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History of Holyrood Commandery No. 32 K. T.

The desire to organize a second Commandery in Cleveland was inspired by the Twentieth Triennial Conclave of the Grand Encampment Knights Templar of the United States of America, held in Cleveland, August, 1877. The dignity and stateliness of this event made a deep and lasting impression upon the members of our fraternity, also the general public. Following the close of this Grand Encampment Conclave, the Grand Commander of Ohio, Sir Knight Brenton D. Babcock, issued to ten of Cleveland's leading citizens, all Knights Templar, a dispensation dated September 10, 1877, to form a new Commandery in Cleveland.

This dispensation remained in force until the 36th Annual Conclave of the Grand Commandery of Ohio, which was held in the city of Put-in-Bay, September 28 and 29, 1878. 'The action of the Grand Commander, and the exhibit of the new Commandery, was approved, and a charter granted for Holyrood Commandery No. 32, K.T. (p)Following the instruction of the Grand Commandery, on November 8, 1878, Right Eminent Sir Knight Brenton D. Babcock, serving a second term as Grand Commander, delivered the charter, installed the officers, and constituted the Commandery in due form.

Thus, these fourteen zealous Templars launched Holyrood upon her course, and holding true to the spirit of knighthood, Holyrood has become one of the fine Commanderies in the great commonwealth of Ohio.

The first conclaves of Holyrood were held in the Asylum of our sister Commandery, Oriental No. 12, in Masonic Hall, Case Building, corner of Superior and Wood Streets, near where our Federal Building now stands. In March, 1879, Temperance Hall, located on Superior Street, near the American House was rented and equipped for Commandery purposes.

Temperance Hall was also known as Army and Navy hall, and was the home of Holyrood Commandery until 1883, when with other Masonic bodies of Cleveland, it moved into the Masonic temple, corner of Superior and east 6th Street. Many of us have fond recollections associated with that beautiful Commandery asylum in that Temple.

In 1920, Holyrood moved into its Asylum at 3615 Euclid Avenue.

The Commandery has taken part in many public affairs, appearing in the funeral cortege of two Presidents of the United States, Sir Knight James A. Garfield, and Sir Knight William McKinley, and has assisted in the dedication of Garfield's Monument and many Masonic Temples and Churches in our city.

The highest honors of Masonic Grand Bodies in the State of Ohio have been conferred on several members of Holyrood Commandery, as follows: Sir Knight and Past Commanders Edwin S. Griffiths, Mathew Smith, and James B. Ruhl as Grand Masters of the Grand Lodge; Sir Knight O. B. Hanna, Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons; Sir Knights and Past Commanders John S. White and Roy S. Rogers, Grand Masters of the Grand Council, Royal and Select Masters. In the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Ohio, the following Sir Knights and Past Commanders have been elevated to the office of Grand Commander: Henry P. McIntosh, 1893; Thomas J. Jones, 1920; Louis H. Wieber, 1938.

(The Foregoing is reprinted from the “History of Holyrood Commandery” which appeared in the program of the 75th anniversary celebration, in 1953.)

HOLYROOD COMMANDERY - Highlights of the fourth twenty-Five Years.

On November 30, 1957 Holyrood Commandery sponsored an event that was to be copied widely throughout the jurisdiction of the Grand Encampment of the United States of America. Assisted by several of the Royal Arch Chapters of the 16th Capitular District of Ohio, 69 candidates received the Chapter Degrees and the Orders in Holyrood Commandery. Exemplar in the Order of the Temple was Sir Knight Richard L. McNelly, Illustrious Potentate of Al Koran Temple. The Class was named in honor of our Past Commander, Sir Knight Louis H. Wieber, Right Eminent Deputy Grand Master of The Grand Encampment, who was present for the mass conferral of the Orders.

At Indianapolis, Indiana, in August 1958, Sir Knight Wieber was installed as Grand master of the Grand Encampment, for the ensuing Triennium. A large delegation of Holyrood Fraters, with their Ladies, under the leadership of the Eminent Commander, Sir Knight Willard F. Bub, were on hand for this event. Besides the Officers and Past Commanders, 51 Sir Knights under the direction of Sir Knight Alfred E. Newman, Past Commander, and Captain General, participated in the Parade.

Holyrood along with Forest City Commandery No. 40, and Bethany Commandery No. 72, also sponsored a Tri­Commandery Drill Competition at Bethany's Asylum, in Akron, Ohio, on Saturday, May 7, 1960. This event sparked the resumption of Drill Team Competition in the Grand Commandery of Ohio. In three of those early Competitions, Holyrood placed first, and took second place another time. Sir Knight Newman was the Drill captain for these four Competitions.

In 1969, Holyrood moved to our present quarters in the Berea Masonic Temple. After ten years of occupancy, the leadership is now being drawn from the surrounding areas. This augurs well for the Commandery, which is now assuming a more local character.

Four living Past Commanders have been singularly honored in Masonry. Sir Knight Paul Pangrace is a District Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge, and Sir Knight Clyde Preston is a Past District Deputy of the Grand Lodge. Sir Knight Paul Draeger has received the Knight Templar Cross of Honor from the Grand Encampment, and Sir Knight Theodore Holt is a Past District Deputy Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter, Royal Arch Masons of Ohio. Sir Knight Norman Schneider is a District Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge.

--Willard F. Bub, P.C., Historian, Holyrood Commandery No. 32 K.T.

See also:
Charter Members of Holyrood Commandery
History of Holy Grail Commandery

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Page Last Updated 22 February 2019