Grand Master Waugh
On December 28th, 2015, Harvey John Waugh was installed for a third term as the 88th Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts. Waugh is following in the footsteps of Past Grand Masters like Paul Revere and General Joseph Warren. The office of Grand Master is a volunteer position; the Grand Master is elected and installed on an annual basis. Tradition dictates that Grand Masters are re-elected for a second and third year before another new Grand Master is elected.
As Grand Master, Brother Waugh presides over more than 28,000 Masons and 225 lodges throughout the Commonwealth. The Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts was chartered in 1733, following the establishment of the Grand Lodges of England in 1717 and Ireland in 1725. This makes Massachusetts the third oldest Grand Lodge in the world and the oldest in the Western Hemisphere.
The Grand Master has two distinct responsibilities. First, he serves as the leader of the fraternity. In this capacity he ensures the activities taking place within the jurisdiction comply with the Constitutions and Regulations of the Grand Lodge as initially adopted in 1792 and amended through 2015. He also has numerous ceremonial privileges reserved for his position.
The second responsibility he has is leading the business of the Grand Lodge:
Chairman, Grand Lodge Board of Directors.
President, Masonic Education & Charitable Trust (ME&CT). The ME&CT is a 501(c)3 overseeing the charitable activities of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
Chairman, Grand Lodge Library and Museum Board of Directors; a 501(c)3 responsible for the Samuel Crocker Lawrence Library and the Grand Lodge Museum collection, both of which are open to the public.
Chairman of the Masonic Health System (MHS) Board of Directors. With corporate headquarters in Charlton, MA, MHS includes The Overlook Life Care Community, which features independent, enhanced, post-acute and skilled nursing; The Overlook in Northampton, offering post-acute and skilled nursing and Overlook Care at Home which serves greater than 1,800 people each day.
Born in Winthrop, MA, Waugh was raised in Melrose and educated in the Melrose school system. He served in the United States Navy, being commissioned an Ensign in 1964. In 1968, he was hired by the Aleppo Shrine Temple to serve as its Recorder, a position he held until he retired in 2008.
As Recorder, he was responsible for the daily operation of the Aleppo Shrine, including office administration, event planning, record keeping, human resources, and other tasks as needed. Under his administration, the Aleppo Shrine Temple moved from their headquarters in Boston to the Auditorium in Wilmington, MA in 1977.
In 1968, he began his Masonic career by joining Wyoming Lodge in Melrose. He served as the Worshipful Master, or presiding officer of the lodge, in 1977-78. Masons use the original definition of the word worshipful: honorable. English mayors and judges are addressed by the title of “Worshipful” even today. As Grand Master, members of the fraternity will call Brother Waugh “Most Worshipful.”
He is also a member of Cawnacome Sunshine Lodge in Bourne. Brother Waugh began his service to the Grand Lodge in 1983 when he was appointed Grand Representative to the Grand Lodge of Spain, a position he still holds today. In 2005, he was appointed to serve as Deputy Grand Master by Most Worshipful Brother Jeffrey B. Hodgdon, the Grand Master at the time. Deputy Grand Master is the second highest position a Mason can hold in the state.
In that same year, Brother Waugh also received the Henry Price Medal, the most prestigious honor conferred by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. In 2008, he was elected to serve on the Grand Lodge’s Board of Directors. He was re-elected to a second three-year term in 2010 which expired on the day of his installation. A member of the Board of Directors cannot serve more than two terms consecutively, but there is no limit to the number of terms.
Brother Waugh has been active in several Masonic organizations, most notably with the Shriners because of his position as Recorder.
In his youth, Waugh was a member of Melrose Chapter in the Order of DeMolay, a Masonic youth organization for boys aged 12-21. He served the Chapter as its Master Councilor, or Presiding Officer, and was awarded the Degree of Chevalier, the highest honor a member can receive for service to the organization. He also received the Legion of Honor, the highest honor that can be conferred by DeMolay International on an adult.
Brother Waugh is also active in the York Rite of Freemasonry. He is a member of Saint Paul’s Royal Arch Chapter, Melrose Council of Royal and Select Master Masons, Boston Commandery, and Saint Bernard Commandery.
A member of each of the bodies in Scottish Rite in the Valley of Boston, he was installed as the Sovereign Prince, or presiding officer of Giles F. Yates Council, Princes of Jerusalem in 1989, a position he held until 1992.
In 1991, Brother Waugh received his 33° at the Annual Meeting of the Supreme Council, 33°, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States of America.
Waugh resides in Lynnfield with his wife, Margaret. Together they have two daughters, Kimberly and Jennifer.