By Right Worshipful Brother David Akridge
On January 13, 2019, Federal Lodge No. 5 held its historic Installation of Officers.
The Installing Master was Right Worshipful Brother William Sawyer, Past Master of St. John’s No. 1, PDDGM District No. 1, installed Worshipful John Pond, Jr. with the Installing Team of Right Worshipful Brother David Cumming, Past Master of Winnipesaukee Lodge No. 75 and current DDGM of District No. 5, installing the elected officers and Right Worshipful Brother Michael Pettingill, Past Master of Tucker Lodge No. 99 and PDDGM of District No. 1 performing the installation of the appointed Officers. Right Worshipful Brother Michael Steward, Past Master of Strafford No. 29 and current Grand Chaplain served as the Installing Chaplain, Right Worshipful Brother Dennis Tuttle, Jr., Past Master of Morrison Lodge No. 90 and current DDGL for District 5 served as the Installing Secretary and Worshipful Brother John Alden, Past Master Winnipesaukee Lodge No. 75 and current Grand Steward, served as Installing Marshall.
The presentation of Colors was performed by the York Rite Color Guard.
With almost fifty Brethren, friends and family in attendance, the Installation and the official rebirth of Federal Lodge No. 5 was conducted with great historical significance as Masonry in Dover once again was united in Dover, New Hampshire
A brief history of Federal Lodge No. 5 is below.
At the stroke of midnight on January 1st, Strafford Lodge No. 29 and Moses Paul Lodge No. 96 became Federal Lodge No. 5. The formation of the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire ocurred in July of 1789. Federal Lodge No. 5 was actually the second petition for a charter presented to our newly formed Grand Lodge. For some reason, the Petition was not acted on and it was presented again on October 24, 1792.
The original Petitioners of Federal No. 5 were Theodore Dame Amos Cogswell, Samuel Place, Henry Mellen, William King, James Taylor, Jonathan Rawson, and Nathan Hoit. I wonder what they would be saying knowing that their dream of Federal No. 5 has been reborn.
It is speculated that the name Federal Lodge came about as a result of the Federal Party who was the dominant political party during the years that our Lodge was formed. Many of our founders were prominent Federalist. New England, in general, was a Federal Party stronghold. Many of our countries Founding Fathers were Federalists and Masons. The Federalist Party was the majority party until 1801. Dover, in particular, played host to many political events of the Federalist party.
Federal Lodge No. 5 voluntarily turned in their Charter on April 25th, 1798. We know that it was common in those days for members of other Lodges to sign on as Charter members as new Lodges were being formed in our early history. We know that Brother Mellen was still an active and respected Mason as at his death, post-Federal Lodge, the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire had a Special Communication where he was referred to as “a prominent lawyer and Mason from Dover”.
For a short period of time, Dover had no Masonic Lodge, on July 23, 1817, Strafford Lodge No. 29 was granted a Charter.
Some 74 years later, on May 21st, 1891, Moses Paul Lodge No. 96 was granted a Charter.
For the last 127 years, there have been two Dover Masonic Lodges.
On January 1st, 2019, Federal Lodge No. 5 and Masonry in Dover, some 220 years, 8 months and 8 days later, is once again an active Lodge in Dover. Let us endeavor to celebrate the respective histories of Strafford Lodge No. 29 and Moses Paul No. 96 as part of our history as our future lies in our history.
Let this version of Federal Lodge No. 5 come together focusing on the core principles of Masonry and create a dynamic, vibrant and unified Lodge.