Officers of the Lodge

W:.Vincent Satriano ……………………… Worshipful Master

Bro. Ariel Lipper……………………………. Senior Warden

Bro. Mark Kelin, Jr. ………………………… Junior Warden

W… Arthur Roby, DSA ………………….. Secretary

W… Robert Weiss, DSA ………………… Treasurer

Bro. Harold Selden ……………………….. Assistant Treasurer

W…William Peist, Jr ……………………….. Chaplain

Bro. Terence Dolan  ………………………. Senior Deacon

Bro. John Thomassen …………………… Junior Deacon

Bro. Jonathan Fordham ………………. Master of Ceremony

Bro. Enrico Perez…………………………….Master of Ceremony

Bro. Rhys Ulerich …………………………. Steward

Bro. Andy Milkis ………………………….. Steward

Bro. Joseph Daquaro …………………… Marshall

Bro. Jonathan Gerstein…………………….Organist

R…W… Mark Suckle
W… Stuart Suckle, DSA
W… William Peist, Sr. DSA
W… Mark Klein, Sr.
Brother Harold Selden


It all began when Ionic Lodge No. 486, F. & A.Ml was organized. It’s first regular meeting was held at St. John’s Hall, 181 Bowery, New York, NY, on July 28,1859, by virtue of dispensation granted to nineteen Master Masons, all of whom, as appears from the records, had been members in good standing of Freeman Lodge No.3, hailing under the jurisdiction of a Grand Lodge, then, or previously known as St. John’s Grand Lodge. R:. W:. J. W. Timpson was authorized by R:. W:. John W. Simmons, Deputy Grand Master of the Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York, to preside at such a meeting.

A number of the members of Freeman Lodge No.3 were announced as desirous of being admitted and healed, which request was granted. The Lodge was thenceforth known as Ionic Lodge, D.D. and continued to meet at regular intervals, in the same place, until the June 14th following, with W:. Thomas M. Woods, as Master. The following extract from the minutes under the Date of June 14, 1860, are interesting in as much as it is one of the most convincing proofs that can be adduced in determining the date of its dedication, and of admittance into the Brotherhood of Lodges:

“This evening being set apart by the Grand Master for the consecration of this Lodge and the installation of its officers, R.·. W .’.Turner as proxy of the Grand Master, accompanied and assisted by a number of the Brethren, performed the required ceremony of consecration, R:. W:.H.C. Banks, D.D,G.M. and R.·. W.’.R. Macoy, D.D. G-.M. were announced and received grand honors. The officers were installed and the Grand Master announced that Ionic Lodge No. 486, F. & A.M. had been duly constituted and consecrated and its officers duly installed”.

The warrant is dated June 18, 1860, A.L. 5860, and bears the signatures of John W. Simmons, Grand Master: Finlay M. King, Deputy Grand Master; Clinton F. Paige, Senior Grand Warden; Stephen H. Johnson, Junipr Grand Warden, and James M. Austin, Grand Secretary, appointing, authorizing and empowering James W. Woods, to act as Master, Richard Hurley, as Senior Warden and James McCarthy, as Junior Warden of a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, to be distinguished by the name of Ionic Lodge No. 486.

The Lodge continued to meet at St. John’s Hall, 181 Bowery, New York, where its first meeting had been held on July 28, 1859. Thereafter, our meetings were held at various locales, including Odd Fellows Hall, comer of Grand and Centre Streets, May 10, 1861; at Brevoort Hall, 54th St., west of Third Avenue, on May 7, 1868: at Irwin’s Building, S.W. comer of Bleeker St. and Bowery, on May 13, 1869; at Odd Fellows Hall, April 22, 1880; at 295 Bowery, near Houston Street, on May 12, 1881 at Steuben House; at German Masonic Temple, 220 East

15th Street; at Masonic Hall, Sixth Avenue and 23rd Street, on September 23, 1901; Mecca Temple, 131 West 55th Street in 1924 and in 1934 back to its present quarters in the New Masonic Hall, Sixth Avenue and 23rd Street.

An event of the first magnitude came to pass when Brother Herman Stark was raised a Master Mason in Ionic Lodge on June 27, 1898. By force of his personal magnetism, he attracted men of all walks of life to the Lodge. It prospered and grew steadily in membership and renown throughout the entire Masonic Fraternity. Between the years 1919 and 1925,405 Brethren were raised Master Masons. Those were the golden days of the Lodge, with its stirring meetings, lavish and frequent social affairs, and its magnificent contributions to charity and close friendships that existed among the Brethren and with those from other districts. R:. W:. Herman Stark, also fondly called ‘Mr. Ionic’, was secretary for 35 consecutive years and left a permanent imprint upon the Lodge.

We take pride in the outstanding ritualistic work of the Lodge, which has been a hallmark throughout the past and present. On April 19, 1934, R.·. W..Henry G. Meacham, Grand Lecturer, assisted by the Assistant Grand Lecturers of Manhattan conferred the Sublime Degree of Master Mason upon Brother Fellowcrafts in waiting. This degree was held in the Grand Lodge Room with over 800 Brethren in attendance.

In the 1920’s, the Ionic Lodge Foundation was organized and large sums of money were contributed as a source of help and comfort to our members, especially during the dismal 1920’s. Thereafter, The Herman Stark Memorial Foundation, Inc. was formed to offer relief to distressed Brethren.

On February 15, 1934, R:. W :. Bainbridge Colby, Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson, delivered an address to the Lodge.

Bearing the proud name of one of our great presidents and Masons, our 25th President, William McKinley, a group of Brethren, mostly consisting of members of Shakespeare Lode petitioned Grand Lodge to form their own Lodge. The first meeting of William McKinley Lodge No. 840 was held on July 24, 1902, upon receiving its dispensation. The charter was issued on May 7, 1903. Whereas only 23 charter members conceived our Lodge, future meeting were held in grandiose locations and with style, with its rapid and strong growth eventually to more than 500 members. Early meetings presided at the Grand Opera House on 23rd Street with other communications actually held at Carnegie Hall. We continued there until September of 1926, upon completion of our own Masonic Temple on 55th street. Nine years hence, changing times and conditions compelled our move to join many Lodges at Masonic Hall at 71 West 23rd st. and meetings were held in the beautiful American Room.

We are most proud to state that William McKinley Lodge No. 840 personified Masonic Charity at its finest. A continuous stream of deeds and service to the Craft and to its fellow man were well renown. The social occasions held by our Lodge established many precedents within the district. These events varied from theater parties, sporting events and summer weekend pilgrimages. A grand time was had by all and the support for these events grew steadily, resulting in tremendous funds available for relief and charity, both within the Lodge andaround the world. The weekend pilgrimages began in 1934, and became a yearlyfixture to look forward to. These parties and fundraisers became examples to becopied by other Lodges in and outside of the district.

Success breeds success,leading to the establishment in our Lodge of two special endowments, theWilliam McKinley Charity Fund and the Henry Fendell Brotherhood Fund.Conceived on May 11, 1948 for worthy charitable needs, and funded by partiesand affairs, governed by special committee, Mrs. Betty Fendell began thecontributions in the memory of her late husband, and our Brother, Henry Fendell.With this fund, loans could be made without interest and on a voluntaryrepayment basis, according to ability.The charitable donations of William McKinley Lodge are a true testamentto Masonry.

In the summer of 1948, we presented a complete mobile x-ray unit tothe Tel-Litwinsky Hospital in Tel-Aviv, Israel. Also, in 1950, two fully equippeddental units and offices were presented to Dr. Lewin Epstein of the DentalAssociation in Jerusalem for the treatment of indigent persons.

In 1949, theresearch department of Lectworth Village in Rockland County was the recipient of a complete research laboratory, for the assistance of the mental hygiene of the mentally deficient children of New York State. Within the same year, in an effort to assist post WWII Europe, 60,000 pounds of various foods were contributed to the Displaced Persons Camps of Europe via the American Joint Distribution Committee. The following year, another bequest was presented Dr. Abraham Sachar, president of Brandeis University, which established ‘The William McKinley Lodge No. 840 Guest Room’ at the University.

In 1921, members of Composite Lodge in the Sixth Manhattan Masonic District who were also members of the Clermont Club decided to open their own Lodge. These 26 Masons, dedicated Brethren, instituted Clermont Lodge No. 996. Of these founders, one just recently passed away. Brother Herman Abrahms, Master in 1929 had celebrated his 104th Birthday with the Brothers in Florida. The new Lodge elected Worshipful Joseph Reisner, a Past Master of

Composite Lodge as it’s first Master and later became the first Right Worshipful. His close friend, Henry Opper, was elected as the second Master of the Lodge and at the Fiftieth Anniversary celebration in 1972, their sons’, leaders in the Lodge were honored. Mortimer Opper was appointed District Deputy Grand Master of the Sixth Manhattan District and Stanley Reisner sat as Master. An active Lodge with excellent attendance, it reached its maximum membership in 1962 with 432 members.

In 1969, under the administration of Worshipful Leslie Rivlin, Clermont changed its meeting night to accommodate its new quarters, the Oak Room. The Lodge also took the adjoining room, 1910, for its social functions and to allow the ‘Ladies of Clermont’, to have their meetings at the same time. This group was also so successful that many of the women in the Sixth District joined this association.

One of our Masonic staples that continue to this date is the famous Clermont Community Chest (the C.C.C.), which is our Lodges’ sole and single annual appeal for all Masonic and outside charities, and our only source of funds for the Grand Lodge Brotherhood Fund, the Masonic Home and for our own relief fund, as well as many other charities. In earlier times, Brethren attending Lodge meetings could expect to be faced with appeals for one charity or another. In

1950, the then Master, W:. Mortimer Opper decided that a single drive under the name Clermont Community Chest would enable Brethren, by one donation, contribute to charity and end multiple appeals during the year, and this was an immediate success. It has thrived with only minor variations ever since. An outstanding member of the Lodge is named as Guest of Honor and a dinner is tendered in his honor. Well over $150,000 has been contributed through the years, including a complete new dental clinic to the Masonic Home.

In 1876, as the United States recovered from the after effects of the Civil War and ascending upon its 100th anniversary of its birth, Goldenrule Lodge No.770 was formed in the Eight District. Civil War veterans in neighboring communities of New York City decided to form a Masonic Lodge in Harlem to circumvent the long travel to the lower portion of the city, which took many hours. The establishment of Adolph Zabinski at 125th Street and Third Avenue became their meeting place whereupon they decided to petition the Grand Lodge and form their own Lodge. Having performed exemplary work in Emanuel Lodge No. 654, full approval was readily obtained.

On January 26th, 1876, M:. W :. Elwood H. Thorn” granted dispensation to Barnett Barnett, Ernest A. Levy, Isaac Barnett, Samuel Cohen, Isaac Goldsmid, Elias Goodman, William H. Hayes, John Marco, Joseph Murphy, William H. Pailes, C.T. Scribner, Adolph Zabinski and Gabriel Zabinski to form Goldenrule Lodge. W:. Samuel Cohen was its first Master.

On February 2nd, 1876, the Lodge was instituted by Mortimer C. Addoms, District Deputy Grand Master of the Eighth District in Loμnge Rooms of the Hotel Remsen House on 130th Street and Third Avenue. It proved its accessibility also to Brethren of the Bronx, Mott Haven, Morrisania, Port Jervis, High Bridge and Melrose, with transportation available via steamboat and stagecoach, and eventually also by the Third Avenue Railroad which was, at that time, a cable car line. New ownership of the Remsen House renovated the establishment and it became known as the Olympic Theatre, obligating the Lodge to relocate to the Horton Building at 147 avenue and West 125th Street where it met from 1881 to 1903. As was common in those days, the Lodge then moved to the Twelfth Ward Bank Building at 125th Street and Lexington Avenue, and then to the Harlem Masonic Temple until 1925. Subsequently, the Lodge moved to the William McKinley Temple because the Brethren never felt justified in leaving the traditions of our founders and wished to stay within the Harlem District. Many of our charter members were merchants reared in New York, Britain, Ireland, Germany and Prussia. Brother Elias Goodman was not only active within the Lodge, but served the community as its municipal legislator or alderman for many years, having been elected to that office more than anyone who had ever had been on the Board of Alderman. During the period between the Institution and Constitution of the Lodge, 19 Brethren were initiated, passed and raised bringing the total membership of the Lodge to 35 Master Masons. Two of our more prominent Brethren at that time were Brother George Williams, who constructed the Third avenue elevated railroad from 99th to 129th St., and Brother Charles Francies, a New York City police officer who made many heroic rescues at the McCombs Dam Bridge. As one of the instructors of the Lodge, Brother Francies would have newly made Brethren meet at the bridge and have them walk back and forth across it while practicing their ritual work. Our charter members were quite active with more than one degree conferred in one evening, and meeting on the first, third and fourth Wednesdays of each month.

Goldenrule Lodge and Ionic Lodge merged in 1969 to form Goldenrule Ionic Lodge No. 770

Golden Rule Cleremont McKinley #486

71 W. 23rd St.

New York, NY 10010


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