The Square Clubs

 
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, 1923.

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:

Notice 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. 
 
Their website can be found at:   https://nypdpolicesquareclub.org/about
 
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.
 
On December 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.

A 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 Manhattan.

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.

 
The 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 chaplains. 
 
Bro. Michael I. Silverstein, an Inspector and later, a revered and respected Chief of the Mount Vernon Police Department, was the club's first historian. 
 
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.
 
 An Intimate 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.
 
http://home.comcast.net/~k3sp/mspaa/mission.htm

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.

The 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.

A 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' Square Club:

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 jurisdictions.
 
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.
 
 Over 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 modern times:

The Digital 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.

Benefits include:  Personal and professional networking; Training in web-related skills, arts, and practices; Consideration for positions as webmasters and advisors for Masonic projects.

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!

 

                  

               

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