Pioneer Lodge A.F. & A.M.
Instituted March 9th 1863
Constituted March 21st 1864
Freemasonry is alive and well in Somerset, MA. Pioneer Hall is the Masonic home of Pioneer Lodge - part of the 16th District of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
145 Pleasant Street
Somerset, MA 02726
Pioneer Lodge AF & AM was Constituted in 1864. The Lodge is located at 145 Pleasant Street in the quaint Village of Somerset Massachusetts and meets the 1st Monday of each month. Meetings gather at 6pm.
Meet the Brothers of Pioneer Lodge
Worshipful George L. Gesner
Receives 50-Year Past Master's Certificate
(Left to Right) Wor. Manny Ferreira III, Wor. Master Riley Sanders, Wor. George Gesner, 16th District Deputy Grand Master, RW Michael R. Durocher, Wor. Jeffrey Profio
On April 24, 2019 the officers of Pioneer Lodge gathered with the rest of the 16th Masonic District to Exemplify their knowledge of the 2nd degree. WM Riley Sanders took a great shot of our officers.
May 2019 - Senior Warden of Pioneer Lodge, Charles Oldham, was among a few who received the "Stewards of the Community" award from Steward Hospital Group. He was recognized as a member of the Fall River Fire Department EMS Division who provides his talents to the Steward Hospital Group.
Henry Hank Williams, 84, of Somerset passed away on Friday, July 26, 2019. He was the son of the late Percy and Marion (Paul) Williams, and the husband of the late Marjorie A. (Vanasse) Williams. Hank served as a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. After serving, he worked for Raytheon and later as a senior auditor for the Foxboro Company for 25 years; retiring in 1997. Hank was a member of the AM Vets #72, a former president of the Somerset Improvement Club and the Somerset Historical Society. He was a troop leader for the Boy Scouts Troop #62, and worked with the Somerset Little League for 26
Read the news article about the resurgence of Pioneer Lodge
Officers of Pioneer Lodge
2018 - 2019
(Back Row, L-R) Bro. John Bell, Wor. Jack Bowden, Past Master Worshipful Jeffrey Profio, Bro. Drew DaSilva, Bro. Steven Bulygo, Wor. Manny Ferreira III, Bro. Mark Guillemette, Bro. John Costa (Front Row, L-R) Bro. Michael Rezendes, Bro. Charles Oldham, Worship Master Riley W. Sanders, Bro. Alan Buckless
Abel Perez 1961 - 2019 Sadly one of our candidates of Pioneer Lodge was taken too soon after a long battle with cancer. Abel was born on March 31, 1961 and passed away on Tuesday, November 19, 2019.
Abel was a resident of Swansea, Massachusetts at the time of passing.
At age 15, he relocated to Rhode Island and attended North Kingstown High School and later obtained a degree in Business from CCRI.
years. He was a member of Pioneer Lodge A.F.&A.M., Somerset and the Blue Hill Lodge of Canton, and also a member of the Scottish Rite, Valley of Southeastern Massachusetts, Wareham, MA. Hank is survived by his children; Henry Williams Jr. of Jackson Hole, WY, Stephen J. Williams of Cartersville, GA, Beth Ann Boie of Fall River; grandchildren Samuel Williams, Victoria Boie, Laurel Boie and Ethan Boie, along with several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his daughter Donna Castro, and his siblings; Earl Williams, Lloyd Williams, Everett Williams, Leonard Williams, Gertrude Spencer, Bernice Remy, and Norma Vanasse.
Abel Perez never had the chance to fulfill his ambition to become a Freemason - but to the Brothers of Pioneer he was already a Brother in spirit. His family celebrated his life on December 8th at 2 PM at the Somerset United Methodist Church at 841 Read St. in Somerset, MA. We will remember what Abel meant to us - a good man.
Billy E. Dolin, age 95, of Swansea, passed away Saturday, November 09, 2019 at his residence. He was the husband of the late Mary N. (Fonseca) Dolin. Born and raised in Ottawa, West Virginia a son of the late Dan and Jamie (Stolling) Dolin, he was a longtime resident of Swansea. A graduate of Diman Regional Technical Vocational High School, he was a Veteran of the United States Navy having served during World War II. He underwent training at the Norfolk Naval Base and served aboard the U.S.S. Constellation and the U.S.S. Beatty. While enlisted in the service he drove a cab and was a short order cook. Mr. Dolin was the owner and operator of Dolin Electric for many years and was the electrical Inspector for the town of Swansea until the age of 87. He was the Chief Maintenance Operations Officer at the Veterans Administration before his retirement. A 76 year member of the American Legion, he was Commander of Post 311, Seekonk and Post 303, Swansea. A two time District Commander and Judge Adjutant for District 9 Bristol County he was
Department Aid to Department Commander Leo Bernier, a Department Sargent Commander, POW Chairman from 1985 through 2014, POW Vice Chairman since 2014 and Chair Emeritus and POW Post 303 Judge Adjutant for the past 20 years. An avid traveler, he enjoyed playing cards and visiting Foxwoods Resort and Casino. He is survived by two daughters, Pamela Dias and her husband Anthony of Westport and Linda Taylor of Fall River; two sons, Gerald "Gene" Dolin and his wife Joyce of Swansea and James Dolin of Somerset; twelve grandchildren, fourteen great-grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. He was the father of the late Norman Dolin and Bruce "Skip" Loudin, brother of the late Othar Dolin and Lillian Aleshire and grandfather of the late Nathan "Nate" Taylor. His Funeral was held on Friday, November 15, 2019.
Otis Grey Manchester Jr., age 88, of North Port, FL (originally from Somerset, MA), passed away on October 15, 2019 at his residence. He became a tool and die maker, and worked for Hewlett-Packard for years until his retirement at 61. He and his wife, Joan, moved to North Port in 1994.Otis had been a Freemason for 63 years.
Please take a few minutes to read an interesting article about the military service of Otis.
Officers of Pioneer Lodge 2017 - 2018 gathered with the rest of the 16th Masonic District to Exemplify their degree knowledge. WM Jeffrey Profio and Lodge Officers (L-R) Bro. Nicholas LaRoche, Bro. James Charrette, Wor. Manny Ferreira III, Wor. Riley Sanders, Wor. Jeffrey Profio, Bro. John Bell, Bro. Alan Buckless, Bro. Steven Bulygo, Bro. Michael Rezendes, and Bro. Mark Guillemette.
Wor. George Joseph Padrenoss, 89, George J. Padrenoss, 89, passed away peacefully at his home in Englewood, Florida, with his family at his bedside on Good Friday, April 2, 2021. George was the loving husband of 68 years to Janet (Henry) Padrenoss. Born in New Bedford, Mass. on March 19, 1932, he was the son of the late George GR Padrenoss and Mary Catherine (Collins) Padrenoss. Spending his early years on the family farm in Rehoboth, Mass., George settled down in Swansea in 1955 where he and Janet raised their three children, moving to Englewood, Florida after sixty years in Swansea. George had many occupations throughout his lifetime, retiring from Montaup Electric in 1994, enjoying a very long retirement.
George was affiliated with the Olde White Church in Swansea and sixty years with Pioneer Lodge, A.F. & A.M. of Somerset.
George was an avid golfer until he broke the windshield of his truck with one of his drives on the 18th fairway at a local golf course. He did, however, love to fly fish, and was happiest with his waders on and fly rod in hand on the Rapid River in Maine. George decided not to shave during one of his fishing trips to the Rapid River, and thus began his seasonal career as Santa Claus to many of our local ALFs and nursing homes, family holiday parties, and Almeida's Vegetable Stand.
He was the family "OnStar" before navigation systems existed; always having his road atlas spread out on the kitchen table whenever his children and grandchildren traveled. He loved photography, particularly birds and other wildlife; and he and Janet made it point to travel as much as possible while they had their health.
In addition to Janet, George is survived by his three children, George (Diane) Padrenoss, Gail (Harold) Emond, and Susan (Thomas) Melton; three grandsons, Scott (Krystl) Padrenoss, Kevin (Christin) Padrenoss, and Jared (Tiffany) Power; and his great granddaughter, Ellinor Susan Power, who he spent many hours on WhatsApp with.
Wor. George Luther Gesner, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on June 9, 2021, at the age of 92. George was born in Fall River, Massachusetts on September 24, 1928. He was one of five boys born to the late P. William Gesner and Lucy D. Hicks Gesner.
George graduated from BMC Durfee High School, class of 1946. He then proudly served in the United States Army during WWII stationed at Fort Dix. After being discharged from the Army, George went on to study at Edgewood Junior College in Barrington, Rhode Island, where he earned an Associate’s degree in marketing in 1950. After six years working at Lincoln Press in Fall River, MA, George spent 34 years working at Texas Instruments as a quality control engineer. In his “retirement” George worked at Manheim Auto Auction in Dighton, MA where he made many long-time friends.
As a young man, George entered the Order of DeMolay. He then became a proud member and past master of Pioneer Lodge A.F.&A.M. in Somerset, MA. George was a 32nd Degree Mason and celebrated 58 years of membership this year.
George married the love of his life, Joan E. Walton, in 1951 and they were married for 34 years until her passing in 1985. They raised three children together in the home they built in Somerset, MA.
George was a founding member of the Church of Our Saviour in Somerset, MA serving in several capacities including Senior Warden, Lector and Vestry Member. George also served as a board member and as the Endowment Fund Chairman for the Fall River Symphony. In his retirement years, George enjoyed gardening, woodworking, fishing, and volunteering at the polls in Somerset, MA. Most of all, George loved spending time with his family and was blessed to take many vacations with them. He had a reputation for acting younger than his age, which was evident in April of this year when he was golfing (parring several holes) in Florida! George’s famous golf saying was, “Always hit your second shot first!” George made such an impact on so many lives. He recently was the inspiration for a character in a novel – “Big G”.
George is survived by his three children, David E. Gesner, and his wife Janice of The Villages, FL; Cynthia Jean Gesner of Dighton MA; and Jane E. Labouliere, and her husband Ted of Dighton, MA. He was blessed with seven grandchildren: Jennifer and her husband Matt Simpson, Michael Gesner, Lori Beth Gesner, Hunter Dufrane and his wife Alexandra, Amy Kenck and her husband Cooper, Andrew Labouliere and Lauren Labouliere. He has seven great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. George is also survived by his companion of several years, Theresa Wilkinson. George was pre-deceased by his second wife, Phyllis (Snell) Gesner, to whom he was married to for 10 years and his four brothers, William, Edward, Thomas, and Richard.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Church of Our Saviour Memorial Fund in Somerset, MA. Arrangements have been made at the Hathaway Funeral Homes in Somerset, Massachusetts. Calling hours will be Sunday, June 13 from 4-7 PM with a Masonic Service at 6. There will be a celebration of George’s life at Church of Our Saviour on Monday, June 14 at 10:00 a.m. followed by burial at Oak Grove Cemetery in Fall River. For facility directions or to leave an online condolence go to www.hathawayfunerals.com.
Lenny was born on May 2, 1930 in Providence, Rhode Island to his parents, Abraham and Fannie Kaplan. He graduated from Hope High School and served as a Supply Sergeant in the Army during the Korean War and was stationed in Okinawa Japan from 1950-1952. After completing his active duty, Lenny returned to Rhode Island and soon after opened his first Army/Navy store called the “Gob Shops” in 1954 in Fall River, MA. Lenny opened additional locations throughout the Southcoast region including Warren RI, Newport RI, Somerset MA and others. Lenny was well known in the region for his zany radio commercials on WSAR Radio, his songs and maybe most of all for his Kazoo playing. He soon became known as “Low Price Lenny” and that name became part of his legacy as a beloved entrepreneur and civic leader in the community. During his years as a retailer, Lenny was also a Partner in Mt. Hope Fiberglass Company, RLM Builders, and owned Promotional Advertising Associates which held the contract for transit advertising with SRTA for over 30 years. Len also announced boxing matches for Golden Gloves and promoted WWF in the region for over 40 years.
Lenny was a very active Civic Leader and his volunteerism and leadership roles were numerous for over 40 years. They included being the Chairmen of Boys Scouts for America for 9 years; Chairmen of the Board of the Fall River Police Athletic League for 15 years; Co-Founder and sat as President of the Somerset Raiders Club for 6 years, held position of Adjutant for many years at the local Veteran’s post, was a Board Member for the Diabetes Association, The United Way, Fall River Chamber of Commerce and Friends of Heritage State Park, was an active member of the Lions Club, the Pioneer Masonic Lodge and the Corky Row Club. He was the originator of the “We Can” Food Drive for over 40 years. Len’s awards for Civic duty were numerous and included being named Fall River “Man of the Year” in the year 2000.
Probably the non-profit closest to Len’s heart was his beloved Ms. Senior Sweetheart Pageant of America/ International, which he originated in 1978. The first pageant was held when Len was tasked to run a fundraiser for his Lions Club. He came up with the idea to hold a pageant for women over the age of 59 years old. After the first pageant, everyone involved realized that it was a very meaningful experience and asked Len to run another “show.” Under Len’s passionate direction and management, this organization grew over a span of 36 years and touched the lives of many people, especially seniors. In 2012, the organization was showcased in a documentary movie which was produced by Walter Matteson. The touching film, called “Pretty Old the Movie” truly exposes the heart of the real Lenny Kaplan and four of the women who were involved in the pageant. The movie is a tribute to the concept that “age is only a number” and when the film won 1st place at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, Sarah Jessica Parker became the Executive Producer for the promotion of the film.
Perhaps the greatest honor that Len has received for his civic volunteerism was having the Walking Bridge at Battleship Cove in Fall River, MA be named the “Leonard Low Price Lenny Kaplan” Bridge in 2018. Joe Primo and other members of the Boys Scouts Council petitioned the State of Massachusetts to bestow this great honor, which will serve as a beautiful tribute to Lenny for his family and friends for many years to come.
In his later years, after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, Lenny moved to Johns Creek, Georgia and lived with his “kids,” his son Alan and his wife Susan at their home. He lived his final two years at Tapestry House Assisted Living, Alpharetta, Georgia where his personality was contagious and he treated everyone as if they were a part of his family. He made many friends in Georgia and is loved by so many people. He always quoted his mom who said “Life is a dream” and Lenny truly lived every day to the fullest and followed his dreams. He was an inspiration to so many and his life is a tribute to living every day to the fullest, finding the good in everyone and everything and staying positive regardless of circumstances.
Lenny is survived by his son, Alan and his wife, Susan, and his three grandchildren, David, Stephen and Rachel (husband Matt), as well as his great-grandson, Kiaan. He is also survived by his daughter Susan Robyn and his beloved sister Miriam Snell as well as nephews, nieces, cousins and extended family. He is preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Beverly, who died in January 2015.
Brother Leonard Kaplan, beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and uncle, died on Sunday, August 1, 2021, in Alpharetta, Georgia, surrounded by his loving family. Lenny was 91 years old.
Lenny was born on May 2, 1930 in Providence, Rhode Island to his parents, Abraham and Fannie Kaplan. He graduated from Hope High School and served as a Supply Sergeant in the Army during the Korean War and was stationed in Okinawa Japan from 1950-1952. After completing his active duty, Lenny returned to Rhode Island and soon after opened his first Army/Navy store called the “Gob Shops” in 1954 in Fall River, MA.