Richard R. Shanda
Brother Schanda was born in Newmarket, New Hampshire, on March 12, 1929, one of 11 children born to Frank A. and Mabel Schanda. He attended school in Newmarket and later studied at the University of New Hampshire and St. Anselm’s College. He served in the United States Navy from 1946 to 1948. He retired from United technology Corporation in 1987 after more than 37 years and became a court bailiff at the Rockingham County Superior Court and continues in that capacity.
He was married to Priscilla Carabellas on August 28, 1950 and they have one child, Richard F. Schanda, and 2 grandchildren, Stephanie and Richard.
Brother Schanda, a lifelong resident of Newmarket, served as Supervisor of the Checklist for 35 years, was a Little League coach, Boy Scout Leader and President of “dollars for scholars”. He is a member of Winnicut Grange of Stratham and the American Legion. He is a Charter Member of the Newmarket Historical Society, served as President in 1974 and 1975, and continues to serve as a Director. He was one of the founders of the Newmarket Militia and served as its Captain throughout the period of the nation’s bicentennial celebration. He was later promoted to Major, and still later, served as General of the 2nd New Hampshire Brigade.
Brother Schanda is an avid sportsman and writes weekly columns for several newspapers. He has been a licensed hunting and fishing guide in New Hampshire for 44 years. He is a member of the National Rifle Association; Salmon Unlimited; the National Wild Turkey Federation; Safari Club of America; the National Fisherman and is a life member of the New England Outdoor Writers Association.
Brother Schanda has written four Masonic plays, two of which have been published by the Masonic Service Association of North America. Brother Schanda’s Masonic career began in Rising Star Lodge No. 47 of Newmarket on September 11, 1968 when he received the Entered Apprentice Degree. He received the Fellowcraft Degree on October 10, 1968 and was raised to the Sublime degree of Master Mason on November 20, 1968. He served as Worshipful Master in 1979 and 1980.
He is a member of many Masonic bodies including both the York and Scottish Rite; Bektash Temple, Ancient Arabic Order, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine; Profile York Rite College No. 100; the Royal Order of Scotland; and Knight Masons Scenic Council No. 37. He is a Past Master of Anniversary Lodge of Research No. 175, a charter member and past Master of William Whipple Military Lodge, and a charter member of William Pitt Tavern Lodge No. 1789. He currently serves as curator of the Masonic Museum located within the William Pitt Tavern in Portsmouth. He is a member of Corinthian Queen Esther chapter No. 25, Order of the Eastern Star. He is a member of the Red Cross of Constantine, the National Sojourners, holds the DeMolay Honorary Legion of Honor, and is a life member of the Colonial Craftsmen of Massachusetts.
Brother Schanda holds dual membership in Horace Chase Lodge No. 72 of Penacook and is an honorary member of Saint James Lodge No. 102 and Moses Paul Lodge No. 96. He first served as District Deputy Grand Lecturer of the first Masonic district in 1985 and 1986 and as District Deputy Grand Master in 1987 and 1988. In 1989 he was appointed to the office of Junior Grand Deacon and has progressed through the “line” to become the highest-ranking Mason in this jurisdiction.
For service to his Lodge and Freemasonry he received the Major General John Sullivan Medal on April 14, 1982 and on October 10, 1987 he received New Hampshire Freemasonry’s highest award, the Jeremy Ladd cross Medal.
In 1989 Brother George D. Van Dyke, in an article published in “The New Hampshire Freemason”, described Brother Schanda as follows: he is “a gentleman-a friend-a brother-and a true Mason; kind and thoughtful and considerate of his fellow man”. In his brief address to those assembled following his installation as the 106th Grand Master on May 16, 1998, Brother Schanda showed his ability to remain himself in spite of his elevated within position within the craft when he opened his remarks with: “Well now, look at me. Who says you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear?”