Gethsemane Lodge No. 28
|Warren Saunders, PM
|Douglas Boozer, PM
The charter for Gethsemane Lodge No. 28 was issued in 1876. Except for a few years, its membership has been the smallest of the Delaware Lodges. In 1956, its membership was seventy members. Today, it has seventy-one. Its membership peaked in 1980 when it had eighty-three members. It has always been a family Lodge with many of its members being related.
Several important events have occurred over the last fifty years at Gethsemane Lodge. In 1969, it was determined the cost to make improvements to the old Lodge hall would be more costly than to build a new one. On October 4, 1969 the building committee was authorized to erect a new building immediately to the rear of the existing hall. Ground was broken on November 14. 1969 and the has was completed and dedicated on April 18, 1970 at a cost of $18,000.
In 1972, Paul E. Ellis became the first member of Gethsemane Lodge to be elected Grand Master of Masons in Delaware. He later served five years as Grand Treasurer, and served for many years on the Board of Directors of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association.
Grand Master Ellis selected as his theme “Brotherly Love: The Brotherhood of Man Under the Fatherhood of God.” To promote his theme a Brotherhood Night was held at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Wilmington where the Virginius Craftsman, a Research Lodge was chartered by the Grand Lodge of Virginia, exemplified the Master Mason Degree on March 30, 1972. Over one thousand brethren from nineteen states and Scotland and Canada assembled in the Cathedral for this event.
Gethsemane Lodge marked their centennial year on October 7, 1975. A special meeting was held October 10, 1975 with the presence of Grand Master Raymond M. Savage and his staff, as well as the Grand Master from Maryland, J. Thomas Middleton. The room was packed with over 100 brethren, including twenty of the twenty-nine living Past Masters.
The centennial observance continued with a trip to the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia for the purpose of conferring the Master Mason Degree on Robert L. Parker.