Article by Right Worshipful Brother Richard F. Cole, Jr., PM, PDDGM
Recently, Most Worshipful Brother Stewart L. Aronson, PGM was honored with the unveiling of a portrait by Masonic Artist, Brother Ryan J. Flynn. Brother Flynn is well known and has designed the beautiful Masonic windows of the Lodge Room and many other works of interest.
The attached pictures show MW Aronson along with our presiding Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother John F. Gordon and Presiding Lodge Master, Worshipful Brother Steve Fifield and Masonic Artist Ryan J. Flynn. A group picture shows all in attendance.
In its 160 years of existence, Star in the East Lodge No. 59 has been privileged to have four of its members serve the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire as Grand Master.
A listing of the Grand Masters follows:
Charles Henry Bell (1823-1893)
Charles Henry Bell was born in Chester, New Hampshire on November 18, 1823, the tenth and last child of former New Hampshire Governor John Bell and Persis (Thorn) Bell. Brother Bell graduated from Dartmouth in 1844 and was admitted to the New Hampshire Bar soon thereafter.
He was elected as the 31st Grand Master in 1862 and 1863. At the time of his first election to Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother Bell had been a Master Mason for less than five years. At 39 years of age, he was the youngest Grand Master to hold office up to that time, and may be the youngest ever elected.
John James Bell (1827-1893)
John James Bell was born in Chester, New Hampshire on October 30, 1827, the first child of Samuel D. Bell and Mary (Healey) Bell.
Brother Bell was Raised in Rising Sun Lodge #39 in Nashua on December 27, 1849 and subsequently affiliated with Star in the East Lodge #59 of Exeter. Most Worshipful Brother Bell was elected as the 38th Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire in 1876 and reelected in 1877.
To answer the question on many minds – yes, Charles Henry Bell and John James Bell were related. Their fathers were brothers, making them first cousins.
Carroll Moulton Fogg (1923-1993)
Carroll Moulton Fogg was born in Exeter, New Hampshire on May 16, 1923, the son of Carroll Woodbury Fogg and Ada Evelyn (Moulton) Fogg. Brother Fogg was Initiated in Star in the East Lodge #59 on November 9, 1944, Passed on December 14, 1944 and Raised on February 1, 1945. He became a dual member in Ossipee Valley Lodge #74 in Center Ossipee in 1971. He was appointed to the Grand Lodge Progressive Line as Junior Grand Deacon on May 16, 1970 by Most Worshipful Brother Stanley A. Johnson. He progressed through the chairs and was elected the 97th Grand Master on May 17, 1980. Those who had the privilege of knowing Carroll Fogg knew a man who was both devoted and fiercely loyal to all elements of the Craft.
Stewart Lee Aronson (1949-Present)
Stewart Lee Aronson was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts on April 29, 1949, the son of Harvey and Isabelle R. (Crystal) Aronson.
Brother Aronson developed an early love of music and began playing guitar in 1961. In 1974, he left the family business – Aronson Barrel – to pursue a full-time career in music. During the mid- to late 1970’s, Brother Aronson played guitar and sang all over New England. Brother Aronson married Katherine J. Destino and he and Kathy had two children, Kristen born in 1983 and Morgan born in 1985.
Brother Aronson was Initiated on June 1, 1989, Passed on July 31, 1989 and Raised on September 5, 1989, all in Gideon Lodge #84, and served the Lodge as Master in 1995. He is an affiliated member of Star in the East Lodge #59 and African Lodge #459, Prince Hall Masons of Massachusetts.
Most Worshipful Brother Aronson started his journey in Grand Lodge in 1998 when he was appointed as one of the first District Education Officers. In May of 2004, Brother Aronson was appointed to the line by Most Worshipful Brother Albert P. Burgess. He advanced through the progressive officer line and, on May 18, 2013 was elected and installed the 114th Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire.
Most Worshipful Brother Aronson has been blessed with and supported by two wonderful women during his Masonic journey. Tragically, in May of 2000, his wife Kathy passed away after a year-long battle with cancer. A very special bond had been broken by a death that had come too soon. On July 24, 2010, another special bond was created when Brother Aronson married Mara (Gutman) Ferris.
Many of us wonder about the legacy we will leave when our time to depart this earth arrives. Brother Aronson does not need to wonder. During his time as President and CEO of New Hampshire MasoniCare, Brother Aronson was a principle force behind the transformation of the former Masonic Home into Evergreen Place in Manchester. His skills and drive helped make it a showcase for independent and assisted living facilities.
Well done, our true and faithful friend!