Thursday, January 5, 2017

Looking Back: Dorchester's Secretive Organizations Of The Past

This week, the Dorchester Times received a scathing e-mail from a critic who has issues with our blog's anonymous nature.

"I don't like the secretness [sic] of your publication," the writer said.  "If your [sic] so proud of your little blog and you think you can get so much done in our town, come out and let us know who is behind the Dorchester Times."

OK. Thanks for your input.

The six staff members of the Dorchester Times have been anonymous since the blog's founding in April 2007.  We've lost only one member, who passed away a few years ago.  We have done just fine cloaked in our secrecy. 

Dorchester's history is rich with groups whose members remained anonymous while staying focused on the community's greater good.

One such group were the Dorchester Freemasons, who were active during the early 1900s. The Dorchester Freemasons met on the second floor of the building that now houses City Hall and Donna's Hair Creations. 

According to the Masons' website, "the Freemasonry is the oldest and largest worldwide fraternity dedicated to the Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of a Supreme Being."  

When the old Dorchester school building was razed in 2008, Dorchester's residents received a history lesson on the Freemasons, who laid the cornerstone of the 1927 building.  Click here for our story on the opening of the 1927 cornerstone.

Another organization with ties to Dorchester's early past is the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.), which was concerned with local civic and political matters.  Dorchester's I.O.O.F. Lodge No. 74 was founded May 13, 1879.  While not as secretive as the Freemasons, the Odd Fellows didn't exactly publicize their membership.

The purpose of Dorchester Odd Fellows' lodge was to "care for the sick, bury the dead, and care for the widows and orphans."  Dorchester's I.O.O.F. Lodge No. 74 was active until 1973.

No one will confuse the Dorchester Times with the Freemasons, the Odd Fellows or any of the world's other elite secret organizations.  But in our own, secretive way, this blog continues to serve a purpose and do some good.

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