Queensboro Lodge No. 892 held its first meeting on Thursday, December 4, 1986 in Forest Hills Masonic Temple, 101-01 Metropolitan Avenue, Forest Hills, NY. The lodge was granted its new charter by the Grand Lodge of the State of New York on May 6th, 1987. The working charter until that time was granted by order of M.’.W.’.Robert C. Singer, then Grand Master, in a letter dated September 6, 1986. The lodge’s Stated Meetings are on the First and Third Thursdays of each Month (except July and August). During the 32-year history of Queensboro Lodge, there have been several ups and downs.
Queensboro Lodge No. 892 is a consolidation of Cathedral Granite Lodge No. 1011 and Richmond Hill Wakefield Lodge No. 892. These two Lodges were the result of two previous mergers.
Richmond Hill Wakefield No. 892 was a result of the merger of Richmond Hill and Wakefield Lodges in January 1978. The first Master was R.’.W.’. Charles L. Schueler Jr..
Richmond Hill Lodge No. 892 is the oldest lodge of Queensboro’s predecessor lodges. It was Instituted on May 17, 1911 and Chartered May 8, 1912. Richmond Hill Lodge built Richmond Hill Temple on 114th Street (just north of Jamaica Avenue). The cornerstone for the Temple was laid on July 17, 1915, and it was completed & dedicated on March 15, 1916. The lodge was a community-based lodge. Its first Master was W.’.Frank E. Phillips, a prominent local lawyer.
Wakefield Lodge No. 1110 was Instituted September 8, 1930, and Chartered on May 7, 1931. The lodge members were from the South Ozone Park area.
Cathedral Granite Lodge No. 1011 was a result of the merging of Cathedral and Granite Lodges in 1976. The first Master was W.’.Robert Froehlich.
Granite Lodge No. 1011 was instituted on November 25, 1922, and chartered on May 3, 1923 with 34 charter members. Granite Lodge grew out of the membership of Tadmor Lodge No. 923, partially as a result of the tremendous membership boom for Freemasonry in the early 1920’s.
Cathedral Lodge No. 1031 was instituted on November 19, 1923 and Chartered in May of the following year. The lodge members primarily came from the South Richmond Hill area. The first Master was W.’.Arthur H. Smith, who was raised in Independent Royal Arch No. 2.
Mirroring the strong lodge membership of the 1990’s and early 21st Century, the lodge has been honored by several Grand Lodge appointments. R.’. W.’.Albert O. Klipfel was appointed Grand Sword Bearer from 1992 - 1994. R .’.W.’.Glenn A. Duffy was appointed Grand Chaplain in 1995. R.’.W.’.Richard T. Schulz was appointed District Deputy Grand Master of the Second Queens District, and served from 1996 to 1998. The District Deputy Grand Master of the Second Queens District from 1998 to 2000 was R.’.W.’.Stewart C. McCloud II, who served under his father, M.’.W.’.Stewart C. McCloud, Grand Master of Masons in the State of New York. R.’.W.’.Frederick P. Rohr was appointed Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey in 2000, and R.’.W.’. Charles L. Schueler Jr. was appointed Grand Representative of Mato Grosso do Sol, Brazil in 2002. R.’.W.’.Jay D. Marksheid was appointed Grand Director of Ceremonies, and served from 2008-2010. In 2018, R.’.W.’.Greg Artinger was appointed Grand Sword Bearer, serving from 2018-2020. Brothers John Wolf (1994), J. Harry Rohr (1997), William J. Schmitt Jr. (2002), Sal Bonomo (2007), W.’. Albert Dittmer (2013) and W.’.Andrew A. Bonomo (2015) were honored by Grand Lodge with a Dedicated Service Award (DSA).
Several members of Queensboro Lodge are or have been active in Grand Lodge activities. Our late brother, R.’.W.’.Eugene Schmidt was a Director of the Masonic Medical Research Laboratory and served as President of the Board of Directors for the Laboratory from 2000-2003. R.’.W.’.John Dietzel was elected a member of the Board of Directors of the Masonic Medical Research Laboratory in 2002 and was the Treasurer of the MMRL Board until 2014. R.’. W.’.George D. Blasch served as a Trustee of the Grand Lodge Masonic Hall & Home Fund and was its Treasurer from 1996 to 2013. Previously, he was Chairman Emeritus of the Grand Lodge Finance Committee. Our late brother, R.’.W.’.Gordon W. Bennett was a member of the Masonic Blood Donor Committee. R.’.W.’.Stewart C. McCloud II was Chairman of the Ritual Renaissance Program and is an Emeritus member of the Custodians of the Work, the Grand Lodge Committee on Ritual. R.’.W.’.Richard T. Schulz is the current Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of New York, having been elected in May 2018. Prior to then, he was the Chairman of the Grand Lodge Convention Committee from 2012-2018.
Since its inception, the lodge has a number of stalwart leaders that have helped make Queensboro Lodge strong. The following brethren are among that number: R.’.W.’.George D. Blasch, senior Past District Deputy Grand Master and the chairman of the Finance Committee; the late R.’.W.’.Eugene Schmidt, Past District Deputy Grand Master; the late R.’.W.’.Frederick P. Rohr, Lodge Shepherd, Ritual Instructor and active in many lodge committees, who’s passing in 2008 left several roles to be filled by others; the late R.’.W.’.Gordon W. Bennett, long-time Treasurer; Right Worshipful’s Stewart C. McCloud II, Richard T. Schulz, Albert O. Klipfel, Edward Middendorf, Glenn A. Duffy, and Charles L. Schueler Jr., Past District AGL, Past Potentate of Kismet Temple, and past Chairman of the Board of Governors for the Philadelphia Shriners Children’s Hospital, the late W.’.Howard Sutherland; W.’.Frederick G. Garttner Sr.; W.’.Robert J. DiCarlo, a current member of the Board of Governors of the Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia; and, the late Brothers Herman S. Hoffmann, J. Harry Rohr, William Schmitt Jr. and William Kessler; Brothers John Wolf, and Sal Bonomo; W.’.Frederick G. Garttner Jr.; W.’.Fernando Suarez; W.’.Albert G. Dittmer and, W.’.Andrew A. Bonomo, a Past Master of the Lodge who is the Lodge Treasurer since 2011; all of whom, frequently give their time and efforts in a wide range of endeavors on behalf of the lodge. The lodge is growing new leaders as well: R.’.W.’.Greg Artinger, Master in 2010 and 2017; W.’ Phil Bianco, Master in 2015; W.’.Jack Gold, Master in 2018; W.’.Mitch Gold; and, W.’.Josue Ledres and Brothers Victor Han and Chris Bonomo.
Queensboro Lodge No. 892 is now part of the Queens District. The First and Second Queens Districts had always maintained ties through many joint activities since the original Queens District was split into two districts in1926. The Queens Masonic Association (QMA), which was formed in 1924, sponsored the annual Ceremony of Investiture and various social events, including the Annual QMA Dinner in March. Since its formation in 1987, Queensboro Lodge has had two brethren serve as President of the QMA: R.’. W.’.Richard T. Schulz, in 1994; and R.’. W.’. Stewart C. McCloud II in 2000. Additionally, 4 brethren of Queensboro Lodge - R.’.W.’.Eugene Schmidt in 2002, R.’.W.’.George Blasch in 2004, R.’.W.’. Richard Schulz in 2006 and R.’.W.’.Gordon Bennett in 2007 - have received the Queens Masonic Association's M.’.W.’.Charles W. Froessel Award for Distinguished Service, which is given annually to a Queens District Mason for dedication and service to his Lodge, District and Grand Lodge.
In 2004, the Lodge moved to Anchor Astoria Masonic Temple, located at 18-14 College Point Boulevard in College Point. Queensboro's first Lodge meeting in its new home in College Point was held January 15, 2004.
Among several accomplishments as a Lodge, Queensboro Lodge has become known for its participation in Grand Lodge's annual charitable fundraising drive for the Masonic Brotherhood Fund. Brother Sal Bonomo, DSA who served as Lodge Masonic Brotherhood Fund Chairman from 1998 to 2015 and can be credited for Queensboro's high participation rate and dollar amount contributed. Brother Chris Bonomo, grandson of Brother Sal and son of W.’ Andy, has served as Chairman since 2015.
Queensboro's Drama Team has also gained a reputation for its ritual portrayal, as it receives several requests annually from Lodges in and out of the Queens District. The Drama Team serves as a source of fun as well as pride among the members. Directed & coordinated by the Lodge Ritual Director, R.’.W.’.Stewart C. McCloud II, the brethren generally participating (depending on availability) in the major parts are: W.’. Fernando Suarez, R.’.W.’.Richard Schulz, W.’.Albert Dittmer, W.’. Andrew Bonomo, W.’. Antony Armand, R.’.W.’.Greg Artinger, W.’. Jack L.Gold, W.’.John Licato, W.’.Phil Bianco, W.’.Mitchell E. Gold, Brothers Edward Rasa, Christopher Bonomo and Victor Han.
Queensboro Lodge has been led in the last few years by W.’.Philip Bianco (2016), R.’.W.’.Greg Artinger (2017), W.’. Jack L. Gold (2018) and W.’.Mitchell E. Gold (2019). The Lodge is showing increased participation in Queens District activities, particularly with the appointment of R.’.W.’.Greg Artinger as the Grand Sword Bearer in May 2018.
Our Lodge, led by Ritual Director and now Lodge Secretary, R.’.W.’. Stewart C. McCloud II, is committed to doing good ritual work and growing Lodge membership. With 117 members as of year-end 2018, Queensboro Lodge reflects substantial ethnic and generational diversity, and will continue to grow. With several members of the officer line living in the nearby Queens communities of College Point and Flushing, the Lodge continues to be a beacon for Freemasonry.