We hope your visit to our Website will be an informative one and you leave us with an appreciation of our history and especially our Treasure, the "Oriental Chair" of which we are so privileged to have in our Lodge. Come visit us soon and take a seat in the "The Masters Chair". Maybe it will conjure up some memories of days gone by in your Masonic past.
Any activities listed or proposed within this Web Site are open to all " FREEMASONS" and those attending must have a valid dues card from their Lodge which is either Ancient Free and Accepted Masons or Free and Accepted Masons and whose Jurisdiction is recognized by the Grand Lodge of Delaware.
A NEW MONTH, SO LOOK FOR NEW UPDATES
SOME OF INTEREST AND HOPEFULLY INFORMATIVE TO ALL !
I first met this young man when I was asked to assist in the Installation of the newly formed Demolay Chapter which would be Located at Milford Lodge ,Temple No. 9. Needless to say I had never participated in this before but the Installing Officer handed me a Book and I proceeded to be the Installing Marshall, of which I have been ever since for General Torbert Chapter at Temple No. 9 Lodge. This particular night the Master Councilor was Jeffery S Cook Jr.. I also installed him 6 months later in Milford. By this time I was an Advisory Dad . Jeff was the second young man to take advantage of the new Constitution change allowing 18 year olds to petition the Lodge and to my surprise and pleasure had the opportunity to assist in raising him in Delaware Lodge No.37. Shortly after that Jeff was helping me with this Web Site with his Dad Jeffrey S. Cook Sr. helping, when I was informed that Jeff had just been accepted into West Point Military Academy. He had applied to all the Academy's but chose West Point, of which I was most pleased by his choice. I told Jeff that night that when he Graduated I wanted to be the first Enlisted Man in Full Dress Uniform to salute him when his Dad and Mom Carla Pinned his Lt Bars on him after the graduation ceremonies. He allowed he would be honored. To make a long story short needless to say I am sure his 4 years went by quicker and busier than mine as I was hoping I would still be alive to do the deed. Well I did make it and was at the Graduation Exercise with his Dad and Mom and his two Sisters, Lauren and Erika who were also there. The hat tossing was a sight to behold, and the Key Note Speaker was Vice President Cheney, who also presented many of the Diplomas along with the Academy Supt. After a short duty they all had to do at Hqs they dispersed to several different sites on the Post for the Pinning Ceremonies. After his Dad and Mom had pinned his bars I then stepped forward and rendered his first hand salute by this old Retired CSM-USA in my Dress Greens. A proud day for me and one I shall not soon forget. Jeff is now on leave and soon reports to Fort Sill Oklahoma, then to Aberdeen Proving Grounds and then to Ft. Stewart, GA. He is currently stationed at Ft. Irwin, CA, and I wish him well and I know that Jeff will do us proud where ever he my be assigned.
This first one depicts CSM Trice rendering the first salute after Lt. Jeffrey S. Cook Jr. was pinned with his Lt. Bars at West Point.
This is a photo of Jeff and I shortly after the salute, I was checking out the silver dollar he gave me which is customary upon the Officer being saluted for the first time by an Enlisted Soldier.
This is a shot of West Point Stadium where all the new Graduating Class of 2007 are in the process of receiving their Diplomas and Commissions from the Academy Commandant and Vice President Dick Chaney who was also the keynote speaker for this class. Quite an awe inspiring scene to say the least. The Brother who is directly in front of me taking the shot is Jeff,s Dad, Jeff Sr.
I took a photo from this vantage point of the hat tossing ritual that always follows the completion of the passing out of diplomas. I enjoyed this part very much as I had never been to a Graduation at West Point before.
NEW AND IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ.
1LT Jeffery Cook, Jr. who is the Officer pictured on this site is now in Balad, Iraq. If anyone is interested in contacting Brother Jeff let me know and I will provide you with his Duty Address and E-Mail.
ONE LAST COMMENT
Any comments on this Web Site directly related to Hope Lodge No. 4, or requests for information can be directed to Most Worshipful Robert E. Trice, Sr., Past Grand Master of Masons in DE , a Past Master of Hope Lodge Worshipful Charles R. Woods, PM, Secretary, or our WM James Hollis. Your Webmaster PGM Trice This is your Web Page, not mine, but all of ours. If you have a comment or suggestion that you would like for everyone to hear, please send either our WM, our Secretary or myself an E-Mail or Phone call or as a last resort, the old proverbial Snail Mail. In this new and changing world we live in now it is truly an exciting time to be a Brother, and if you feel like I do, in your own way, get your best friend, neighbor , relative, co-worker etc, and invite him to a "Bring A Friend Night" and when he is ready ,he can ask to join us . Remember the old bumper sticker, "To Be One Ask One". For those of you who do not remember this tool, it reminds us all, they ask not us, however it is now considered ok to have a dialog about our fraternity, by giving a brief description of what we stand for and means of applying, the rest is left entirely up to your friend. I am informed that Hope Lodge has developed a new tag for your car or truck front plate. It is a very attractive plate and can be purchased from the Secretary or WM when you attend our meetings, which are still the 3rd Tuesday of every month, except July and August.
ITS TIME TO GO TO WORK AGAIN
For the benefit of those who read this Web Page, this past Saturday 17 April 2010 was our last Oyster and Crab Cake Fry for the season. It will be renewed in the fall, and adequate notice will be given as to when the first one is scheduled. Again we at Hope Lodge want to thank all the folks who supported this event as well as the O.E.S. Chapter who sold the baked goodies.
Just in case there are any of the members of our Lodge who are not yet aware of the current request for donations to the Building Fund, it is not getting the response that it should be getting. I do not think that our membership in general is unable to contribute at least $40.00 to this worthy cause, but the fact remains, many have turned a deaf ear to the request of which our Secretary mailed everyone on our roster-which brings up another interesting fact that we are obligated to notify the Secretary when you have a change of address, which enables him to keep his records accurate and up to date. If you were not at the last meeting you missed a great one. One of the most active members of Hope Lodge was recognized with a beautiful Plaque citing him as the Mason of the year of Hope Lodge for his many contributions of not only time and money but his expertise in catering several of our events and the great refreshments after our Lodge Meetings.
There is an old saying that has be around since before my 50 years plus in our gentle craft, that alludes to the philosophy that "The way to a mans heart is through his stomach" and as ole Gomer Pyle on Hee Haw used to always say in a song. "That There, s Big With Me".
Two of our Oyster Fry Brothers on 9/19/09 working at the Oyster Cook out , caught them going from the Cook House back to the Kitchen. Bro: Bruce Marine, PM-SW and Bro: Earle Little Chief Soup Maker and all around Chef and our new Senior Steward.
After the Food was sold out, the crew is taking a break before they do the good part-cleaning up the kitchen
so it will be ready for the next Cook -Out.
This picture shows our Tyler Bro: Harvey Carlyle and our Senior Warden and a Past Master. These two Brothers are totally responsible for by using a secret recipe in cooking the Oyster Fritters, not to mention the Crab Cakes.
This is a photo of the Installation of Hope lodge Officers for the ensuing Masonic Year, those absent when photo was taken were installed at a later date.
The last Cook Out as mentioned above was a sell out as it has been ,due to the loyal support of our community and reported to me by Brother Earle Little and as usual after increasing the Crab Soup to 3 pots sold out again. This Web Site is a pleasure for this Web Master to report on the happenings at Hope Lodge and I just hope you get as much enjoyment of checking it out for updates as much as I enjoy being able to continue to do it.
Next scheduled Cook Out and last, will be on April 17 from 11AM till 2PM.We do appreciate your support to our Cook Outs and if there is anything we can do differently or serve something different, let our cooking staff know. We will make every effort to accommodate, you. NOW THE COOKING STAFF WANTS SOMETHING FROM THE REST OF OUR MEMBERSHIP. FOR THIS FUND RAISER TO REMAIN SUCCESSFUL IT TAKES DEDICATION, AND THE CREW IS IN NEED OF ASSISTANCE, AS THEY GET TIRED AS ANYONE WOULD , SO COME OUT AND LEND THEM A HELPING HAND. We did have added help, but one of our main crew Bro: Earl Little has been under the weather and was sorely missed. We wish you a speedy recovery Earl and may our Supreme Architect have his healing hands upon you till you are back to 100%. Since my last report Brother Earle is doing well and about up to speed again. Good to have him back on the Junior Deacons Chair.
And by the way Earl and all our other members will be pleased to know that today,s Cook-Out was a total sell-out as well as the O.E.S. cookies pies and cakes along with home made Easter Eggs was a total sell out also. Was a beautiful day to be out and about, and we so much thank our loyal customers along with many new ones today. Our next Cook-Out will be the 3rd Saturday in April on the 17th, so mark your calendar and visit us on that day, beginning at 11:00am till sold out or 2:00pm whichever comes first. Again we thank you all for supporting our Lodge here in Laurel.
WE NEED MORE VOLUNTEERS TO HELP. This is a Hope Lodge venture and we need to support it with more of our brethren coming to work and join in the fund raiser. Once a month for 4 hours is not much to ask of your time for a worthy cause. Come out and join the crew, you just might be glad you did. And as I reported in Lodge Tuesday night when our Lodge did the EA Degree on Brother Calloway, with the entire slate of advanced Officers in the Chairs. It was a degree that any well informed Mason would be proud to witness. Fantastic refreshments were served downstairs after the degree prepared by own Chief Cook Brother Earl Little.
Just as a reminder, check your wallet, Do you have an Active Dues Card, if not please do not fail to do so, Your Masonic duty requires you to take care of this important obligation.
Well my Brethren am back on the job after an eventful trip to visit with many friends and many of my new Brides family too. Guess we traveled almost two thousand miles w/o any major problems, but sure is good to be back home. My work is cut out for me for the next few days from the looks of the yard, so will get that squared away by weeks end.
I would personally like to acknowledge a very good friend, and Brother, A man and Mason I shall never forget and will be pleased to join him in that Grand Lodge on high. I am speaking about PGM Arthur G. (Pete) Craig. Brother "Pete" passed from this place to be with our heavenly father. Brother "Pete" was our MW Grand Lodge, s oldest PGM and will be sadly missed by all. All Lodge alters are draped for 30 days in his memory. He was my mentor in my younger Masonic Days, as I served on his Grand Staff in 1965 and was the only living member of his Staff. Rest in Peace Brother PGM "Pete" and may all the blessings of heaven rest upon your honored shoulders. "So Mote It Be"
I would be remise in my duties as your Web Master if I did not report on our recent Ladies and Past Masters Night which was something new for our Lodge and was catered by our own Earl Little. Brother Jim Gollapa secured the services of Brother Rev. Codd Kassam from a lodge in Salisbury, it was one of the most inspiring messages that I have had the pleasure to witness in a very long time. Those of you who did not join us missed a very great day of fellowship with our ladies and guests, not to mention the ample good food and deserts.
Comments or information about Web Sites or Regulations governing Web Sites for Masonry in Delaware, should be directed to the Grand Lodge of Delaware Web Site Committee: Listed on the Grand Lodge of Delaware Web Site. Their Web Site address has recently been changed . To gain access to the new site you can contact its Web Master Jeffrey. Hague@state.de.us at this e-mail address.
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Worshipful James D. Hollis - Worshipful Master
Worshipful Bruce. A. Marine,PM-Senior Warden
R:W: Roy T. Davis - Junior Warden PJGW
Worshipful Charles R. Wood, PM, Secretary
Bro: John L. Mears - Treasurer
Bro: Allen I. Adams-Senior Deacon
Bro: Timothy Keenan-Junior Deacon
Bro: Earl Little-Senior Steward
Bro: Keith Lloyd-Junior Steward
Bro: George H. Carlyle-Tyler
Bro: John Kreppein-Chaplain
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"ORIENTAL CHAIR"by Brother J. Norman Nicklas
Brother Nicklas paper on the "Oriental Chair" was read before the Lodge of Research on February 20th, 1976, at a dinner meeting of the Lodge.
One of the surviving pieces of antiquity is a chair beautifully carved with many Masonic symbols and emblems. The Masons of Laurel are justly proud of our heritage as both Citizens and Masons, and this chair, which has been a part of the Lodge since its forming in 1792, is a very important part of our Masonic heritage. This chair has been the object of much inquisition and discussion in the recent past, so at this time I would like to cast a little light on its background. At the time of this writing, the chair stands to the right of the chair in which the Worshipful Master sits while presiding over Hope Lodge No. 4.
It dates back to a period of history known in this country as the "Revolutionary War" period, between 1755 and 1785. The chair is a "Chippendale" style. The style and period was named for Thomas I. Chippendale who lived from 1718 to 1779. The name of Thomas I. Chippendale has become a generic term for furniture in the style associated with him. Chippendale was a most famous English cabinetmaker, whose style dominated mid-18th century English furniture. His designs shows complete mastery and understanding of joinery and material, notably mahogany, his favorite wood. His business was most successful, and his productions for wealthy patrons commanded extremely high prices. Much of his work was executed from designs by architects, but he was a master designer in his own right.
Throughout the many years that Hope Lodge No. 4 has taught the lessons of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man, there has been a watchful eye overlooking the proceedings, and this chair is no less than a watchful eye to those who appreciate it. Every candidate of this Lodge has at one time or another looked to the East and seen the chair and marveled at its beauty. Many have looked at it while being conducted, a few have looked at it during a lecture, and some have even wondered at the symbols it displays. I have no doubt that most members have looked at it during a meeting at one time or another, and wondered what it was doing there, where it came from, and what the symbols on the chair mean. But, my Brothers, not many have taken the time or trouble to look at them closely, and try to understand them and what they have to say. I shall try to shed a little light on this particular chair, whereby, it is hoped, we may have a better understanding of this beautiful and unusual piece of furniture.
The top rail, splat and the stiles are made from a much larger piece of wood. The ornaments which are so beautiful and so symbolic are carved from that larger block of wood, and are, therefore, a permanent part of the chair, and not simply carvings attached thereon. Think Brethren, if you dare, of the time and patience that was consumed, and the talent exhibited in the carving and building of this fine chair.
The top rail contains the most precise and intricate carvings of the whole chair. At the very top of the rail can be found the Bee Hive, a symbol of the very function of a Lodge, being that of industry. A Lodge must be industrious, must be constantly at labor, or it will soon fade away into oblivion. On either side of the Bee Hive is a Cornucopia, or Horn of Plenty, which provides the inspiration that we may be industrious. They provide the endless flow of knowledge that is used to satisfy the hungry appetite of ignorance or inquisitiveness. On either side of these Horns of Plenty are the wheat stalks used to sustain life from time immemorial. At the tip of the rail, and at the top of the Gothic design of the splat are beautifully carved leaves.
Directly below the Bee Hive the sun overlooks a brick wall, depicting the sun on the horizon. The most historic furniture in America is now in Independence Hall, Philadelphia. It is called the Signers Table and Chair. With the exception of the Craft markings, our chair -- to laymen's eye -- is an exact mate to this now famous chair. Mr. Elson (author of "Elson's History of the United States") says, referring to the Signers Table and Chair, "These two pieces of furniture were used for both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. On the chair a half sun is carved. When the Constitution was being signed, Franklin said with a meaning well understood, referring to the sun emblazoned on the center of the back of the chair 'Painters have found it difficult to paint a sun near a horizon so as to tell whether it was a setting or rising sun, but,' said he, 'after the Constitution had been passed and the members were signing, I looked at the sun behind President Washington and saw for the first time it was a rising sun.' "
From that chair the pen wrote what the sword had wrought. As the sun rises in the east to open and govern the day, so rose the Constitution in the east to open and govern a new nation with equal justice and regularity. Is not a Lodge the prototype on whose Constitution and teachings and principles this great nation of ours was founded by so many celebrated brethren? So long as Masonry will stand up for and stand behind all that is great, judicious, honorable and right, that sun on our chair will never become a setting sun. I pray that will be a rising sun until the last man on earth shall take his final breath.
Now we shall endeavor to examine and understand the splat of this chair. The splat is of the trefoil Gothic vogue, having three main spars. At the top of these spars where they separate to forms six spars, or classic Gothic design, will be found a cable tow and a veil. the cable tow does not need explaining as every Mason is aware of its use and significance. The veil, in my opinion, alludes to the veils of the tabernacle which divided it into three sections, the first section for worshipping masses, the second the Holy place, and the third the Sanctum Santorum or Holy of Holies.
The letters "W.S.B." engraved on the chair undoubtedly symbolizes the three principle supports of Freemasonry; Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty. Wisdom to contrive, strength to support and beauty to adorn all great and important undertakings.
On the two braces extending from the splat to the stiles will be found the numbers ten and five reading from left to right. Several stories have evolved from these numbers. One explanation said that the number ten stood for St. John's Lodge No. 10 at Georgetown, a forerunner of this Lodge, but no one could explain the number five. Some say that the ten and five have reference to the steps of the Fellowcraft degree. If this is true, why combine them? I disregarded these theories in favor of this: I feel that the ten has reference to the ten officers of the Lodge and the five has reference to the officers as being five elective and five appointed. At the time that this chair was made, although the Chaplain was a welcome addition, he was not considered a necessary officer of the Lodge. Therefore the numbers ten and five.
In the center of the splat between the two numbers is dramatically displayed the sheaf of corn suspended near a waterfall. The importance of these two symbols has been taught to each and everyone of us in the second degree lecture.
At the very base of the splat is the square and compasses, flanked by the letters "H" and "G". The "H" without question refers to the two Hiram's of the Hiramic legend, who are so much a part of our teachings. The letter "G" every Mason knows and loves as deeply as he loves his own soul. The interesting portion here is the position of the square and compasses. The square is an oblong square which all Lodges represent. The oblong square is as important to Masonry as the true or try square. At best, when a man is initiated into Freemasonry he is an oblong square, and he spends the rest of his life trying to become truly square.
At an early date in Speculative Masonry there was a fourth degree in the blue Lodge, which came between the Fellowcraft and the Master Mason degrees. It was called the Mark Master degree, and was a side degree given to Fellowcrafts with the square and compasses arranged in the manner carved on the back of this chair. The degree has since been discontinued by the blue Lodge, and adopted by the York Rite Chapter of Royal Arch Masons as one of its degrees.
A close examination of this chair will disclose that it has had work done to it on several occasions, in order that it might remain useful, and as close to its original state as possible, as evidenced by the screws in the arm rest and by a seat that has been replaced. Even so, it is in remarkable condition, and shows that someone wanted to keep it that way.
The symbols thereon carved teach a great lesson to those who are willing to take the time to study them and search out their true meaning. It is impossible to tell exactly what these symbols depict because to each man they signify something different, dictated by what is in his own heart. It is also obvious that the craftsman considered it an honor to make this piece of furniture, because of the time consuming attention given to the intricate detail carved into the splat. It must have been a great honor indeed to make such a wonderful chair for a Lodge.
Therefore, my Brothers, this chair became a chair of honor, a chair to be used by the highest officer of the Lodge. It is a chair of honor for honorable men. The highest honor of a Lodge is to be elected Worshipful Master, and in former times, the Worshipful Master sat in this chair while he presided over the Lodge. Now the chair is no longer used as an Oriental Chair, but its function has become even more honorable.
The highest honor in Masonry is that of being elected Grand Master. This is the pinnacle of success in our fraternity and anyone so privileged as to wear the purple of our fraternity, certainly deserves any honor that may come to him. It is indeed a wonderful evening when we have the privilege of having the Most Worshipful Grand Master come to visit us, and as a token of our respect and brotherly love, he is invited to have a seat in the East. Now, the Grand Master could sit in the East in any chair and honor that chair, but not necessarily this chair.
Our chair was conceived in love and made with love and pride, the product of one craftsman's genius, and it has expressed so many, many truths by its beautiful symbols, that I know if I were the Grand Master I would consider it one of the greatest honors of my life to sit in such a magnificent chair.
When I look at this chair, I am so awed by its beauty and its teachings that I sometimes think of it as being alive and ready to whisper words of wisdom into the ear of this erring brother as an old Past Master would do. By its carvings it does speak a wonderful language to each individual Mason who looks upon it and tries to understand.
My Brother, what words of wisdom does it speak to you?
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HISTORY OF HOPE LODGE NO. FOUR
On June 7th, 1806, a Charter was granted to Hope Lodge No. 4 in Laurel by Grand Master Gunning Bedford, Jr., marking the formation of the Grand Lodge of Delaware, along with three other Lodges then meeting in Wilmington, New Castle and Newark.
Masonic light first came to Laureltown with the chartering of Hope Lodge No. 31 by the Grand Lodge of Maryland on June 23rd, 1800. This was the result of Jesse Green's efforts to revive the Charter of Lodge No. 10 of Georgetown which had existed between 1792 - 1796, but had been dormant for four years. At least ten of the thirteen charter members of Lodge No. 31 were former members of Lodge No. 10.
Hope Lodge No. 31 continued to flourish and with a total of nineteen members, became one of the four Lodges in the formation of the Grand Lodge of Delaware, thus becoming Hope Lodge No. 4. It was largely due to the leadership of Jesse Green that the Grand Lodge of Delaware became a reality and, although, Gunning Bedford, Jr. was selected to be the first Grand Master, it was only fitting that Jesse Green become the first Deputy Grand Master.
It was during Jesse Green's 3 year term as Grand Master, 1809 - 1811, that the first Grand Chaplain was appointed, the differences with the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania were settled and a set of Grand Lodge jewels was procured. After having served as Charter Worshipful Master of Lodges No. 10 and No. 31 as well as Grand Master, he again became the Charter Worshipful Master when Temple Lodge No. 9 was Chartered in Milford in 1815.
The Second Grand Master to be elected from Hope Lodge was James Derrickson, a physician, who served a 3 year term, 1821 - 1823. During this period, both Franklin Lodge No. 12 in Georgetown and Harmony Lodge No. 13 in Smyrna were Chartered. Current studies are only now revealing that Jesse Green was the cornerstone of our Grand Lodge so the same designation must be given James Derrickson in both our Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons and the Cryptic Rite.
Between 1876 - 1877 the Third Grand Master was elected from Hope Lodge No. 4 in the person of Thomas N. Williams who later served as State Superintendent of Schools from 1883 - 1887. During his term as Grand Master, the first Grand Lecturer was appointed and the Grand Lodge was composed of twenty-two Lodges with a membership of over 1,200, Hope No. 4 accounting for 24 of them.
William E. Valliant was the Fourth Grand Master to serve from Hope Lodge in 1914. He was associated with the Marvil Company, as well as the Valliant Company of Laurel. During his term the Grand Lodge laid the cornerstone of Women's College in Newark and also endorsed and contributed to the Masonic War Relief Association as World War I began.
In 1921 George C. Williams, a Methodist minister in Laurel became the Fifth member of Hope Lodge No. 4 to serve as Grand Master. This was the formative period of Gunning Bedford, Jr., Memorial Scholarship Fund and also marked the expansion of Delaware's Masonic Home. The celebration of George Washington's Masonic birthday was also observed by all Lodges in this Grand Jurisdiction and a mass meeting was held in Wilmington High School.
The Sixth Grand Master from Hope Lodge No. 4 was W. Harrison Phillips in 1957, who was engaged in the milling business. The Grand Lodge then consisted of twenty-two Lodges with 8,400 members and Hope Lodge No. 4 having 190 members. Year 1957 also marked the dedication of another addition to our Masonic Home and the installation of an improved fire alarm system.
It would be thirty-nine years before another Grand Master would come from Hope Lodge No. 4. In 1996 Robert E. Trice, Sr., was elected the Seventh Grand Master to come from Hope Lodge No. 4. He took early retirement from the DuPont Company and returned to active duty retiring as Command Sergeant Major, United States Army in 1988. The Grand Lodge now has approximately 5672 members , with Twenty-Eight Lodges plus a Lodge of Research. Hope Lodge No. 4 now has approximately 129 members and is gradually regaining its membership. Grand Master Trice chose to be installed at Union Lodge No. 9 in Dover,DE the most central part of the State. His theme was "Standing Together" and this Staff proudly did just that. Year 1997 through the dedicated untiring efforts of Key Staff Officers, the Web Site of the Grand Lodge of Delaware begun with SGS Gilbert Riddell as its Web Master. The Master Mason Motorcycle Club of Delaware was formed under approval of the Grand Lodge and was the result of the un-tiring efforts of the SGS Gilbert Riddell, its first President. A new Grand Table Lodge format was formulated by the efforts of Gil Riddell and Jesse Collier PM. The Delaware Freemason was totally upgraded and improved by the GSB Chuck Simmermon the Editor providing much enhancement and meaning for our membership and all the Appendant Bodies he encouraged to provide articles. I would be remiss as GM if I did not recognize my Aid PM R. Dale McKinney who assumed the task of Chairman of our Brotherhood Night. Needless to say, Hope Lodge No. 4 is looking forward to celebrating the formation of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Delaware in the year 2006.
In 2005 Ronald W. Conaway became the Eighth Grand Master to hail from Hope Lodge Number Four, Laurel, Delaware. Ronnie would have the Distinction to lead our Grand Lodge during its 200th Anniversary. A honor to which would be highly revered by anyone having the opportunity of being Grand Master at this time in Delaware Masonry. His year was filled with many notable functions bringing very much pride to all who were a part of them or having the opportunity to witness them. To best appreciate his many accomplishments which would fill this Web Site, one can view his year in the GL Proceedings of 2006. I will give a brief summary of his biography from this edition. Ronnie grew up on a farm near Bridgeville, DE. Upon completing school Ronnie enlisted in the Marine Corps and after four years joined the Dupont Co at Seaford where he worked for 32 years. After retiring , Dupont enlisted Ronnie's expertise as an outside contractor for four more years. He finally retired and dedicated his efforts to a total remodeling of he and Ruthie,s home on a farm just outside of Seaford. While working at Dupont Ronnie met and married his wife of 38 years ,Ruth Dukes. They have been blessed with three children who are grown and married with children. Ronnie joined Hope Lodge in 1973, continued through the chairs and eventually became WM in 1998-1999-2001 and 2002. Elected JGW in 2002, Senior GW in 2003, Deputy GM in 2004 and Grand Master in 2005. Ronnie`s year turned out to be the 200th Anniversary of our Grand Lodge and needless to say he was most active with the many and varied functions he attended to throughout his busy 12 months. We at Hope Lodge are extremely proud to have had Bro: Ronald W. Conaway as our Grand Master during our 200th Anniversary Celebration. His primary focus during his Masonic Year was our Masonic Home and the continuing raising of funds for our Grand Lodge Permanent Fund. Thanks Bro: Ronnie for a job well done, as history will attest to .
In October 2008 Bro: James Edward Willey, Jr. became Grand Master from his home Lodge Franklin Lodge No 12, Georgetown and also is a Dual member of Hope Lodge No 4. Jim was born in Georgetown, DE on March 2, 1957. He is the son of Lewis J Nobles PM and Edith Nobles. His father served as Worshipful Master for both Jefferson Lodge No. 15 and Franklin Lodge No. 12 and is responsible for introducing Jim to the friends and family of Freemasonry. Jim is one of eight children. As a child Jim lived in several different states as his father was in the United States Navy . Upon his Fathers retirement the family returned to Delaware. After graduating from Sussex Central High School in 1976, Jim enlisted in the United States Army and was stationed in South Carolina with the 548th Engineer Battalion. After leaving the Army he worked as a carpenter for several years with Walls Builders. In 1983 he enlisted again in the United States Navy as a parachute rigger attached to the USS Independence, stationed out of Virginia Beach, VA. He returned to Walls Building after his years` service. He went into business for himself in 2002.
While stationed in Virginia Beach Jim met Juanita McClung. Brother Reverent Brooks Reynolds, Sr of Salisbury, MD married them on April 12, 1986. They have four children, Tammy Elliott, David McClung, Edith Lemon and James Willey III. Tammy is married to Jeff Elliott and they have two children., Taylor and Blake. David is married to Arlene McGee and they have three children, Mathew, Sara and Grace. Edith is married to George Lemon and they have one child, Kelligh . James III has a son Joseph.
Most Worshipful Willey received his Entered Apprentice Degree in Franklin Lodge No. 12 on April 9, 1985, passed to the degree of Fellowcraft on February 26, 1986 and raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason on April 22, 1986.
He has had the pleasure of serving as Worshipful Master of Franklin Lodge No. 12 on several occasions 1992-93- 1998 and 1999 and 2001-03. He served the important station in his Lodge of Secretary since 2003 .He became a Dual Member of Hope Lodge No. Four in 2006. He is a 32nd Degree Mason member of the Southern Jurisdiction, in Salisbury. His progression to become Grand Master of Mason of Delaware began in 2005 when he was elected Junior Grand Warden, Senior Grand Warden in 2006, and Deputy Grand Master in 2007 and Grand Master in Oct 2008. Brother Willey attends St. Pauls United Methodist Church . Franklin Lodge Past Master Don Murray is Pastor of St. Paul `s Church and when he was Master of the Lodge he had Jim substitute as Junior Steward. He has been an active Mason ever since.
Most Worshipful Willey`s theme is one that is very close to him, "Friends and Family". He believes when you petition a Lodge you should join as a friend and as you progress through the degrees you become a part of the extended Masonic Family.
May that spark of Freemasonry, which was first lit in Laureltown by Jesse Green and kindled by succeeding generations, continue to burn brightly on our alter as a reminder of our responsibility to so project our Masonic image that the honor, glory and reputation of our institution may be firmly established, and the world at large convinced of its good effects.
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The following Links to other Masonic Web Sites is being provided as a courtesy to those sincerely interested in the Craft and the Fraternity and genuinely seek further knowledge. The Grand Lodge of Delaware's Web Page can be brought up on the E-Mason Web Site's Page, just log on and go from there, or type in www.masonsindelaware.org. You can also download this website from the Grand Lodge Site by scrolling down to Symbolic Lodges and scroll down to Hope Lodge, double click on it or any of the other Lodges who have Web Sites and view them.
The E-M@son Web Site
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On behalf of the Worshipful Master, and his Staff, and all the members of Hope Lodge, we thank you most sincerely for visiting with us today. If you are not a Freemason and would like more information regarding the Craft, or should you have any comments or concerns regarding our Web Site, please contact our Grand Secretary at (302) 652-4614 and mention this web site, or contact M.W. Robert E Trice, Sr,.PGM at the above E-Mail Address, who is the Web Master for this Web Site
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