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Fidelity Lodge #113 F&AM

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HISTORY OF FIDELITY LODGE

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Ladies Night 1916

One of the most notable entertainments ever sponsored by Fidelity Lodge and one of the great occasions in Ridgewood's history, took place on Wednesday, February 16, 1916. This was a banquet and Ladies Night held in the Woman's Club rooms in Wilsey Hall at which over 450 Masons and their guests assembled to participate in a program of transcontinental conversations over the then recently completed lines of the American Telephone and Telegraph Co.

The committee of arrangements for this affair was composed of Bros. Wm. J. Tonkin, H.W. Casler and H.R. Talbot, Master. The services of the telephone company were arranged for by Bro. Casler assisted by Wm. F. Schmidt. Mr. Schmidt later became a member of Fidelity and officiated as its organist for several years.

At this banquet every person present was furnished with earphones with which to listen to this unique entertainment. No history of Fidelity Lodge would be complete without mentioning this great event which was headlined the following day by the Ridgewood Herald "RIDGEWOOD ON THE MAP, PUT THERE LAST NIGHT BY FIDELITY LODGE."

It is of passing interest to note that Wilsey Hall, located on the third floor of the building at the northeast corner of E. Ridgewood Avenue and North Broad Street still exists, but it has long since been condemned as a firetrap and no assemblies are permitted there.

Golden Jubilee - 1921

Fidelity Lodge celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 1921. W. Bro. Bertrond A. Weber was Master. A most elaborate program was arranged by various committees of both public and Masonic interest. A community fair, sponsored by Fidelity Lodge, and held October 14th and 15th in the east and west station plaza was probably the most notable event. The east plaza at North Broad Street was transformed into a brilliantly decorated midway, illuminated at night and flanked by various booths representing every organization in town. Bro. W. J. McQuaid was in charge of Fidelity's booth where a raffle was held for a Studebaker car. At night a band furnished music fro dancing on the glazed surface of the new pavement on the west station plaza. From the proceeds of this fair an amount of $6,705.96 went to the Chestnut Ridge Rest Home for the wounded soldiers of World War I.

On October 25th Fidelity Lodge members and their guests assembled at a banquet held in Arcola Manor. The Grand Master and his staff and 250 Masons and guests were present. Included in the Jubilee program was the dedication of a bronze tablet commemorating the members of Fidelity Lodge who served in World War I. This tablet was designed by W. Bro. J. Oscar Bunce and it formerly decorated the fireplace mantel in the foyer of the Lodge Hall at 99 South Maple Avenue.

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