CHARITY LODGE NO. 134 A.F. & A.M.
Maryland’s Only Remaining “Moon Lodge”
Charity Lodge No. 134 is the
only remaining ‘Moon Lodge’
in the State of Maryland and therefore does not have a fixed date for
its meetings. The Lodge meets monthly from September through June and
meetings are held on the Saturday on or before the full moon. According
to the oral history of the Lodge, members attending the meetings would
have the advantage of the light of the full moon as they journeyed to
and from the Lodge. Many traveled by horse, cart, buggy or foot. Often
train service ceased well before the Lodge closed, one brother
reportedly walked through the night after Lodge closed that he might be
at work by 5:00 A.M.
Charity Lodge’s return in The
Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Maryland
for 1873 one finds that
the Lodge became a “moon lodge” in that year.
Founding and Early History
On January 15, 1868, on the recommendation of
Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 116, of Towson, Maryland, Most Worshipful Grand
Master John Coates issued a dispensation for the formation of Bentley
Springs Lodge No. 134 at Bentley Springs, Maryland.
And on May 111, 1868 the Lodge was formally chartered.
The Proceedings of
the Grand Lodge of Maryland
shows Bentley Springs Lodge as having a membership of twenty-one
Master Masons, two Fellow Crafts and five Entered Apprentices.
These records indicate that the Lodge met on the first and third
Saturdays of the month.
officers for 1868 were:
C. W. Bentley
John C. Little
Brother Bentley served at Master of the Lodge
from 1868 to 1873.
On October 3, 1875 the Lodge laid the
cornerstone with due Masonic ceremony for the Grace Methodist church
that is now known as Bentley Springs United Methodist Church.
In 1858 the estate of James Calder sold land in what was to become
Bentley Springs to Charles William Bentley and his wife Ann.
In the late 1700’s Captain James Calder purchased large tracts of
land in the Parkton area.
is interesting to note how he came to Northern Baltimore County.
At the age of 17, James Calder was made a captain in the forces
raised by his father Sir Thomas Calder, chief of the Clan Calder, in
support of the pretender to the Scottish crown, Prince Charles Stuart,
The English defeated the claimant’s forces at the Battle of Culloden in
1745. The young man left Scotland with a price on his head for Maryland
where he became a successful surveyor. .
His wealth came from his invention of a vertical steam boiler and
its manufacture at the Baltimore Steam Boiler Works.
He retired to the country due to ill health as the result of a
sickness acquired while working in the South.
The supply of bountiful spring water made Bentley Springs a flourishing
summer resort on the Northern Central Railroad.
The water was renowned for its medicinal qualities.
A water bottling plant survived until the 1930’s. The railroad
line was chartered in 1828 and by 1838 it was completed to York,
access to Baltimore fostered the development of businesses and homes
along its right of way.
ease of transportation from Baltimore resulted in the development of
A fine resort hotel
was established at Glencoe and other hotels were built in communities
such as Monkton and Parkton.
Families established summer homes along the line where city dwellers
could seek relief from the summer’s heat.
The Bentley’s developed a resort with its center being the
Glenn House a large hotel with 40 rooms.
The facility had a grand marble courtyard and marble benches in
the hotel burned on November 7, 1868.
Mr. Bentley quickly replaced the hotel with a new building he
called the Boarding House with
survived until the 1950’s.
At various times the town also had a post office, stores, a paper mill
and a sewing factory.
The Lodge Moves to Parkton and becomes Charity
Meetings were held in the
House in Bentley Springs until May 9, 1888, when by Dispensation of
the Most Worshipful Grand Master Thomas J. Shryock, it was moved to
Parkton, Maryland and its named Changes to Charity Lodge. Meetings were
held in the Presbyterian Church which stood on the hill by the railroad.
The town was named after James Calder’s son-in-law, Davis B. Parke who
with his wife, Margaret Calder Parke, sold the lots that became known as
Parkton was an
important station of the Northern Central Railroad and had become an
important railroad center with a hotel, an Odd Fellows Hall, several
businesses, a bank and large homes built by commuters from Baltimore.
These commuter’s homes can be
seen today on the hill along Hillcrest Avenue.
On November 17, 1888 a Mr. J. S. Brown wrote inquiring if the Lodge was
interested in purchasing the church. A committee was formed to determine
the feasibility of this. For unknown reasons, on June 28, 1890 the
project was stopped and all moneys were returned.
On August 6, 1892 a motion was made to remove all Lodge possessions from
the Church as soon as possible.
The minutes of May 27, 1893 noted that Charity Lodge #134 had received
$217.26 in proceeds from a fair that had been held.
On December 19, 1896 a motion was made and passed to present each newly
raised brother of Charity Lodge with a “lambskin or white leather
On May 21, 1889, the Lodge was opened in due form and the brethren
marched in procession to the train station and proceeded by train to
Monkton for a burial service for Brother Robb G. Merryman.
On March 30, 1901, a committee was appointed for the purpose of
determining if there was sufficient interest in forming an Order of
The minutes of April 19, 1902 report that Charity Lodge moved to the
Frederick Road site in Parkton along the Little Gunpowder Falls.
The building was owned by Mr. J. W. Ayres, who rented it to the
lodge for the grand sum of $3.00 a month.
On August 17, 1907 a communication was received from Mr. Ayres offering
to sell the building to the Lodge.
A committee was appointed to negotiate with Mr. Ayres for the
purchase of the building.
The committee reported on August 31, 1907 that there was an asking price
of $1,030.00 and that Mr. Ayres would install a new roof prior to the
Deeds indicate that
the property was purchased on December 23, 1907 for $1,030.00.
On July 8, 1911 two brothers were designated by Worshipful Master James
Underwood to sit with Brother Henry Wilhelm for a week as he was ailing
and had no family.
In 1912, the Lodge’s minutes reflect that the lodge’s tax bill was
The Lodge was
apparently renting a portion of the building to a third party and it
voted not to rent to anyone other than Church groups because of
excessive noise, presumably from the tenant.
A discussion was held on September 29, 1914 on selling a portion of the
land owned by the Lodge – the sale was rejected.
In 1915 the Lodge granted permission for the Parkton Community
Association to meet in the Lodge Building.
On March 23, 1918, a committee was appointed for a 50th
further was mentioned in the minutes. However, the Lodge did have a
fiftieth anniversary lapel pin made and several are owned by Brothers.
The war effort may have interfered with the celebration as at
this time America’s involvement in the First World War was reaching its
The Lodge voted on February 8, 1919 to present each past master with a
Past Masters Jewel at the cost of $27.00.
On September 6, 1919 dues were increased from $4.00 to $5.00 and
the initiation fee went from $30.00 to $50.00.
This was a considerable sum as $50.00 in 1919 dollars is over
$600.00 in 2009 dollars.
Permission to allow the Eastern Star to utilize the Lodge for their
meetings was granted on April 3, 1920.
Parkton Chapter #42 of the Eastern Star was instituted on May 20,
1920 and constituted on June 4, 1921.
The Chapter also depends on the lunar cycle as it meets on the
first Saturday after the full moon.
Over the years it has contributed greatly to the upkeep and
improvements to the buildings and has maintained very close ties to
In 1938 the Parkton Temple was enlarged and
100th Anniversary – Hurricane Agnes Damages Lodge - Burglars
Strike the Lodge
In 1968 Charity Lodge began celebrating of its
On May 11, 1968,
the anniversary of the Lodge’s charter, Brother Stephen Kearney was made
a Master Mason on May 11, 1968.
(Brother Kearney was installed as Worshipful Master in 1974.)
On June 1, 1968, Charity Lodge celebrated its 100th anniversary
with a gala event in the Hereford Fire Hall. Most Worshipful Grand
Master Thomas Middleton and the Grand Line were invited to this event by
Worshipful Master Roy Calk. Over 300 guests attended this auspicious
occasion. Later Grand Master Thomas Middleton granted permission to
Worshipful Master Roy Calk to preside over the Cornerstone Ceremonies at
the educational building in the Methodist Church in Bentley Springs.
Grand Master Middleton furnished Worshipful Master Calk with grand lodge
tools that were well over 100 years old for this special occasion.
In June of 1972, Charity Lodge's building in
Parkton sustained considerable water damage from Hurricane Agnes. Water
reached halfway up the first floor wall. Worshipful Master Ed Berry
headed up a crew of members to repair the extensive damage. Many records
and other historical items were damaged beyond salvation during this
storm. Much of Charity Lodge’s history was lost in the flood.
In 1979 Brother Attwood R. Wynn, Past Master,
had the appointed by Most Worshipful Grand Master
William M Koenig
to be a Grand
Inspector for Baltimore City and County.
He is reputed to be the first member of Charity Lodge to be so
honored and he served as such until 1982.
In 1980 the building was improved with a new
septic system, a new heating plant, and the structure was insulated.
Unfortunately, in 1981 burglars entered the
lodge building and stole several items including top hats, the working
tools and many other items that were never recovered.
On October 2, 1982, Worshipful Master George E.
Lang, III, arranged a bus trip to the George Washington Memorial in
Alexandra, Virginia, where he and his line conferred the Third Degree
and raised Brother William Harrison.
Later that year he conferred an Entered Apprentice degree at
On October 30,
1982 the Most Worshipful Grand Master Bernard Rothman and the Grand Line
attended Past Masters Night.
The Search for a New Location Begins
Since the damage incurred during the 1972
hurricane, many in the Lodge were interested in relocating as the area
surrounding the Lodge had been declared a flood plain.
Surrounding residential properties in the flood plane were
purchased by the State of Maryland, however, the State refused to
purchase Charity Lodge’s property.
In 1988, Bill Hughes initiated
discussions with Brother Norris W. Tingle, an attorney and Lay Minister
of the Methodist Church located at Freeland and Middletown Roads, for
the purchase of the church as a new home for Charity Lodge.
Worshipful Master Les Orlidge submitted the necessary paper work
to the Grand Lodge and its committee on lodge buildings.
Concurrently, several other properties were
available during this period of time, but the Lodge eventually voted to
pursue the Methodist Church property at the intersection of Middletown
and Freeland Roads.
In May of
1988 Lodge members signed an option to purchase the property. On January
31, 1989 the Lodge signed the contract to purchase the property.
In February of 1989 the Lodge made application for rezoning the
property for use as a "Community Building". Specific zoning for use as a
Masonic Lodge was not in the code. This became a lengthy process which
included the necessary planning for conversion from a church to a lodge
layout, architectural drawings and permits. In February the building and
lot officially became Lodge property with a purchase price of $65,000
paid at settlement.
Freeland was named for the Freeland family who
purchased land in the area from an early settler Isaac Morris.
Long ago the village included a station on the Northern Central
Railroad, a general store, a hotel and a Redman’s Lodge.
Several years of delay occurred while the Lodge
waited impatiently for the State to declare the property adjacent to the
old Lodge excess.
At the January 1989 communication Brother R.
Frederick Lunn was installed as Worshipful Master.
On February 18, 1989, Charity Lodge held its regular
communication in Fraternity Hall at the Maryland Masonic Homes and an
Entered Apprentice Degree was performed for the Brothers living at the
The year 1989 was a busy one for the Lodge with visits to
Shrewsbury Lodge No. 423, F&AM, for their Strawberry Night in the spring
and a November visit to demonstrate the Hiramic Legend.
There was a visit to Pythagoras Lodge No. 123, AF&AM, for their
Annual Picnic and their Low Vale Lodge, and a visit to Hagerstown Lodge
No. 217, AF&AM, for their steak dinner and Low Vale Lodge.
activity the Lodge had presentations on York Rite Masonry, on the
Shrine, and on the Masonic charities,
The Lodge also had a St. Johns’ Day service and Country
Breakfast, a Family Picnic, and a Ladies/Widows Night at Friendly Farm
Restaurant with a Barber Shop Quartet for entertainment.
And, the 121st Anniversary was celebrated with a
Master Mason Degree Day featuring the raising of four brothers to the
As a result of the many activities in 1989, the Lodge received
the Grand Master’s Award with Distinction for the first time.
The Lodge also received a plaque once again attesting to its
having the highest percentage of members at the Grand Lodge’s Harvest
At the Grand Lodge Annual Communication on November 20, 1989, Worshipful
Master, Bro. R. Frederick Lunn, was appointed to serve as a Grand
Inspector for Baltimore City and County.
He would serve in that post for nine years.
This is the second time in the history of our Lodge that we have
been so honored.
In August of 1990, Charity Lodge and Pythagoras
Lodge No. 123, AF&AM, traveled to Eblen’s Cave in Tennessee with Most
Worshipful Grand Master B. Hope Harrison for the annual "Cave Degree",
where under dispensation, they conferred the Maryland third degree and
Worshipful Master Karl Knouse raised Brother Peter Tinley. Union Lodge
No. 38 F&AM of Kingston, Tennessee hosts the "Caves Degree" each year
with a different Masonic Jurisdiction invited to confer the degree.
In 1991 Worshipful Master George E. Lang III,
Past Master started the actual demolition and construction of the new
Lodge building. The bell and bell tower were removed from the front of
Friends of Brother John R. Biggs, Jr., at U.S. Tower
Service provided the crane and operators for the removal.
The bell is on loan to the nearby Morris Meadows Museum.
Also, removed was an interior wall extending from "North to
South" and about 20’ from the East.
Among the Brothers who worked to bring about
the transition of Charity Lodge to its new home to two individuals seem
to have worked tirelessly:
Brother George E. Lang, Jr., Past Master, was called the Grand Architect
because of his devoted work to get the design right.
Brother James L. Rosier, Past Master, as Chairman of the Building
Committee, put in many long days’ work to get the job done.
Finally in the spring of 1992 the State sent
appraisers to evaluate the property adjacent to the old Parkton Lodge.
In June of 1992 the State decided on the price of $18,700 for the
property. This was more than members were willing to spend and efforts
to sell the building continued with the thought to allow the new owners
the responsibility of dealing with the State.
Charity Lodge Moves to Freeland
On May 6, 1992, Worshipful Master John R.
Biggs, Jr., invited Brother John Smith, Most Worshipful Grand Master and
his Grand Line to Charity's new Temple to conduct a "Corner Stone"
ceremony. The Boumi Temple Highlanders drum and bagpipe corps "piped"
the Grand Master and the Grand Lodge Line accompanied by the Worshipful
Master and the Charity Lodge Line across the property to the
Cornerstone. The Hereford High band provided appropriate patriotic music
for the festivities. The Commander of the Parkton
Chapter of the American Legion, presented Charity Lodge with an American
Flag. Local residents also attended the ceremonies and press coverage
was provided by several local newspapers.
The following items were placed in the "time capsule" within the
• Charity Lodge Communications for 1992
• A picture of the new building prior to renovation.
• Three pictures of the old building in Parkton, Md.
• Pictures of the 1992 line officers, Charity Lodge Past Masters present
at the 1992 Installation of officers.
• A glass from the Cornerstone Ceremony
• Charity Lodge By-laws from 1991
• A directory of Lodges and concordant Masonic bodies
• A 1992 Grand Lodge Directory of Officers, Lodges and Worshipful
• A Bible
• A picture of Grand Master Smith
• 1991 Grand Lodge Proceedings
• A 1991 Commemorative coin from the Ground Breaking Ceremony at Bonnie
• A 1991 Commemorative coin from Harvest Home Day
• Cornerstone Ceremony Program
• Vol. XXXVIII number 4 of the
Knight Templar, the Spring 1992 issue of the Royal Arch magazine
• The June 1992 issue of the Scottish Rite Journal
• The "Star Spangled Banner" issue of the Scottish Rite magazine.
The Cornerstone was donated by Joseph and
Ronald Silbaugh of Silbaughs' Memorial Stones in Shrewsbury, Pa.
Arrangements for this were handled by Morris Bohlayer, Senior
Warden. Additionally, the Silbaugh’s donated the marble squares used by
the Deacons during degree work.
In 1992 worshipful Master Biggs made
arrangements for Charity Lodge. along with brethren from Waverly, Howard
and Mt. Moriah Lodge, to take a bus trip to visit Garibaldi Lodge in the Grand
Lodge building in New York City.
They witnessed the Entered Apprentice degree conferred on several
confers this degree under disposition of the Grand Lodge of Italy and it
is done exactly as it is done in Italy.
This is the Italian Lodge’s main degree and it is quite different
than anything known to the visiting Brethren.
Biggs invited the members of Virginia’s Springfield Lodge No. 217 who
gave a most interesting and informative presentation on Cleopatra’s
Needle, the missing link in Masonry.
During degree work in 1992 Brother Theodore
Harding, P.M., of Waverly Lodge #152, amused the Brethren and delighted
the candidates by presenting them with miniature
working tools of each degree along with “Wages of a Fellow
Craft”. In addition during
the installation of officers that year he presented the Worshipful
Master Biggs with three gavels:
One for large decisions, one for small decisions, and a regular
gavel for the rest of time.
The first two gavels are on display in the Lodge.
In September of 1992, W.M. Biggs held
a Worshipful Master's Night in Charity Lodge with visiting Worshipful Master's from six
surrounding Lodges occupying the chairs and conferred a Fellow Craft
Degree upon Brother Gary Edwin Murphy.
Additionally in 1992, Charity Lodge again
received the Grand Master’s Award with Distinction.
On Past Masters night, October 30, 1993, Past
Master John Dell raised future Worshipful Master Jon Thompson who was
the last member to be raised in the old Temple in Parkton. That evening
Worshipful Master Morris Bohlayer was the last Worshipful Master to
close the Lodge in the old Temple.
In November of 1992 Brother R. Frederick Lunn,
Past Master, was appointed to the M.W. Brother Bill Clark's Grand Line as Senior Grand Steward.
Brother Lunn was the first member of Charity Lodge appointed to
the Grand Line.
In January of 1993, Brother John R. Biggs, Jr.,
Past Master, was appointed as Deputy Grand Lecturer, a
position he held with the Grand Lodge for 6 years when he was then
appointed Deputy Grand Lecturer at Large where he served for the next 5 years, and
was appointed Grand Lecturer in 2004.
November 20, 1993 was moving day from Parkton
A large rental
truck was on hand for the large items and a number of Brothers came with
By noon the
Lodge was on the move.
Members of the Eastern Star were on hand to provide a lunch of beef
barbecue, pork barbecue, cakes, cookies and assorted drinks.
Once at the new site it was observed that it took longer to
decide the configuration of the benches in the new Lodge Room than it
did to move them.
On November 27, 1993, Worshipful Master Morris
Bohlayer opened Lodge in the new building for the very first time. The
weather did not treat the Lodge kindly, dumping five inches of rain that
weekend. It did not deter many Masons however, as approximately 100
brethren braved the elements and attended that long awaited meeting.
On March 26, 1994 Brother Art Stika conferred
the first Entered Apprentice degree in the new Temple. Brother Stika
presided in the East and passed Brother Paul Edgar Neal to the degree of
On May 14, 1994 Worshipful Master George E.
Lang III, Past Master, hosted Most Worshipful Grand Master William
M. Clark and his Grand Line. Grand Master Clark presided over the
"Dedication Ceremony" for the new Charity Lodge building.
On June 4, 1994, Worshipful Master George E. Lang III, Past
Master, initiated the first candidates in the new Temple.
The new Entered Apprentices were Brothers David Buckingham, Barry
Ditto and Stephen Zemanek.
And on June 22, 1994 Brother Paul Neal was raised to the Third Degree.
And in November four brothers were raised to the Third Degree.
In 1995 Charity Lodge received fourteen
petitions and Worshipful Master Arthur R. Stika performed degree
work at almost every communication.
In January 1998 Brother John R. Biggs, Jr.,
Past Master, was appointed Senior Grand Deacon of M.W. Brother John
Naquin's Grand Line of the Grand Lodge of
Also, in January
1998, Worshipful Master elect Jon A. Thompson, Sr., invited Most
Worshipful Grand Master John C. Naquin and the Grand Line to conduct the
installation ceremonies and 102 masons attended the festivities.
In 1998 Brother Biggs, P.M. requested and was grandted a dispensation to
form the Shield & Square Degree team - a group of law enforcement
In April 1999 Charity Lodge sponsored nineteen
candidates for the Grand Master’s first "one-day" class to receive the
three degrees of Masonry. Seventeen of those Brothers completed their
catechism and stood proficiency in the Master Mason degree at the
Regular Communication in February of 2000. In 2006, one member of the
class, Brother Eric Sopp, was installed in the East as Worshipful Master
of Charity Lodge.
In November of 1999, Brother John R. Biggs,
Jr., Past Master, was elected Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of
Maryland. Brother Biggs became the first Charity Lodge member to
hold an elected position in the Grand Line of the Grand Lodge of
Maryland. Brother George Lacey
was appointed Grand Tyler.
In the history of the Maryland Grand
Lodge It is a rare occurrence for a non-Past Master to be appointed as a
Grand Line Officer.
M.W. Brother Francis E. Larrimore was Grand Master.
In January of 2000, Worshipful Master (elect)
Frederick Laser, Jr., invited Most Worshipful Grand Master Francis E.
Larrimore and his Grand Line to conduct the installation ceremonies for
Charity Lodge. The first "open installation" (which allowed non-masons to
attend the installation) in Charity's history was opened by
Worshipful Master James L. McLaughlin. There were 130 present, including
the 20 month old granddaughter of the new Worshipful Master, Miss
Samantha Laser, who became the first non-mason family member to present
the WM with his gavel.
Brother George W. "Skip" Lacey, III, was
appointed Grand Tyler Brother
Lacy had served in the line at Charity Lodge since being raised in 1995
and was, on this night, was installed as Charity Lodge's Senior Warden.
On August 19, 2000 Worshipful Master Frederick
Laser, Jr. and a full line of Officers returned to Kingston, Tennessee,
for Union Lodge No. 38's annual “Eblen's Cave Degree." There, under
dispensation, they exemplified the Maryland Master Mason degree with
Brother Bobby Phillips as the candidate. Brother Phillips was a member
of Orange Grove Lodge No.635, F&AM, Gulfport, Mississippi.
At the conclusion of the ceremony Worshipful Master Laser made
Brother Phillips an "ornery" member of Charity Lodge No. 134.
of the Grand Line in the Grand Lodge of
George Lacey was appointed Assistant Grand Organist.
Additionally in 2000, Charity Lodge again received the Grand
Master’s Award with Distinction.
In November, 2000 Brother Morris Bohlayer, Past
Master, was elected Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Maryland.
In two consecutive years Charity Lodge had two members serve as
On January 6, 2001, Worshipful Master Laser
opened a regularly tiled lodge and received Most Worshipful Grand Master
Bennie G. Owens, and the Grand Line Officers of Maryland. W.M. Laser
then proceeded to install Worshipful Master (elect) George W. Lacey,
III, Past Grand Tyler, Brother Lacy was appointed Assistant Grand Organist. Worshipful Master
Lacey installed the line officers of Charity Lodge for the year 2001.
In the spring of 2004 Brother John R. Biggs,
Jr., Past Master, was appointed Grand Lecturer by Most Worshipful Grand
Master John A. Young taking the place of Brother Edward B. Kraft, who
retired from that office after eighteen and one-half years of faithful
In the November of 2004, Brother John R. Biggs,
Jr., Past Master, was elected R.W. Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of
Maryland where he served for the next two years.
John R. "Jack" Biggs, Jr., P.M., is
Master of Masons in Maryland
During the November 18, 2006 Annual
Communication of the Grand Lodge of Maryland, Brother John R. Biggs,
Jr. was elected to become the next Most Worshipful Grand Master. He was installed the following day.
The Maryland State
Police Color Guard presented the colors, and the Boumi Shrine
Highlanders piped the new Grand Master, with his Grand Line as honor
guards, to the Grand East.
Presentations to the new Grand Master were made
by his wife, presenting him with a replica of the George Washington
gavel, and other gifts were given by his family. Charity Lodge’s
Worshipful Master Eric Sopp and Brother Greg Hudnet also made
Brother Greg Hudnet was appointed Grand Tyler by M.W. Grand Master Biggs thereby
adding another to the list of Charity Lodge members who have served in
the Grand Line of the Grand Lodge of Maryland.
Suffice it to say that after a long and distinquished career with
the Maryland State Police it wasn't surprising that he chose a replica of
the state police badge to use as the basis for his Grand Master's pin.
During Brother Fred Laser's tenure as
Worshipful Master in 2007 and 2008 the Lodge was blessed with
opportunities: The delivery of over 300 pounds of Christmas care
packages to Iraq during '07 gathered by the Lodge and the whole
Charity Lodge had its first Table Lodge with an Oktoberfest
dinner and meeting with Germania Lodge Number 160. Honorary Past Master
Jack Kroh, Shrewsbury Number 423, received his second degree in German
at that meeting.
In December of 2008 Brother Fred Laser requested that a motion be
made to have M.W.P.G.M. Biggs' picture hung on the north side of the
lodge, that his presence be with the Lodge in perpetuity - this was
unanimously agreed upon by the brothers present and the picture so
To date Brother Laser is the only Master to
have had all open Installations and in those years his
grandchildren, oldest to youngest, presented him his gavel. A freak ice
storm prevented him from raising his son Adam to the third degree until
after his two terms.
Laser served as Junior Warden in June of 2009 for Adam's raising by the
Freestate Shield and Square Club.
Merrill Brunson was initiated in May of 09, passed in August and raised
in October, the significance of this is that he not only answered the
catechism questions, but asked them as well. M.W. Bro. Biggs, his catechism
instructor, noted that in the whole MM examination Merrill had only one
word wrong, and that was in one of the questions. M.W. Brother Biggs
also noted that Brother Brunson was the first one he had seen do this
since he did the same thing in his M.M. exam in 1964
In January of 2009 Brother David E. Dell was
installed for the fourth time as the Worshipful Master of Charity Lodge.
Brunson, later in 2010, was examined and awarded the Grand Lodge Gold
Card for catechism profiency in all three degrees. The presentation of
this Gold Card was given to him during the Grand Lodge Summer School of
Instruction on August 10, 2010.
On February 13, 2010 the installation of
Brother R. Frederick Lunn, for the second time, and his line of officers
finally took place after being postponed several time on account of
record amounts of snow.
Worshipful Master Lunn put forth
a busy agenda for the Lodge.
To celebrate George Washington’s birthday, the Right Worshipful Deputy
Grand Master Stephen J. Ponzillo, III, appeared in costume and
enlightened and entertained the family members in attendance.
In March members of Virginia’s Springfield Lodge No. 217 gave an
interesting and informative presentation on Cleopatra’s Needle, the
missing link in Masonry. This was their second visit to Charity Lodge.
Families were invited.
April brought Towson’s Bethel No. 36, International Order of Job’s
Daughters, to Charity Lodge and they performed one of their ceremonies
under the direction of Honored Queen Emily Candler for the Lodge and
At the May meeting in 2010, Brother Herbert Bangs, Past Master of Mt.
Moriah Lodge No. 116 gave a presentation on
The Return of Sacred Architecture.
June was capped with a Strawberry Night.
At Past Masters’ Night Brother Phil Stansfield, Past Master
conferred the Master Mason Degree on Brother William Minor with nine
other Past Masters participating.
Again, in 2010, Charity Lodge added another plaque to the
twenty-four on the wall of the Lodge received award for having the first
or second largest percentage of members in attendance at the Harvest
In January of 2011, Brother George
E. Lang, III, Past Master was installed as Worshipful Master for the
fourth time. On April 2,
2011 he presided over the Lodge’s first Open House inviting the
community to come and learn more about Masonry and Charity Lodge as a
part of the statewide Ask a Mason membership program instituted by the Grand Lodge.
April 2017 W.M. Roy Neal made arrangements to host Charity
Lodge's 150th Anniversay in the Ballroom of the Grand Lodge of Maryland
on May 12, 2018. Dinner, dancing and comments will fill out the evening.