In 1950, Freemasonry was on the rise, there were over 3.6 Million Americans Freemasons. One of those Masons was a Boston man by the name of Nicholas Spear. At the age of 37 he sought to join Freemasonry, he made his application to Loyalty Lodge in Jamaica Plain a small suburb of Boston where Sam Adams (The Beer) has it’s brewery lab.
I never met Brother Spear or sat in a lodge with him. In fact Brother Spear passed to the Celestial Lodge 15 years ago. All I know of him is in a small leather briefcase that his Granddaughter Jennifer Nicholson held on to for the simple fact that she knew it was important to him. Through my sister, this briefcase of history found its way to me.
Brother Spear kept a meticulous record of his Masonic Career, which whether he knew or not was the history of his lodge. Loyalty Lodge merged in 1983 to form Loyalty-Reality Lodge which Brother Spear was elected the Charter Master, which merged in 1991 to form Cosmopolitan Lodge which ceased to exist in 2013. Loyalty Lodge like many others is now just a piece of history that some come across whether by accident or on purpose but, for the most part many just a piece of the past.
So, what Brother Spear had actually done was compile a time capsule of records and photographs from the 1950’s and early 60’s that highlighted the life in Boston during the peak of Masonic Membership. It captures the move of Loyalty Lodge from Jamaica Plain to Hyde Park in 1963, the Summer picnic trips to the original Masonic Home in Charlton.
Now much of the collection has been scanned in and will make its way to the Grand Historian for Massachusetts Right Worshipful Walter Hunt to be placed in the Grand Lodge Archives. How many more Nicholas Spear’s were out there? Dutifully capturing history. How many other faithful relatives are holding onto boxes of history, knowing it is important but, not knowing what to do with it. We are always here to help Preserve our Past. Now Nicholas Spear is preserved and shared on the web for the world to see his dedication and passion for Freemasonry.
~ Brother Bryan Simmons
Attleboro Masonic Museum – Curator