Jachin
Boaz

Kempsville Lodge No. 196

4869 Princess Anne Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23462

The History of the 56th Masonic District

The History of the 56th Masonic District

The Grand Lodge reports that Masonic District 56 was established in 1912, with 2 lodges being assigned to it. 1912 is the year Virginia Beach Lodge No. 274 was chartered. Another historical record found records that in 1933, Princess Anne Lodge No. 25 and Virginia Beach Lodge No. 274 were assigned to District 56, being the only 2 lodges in the District.

Other lodges in the now Norfolk and Chesapeake areas were assigned to Masonic District 35. Lodges in the Portsmouth area were assigned to District 34.

Between 1933 and 1955, there was an apparent realignment of Districts by the Grand Lodge and those lodges within Norfolk, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach. The 36th District was established to include the now Chesapeake area lodges; Norfolk lodges were assigned as District 35. In 1955 upon being Chartered, Kempsville Lodge No. 196 was apparently placed into the 56th Masonic District with Princess Anne No. 25 & Virginia Beach No. 274.

The annual rotation for selection of District Deputy Grand Masters at the time (1950’s/1960’s), rotated and came from the Districts in the Chesapeake and Virginia Beach areas. The District Deputy Grand Master held authority over this area and the lodges within.

A record found in the minutes of Kempsville Lodge reveals that in 1971, the Grand Lodge realigned the lodges in Districts 36 and 56. Grand Lodge split District 36 into 2 Districts (apparently retiring District 56 at the time). Those lodges in Virginia Beach were assigned to District 36-A, and Chesapeake lodges were assigned to District 36-B.

Another record in the minutes of Kempsville Lodge reveals that in 1975, the Grand Lodge reactivated District 56 for the 6 Lodges in Virginia Beach. Chesapeake lodges then became District 36. Since 1975, the 6 lodges within the 56th District have chosen their District Deputy Grand Masters on a rotation, “round-robin” basis.

A question arose for years 1993/94, when Right Worshipful Charles Wayne Doolin served a 2-year term (1993 & 1994). This was due to the untimely death of Most Worshipful Werner Herman Morlock while serving as Grand Master. Most Worshipful Thomas Frederick May, Deputy Grand Master at the time, completed Most Worshipful Morlock’s term. Most Worshipful May served as Grand Master the following year. District Deputy Grand Masters throughout the state served in office for both Grand Masters Morlock and May.

District Deputy Grand Master Historical List beginning in 1954, when Kempsville Lodge No. 196 (Under Dispensation) began work

Year Lodge District Deputy Grand Master Note
1871 Princess Anne 25 Chartered
1912 Virginia Beach 274 Lodge Chartered
1955 Kempsville 196 Chartered
1954 Great Bridge Lodge No. 257 J. P. Todd
1955 South Norfolk Lodge No. 339 John Luther Trafton
1956 Princess Anne Lodge No. 25 Marshall Aubrey Williams
1957 Virginia Beach Lodge No. 274 Harry W. Peck
1958 Great Bridge Lodge No. 257 J. A. Creef
1959 South Norfolk Lodge No. 339 Roy L. Birdzell
1960 Kempsville Lodge No. 196 William Hollowell Pierce*
1961 Princess Anne Lodge No. 25 Benjamin L. Ferrell
1962 Virginia Beach Lodge No. 274 Gilbert Jones Taylor Lynnhaven Lodge No. 220 & Bayside Lodge No. 218 Chartered
1963 Great Bridge Lodge No. 257 Steve S. Squires
1964 South Norfolk Lodge No. 339 James W. Batten
1965 Kempsville Lodge No. 196 George Raymond Ferrell*
1966 Lynnhaven Lodge No. 220 William Albert Brant
1967 Bayside Lodge No. 218 James H. Parkerson, Jr.*
1968 Princess Anne Lodge No. 25 Homer Leon Tew Willis V. Fentress Lodge No. 296 Chartered
1969 Virginia Beach Lodge No. 274 Arthur B. James
1970 Doric Lodge No. 44 Robert William Reardon
1971 Berkley Lodge No. 167 Sylvester Boothe Virginia Beach lodges became District 36-A
1972 Kempsville Lodge No. 196 Earl Lewis Polhamus, Jr.*
1973 Lynnhaven Lodge No. 220 John Fox
1974 Bayside Lodge No. 218 Alvin D. Davidson
1975 Willis V. Fentress Lodge No. 296 Austin L. Tuck District 56 Re-established for Virginia Beach lodges
1976 Princess Anne Lodge No. 25 Leland Matthew Hood
1977 Virginia Beach Lodge No. 274 Ross Phelps Wible
1978 Kempsville Lodge No. 196 Dwight Paul Jones*
1979 Lynnhaven Lodge No. 220 Herbert Drury Smith*
1980 Bayside Lodge No. 218 Thomas Baxter Boyce*
1981 Willis V. Fentress Lodge No. 296 Donald Eugene Clark, Sr.
1982 Princess Anne Lodge No. 25 Jesse Clarence Morris
1983 Virginia Beach Lodge No. 274 Donald Patterson Dollens
1984 Kempsville Lodge No. 196 George Joseph Wallace*
1985 Lynnhaven Lodge No. 220 James Calvin Caton
1986 Bayside Lodge No. 218 Herbert Wade Curren, Jr.
1987 Kempsville Lodge No. 196 Lewis Raymond Snyder*
1988 Princess Anne Lodge No. 25 Wayne Sawyer Flora
1989 Virginia Beach Lodge No. 274 William Rex Gurley
1990 Kempsville Lodge No. 196 Richard Alfred Davis, Jr.*
1991 Lynnhaven Lodge No. 220 George W. Ganter
1992 Bayside Lodge No. 218 Marvin Roland Beecham*
1993/94 Willis V. Fentress Lodge No. 296 Charles Wayne Doolin
1995 Princess Anne Lodge No. 25 James Edward Colby
1996 Virginia Beach Lodge No. 274 Reginald Lewis Kilgore*
1997 Kempsville Lodge No. 196 Vernon B. Benjaminson*
1998 Lynnhaven Lodge No. 220 George Frederick Nueunz*
1999 Bayside Lodge No. 218 Ronald P. Watkins*
2000 Willis V. Fentress Lodge No. 296 John D. Bartleson, Jr.*
2001 Princess Anne Lodge No. 25 Clayton Wesley Babb*
2002 Virginia Beach Lodge No. 274 Thomas Edwin Reese
2003 Kempsville Lodge No. 196 Thomas McGowan
2004 Lynnhaven Lodge No. 220 Herbert Stanley Hogge*
2005 Bayside Lodge No. 218 Joseph Russo, Jr.
2006 Willis V. Fentress Lodge No. 296 Victor Ellis Baker
2007 Princess Anne Lodge No. 25 Robert Leroy Harrison*
2008 Virginia Beach Lodge No. 274 Chad Joseph White
2009 Kempsville Lodge No. 196 Emmett Moseley Pate, Jr.
2010 Lynnhaven Lodge No. 220 Dennis Eugene Edwards
2011 Bayside Lodge No. 218 Roger Cort
2012 Willis V. Fentress Lodge No. 296 Alfedo Cruz Lintag
2013 Kempsville Lodge No. 196 Donald Edward Meyer Rotation changed to accommodate Princess Anne Lodge No. 25 having District Deputy Grand Master while Most Worshipful Flora served as Grand Master in 2014.
2014 Princess Anne Lodge No. 25 Lankford D. Malbone
2015 Virginia Beach Lodge No. 274 Frank L. Wright, Jr.
2016 Lynnhaven Lodge No. 220 Edward Lawrence Meise, Jr.
2017 Bayside Lodge No. 218 Steve A. Ridgeway
2018 Willis V. Fentress Lodge No. 296 Michael Dennis Scott
2019 Princess Anne Lodge No. 25 Matthew Morse Hood Virginia Beach Lodge No. 274 & Princess Anne Lodge No. 25 Consolidate
2020 Princess Anne Lodge No. 25 David Edward Crook (DDGM Elect) Nomination made by Virginia Beach Lodge No. 274 prior to consolidation
2021 Kempsville Lodge No. 196 Robert Wesley Stanek (DDGM Elect)
2022 Lynnhaven Lodge No. 220 to have nomination - pending
*Passed to the Celestial Lodge above

Fraternally,
Worshipful Robert Wesley Stanek, (1996)