Christiana Lodge No. 35

Officers

Andrew B. Gregg, PM  Worshipful Master
Kennard E. Brown, III, PM  Senior Warden
Thomas J. Sullivan, Jr.  Junior Warden
Kenneth A. Bright, PM  Secretary
Christopher M. Wessells, PM  Treasurer
PM  Senior Deacon
David C. Graham  Junior Deacon
Robert J. Beckage  Senior Steward
PM  Junior Steward
David C. Hutchins  Tiler
Nicholas Francica, III  Chaplain
Glenn F. Davis, Sr., P.G.M.  Secretary Emeritus
Larry D. LaraMarshal

Past Masters

¬†Andrew B. Gregg, PM2020 Christopher M. Wessells, PM2019
 Christopher M. Wessells, PM2018 Kenneth A. Bright2017
 Christopher M. Wessells2016 A. B. Gregg2015
 Glenn F. Davis, Sr., P.G.M.2014 Glenn F. Davis, Sr., P.G.M.2013
 Fred J. Lynch II2012 Don H. France, Sr.2011
 William J. Salm, Jr., PM2010 William J. Salm, Jr.2009
 Edward A. Burke, Jr.2008 Charles N. O’Neal2007
 Charles N. O’Neal II2006 William J. Joyce2005
 Kennard E. Brown III, PM2004 Kennard E. Brown III2003
 Edwin M. Newth, PM2002 Edwin M. Newth, PM2001
 William R. Reddon1999 Carl H. Cox, PM1997
 Carl H. Cox1996 John J. Slawski1994
 Mishler H. Reinhart1992 David D. Laird, Sr.1990
 Peter M. Pena (23-29)1990 Glenn F. Davis, Sr.1985
 Guy T. DeBonaventura, Sr.1983 Ray H. Krantz1979
 David B. Craig, Jr.1974 Edwin M. Newth1970
 Peter H. Berg1969 Alva E. Spahr, Jr.1965

History

The formation of a new lodge in Newport was justifiable because the other lodges in the same location had members who wanted to go through the chairs and were waiting sometimes for several years to have the opportunity to become officers of their respective lodges.

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      A second reason for the request was that membership in the three others lodges was growing and in an effort to keep them from becoming too large, and a new lodge could receive some of the new members wishing to join the Newport lodges. As of the Annual reports of June 1962, the following membership counts were: Armstrong Lodge No. 26, 786 members, Ionic Lodge No. 31, 302 members and Unity Lodge No. 32, 148 members for a total membership of the Newport lodges of 1,236.

     The request of the Newport lodges was a direct result of a request of then Grand Master, Charles E. Daniels to masons in Delaware, that new lodges be created in Delaware. It was soon after his request that Armstrong, Ionic and Unity lodges started to make the request a reality.

     The Past Master’s Association of Newport met in October 1962 and agreed that the three lodges in Newport would support and form a fourth lodge. The Committee chairman selected for this difficult task was then Past Grand Master Arthur G. Craig of Armstrong Lodge No. 26, assisted by Harry F. Seeds, Past Master of Ionic Lodge No. 31 and Howard M. Herron of Unity Lodge No. 32.

     A second meeting of the Past Masters Association was held in November 1962, and the committee submitted the following members as potential officers of the new lodge: Francis A. Battaglia, Ionic Lodge No. 31, as Worshipful Master, Frederick F. Quashine, Ionic Lodge No. 31, as Senior Warden, Alva E. Spahr, Jr., Unity Lodge No. 32, as Junior Warden, James C. Cleveland, Ionic Lodge No. 31, as Secretary, John H. Lewis, Armstrong Lodge No. 26, as Treasurer, Charles R. Sears, Sr., Unity Lodge No. 32, as Senior Deacon, John H. Stroup, Unity Lodge No. 32, as Junior Deacon, Carl S. Russell, Unity Lodge No. 32, as Senior Steward, Peter H. Berg, Ionic Lodge No. 31, as Junior Steward, Edwin M. Newth, Lafayette Lodge No. 14, as Chaplin, Harlan Hobson, Ionic Lodge No. 31, as Tiler.

     The above selected officers then started to practice under the excellent guidance of Jack Crowley, Past Master of Ionic Lodge No. 31, Henry Seeds, Past Master of Ionic Lodge No. 31 and Howard Herron of Unity Lodge No. 32 as Officer Instructors. In January 1963, the above officers checked out on the Master Mason Degree before Grand Instructors Lousell S. Jeuell with Edwin M. Newth, giving the catechism. In March 1963, Alva E. Spahr, Jr., checked out in the Entered Apprentice Degree with Edwin M. Newth giving the catechism..

     Shortly after these check outs were completed an informal meeting of the officers was held for the purpose of selecting a name for the new lodge. Several names were proposed and rejected. Fred Quashne then proposed the name of “Christiana Lodge” and it was immediately accepted. The third Tuesday was selected for the regular communications and Friday for the conferring of degrees or other special meetings.

     Under a Dispensation granted by Grand Master William H. Cantwell, an Occasional Lodge was opened by M:.W:.William H. Cantwell, Grand Master, on May 17, 1963, for the purpose of presenting a Dispensation for the forming of a new lodge. This was a direct result of letters having been sent to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of A.F. & A.M. of Delaware, dated April 19, 1963 from Unity Lodge No. 32 A.F. & A.M. of Newport, Delaware signed by the Worshipful Master and Secretary with the seal of the lodge affixed.

     Most Worshipful Grand Master William H. Cantwell stated that this was a historical occasion because it was the first time in 92 years that two Dispensations were issued in the same year as Brandywine Lodge No. 33 had also been issued a Dispensation during a year. The previous happening was when both Armstrong Lodge and Oriental Lodge had been granted a Dispensation. He then read the request from Unity Lodge No. 32 A.F. & A. M. to issue a Dispensation for the forming of Christiana Lodge Under Dispensation, the request included the signature of 22 brothers. The report of Grand Instructor Lousell Jeuell was also read attesting to the proficiency of the selected officers for Christiana Lodge No. 35 UD to perform the duties of their individual offices.

     Most Worshipful William H. Cantwell then read letters from both Armstrong Lodge No. 26 and Ionic Lodge No. 31 welcoming the new lodge to their jurisdiction. He then announced the following Officers for the Occasional Lodge: Worshipful Master – William H. Cantwell, Senior Warden – Sherman W. Tribbitt, Junior Warden – Rhey H. Smith, Secreatry – Harry D. Weyl, Jr., Treasurer – Horace S. Allen, Jr., Senior Deacon – Charles E. Hughes, Junior Deacon – Gordon W. McChesney, Senior Steward – Ray W. Budd, Junior Steward – Homer G. Lutton, Tiler – Edgar V. Sheldon.

     Also seated in the East was Right Worshipful Lawrence E. Sipple, Deputy Grand Master. The Occasional Lodge was then opened with Most Worshipful William H. Cantwell acting as Worshipful Master. The Worshipful Master then formed the selected officers of Christiana Lodge before him and presented the Dispensation dated May 17, 1963 authorizing the formation of Christiana Lodge U.D. and then explained to the Worshipful Master and Wardens their duties for the new lodge. The selected officers were in their respective stations and Worshipful Master Francis Battaglia then thanked the Grand Master for the Dispensation and stated that the officers would then like to open the lodge in ritualistic form and immediately following this to have the Most Worshipful Grand Master make his official visit to the lodge. His request was accepted and the Official Visit was made. Past Grand Masters Horace S. Allen, Jr. and James B. Kilvington were then introduced. In addition to the Past Grand Masters, there were 120 members of other lodges in attendance. The lodge was then closed by Most Worshipful William H. Cantwell in ample form. This was all accomplished on the evening of Friday, May 17, 1963.

     The second meeting of the lodge was held on Tuesday, May 21, 1963. At that meeting, Past Master William Conley of Armstrong Lodge and President of the Newport Masonic Hall Company informed the lodge that it was the custom of Hall Company to offer the new lodge to offer the new lodges the first year rent free and for the next year the rent would be one-half of the normal minimum rent. Approximately three years later, Christiana Lodge presented the Hall Company with the chairs located in the Tilers room as a token of their appreciation for the Brotherly love shown to them.

     The first petitions for Christiana Lodge U.D. were received at this meeting from James Willis Palese, William Irving Kramer and Eugene Harry O’Neal. Only the Worshipful Master, Senior and Junior Wardens of a lodge under dispensation are allowed to sign and investigate petitions.

     The proposed By-Laws were read at this communication and a copy given to each member to review and advise the lodge of any desired changes.

     The third meeting U.D. was held on June 18, 1963 at which time the above petitioners were elected and the petition of David Baxter Craig, Jr. was presented. After the business of the lodge was completed, the lodge was changed to the Entered Apprentice Degree and the degree was conferred on James Palese by Past Grand Master Horrace S. Allen, Jr., a very close friend and former teacher of Worshipful Master Battaglia. Past Master Howard Herron assisted by Past Master John C. Crowley conferred the Entered Apprentice Degree on William Kramer and Alva E. Spahr conferred the degree on Eugene Harry O’Neal. The Entered Apprentice lecture was given by Lousell S. Jeuell, Grand Instructor.

     The first Special Meeting was held on Friday, September 13, 1963 when the Fellow Craft Degree was conferred on the above Entered Apprentices by Senior Warden Fred Quashne assisted by Worshipful Master Frank Battaglia as Senior Warden.

     At our fourth regular communication, after the completion of necessary business of the lodge, the Entered Apprentice Degree was conferred on David B. Craig, Jr., by Alva E. Spahr, Jr.

     The fifth regular meeting of the lodge was the special night for the election of Officers for the ensuing year. All of the selected officers were elected or appointed to be installed at such time as they receive their charter.

     A special meeting was held on October 18, 1963, for the purpose of conferring the Master Mason Degree on Fellow Crafts Palese, Kramer and O’Neal. The degrees were conferred by Past Masters Howard M. Herron, John C. Crowley and Henry F. Seeds respectively. The lecture was given by Worshipful Master Francis Battaglia. While a lodge is under dispensation, the Master Mason Degree can only be conferred by an actual Past Master. Since brother Battaglia had not as yet received the Actual Past Master’s Degree, he could not confer the Master Mason Degree. The first candidate he was able to confer was the Master Mason Degree on David B. Craig, Jr. on December 20, 1963 at a special meeting.

     Christiana Lodge was the second lodge to be chartered in 1963 and this was the first time since 1870 that two new lodges were formed in the same year. In 1870 both Hiram Lodge No. 25 and Armstrong Lodge No. 26 were charted. The other new lodge formed in 1963 was Brandywine Lodge No. 33.

     The next big step happened on the evening of November 6, 1963 when Christiana Lodge became a Chartered Lodge. Christiana Lodge U.D. officially became Christiana Lodge No. 35 that evening. Most Worshipful Grand Master Lawrence E. Sipple along with the other Grand Lodge Officers then proceeded to Constitute, Consecrate and Dedicate the lodge which was followed by the Installation of Officers. The Grand Secretary, Right Worshipful Chester R. Jones advised the Installing Officer, Most Worshipful Past Grand Master, Paul Yearsley of Armstrong Lodge the elected officers had passed a satisfactory examination and that the Worshipful Master Elect had received the Actual Past Master’s Degree. The officers that had been previously selected to the various offices were officially installed in their respective stations without any exceptions.

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