In New York City, back in the heyday of Masonry in the State of New York in
the 1920s, Master Masons began forming clubs for socializing after work.
These clubs were formed based on the Brothers' occupations, branch of civil
service, or trade, and helped introduce Master Masons to one another from
many different Lodges but who worked in the same occupation or trade.
The Square Clubs were
under the umbrella of the National League of Masonic Clubs, which boasted
over 600,000 members in 1922.
One of the best-known Square Clubs
to be established within the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of New York is
the Police Square Club of the City of New York, formed by New York Police
Department Police Officers and Detectives who were Master Masons on March
15, 1920, and incorporated
by the State of New York, Office of the Secretary of State, on November 20,
The objects of the Police Square
Club are to promote social intercourse, strengthen friendships and promote
each others welfare among Master Masons belonging to a Lodge recognized as
regular by the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New
York, and who are, or have been, employed by the Police Department of the
City of New York.
Membership is open to all Master
Masons, active or retired of all ranks and civilian employees of the NYPD
who are in good standing, belonging to a Lodge under the jurisdiction of the
Grand Lodge of New York. They also accept Associate Members who are
not affiliated with the NYPD.
Here are some photographs of
current and Past Brethren of the Police Square Club, one of the oldest line
or fraternal organizations of New York's finest, including the recent
installation of officers.
Worshipful Bro. Richard
Providence, the first PHA Brother to be installed as President of the Police
Square Club, was sworn in on March, 24, 2015 with MW Grand Master William J.
Thomas, Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York in attendance, at
the Advance Masonic Temple in the Long Island City section of Queens, NY:
the Brethren wearing the special Police Square Club hats. The Police
Square Club had their own Fellowcraft Degree Team, which often were
requested to perform the Hiramic drama in NYPD uniform, armed with their
firearms, wearing the Square Club hats, their police shields, white
gloves, gauntlets, and special aprons.
Following the model of
the NYPD's Police Square Club of the City of New York, Police Square Clubs
were also formed in New Jersey and Connecticut. The Police Square Club of
Connecticut was famous for its conferral of the Sublime Degree of Master
Mason, and Brethren from as far as Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York,
New Jersey and Pennsylvania were known to come to observe their degree
working in the 1940s and 1950s.
The Fire Square Club of the City of New York was another of the first clubs
to be established. It was first formed by a Battalion Chief, Bro. Albert
Reid, on June 26, 1921 for New York City Firefighters and Fire Officers who
were Master Masons of
the Grand Lodge of the Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York.
It was an active line organization for many years, but seems to have gone
defunct. As of 2015, it is no longer listed as a fraternal line organization
on FDNY websites.
The Post Office Square
Club of Brooklyn and Long Island No. 309 was established in 1922, and was
a vibrant and active branch of the Square Clubs in the New York area for
many years, comprised of Master Masons who served in the U.S. Postal
Service in the area's post offices in New York City and Long Island.
Many Postmasters belonged to
the Craft and this Square Club.
21,1922, the Drug and Chemical Square Club was created in New York City,
comprised of Master Masons who were connected to the pharmaceutical and
chemical trade. Besides pharmacists,
this Square Club also admitted doctors, dentists, as well as those
involved in the allied industries. They admitted Master Masons from the
United States of America and Canada. The first president of the Drug and
Chemical Square Club was Bro. Thomas R. Freabody and the first secretary
was Bro. William B. Moore.
The Printers Square Club of New York was established in
1922 for printers and allied tradesmen who were Master Masons of lodges of
the Grand Lodge of the State of New York. Bro. Walter P. Heinrich was the
club's first president. Bro. George Milligan was the vice-resident and
Bro. John B. Post was the secretary. The club was proud to hail President
Warren G. Harding as an honorary member of the Printers Square Club.
In 1922, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 3 in
New York founded Electrical Square Club No. 420. It is comprised of
the men in the union who belong to the Masonic Fraternity in good
standing, a Fraternity "whose origins lay in the workmen's guilds of the
Middle Ages. Today, the Fraternity promotes the enlightenment ideals
of ration-ality and fellowship."
The Electrical Square Club is
the oldest social club in IBEW Local 3. Here is a photograph of an
installation of officers of the Electrical Square Club. Notice the
Square and Compasses on their club banner.
Textile Square Club of the City of New York was established on June 13,
1927, due to so many Brothers who worked in the Garment District in
February 3, 1939, the Police Square Club of Westchester County, Inc. was
established at the Mount Vernon Masonic Temple and was incorporated in
1940. Bro. William M. Kent, an NYPD Inspector, and a delegation of the
Brothers of the Police Square Club of the City of New York, assisted in
the installation of the new charter officers.
Club's first president was Bro. Frank E. Harris, Bro. Earl Weir was the
1st Vice President, and Bro. Walter Verdict was the 2nd Vice President.
The Rev. Dr. Ernest J. Houghton of the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church and
the Rev. Albert Tennyson Phillips, rector of the Trinity Protestant
Episcopal Church of Mount Vernon, were installed as the first
Michael I. Silverstein, an Inspector and later, a revered and
respected Chief of the Mount Vernon Police Department, was the club's
Officers from various police departments of Westchester County who were
Master Masons who hailed from Lodges of the Grand Lodge of Free and
Accepted Masons of the State of New York comprised the club's
charter membership. The charter members were police officers from Mount
Vernon, Larchmont, Tuckahoe, Harrison, New Rochelle, Port Chester,
Yonkers and the Westchester County Parkway Police Departments.
Apparel Square Club was formed on January 5, 1955 by 17 Brothers from
various Blue Lodges who had affiliations in the Lingerie Industry. It
was formed to continue with charities within their own industry to help
those qualified organizations, and those in need who found it difficult
to help themselves.
The following Brethren were the charter members: Bro. Joseph J. Banner,
Bro. Jerry Bassin, Bro. Alan Borenstein, Bro. Samuel Cohen, Bro. Arthur
Davis, Bro. Harry C. Durando, Bro. Bernard Gendal, Bro. Al Jaffin, Bro.
Jack I. Kleinberg, Bro. Adolph Kohn, Bro. Jacob Lowenthal, Bro. Seymour
Rosenberg, Bro. George Rosenblum, Bro. Harvey Rosenblum, Bro. Benjamin
Stallman, Bro. David Yates, and Bro. Louis Stamm. "The
word Square in our name comes from the tools of the stone mason (A
compass and a square which is our symbol)." It appears to be less
than its original Masonic purpose when it was founded in 1955, as it
admits women as members.
The Freestate Shield and Square Club is a Masonic Degree Team, composed
primarily of members of Maryland and Federal law enforcement officers,
who are also members of the world's largest fraternity, Freemasonry.
Bro. Jack Biggs, in November of 1998, under dispensation of the M. W.
Grand Master John C. Naquin, organized the Free State Shield and
Square Club Degree Team. This Team of dedicated Masons continues to
operate with permission of the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons
in Maryland, and under the auspices of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free
and Accepted Masons of Maryland.
In December of 1998, the team was
invited, by Bro. Warren Peck, W.M. to James W. Bowers Lodge in
Hancock, MD, where they conferred their first Master Mason Degree on
Bro. James Hovis, a Maryland State Trooper.
The misson of the Freestate Shield and Square Club is to help promote
and further Maryland Freemasonry and Freemasonry in general. They hope
to partly accomplish this task by offering to all subordinate Lodges
the services of their degree team. This degree team is available to
confer the Master Mason Degree on any and all qualified Brethren.
This Club especially enjoy conferring the Master Mason Degree on
brethren who are also members of law enforcement. In addition, they
will entertain requests from bordering jurisdictions to exemplify the
Maryland Sublime Degree of Master Mason Degree in their Lodges.
In just four short years, this dedicated degree team raised nearly 40
Master Masons, many of whom are law enforcement personnel, and will
continue to do so.
famed Pennsylvania State Police Degree Team, although not a Square
Club, maintains a long and proud tradition of conferring the Sublime
Degree of Master Mason to the Brethren of the great Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania, and has traversed the Keystone State performing
Raisings at the request of many Lodges.
Lawyers Square Club of the State of New York also was created
recently for Brethren in the field of practicing law:
Also recently formed is the International Law Enforcement Officers'
The purpose of the International Law Enforcement Officers' Square
Club is to allow networking, information transfer, and general
"chit-chat" between friends worldwide who share common threads. This
is a group of Freemasons from around the world who also share a
career; and are those charged to keep the peace in our various
If you are interested in becoming a member, they currently require
that you be a Master Mason (from a Grand Jurisdiction recognized by
the Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York)
in good standing, be a member of the Global Fraternal Network, and
currently are or have been (having left in honorable standing) a
member of the Law Enforcement profession.
In 2009, the Westchester-Putnam Law Enforcement Square Club was
formed of by Master Masons from local, county and federal law
enforcement officers of various departments.
the nearly 100 years that Square Clubs have existed, many still
carry on their tradition of having Brethren meet and network in
their trade, occupation or branch of civil service.
While many have gone defunct or inactive, newer ones have emerged,
to include even a Digital Square Club of New York, reflecting our
Square Club of New York is
an informal body of Masons who wish fellowship with other brothers who
have an interest or profession in web-related fields. It's purpose is to
share knowledge and understanding on the subject of the Internet as
related to Masonry.
Areas of discussion include:
Masonic Websites, personal and official;
Communications practices, including email and social media,
Masonic digital art.
Online reputation management in relationship to the craft.
Personal and professional networking;
Training in web-related skills, arts, and practices;
Consideration for positions as webmasters and advisors for Masonic
Membership requirements are being a Mason (any degree) in good standing
under a lodge of any recognized jurisdiction, and having a desire to
promote the Craft online:
A special "Thank You" to
Brother Denis McGowan for submitting the wonderful description and
pictures of these various Square Clubs!