My Grandfather’s Jewel

A family legacy within the Craft

My family has a long history in Philadelphia, going as far back as the late 1600s. My sisters and I know more about our mother’s side of the family than our father’s side, but I have begun looking into things. Recently, I sought out some information on my paternal grandfather whom I had never met. Shortly after I became a Master Mason, my father gave me various Masonic jewelry belonging to his father – including some Scottish Rite pieces. As the Grand Lodge of New York started to highlight the use of the Lewis Jewel, I already had my father’s information on hand, so I reached out to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania to see what information it had on my grandfather.
HCGW - PM Jewel

Image: The Past Master’s Jewel of HGCW

My grandfather, Harry G. C. Williams was 21 years, 2 months and 10 days old when he was initiated into Olivet Lodge No. 607 in Philadelphia in 1910. He was the Junior Warden in 1920, Senior Warden in 1921 and Worshipful Master in 1922. I discovered evidence that he had been a member of the Knights Templar and LuLu Shrine and I am aware that he was in the Scottish Rite. I do not suspect that my paternal great-grandfather was a Mason. My grandfather had been mostly estranged from his family for unknown reasons. Olivet Lodge was constituted in 1895 and had only been chartered for 15 years when my grandfather joined in 1910. Along with Oriental Lodge No. 385 and Crescent Lodge No. 493, Olivet Lodge No. 607 merged with Concordia Lodge No. 67 on December 9, 2000. I never met my paternal grandfather. He passed away on December 30, 1937 – three days before his 49th birthday, and almost 20 years before I was born. I also never knew much about him, but I’ve gathered bits and pieces: He was a veteran of the 315th Infantry Regiment. He helped to start the American Legion in Pennsylvania. He was President of the Philadelphia Real Estate Board in 1933-1934.
I have just found his Past Master jewel inside of a box. I can make out the “HGCW” monogram on the jewel. As he was only 48 years old when he passed away, I feel for my father who had been just a boy at the time. I’m grateful for the time I had with my father and will treasure my Masonic lineage.
Written by: Bro. Harry Williams Bro. Williams was raised in 1993 and is a member of three symbolic lodges in New York – Geneva-Ark No. 33, Warren No. 32, and Adonai No. 718. He helped to consolidate the Columbia, Dutchess and Greene-Ulster District into the Majestic Mid-Hudson District and bring about a new, revitalized district.