Union Lodge No. 7

Officers

Harry J. Whiteman  Worshipful Master
Corey P. Simpson  Senior Warden
Mark E. Butler  Junior Warden
 S. Curtis Cole, PJGW  Secretary
 John W. Marinucci, PGM  Treasurer
John B. Vandegrift  Senior Deacon
 Richard L. Shehorn  Junior Deacon
Thomas M. Lindsey  Senior Steward
Heath A. Madden  Junior Steward
 John K. Boland, II  Tiler
 Arthur L. Bright, PM  Chaplain
John T. PearsonMarshal

Past Masters

Harry J. Whiteman2020Fred M. Bowen2019
Edward H. Houseman2018Kevin C. Livingston2017
Mark D. Wilkins2016Jeffrey D. Haass, Sr.2015
 Maurice W. Little2014Gary L. Laing, PM2013
 Frank H. Furr III, PM2012 John W. Marinucci2011
 John D. Hiott, P.M.2010 M. Phillip Brown (VA)2009
 Charles H. Workman III2008 Bruce A. Beck2008
 M. Phillip Brown (NY)2008 Thomas E. Morrison2007
 Eric L. Stephens2006 Edward H. Brown (NH)2005
 John D. Hiott2005 M. Phillip Brown (NY)2005
 John A. Eberly2004 Mark A. Claveloux2003
 Gary L. Lang2002 S. Curtis Cole, PJGW2001
 Frank H. Furr III2000 Charles G. Morgan (NJ)1999
 Berard J. Bialecki, Sr.1999 Thomas A. Frazier1998
 Sam Katz (PA)1995 David Chidester1995
 John J. Nuss1994 Frank R. Foster1993
 Robert A. Greenfield (MA)1993 Arthur L. Bright, 33′1992
 Terry L. Gillette (CT)1992 Jesse H. Flanders1991
 D. Michael Robertson1990 Charles G. Morgan (NJ)1990
 Charles H. Ware1985 Eugene L. Edwards, PSGW1984
 Vincent S. Partridge, PDD (Ger)1983 Thomas I. Moore, Jr.1983
 Joel H. Levine (NY)1982 P. Donald Carey, PGM1982
 Richard E. Ennis (#13)1981 Joe D. Kennedy1978
 Jesse E. Collier1972 Joel H. Levine (NY)1971
 James A. McWilliams1969  

History

The present Union Lodge No. 7 had its charter revived on June 27, 1857 by Grand Master Alfred P. Robinson. Since that time Union No. 7 has toiled faithfully in the quarries of Freemasonry.

More

The latter half of the twentieth Century proved to be a time of challenges presented and challenges met for Union Lodge No. 7. Positive actions taken by the Brethren decades ago have brought the Lodge to its present state of self-sufficiency, and leave it poised to meet the challenges of the future.

When the Grand Lodge of Delaware celebrated its Sesquicentennial in 1956, Union No. 7 was holding its meetings in the Hinkle Building on South State Street in Dover, diagonally across from the Capital Theater. Today the site is vacant, save for a marker and sculpture placed on the corner during the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution in 1987. In 1960 the Lodge moved to the first building it could call its own. Previously, Union Lodge No. 7 had met in a variety of rented facilities, but the Lodge took the bold step of constructing its own building at 38 South Street, adjacent to what was then called Kent General Hospital.

Financially it was a risky undertaking, and an adherence to the Four Cardinal Virtues celebrated by Masons was the guiding rule that saw the Lodge through very adverse times. Hard work and a spirit of camaraderie and brotherhood, combined with the will and fortitude to survive, brought the Lodge through the toughest years.

In the intervening years, prudent and just investments and expenditures helped to pave the way to financial security. But as the twentieth Century drew to a close, a major decision affecting the future of Freemasonry in Dover was looming.

Since the early 1990’s, the Masonic Hall Corporation had conducted talks with officials from Kent General Hospital, which expressed interest in acquiring the lodge property at some future date. As the Hospital acquired ownership of the surrounding properties, Union Lodge No. 7’s building on South Street remained one of the few it did not own. It became clear that the Lodge property would play an important role in the hospital’s growth.

In early 2003 the Hall Corporation went to its members with an initial offer from the hospital and requested permission to conduct serious negotiations that would result in the Lodge moving to a new home. Once again perseverance paid off, and an accord was reached. The result for Union Lodge No. 7 was a new building on Wyoming Mill Road, located on the western side of Dover, an area of growth for the capital city and a suitable site for the lodge to become a focal point of Masonry.

A Lodge, however, is not just a building. It is Brothers who meet within its walls, wherever they may be. Union Lodge has been blessed throughout its history with strong leaders from the halls of government and the offices of business. In the years before 1956 no fewer than nine of Union Lodge No. 7’s finest held the office of Grand Master.

Four more names would be added to that distinguished list in the ensuing fifty years. John J. McClearman in 1969, followed in 1978 by James H. Hutchins, Thomas H. Coughlin in 1987, and P. Donald Carey in 2002. John J. McClearman also served as Most Excellent Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Delaware in 1971; James Hutchins was also elected to that high post in 1980.

With its proximity to Dover Air Force Base, Union Lodge No. 7 has drawn members from the military community. Sadly, the only Delaware Masons to die during the Vietnam War was a member of Union Lodge No. 7. U.S. Air Force Colonel Paul O. Meder was declared M.I.A. on December 21, 1972. He was formally declared dead by military officials in July 1982. A plaque hangs in his memory in the Lodge building.

Publicly, Union Lodge No. 7 is visible in the community. Lodge officers and members, along with those from the Order of Eastern Star and Job’s Daughters, participate in the annual Old Dover Days parade every May. In recent years, the Lodge has established a scholarship, which is awarded to a deserving high school student each year. Union Lodge No. 7 has also sponsored a new DeMolay Chapter in Dover.

The list of names of distinguished Brethren who have been members of Union Lodge No. 7 is long — those cited in this review are but a fraction of the hundreds who have improved in Masonry, and who have worked to improve Masonry in Delaware. Union Lodge is much more than its new building – Union No. 7 is the Brethren of a great Fraternity, bonded by the cement of their zeal for Freemasonry and committed to its future in the First State.

Union Lodge No. 7 celebrated its own Sesquicentennial in 2007…150 years of Masonic excellence in the capital city of Delaware. In taking a look back at its history, Union Lodge No. 7 sets a new course toward its own bicentennial and beyond.

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