For the Rowlands family, Freemasonry was a family tradition. Richard Allison Rowlands (1890-1955) was Grand Master of Masons of the State of New York from 1950 through 1952. He often shared Masonic events with his family, particularly his wife, Gertrude, and his daughter, Patricia. They are all seen at a visitation to the Westchester-Putnam District in New York, on April 29, 1950 in the photograph (on the left). R. A. Rowlands is fifth from the left, Gertrude is on his left and Patricia is on his right.
Gertrude and her three daughters were also members of the Order of the Eastern Star. Gertrude and Patricia took their turns as Worthy Matron. Gertrude was Worthy Matron of Schnectady's Corlaer Chapter 528 during 1950 and Patricia was Worthy Matron of the same chapter during 1952.
The Rowlands family lived at 1361 Regent Street in Schnectady, New York with their three daughters: Shirley, Virginia, and Patricia. R. A. Rowlands' grandfathers were members of the craft. Richard Rowlands, Sr. was a member of Stella Lodge No. 485 in Brooklyn, New York, and Gerritt Vervoort was a member of Munn Lodge No. 190 in New York City. R. A. Rowlands' father, John S. Rowlands, was a member of Lebanon Lodge, No. 191, New York City and served as its Master in 1906. R. A. Rowlands' mother was a member of Flatbush Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star.
The photograph (on the right) shows Richard A. Rowlands at another Masonic event--throwing out the First Pitch at the 14th Annual Baseball Game and Circus Show, Dexter Park, on June 10, 1950. The event was sponsored by the Brooklyn Masonic Association for Charity, Inc. R. A. Rowlands participated in many family Masonic events as well as lodge meetings.
R. A. Rowlands' grandson, Richard V. Travis (son of Virginia Rowlands and L. Earl Travis), is the donor of this collection of materials including a photograph album, three scrapbooks, over 20 Masonic, military, and civic certificates, ephemera and museum objects. Richard V. Travis is also Executive Director of the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library, here in Lexington, Massachusetts. He is a Scottish Rite Mason, on the Board of Directors for the museum, and is a member of many Masonic organizations.
This collection is a wonderful example of how Freemasonry flowed from great-great-grandfather to great-grandfather to grandfather to grandson-- through five generations!
For Further Reading:
Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York, 1950, p. 197-200.
Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York, 1955, p.146-149.
Proceedings of the Supreme Council of Sovereign Grand Inspectors General of the Thirty-third and Last Degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States of America, 1955, p. 372-373.
Photograph Album of Richard A. Rowlands. Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Libray, Gift of Richard V. Travis, A2012/64/1.