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Welcome To Hope Lodge No. 4

Meets 3rd Tuesday at 7:30PM

Except in July and August

  This Web Site Last Updated on: October 24,  2009


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




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.


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.


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 who replaced PM Pierce .  either our Secretary PM Charles Wood, Your Webmaster PGM Trice or our Senior Warden James Hollis sitting as WM James Hollis. I realize this is short notice but I was not informed myself till last night.  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.


Our first meeting for the fall season was held on September 15, 2009 with many brethren in attendance. There was considerable reports from the Secretary desk and our Worshipful Master Bro: Jim Hollis called on reports from the various Committes appointed before we closed back in June.

Our first Oyster fritter fry was held Saturday the 19th of Sept. and it was a sell out. Our chef Bro: Earl Little says he will make the 3rd pot of Crab soup for the next Oyster Fry as it sold out again within the first hour when sales began. The O.E.S. did very well with their Cakes, Brownies, Fudge, Cookies and Pies. It was a beautiful day and everyone at the Lodge throughly enjoyed the fund raiser. I took some photos of the guys at work and as soon as I get some spare time, will endeavor to download them on this Web Page.

Stay tuned to this Web Site for more info from our lodge and other happenings that are under consideration.

Pictured below are two of our Brothers Bro: PM Bruce Marine-SW and Bro: Earle Little-Senior Steward returning from the Cook Shack

                        This is where the action begins ,in the Cook Shack with Bro: Harvey

Carlyle our Tyler assisted by Bro:PM Bruce Marine-Sen.Warden














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.


Officers Of Hope Lodge

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



A.F. & A.M.

"ORIENTAL CHAIR" by Brother J. Norman Nicklas



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.



Links to Other Masonic Sites

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


Request Information About Masonry

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