About Phoenix Lodge

Phoenix Lodge
Phoenix (Oxford Dictionary) /ˈfēniks/ noun
(in classical mythology) a unique bird that lived for five or six centuries in the Arabian desert, after this time burning itself on a funeral pyre and rising from the ashes with renewed youth to live through another cycle


Phoenix Lodge is a ‘Traditional Observance’ Masonic Lodge in Tilton, New Hampshire operating under the auspices of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of New Hampshire.

Phoenix is a lodge that is focused on the initiatic experience of a candidate.  Utilizing methods such as a chamber of reflection, the candidate is left with a deep and meaningful experience of what should be a life-changing moment on his entrance into our fraternity.  Our T.O. Lodge focuses on education and introspection; before a candidate can advance to the next degree, not only must he recite his lesson in full, but present a paper on a topic of his choosing, usually discussing the degree and its importance to him.  Papers and presentations are the norm for meetings, as are silence, musical pieces and introspective meditation; we should all strive for enlightenment not only as a time period of the past, but as a recurring state of mind.  An Agape (or Festive Board) takes place after every meeting, where discussion and pure Masonic love is shared by all attending.  A T.O. Lodge requires the officers and members to dress formally with white gloves, signifying our pure intentions in the Craft.  New Hampshire has a rich ritual tradition and it will always be used in our lodge, with some best practices from sister jurisdictions being available outside of our normal ritual.  Very important are the dues structure of our Lodge; purposely high because of the many aspects that the members get, membership will be well worth the cost (books, aprons, discussions, meals, guest speakers, etc.)

Coming together for a casual meeting in the summer of 2010, several New Hampshire Masons gathered in our State Capitol and began discussing what they thought could be some ideas for helping to restore some of our Masonic traditions into our lodges and greatness into Masonry as a whole.  Over the ensuing months, our group grew and at the Semi-Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge in November of the same year, we formally organized as a club, electing club officers and beginning the process of organizing a potential lodge.  We charged modest dues during all meetings so that we could work towards having a treasury as we continued to move forward and pay for formation expenses.  Following the guidelines of establishing a Traditional Observance style lodge, the members of the New Hampshire Traditional Observance Masonic Club contacted the leadership of the Masonic Restoration Foundation (http://www.masonicrestorationfoundation.org/) and hosted W. Brother Dennis Chornenky who led the group in a seminar on the traditions of the MRF, Masonry around the world and lodge formation.

The NH TOM Club spent the next several months acquiring lodge accoutrements, regalia and furniture and meeting with the Brethren of Doric-Centre Lodge (whom we wished to share a home).  We met with our District Deputies Grand Lecturer and Grand Master for their approbation and at the Semi-Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge in November of 2011, submitted a petition for a charter to form as Phoenix Lodge, holding in the Town of Tilton.  Having received permission from the Grand Master, M. W. Brother Paul M. Leary to begin meeting Under Dispensation on December 27, 2011 (St. John the Evangelist Day), the first meeting of Phoenix Lodge U.D. took place on March 9, 2012 and on May 19, A.D. 2012, A.L. 6012 the Brethren of the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire unanimously approved the lodge’s request for a permanent charter.

On June 8 2012, the Lodge was formally consecrated by the Grand Master and the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire and its first cadre of officers was installed, followed by an address by Worshipful Brother Andrew Hammer, Past Master of Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22 and noted Masonic author.  The inaugural 2012 Phoenix Lodge Officers were Paul C. Smith as Worshipful Master; Robert S. Bean, III as Senior Warden; Francis P. Kenney, II as Junior Warden; R. Bradley Alderfer as Treasurer; Dennis A. Sheridan as Secretary; Christopher J. Busby as Chaplain; Malcolm A. Wooff as Senior Deacon; Richard W. Lowrance as Junior Deacon; Michael F. Yannetti as Marshal; Anthony F. Zanichkowsky as Senior Steward; Donald J. Sullivan, III as Junior Steward; Scott M. Ayen as Director of Music; Jack L. Caynon as Education Officer; and Robert D. Steel as Tyler.

With a permanent membership of 72 Brothers, we ask much of those willing to join us; but we ask it in order for the individual and the lodge to prosper.

2019-2020 Officers

malcolm A. Wooff, Worshipful Master
Paul C. Smith, Senior Warden
Sherman Packard, Junior Warden
Patrick J. O’Sullivan, Treasurer
Dennis A. Sheridan, Secretary, PM
Paul M. Leary, Chaplain
Christopher J. Busby, Senior Deacon
G. Michael Cramer, Junior Deacon
Vacant, Marshal
Paul C. Smith, Director of Music
Vacant, Education Officer
Sam Varjabedian, Tyler
Paul M. Leary, Immediate Past Master