Harvey J. Waugh Installed Grand Master of Masons

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Harvey J. Waugh, of Lynnfield, MA, will serve as the 88th Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts for the following year. Waugh is a new Grand Master, serving his first term in 2014.

Harvey J. Waugh, Grand Master

On December 27th, 2013, Harvey John Waugh was installed as the 88th Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts.

On December 27th, 2013, Harvey John Waugh was installed as the 88th Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts. Waugh is following in the footsteps of Past Grand Masters like Paul Revere and General Joseph Warren. The office of Grand Master is a volunteer position; the Grand Master is elected and installed on an annual basis. Tradition dictates that first-year Grand Masters like Waugh are re-elected for two more years before a new Grand Master is elected.

As Grand Master, Waugh presides over more than 30,000 Masons and 230 lodges throughout the Commonwealth. The Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts was chartered in 1733, following the establishment of the Grand Lodges of England in 1717 and Ireland in 1725. This makes Massachusetts the third oldest Grand Lodge in the world and the oldest in the Western Hemisphere. Waugh is considered to be the third "ranking" Mason in the world due to this precedent.

The Grand Master has two distinct responsibilities. First, he serves as the leader of the fraternity. In this capacity he has numerous ceremonial privileges; he ensures the activities taking place within the jurisdiction comply with the Constitutions and Regulations of the Grand Lodge. The second responsibility he has is leading the business of the Grand Lodge, including:

  • Chairman, Grand Lodge Board of Directors
  • President, Masonic Education & Charitable Trust (ME&CT). The ME&CT is a 501(c)3 overseeing the charitable activities of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
  • Chairman, Grand Lodge Library and Museum Board of Directors; a 501(c)3 responsible for the Samuel Crocker Lawrence Library and the Grand Lodge Museum collection, both of which are open to the public.
  • Chairman of the Masonic Health System (MHS) Board of Directors. With corporate headquarters in Charlton, MA, MHS includes The Overlook Life Care Community, which features independent, enhanced, post-acute and skilled nursing; The Overlook in Northampton, offering post-acute and skilled nursing and Overlook Care at Home which serves greater than 1,800 people each day.

Born in Winthrop, MA, Waugh was raised in Melrose and educated in the Melrose school system. He served in the United States Navy, being commissioned an Ensign in 1964. In 1968, he was hired by the Aleppo Shrine Temple to serve as its Recorder, a position he held until he retired in 2008.

As Recorder, he was responsible for the daily operation of the Aleppo Shrine Temple, including office administration, event planning, record keeping, human resources, and other tasks as needed. Under his administration, the Aleppo Shrine Temple moved from their headquarters in Boston to the Auditorium in Wilmington, MA in 1977.

In 1968, he began his Masonic career by joining Wyoming Lodge in Melrose. He served as the Worshipful Master, or presiding officer of the lodge, in 1977-78. Masons use the original definition of the word worshipful: honorable. English mayors and judges are addressed by the title of “Worshipful” even today. As Grand Master, members of the fraternity will call Brother Waugh “Most Worshipful.”

He is also a member of Cawnacome Sunshine Lodge in Bourne. His service to the Grand Lodge began in 1983 when he was appointed Grand Representative to the Grand Lodge of Spain, a position he still holds today. In 2005, he was appointed to serve as Deputy Grand Master by Jeffrey B. Hodgdon, the Grand Master at the time. Deputy Grand Master is the second highest position a Mason can hold in the state.

In that same year, Waugh also received the Henry Price Medal, the most prestigious honor conferred by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. In 2008, he was elected to serve on the Grand Lodge’s Board of Directors. He was re-elected to a second three-year term in 2010 which expired on the day of his installation. A member of the Board of Directors cannot serve more than two terms consecutively, but there is no limit to the number of terms.

He has been active in several Masonic organizations in his lifetime.

In his youth, Waugh was a member of Melrose Chapter in the Order of DeMolay, a Masonic youth organization for boys aged 12-21. He served the Chapter as its Master Councilor, or Presiding Officer, and was awarded the Degree of Chevalier, the highest honor a member can receive for service to the organization. He also received the Legion of Honor, the highest honor that can be conferred by DeMolay International on an adult.

Waugh is also active in the York Rite of Freemasonry. He is a member of Saint Paul’s Royal Arch Chapter, Melrose Council of Royal and Select Master Masons, Boston Commandery, and Saint Bernard Commandery.

A member of each of the bodies in Scottish Rite in the Valley of Boston, he was installed as the Sovereign Prince, or presiding officer of Giles F. Yates Council, Princes of Jerusalem in 1989, a position he held until 1992.

In 1991, he received his 33° at the Annual Meeting of the Supreme Council, 33°, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States of America.

Waugh resides in Lynnfield with his wife, Margaret. Together they have two daughters, Kimberly and Jennifer.

Freemasons belong to the world’s oldest and largest fraternity. Comprised of men from every race, religion, nationality, and opinion, it aims to promote friendship, morality, and brotherly love among its members. Dedicated to the principle of making good men better, Freemasonry develops and strengthens the character of its members by providing meaningful opportunities for fellowship, charity, leadership, and education. By contributing to the improvement of the individual man, through him the institution helps make his family, workplace, and community better. North American Masonic philanthropies contribute more than $3 million every day, 70% of which goes directly to the general public. For more information please call 1.800.882.1080 or visit MassFreemasonry.org.

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