Every Masonic Lodge is rich in history and tradition. Some Connecticut Lodges date to the 1700’s, but every Lodge has a rich historical significance to share.
Sequin-Level Lodge #140 was formed through the merger, in 2003, of Sequin Lodge #140 and Level Lodge #137.
Level Lodge #137
Level Lodge was formed out of Hartford Lodge #88, under dispensation, before actual Charter, on June 12, 1929, and was constituted as Level Lodge #137, A.F. & A.M. on May 3, 1930, so that it predates Sequin Lodge by some 19 years. It was formed by Brothers of the working Jewish and Catholic faiths in downtown Hartford who were being excluded from some of the other Lodges. The Brothers, some from the Insurance Industry, some successful small businessmen, excelled in ritual and set high standards for themselves. It was championed by the late Most Worshipful Brother Winthrop Buck, Grand Master and Past Grand Secretary, whose interest and efforts on behalf of Level Lodge were eventually successful in procuring favorable action on its petition by the Connecticut Grand Lodge. Most Worshipful Brother Buck, prior to becoming Grand Secretary, had for many years been the principal of the Noah Webster School, so the Level Lodge Scholarship went to that school. The Winthrop medal, which we have the cast for making, was given out for distinguished Community Service. Before its merger with Sequin Lodge, Level donated a room to the Jewish Home and Hospital of West Hartford as a final act of Community Service to the Hartford area.
Level Lodge never owned its own building, but always rented from other Lodges. It started out located in the beautiful Ann Street Temple in Hartford shared by several Masonic organizations, then moved to Bloomfield, then to the Wyllys-Saint John’s Lodge #4 Temple in West Hartford.
Some of the notable Brothers of Level Lodge included Bill Savitt (Savitt Jewelers); Henry Gampel (Gampel Pavilion at the University of Connecticut); Richard Gordon (a Hartford Developer in the 1970’s); Attorney Martin Dewey; and Worshipful Brother Raymond H. Dragat, Secretary Emeritus and Past Master of both Level Lodge and the Philosophic Lodge of Research, who was awarded the Pierpont Edwards Medal in Bronze for Distinguished Service at Ray Dragat Night, held at Level Lodge on June 6, 1956, and whose work brought the Connecticut Grand Lodge and the Prince Hall Lodges of Connecticut into Recognition with his 1959 paper “Negro Masonry in the United States,” revised in 1978 as “Prince Hall Freemasonry in the US.”
Sequin Lodge #140
Hartford Masons first discussed forming Sequin Lodge on September 10, 1947, and met December 10, 1947, under dispensation. Its first Chartered meeting was April 7, 1948. Most Worshipful Grand Master Louis S. Thomas attended June 26, 1948 to give his blessings. Sequin Craftsman’s Club was formed the following February 15, 1949, to promote Fellowship and Charity. Sequin Lodge was formed primarily by Protestant farmers, Pratt and Whitney workers, contractors, and blue collar workers. It hosted State Police, Aetna, Travelers, and other Masonic Clubs and Degree Teams, and had picnics at “Stamm Grove.”
After meeting for several years above Town Hall, they built the Lodge we currently occupy with their own hands. Most Worshipful Grand Master Conrad Hahn laid the cornerstone on October 26, 1957.
Some of Sequin Lodge’s important early members were Worshipful Brother Clayton Adams, Worshipful Brother Clifford “Skippy” Stamm, Worshipful Brother Irving Wilson and R. Dick Bailey. In 1985, Sequin Lodge and Evening Star Lodge #44 held a joint installation of the twins, Worshipful Master Edward Hadigian and his brother Albert, both Masters of their respective Lodges that year.
Sequin Lodge also had a history of Ritual excellence, and although the merger in 2003 was as difficult as these things usually are, the merger created the stronger and more active Lodge that we enjoy today.