The History of
The first regular meeting of Fidelity Lodge was held on Tuesday evening, November 19, 1918, at which time a Dispensation from the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge was presented and Fidelity Lodge was organized "Under Dispensation."
Rt. Wor. Charles Sewall Norris, District Deputy Grand Master of the Seventh Masonic District, and the father of our own Past Masters, Edward Norris and Carl B. Norris, was consulted concerning the formation of a new Masonic Lodge in Melrose. He was favorable to it.
The first meeting of the petitioners was held on September 17, 1918, and fifty-five signatures were obtained for a petition to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge for a new Masonic lodge in Melrose. At this meeting, Merton D. Williams suggested the name "Fidelity Lodge" as there was no other Masonic Lodge in Massachusetts by that name. He further observed that the word "Fidelity" embodied all the most fundamental principles of Masonry. The selection of the meeting night is more a mystery. At the time there were nine lodges in the Seventh District and there was no Lodge of Instruction.
Cyrus Lodge of Stoneham met on the third Tuesday, Brother Williams suggested that Fidelity Lodge meet on the Tuesday before the third Wednesday, "because there would be no conflict with other lodges in the Seventh Masonic District except King Cyrus." He reasoned that at least one month per year the two lodges would meet on different Tuesdays thus making it possible for the interchange of fraternal visits.
This first meeting was closed with this prayer by the Chaplain, Leon B. Smith, "Our Father, we are grateful for the fellowship of this evening, and for the harmony which has been so manifest, and we ask the blessing upon all that has been done and pray that we may show our fidelity to Thee and to each other throughout our lives. Amen."
A blow that staggered and saddened the Lodge was the untimely death of our first Worshipful Master, Rt. Wor. Charles S. Norris. He died on March 26, 1919, the same day that his wife had predeceased him by about six hours.
The Senior Warden, Wor. Theodore H. Tufts, finished out Bro. Norris' term, and it was expected that he would then be elected Master for a full term of his own. However, he announced that because of health he would not do so. At the tenth regular meeting, the nominating committee brought in the names of Bro. Merton D. Williams as Worshipful Master, Bro. Julian C. Woodman as Senior Warden, Bro. G. Henry Warren as Junior Warden, Bro. F. Sears Stetson as Secretary and Bro. Reuben W. Huntress as Treasurer. These were the officers elected when the Lodge was constituted on October 14, 1919.
In his Master's report, Wor. Merton D. Williams wrote, "While it might be said in starting Fidelity Lodge I made office for myself, it is also true that only at the hands of its members have I served as Worshipful Master."
In early days the Annual Meeting was held in December, which usually started with the annual reports of the Secretary, Treasurer and Master. The Lodge then recessed for dinner and later reassembled in the Lodge Room for a "Roll Call." A typical December notice contained a note, "We want every member accounted for in person if possible, but surely by letter, postal, cable, or telegram." These roll calls continued through 1924. Records from 1925 and beyond mention entertainment but not a roll call until 1929 when a roll call of all Charter Members was made.
Fidelity Lodge held their Installation of Officers on New Year's Eve for several years. On December 31, 1925, the installation was followed by New Year's celebration with attendance of 411.
In 1927 the officers changed their dress from business suits to tuxedos.
In Wor. Arthur E. Goodwin's annual report on September 16, 1930, he wrote ..."now a lodge of approximately 500 members, and that we are approaching the time when it will be necessary to give some thought to how much larger we want to grow." Membership started to drop off shortly after this because of the Great Depression.
During and after World War II, membership started to climb again reaching a peak 636 in 1959.
3,4 * R.W. Charles S. Norris (U.D.) 1918-19
* Wor. Theodore H. Tufts (U.D.) 1919
* Wor. Merton D. Williams 1920
4,7 * R.W. Julian C. Woodman 1921
* Wor. G. Henry Warren 1922
4,7 * R.W. Henry H. Kimball 1923
5 * Wor. Leon B. Smith 1924
* Wor. Arthur G. Baker 1925
* Wor. Eben F. Phillips 1926
6 * Wor. Harold D. Mack 1927
6 * Wor. Ralph W. Guibord 1928
* Wor. Harold F. Burgess 1928-29
* Wor. Arthur E. Goodwin 1929-30
* Wor. Roger G. Rand 1930-31
* Wor. Frank O. Legro, Jr. 1931-32
* Wor. Ernest E. Munn 1932-33
3 * Wor. Carl B. Gerry 1933-34
* Wor. Angier L. Goodwin 1934-35
* Wor. Hector MacDonald 1935-36
* Wor. John T. Bailie 1936-37
* Wor. M. Dudley Williams, Jr. 1937-38
* Wor. Edward W. Raye 1938-39
* Wor. Allen W. Overing 1939-40
6 * Wor. Clayton S. Greene 1940-41
4,7 * R.W. Edward Norris 1941-42
* Wor. William Hoeckel 1942-43
* Wor. Ralph W. Gerry 1943-44
* Wor. Harrison S. King 1944-45
* Wor. James G. Shaw 1945-46
* Wor. John H. Kimball 1946-47
1,5 * Wor. Claude L. Hanley 1947-48
* Wor. Melvin P. Abraham 1948-49
7 * Wor. John D. MacDonald 1949-50
* Wor. Blair C. Wilson 1950-51
* Wor. Frank C. Greeley 1951-52
* Wor. Richard F. Pomeroy 1952-53
* Wor. William I. Peterson 1953-54
5 * Wor. George A. Hennigar 1954-55
*Wor. Franklin T. Shay 1955-56
* Wor. Charles I. Cookson 1956-57
2 * Wor. Carl B. Norris 1957-58
4 * R.W. Robert W. Lufkin 1958-59
6 *Wor. Fredric W. Moody, Jr. 1959-60
* Wor. Russell B.S. Greene, Jr. 1960-61
* Wor. Philip A. Stackpole 1961-62
* Wor. John C. Sheppard 1962-63
7 * Wor. Russell G. Perry 1963-64
* Wor. I. Paul Doane 1964-65
* Wor. John A. Weeks 1965-66
Wor. David L. Wilson, II 1966-67
* Wor. Robert F. Charlton 1967-68
6,8 * Wor. William F. Neil 1968-69
4,8 *R.W. Robert F. Lucas, Sr. 1969-70
5 *Wor. George A. Egan 1970-71
Wor. Arthur A. Leman, Jr. 1971-72
* Wor. Philip S. Wilson 1972-73
Wor. Robert M. Nichols 1973-74
8 *Wor. Herbert G. Chaffee, Jr. 1974-75
* Wor. Robert G. MacCutcheon 1975-76
Wor. Peter W. Stackpole 1976-77
4,7 R.W. Donald A. Bates 1977-78
*Wor. Elmer N. Stanton 1978-79
Wor. Herbert L. Fletcher 1979-80
* Wor. Robert L. Forsey 1980-81
Wor. Peter W. Stackpole 1981-82
5 Wor. Joseph C. Bowman 1982-83
Wor. William G. Ball 1983-84
5 *Wor George A. Egan 1984-85
Wor. Raymond P. Shaw, Jr. 1985-86
6 Wor. Robert J. Walsh 1986-88
8 *Wor. Herbert G. Chaffee, Jr. 1988-89
Wor. Raymond P. Shaw, Jr. 1989-90
Wor. James E. Barr 1990-91
Wor. William A. Squires 1991-93
4,7 R.W. Donald A. Bates 1993-95
6 Wor. Craig H. Hess 1995-96
1 Wor. C.Macaulay Ward, Jr. 1996-99
Wor. Raymond P. Shaw, Jr. 1999-00
6 Wor. Robert J. Walsh 2000-03
Wor. David R. Lucas 2003-04
9 R. W. Paul M Carroll Sr. 2004-06
Wor. Gregory J. Potamis 2006-07
Wor. John P. Montanus 2007-08
Wor. Nicholas S. Soter 2008-
(1) Past Senior Grand Steward
(2) Past Junior Grand Steward
(3) Past Grand Standard Bearer
(4) Past District Deputy Grand Master
(5) Past District Deputy Grand Secretary
|(6) Past District Deputy Grand Marshal
(7) Past Master 35th Lodge of Instruction
(8) Awarded Joseph Warren Medal
(9) Past District Awareness Chairman