Page 15 - MFM March 2016
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Cornelius Hedges, Grand Master one term and            who came to scoff remained to pray.” Brother Duncan
Grand Secretary for thirty-five years, whose pass         was appointed chairman of the Grand Lodge’s
word was the Golden Rule, the kindly and ever             SOLOISTS and no session of Grand Lodge was ever
courteous Scholar, ready to give counsel and advice       permitted to close its labors without his singing his
to the less informed brethren. He brought to the          native song,” Burn’s Adieu. On September 16th,
office as Grand Secretary, a graceful, fluent pen         1887, he wrapped the drapery of his couch around
which he wielded valiantly. Both charming and             him and laid down to pleasant dreams.
entertaining, his great mind, his breadth of vision,
his indomitable courage and tireless devotion of             Thus my brothers I have tried to furnish you a
the principles of our order soon won for the Grand        brief glimpse of some of the illustrious figures that
Lodge of Masons of Montana a place of respect and         played so important a part in moulding the civil and
prominence far superior to any of our sister Grand        Masonic history of the great commonwealth. These
Lodges. On the 29th day of April, 1907, Brother           mighty men have joined the Grand Lodge above
Hedges closed the book of Grand Lodge proceedings         but the fruits of their labors on behalf of Masonry
of Montana surrounded by family and friends to            can never perish; their unshaken devotion to the
record the proceedings in the great Ledger kept by        principles of eternal justice and their heroic struggles
Him on High.                                              in battling for the good cause have conspired to
                                                          stamp their names with the impress of imperishable
   Brother James R. Weston was another vigorous           greatness. It is not too much to say of them that their
character in the early territorial days of Masonry        wisdom, foresight, zeal and industry, have not only
in Montana, wherein he exhibited much zeal and            colored the whole stream of Montana history, but
activity, beckoned by our Father in Heaven to appear      largely determined its direction and flow. By kind
before Him, the good man obeyed the summons on            permission of our Father in Heaven, I am permitted
the 13th day of August, 1904.                             to appear before you as the “Last leaf on the tree”
                                                          and to bring you even this feeble testimony of my
   Brother Boyce, the 7th Grand Master of Masons in       early Masonic associates.
Montana was recognized as the Prince of Merchants
of Montana, wherein he was more than successful.             Fifty years of Masonic experience have served
But it must be said of the good man that he never         but to increase my devotion to the principles of the
lost sight of the fact that he was a member of the        order. Fifty years have enabled me to discover some
grandest order among all fraternal orders, and his        things which the younger generations have perhaps
ardent devotion to Masonry and particularly in an         not yet discovered. Fifty years of experience and
effort to wage a campaign of Temperance for and           observation have permitted me to note how the
on behalf of the entire territory he succeeded and        waves of hatred, ignorance, and superstition have
placed us on a sure footing with the first of the four    beaten themselves to pieces against the impregnable
cardinal virtues. His lips were silenced on the 23rd      ramparts of Masonry. Fifty years have permitted me
day of April 1898.                                        to observe the growth, the unfolding, the development
                                                          and expansion of our order, and today I see Masonry
   To these names permit me to add the name of            triumphant and sublime standing in the door, peering
Brother Hugh Duncan, one of the pioneer Methodist         with complacency down the milestones of the future,
ministers of Montana, an educated gentleman of the        bidding the distant generations hail.
purest Scotch type, his coming to Montana in the
early days was not the glittering allurement of gold.
Having dedicated his life to the service of God,
actuated by no other motive than that of shepherding
the spiritual and moral life of those in his care and
keeping, nothing of the bigot ever tarnished his
princely soul taking advantage of every force that
stood for the betterment of civilization and promotion
of human happiness. It was no surprise therefore to
find him enlisted under the Masonic Banner and
laboring in its field. His irreproachable character, his
genial temperament made him a positive, dynamic
force in the dissemination of light and truth. “Truth
from his life prevailed with double sway and those

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