorney. The criminals were anyone that violated the code of Masonry. Dent's Barber Shop also printed an amusing takeoff on Masonic ritual. This account can be found in the minutes of 1951.
|Question:||Who comes here?|
|Answer:||A poor wayward candidate for charity who begs to have a very large part of the free lunch on this town set apart for regular customers as many tramps have done before me.|
|Question:||How do you expect to obtain these privileges?|
|Answer:||By being a man too lazy to work, not ashamed to beg, under the tongue of generally bad report.|
|Question:||Where can this report be had of you?|
|Answer:||In police courts, inebriate asylums and cafes.|
|Question:||Whence came you?|
|Answer:||From a town in Texas called Booze.|
|Question:||Then you are a regular tramp I perceive?|
|Answer:||I am so taken and arrested wherever I go.|
|Question:||How do you know you are a regular tramp?|
|Answer:||By being often arrested and tried and never acquitted and expected to be arrested and convicted again.|
|Question:||Where were you first prepared to be a tramp?|
|Answer:||In a small barroom adjoining my abode.|
|Question:||How were you then prepared?|
|Answer:||By being kicked and cuffed around until nearly divested of my clothes, having been previously been deprived of my money and diamonds.|
|Question:||What induced you to become a tramp?|
|Answer:||That I might travel over the land indulging my appetite for beer, sponging my living from the public.|
|Question:||How am I to know you to be a tramp?|
|Answer:||By the size and the laziness of my feet, the size and and color of my nose, and by signs, grips and words.|
|Question:||What are the words?|
|Answer:||Certain plausible tales that will best serve to induce the lady of the house to give up her cakes and pies.|
|Question:||What are the signs?|
|Answer:||Dirty face, hands or torn dirty clothes.|
|Question:||What is the grip?|
|Answer:||A tight hold on anything portable.|
|Question:||Will you give me the grip?|
|Answer:||No, get some other fellow.|
|Question:||How did you first get admission to this town?|
|Answer:||By a good low tramp at low twelve, the time when all policemen are called from labor to refreshment.|
|Question:||How were you received?|
|Answer:||By a cop on the point of taking an eye opener.|
|Question:||What did he do with you?|
|Answer:||Conducted me around from east to west to the courthouse and to stand erect, facing the judge.|
|Question:||What did the Judge say to you?|
|Answer:||He told me to say my name, promise to obey the law after which he ordered me to take a step to the left and follow the cop to the place from whence I came.|
Through the years there were many more good cooks besides Brother Chuck Bell. Each party had different cooks and workers. The menu changed and by the sixties a special Mulligan Stew had been developed that would have done justice to any hobo jungle in the U.S.A. and graced many a thousand stew pan plate. (A conservative estimate of the number of Brother Masons served over the years is 7,000.) Brothers like James Moore, Myron Moore, Ross audio.fig , Roy Rousch, James Houghton, Herbert Watts, H.C. Corey, William Stewart McIntosh, Inmann Howell and Leonard Merrill with their multitude of faithful potato and onion peelers made their niche in the memories of faithful members and sojourners with their culinary art. The excellence of their food was exceeded only by the fellowship of those parties.
(NOTE: The recipe for the Hobo Stew, along with Brother Rongey's famous chili is included in the Addendum section. Press HERE to go there directly.
It has been said that all good things must eventually come to an end. So it was with our "Hobo Parties." We must hope our love for good fellowship will not be replaced by materialistic things like Monday Night Football of the recreation of Disney World. Remember too, character determines destiny.
During the 1950's, Pinellas County was in the top three counties for population growth in the United States. Because of the vast construction of single family residences and elaborate shopping centers, it was referred to as the "Fabulous Fifties." Dunedin flourished economically, so the Masonic lodge had few economic problems. Each year the membership grew and Masonry was in good hands. Because of this exploding population, the thought of a new Lodge Building began to dominate the organization. However, that thought was not to materialize until the 1960's.
Population and economic growth had not only affected Dunedin and Dunedin Lodge, it had affected the whole state. Grand Lodge in their 1951 conclave, deemed it necessary, not only to redistrict but to add new districts. In June, 1951, Grand Lodge issued this edict to all lodges:
Whereas the Grand Lodge at its 1951 Grand Communication adopted the report of the Redistricting Committee and thereby sanctioned a proposed Constitutional Amendment increasing the number of Masonic Districts in this Grand Jurisdiction from twenty four (24) to thirty (30), and thereby approve said increase in Masonic districts. However, even though the increase in districts and a District Deputy Grand Master was appointed for each of the thirty districts, this edict did not become law until it was voted on at the Grand Communication in 1952. Dunedin Lodge was assigned to District 19 and in 1993 still remains in the same district.
(NOTE: Dunedin Lodge was moved to District 20 in 1995.)
Another interesting resolution was enacted in our lodge April 9, 1956. The privilege of Dual Membership had been under study by Grand Lodge for many years. The Masons from northern jurisdictions were very reluctant to give up their home lodge membership although most were contemplating living in Florida the remainder of their life. The resolution reads as follows:
Be it resolved the By-Laws of Dunedin Lodge No. 192 F.& A.M. be amended to permit Dual Membership under the provisions and conditions of the Grand Lodge of Florida. It being understood that the affiliation fees and Lodge dues are to be the same as for regular membership; it being further understood that Dual Membership carries all Lodge Privileges except the privileges of the Masonic Home in this jurisdiction and excludes the right to hold office in this Lodge.
Approved May 27, 1956 - Charles R. Lucas, Grand Master
The Nigels Family was one of the pioneer families that settled in Dunedin. The family members were very active in Dunedin Lodge for the first forty years after its warrant was issued. Three of the Nigel members were duly elected and served as Master of Dunedin Lodge. They were Eugene Nigels, F. Lee Nigels and Fred Nigels. Eugene Nigels also served as District Deputy Grand Master.
At a regular Communication, November 26th, 1956, the petition of Mr. Ronald L. Nigels from the investigating committee recommended acceptance. Mr. Nigels was duly elected to receive the three degrees. Worshipful Master E.D. Weathers requested Secretary Joel McLean to write the Most Worshipful Grand Master Charles R. Lucas for special dispensation to confer the degrees upon Mr. Nigels short of time. Ronald Nigels was a member of the Armed Forces and planned to be home for the Christmas Holidays . . . Dispensation was granted on December 10th, 1956).
At a Special Communication, December 26, 1956, Dunedin Lodge No. 192 F.& A.M., met in Special Communication. The following officers were present:
|Louis C. Hackel||Worshipful Master|
|W.H. Winchester||Senior Warden|
|E.D. Weathers||Junior Warden|
|Francis Savage||Senior Deacon|
|R.B. McMasters||Junior Deacon|
|W.S. McIntosh||Senior Stewart|
|F. Lee Nigels||Junior Stewart|
The lodge was opened in the Entered Apprentice Degree by Special Dispensation From the Most Worshipful Grand Master Charles R. Lucas, in due form. Mr. R.L. Nigels was duly initiated an Entered Apprentice Mason. The charge was delivered by F. Lee Nigels, the father of the candidate. Lodge closed in due form.
A lodge of Fellow Craft Masons was then opened in due form with the change of officers as follows:
|W.H. Winchester||Worshipful Master|
|Henry D. Weathers||Senior Warden|
|Louis C. Hackle||Junior Warden|
|James M. Hiles||Senior Stewart|
|W. Frank Myers||Tyler|
|W.S. McIntosh||Junior Deacon|
Entered Apprentice Brother Ronald Nigels was passed to the degree of Fellow Craft in due form. The charge was delivered by Brother Henry Houghton. The Lodge of Fellow Craft Masons was closed in due form.
A lodge of Master Masons was opened in due form with the following change of officers:
|Henry Houghton||Worshipful Master|
|W.H. Winchester||Senior Warden|
Fellow Craft Brother Ronald Nigels was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason in due form by his Father, Brother F. Lee Nigels, Past Master. The charge was delivered by Brother Henry Houghton. Brother Nigels was presented a gift from his family by Dr. Winchester. Brothers Ronald and Brother John L. Jerkins were conducted to the East and each presented with a white leather apron. Brother Jerkins was also presented his proficiency card.
Being no further business, the lodge was closed in due form and harmony. Refreshments were served in the recreation room after the meeting.
This historian cannot locate the minutes of the forming the club as such but he does remember it was the brain child of P.M. James F. Sullivan. The first mention of Brother Sullivan being active in the Masonic Funeral Committee is August 27, 1958. At that date in Dunedin Lodge Masonic History, Brother Louis Hackle was giving the grave side rites and Brother James Sullivan was Chaplain and it was referred to as the Temple Funeral Committee.
In 1959, Brother Sullivan was duly elected and installed as Secretary of Dunedin Lodge No. 192. He was very much active in the Temple Funeral Committee (and most other activities within the lodge) and was instrumental in increasing the membership and proficiency in the ritual. Not only was he instrumental in increasing the membership of the Funeral Committee, but also the membership of the lodge. He did this mainly through cajoling visiting Masons from northern jurisdictions to take dual membership. (It should be recorded here that at one time, the membership of Dunedin Lodge was almost 600 members).
Dunedin Lodge has been honored to have many of its members elected or chosen to serve the Florida Grand Lodge. Dr. Wilkie was elected to serve as Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Florida a total of 27 years (1902 - 1929), and was Chaplain Emeritus until his death. Members of Dunedin Lodge chosen to serve Florida Grand Lodge as District Deputy Grand Master are Ralph F. Blatchley, 1925 and 1926; Eugene A. Nigels, 1949; Cecil P. Englebert, 1968; James F. Sullivan, 1976; Dr. Walter H. Winchester, 1979; James Tuller, 1991; William R. McIntosh, 1998; Sam Lampson, 2003(4); James Mason, 2006(1); James Rocha, 2008(5), Christopher Schlenker & Ed Street(2), 2009; Bob Matheson, 2010, and; Richard Brooks, 2011(3)
(1) Came from East Gate Lodge No. 355 in 2000, and dimited to Pearl of the West Lodge No. 146 in 2007.
(2) Past Master of Elmer O. Smith Lodge No. 307 and Pinellas Daylight Lodge No. 385; was District 21 District Instructor in 2003/2004 terms; voted an Honorary Member of Dunedin Lodge in 2007. Appointed DDGM of District 21 in 2009.
(3) Past Master of Sutherland Lodge No. 174, and East Gate Lodge No. 355; voted an Honorary Member of Dunedin Lodge on July 18, 2011. Appointed DDGM of District 20 in 2011.
(4) Past Master of Clearwater Lodge No. 127, voted an Honorary Member of Dunedin Lodge on April 15, 2013. Appointed DDGM of District 20 in 2003.
(5) Past Master of Tampa Bay Lodge No. 252, voted an Honorary Member of Dunedin Lodge on April 15, 2013. Appointed DDGM of District 20 in 2008.
In addition to the honor of D.D.G.M. for the 19th. Masonic District, Past Master Dr. Walter Winchester has been honored by election to the position of Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International, 1984 - 1987; Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Knight Commander Court of Honor (KCCH); and member of the Council of Nine Muses of the Allied Masonic Orders.
Dr. Winchester is considered one of the foremost humanitarians in the United States. He, together in collaboration with other prominent Doctors, were the first to alert the world about the dangers of tobacco. He was with the group of Doctors that kicked off the anti-smoking campaign in the 1960's.
In addition to being D.D.G.M., Past Master James Tuller was the DeMolay Dad for the years 1989 and 1990; Zone Chairman for the Masonic Home Admission, 1993 - 1994. In 1995 Brother Tuller was appointed by the Grand Master to the Assistant Committee as the 1995 State Chairman for the Masonic home.
W:.Robert J. Haynes, PM affiliated with Dunedin Lodge in 1989 (from Michigan) and served as our organist from 1989 to 2010 when he retired to Pennsylvania. He was elected an Honorary member of several Lodges in the area where he provided music for degree work. In 2003 and 2005 he served as Grand Musician.
|William S. McIntosh||Worshipful Master|
|Francis W. Paynter||Senior Warden|
|Elbert Waterson||Junior Warden|
|Charles O. Bell||Treasurer|
|James F. Sullivan||Secretary|
|Harold O. Schrecongost||Senior Deacon|
|Allen L. Lentz||Junior Deacon|
|Romeo B. Scerbo||Senior Stewart|
|Franklin D. Myers||Junior Stewart|
|Harold D. Tipton||Tyler|
|James E. Hitt||Marshall|
P.M. James Hitt and P.M. Eugene Sheets served as the installing officers.
At the Stated communication of February 8, 1960, Worshipful Master W.S. McIntosh introduced Right Worshipful Jack Hardy, D.D.G.M. The master stated that others had heard of our proposed DeMolay Chapter and were very interested in it. Also, as the Worshipful Master of Clearwater Lodge No. 127 he had taken up a collection for the proposed chapter and had brought $50.00 to the meeting, turned the donation over to Chairman Howard Merrill. Brother Merrill was called upon to make a report on the progress of the formation of our chapter.
The master then ordered Senior Deacon Lentz to escort Brother James F. Sullivan west of the alter where D.D.G.M. Hardy presented him a 35 year pin. D.D.G.M. Hardy stated Mrs. Sullivan was aware of her husband's 37 years as a Mason, and she wanted him to have a special pin denoting 35 years as a Mason, though she could not be present herself to present it. D.D.G.M. Jack Hardy congratulated Brother Sullivan for his many years of service and indicated he would not put the pin in Brother Sullivan's lapel, but would leave that honor for his wife when he returned home. Brother Sullivan thanked the District Deputy and the lodge members present and stated he would have words with his Dear Wife when he returned home.
This episode in Brother Sullivan's Masonic Career is mentioned as a part of Dunedin Lodge No. 192's history simply because exactly 34 years later Brother Sullivan, together with Brother Scerbo and this historian were ordered by the Master of Dunedin Lodge to write the 75 year history of the Lodge. Brother Sullivan went on to win many honors in Masonry; two of the honors being Past Master of Dunedin Lodge No. 192 and District Deputy of the 19th Masonic District. It can be noted that not only was Brother Sullivan eligible for, he had lived to receive his 70 years as a Mason pin. Today, at 91 years of age, he is going strong.
NOTE: On Saturday, May 23rd, 1998 the lodge celebrated Jim Sullivan Day to commemorate Jim's 75 years as a Mason. Several dignitaries and well-wishers were on hand.
The Worshipful Master W.S. McIntosh, at the Stated Communication of January 25, 1960, requested a report on the DeMolay Chapter committee. Chairman Howard Merrill reported that two meetings had been held; one in his office and another at the Clearwater Chapter Board room. W.M. Jerry White of Clearwater Chapter spoke on what a magnificent organization it was for the youth. He emphasized how much hard work it took to make a chapter succeed, and suggested a minimum of 30 boys to start the chapter. His formula for success was good and constant supervision. Our representative to the chapter, Brother John Jerkins, asked he be on on record as being in total agreement with the previous speakers.
Chairman Howard Merrill stated the first thing necessary to activate a DeMolay Chapter was the passage of the instituting resolution and proceeded to read it. After the reading, he motioned it be accepted as read. Motion was seconded by S.W. Francis Paynter.
P.M. Hackel pointed out that several more details were necessary and enumerated them. The most pressing problem to resolve was the financing the project. Brother Hackel suggested a total of $500.00 be raised before any further steps be taken.
Brother Waterson reported the Ministers of the Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches were highly in favor of screening their boys for the chapter. Principal Danforth of the Dunedin Junior High School also joined in to screen his students.
The Order of DeMolay was alluded to previously as being in progress of formation. At the stated meeting of March 14, 1960, Chairman Merrill spoke of that progress. Brother Waterson suggested the new chapter be named William J. Carson Chapter of DeMolay after a deceased brother, subject to approval of his widow, Mrs. Ruth Carson. Motion carried. It was announced an "invitation to DeMolay" was to be held at 7:30 p.m. on March 22nd, with work in DeMolay put on by boys from other chapters.
At the meeting of March 28th, W.M. William S. McIntosh announced that Mrs. Ruth Carson had presented a check for $25.00 to the future William J. Carson Chapter of DeMolay. Brother Merrill reported on the progress our chapter had made on the road to fruition. Brother Lentz and Brother Art Hall also spoke about the failure of Dunedin Lodge No. 192 to support the Clearwater Chapter of DeMolay.
On May 23, 1960, "Dad Lentz" reported the plans for DeMolay institution and other details of formation. Mother's Circle was reported instituted on May 18th and will be active now Brother Boyd reported the ballot box was in his possession. The secretary reported the O.E.S. had voted to present the DeMolay the Crown of Youth and Jewels. Bertha McLean and Claudia Mitchell have donated the Bible and Margaret Gross the Alter Cloth. Lilly Kelly will furnish the Roses for this May 28th occasion.
At the Stated Meeting of November 29, 1960, Senior Warden Francis Paynter invited all Master Masons to attend the DeMolay meeting on December 6th for their first initiatory degree. Dad Lentz seconded this invitation and said it would be the first degree work performed by Dunedin DeMolay.
One note of history almost escaped this writer. As it happened at the Stated Communication of April 11, 1960, it will be inserted here.
Brother P.M. Hitt spoke on the reason the marble tops of the pedestals were above the surface; stating that Brother Townsend, who had donated the marble, had prepared a board the exact size they were to be. To prevent it from splitting, Brother Townsend had nailed another board to the back and the marble cutter had thought this was the thickness desired. Brother Hitt also called attention to the gavel and the sounding block back of the secretary's desk. He stated they came from the quarry near Jerusalem where the stones for King Solomon's Temple were quarried. As of today, a Masonic Lodge meets in a cave left in that quarry.
There is a page of history that existed thirty years ago in this lodge that seems to be gone today. One of the major projects of Brother Elbert Waterson, while he was master of this lodge, was an obsession to provide a blood bank for the members and their families. The members, in large part, were middle class working young men and most had young children. The members that were of the age of retirement, in large part, were retired on small pensions. When a catastrophic illness hit one of the members of their family, the family seldom had enough income or insurance to pay for blood transfusions.
It was the custom to apply to the Masonic Blood Bank for assistance, and if there were no units credited to their blood account, word was passed along and a brother or a friend would volunteer a donation. Brother Cecil Englebert presented a classic case.
On June 13, 1960, W.M. McIntosh explained to the craft Brother Cecil P. Englebert was in need of blood. After reading a letter mailed to Mease Hospital requesting blood, the Master gave a talk on the need to keep our blood replenished, either by donating blood or money.
Brother Hitt spoke on how he had recently been afflicted with the same thing as Brother Englebert. He mentioned the blood bank was depleted but three good brothers had donated blood to save his life. So it was with Brother Englebert. He, too, was denied blood from the Lodge blood bank. Regretfully, no Mason stepped forward to donate the blood, but his good friend, Ron Beard, did. After this episode, when the lodge failed to provide blood to a brother, the lodge made an appeal to the craft to donate blood to our own blood bank. Brother Waterson, while he was master, set his goal as 100 pints. On one occasion within this writer's memory, P.M. Bernie Grant asked for and received 23 pints of blood to use during his wife's illness and operations. This donation came directly from the Lodge's blood bank.
At the September 26, 1960, Stated Communication, Secretary Sullivan reported that Past Masters Night Committee had met and finalized plans. He stressed the fact this was going to be a very elaborate occasion. He stated the banquet reservations were going fast and 50 tickets were already reserved.
It was indeed a very successful historical occasion. It was excellently planned and well executed. According to the records of the lodge, this was the first "open installation" ever performed in Dunedin Lodge No. 192. Most Worshipful J. Edward Larson was present to do the honors. There were no shortage of Grand Lodge Officers and their Ladies present together with other guests and past masters for the installation ceremony and presentations.
Rather than to embellish upon the ceremonies, it would be better to print the program as it appeared in its original form. A more detailed description can be found in the 1960 minutes.
Always there belongs to each lodge one Brother that stands more for the moral precepts of Masonry than any other. Usually, as the years pass, he fades into obscurity as fewer and fewer living persons remember him. This historian feels he would be remiss if he failed to eulogize and exalt the Mason he feels was exemplar as the "Grand Old Man" of Dunedin Lodge No. 192. This historian does not know how history will remember Past Master James E. Hitt, but it is hoped that future generation will honor his memory.
Tuesday, February 13, 1962:
James Edwin Hitt, 79, pioneer resident of Dunedin, died last night in his home at 607 Highland Avenue.
Mr. Hitt came to Dunedin in 1905 from Aiken, South Carolina on the old wood-burner train that operated at that time. The population of Dunedin was less than 100 people and the business section consisted of two general stores and a post office.
Mr. Hitt long had been prominent in the work of the First Presbyterian Church, having served the church as elder for the last 48 years. He joined the church in 1913 when there were only 62 members.
Mr. Hitt was the first Scoutmaster of Dunedin Boy Scout Troop 10. Boy Scout Troop No. 10 was one of the first troops in Pinellas County. He served as Scoutmaster from 1918 to 1920. Past Master Hitt was the first member to be raised in Dunedin Lodge No. 192. Over the years, he served in all the elective and appointive offices of the Lodge. He was also a member of Sunrise Lodge 70, Knights of Pythias of Clearwater.
Grave side rites at Dunedin Cemetery will be conducted by Dunedin Lodge No. 192, F.& A.M. (So reads his obituary.)
Dunedin Lodge No. 92 F.& A.M. met in special session at the Masonic Temple in Dunedin, Florida, on February 16, 1962, with the following officers:
|Elbert Waterson||Worshipful Master|
|Allen L. Lentz||Senior Warden|
|Romeo Scerbo||Junior Warden|
|F.W. Paynter||Senior Deacon|
|Cecil P. Englebert||Junior Deacon|
|Charles B. Berry||Tyler|
|Charles O. Bell||Treasurer|
|James F. Sullivan||Secretary|
|Ernest E. French||Chaplain|
|William S. McIntosh||Senior Stewart|
|Walter B. Mathes||Junior Stewart|
|Noah H. Falb||Organist|
60 officers, members and guest were present.
Worshipful Master Waterson announced that lodge had been called and opened for the very sad task of conducting funeral services for our beloved brother James E. Hitt, P.M., who had been a member for 46 years, 7 months and 25 days. Brother Hitt was our oldest Past Master, having served the lodge in 1919 and 1920.
Worshipful Master Waterson spoke of Brother Hitt, noting he had been tried many times and always found true. He stated the vacancy created by so good and great a man as Brother Hitt will long be felt. He also noted his moral influence upon our lodge would be sorely missed.
Brothers French, Bailey, Paynter, Hackel and George Merrell also spoke of the wonderful character of our deceased brother, his ability for smoothing over the wounded feelings, taking over tasks others declined, his quiet humor and always welcome stories of Dunedin, Masonic life and history. The point was made also, we could all use his example to set ourselves a goal as better men and Masons.
Lodge adjourned to Moss Dunedin Funeral Home after singing "The Tie that Binds." At the funeral home, the attendance exceeded its seating capacity.
At the conclusion of services at the funeral home, the lodge proceeded to Dunedin Cemetery where grave side services were performed. In accordance with Brother Hitt's request, Brother Louis C. Hackel gave the Funeral Oration with James F. Sullivan, Chaplain, and William H. Bull, P.M., Bearer of the great Light.
This writer met Brother Hitt for the first time the night he took his Entered Apprentice Degree. Brother Hitt delivered the charge. Because each word of the charge is so essentially necessary, Grand Lodge law requires it to be read. However, if a brother delivering the charge is letter perfect, he is permitted to give it from memory. So it was the night this writer heard his Entered Apprentice charge. Brother Hitt, without referring to the Monitor gave the charge in his own inimitable way that has left a positive impression upon my mind that will remain forever.
It can be noted, if you were to search the records of this lodge for the first forty seven years, you will find that Brother Hitt worked diligently during every one of those years. The most notable chore he took upon himself was to avail his presence on degree nights. In the vast majority of times (probably 80%), he was called upon to deliver the charge. For the benefit of the non-Mason who reads this, there are three charges; one for each of the three degrees. I believe, without equivocation, he spoke more words of ritual to more candidates and brothers than any other member of this lodge. (Your Historian knows this paragraph will be challenged by some of the members. However, the records can prove him correct.)
Brother James E. Hitt was a joy to know and converse with. On one occasion he sought out Charles Rongey to give him some advice. "Brother Rongey, always remember, you will get out of Masonry only what you put into it," he counseled. About him, Brother Charles Rongey said, "We will not look upon his like again."
If this reader is curious about why Brother Hitt was so obsessed with the charges the members are committed to, I think he, the reader, should be exposed to the same moral aspect as a new initiate. This reader will be able to make the judgment as to whether Masonry is worthy of the high esteem the Masonic organization commands, or whether the negative rumors it has to bear are true. For the benefit of all, the historical charges of all three degrees of the Blue Lodge will be printed. (These three charges can be found in any one of the thousands of Florida Masonic Monitors throughout the state and these Monitors are usually owned by one of the Florida members.)
Brother(s), as you are now introduced into the first principals of Freemasonry, I congratulate you on being accepted into this ancient and honorable Order: - ancient, as having existed from time immemorial; and honorable, as tending in every particular, so to render all men who will be comformable to its precepts. No institution was ever raised on a better principal or more solid foundation, nor were ever more excellent rules and useful maxims laid down, than are inculcated in the several Masonic lectures. The greatest and best of men, in all ages have been encouragers and promoters of the art; and have never deemed it derogatory to their dignity to level themselves with the Fraternity, extend their privileges, and patronize their assemblies. There are three great duties which, as a Mason, you are charged to inculcate:
TO GOD, your neighbor, and yourself. TO GOD, in never mentioning His name but with that reverential awe which is due from a creature to his Creator, to implore his aid in all your laudable undertakings and to esteem Him as the chief good.
To your neighbor, in acting on the square, and doing unto him as you would he should do unto you; and to yourself in avoiding all irregularities and intemperance, which may impair your faculties, or debase the dignity of your profession. A zealous attachment to these duties will insure public and private esteem.
In the state you are to be a quiet and peaceful citizen, true to your government and just to your country. You are not to countenance disloyalty or rebellion, but patiently submit to legal authority, and conform with cheerfulness to the government of the country in which you live. In your outward demeanor, be particularly careful to avoid censure and reproach.
Although your frequent appearance at our Stated Communication is earnestly solicited, yet it is not meant that Masonry should interfere with your necessary vocation; for these are on no account to be neglected; neither are you to suffer your zeal for the institution to lead you into arguments with those who, through ignorance, may ridicule it. At your leisure hours, that you may improve in Masonic Knowledge, you are to converse with well-informed Brethren, who will be always as ready to give, as you are to receive, instructions.
Finally, keep sacred and inviolable the mysteries of the Order, as those are to distinguish you from the rest of the community, and mark your consequence among Masons. If, in the circle of your acquaintance, you find a person desirous of being initiated into the Fraternity, be particularly careful not to recommend him, unless you are convinced that he will conform to our rules; that the honor, glory, and reputation of the institution may be firmly established, and the world at large convinced of its good effects.
CHARGE AT PASSING
My Brother(s), being passed to the Second Degree of Freemasonry, we congratulate you on your preferment. The internal, and not the external, qualifications of a man are what Masonry regards. As you increase in knowledge, you will improve in social intercourse.
It is unnecessary to recapitulate the duties, which, as a Fellow Craft, you are bound to discharge, or to enlarge on the necessity of a strict adherence to them, as your own experience must have established their value. Our Laws and Regulations you are strenuously to support, and be always ready to assist in seeing them duly executed. You are not to palliate or aggravate the offenses of your Brethren, but, in the decision of every trespass against our rules, you are to judge with candor, admonish with friendship and reprehend with justice.
The study of the Liberal Arts, that valuable branch of education, which tends so effectually to polish and adorn the mind, is earnestly recommended to your consideration, especially the science of Geometry, which is established as the basis of our art. Geometry, or Masonry, originally synonymous terms, being of a divine and moral nature is enriched with the most useful knowledge, while it proves the most wondrous properties of Nature, it demonstrates the most important truths of morality.
Your past behavior and regular deportment have merited the honor which we have conferred, and, in your new character, it is expected that you will conform to the principals of the Order by steadily persevering in the practice of every commendable virtue. Such is the nature of your engagements as a Fellow Craft, and to those duties you are bound by the most sacred ties.
MASTER MASON CHARGE
Brother(s), your zeal for our institution, the progress you have made in our mysteries, and your steady conformity to our useful regulations, have pointed you out as a proper object for this particular mark of our favor. Duty and honor now alike bind you to be faithful to every trust; to support the dignity of your character on all occasion; and strenuously to enforce, by precept and example, a steady obedience to the tenants of Freemasonry. Exemplary conduct on your part will convince the world that merit is the just title to our privileges, and that on you our favors have not been undeservedly bestowed.
In this respectable character, you are authorized to correct the irregularities of your less informed Brethren; to fortify their minds with resolutions against the snares of the insidious, and to guard them against every allurement to vicious practices. To preserve unsullied the reputation of the Fraternity ought to be your constant care; and therefore it becomes your province to caution the inexperienced against a breach of fidelity. To your inferiors in rank or office, you are to recommend obedience and submission; to your equals, courtesy and affability; to your superiors, kindness and condescension. Universal obedience you are zealously to inculcate; and by the regularity of your conduct, endeavor to remove every aspersion against this venerable institution. Our Ancient Landmarks you are careful to preserve and not suffer them, on any pretense, to be infringed, or countenance a deviation from our established customs.
Your honor and reputation are concerned in supporting with dignity the respectable character you now bear. Let no motive, therefore, make you swerve from your duty, violate your vows, or betray your trust; but be true and faithful, and imitate the example of that celebrated artist whom you have this evening represented. Thus you will render yourself deserving of the honor which we have conferred and worthy of the confidence we have reposed in you.
Records, research data, personal experiences, dozens of interviews and general consensus all interlock to affirm the fact the years 1960 through 1969 was the most fulfilling and gratifying decade of Dunedin Lodge No. 192 F.& A.M. in its first 75 years existence. This Historian is going to treat this decade as one unit of time because so many projects were started and brought to fruition in this time frame.
|1960||William S. McIntosh|
|1961||Francis W. Paynter|
|1962||H. Elbert Waterson|
|1963||Allen L. Lentz|
|1964||Romeo B. Scerbo|
|1965||Frank W. Myers|
|1966||Cecil P. Englebert|
|1967||Thomas E. Martin|
|1968||S. Earl Ryle|
|1969||James F. Sullivan|
Already, some of the projects of the 1960's have been alluded to. Perhaps the most positive steps taken was the foresighted thinking of the building committee. It had become quite apparent this committee had to build a new temple to take care of the projected increase in membership. Some members of the committee stressed the fact that the new temple would, out of necessity, be a radical change from the concept the ancients held and the concepts that are still inculcated in our lectures.
During the year 1960, Dunedin Lodge still met in the temple located on Milwaukee Avenue. The temple itself was non-current, antiquated and outdated (e.g., no conditioning.) The cooking facilities were inadequate; the recreation area was too small; the storage area too small and the lodge room was located on the second floor. Regrettably, the total cash balance in the saving accounts was only three thousand dollars. This was far too small to purchase even a lot to build on.
During World War II, tens of thousands of soldiers were stationed all over Florida and a high percentage resolved when the war was over, they would make Florida their permanent residence. The net result was an unprecedented building boom in the 1950's and 1960's. The 1950's were referred to as "the fabulous fifties." Pinellas County was the third fastest growing county in the United States. In 1955 it took honors by being #1. People who were retiring were also attracted to Pinellas County by large commercial Chamber of Commerce ads proclaiming free entertainment and recreational facilities and low taxes.
Even today with its manifest problems, Florida continues to promote the fantasy. "The rules are different here." That's the slogan of a promotional brochure published by the state. Well, the rules are different; some of them.
There's no income tax for one thing. Florida's Constitution prohibits it. There is no inheritance tax either. Tired of high property taxes up north? Floridians of nearly every stripe qualify for a $25,000.00 homestead exemption on property they buy in the Sunshine State. Services are exempt from the sales tax. "Come on down, you can live here free of the hassles and responsibilities you have up north," so went the advertising preaching of the 1960's.
The reason Florida was able to play for forty years by such loosey-goosey rules was its phenomenal growth. Since 1950, the state's population ballooned from 2.8 million people to 13.5 million in 1990.
The factors that most influenced the building committee to determine this, the 1960's, was the time, not only to make the commitment to build a modern and updated lodge, but start a major fund raising campaign were two in number. Grand Lodge, wise in the way of increasing membership in this fraternity, had passed into Masonic law "dual membership" rights to out-of-state Masons. Dual membership carries all Lodge Privileges except the privilege of the Masonic Home in this jurisdiction and excludes the right to hold office in this lodge. Secondly, because so many retirees and older men that were members and visitors of Florida lodges were physically incapable of climbing stairs to second and third story lodge rooms, Grand Lodge recanted and repealed the archaic law stating Masonic lodges must be above the ground floor. Through special dispensation, it became possible to get permission to obtain a permit to build a one-story temple. This Dunedin Lodge No. 192 did. It was one of the first, if not the first, ground-floor lodge built in Florida.
With these factors pressing the building committee, they started a major fund raising series of campaigns. (Brother Sullivan had also founded another committee to handle the financing - the Temple Fund Committee.) It must be brought to light at this time frame, 1962, one brother stepped forward to take charge of the fund raising projects and dedicated his life to the good of Masonry and Dunedin Lodge No. 192. Secretary James F. Sullivan and his committees worked dynamos. It could be said that the proposed new temple should have been dedicated to the Holy St. Johns and James F. Sullivan.
Secretary Sullivan made out a list of possible fund-raising possibilities. The list was two pages single spaced long. It ranged from green stamp books to an ice cream and cake festival to personal donation commitment. The one he liked best was the P.M. Bob Paynter proposal for a bowling league. Brother Bob guaranteed a net return of one thousand dollars per year, every year we bowled. With this assurance from Brother Paynter, it inspired Secretary Sullivan to write the following articles and place them in all the local newspapers. He named the articles, TEMPLE TOPICS.
Have you a yen for bowling? Bowl with a group of fine chaps who aren't as much interested in the score you bowl or how long you have been bowling, as much as the fact you are a good sportsman, an interesting companion and fun to have around.
The Square and Compass Bowling League is looking for men who wish to bowl on Friday evenings at 6:30 p.m., whether members of a Masonic Lodge or not; and if you have never bowled before, but would like to learn, this is your chance. Bowling is $2.00 per week. Everyone will have a barrel of fun. There will be some surprises at the end of the league season, so come on! Bring your Buddy! Sign up now be either calling the Dunedin Lanes, Bob Paynter, George Seaman or the Dunedin Times. We need about forty new bowlers. If you want to form your own team, let us know. DO IT NOW. (NOTE: Of the $2.00/week bowling fee, 50 cents was allocated to the Temple Fund. If 80 bowlers showed up, it netted the Temple Fund $40.00.)
That first night of bowling. -- Don't forget, you are still welcome to join the Square and Compass Bowling League, so be on hand at 6:30 p.m. for the first ball of the season. Perhaps it will take a somewhat wobbly course down the lane, so what? With each succeeding ball your delivery will grow more accurate and the first thing you know, you will be enjoying (?) too high an average for comfort. Let's make this league a rousing success, both from the standpoint of the Temple Fund and companionship you will gain.
A success it was too. The league, over a period of years, netted the Temple Fund a grand total of $9,000.00. The fun they had, the friendship, the companionship, the fellowship can never be measured. The Square and Compass Bowling League served its purpose well. (An added gratuity derived from the Square and Compass Bowling League; many of the non-members requested a petition to join the fraternity. One of these new members, Brother Marion Yeager, advanced to become master of the lodge.)
In 1962, with Elbert Waterson as master, several sites for the location of our proposed new temple were considered. What transpired can best be summarized for historical purposes by a meeting held on November 12, 1962. The minutes for this meeting were authored by the very capable Secretary, James F. Sullivan.
The master of the lodge, Elbert Waterson, explained that on November 2nd, 1962, we had received an offer of $21,000.00 for our present location of Dunedin Lodge No. 192. After this offer, the Building Committee had met several times. The master asked Brother Woody Register, chairman of the committee, to explain the proposition to the 100 officers, members and guests present.
Chairman Brother Register reported we had received an offer of $21,000.00 from two dentists at Mease Hospital. The dentists had been ordered to vacate their present location and they would like to buy the Dunedin Lodge building and lot to convert it into a professional building. The dentists had previously offered to buy property on State Road 580 but their offer had been rejected.
Brother Register expressed his opinion of several lots for sale he had investigated. None he had checked out seemed to meet the needs of our expected growth. One of the lots considered was the O.J. Tooke property, on the east side of Patricia, behind the bowling alley.
P.M. Paynter spoke on the urgency of our situation and pointed out the several other bodies that meet in the temple must be given full consideration. The Commandery and the White Shrine pledged to help finance the project. The Eastern Star stated they would meet the following Friday and would take up this matter at that time.
Right Worshipful Polhill of Clearwater Lodge No. 127, attorney, explained the purchase agreement, as presented to the lodge by Drs. Phillips and Bratten through their broker, Furman Bakers. Brother Polhill suggested we request more time before closing to rectify any errors found in the title. He further suggested changing the paragraph on fees to read the total brokers fee, under any and all circumstances, be paid by the purchasers, thus relieving the lodge of any remote possibility of such charge. Brother Polhill also explained the zoning contingency and what it meant to the lodge.
When asked what type of building should be considered, the spokesman for the Building Committee stated, in their opinion, by strict adherence to Grand Lodge law, it would have to be a two story building. Brother Polhill explained that more and more lodges were going to one story construction due to the difficulty aged members had in climbing stairs. He also stated he felt there would be no difficulty for Dunedin Lodge to obtain approval for a one story building if the windows were high enough or if there were no windows in the lodge room proper.
P.M. Dr. Walter Winchester spoke on our need to consider the future. Brother Winchester stated, "We grow or we die." He further pointed out the necessity for adequate space be provided for ritualistic work of the bodies that meet in the temple and wanted to know if adequate storage space would be available to all the bodies that used the temple. Brother Winchester further inquired if sufficient time had been given the brothers, under Grand Lodge rules, to properly notify them of this important meeting. Brother Polhill gave a very indefinite answer.
Brother Sanderson, speaking to expedite the general consensus of the brothers present, stated that the entire discussion resolved around two points. Do we want to sell our property now and do we want to sell for the offered price of $21,000.00. Brother Sanderson then motioned to sell the Masonic Lodge No. 192 building and lot, located on the corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Park Street, for the offered amount of $21,000.00. The motion was seconded by Brother Francis W. Paynter. Motion carried with a vote of 57 in favor, 6 opposed. Brother P.M. Charles O. Bell moved the objectors make it unanimous. Motion carried.
Motion was made by Brother John Jerkins that all the further details of the sale of property to the planning of fund raisers be carried on by the appropriate committees and bodies to be expedited as soon as possible. Ballot on the motion called for and action carried.
The lodge building being sold, it was necessary to move from the premises and meet in a new location. A special dispensation was applied for and received on January 2, 1962. It read:
Greeting: Upon due application and good and sufficient reasons made known to us, we do hereby grant you our Dispensation: To move to the First Presbyterian Church on a temporary basis until the completion of their new Temple. Given under our hand and seal at the city of Miami This 27th day of December A.L. 5962 A.D. 1962 William S. Christian Grand Master
Ten months later, a second Dispensation was issued to Dunedin Lodge No. 192. It read:
Greetings: Upon due application and good and sufficient reasons made known to us, we do hereby grant you this our Dispensation: Dunedin Lodge No. 192, F.& A.M. is hereby granted permission to move its charter from its present location in Dunedin, Florida, to their new Temple Building in Dunedin, Florida, and hold their future meetings there beginning October 28th, 1963. Given under our hand and seal at the city of Punta Gorda, Florida This 28th day of October A.L. 5963, A.D. 1963 John T. Rose, Jr. Grand Master
On November 24, 1962, at 3:00 p.m., P.M. Bob Paynter called a meeting of the Temple and Grounds Committee for the purpose of determining the answers to the several problems facing the building of the new lodge.
Present at the meeting were Chairman Paynter, Charles B. Rongey, Elsie Landphaier, Vera Collins, George Seaman, Ernest E. French, W.V. Register, J.R. Williams, Allen Lentz, Charles O. Bell, L.B. Hamilton, William Garrison, Secretary James F. Sullivan, Orville Cassady, Howard Smith and P.M. William S. McIntosh.
The design of the lodge and size of the proposed building were discussed. Property sites available in Dunedin were presented for discussion. Considerable discussion ensued regarding construction details with most in favor of one story because of difficulty in climbing stairs.
At the Stated meeting of November 24, 1962, Paynter reported that he, J. Jerkins, Haynes, Sullivan, and Seaman had removed 132 seats from the Palms Theater and prepared them for upholstering for the new building. Purchase price; one dollar each. A real bargain.
P.M. Ross Haynes reported the chapel in the First Presbyterian Church might be available and suggested Secretary Sullivan write a letter to the Board of Elders and to the Board of Deacons regarding the matter. Motion by S.W. Allen Lentz seconded and carried this be done and arrangements for all bodies made.
P.M. Paynter commented on the difficulty of the planning committee to plan a building on a non-existing site. He urged the craft to expedite the purchase of a building site as soon as possible. Brother Romeo Scerbo spoke on the several sites available and cautioned the craft to take their time to choose carefully as this might be a purchase forever.
To expedite history and eliminate the pages of discussions, it is suffice to state for historical purposes that at the Stated meeting of December 10, 1962, officers for the ensuing year were nominated and elected and the offer for the chapel of the Presbyterian Church for future meetings be accepted. Brother Romeo B. Scerbo motioned that the property located at 1297 Michigan Boulevard be purchased for the site of the new lodge; motion seconded by P.M. Francis W. Paynter; vote carried, ballot showing 41 for and three against. (It was proposed we give Brother Lee Nigels a rising vote of thanks. This was done)
Although the minutes may not reflect it, the acquiring of the Michigan Avenue property has an amusing twist to it. P.M. Lee Nigels, in 1962, owned considerable acreage in the area. He had used it principally for growing citrus fruit and grazing land for beef cattle. He had platted out the Michigan Boulevard pasture to be sold as building lots. On inquiry as to how much he wanted for our present location, he retorted he considered it unsuited for our purpose because of location in the city and because it had drainage problems and he would not even consider selling it to the lodge.
However, his wife had a different opinion. A long time member of the OES, she was delighted with the prospect of having a Masonic Lodge located near her home. Brother Nigels recanted and agreed to sell the property to Dunedin Lodge for $2,500.00 (a very fair price indeed). When it became time for the closing of the purchase, Mrs. Ella Nigels let it be known, as she and Brother Lee had not contributed anything to the building of the temple, they would be delighted to donate the land.
To emphasize the rapid growth in membership this lodge was making, at the last Stated meeting at the Milwaukee location, the following petitions were received:
|Wiseman, Glenn K.||For Degrees|
|Carlton, Thomas A.||For Degrees|
|Hadley, Charles||For Dual Membership|
|Newcomb, Walter||For Dual Membership|
|Adkins, George L.||For Affiliation|
|Butler, Melvin H.||For Affiliation|
|Clay, Milo S.||For Affiliation|
|Latimer, Dodd R.||For Affiliation|
|McEnany, F.R.||For Affiliation|
|Miller, Vernon||For Affiliation|
|Seften, Bert||For Affiliation|
|Tietjen, Edward R.||For Affiliation|
|West, Stanton L.||For Affiliation|
By contrast, the growth of previous years were very slow:
This being Memorial Night for Dunedin Lodge No. 192 F.& A.M., it was fitting the memorial prayer for the old temple was delivered in a wonderful manner by Past Master J.R. Williams.
NOTE: On December 27, 1962, a beautiful picture of the Dunedin Lodge No. 192 appeared in the Dunedin Times newspaper. It read: SOON TO BE JUST A SENTIMENTAL MEMORY is the Dunedin Masonic Lodge No. 192 F.& A.M. Temple at the corner of Park Street and Milwaukee Avenue which has been a familiar landmark in Dunedin since it was built in 1927. There is quite a history connected with this building. It has been used by Dunedin Lodge and Dunedin Chapter #132 Order of Eastern Star for the past 35 years and in more recent years by several other appendant orders.
The Temple and grounds were sold last week to two dentists and will soon be torn down and a professional building erected on the site. The Lodge will soon begin construction of its new Temple on the 2 ¼ acre tract purchased from Lee Nigels on Michigan Boulevard three blocks east of Pinehurst Road. It is hoped the new building will be ready for use by late Spring of 1963. The various groups are meeting in temporary quarters in Dunedin and Palm Harbor.
The year 1963 was started, not by a Stated Communication with new officers,
but by a series of meetings of the Temple Plans Committee all the subordinate
committees. It appeared as if every able bodied Master Mason in Dunedin
Lodge had been summoned to participate in the erection of this great
edifice. Brother Charles Rongey was very emphatic when he made a sweeping
gesture towards the Heavens and stated, "All I want out of this is to be
able to say, BEHOLD, THE TEMPLE IS COMPLETED!"
Probably James F. Sullivan said it better. He wrote:
Dear Masonic Brother, In the building of King Solomon's Temple, there were 3 Grand Masters, 3,300 Master Overseers, 80,000 Fellow Craft and 70,000 Entered Apprentices, a far greater host than we will ever muster for the construction of a new Masonic Temple for Dunedin; however, we do know we have 300 of the best Master Masons ever gathered together in one Lodge plus many others, who, though visitors, are with us heart and soul in this project. Furthermore, we know these Builders will accomplish their goal and will achieve a new Temple that will rival the greatest if considered on the basis of unity of purpose, pooling of resources and universality of desires. Your Finance Committee feels that every Master Mason wishes to play a part in making this new Temple an accomplished fact, perhaps the only opportunity that most of us will ever have to participate in the construction of a lasting memorial to those whose time, work and money made it a reality instead of a dream. As you know, we received $20,717.40 clear from the sale of the Lodge property. We have accumulated $1,000.00 toward our new Temple. We have $1,544.00 in our reserves, plus $700.00 in time savings. This totals almost $24,000.00 Our Temple will cost between $45,000.00 - $50,000.00 and every contribution by a brother means that much more less we will have to borrow and pay interest on. Springtime Commandry #40 Knights Templar has voted to share with us the building costs to the extent of $5,000.00 as an outright gift. That leaves $25,000.00 that must be raised. (This prorates out to $100.00/member.) JOIN THE TEMPLE BUILDERS NOW Sincerely and fraternally, Your Finance Committee Allen L. Lentz . . . . . . Master Romeo B. Scerbo . . . . . . Chairman James F. Sullivan . . . . . Past Master J. Randall Williams . . . . Past Master W.V. Register . . . . . . . Committeeman L.C. Hackle . . . . . . . . Past Master Francis W. Paynter . . . . Past Master William S. McIntosh . . . . Past Master George E. Seaman . . . . . Committeeman
The leadership in this Masonic undertaking carried such names as Allen Lentz, Bill Garrison, James F. Sullivan, George Seaman, Vernon Miller, E.E. French, Orville Cassaday, Bill McIntosh, Myron Moore, Arthur B. Castle, Chuck Bell, A.A. (Heinie) Schultz, and D.D.G.M. Polhill.
Their decisions ranged from such things as size, beautification and depth of lake, meeting City of Dunedin zoning laws, drainage, plans (submitted by E.E. French), lodge room size (McIntosh suggested 48' x 60' outside dimensions; this was modified to a building 124' long, 60' wide at the south end where the recreation room would be located and 48' wide at the north end where the lodge room would lie) to landscaping the grounds. (Brothers Arnold B. Carlton and son Tom Carlton, volunteered to donate plants and to landscape grounds. This they completed on November 20, 1963.)
At the Stated Communication of January 8th, 1963, several ways to raise monies were discussed. One method was put in the form of a resolution, to raise the fees for the degrees and to set a flat fee for reinstatement at $25.00.
At the Stated meeting of January 13, 1963, on motion by W.S. McIntosh, a resolution acknowledging the contributions for the purpose of building a new temple be made part of the bylaws. The list of names of contributors were to be acknowledged on a permanent plaque within the lodge building as a permanent memorial to the contributors. Motion seconded by Brother George Seaman. Motion was adopted with second reading to be on February 11th.
A Stated Communication of Dunedin Lodge No. 192 was held on 22nd day of Jul, 1962, at the First Presbyterian Church of Dunedin, Florida at 7:30 p.m.
Worshipful Master Allen L. Lentz announced this Stated Communications had been called for the purpose of receiving the report of the Finance Committee as to the feasibility of erecting a new temple building and taking such action as is required by Florida Masonic Law to authorize the execution of a mortgage against the Lodge Property.
W.M. Lentz advised the members that the Finance Committee of this lodge had made arrangements to secure a first mortgage loan from the First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Dunedin in the amount of $40,000.00 at 5.75%, repayable in monthly installments of $280.00 per month, including interest, with prepayments privileges without penalty. W.M. Lentz also advised the members Perry Marsh, Past Grand Master, Chairman of the Properties Committee, at the direction of the then Grand Master William S. Christian, had examined and approved the building plans for a new temple building.
Brother George Seaman then presented the following motion: that Dunedin Lodge No. 192 F.& A.M. be authorized to obtain a loan in the amount of $40,000.00 from the First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Dunedin, and Allen L. Lentz, WM; Romeo B. Scerbo, SW; Frank W. Meyers, JW; and James F. Sullivan, Secretary, be authorized to execute a note and mortgage for such purpose in the name of this lodge. The mortgage indebtness should be for a period of twenty years, payable at $280.00 per month including interest, with the privilege of prepayment without penalty, and the mortgage securing such indebtness should encumber the following lodge property:
Begin at the northwest corner of the southeast corner (SE ¼) of the northeast quarter (NE ¼) of section 23, Township 28 South, range 15 E.; run thence south 0 degrees 17; 32" E, six hundred feet (660 ft.) along the 40 acre line; thence S 89 degrees 27' 00" E., one hundred fifty feet (150 ft.); thence N 0 degrees 17' 32" W, six hundred sixty feet (660 ft.); thence N 89 degrees 27' 00" W, one hundred fifty feet (150 ft.) to the point of beginning.
NOTE: This historian included the above legal description for the temple property into this historical text so should the occasion arise whereby future generations need the information, it will be available.
The motion was duly seconded by Brother Charles Rongey and unanimously carried.
On April 25, 1963, the following article appeared in the Dunedin Times newspaper:
At Monday's meeting Allen Lentz, Worshipful Master, announced to members that our temple plans had received the unqualified approval of the Properties Committee of Grand Lodge, meeting in Jacksonville, and our lodge had been complemented on presenting the finest set of plans ever submitted to the present chairman of that committee. Grand Masters' approval is expected to follow shortly and ground breaking could follow a short time later.
These plans have received the unstinting efforts a great many people including representatives of the local chapter of Eastern Star and Springtime Commander #40, Knights Templar. The new temple should be a wonderful place for future meetings of Masonic bodies in Dunedin. Members and visitors who have examined the plan are sure the building will adequately represent Masonry and be an addition all Dunedin can enjoy.
It should be recorded here that the bid of $65,000.00 by George Hunt, Inc. to build the temple was accepted. In actuality, the cost of construction exceeded this amount and Brother Hunt and several other "friends of the lodge" absorbed the deficit out of pocket. Also, let it be recorded another "friend of the lodge" was the president of the First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Dunedin. He, T. Scanlan, granted the lodge a 20 year, $40,000.00 loan @ 5 ¼% and waived all closing costs. Other banks required a 10 year, $40,000.00 loan @ 6% plus costs.
July 22, 1963. At a meeting between the Building Committee, the contractor and architects, Wakeling, Levison, and Williams, it was the general consensus that ground breaking could be held in the very near future and construction begun immediately. Completion date was set at 120 calendar days after start.
On Thursday, at 10 am, July 11, 1963, ground breaking for the new Masonic temple took place. Besides members and guests present for the ceremonies, there was a select number of Grand Lodge officers and city officials present. Participating in the ground breaking ceremony were Dave Wilkerson, D.D.G.M. of the 19th Masonic district, Jim Skee, Junior Deputy, and Dunedin Mayor Edward H. Eckert.
Dunedin Lodge No. 192 F.& A.M. met at the NEW TEMPLE at 1297 Michigan Boulevard, Dunedin, Florida on October 28, 1963, with the following officers:
|Allen L. Lentz||Worshipful Master|
|Romeo B. Scerbo||Senior Warden|
|Frank W. Myers||Junior Warden|
|James F. Sullivan||Secretary|
Before opening the lodge for labor, Charles Rongey positioned himself in front of the south chair and exclaimed, "Behold, the Temple is complete!"
Lodge opened in the Master Mason Degree with 115 members, officers and guests present. It had been 10 months and 18 days since the last meeting at their own lodge at Milwaukee Avenue and Park Street. Business was conducted in the usual manner, with many rising to state how good it was to be able to hold meetings again in their own lodge building. It was announced that the cornerstone would be laid on November 25, 1963.
Lodge closed in form. Refreshments served in recreation room.
The year had ended with elections and installation of the new officers and appointees. Romeo Scerbo was duly elected Worshipful Master.
In past years, starting with Brother Reginald C. Grant in 1951, it was the custom for the Worshipful Master to wear a black top hat while at labor. Usually, the outgoing master would pass his hat on down the line to his successor. However, a slight problem arose when Past Master Lentz passed the hat on to Master Scerbo. They had failed to check hat sizes. Those present could not contain their chuckles when Brother Lentz placed his size 7 ½ hat upon the head of Brother Scerbo's size 6 ¾ head. Needless to say, it really does draw a humorous picture to describe it. To get ahead of this story, on May 26th, 1994, this writer looked upon the gallery of past master's pictures that adorn the wall of the recreation room and was astonished to see Brother Scerbo had removed the picture of 1964 and replaced it with a 1994 picture, minus the hat.
On February 10, 1964 Dunedin Lodge opened in the Master Mason Degree, but not until Secretary James F. Sullivan had requested a moment before the lodge officially opened to make a presentation. Requesting the aid of Senior Deacon Louis Cabot and Junior Deacon Thomas Martin, the three retired to the anteroom. They returned shortly with a mysterious object resting on a shrouded salver. After some appropriate words about "bringing the Master to light," the sable mask was removed and the master presented with a new top hat of a size that no longer obscured his eyes or crushed his ears. The gift, Secretary Sullivan explained, was from Mrs. Viola Burnett, his wife's mother. She had requested the secretary make the presentation on her behalf, she not wishing her beloved son-in-law to spend his year in the East partially obscured, or risking constant severance of his auricular appendages. Previously, at the installation of officers, James F. Sullivan, secretary, had presented the master an engraved gavel on behalf of Mrs. Burnett.
Getting back to "Top Hats," this type of hat was worn in Dunedin Lodge No. 192, from 1951 through 1967. Our esteemed Past Master, Romeo Scerbo tolerated his Past Master's picture so adorned for 29 years, but in 1993 replaced it with the unadorned current picture.
The "lost" photo with top hat.
Membership at the first of the year numbered 306, a gain of 22 members from the previous year. The largest burden Brother Scerbo had to face was the $40,000.00 mortgage indebtness and a $280.00 monthly payment. Obviously the easiest solution would have been to assess each member a dollar a month for the next twenty years. This is the last thing the Worshipful Master wanted to do, so he elected to devise another system. This system is best explained by the following letter:
January 20, 1964 J.R. Williams, P.M. } Francis W. Paynter, P.M. } Co-Chairmen Solon E. Ryle Charles B. Rongey Earnest E. French James F. Sullivan Brothers, The Master has set up a new WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE; one he feels will be and must be, one of the most, if not the most, important committee of the lodge. This committee will be expected to be an IDEA committee, meeting frequently for the sole purpose of exchanging suggestions, new ideas and by interchanging comments and thoughts, evolve methods of raising money for the repayment of our mortgage on the Temple. The conclusions of the committee will be submitted to the Master and staff for evaluation. If they find these ideas acceptable, they will be turned over to the necessary members for completion. The Master realizes your burdens are already heavy but he feels this committee could prove such a valuable adjunct to the lodge that you might consent to spend the necessary hour or so per month required. The Master has only one suggestion. Plan an early meeting and arrange to meet at regular intervals. The committee slogan for '64 will be: A non-functioning committee will be quickly replaced. Your Masonic cooperation in this particular matter is most desirable and will be very much appreciated. Sincerely and fraternally, James F. Sullivan
NOTE: Charles Rongey says he always suspected that it was James F. Sullivan
who set up this committee, but never had the nerve to question the Master
of the Lodge.
This historian would like to relate a couple of stories about this
excellent committee, to illustrate just how successful it became.
Brother Earl Ryle was owner-manager of a very successful television sales
and service business. He had taken in a very good TV set as a trade-in on a
sale. He donated the set to the committee, and proceeded to raffle it off at
our Hobo Party. Many tickets were sold and a drawing was held. Brother
Frank Changstrom won the TV set. He immediately donated it back to the
committee. For weeks, every time it was raffled off, it was donated back. Finally,
Brother Ryle asked Brother Rongey what he should do with the set, as he was tired
of this foolishness. Rongey suggested he raffle it off one more time and
when he sold the first ticket, close the sales, tell the person he had won a
set to take home and if he did not, the lodge would charge him five dollars
a month for storage. The set disappeared immediately. Brother Solon Earl Ryle
deposited $225.00 into the Temple Fund.
The second endeavor your historian would like to relate is a Dunedin Pancake
Day that was planned. The plans were the following: the lodge is to immediately
begin preparations to hold a Dunedin Pancake Day on November 14th, or a date set
by the committee after preliminary explorations are made. The entire lodge is
to work to make this Aunt Jemima Pancake Day a monetary success. (Aunt Jemima
Products Co. was contacted and Aunt Jemima herself was invited to cook and
serve that day.) Tickets are to be sold three months in advance. A queen
should be elected, perhaps sponsored by the surrounding lodges, Easter Star
chapters and High Twelves. Winner to be crowned "Queen of the Masons" as the
finale of the day!
On March 15, 1964, James F. Sullivan went before the Dunedin City Commission
to change the name of Michigan Boulevard to Temple Drive. He told the
commission he was only interested in having the name changed and though it in the
best interest of the city to do so. He stated many out-of-town visitors
became confused because there were three streets in the city named Michigan. Because
of the overwhelming opposition to the name change, it remained Michigan
This historian would like to relate a couple of stories about this excellent committee, to illustrate just how successful it became.
Brother Earl Ryle was owner-manager of a very successful television sales and service business. He had taken in a very good TV set as a trade-in on a sale. He donated the set to the committee, and proceeded to raffle it off at our Hobo Party. Many tickets were sold and a drawing was held. Brother Frank Changstrom won the TV set. He immediately donated it back to the committee. For weeks, every time it was raffled off, it was donated back. Finally, Brother Ryle asked Brother Rongey what he should do with the set, as he was tired of this foolishness. Rongey suggested he raffle it off one more time and when he sold the first ticket, close the sales, tell the person he had won a set to take home and if he did not, the lodge would charge him five dollars a month for storage. The set disappeared immediately. Brother Solon Earl Ryle deposited $225.00 into the Temple Fund.
The second endeavor your historian would like to relate is a Dunedin Pancake Day that was planned. The plans were the following: the lodge is to immediately begin preparations to hold a Dunedin Pancake Day on November 14th, or a date set by the committee after preliminary explorations are made. The entire lodge is to work to make this Aunt Jemima Pancake Day a monetary success. (Aunt Jemima Products Co. was contacted and Aunt Jemima herself was invited to cook and serve that day.) Tickets are to be sold three months in advance. A queen should be elected, perhaps sponsored by the surrounding lodges, Easter Star chapters and High Twelves. Winner to be crowned "Queen of the Masons" as the finale of the day!
On March 15, 1964, James F. Sullivan went before the Dunedin City Commission to change the name of Michigan Boulevard to Temple Drive. He told the commission he was only interested in having the name changed and though it in the best interest of the city to do so. He stated many out-of-town visitors became confused because there were three streets in the city named Michigan. Because of the overwhelming opposition to the name change, it remained Michigan Boulevard.
In just ten months and seven days after our first Master Mason's meeting in our new lodge building, disaster struck and the temple was destroyed. On Friday, September 4, 1964 this catastrophe struck our new temple in the form of an explosion. The account of this untimely destruction is best expressed in press reports of two local newspapers, the Clearwater Sun and the Dunedin Times together with pictures of same.
DUNEDIN - The $65,000.00 Dunedin Masonic Temple on Michigan Boulevard just west of Country Road 1, was wrecked by an explosion of undetermined origin early this morning.
James F. Sullivan, secretary, estimated the damage tentatively as almost total, with the exception of the outside walls and part of the kitchen area.
The time of the explosion was set at 1:49 a.m. by Dunedin Patrolman Wayne Wells.
Two Explosions Heard
"I was in my cruiser across from police station on Main Street when I heard two explosions. There was a one-second pause between the two explosions," Wells stated. "It sounded as if it was in the uptown area, but it was muffled. At night it is difficult to tell where the sound comes from."
It was Bernard Scerbo, son of Masonic Master Romeo Scerbo who first found the wreckage.
"Bernard was on his way to work at 7:30 this morning when he noticed the debris," Scerbo said. "He rushed home and told me about it."
According to Sullivan, nearby neighbors heard the explosion but did not investigate the source.
"I'm just thankful it happened in the morning instead of last night when the building was occupied," Sullivan said.
Until 10:00 p.m. the building was used by approximately 65 church women at a social function in honor of the recent marriage of Mr. and Mrs. James Moore, Jr. The bride is the daughter of Alan Hunter of Dunedin.
The 60 x 125 ft. building was completed and occupied by the Dunedin Masonic Lodge No. 192 F&AM a year ago this month. Officials on the scene had not completed investigation this morning but general consensus was that the electric water heater was the cause of the problem.
Scerbo said that when he arrived on the scene he found water jetting from broken pipes.
"I cut off the water and the electric power immediately," he said.
The center of the blast apparently originated in the area of the rest rooms adjacent to the recreation and kitchen area. A hole approximately four feet in diameter was blown through the roof and debris was scattered 120 feet to the west side of the building. Windows and doors on the east, south and west side were blown out and shattered. The roof of the building was severely damaged, being buckled in numerous places. The interior ceiling was almost completely destroyed.
Explosives Ruled Out
Early speculation as to the cause of the blast was that it might have been caused by dynamite or explosive fumes. These possibilities, however, were ruled out when investigating officials failed to find any trace of smoke or fire damage, such as would accompany an explosion of that type.
Preliminary investigation has proven with almost certainty that the water heater was the cause of the blast. The tank, which measured 30 inches in diameter, was ruptured and the two halves thrown apart.
The normally convex bottom was flattened against the floor. The impact was so severe that it hurled potted plants and concrete partitions against the wall with such force that it knocked holes in the south side of the building.
Dunedin Police and Fire Department and Pinellas County Sheriff's Department are continuing the investigation.
According to Sullivan, the building was covered by insurance.
Members of this lodge, concerned citizens of the Tampa Bay area, organizations, including veteran groups and churches together with construction companies hastened to the relief of the lodge's plight. The much appreciated outpouring of compassion is well exemplified by the following letter. Just minutes after the disaster, James F. Sullivan received a telephone call from the Knights of Columbus offering their facilities for our own use until we could rebuild our own lodge. Their offer was followed up by the following letter:
September 9, 1964 Romeo Scerbo 2053 Heidleberg Street Dunedin, Florida Dear Mr. Scerbo, It is my understanding, through personal friend of mine who are members of the Masonic Order, you are the present Worshipful Master of the Dunedin Masons. As a result of this information, I am sending this letter to you. We at the Knights of Columbus have become aware of your recent damage to the Masonic Temple in Dunedin through the articles in the local newspapers. The last article we read said you were attempting to make arrangements for your meeting else where until the damage to your building can be repaired. Therefore, we would like to offer the use of our hall in Clearwater to you, at no cost, for your regularly scheduled meetings within the framework of our existing commitments until you can again have the use of your own facilities. Should you like to consider this offer, I would be happy to meet with you, show you the hall, and go into any further details in the matter. Sincerely yours, E.J. Markham Grand Knight
E.J. Markham, Grand Knight Clearwater Council #3580 Knights of Columbus Clearwater, Florida Dear Mr. Markham, Your letter was read at our Stated Communication of September 14, 1964; a most enjoyable letter that showed how flimsy the wall or prejudice really is when men of good will get together. It is too bad this spirit cannot become more prevalent throughout the nations of the world that we might live in peace, in brotherly understanding and in sympathetic understanding of each other's viewpoint. Wars would be as extinct as the Dodo bird could this come to pass. What a wonderful world would remain; truly a world envisioned in the teachings of Jesus Christ. We have been offered and are using the V.F.W. Post Hall in Dunedin until such time as our building is ready for use. However, your generous offer will always remain one of the bright spots of what otherwise has been a rather gloomy picture. Please express the sincere thanks and true appreciation of our officers and members to your fine citizens for their kindly, thoughtful and generous offer. Very sincerely and fraternally, James F. Sullivan, Secretary
As alluded to above, the lodge had once again moved to a new location. James F. Sullivan was Commander of the V.F.W. Post 1225, located on the southwest corner of Beltress and Douglas Avenue, Dunedin. A high percentage of their members were Masons and were quite willing to share their facilities and convenience us greatly by staying inside the city limits.
Rebuilding the lodge was relatively easy. The construction men were for the most part Master Masons. A majority of the owners of the companies working on the construction were members of Dunedin Lodge. They knew that time was of the essence, and proved it by scheduling the work like the professionals they were. Immediately following inspection of the temple by the authorities and the insurance company, the clean-up crews were working. Within one hour after they had cleaned up the debris, the next appropriate crew moved in. Actual reconstruction began on September 7th. The brick Masons, electricians, plumbers, the tile men, the carpenters, roofers, drop ceiling installation, painters and others were scheduled so as not to interfere with one another. Within one hour after one truck moved out with their equipment, the next truck could be seen moving in.
On October 12, 1964, 7:30 p.m., lodge was opened in the Master Mason Degree in the reconstructed lodge, just 35 days after the explosion. The master, Romeo Scerbo, reminisced about tears he had shed and the feeling of depression he had felt on the day of disaster, and how happy he was to be back in the new temple. He commented that it seemed much more beautiful to him now than before.
Mast Scerbo introduced Brother Jim Isner who had been the liaison between the lodge and the contractor, George Hunt. He told how much time Brother Isner had donated on behalf of the lodge. Brother Scerbo introduced Brother George Hunt, our contractor, and thanked him profusely on behalf of the officers and the craft for accomplishing so much in so short a time.
A resolution passed and adopted on the 22nd of February, 1965, stated that the membership of this lodge by this resolution in addition to previous acts, does ratify, direct, authorize and to enter into such acts as necessary for the purpose of receiving all interest, right and title to such real property, easements and matter of like nature that shall be required in the matter of acquiring the aforesaid property, said property being described as:
South half (S½) of Lot 21, of NE¼ of section 23, Township 28 South, Range 15 East, Plat of Pinellas Groves according to map or Plat thereof recorded in Plat Book 3 page 15, public records of Pinellas County, Florida.
That the authority of the Worshipful Master, Secretary, Senior and Junior Wardens, shall in addition, extend to any and all matters concerning the release and conveyance of any interest, right and title in and to the real property of Dr. and Mrs. Malcolm McKenzie lying immediately adjacent to this property of this Lodge ad more specifically the westerly 10 feet of the North half (N½) of lot 21 of NE¼ of section 23, Township 28 South, Range 15 East, plat of Pinellas groves according to map or Plat thereof recorded in Plat Book 3, page 15, public records of Pinellas County, Florida. Signed Franklin W. Myers, Worshipful Master.
Dunedin Lodge No. 192 F.& A.M. met in Stated Communication in the Dunedin Masonic Temple May 23, 1966; Cecil Englebert, W.M.
Brother Lee Saunderson reported the Ways and Means Committee had met twice and had the following recommendations. The Lodge request a Club or Corporation be set up in compliance with Grand Lodge requirements to handle any fund raising activity looking to the reduction of the temple mortgage, securing any legal assistance as may be needed in this matter. Said club of necessity being of such nature as will not conflict with the Grand Lodge regulations. (MOTION by Brother Lentz, seconded by Brother Thomas Martin this recommendation be accepted. Motion carried.)
Brother Saunderson, by action of the committee, announced that the Square and Compass Bowling League will hold a Hole in One Tournament at Brother Ed Silvernell's Grand Bay Golf Range, he donating all equipment - an that all funds raised would be, and was, donated to the Temple Fund.
Worshipful Master Englebert emphasized that we must raise funds to keep up our mortgage payments. The Lodge Treasurer, Brother Charles Rongey, pointed out there was a method, though decidedly unfavorable, that could be used to raise the dues. This suggestion was immediately struck down.
Other fund raising ideas that were used that year were dinners, fish fry, Hobo Party, turkey shoots, and raffles.
On June 26, 1966, a resolution to the effect that honorary membership be granted to William A. Dicus and to David Woodruff was presented to the Lodge.
NOW LET IT BE RESOLVED that honorary membership in this lodge be granted William A. Dicus as a small gesture towards expressing our heartfelt gratitude toward him for his kindly and sincere helpfulness of inestimable value for his legal services rendered.
Whereas Florida jurisdiction does not permit dual membership within the state, Dave Woodruff as elected to help Dunedin Lodge with contributions to our Temple Fund and 14 years of work in our behalf.
NOW LET IT BE RESOLVED that Dave Woodruff shall be added to our honorary membership rolls as a slight expression of thanks for his most generous contributions and for many other acts that have contributed to the progress of this lodge.
Cecil P. Englebert, Worshipful Master
James F. Sullivan, Secretary
This honor has been used sparingly over the years and awarded to Masons who assisted Dunedin Lodge in a variety of capacities, and who were considered regular members of the Lodge. Honorary members include:
Douglas Allen Bishop - NY - 2009
Richard Brooks, PM, PDDGM - Sutherland Lodge No. 174 F.& A.M. - 2011
William A. Dicus - 1966
Joseph Gondos, PM - Clearwater Lodge No. 127 F.& A.M. - 2013
Sam Lampson, PM, PDI, PDDGM - Clearwater Lodge No. 127 F.& A.M. - 2013
Mark LeMacher, PM - Clearwater Lodge No. 127 F.& A.M. - 2013
Ross Lindsay, PM - Buchanon Lodge No. 550 A.F.& A.M., Hamilton, Ontario, Canada - 2009
Derryl O'Neal, PM - Gulf Beach Lodge No. 291 F.& A.M. - 2009
Bill Petrey, PM, PDI, PDDGM - Pearl of the West Lodge No. 146 F.& A.M. - 2006
Ed Phero, PM, PDI, PDDGM - Clearwater Lodge No. 127 F.& A.M. - 2008
James Rocha, PM, PDI, PDDGM - Tampa Bay Lodge No. 252 F.& A.M. - 2013
Jim Smith, PM - Buchanon Lodge No. 550 A.F.& A.M., Hamilton, Ontario, Canada - 2009
Ed Street, PM, PDI, PDDGM - Pinellas Daylight Lodge No. 385 F.& A.M. - 2007
Jarvis Wood, PM - Sutherland Lodge No. 174 F.& A.M. - 2012
David Woodruff - 1966
Past Masters Day was observed by Dunedin Lodge No. 192 F.& A.M. on December 5, 1966, starting at 4:00 p.m.
It being the 50 year reunion of the lodge, Worshipful Master Cecil P. Englebert had conceived a unique method of honoring all past masters of the lodge. He had each of the living Past Masters plant a tree in the picnic area directly to the south of the temple. For those that were not present or were deceased, a tree was planted and labeled for them. This project was under the able direction of Past Master R.B. McMaster. Brother McMaster invested a great amount of time and energy contacting the past masters, arranging the collection of trees, their planting and other details necessary in the securing and planting of fifty trees, mostly oaks and maples.
At 5 p.m., dinner was served for the past masters, their wives and widows, nearly eighty people were served. Everyone present obviously enjoyed the afternoon festivities. The members of the lodge were the hosts and served the past masters and guests the meal. All past masters and the widows were introduced and acknowledged.
A concrete plaque was placed in the grove to express the thought of the event. It reads:
"He who plants a tree is a servant of God. He provides a kindness for many generations and faces that he has not seen will Bless him."
(NOTE: Plaque was accidentally broken and subsequently removed in 1997.)
Lodge opened at 7:30 p.m., the usual hour, with the regular officers presiding during the opening. Following the opening, the following past masters took the various stations:
|Worshipful Master||F. Paynter & W.S. McIntosh|
|Senior Warden||J.R. Williams & Romeo B. Scerbo|
|Junior Warden||Ross Haynes|
|Senior Deacon||Henry Houghton|
|Junior Deacon||James Houghton|
|Senior Steward||Frank Myers|
|Junior Steward||R.B. McMaster|
John Gary Tooke was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason with his father, O.J. Tooke, taking part in that portion of the degree. Past Masters Frank Myers, Bob Paynter and Allen Lutz took prominent parts in the second section.
At the conclusion of the degree, a very impressed visitor rose to his feet and asked the Worshipful Master, Cecil Englebert, what was the secret of such a successful lodge. He pointed out the large turnout, the proficiency, the comradery and friendliness of the craft were the best he had experienced in all his Masonic sojourning.
Brother Englebert explained by saying, "The formula for success in Masonry is very simple. It consists of six items: work, work, work, and practice, practice, practice."
Brother Englebert has served Masonry well for thirty years. Research of the records show that he served as president of the Master and Wardens Association of the 19th Masonic District, 1967. He, together with Brother David Woodruff, instituted the first Fish Fry for the Masonic Home as an annual affair to raise money for the home. In 2002, the fish fry was replaced by the Association's Annual Golf Tournament.
In 1968, Brother Englebert was chosen to be the District Deputy Grand Master of the 19th Masonic District. Almost every year after 1968 he has served on Grand Lodge committees. In 1994 he was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Masonic Home.
He also has performed his civic duties by serving on innumerable city, county and state boards. He was City of Dunedin Commissioner for five terms and Mayor Mayor Commissioner for two terms. He worked in Little League Baseball for 25 years and was instrumental in bringing the Blue Jay Major League Baseball team to Dunedin for their spring training.
Dunedin Lodge No. 192 F.& A.M. met in Stated Communication Monday night, June 28, 1971. Charles A. Gordon, W.M., and M.A. Yeager, Senior Warden.
Past Master Robert S. Grant, Sr., was escorted to the west of the alter where he was presented his 50 year certificate, lapel pin and dues exempt gold card from the Grand Lodge of Florida by Worshipful Past Master and Past District Deputy Grand Master Brother Cecil P. Englebert. Brother Englebert was assisted by Robert S. Grant, Jr. of Lakeland, Florida. Brother Grant, Sr. had raised his son to the sublime degree of Master Mason 15 years earlier. Brother Grant thanked his lodge and expressed his appreciation to Grand Lodge for the awards and honors bestowed him.
In new business, lodge Treasurer Charles Rongey announced to the membership that he would like for them to consider paying off the temple mortgage. He reported that Eastern Star members had held a rummage sale and applied another $500.00 to the fund. This had raised the total amount in the Temple Fund to $200.00 more than the mortgage balance. He also suggested they think about this proposal until the next stated meeting when all could meet and consult again.
The next Stated Meeting was held on October 11, 1971. It was a meeting of two opposing philosophies with each side expressing their individual views and leaving the results to be determined by a majority vote.
Worshipful Master Charles A. Gordon announced the matter of paying off the mortgage on the temple would be brought on the floor for discussion as had been previously publicized. He stated the lodge now had sufficient funds set aside to retire the mortgage. A motion was made by Senior Warden Dennis Donegan and seconded by Secretary Elbert Waterson that the mortgage be paid off in November. The closing would be left to the president of the bank and the Worshipful Master.
Worshipful Master "Chuck" Gordon stated he was going to call upon each of the past masters present to express his personal opinion on the motion before a general open discussion of the issue on the floor. Past Masters Bernard W. Grant, Francis Paynter, Elbert Waterson, Romeo B. Scerbo, and Thomas E. Martin all spoke in favor of clearing off the mortgage and assured the officers and members present if a financial crisis arose that required their expertise and labor to help solve the problems, they would answer the call.
Past Master Walter Newcomb, admitting he was no financial genius, was undecided which way to throw his support. He admitted he thought if he paid off the mortgage, he had fears the Lodge would be left with no adequate buffer fund in case of emergency.
Past Master Sullivan said we were paying interest on $40,000.00 and that amounted to $750.00 per year. He pointed out the treasurer had some of the Temple Fund invested at 5% and some certificate of deposits at even higher rates. He further cautioned, if we borrow money, we will likely have to pay 8% interest or more. Brother Sullivan also spoke out strongly and at length against the use of funds to pay off the mortgage, advising that the funds be held for other items. He proceeded to list items that should be taken care of in the near future as: the need to pave the present parking lot; pave additional parking areas; pave an exit street to Michigan Boulevard along the west side of the building; replace the air conditioning system; panel the recreation room; paint the Temple on the outside; modernize the public address system; he repeated our buffer funds were drawing more interest than the lodge was paying to the bank. He expressed the fear if the mortgage was paid off, all fund raising activities would dry up.
Brother Harold Korb, executive Vice President and loan officer of Caladesia Bank, said he had found dealing with organizations, an obligated group is a better working group. He advised the lodge to keep the mortgage and pay it out monthly.
Senior Warden Dennis G. Donegan said he could agree with either side of the issue but it was his belief most members would be more motivated to work if we continued on our present course and banked our surplus funds. However, he admitted, he personally preferred to lose his motivation now than down the road of time.
Junior Warden Marion S. Yeager expressed his feelings by saying he had a mortgage on his home but if he had the money in the bank to pay it off, he certainly would. Charles Rongey spoke at great lengths about the integrity of paying off the mortgage before year's end. He contended that some of the membership had lost sight of the real intent in paying off the mortgage. He reminded everyone that the Temple Fund had originally been set up to warehouse the surplus monies accumulated in excess of the monthly mortgage payment. The monies in the Temple Fund, he explained, now exceeds the mortgage balance. A Grand Lodge fund had been set up to warehouse our yearly payment to Grand Lodge. This fund, as of now, has monies in excess of the amount due Grand Lodge this year. Another fund, labeled "Lodge Fund" has been set up to take care of the monthly bills incurred by the normal costs of doing business. It is also the fund that takes care of the parking lots and streets; the painting costs; the public address system, etc. This account also has a surplus of monies for its immediate needs. In no foreseeable way can there be a lack of buffer funds.
Brother Rongey praised Brother Sullivan, stating (according to the minutes) that he, James F. Sullivan, had worked harder and was responsible for more monies raised than any other member. "I am sure that history will record this as true, and history will laud, praise and compliment you for the good you have done," he added.
Worshipful Master "Chuck" Gordon called for a ballot by show of hands of all members present. Motion carried, twenty for and four against payment of the mortgage balance.
On November 15, 1971, Brothers Charles B. Rongey, Treasurer; Charles A. Gordon, Worshipful Master, and; Elbert Waterson, Secretary, met with First Federal Savings and Loan Association President Townsend Scanlan and Brother Rongey wrote the check to pay the balance of the $40,000.00 mortgage held against Dunedin Lodge No. 192 F.& A.M. This occurred eleven years and four months after securing the mortgage. The original loan amortization payment was to be paid out in August, 1980, but Dunedin Lodge was able to do it on November 15, 1971.
A Special Communication held on November 15, 1971 reads: Dunedin Lodge No. 192 F.& A.M. annual Past Master's Night was observed on Monday, November 15, 1971. Worshipful Master Charles A. Gordon and his staff of assistants honored Past Masters Louis Hackel, Walter H. Winchester, Robert B. McMasters, James Houghton, Allen Lentz, Bernard Grant, Cecil Englebert, Earl Ryle, Walter Newcomb and Elbert Waterson with praise, congratulations and acclaim at a special banquet. Following the dinner, a special mortgage-burning ceremony was held in the lodge room. A copy of the mortgage of the temple was placed in a silver bowl and burned. The mortgage had been paid off earlier that day.
At this time it becomes necessary to expound on the work the Order of Eastern Star did and are doing for the good of Masonry in Dunedin Lodge No. 192. As alluded to earlier, the Eastern Star had held a rummage sale for the benefit of the Temple Fund and had realized a profit of $500.00 which was turned over to the fund by Past Matron Helen Woodruff. A big deal? Possibly not. What is a big deal is this fact: since the Order was instituted in Dunedin on August 4, 1922 and chartered on April 5, 1923, the organization has been the first to answer any call to help solve Dunedin Lodge No. 192's problems. More especially they have been extremely adept at helping the lodge solve its financial problems. In the last 70 years, the Chapter No. 132 has raised and donated thousands and thousands of dollars. They have sewed, cooked and served meals. They have hosted dozens of Grand Lodge visitations. All this and never a complaint.
They purchased and donated musical organs, carpeting, paraphernalia, and lodge furniture. Past Matron Peg Gordon took on the project of blacktopping the outlet on the west side of the lodge building to better facilitate egress from the lodge parking lot. These things plus hundreds of others, they did. Without question, they were the prime movers in the building of the library annex.
Knowing the Order of the Eastern Star has worked hand-in-glove with Dunedin Lodge, it is common courtesy to include a short history of the organization. Without their help, the Dunedin Masonic Lodge probably would not have survived. Dunedin Chapter No. 132, Order of the Eastern Star was instituted August 4, 1922. The chapter was constituted and received its charter on April 5, 1923. The first meetings were held in the upstairs of the Library Hall located in what today is known as Edgewater Park. Miss Ruth Barnum was installed the first Worthy Matron and the first Worthy Patron was Ralph Blatchley.
Dunedin Chapter No. 132 followed Dunedin Lodge when they moved to 329 Main Street. They moved into the new lodge building on Milwaukee Avenue and Park Street in 1927. In 1962 when the Masonic temple was sold and a new one built on Michigan Boulevard, meetings were held in Sutherland Lodge located in Palm Harbor. Installation of the 1963 officers was held there. Beatrice Burton was installed as Worthy Matron and Earnest E. French was installed as Worthy Patron.
On November 5, 1963, the Eastern Star held their first meeting at the new temple on Michigan Boulevard. The Worshipful Master, Allen Lentz, was present and officially welcomed them back to the Dunedin Temple.
In 1964, the first installation of officers was held in the new temple. Marjorie Lentz was installed as Worthy Matron and Russell Barr was installed as Worthy Patron.
When an explosion caused great damage to the temple, Chapter No. 132 met in the Palms Theatre in Dunedin until the building was repaired.
Your historian, not being a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, is at a great disadvantage trying to incorporate the history of Chapter No. 132 into the history of Dunedin Lodge No. 192. He therefore would like the O.E.S. to give great consideration to writing their own 75 history as soon as possible. You will be glad you did.
One of the most daring and almost disastrous undertakings of Dunedin Lodge No. 192 occurred in 1975, Ronnie Tury, Master. Over the years there had been much discussion of building an annex to the lodge for the multipurpose of a library, meeting room, classroom and hopefully an office for the officers. The facilities of the temple were inadequate for the many activities that were ongoing and conflicting.
When Worshipful Master Tury held his first meeting with his committees, he hesitatingly mentioned he would like to build an addition to the temple. This addition, he explained, would be primarily used for a library but could be utilized for many other purposes. It would eliminate the need for Dunedin Lodge using the recreation room for every occasion. He also expressed fear that it would be far too great a financial burden on the lodge and the likelihood of being able to finish such a project were slim.
Brother Rongey stated the concept was a great one, and motioned the Master get a consensus of those present whether an annex would enhance the lodge's capability to function more smoothly. He also remarked that an idea conceived was half accomplished. Brother Marion Yeager seconded the motion. Motion carried.
Worshipful Master Tury presented the concept at the next Stated meeting and the idea of a library annex was met with overwhelming support, so the project was launched.
Brother Tury had blueprints drawn up and printed. He made a projection of the building costs and the cost estimate was $6,000.00. Plans were made to launch an advertising campaign to advise the craft of the plans to build a library annex. It did not take but a short time to find that the vast majority of the membership wanted the library built and a shorter time to find the vast majority of the membership wanted no part in the paying the fair share of the cost.
Having collected $1,000.00 in donations, it was decided that the library construction should begin. "Now is the time and this is the place," declared our fearless leader, Brother Tury. Brother Tury proceeded to inform the press and the membership that the ceremonies were scheduled for Saturday, May 3, 1975.
On Saturday, May 3, 1975, about 20 members of the lodge and Steve Hasel, photographer for the St. Petersburg Time, assembled in the recreation room of Dunedin Lodge No. 192. At 11:00 am, the group convened to the rear of the temple upon the ground soon to be occupied by the library. A few words were said in behalf of the venture and as in all ground-breaking ceremonies, the appropriate gold plated shovels were brought forward and pictures taken.
On Monday, May 5, 1975, in the Pinellas Times section of the St. Petersburg Times newspaper, a picture appeared with the caption:
Dunedin Lodge No. 192 held a ground-breaking ceremony at the Dunedin Masonic Temple on Michigan Boulevard Saturday in its initial step toward building a library addition to the complex. Handling the shovels for the Masons are (left to right) Past Master Mort Yeager, Past Master Cecil P. Englebert, Past Master James F. Sullivan, Ron Tury, present Master of Dunedin Lodge, and Brother Charles Rongey.
With this ceremony, Dunedin Lodge No. 192 was off on another building undertaking; or so the membership hoped. However, no building contractor was obtained; no foundation was dug and poured; no bricks were laid or any other signs of progress. As we read in the Holy Bible, Book of I King, Chapter 6, Verse 7, there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the library. Had Dunedin Lodge contracted to build, there was not enough money in the building fund to pay the contractor for his material and/or labors. Murphy's Law (if anything can go wrong, it will) had taken over.
From May 1975 until January 1976, very little was accomplished. No one stepped forward to furnish the leadership necessary to do the building. The area where the library was to stand had been staked off. Ragweed had sprouted and grown five feet high. The craft was complaining about the looks of the area and how many parking spaces had been lost.
In May 1976, Brother Charles Rongey approached the Master of Dunedin Lodge No. 192, Lynn Reed, and suggested that some way to finance the library must be created. W.M. Reed suggested the lodge keep enough money in the building fund to start and complete construction. He further stipulated that all monies would go into the fund and hopefully enough contributions would be made to make payments as needed.
Construction was begun. Brother Rongey sub-contracted each job out to construction companies that were owned by members of Dunedin Lodge. These brothers not only did good work, true work, square work, but work the lodge was delighted to receive. Another amazing thing happened. The contractors were not insistent about receiving their wages. Most had good credit with their suppliers, so they told the treasurer of the lodge to pay only when they collected ample money in the building fund. Many suppliers made direct contributions of their material. Suffice it to say the library was built without having to borrow any money from the lodge.
Murphy's Law was still in effect. With this law there was good news also. This writer will illustrate what he means by a couple of true stories. One is good news and the other bad news.
One of the great things that was proven in this great building endeavor is one of the basic teachings of Masonry. Before any great undertaking, you should invoke the blessing of God. The second thing a Mason should do in this case is be sure you have the blessing of the Order of the Eastern Star.
When the building was almost complete, Helen Woodruff was one of the best known Eastern Star ladies in the state of Florida. She took it upon herself, not only to make a substantial financial contribution to the cause, but also to furnish the carpeting for the library. She had some Eastern Star friends that owned a carpeting business. She walks in and says with a very authoritative voice, "Sharpen your pencils, I am here to get carpeting for the Dunedin Lodge Library and I am expecting to get a whole lot less than wholesale." She got it and proudly contributed it to the lodge.
On the other side of the coin, Murphy's Law still prevailed. One of the contractors had the bid to install the double steel doors. He completed the framing and was through except picking up the doors and installing them. He reported this to Brother Rongey and asked him to go to Tampa to pick up the doors. He reported that he had previously sent his partner to Tampa to give the door manufacturer the proper dimensions and specifications and had paid the $500.00 costs. When Brother Rongey entered the office and requested the doors, he was asked to wait in the reception room. One hour later the manager returned with the bad news that there was no record of the payment. Brother Rongey had to write a check for the proper amount before delivery would be made. After installation the contractor presented the lodge with an invoice for $500.00. When he was asked for a paid receipt or cancelled check showing he or his partner had indeed paid the manufacturer for the doors and could not produce neither, Brother Charles Rongey politely but emphatically told him to go pound sand.
Contributors, referred to as LIBRARY BUILDERS, were split into three categories. (1) in honor of contributors of $500.00 or more, (2) contributors of $100.00 to $500.00, and (3) contributions of less than $100.00.
The following donors are in the first category ($500.00 or more):
|John W. Irwin||$2,500.00|
|Square and Compass Bowling League||500.00|
|Walter C. Overcash||500.00|
|P.M. Cecil P. Englebert||500.00|
|Charles B. Rongey||500.00|
The following donors are in the second category ($100.00 to $500.00):
|Mrs. Walter S. Hendershott||Helen Woodruff|
|P.M. Walter Winchester||David Woodruff|
|Don Spell||Leon Rutledge|
|Ward Williams||Stuart Waterman|
|James A. Park||Earnie Waters|
|Philip D. Thayer||Walter and Virgil Newcomb|
|Addison W. Seekings||Paul B. Ischam|
|P.M. William S. McIntosh||William "Bill" Brewer|
|Mr. & Mrs. James F. Sullivan||Robert L. Jenks|
|Memory: Connie P. Corzette||Mrs. Marion A. Yeager|
|Leon Rutledge||Memory: Charles Reis|
|Masonic Widows Club ("Ma-Wi's")|
The following donors are in the third category (less than $100.00):
|Brace Black||Memory: Homer Black|
|Loretta A. Clarkson||Ned Mabry|
|Robert Tuller||Charles Laycock|
|Ezra Gowey||Kenneth Atchley|
|Stanley Harris||Clovis W. Smith|
|Roy Carpenter||P.M. Romeo B. Scerbo|
|A.J. Rakey||Fred Adkinson|
|Pearl Buckholtz||Charles Hopwood|
|Marie Wood||William McKew|
|Stanton West||George W. Tallaksen|
|A.J. Rakey||Charles C. Chapman|
|Abe Morelli||Arthur Burgeson|
|Otto Northquist||Elam Greer|
|R.B. McMasters||Vince Barker|
|Richard Olree||Henry Meister|
|Roy Kennedy||Walter Scott|
|S.S. Mueller||Ernest Thompson|
|Roy L. Cromer||Richard & Amanda Gotthardt|
|Leonard Hovde||Michael Long|
|Ione A. Smith||Walter Matthes|
|Russell N. Chappell||R.C. Rilott|
|Heckt||C. Leon Gustin|
|Jack Ford||Lowell E. Dupes|
|Maudie Jasmagy||Euier Askland|
|W. Wallace||Bill Glossner|
|James Haughton||T. Franklin Wallace|
|Ed Belzer||Thurman W. Quinn|
|George Merrill||Carl H. Schou|
|Stephen L. Whitehurst||Frank M. Young|
|Frank Shuler||Arthur Jacobs|
|Lloyd Hagedorn||George Tilley|
For the benefit of members in future years, it must be recorded that special attention was given in the building of the library so if it becomes necessary to expand, the library was built to support another room above it. Extra steel was placed in the foundation and support pillars. Large steel I beams spanned the room. The roof was completely covered with ¼ inch steel plates. Four inches of concrete for a top floor was poured on top of the steel. This was done so there would be no problem supporting a second floor room the same size of the annex. It could be accessed by a steel staircase on the outside of the building.
Inside the library the furnishings were more than adequate. Past Master Englebert had donated a new air conditioner. An anonymous donor presented the room with chairs and sofas. Helen Woodruff, as alluded to earlier, had donated the carpeting. Leon Rutledge had hand-picked as good lumber as was available in the area for shelving and had donated it to the cause. He built the shelving for the books, caulking and staining the boards with meticulous care. Brothers Rutledge and Rongey painted the outside of the library.
On September 18, 1976, the master of the lodge, Lynn Reed, invited the officers of the lodge, the Dunedin Lodge No. 192 membership and visitors to the area together with the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the state of Florida Richard Griffie and his party to a banquet and ribbon cutting. After the banquet, Most Worshipful Griffie cut the ribbon that stretched across the doorway of the library and expressed his pleasure for the opportunity to participate in the occasion with an appropriate speech.
Immediately after the ceremony, Brother William R. McIntosh spoke to Brother
Charles Rongey saying, "Behold, the library has been completed."
Whereupon Brother Rongey retorted, "Let there be light."
Following the ribbon-cutting ceremonies, everyone retired to the lodge room. Past District Deputy Cecil Englebert sat in the east as Master of Ceremonies. Mast of the lodge, Lynn Reed, sat to his left and Grand Master Griffie and his lady sat on his right.
Brother Englebert presented Most Worshipful Richard Griffie with the Scottish Dunedin Clan kilts. He next presented Mrs. Griffie with a Dunedin Clan shawl with the appropriate accessories. He also presented both with keys to the city of Dunedin.
Mast of the lodge Lynn Reed ordered the Marshall to escort Brother Charles Rongey to the east. Brother Englebert after a few words congratulating Brother Rongey on his diligence in seeing the library to completion, requested Grand Master Griffie to make a presentation. Most Worshipful Grand Master Richard Griffie delivered an eloquent speech of appreciation and presented Brother Rongey with a Worshipful Masters Certificate of Appreciation signed by himself.
As predicted, the library has become the most used utility area of the temple. It has been, and will long continue to be for many years in the future, well worth the tremendous effort it took to bring Past Master Tury's dream to fruition.
One of the most versatile and talented past masters that has so far served the causes of Dunedin Lodge No. 192 has to be Brother Peter Keupp. From the first month he affiliated with this lodge he has accommodated everyone in the lodge and performed every task assigned him with integrity, decorum and proper protocol. He has always been reluctant to volunteer for a task but more reluctant to refuse any task assigned him.
On one occasion when the installed secretary of the lodge had to resign because other civic duties prevented him from serving out his year, Brother Pete took on the task. Not only did he perform his assignment with responsibility, he researched the minutes back for five years and brought every item up to date and corrected every oversight he could find.
He became one of our prime fund-raisers. the dinners, pancake feasts and dances he supervised would gross out over $800.00 and net-net out a cool $600.00 to $700.00 profit. He kept immaculate records of these fund-raisers down to the penny, and was not above verbally chastising the membership if they didn't participate as they should thus causing the lodge less income for their fund-raising efforts.
Brother Pete learned the lectures. Not only did he give the lectures for his lodge but also any other lodge that requested his services. He also became proficient in the Funeral Rites.
At a recent celebration of "All Scots Night," Dunedin Lodge No. 192 F.& A.M., Lynn Pierce Blitch, Grand Master of Masons, Florida, was honored.
In keeping with the community Scottish tradition, the Grand Master was piped into the lodge room by Art Trubiano, a piper from "The Highlanders" of the Egypt Shrine Temple. Grand Master Lynn Blitch was presented a kilt and his wife a Scottish shawl by the Master of Dunedin Lodge, Peter Keupp, and made a member of the Dunedin Clan.
Brother Cecil P. Englebert, Mayor of Dunedin, Past Master of Dunedin Lodge and former District Deputy Grand Master of the 19th Masonic District acted as Master of Ceremonies. Mayor Englebert presented Most Worshipful Grand Master Blitch with the keys to the city.
By virtue of a resolution dated June 9, 1980, stated:
WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper that Most Worshipful Lynn P. Blitch, Grand Master of Florida and Right Worshipful Carl E. Gilmore, District Deputy Grand Master of the 19th Masonic District of the State of Florida being both distinguished and revered by the members of Dunedin Lodge.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that honorary membership in Dunedin Lodge No. 192 F.& A.M. be conferred on both Most Worshipful Lynn P. Blitch and Right Worshipful Carl E. Gilmore.
Peter Keupp, Worshipful Master
William Brewer, Secretary
It was the fervent hope of Worshipful Master William Bowman that the cornerstone of Dunedin Lodge No. 192 F.& A.M. be laid during his year as master. His ambition was brought to fruition immediately after being installed as Worshipful Master for the year 1990.
Seventy five years had passed since the first meeting of a few Masons to discuss the possibility of establishing a chartered lodge within the city limits of Dunedin, Florida. It is fitting that the history of Dunedin Lodge be concluded by an emergent communication of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge F.& A.M. of Florida.
An emergent communication of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, F.& A.M. of Florida was opened in ample form by Most Worshipful Samuel M. Lewis, Jr., Grand Master, with prayer by George Schmidt, in the lodge room of Dunedin Lodge No. 192, in Dunedin, Florida at 1:06 p.m. for the purpose of laying a cornerstone.
|Samuel M. Lewis, Jr.||M.W. Grand Master|
|David A. Eschrich||R.W. Deputy Grand Master|
|Charles W. Wagner||as R.W. Senior Grand Warden|
|Charles Melling||as R.W. Junior Grand Warden|
|Romeo Scerbo||as R.W. Grand Secretary|
|Arnold Francisco||as W. Grand Treasurer|
|John W. Davis||as W. Grand Orator|
|Ben F. Davis||as W. Grand Marshall|
|Ronnie Lough||as W. Senior Grand Deacon|
|David Davis||as W. Junior Grand Deacon|
|Carl Strom||as W. Grand Tyler|
|Chuck Haugo||as W. Bearer of Great Lights|
|William S. McIntosh||as W. Senior Grand Stewart|
|Ron Tury||as W. Junior Grand Stewart|
|George Schmidt||as W. Grand Chaplain|
|Robert C. DeLay||as The Principal Architect|
A procession was formed which proceeded to the place the ceremony of laying a cornerstone was conducted by the Grand Master in ancient ceremony and ample form.
The Grand Oration was delivered by John W. Davis.
Appropriate remarks o congratulations and well wishes were delivered.
There being no further business this Emergent Communication was closed in ample form at 1:36 p.m. by Most Worshipful Samuel M. Lewis, Jr., Grand Master.
Respectfully and fraternally,
William G. Wolf
NOTE: This chapter was added in 2009 and covers the period of 1993 - 2009. It was written by W:.Tim Bryce, PM and edited by W:.Rome Scerbo, PM.
What goes up, must come down. Whereas Dunedin Lodge experienced phenomenal growth in the 1960's. The 1990's and beyond represented a deceleration of membership. From the years 1993 to 2009, Lodge membership plummeted from 330 to approximately 200. There were primarily three reasons for this:
First, Lodge membership aged to the point where it began to experience a sharp increase in member deaths (over 180). A certain number of deaths are to be expected, with the assumption that new members will replace them. However, because the members who passed away came in during the boom years of the 1960's, it was impossible to keep pace.
Second, during the 1990's, a general lack of interest emerged in the fraternity by younger men. The problem was threefold in nature: people knew little about the fraternity due to its policy of maintaining a low profile; what information was available tended to be negative as conspiracy theorists painted Freemasonry as an evil empire, and; people felt squeezed for time. The last thing they wanted to do was waste time with an organization perceived as an "old men's club."
Third, the fraternity overall was insensitive to membership trends and tended to ignore the problem. Little, if any, imaginative solutions were offered to address the problem other than the "one day class" (where candidates are given the three degrees of Freemasonry in one day). Although this was tried off and on in Florida, Dunedin Lodge never embraced the concept feeling that it was not a viable solution for producing earnest Masons.
This decline in membership led to a lack of participants willing to become Lodge officers. For the first time, Lodge officer chairs remained empty or other members would fill in as needed. This led to some difficult times in Lodge leadership. For example, four times during this period Past Masters had to be "recycled" back to the East as opposed to new members being elected. Whereas progressing through the officer chairs would normally take as long as seven years, Brothers were fast tracked to the East after only a couple of years in the chairs. Although they may have had the best intentions, they were not properly trained to serve in the East and inevitably stumbled during their year, and the Lodge entered a period of stagnation.
During this period, Dunedin Lodge's long reputation as a model of efficiency in degree work began to tarnish. Officers would either stumble through sections of the degrees or the Lodge would have to call upon the services of Brothers from other Lodges, something considered unimaginable until now.
Other Masonic bodies also began to feel the pinch of declining interest and membership. Dunedin's chapters of DeMolay and Job's Daughters quietly closed their doors during this period. In 2005, the ladies of the Eastern Star at Sutherland Lodge No. 174 in Palm Harbor merged with the Dunedin chapter. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late as the Dunedin Chapter of Eastern Star closed shortly thereafter. Dunedin's last Masonic body to perish was its High Twelve chapter which closed in 2008.
All of this was disconcerting to the Lodge membership, both young and old. The older members would lament about "the good old days" and resist proposed changes. The younger members would be turned off by the refusal to change and started to stay away. Gridlock emerged and the Lodge continued to stagnate.
Fortunately, the logjam was broken in 2005 with the installation of W:.Bob Matheson, PM, as Worshipful Master. Bro. Matheson enjoyed the benefit of being an outsider who affiliated with Dunedin Lodge in 2001 (Bob was raised a Master Mason in a Japanese Lodge in 1993). As such, he was not imbued with local traditions and history. Also, by having an outsider's perspective, it was easier for him to broker new ideas and referee dissenting opinions. He was succeeded by a new corps of Worshipful Masters who got the Lodge back on track in terms of arresting the decline of membership, getting the Lodge's financial affairs in order, upgrading the building, streamlining administration, reintroducing Masonic Education and community projects, and above all else, bringing harmony back to the Lodge.
One of the first problems to address was the Lodge's dwindling financial resources. Several factors contributed to this problem:
As such, it became readily apparent to the Lodge officers that the Lodge could not survive on annual dues alone. Fortunately, financial aid came from the following sources:
First, a generous gift was willed to the Lodge.
Second, the Lodge sold the property immediately surrounding the lake to the south of the Lodge. In addition to gaining capital, it helped to reduce insurance rates.
Third, the Clearwater York Rite bodies took up residence at Dunedin Lodge in 2003 following the sale of their building on Belcher Road.
Fourth, in 2007 Dunedin Lodge entered into an agreement permitting Neighborly Care, a nonprofit organization providing food to the needy, to use the Lodge during the day.
Fifth, Lodge annual dues were increased incrementally to become more realistic with the needs of the Lodge.
In 2005, Dunedin Lodge participated in a joint Feasibility Study with Sutherland Lodge No. 174 (Palm Harbor), Tampa Bay Lodge No. 252 (Safety Harbor), and East Gate Lodge No. 355 (a tenant in Sutherland Lodge). The purpose of the study was to consider alternatives for the Lodges to collectively solve the problems of reductions in membership and rising operating costs. The conclusion by the project committee was that the other lodges should sell their buildings, and move into Dunedin Lodge and share in the operating costs. In other words, create a Masonic Center occupied by several Lodges. This was plainly a proposed consolidation, not a merger. Unfortunately, the other Lodges could not overcome their emotional attachments to their buildings and voted not to accept the recommendations of the project committee.
As Dunedin Lodge become more financially sound, it was able to perform some much needed maintenance to the Lodge building, including a new air conditioning system, both for the Lodge and Rec Hall, new roofs for both the Lodge and Rec Hall, and repair and resurfacing of the driveway and parking lot, as well as many other smaller items. Even after these major expenditures, the Lodge remained financially comfortable and invested its money conservatively under the direction of the Finance Committee. Despite these investments, the Lodge portfolio was taken aback by the economic recession of 2008/2009 (like everyone else).
In the local community, the Lodge once again became more active in various civic projects, including:
In addition to helping the community, all of these programs improved the Lodge's image with the public which helped membership and set the Craft to work with proper instruction for their labors.
Change of Meetings
For many years, Dunedin Lodge held two Stated Communications per month (2nd and 4th Mondays), both beginning at 7:30pm. This came to be viewed as boring and laborious by time conscious Brothers. Consequently, in 2008 the Lodge voted to change it to one Stated Communications per month (3rd Monday), beginning at 7:00pm. This forced Worshipful Masters to become more organized and structured in the use of time. Meetings thereby became more interesting and meaningful, which ultimately improved attendance.
Coat of Arms
Dunedin Lodge's Coat of Arms was originally suggested in 2007 by then Secretary W:.Tim Bryce, PM under W:.Chris Schlenker, PM, Master. Consequently, a motion and committee was formed on February 26, 2007 to study the problem and make a recommendation. The committee consisted of W:.Bryce, W:.BJ Sammon, PM (Senior Warden at the time), and W:.Ken Giesow, PM. As part of its requirements, the committee wanted Masonic symbolism included in the Coat of Arms, along with something from our past. Consideration was given to adding a distinctly "Dunedin" flavor to the Coat of Arms, but this was eventually considered trivial and irrelevant. The expression "For the Good of the Order" came from studying the early minutes of the Lodge, whereby it was frequently stated that this or that was done "For the Good of the Order."
After determining their requirements, the committee contacted W:.Joseph Duhammel, PM of Clearwater Lodge No. 127 who was a well known graphic designer. W:.Joe produced a few designs for the committee to consider; one was selected and fine-tuned until the committee was satisfied. The Coat of Arms was then presented to the Craft in the Stated Communications of September 10, 2007 where it was adopted as the official graphic.
The Coat of Arms was officially framed and presented by W:.Tim Bryce, PM during his year as Worshipful Master in 2009.
Wanting to improve the education and development of new Master Masons, W:.Tim Bryce, PM in 2009 devised a "Dunedin Degree." It was not intended to be a substitute for any regular Masonic lecture, nor was it be delivered on the same night as a Master Mason degree, but shortly thereafter. The degree was intended to provide the new Mason with four things:
The degree was delivered in sections by different members of the Craft, not just one person. Other Lodges expressed an interest in it, and Dunedin made it available so that others may modify it and use it in kind. Nonetheless, the idea originated at Dunedin Lodge.
100 Master Masons Night
Normally at Dunedin Lodge, the second half of the Masonic year was typically slower and attendance was not as robust as the first half. Wanting to stimulate Masonic participation, W:.Tim Bryce, PM, devised a "100 Master Masons" night where he challenged the Craft to come out in force and fill up the sidelines. The idea actually originated from a Lodge in the northern United States.
The meeting, which was held August 17, 2009, resulted in 126 Brothers attending the meeting, not just from Dunedin but Lodges from around Pinellas Country. Prior to this, the Dunedin sidelines had not been filled up by Masons for several years. The meeting was an excellent opportunity to meet and renew relationships with Brothers from both near and far.
As an aside, it was at this meeting that R:.W:.Chris Schlenker, a Past Master of Dunedin Lodge, made his first official visit as District Deputy Grand Master of District 20 (representing northern Pinellas and West Pasco Counties). He was accompanied by R:.W:.Ed Street, the District Deputy Grand Master of District 21 (southern Pinellas County). Interestingly, both were members of Dunedin Lodge; R:.W:.Schlenker who was raised at Dunedin, and R:.W:.Street who was made an honorary member of Dunedin in 2007. Dunedin Lodge, thereby, had the unique distinction of having as its members two active District Deputy Grand Masters.
The renaissance of Dunedin Lodge would not be complete without mentioning three key individuals:
"Happy Trails" - official Lodge song
On January 18, 2010, the Lodge voted to approve a resolution adopting the song "Happy Trails" as the official song of the Lodge. For many years prior to this, W:.Robert Haynes, PM faithfully served Dunedin Lodge as Lodge musician, as well as the Grand Lodge of Florida as Grand Musician in 2003 and 2005. His signature song was "Happy Trails" to close the great lights, a favorite among the Brethren. The song was adopted, in part, to honor W:.Haynes, but it also promotes friendship and Brotherly love (see words below). It was written by Dale Evans and closely associated with Bro. Roy Rogers (a famous Freemason from the entertainment industry):
2010 and Beyond
By the end of the first decade of the 21st century, Dunedin Lodge had picked up momentum and was arguably the preeminent Lodge in District 20; The building was in good shape, the Lodge had money in the bank, member deaths subsided, many new members were coming on board, Masonic Education had vastly improved, but more than anything, Dunedin Lodge had harmony. There was no longer any more bickering between young and old members, but instead, a spirit of cooperation had emerged that re-energized the Lodge.
Interestingly, the new men joining the Lodge had a different attitude about Freemasonry. People were no longer joining to simply belong to a club or to use it as a springboard to join another Masonic body, such as the Shrine. Instead, they were looking for the basic tenets from which the fraternity is based: friendship, morality, and brotherly love. Some of this was spurred on by developments in the entertainment world, namely movies and books, such as "National Treasures," "The Da Vinci Code," and "The Lost Symbol." This aroused a sense of curiosity by men throughout the country to investigate Freemasonry.
Although several Masonic jurisdictions had tried the "one day class," there appeared to be a backlash as people began to spurn the offer to become a Mason in short of time degrees. Instead, "Traditional Observance" (TO) Lodges began to emerge in the United States, first in the West, then in the North, whereby people took a longer time to learn and graduate through the three degrees. Instead of just memorizing degree catechisms, candidates were asked to perform research projects much in the same manner as their European counterparts. In other words, as this decade came to an end, a new age of enlightenment regarding Freemasonry appeared to be in the offing.
Finally, the Lodge is nearing its 100th anniversary which will be observed in 2016. Plans are being prepared accordingly. Hopefully it will be able to sustain the momentum it has made and meet its next century with the same enthusiasm that marked its beginning in 1916.
2013 - First "50/50"
At the Grand Communications held in Orlando on May 26-29, 2013, the Craft voted to allow raffles and other games of chance as a means for fundraising. Such activity had been strictly prohibited prior to this. Enacting this legislation, therefore, was considered a significant shift in Masonic policy. To this end, Dunedin Lodge held its first "50/50" on June 10, 2013 at Dunedin Brewery where we welcomed the incoming DDGM, R:.W:.Glen Bishop. A "50/50" is a raffle where participants buy tickets and the winner splits the pot (with 50% going to charity). In this first one, the money was given to the Lodge's "Bike for Books" program).
George Washington came from old English stock. In 1657, about 350 years ago (during Oliver Cromwell's time), George's great grandfather, John Washington, is known to have been born of royal nobility blood. John Washington emigrated to the Colonies and settled in Virginia.
John Washington was the father of Lawrence Washington, grandfather of Augustine Washington and the great grandfather of George Washington. These four generations cover 143 years of early American history.
When George was eleven years old, his father died. Little is known of his youthful history. It is said, however, by one of his early biographers, that his father instilled into his mind a noble and generous disposition, and taught him to be kind and amiable to his playmates and liberal in sharing with them any presents of fruits and cakes he might receive, telling him at the same time that the great and good God delights above all things to see children love one another. These traits were very prevalent in his Masonic works in later years.
His father's death placed upon his mother the care of the five children in the family. She proved to be capable and managed well their education and the affairs of the Washington estate. Besides the three R's, George was well versed in surveying, geography and history.
The records of Fredericksburg Lodge show that George, at age twenty one, was a candidate for the Entered Apprentice degree on November 4, 1752. The records further reveal, "Received of Mr. George Washington for his entrance, 2 lbs. 3 shillings." "March 3rd, 1753, George Washington passes Fellowship Craft." "August 4th, 1753, George Washington raised Master Mason."
One year later when solicited by the governor of Virginia to visit French military posts, his reply was:
"For my part, I can answer that I have a constitution hardy enough to encounter and undergo the most severe toils and I flatter myself, resolution to face what any man dares." This reflects the Masonic lessons he learned while taking his degrees.
In 1774, Washington, being 42 years of age, a Congress from the different colonies was convened in Philadelphia. Washington was a member from Virginia.
There was convened in that council-chamber, men from New England, from the banks of the Hudson, the Delaware, the Susquehanna and the Potomac and from far down into the sunny south.
Many members of the Mystic Tie were members of this body of congress. Peyton Randolph, the Provincial Grand Master of Virginia, was elected to preside over this august group. Mr. John Adams commented it was a collection of the greatest men on this continent, in point of abilities, virtues and fortunes.
Washington's position in it may be seen from the remark made by the distinguished member, Patrick Henry. When asked whom he considered the greatest man in this assembled body, he replied, "If you speak of eloquence, Mr. Rutledge of South Carolina is by far the greatest orator; if you speak of solid information and sound judgement, Colonel Washington is unquestionably the greatest man on the floor."
During the Revolutionary War, at the age of 43, George Washington was elected Commander-in-Chief of the American Army. This is the rank he held until the end of the war.
The war was very devastating to Masons and Masonry. The first grand offering at the Alter of Liberty came in the death of General Warren at Bunker Hill. General Joseph Warren was at that time Grand Master of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge. The second Grand Master killed at the post of duty was Peyton Randolph the following October.
To keep Masons together during the Revolutionary War, warrants had been granted by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts to the brethren in the army. In their cheerless camps and their marches, the Masonic Lodge room became a bivouac in the tired soldiers life. General George Washington instituted ten of these military lodges.
During the campaign on Hudson Bay while the army was at Newberg, Washington ordered the erection of a building, 40 ft. x 60 ft. oblong square for the use of a military lodge. It was reported Lafayette received his Masonic degrees here, but if this be so, his records were lost.
Throughout his life, George Washington advanced the precepts of Masonry. There were only three active Grand Lodges in existence at that time. They were located in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Many members, because he was considered Head of American Masonry, wanted to make Washington General Grand Master over all the Grand Lodges.
The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, considering this premature and inexpedient, voted the movement down. However, for many years afterward he was referred to as the General Grand Master.
On March 6, 1769, Holland Lodge of New York made him an honorary member of their lodge. In that same year (1789) Brother Washington was elected President of the United States.
George Washington reached New York April 23rd, 1789. The date of April 30th was selected as Inauguration Day. For this august occasion, General Jacob Morton was Marshall of the day. General Morton was the Worshipful Master of St. John's Lodge, the oldest lodge in New York City. At the same time, General Morton was Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of New York.
General Morton brought from his lodge the bible with its crimson cushion velvet and upon that sacred volume Robert B. Livingston, Chancellor of the state of New York and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge, administered to Brother Washington his oath of office as President of the United States. Having taken the oath, Brother Washington reverently bowed and kissed the sacred volume.
A memorial leaf of this sacred book was folded at the exact page Brother Washington had devoutly pressed his lips; the volume was returned to St. John's Lodge and placed again upon its sacred alter.
A few years later it was taken from its resting place and borne in solemn procession by the Masonic brethren of New York City to the memorial funeral of Brother Washington. It is still in possession of St. John's Lodge No. 1.
Brother Washington was inaugurated for his second term on March 4th, 1793. On September 1793 he laid the cornerstone of the Capitol Building in Washington, District of Columbia.
The following account of the ceremonies of that occasion was published in the newspapers of the day:
Georgetown, Virginia, September 21, 1793
On Wednesday one of the grandest Masonic processions ever witnessed took place in the city of Washington. Its purpose was to lay the cornerstone of the Capitol Building of the United States.
At 10:00 o'clock a.m., Lodge No. 9 was visited by that congregation so graceful to the Craft, Lodge no. 22 of Virginia, with all their officers and regalia. Afterwards, there appeared on the south bank of the Potomac River, one of the finest companies of volunteer artillery companies that has lately been seen, parading to receive the President of the United States. The president soon came within sight with his suit. The artillery paid their military honors and His Excellency crossed the Potomac. He was received in Maryland by the Officers and Brett of Lodge No. 22 of Virginia and Lodge No. 9 of Maryland whom the President headed, preceded by a band of music. Bringing up the rear was the Alexandria Volunteer Artillery. With great solemnities of march, this great assemblage proceeded to the president's square in the City of Washington. There they were met and saluted by Lodge No. 15 of the City of Washington. In their elegant badges and clothing, they were headed by Brother Joseph Clarke, Right Worshipful Grand Master Pro Temporary and conducted to a large Lodge prepared for the purpose of their reception.
Shortly thereafter, Grand Marshall Clotworthy Stephenson took charge of a second procession, consisting mostly of the hundreds of men and Masons that had served in the building of the city. The audience that witnessed the ceremony were several hundred Masons and their ladies and families.
The procession marched two abreast from the President's square Capital Building in the City of Washington. The Grand Marshall ordered a halt. Each file in the procession was ordered to incline two steps to the right and one to the left and face each other. This formed an oblong square. The President and his party took their stand to the east of a great stone and all the craft forming a circle westward, stood a short time in perfect order. The artillery discharged a volley.
The Grand Marshall delivered a large silver plate with the following inscription:
This Southeast corner stone of the Capitol of the United States of America in the City of Washington, was laid on the 18th day of September 1793, in the Thirteenth year of American Independence, in the second term of the presidency of George Washington, whose virtues in the civil administration of his country has been conspicuous and beneficial, as his military valor and prudence has been useful in establishing her liberties, and in the year 5793, by the president of the United States, in concert with the Grand Lodge of Maryland, several lodges under its jurisdiction and Lodge No. 22 from Alexandria, Virginia.
David Steuart and Daniel Carroll, Commissioners
Joseph Clarke, R.W.G.M.P.T.
James Hoban and Stephen Hallate, Architects
Collin Williamson, Master Mason.
George Washington died at his home, Mount Vernon, December 14, 1799. The funeral procession and burial ceremonies were arranged by Lodge No. 22. The fraternity and military escort arrived from Alexandria, Virginia. The Masonic Apron and two crossed swords were placed upon the coffin. A few mystic words were spoken and the brothers, one by one, filed past the noble form, majestic even in death.
Down the shaded avenues that lead from the mansion to the Potomac River, was a vessel at anchor, with its white sails furled, awaiting the procession's forming. The cavalry took its position in the van. Next came the infantry and guard, all with arms reversed. Behind them followed a small band with muffled drums; next the Clergy, two and two. These, four in number, viz: Reverend Dr. Muir and the Reverends Davis, Maffit, and Addison. The first three were Masons and members of Lodge 22 of Alexandria, Virginia.
Next followed Washington's war horse led by two grooms dressed in black. It was riderless that day, but carried saddle, holsters and pistols. Next was placed the body on its bier, covered with a dark pall. Six Masonic Brethren attended it as pall-bearers. The pall-bearers were Colonel Gilpin, Colonel Marsteller and Colonel Little on the right. Colonel Sims, Ramsey and Payne were on the left. All were member's of Washington's own lodge. Each of them wore an ample badge of black crepe on his left arm. These badges may still be seen, together with the bier on which the body was borne in the museum in Alexandria.
About three-thirty in the afternoon, the booming cannon from the vessel in the river signaled the procession to move. With slow and measured step they made their way to the family vault near the Potomac River. The military escort halted and formed lines. The body, the clergy, the mourning relatives and the Masonic Brethren passed between them and approached the door of the tomb. Dr. Dick, the Master of Lodge 22, and the Reverend Thomas Davis, Rector of Christ Church, stood at its head, the mourning relatives at its feet, and the Fraternity in a circle around the tomb.
Reverend Davis performed the burial-service of the Episcopal Church, followed by a short address. After a short pause, the master of the lodge performed the Masonic Burial Rites. The apron and swords were removed from the coffin. The cannons on the vessel and on the banks above fired burial salutes and Mount Vernon's tomb was left in possession of its noblest sleeper.
(This is a sketch of the research of Brother J.C. Venning, member of Dunedin Lodge No. 192 on WASHINGTON, AS A MASON. At the Stated Communication of June 14, 1943, Brother Venning read into the minutes a much more detailed and lengthy version of this addendum. The minutes are now located in the Secretary's office of Dunedin Lodge No. 192 F.& A.M.)
|2013||John Wright, Jr.||1966*||Cecil P. Englebert, PDDGM|
|2012||Ken Giesow||1965*||Frank W. Myers|
|2011||Michael Palenik||1964||Romeo B. Scerbo|
|2010||Mike Wilson||1963*||Allen L. Lentz|
|2009||Tim Bryce||1962*||H. Elbert Waterson|
|2008*||BJ Sammon||1961*||Francis W. Paynter|
|2007||Chris Schlenker, PDDGM||1960*||William S. McIntosh|
|2006||Ken Giesow||1959*||John W. Royal|
|2005||Bob Matheson, PDDGM||1958*||Louis C. Hackel|
|2004||Jim Mason, PDDGM||1957*||Walter H. Winchester, PDDGM|
|2003||Dennis Martin||1956*||Henry Weathers|
|2002||Bernie LaFleur||1955*||William J. Carson|
|2001||Shannon McIntosh||1954*||Eugene D. Sheets|
|2000||James Tuller, PDDGM||1953*||Bernard W. Grant|
|1999||Ronnie L. Lough||1952*||Ross J. Haynes|
|1998||Michael McIntosh||1951*||Reginald C. Grant|
|1997*||Ron Tury||1950||Eugene F. Nigels|
|1996||Mike Neumann||1949*||Hyman C. Corey|
|1995||Shannon McIntosh||1948*||Arnold A. Schultz|
|1994||Ronnie L. Lough||1947*||P. Lloyd Wynagarden|
|1993||Philip A. Bonds||1946*||Joseph B. Strawn|
|1992||John W. Davis||1945*||Arthur L. Brice|
|1991||David G. Davis||1944*||Charles O. Bell|
|1990*||William R. Bowman||1943*||Robert B. McMaster|
|1989||Robert C. DeLay||1942*||Herbert E. Lorrillier|
|1988||James Tuller, PDDGM||1941*||Fletcher L. Nigels|
|1987||Ron Walker||1940*||Joel B. McLean|
|1986||John W. Bosley||1939*||Logan D. Davis|
|1985*||Ernest W. Bond||1938*||J. Randall Williams|
|1984*||Billie Christofilis||1937*||Gus A. Davis|
|1983*||Paul Haynes||1936*||Eugene A. Nigels|
|1982||Michael Palenik||1935*||Grant L. Beardsley|
|1981*||Robert Clarkson||1934*||Charles H. Shaw|
|1980*||Peter Keupp||1933*||James Houghton|
|1979||Frank B. Clawson||1932*||William Douglas|
|1978||William R. McIntosh, PDDGM||1931*||Henry Houghton|
|1977||Richard Furtick||1930*||William J. Christie|
|1976||Lynn Reed||1929*||John V. Bost|
|1975*||Ron Tury||1928*||Robert S. Grant|
|1974*||Leon Lester||1926-1927*||William H. Bull|
|1973*||Marion S. Yeager||1925*||Joseph A. Springer|
|1972||Dennis G. Donegan||1924*||Robert P. Dillinger|
|1971*||Charles A. Gordon||1922-1923*||Neil T. McLean|
|1970*||Walter H. Newcomb||1921*||Alfred J. Grant|
|1969*||James F. Sullivan, PDDGM||1919-1920*||James E. Hitt|
|1968||S. Earle Ryle||1917-1918*||Ralph F. Blatchley|
|1967*||Thomas E. Martin||1916*||Ward H. Barnum|
Click on year for photo
|2014||WM - Matt Panzano|
|2013||WM - John Wright, Jr.|
|2012||WM - Ken Giesow|
|2011||WM - Mike Palenik|
|2010||WM - Mike Wilson|
|2009||WM - Tim Bryce|
|2008||WM - BJ Sammon|
|2007||WM - Chris Schlenker|
|2006||WM - Ken Giesow|
|2005||WM - Bob Matheson|
|2004||WM - Jim Mason|
|2003||WM - Dennis Martin|
|2002||WM - Bernie LaFleur|
|2001||WM - Shannon McIntosh|
|2000||WM - Jim Tuller|
|1999||WM - Ron Lough|
|1998||WM - Mike McIntosh|
|2014||Tim Bryce, PM|
|2013||Tim Bryce, PM|
|2012||Tim Bryce, PM||1963||James Sullivan, PM, PDDGM|
|2011||Tim Bryce, PM||1962||James Sullivan, PM, PDDGM|
|2010||Tim Bryce, PM||1961||James Sullivan, PM, PDDGM|
|2009||Bob Matheson, PM, PDDGM||1960||James Sullivan, PM, PDDGM|
|2008||Tim Bryce, PM||1959||James Sullivan, PM, PDDGM|
|2007||Tim Bryce, PM||1958||Joel Bruce McLean, PM|
|2006||James Tuller, PDDGM/Rome Scerbo, PM||1957||Joel Bruce McLean, PM|
|2005||James Tuller, PDDGM||1956||Joel Bruce McLean, PM|
|2004||Rome Scerbo, PM||1955||Ralph F. Blatchley, PM|
|2003||Rome Scerbo, PM||1954||Ralph F. Blatchley, PM|
|2002||Rome Scerbo, PM||1953||Ralph F. Blatchley, PM|
|2001||Rome Scerbo, PM||1952||Ralph F. Blatchley, PM|
|2000||Rome Scerbo, PM||1951||Ralph F. Blatchley, PM|
|1999||Rome Scerbo, PM||1950||Leonard Merrell|
|1998||Rome Scerbo, PM||1949||Leonard Merrell|
|1997||Rome Scerbo, PM||1948||R.B. McMaster, PM|
|1996||Rome Scerbo, PM||1947||R.B. McMaster, PM|
|1995||Rome Scerbo, PM||1946||R.B. McMaster, PM|
|1994||Rome Scerbo, PM||1945||R.B. McMaster, PM|
|1993||Rome Scerbo, PM||1944||Grant L. Beardsley, PM|
|1992||Rome Scerbo, PM||1943||Grant L. Beardsley, PM|
|1991||Rome Scerbo, PM||1942||Joel McLean|
|1990||Rome Scerbo, PM||1941||R.B. McMaster, PM|
|1989||William Brewer, PM||1940||Grant L. Beardsley, PM|
|1988||William Brewer, PM||1939||Grant L. Beardsley, PM|
|1987||William Brewer, PM||1938||Grant L. Beardsley, PM|
|1986||William Brewer, PM||1937||Grant L. Beardsley, PM|
|1985||William Brewer, PM||1936||Charles Hadly Shaw, PM|
|1984||William Brewer, PM||1935||Charles Hadly Shaw, PM|
|1983||William Brewer, PM||1934||W.J. Christie, PM|
|1982||William Brewer, PM||1933||W.J. Christie, PM|
|1981||William Brewer, PM||1932||W.J. Christie, PM|
|1980||William Brewer, PM||1931||W.J. Christie, PM|
|1979||William Brewer, PM||1930||B.C. Graves|
|1978||William Brewer, PM||1929||B.C. Graves|
|1977||Charles Sarja||1928||James Hitt, PM|
|1928||James Hitt, PM|
|1976||James Sullivan, PM, PDDGM||1927||James Hitt, PM|
|1975||James Sullivan, PM, PDDGM||1926||James Hitt, PM|
|1974||James Sullivan, PM, PDDGM||1925||James Hitt, PM|
|1973||James Sullivan, PM, PDDGM||1924||James Hitt, PM|
|1972||Rome Scerbo, PM||1923||Charles McMullen|
|1971||James Sullivan, PM, PDDGM/Elbert Waterson||1922||Charles McMullen|
|1970||James Sullivan, PM, PDDGM||1921||Charles McMullen|
|1969||Elbert Waterson, PM||1920||Charles McMullen|
|1968||James Sullivan, PM, PDDGM||1919||Nels Peterson|
|1967||Douglas Elliott||1918||Nels Peterson|
|1966||Elbert Waterson, PM||1917||Nels Peterson|
|1965||G. Seaman||1916||R.L. Addington|
|1964||James Sullivan, PM, PDDGM||1915||R.L. Addington|
|2012||Richard Brooks, PM, PDDGM*|
|2009||Derryl O'Neal, PM**|
|2007||Bob Matheson, PM, PDDGM|
|2005||Tim Bryce, PM***|
|1996||Shannon McIntosh, PM|
|1989||James Tuller, PM, PDDGM|
|1988||Ron Walker, PM|
|1979||Bill McIntosh, PM, PDDGM|
|1967||Cecil Englebert, PM, PDDGM|
* R:.W:.Brooks was made an Honorary Member of Dunedin Lodge in 2011.
He is a member and Past Master of Sutherland Lodge No. 174 F.& A.M.
** W:.O'Neal was made an Honorary Member of Dunedin Lodge in 2009.
He is a member and Past Master of Gulf Beach Lodge No. 291 F.& A.M.
*** At the time, W:.Bryce was a member of Sutherland Lodge No. 174 F.& A.M.
The meals served by the brethren of Dunedin Lodge over the years have become somewhat legendary, particularly the Hobo Stews served at the Hobo Conventions of yesterday. Fortunately, Brother Rongey has maintained these recipes and makes them available herein. Many thanks to Brother Rongey for his culinary contributions which will be enjoyed by the lodge for years to come. If you are a Brother of Dunedin Lodge and would like to share some additional recipes here, please send them to Brother Tim Bryce at email@example.com Enjoy!
In a five quart pot, lightly flour two pounds of stew meat (trimmed of fat and diced). Brown in ½ cut olive oil. Place four cups of water in the pot and bring to boil. Add one ounce "instant" beef bullion to water. Add the contents of a package of beef stew seasoning. Blend well. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer under tender (approximately 1-½: hours).
|Add||6||medium potatoes, peeled and quartered|
|6||small onions - peeled and diced|
|8||carrots peeled and cut into one inch pieces or|
|1||#2 can (one pound) sliced carrots|
|3||ribs of celery cut in ½ inch pieces|
For additional flavor, add ½ pound of bacon cut in one inch strips
and fried to a crisp. Also add the bacon drippings (this gives the stew a
Add two cups water, cover and continue to simmer (low heat) until
tender (approximately one hour).
Makes three quarts (6 two cups servings)
Because the liquid of the stew is very thin, you may want to thicken it. I
suggest using potato buds to give it an additional potato flavor as well as
to thicken it. Add black pepper, chili pepper and "no salt" salt to taste.
STIR OFTEN AND SERVE WITH LOTS OF LOVE!!!
Add two cups water, cover and continue to simmer (low heat) until tender (approximately one hour).
Makes three quarts (6 two cups servings)
Because the liquid of the stew is very thin, you may want to thicken it. I suggest using potato buds to give it an additional potato flavor as well as to thicken it. Add black pepper, chili pepper and "no salt" salt to taste.
STIR OFTEN AND SERVE WITH LOTS OF LOVE!!!
The Florida Hurricane Chili recipe was originally developed by Charles
Rongey to conform to the National Chili Cookoff Rules. After many attempts
to make the Nationals, and failure to do so, Charles resigned himself to
improve the formula and make it the best it could be. Its unique flavor was
perfected after dozens of trials and errors. It has been altered many
times by helpful suggestions from friends and by comparing recipes of
hundreds of "chiliheads." NOTE: For the first time, the many "secret
ingredients" are listed for all to be privileged to use, e.g., 1. orange
peel. 2. fried bacon burned to a crisp to give it a bar-b-que flavor. 3. Beer -
for that "malt taste." 4. beef broth bullion instead of water to give it a
better "beefy flavor." 5. Potato buds to thicken and eliminate the "watery
texture." 6. Two or three "crushed garlic cloves."
3 lb. extra-lean beef chuck, flank or round steak "chili ground" very course.
1 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. orange peel
Cook the ground beef in a large skillet, stirring to break up large pieces,
until the meat loses its pink color. Transfer meat to a four quart heavy
pot, leaving pan drippings.
Saute onions and garlic in drippings or in olive oil for 5 minutes or
until translucent. Add to meat.
Take ½ lb. bacon and dice it into ¼ inch strips. Cook until
very crisp. Add to pot with other meat including bacon drippings.
Add all other ingredients. Stir well and often.
Cover and simmer for two hours. Add potato buds the last 20 minutes to
thicken the liquid.
Remove cover and serve with love!!!
Makes eight servings. 590 calories/serving; 56 mg. protein;
10 gm. carbohydrates, 33 gm. fat; 179 gm. cholesterol; 799 mg. sodium
unless "no sodium" salt (potassium chloride) is used.
1 large onion, minced (1 cup)
1 tsp. garlic powder.
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 tsp. salt (preferably "no sodium salt")
1 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. chili powder (or to taste)
1 bay leaf
NOTE: Excellent packaged "chili powder mix" can be found at your supermarkets and substituted for the above.
1 can beer (12 oz.)
3 #2 cans beef broth bullion or 2 oz. bullion granules dissolved in water.
½ lb. sliced bacon
3 lb. extra-lean beef chuck, flank or round steak "chili ground" very course.
1 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. orange peel
Cook the ground beef in a large skillet, stirring to break up large pieces, until the meat loses its pink color. Transfer meat to a four quart heavy pot, leaving pan drippings.
Saute onions and garlic in drippings or in olive oil for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add to meat.
Take ½ lb. bacon and dice it into ¼ inch strips. Cook until very crisp. Add to pot with other meat including bacon drippings.
Add all other ingredients. Stir well and often.
Cover and simmer for two hours. Add potato buds the last 20 minutes to thicken the liquid.
Remove cover and serve with love!!!
Makes eight servings. 590 calories/serving; 56 mg. protein; 10 gm. carbohydrates, 33 gm. fat; 179 gm. cholesterol; 799 mg. sodium unless "no sodium" salt (potassium chloride) is used.