Several active and retired military personnel, who were
Prince Hall Masons, representing several Masonic
Jurisdictions within the Continental United States, came
together at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base pursuant to
military orders. This group of Prince Hall Masons assembled
together during September 1978 to discuss the idea of
forming a Masonic Study Club on Wright-Patterson Air Force
Base, Ohio for the following principal purposes:
To keep sojourning brethren in touch with the fraternity
by studying its precepts and teachings;
To participate in Masonic activities within the Masonic
Jurisdiction of Ohio, and
To involve themselves in community activities.
Although, the group had not formally organized by December
1978, several dedicated Masons regularly met at the
Noncommissioned Officers Open Mess’ Annex from September
1978 until the end of that year. During this time, the group
developed plans to petition the Most Worshipful Prince Hall
Grand Lodge of Ohio to become a Masonic Study Club on
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio for the purposes cited
in the preceding paragraph.
During early 1979, the group, holding its meetings in the
Annex of the Noncommissioned Officers Open Mess on
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, petitioned the M. W.
Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Ohio to organize, meet and work
as a Masonic Study Club on the base. During the group’s
meeting on March 7, 1979, R. W. Aron Moss, Jr., informed the
members that M. W. Grand Master William A. McClain was
putting the approval of their petition in final form, and
they have permission to operate as a study club. R. W. Moss
all suggested that the club submit a letter to Mrs. Edward
Dugger, requesting permission to use the name of her late
husband, Past Grand Master Edward Dugger, Jr., for our study
M. W. Grand Master William A. McClain, finding the group’s
request to be proper, signed a Dispensation on February 28,
1979, authorizing these Prince Hall Masons to establish a
Masonic Study Club on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
for the purpose of studying the Masonic Precepts and the
Ohio Ritualistic Practices. This Dispensation did not
authorize the Masonic Study Club to perform ritualistic
degree work, and it was delivered to the Presiding Officer,
Brother Richard L. Jones at the club’s meeting on March 22,
1979 by R. W. Aron Moss, Jr., and Brother Booker T. Webster.
The group, having been empowered to study the Masonic
Precepts and the Ohio Ritual, on base then followed the
suggestion of R. W. Aron Mass, Jr. The Presiding Officer,
Brother Richard L. Jones sent a letter to Mrs. Edward Dugger,
who resided in Dayton, Ohio, requesting permission to use
the name of her late husband for the Masonic Study Club. The
name of Edward Dugger, Jr., was agreed upon by this Masonic
Study Club because of Past Grand Master Dugger’s affiliation
with the base; being the "first" Black Engineer to work on
the installation, and because of his outstanding work within
the Ohio Masonic Jurisdiction.
Mrs. Dugger’s response to Brother Jones’ letter is quoted,
in part, for your information:
"I was touched
and flattered that you would request, on behalf of a
group of Prince Hall Masons to name your study club in
honor of my husband, Edward Dugger, Jr. Please know that
you have my permission to proceed as you indicated, and
I feel sure that somewhere up there, Eddie will be
smiling too. . . ."
The Masonic Study Club opened its April 12, 1979 meeting in
the same manner as a regularly constituted Lodge.
By mid-May 1979, the study club had received permission to
organize a Masonic Study Club to use the late Past Grand
Master Edward Dugger, Jr.’s name for its club. On May 11,
1979, Brother Richard L. Jones sent another letter to the
2750 Air Base Wing/SS, requesting the Masonic Study Club be
designated as a Private Organization on the base.
In a letter, dated June 1, 1979 to club members, the
Presiding Officer, Brother Richard L. Jones, proclaimed
every Thursday and Saturdays of each month as meeting days.
Meeting on the Second and Fourth Thursdays would start at
17:30 hours (5:30 p.m.), while meeting on the First, Third
and Fifth Thursdays would start at 1900 hours (7:00 p.m.).
Meeting on Saturdays would start at 1500 hour (3:00 p.m.).
The reason for this stringent meeting schedule steemed from
Brother Jones’s desire to have the club members learn the
ritualistic work as quickly as possible, so they would be
proficient enough to render assistance to any of the local
Lodges in Dayton, if called upon for such service.
Edward Dugger, Jr., Masonic Study Club met regularly for the
remaining months of this year, and held its first
installation of officers on September 27, 1979. Brother
Booker T. Webster presided. The first Edward Dugger, Jr.,
Masonic Study Club Officers were: Worshipful Master, Brother
Richard L. Jones, Senior Warden, Brother Andrew M. Watson,
Junior Warden, Brother Thomas H. Savage, Treasurer, Brother
Clarence W. "Bud" Willis, Secretary, Brother James O.
Freeman, Assistant Secretary, Brother Charles V. Williams,
III, Senior Deacon, Brother Julius C. White, Junior Deacon,
Brother Oscar J. Waddell, Senior Steward, Brother Purcell N.
Brown, Junior Steward, Brother William H. Anderson,
Marshall, Brother Curtis Walker, Chaplain, Brother James J.
Lytle, Jr., and Tyler, Brother William E. Johnson.
Edward Dugger, Jr., Military Study Club held its first
election of officers on December 13, 1979 for the ensuing
year. Brother Booker T. Webster presided. Those brethren
elected and appointed to serve during calendar year 1980
were: Worshipful Master Richard L. Jones, Senior Warden,
Brother Thomas H. Savage, Junior Warden, Brother Charles V.
Williams, III, Treasurer, Brother Thomas H. Moore, and
Secretary, Brother James J. Lytle, Jr. Worshipful Master
Richard L. Jones made the following appointments on January
10, 1980: Senior Deacon, Brother Purcell N. Brown, Junior
Deacon, Brother Oscar J. Waddell, Senior Steward, Brother
Anthony Jones, Junior Steward, Brother Inus G. Crawford,
Marshall, Brother Andrew E. Gooch, Chaplain, Brother Thomas
J. Harriel, Jr., and Tyler, Brother William E. Johnson.
NOTE: Brother Clarence W. "Bud" Willis resigned as Treasurer
for reasons unknown, and a special election was conducted.
Brother Thomas H. Moore was unanimously elected as
Treasurer. Brother Booker T. Webster installed all elected
and appointed officers on January 10, 1980.
Edward Dugger, Jr., Military Study Club carried out all
regular Masonic activities during the period: January 1980
through August 1982. On August 6, 1982, then
Worshipful Master Charles V. Williams, III and Secretary
George B. Douglas sent a letter to the M. W. Grand Master
requesting authority to become a new lodge. Twenty (20)
Demits, Minutes, showing the names of the first three
principle officers, and the names of twenty-six (26) members
of the club supporting the act to become a lodge. During the
133rd Annual Grand Lodge Communication, the
committee on Charters and Dispensations recommended, and the
Grand Lodge approved a Charter to issued to Edward Dugger,
Jr., Masonic Stud Club, and that its name be: Edward Dugger,
Jr., Military Lodge, and its Number be: 123.
Edward Dugger, Jr., Masonic Study Club was formally opened
on October 31, 1982 at approximately 2:00 p.m. Subsequently,
M. W. Grand Master Kenneth E. Lewis and other Grand Lodge
officers were received. WM Charles V. Williams, III then
passed the gavel to M. W. Grand Master Kenneth E. Lewis, who
called off a Study Club for the purpose of chartering a new
Lodge, and ordered the Grand Marshall to for a procession to
march to the Kittyhawk Recreational Center, Building 1197,
where Edward Dugger, Jr., Military Lodge No. 123 was to be
officially constituted and chartered. M. W. Grand Master
Lewis convened an Occasional Grand Lodge at 3:00 p.m., on
this day and chartered the "first" and "youngest" Military
Lodge in the history of the Ohio Masonic Jurisdiction.
Since this historical date on October 31, 1982 to present,
Edward Dugger, Jr., Military Lodge has had twenty (27)
brethren to be elected to the Oriental Chair in the East and
served as Worshipful Master of this Military Lodge. Their
names and the year served are listed below:
1982 – Richard L. Jones
1997 – Douglas L. White
1983 – Thomas H. Savage
1998 – Arnim A. Collins
1984 – Clarence W. "Bud" Willis
1999 – James H. Foster, II
1985 – Charles V. Williams, III
2000 – John L. Walker
1986 – Oscar J. Waddell
2001 - James E. Hardnick, Jr
1987 – James J. Lytle, Jr
2002 - Victor E. Cole
1988 – Thomas J. Harriel, Jr
2003 - Mancedon R. Johnson
1989 – Julius C. White
2004 – Edward Thomas
1990 – Michael L. Freeman
2005 - Bradford J. Stallworth
1991 – Joseph E. Toliver, Jr.
2006 - Melvin B. Buckman
1992 – Arper Tentman, Jr.
2007 - Jimmy Kilpatrick
1993 – William K. Harvey
2008 -2009 Carlton H. Johnston
1994 – Jimmie E. Johnson
1995 – William H. Anderson
1996 – Joseph L. Thompson