History of Our Lodge

How does a lodge come to be? Many people have asked that question over the years with varying answers given. There is of course the generic answer consisting of procedure and protocols, but each lodge’s story is as diverse and interesting as the individuals who make up it’s membership.

If the founding of Roy Stanley can be traced back, and attributed to just one individual it would be Thomas E. Sawyer, The charter junior warden. Brother Sawyer, as over one half of the charter members of the lodge did, worked for Sun Oil in the early part of the 1950’s. He was very active in Freemasonry as well as many of it’s apendant bodies. Most notably of witch was the Scottish Rite.
Brother Sawyer had a dream. He wanted more than anything to become a Knight Commander of the Court of Honor of the Scottish Right. He was very active in the Scottish right serving on various committees’ as well as working on the 18th degree team. He felt, however, that it would be difficult for him to attain his dream unless he was a Past Master of a lodge and then a District Deputy Grand Master. Not wanting to wait the seven or eight years to become a Past Master he decided that the best way to go about it was to form his own lodge.

He took up a map of the surrounding area and found that their was only one lodge in the immediate area at the time. He also learned that Edwin J. Kiest Lodge was planning to build a new Lodge building in the Casa Linda area, and that they would be moving within a matter of months. Meeting with the members of Edwin J Kiest they struck upon a deal that if a new lodge could be formed then that lodge could have the old facilities that they were giving up.

Brother Sawyer also met with the current owner of the property and arranged a deal with him that the new lodge could move in when Kiest moved out. In his zeal for the institution and his desire to form a new lodge brother Sawyer forgot to contact anyone on the Grand Lodge level to acquire approval for such an in devour. Realizing his mistake he soon rectified the oversight. Not wanting to leap into the role of Worshipful master of the new lodge right away, knowing that he was not yet masonicly ready to lead, he met with Brothers Raymond K. Jones,(a past master of Roanoke lodge #668) and Ivan S. Johnston a respected executive at Sun Oil, to become the Charter Worshipful Master and Senior Warden, respectively.

The new lodge would be in Masonic District 14-A and the DDGM was Brother Connie Henry, later to serv as our Worshipful Master and Secretary. A planning team was assembled, and a visitation rotation was initiated to visit all the lodges in the 14th district to gain their support. Whenever they were in attendance at the various lodges they took careful notes on protocol and order of operations as well as honing their skills in the degree work and just helping out whenever they could. It is always beneficial to observe and learn from those better versed than you if you wish your in devour to flourish an become one of the best lodges in the state. When the time came to start forming the Charter Officers and picking who would fill the various places it was decided that the best course of action was to sandwich a young mason in between two older, more experienced, ones to bread an atmosphere of mentorship and wisdom.
The pieces of the puzzle were falling into place but one of the most difficult tasks of forming a lodge was fast approaching. What to name this new lodge. It is not as easy as one might think to name a Lodge. They could have chosen a prominent civic leader or a prominent land mark. They could reach far back into history and pluck a name from the vast amount of prominent men or choose someone in a current high office in witch to honor. In the end it was decided that this special lodge should be named in honor of a good and special man, a great Mason.

The long, tedious and sometimes tiring efforts came to fruition on June 2, 1956. Roy Stanley Lodge U. D. was set to work with Right Worshipful Connie H, Hinry acting as the Most Worshipful Grand Master. The “Dispensation to Form a New Lodge” was read as well as a list of the 72 original Charter Members.

The first stated meeting of the lodge U.D. was held on Friday, June 29th 1956 and 19 petitions for the mysteries of Freemasonry were read. The new lodge was off to a roaring start. As planned when Edwin J. Kiest moved into their new building Roy Stanley #1367 moved into the now vacant facilities.

Our lodge has had a multitude of experiences, from the ridiculous to the sublime. We have enjoyed tremendous successes, hurting failures, and just about everything in between. In this we are like any other lodge. Were we differ is in our unending love of the Fraternity and the brothers that make up Roy Stanley. In the years since our conception, we have grown and matured and have become more than a building of brick and mortar, more than “weekly” brothers, we have become a family and I think that was brothers Sawyers real dream from the start.
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