A First: Masons Bestow Highest Award To A Woman
The Middlesex Lodge of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons can add another page to its history.
The Lodge’s highest honor, the Timothy P. Guertin Award, was presented for the first time to a woman, Megan Ward, for her work in helping lodge members clarify the mission of the fraternal organization.
“It’s an overwhelming honor,” said Ward who facilitated a retreat for senior lodge members this past summer. During the retreat the mission, vision and values of the Middlesex Lodge were addressed. “I helped them get to their core values,” said Ward.
The Guertin Award is presented annually to “an individual for exhibiting outstanding qualities in friendship, family value and good spirit.”
The award has been presented since 1992 and may be given to persons outside the Mason fraternity. It is in memory of Middlesex Lodge member Timothy Guertin, who was killed in an accident.
The Guertin Award was only one of a series of honors and presentations that occurred during the Middlesex Lodge Annual Awards Holiday Meeting and Party at the Framingham Masonic Hall, Concord Street.
A number of Mason state level dignitaries attended the Middlesex Lodge Awards ceremony including Robert Everett Havener, district deputy grand master.
The Most Worshipful Paul Revere Award was presented to Aristides DeLanes Jr. for his work with different elements of the Brazilian community in Framingham.
According to the official proclamation, the Paul Revere Award is given “to an individual or group for the outstanding exemplification and proclamation of Masonic principles and values with deepest gratitude for their untiring efforts to proclaim the Mission, Sustain the Excellence and be a Beacon to all men within the fraternity.”
The award is a plaque and a hurricane lamp that resembles the one hung at the Old North Church in Boston that signaled the movement of British troops out of the city and launched Paul Revere and others on their historic ride on the eve of the American Revolution.
The Middlesex Lodge is a Paul Revere chartered lodge, that began in 1795.
“[Membership in the lodge] connects me with American culture,” said the Brazilian native. “I can socialize with other people and in the lodge I feel at home.”
Being a Mason has helped DeLanes in his community work. “I can walk on both sides and see the problems on both sides.”
Earl Dickey, a Mason for more than 50 years, received the Joseph Warren Medal, emblematic of “exceptional service to the fraternity, his place of worship, his local and the world community.” Dickey, 83, is a Korean War veteran and is active in many aspects of the Ashland Senior Center.
Tom Dickey, Earl Dickey’s son, received a Middlesex Lodge scholarship as he continues his education.
Members Phil Bancroft, Robert Phillips and Merrill Rosenberg received Master’s Awards given to those “who have performed outstanding service to the Lodge.”
Ed Sawyer was awarded a 25-year Service Pin, and credited the lodge with a spirit of friendship among the men and their families.
Middlesex Lodge Master Alfredo Canhoto reported that the Masonic Angel Fund, www.masonicangelfund.org, contributed hundreds of dollars to Framingham students at Saint Bridget School, Hemenway School, Brophy School and the Marlboro Early Childhood Development Center.
Canhoto also pointed out a remarkably well-preserved document that sat in a glass-covered wooden box at the foot of the dais. The document is the original charter of the Middlesex Lodge and was signed by Paul Revere in 1795.
“Legend has it that during a time of persecution of the Masons (in the 1820s) the charter was hidden in the trunk of a tree on the Grand Master’s property in Nobscot,” said Canhoto. “I like to think that it could have been in one of the trees around my house.”
The Middlesex Lodge meets the third Tuesday of the month at the Masonic Hall, 404 Concord Street.