Through the Years of

Robert Burns Lodge




Seal of the Grand Lodge of Washington 


A product of

Robert Burns Lodge No. 243

Free and Accepted Masons of Washington

Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Celebration

July 20, 1996


Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
  And never brought to min'?
Should auld acquaintances be forgot,
  And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
  For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet
  For auld lang syne.

And here's a hand, my trusty frere,
  And gie's a hand o' thine;
And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught*
  For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
  For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet
  For auld lang syne.

-  old Scottish song recorded by Robert Burns

* drop of good will


Through the Years of Robert Burns Lodge

Robert Burns Lodge No. 243, F. & A M. of Washington

Lynnwood, Washington



This is an account of the beginnings and the labors of Robert Burns Lodge during the span of its existence.  The events are presented as they occurred, year by year - events concerning our lodge itself, the building, concordant organizations and the activities of our members.  The quotes beginning 1925 are from the lodge minutes.  We hope that you will enjoy traveling with us through the years of our lodge.


It could be said that Robert Burns Lodge had its beginning in the fall of 1920.  Several informal meetings were held in the grocery store run by Bro. L. E. Moffat by the Masonic Brethren living in the community of Alderwood Manor, with the aim of forming a Masonic Club.




On February 8, 1921, a more formal meeting was called in the Community Hall at the Demonstration Farm for the purpose of forming that club.  Those present were Brothers Robert Jensen, L. E. Spayd, T. J. Rogers, L. E. Moffatt, W. J. Beebe, E. G. Wagner, H.A Brastrup and C.N. Valentine.  A Masonic Club was organized, the name Alderwood Manor Masonic Club was chosen, and a committee on by-laws was appointed.  The membership fee was fixed at $1.00 and annual dues at $2.00.  The fee for membership was to be placed in a permanent building fund along with half of the proceeds of a voluntary contributions to be taken up at each social function.  The first and third Tuesdays of each month were chosen as meeting days.  The third Tuesday was designated as the day for social activities.


The first regular meeting was held on Tuesday, March 1, 1921. Apparently there was little business other than a report from the by-laws committee and a motion to have a social evening for the next meeting.


On March 29, 1921, the fifth Tuesday of the month, a special meeting was called.

At this meeting a communication from the Peugeot Mill Co., dated March 28, 1921, was read stating that a deed was being prepared for Lot 11, Block 2, Alderwood Manor, with the stipulation that the construction be of brick or brick veneer. The purchase of the lot had already been perfected by 3 members, without expense to the local club. Two contributions of building materials were received from the Hacked Mill Company and the Alderwood Manor Lumber Company.


It was moved and seconded that application be made to the Grand Lodge of Washington for dispensation to work the Symbolic Lodge Degrees of Masonry at Alderwood Manor. The motion carried unanimously. A motion was also carried to call the new lodge Alderwood Manor Lodge. An election was held and the following three principal officers were elected:


Worshipful Master   Robert J. Jensen
Senior Warden   Harry A. Brastrup
Junior Warden John A. Thompson, Jr.


Subscriptions were taken in the amount of $130.00, among the members, for payment of the Charter, the surplus to go to the building fund. Also at this meeting the treasurer was authorized to procure cards to be sold as "bricks" at 50 cents each, the proceeds to go into the building fund.


At a meeting on April 5, 1921, a verbal report of a meeting with the Grand Master was given. He gave, in effect, much encouragement about obtaining a Charter but he disapproved of the name of Alderwood Manor Lodge as it would not be distinctively Masonic and, he being a Scotsman suggested the name of Robert Burns. The celebrated Scottish bard, author of "Flow Gently, Sweet Afton", "Highland Mary", "Tam o\ Shanter", "My Luve is Like a Red, Red Rose", and many other poems, was a prominent Freemason of the eighteenth century and well deserved to be commemorated by a Masonic Lodge in Washington. The motion was made and carried that the name be changed to Robert Burns Lodge.


On April 10, 1921, Most Worshipful Brother James H. Begg, Grand Master, visited Alderwood Manor on request and, after looking over several proposed meeting places, stated that there were none suitable in town and refused to grant a permit. To the amazement of the Grand Master, that very day the decision to build was made and the next day he broke ground. He was requested to return in early May to lay the corner stone. He agreed with considerable doubt that the building would be ready by then.




On April 14, 1921, Peninsular Lodge No. 95 of Everett issued a Certificate Recommending Dispensation and on April 21, 1921, Ashlar Loge No. 121 of Bothell passed a resolution recommending Dispensation. On April; 29, 1921 a Petition for Dispensation, signed by 17 members was presented to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, F. & A. M. of Washington and on April 30, 1921 the petition was granted.


The starting membership of the lodge was:


Frank X. Heinzen     John A. Thompson
Fred Brastrup   Harry A. Brastrup 
Charles N. Valentine William H. Proctor
Harry Durrell Loren E. Moffatt  
Fred M. Bechtel Edward W. Grosebeck
Helmer S. Peterson Charles A. Young
Robert J. Jensen Clifford C. Martin
Ernest B. Catlin Lewis E. Spayd
Chandler F. Seavey  



At a special communication of Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, F. & A. M. of Washington on May 6, 1921, Robert Burns Lodge U.D. was instituted by the Grand Master and appointed to serve as officers were Robert J. Jensen, Worshipful Master; Harry A. Brastrup, Senior Warden and John A. Thompson, Junior Warden; with due authority to admit, enter, pass and raise Freemasons




A paragraph from the Grand Master's Annual Report says, "On Sunday, May 8,. 1921, I opened Grand Lodge in the schoolhouse at Alderwood Manor, Snohomish County, and laid the cornerstone of the new Masonic Hall being erected by Robert Burns Lodge, UD, which I had instituted less than 48 hours previously.  The zeal and liberality of the brethren may well be understood by the remarkable speed on their part in providing themselves with a permanent and commodious home.  Palestine Commandery No. 11, K.T., of Everett served as escort to the Grand Lodge."  The cornerstone was obtained from the old Boston Block, recently razed in Seattle, and furnished by a brother (William Morrice, who was made a Mason in St. Machar Lodge No. 319, Woodside (Aberdeen, Scotland) who chiseled it in his barn nearby.


The excavation had been done by the Master and the foundation had been placed under the direction of the Junior Warden, both without cost to the Lodge.  The superstructure for the 48 by 80 food brick veneered building, containing about 84, 000 feet of lumber, was erected by the officers and members of the lodge in a period of three months (for the details, see the 1921 Grand Lodge Proceedings, pages 301-2).


The Temple was not the oldest brick building in Alderwood Manor, the oldest we understand being the smaller brick building across the street to the west, now a hardware store [2014 Editor's note: this building now sits abandoned on 36th Avenue].  At that time it was the local office of the Puget Mill Company (pope & Talbot) which was developing the plat of Alderwood Manor and which performed some of the work on the Temple under contract.


The small brick building across the street form the Temple was at one time the grade school. However the first school in Alderwood Manor was on the South corner of where the Fred Meyer store is now. There were 4 or 5 pupils in those days.


There has been an old story that the first degree work in the Temple was performed under the stars, before the roof was completed, but this is not true (ed. note: the story probably originated from the incident in Oct. 1921 when apparently the roofing material blew oft). However, in the early meetings the facing had not been completed and members could see light through the gaps in the boards of the walls-they often sat in Lodge with their overcoats on to keep warm


A strong man in starting the Lodge was William Morrice.  He hired Charlie Olson to chisel the letters in the Cornerstone.  Pete Tutmark did the original wiring of the building.


For our substantial Temple we owe our thanks to our Brethren who built it and took on the burden of paying off the debts for materials, which were considerable.  The trials and tribulations of our early-day brethren perhaps paralleled the hard life of our namesake, Robert Burns, whose feelings were expressed by his poem, "To a Mouse, on Turning up her Nest with the Plough, November, 1785.":

Wee, Sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,

Oh, what a panic's in thy breastie!

Thou need na start awa sae hasty

Wi' bickerin' brattle!

I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee

Wi' murd'rin pattie! *


But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane

In proving foresight may be vain:

The best laid schemes 0' mice an' men

Gang aft a-gley,

An' lea'e us nought but grief an'pain

For promis'd joy


Still thou art blest, compar'd wi' me!

The present only toucheth thee:

But, och! I backward cast my ee

On prospects drear!

An; forward, tho' I canna see,

I guess an' fear


-Robert Burns

* - spade

From this time on matters began to move rapidly. Recorded in the minutes of the May 17th meeting were ten applications for membership and six petitions for affiliation. On May 26th just 18 days after the cornerstone was laid, there were two Entered Apprentice and one Fellowcraft degrees conferred in the new and still unfinished lodge room.. It may be of interest to note, that Brother Frederick C. McClane was the first member to be made a Mason in Robert Burns Lodge. The first lodge furniture was presented to us be Peninsular Lodge No. 95, our mother lodge, on behalf of the Masonic bodies of Everett.



On May 27, 1921, a petition for Charter was presented to the Grand Lodge and on June 15, 1921, at the regular communication of the Grand Lodge at Spokane, the Charter was granted. The new lodge had a starting membership of 17. A picture of the new Temple was hung in one of the rooms of the Grand Lodge.


At a special communication of the Grand Lodge of Washington held on July 4, 1921, 140th anniversary of the date Robert Burns was made a Mason, at Alderwood Manor, Most Worshipful Brother Begg, now Past Grand Master, being duly appointed and deputized by the Grand Master, called the brethren together in Robert Burns Temple. He ordered the Grand Secretary to read the Charter and proceeded to constitute Robert Burns Lodge. The constitutional question having been asked, the Lodge was consecrated, instituted a regular lodge and given the number 243, and the officers were installed.


In the October 22, 1921 edition of the Masonic Tribune was an account of what was probably one of the largest meetings ever held at Robert Burns Lodge.  At a special communication on Saturday, October 14, 1921, four candidates were raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason. Some speculation had occurred as to whether the day's events would come off as planned, as the roof had been swept away be the wind!  The first candidate was raised by the official family of Franklin Lodge No.5, located at Port Gamble, who came over by way of Edmonds in their own boat.  The second candidate was raised by our Mother Lodge Peninsular Lodge No. 95 of Everett, who responded to the invitation with 75 members in attendance.  The third candidate was raised by the masters of several Seattle lodges, Arcana Lodge No. 87,  Doric Lodge No. 92, University Lodge No. 141, Green Lake Lodge No. 149, Seattle Lodge No. 164, and Roosevelt Lodge No. 229.  The fourth candidate was raised by a team from Tyee Lodge No. 115. Dinner was prepared and served to 300 guests in the dining room of the new temple.  In token of their appreciation for the good time had by the visiting brethren, a collection was taken up and donated to the lodge for a stone to be placed on our porch balcony.


Back in those days the Temple was still barely a shell compared to our more comfortable and finished rooms of today. Alderwood Manor was mainly forest, broken by the route of the old Interurban railway where the Freeway now passes by, with a few homes and chicken farms here and there. Many of the early members were poultrymen at The Experimental Farm nearby.
The Experimental Farm was a project of the Puget Mill Co. The Washington Co­op is and was a completely different organization. (Both included a number of members of Robert Burns Lodge.)


While it is interesting to note the great interest, determination and ambition of the early membership, it is satisfying to know that the interest has continued through the years. Even though the building was up, there were still many things needed to complete the furnishings. To help carry the costs, $100 coupon bonds were authorized Oct. 18,1921, and some 33 of these were issued through 1927. Beginning in 1928, many of the brethren tendered their bonds over to the lodge and would not accept repayment. Franklin Lodge No.5 joined the ranks of our benefactors with the loan of a considerable amount of money. We are deeply grateful to Franklin Lodge though unfortunately it was a number of years before the loan was repaid. Incidentally, the note was secured only by the signatures of the principal officers of Robert Burns Lodge. Grand Lodge also made us a loan of a sizeable amount which was secured by a mortgage on the Temple.




Now our largest concordant body, Alderwood Chapter No. 185, Order of Eastern Star, was organized under dispensation of William A. Johnson, Grand Patron. The first meeting was held November 4, 1921 and the list of member's names corresponds to those on the Robert Burns list. Alderwood Chapter has assisted the lodge in maintaining and improving the Temple from the beginning, the first assistance being a fund-raising dinner given December 10, 1921. The Star also paid one-half the cost of the organ purchased in 1922.


The Chapter was constituted June 23, 1922. The first Secretary was Ruth Morrice, daughter of our early-day Brother William Morrice, and she continued as Secretary until her death in 1972.


1922 also saw the first of many celebrations of Robert Burns' birthday (January 20), and the presentation of a picture of Robert Burns to us by Brother Robert Bonney, the only member of the lodge who has won the Congressional Medal of Honor.


Dancing parties were commenced by the Eastern Star, and we started the moving picture shows. Old-timers will recall the Saturday afternoon shows downstairs in the "Auditorium" (the stage was where the kitchen is now). It was the only movie picture theater around, and many youngsters and adults came throughout the twenties and early thirties to see "Our Gang" and the Dempsey-Sharkey fight, as well as such thrillers as "Code of the West', "Pony Express", "New Klondike", "Beau Geste" and "Legion of the Condemned" .


In 1922 or 23 the Alderwood Community Church began to rent the hall for meetings, which they continued to do for many years before they had a building of their own. Many other organizations have met at our Temple, including the Boy Scouts, American Legion, Library Club, Washington Co-op, Ladies Aid, WWI Vets, Christian Science Society, School District #14 and Dramatic Club.

Washington's birthday programs were begun in 1923, and in 1924 the lodge was able to purchase fire insurance and put aside the beginnings of a Relief Fund. In 1925 a large debt to the Bryant Lumber Co. was refinanced with Grand Lodge and during the year a "radio receiving set was installed in the hall: one evening for "an interesting broadcast". In 1926 it was decided to purchase some used opera chairs from a picture house. Since the lodge was unable to finance this bill, ten of the members raised the money among themselves to make the purchase.


The lodge room at this time was so bare that a wire had to be strung from one wall to the other in order that voices could be heard properly, somewhat after the theory of tin­can "phones". The heat came from wood pot-bellied stoves. In 1926 we ordered "3 cords of 32 in. & 1 cord of 16 in. wood for our winter supply". The entertainment downstairs in the hall was the "The Collegians" orchestra and the Swedish Glee Club. Discussion was being held on the new Master Masons' Club of Snohomish and Island Counties and the recently established Masonic Park.


In 1927 there was a large meeting for the Master Mason degree with 200 there including one from Ireland. The gusts of honor were Past Grand Master James Begg and Grand Master Walter F. Meier. Also in this year, motion was carried that the hall be rented to outside parties for dances. We were able to begin paying a salary to the Secretary in 1928 - (the grand sum of $5 per month!).


The financial burden on the lodge continued to be heavy, however, in 1929 an agreement was drawn up with Alderwood Chapter, D.E.S., whereby they became partners with the lodge in the ownership of the Temple. A Board of Trustees for the Temple was set up consisting of the three principal officers of each organization.




Despite the depression we had a good time in the thirties. Masonic dances continued during these years. There was a joint installation of the lodge and Eastern Star in 1930, and picnics were being held at the Masonic Park "pioneer style". In 1931 we were, along with Edmonds and Richmond Lodges, looking into the possibility of getting a DeMolay chapter started (it was started in Edmonds). Also, an outstanding series of lectures was given on the lives of the Masonic philosophers William Preston, C.C.F. Krause, Albert Pike and others. The front steps and landscaping was done in 1932 and Lobdell's Orchestra was playing at the dances.


Though we don't have space to mention all the Past Masters and others who played such a large part in the Masonry of Alderwood Manor, we couldn't pass by 1933 without mentioning our Worshipful Master of that year, Rev. Hubert Burgess. The beloved "little minister", commemorated by the plaque in our hall, served the Community Church for many years and was a serious student of Freemasonry. He gave many interesting and illuminating talks to the lodge.

We adopted the optional flag ceremony as standard in 1933 and in 1934 installed the fire escape. Alderwood Assembly No. 55, Order of Rainbow Girls, was chartered in 1935. The first meeting in January of 1936 brought the welcome news that a furnace had been procured free of charge - although it needed repairs! A Scottish flag was donated to the lodge this year by Bro. Patrick Pepper. In 1937 the first basic carpeting was installed in the lodge room over the bare floor. The brothers in 1938 presented the visiting Grand Master, Frank L. Poole, with a gavel they made out of "Alder wood grown in this town"


In 1939 the visiting District Deputy, RW. Bro. Guy Rose, "requested the lodge be opened on the first degree which caused considerable consternation on the part of the officers and considerable amusement to the brethren". The lodge was able to payoff the carpet this year thanks to several donations including a large gift from the Eastern Star and the philanthropy of Bro. Roy Mellor




We note in 1940 that Wor. Bro. Echelbarger was presented with a "full-sized" apron ... "Frolics" (dances) were being held at this period with Brother and Mrs. Dice Lobdell as the musicians, and the Angora Grotto degree team was visiting. In 1941 when "Wor Bro. J.E. Chandler addressed the Wor. Master in his usual forceful manner - '-the lights went out!


1942 saw hose bibbs cut in for water connections on all floors (we were going modem), and motion was carried to have the Temple Board bring the wood upstairs - we still cooked on wood stoves (the kitchen was up on the third floor). Things were rough at the first meeting of 1943 when only three members showed up. It was the statutory minimum, but it was a short meeting. The lodge remitted the dues of member in the Armed Forces this year.

We're especially proud of our brother who first attained high rank: in the Grand Lodge of Washington. Very Worshipful Brother Pearl R. Brewer was District Deputy to the Grand Master in District #8 in 1954-5. While he was Master of our lodge in 1944, 67 degrees were conferred! At one of the meetings, Wor. Bro. M.A Drechsler seems to have really gotten into the spirit of things - his name appears in the minute book as "M.A Degree". Also in 1944 we paid off the balance we owed on our debt to Franklin Lodge No.5. In 1945 we carried a motion that the ground floor of the Temple would not be rented for commercial purposes.


September 27, 1946 was the big night when we finally burned the mortgage on the building. Past Grand Master Begg and five other brothers who had assisted in laying the cornerstone of Robert Burns Lodge were present on this very special occasion. Motion was carried in the same year to organize a Square & Compass Club - this was the origin of -our Robert Burns Social Club (the name was changed in 1947). Bro. Dick Moulds was apparently the guiding spirit behind this organization. We joined the Masonic Service Bureau in 1947. In that year also we receive the bust of Robert Burns, now on the east wall, from Past Grand Master Robert A Wilson, and Welcome Court No. 58, Order of Amaranth, was chartered at our Temple.


A well-known businessman of Alderwood Manor, W.B. Herbert Gillis, "everybody's favorite insurance man and newspaper dealer" was one the of the most active members of the Lodge for many years. He served the longest term of our Secretaries, and also started the ball rolling for organizing the Royal Arch Chapter.


The present Furnace was installed in 1948. Discussions started at this time about the remodeling which would be taking place in a few years) inspired, no doubt, by the heated comments of the furnace inspector!). During 1949 the Temple Board dug a hole in the ground to expand the basement, and Fellowship Chapter No. 61, Royal Arch Masons, was constituted in the Temple




We were discussing borrowing a large sum of money from Grand Lodge for

remodeling in 1950, but it was decided that we didn't want debt again so soon. Motion was carried that two new ballot boxes with red colored lining be purchased - sort of red carpet treatment! Our membership rose to 200 by 1951, and the lodge began to pay for refreshments - no more passing the coffee kitty. In 1952 we began our annual visitations back and forth with Dunbar Lodge No. 145, A.F. & A.M. of British Columbia. These visits have been the source of much pleasure ever since, and the beginning of many friendships across the border. The lodge sprung for Past Master aprons in 1953 and the minutes state that a motion was passed to "buy a new large sized hat for the W.M."


The architect for our extensive remodeling in 1954 was W.B. Ernie Forsell; and for the actual finish work on the walls we can thank: the "Happy Plasterer", W.B. Jack Chandler.


In 1954 the brethren completely remodeled the lodge room, plastering the walls and ceiling and installing our indirect lighting system. Our new carpeting was installed

over the old basic rug. This work was done completely by our members, and we can surely be grateful for the efforts of the many craftsmen who beautified and adorned our Temple.


The lodge purchased the adjacent land to the south for a parking area in 1955, and Bethel No. 50, Order of Jobs Daughters, was chartered. 1956 was the 35th anniversary of the lodge and our membership reached 243 - the same as the lodge number. A motion was approved to sponsor a lodge at Mountlake Terrace, but this did not come to fruition for another ten years. In 1957, the Board of Trustees for the Temple, which had been set up the previous year, was authorized to form a Temple Corporation.


The idea to incorporate the Temple Board came from W.B. Leland Waiters. In the process of the consequent legal proceedings we found that Grand Lodge regulations required us to have title returned from joint ownership to the lodge alone. More work­parties were being held in these years for further repairs and improvements (more work on kitchen, ect., - the main kitchen remodeling had been done about 1952). The building was tuck pointed in 1958 and the entrance porch remodeled. A Canadian Flag was given by Bro. Roley Moore in 1959.


The old Interurban R.R. stop was south of the temple across 196th St. S.W. Wicker's Store was a landmark there for many years (Bro. Herman Wicker was a member of Robert Burns Lodge). Also, next door to Wicker's was WB Alby Albright's barbershop. Bro. (later Sen.) Henry M. Jackson came in one day seeking Democratic party support (Alby was very active in Snohomish Co. Demo. politics and in fact later was county chair). After "Scoop" left, Alby told the fellow in the chair, "He's a nice fella, but he'll never make it in politics".


ON THRU THE 60's AND 70's


In 1960 the Robert Burns Masonic Temple was finally incorporated, and a picture of Robert Burns, which had made 3 trips across the Atlantic, was presented to us by Bro. Thomas Mars of St. Fothads Lodge No. 1959, Auchterderran, Scotland. 1961 saw completion of work on the parking lot and the ladies and mens lounges downstairs. In 1962, through our Social Club, we began our custom of awarding $200 Scholarships to deserving high school graduates, and we hope that in this way we have assisted some boys and girls to obtain further education.


The lodge voted to make Jack Thompson, our first Junior Warden, an honorary Past Master in 1963. In 1964 Dunbar Lodge gave us the cloth map of Scotland which hangs in the lobby, showing the locales of Robert Burns. The sponsorship of the Mountlake Sojourners Club was approved in 1965 and they did a fine job of exemplifying the degrees in Robert Burns Lodge under the watchful eye of the District Deputy. In 1966 we had the distinct honor and pleasure of sponsoring them as they received dispensation as Genesis Lodge U.D. (They were constituted as Genesis Lodge No. 305 in 1967.)


In 1976 Wor. Bro. Drechsler finished our present upholstered seats along the side walls and Bro. Dudley Rankin organized an interesting Masonic Youth Festival and talent show. Bro. Tony Wilson got our trestleboard under way in 1968. In 1969 we received a

gift of interesting masonic memorabilia from the brethren of Lodge St. David (Tarbolton), Mauchline, No. 133, Scotland, the mother lodge of Robert Burns. 1970 was the first year we invited a scholarship winner to the Temple for a ceremony. A feast put on for Past Masters' Night in September will never be forgotten by those fortunate enough to have been in attendance. Two fine gifts were received by the lodge, a dishwashing machine from Bro. David Born and a set of decorative pillars made by Bro. Edward Brown.


Finally, at the end of the year we purchased the elevator from the old Prudential Mutual Savings Bank being dismantled in Seattle, and in early 1971 we were busy taking it to pieces and hauling it up to Alderwood Manor. 1971 also saw our first golf tournament with Dunbar Lodge.




Our Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration May 1971 was a lot of fun, as we heard reminiscences from old-timers Ruth Morrice and Wor. Brothers Harry Hill, Jack Beam, and John A. Thompson, Charter Member and first Junior Warden. The editors have inserted this information back in the proper time periods in this history. In 1972 we hosted the district meeting in January, which was attended by several well-known Past Grand Masters, MWB Matthew Hill, Audley Mahaffey, and Walter Higgins. We decided against installing the elevator (such major construction would open a regulatory can of worms) and sold it for the Grand Sum of $I,400 in 1973. Also in that year we finally quit dragging our feet and officially changed our address from Alderwood Manor to Lynnwood!


1974 saw the appointment of VWB Bill Martin as District Deputy for the Grand Master in District #32 (our new district formed only a few years prior). He was only the second in the history of the Lodge to have this honor. A series of educational programs were given by the past masters this year. WB Jim Larson received a Certificate of Proficiency from the Grand Lodge in 1975, the only one so far in the Lodge. He was happy to see that the minutes call it a certificate of "Perfection"!' .. 1976 was the U.S. Bicentennial and in addition to a special program the Lodge displayed large pictures of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin on the outside of the building. A new duplicating machine was purchased in 1977 for our Trestleboard. At the end of the year our beloved Bro. Frank Backman retired as Secretary and was named Secretary Emeritus.


We were having a series of 4th of July picnics at the Nile Country Club in these years - the one in 1978 was a particularly great success. In 1979 a life membership provision was adopted as stated in the Grand Lodge Code. We also discussed the purchase of a piece of property at 36th Ave. W. & 180th S.W. In 1980 several brethren went to Lakewood Lodge at Tacoma to see WB Gunner Engstrom receive his 50-year pin. and Bro. Fahle passed away and left the Lodge $3000. Also we lost our S.W. Bro. Robert E. Vaughan.





WB Mike Drechsler received his 50-year pin from RWB George Bordewick, PDGM in 1981. Unfortunately we had to cancel our July 4th picnics at this time due to cost.. 1981 was also our first Widows Nite program. We were busy in 1982 raising money for the large tuckpointing project coming up. The south elevation of the building was tuckpointed in 1983 at a cost of $4100. Also we got a new rug in the lodge room. In 1984 the Temple Board rented a blower and insulated above the lodge room. We also cleaned up the 3rd floor and hauled a bunch to the dump. A new roof was installed in 1985, the fellowship hall was repainted, and the stairwell was plasterboarded and painted. In 1986 we continued to renovate the temple and clean up the outside and grounds. A gas furnace and gas hot water tank were installed.


Another fundraising project was necessary in 1987 to raise money for insulated windows. In 1988 we were able to purchase and install most of the windows in our fellowship hall. We finished the rest of the windows in 1989. WB Jack Beam passed away and WB Ron Thompson took over as Secretary. Bro. Cloyse Clayton presented the Lodge with a generous gift of $19,000. From here on the Scholarship amount was increased and the Scholarships to read "from Robert Burns Lodge in honor of Cloyse and Rosie Clayton". Also in that year WB Charles Bash put in the forms and the front steps were poured. 3, 5 & 7. In 1990 the chair lift was purchased for the use of our disabled brothers and sisters. Also R.R. ties were purchased and placed on the south side of the temple to hold the bank. The lodge room and fellowship hall were painted by Bro.John Moore in 1991. A stainless steel refrigerator was purchased and put in the coffee room in 1992.


Our friends and brothers from our "daughter lodge", Genesis Lodge #305, decided to move back to our temple for their meetings in 1992. They had met in our temple for their first year or so, then had moved to the First Baptist Church in Mountlake Terrace where they met for many years in a small chapel building. After church growth necessitated a move, and after a short period at Nile Temple, they returned to Robert Burns Temple. They did the renovation work on our bathrooms upstairs in 1993.


Kitchen cabinets received new coverings and some dining room floor beams were replaced in 1994. We also had a coffee stand at Smoky Point rest stop several times as a fundraiser. A work party was held at the home of our Bro. George Barnes, 96 years old, to install railings and clean up brush outside in 1995. Also WB Watts laid floor tiles & modernized the downstairs ladies' room. In 1996 our VWB Norm Watts was installed as District Deputy to the Grand Master, the third of our members to have this honor. Also in this year we named our faithful Bros. George Barnes and Bert Loper as Honorary Past Masters.


These are but a few of the highlights of a history that has had much in the way of good fellowship and wonderful associations, as well as the cares, worry and hard work of the brethren of Robert Burns Lodge.




We especially salute the Brethren on this roster, who have served in one of the most difficult and indispensable positions of the Lodge:


Charles N. Valentine 1921-1922
Fred W. Bechtel 1923
Alfred J.C. Wigmore 1923
Homer D. Gladden 1924
Samuel C. Mohler 1925
William C. Geltz 1926
Leo F. Echelbarger 1926
H. A. Whitaker 1927
William H. Proctor 1928
Henry Engler 1929
Albert E. Pedersen 1930-1931
Herbert E. Gillis 1932-1947
William C. Birt 1947-1955
Temple O. Merchant 1956-1958
Harry H. Hill 1959-1964
L. Duane Holte 1965-1968
Frank F. Backman 1969-1977
Robert M. Foultz 1978-1985
Robert G. Denman 1986-1987
Jack H. Beam    1987-1989
Ronald E. Thompson 1989-2001*
James H. Larson 2001*-Present



*Date requires verification





The shortness of this roster shows the many years of service of these Brethren and speaks for itself.


Lewis E. Spayd 1921-1928
Harold S. Manion 1929-1930
Harry H. Hill 1931-1955
Michael A. Drechsler 1956-1969
L. Duane Holte 1970-1978
Merle J. Schafer 1979-1986
William H. Johnson 1987-1989, 1992
Robert E. Eddy 1990-1991
R. Ernie McCasland 1993
Paul D. Elliott 1994-2002*
John Friesen 2002*-2013
Robert Wallinger 2013-Present



*Date requires verification

A prince can mak a belted knight,

A marquis, duke, an' a'that;

But a honest man's aboon his-l might,

Guid faith, he mauna fa-2 that!

For a' that, an' a' that,

Their dignities, an' a' that,

The pith 0' sense, an' pride 0' worth,

Are higher rank than a' that.


Then let us pray that corne it may

 As come it will for a' that)

That Sense and Worth o'er a' the earth,

May bear the gree-3 an' a' that!

For a' that, an' a' that,

It's coming yet, for a' that,

That man to man the world 0' er

Shall brothers be for a' that.



Robert Burns


1 - above a prince’s

2 –claim

3 – have a first place



We hope that the old-timers will tell us about errors in the foregoing and we would liked to particularly thank the 35th anniversary committee of Robert Burns Lodge and Wor. Bro. Gunner F. Engstrom for paving the way for us in historical research. We would also like to thank the following for their assistance for the celebration: Wor. Bros. Art Beam, Bill Martin and Stan Syltebo; Mrs. Don Hooker, Bro. Bill Donaldson and Wor. Bro. Willis Tucker of Centennial Lodge No. 25, Snohomish



Jack Beam, Duane Holte, Jim Larson

50th Anniversary Committee





Thanks to those who went before and particular thanks to Ruth Langland, Mabel Heath and other old -timers for their help. A special thanks to Bro. Ken and HL. Louise Morris for the typing and printing.



Duane Holte, John Joseph, Jim Larson

75th Anniversary Committee


Edited for the Internet and updated by WB Matthew Appel, 2014 

Notes to add:

Moving from building to strip mall

Moving from strip mall to Everett

Moving to Edmonds from Everett