The Suffolk District Advisor
I think one would be hard pressed to find a Brother in the jurisdiction that does not know the R:.W:. George D. Emmons. What is a bit less well known to date, is that R:.W:. Emmons is the newly appointed Suffolk District Advisor. In speaking with R:.W:. Emmons about doing a bio, I discovered the actual extent of his Masonic career as well his personal non-masonic accomplishments in life. R:.W:. Emmons has had a long and illustrious Masonic career and shows no sign of slowing down. The purpose of this post was to introduce R:.W:. Emmons to Brothers of the Suffolk District who have not had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with him, if one can be found.
As reported R:.W:. Emmons’ Masonic career is extensive. A small portion of which I will highlight here:
The R:.W:. Emmons was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason in Garden City Lodge No. 1083, Hempstead, NY in 1975. He was elected and served as Master of Garden City Lodge #1083 in 1979. R:.W:. Emmons and family moved to Suffolk County and then affiliated with Smithtown Lodge No. 1127, Smithtown, NY in 1990 and was elected and served as Master 2002-2003. In 2006 he was made and Honorary member of Dongan Patent Lodge #1134
R:.W:. Emmons is also an Affiliated Past Master of Holy Land Lodge #50, Tel-Aviv, Israel and Britannia Lodge #1166. he is also a Corresponding Member of the American Lodge of Research.
With all the above it would not be complete unless he was also a member of the Medford Square Club, which he joined in 2004.
As a Veteran R:.W:. Emmons also was actively involved with our District and Veterans Outreach. He was on the Grand Lodge Veterans Service Committee as Deputy Representative, Stony Brook VA Facility 2001 – 2008
Around the Suffolk District R:.W:. Emmons has always be an active part of events and Lodges. He was the District Treasurer from 2017-2018 and now serves as the Suffolk District Advisor. Of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the R:.W:. Emmons’ Grand Lodge tenure and accomplishments.
District Deputy Grand Master, Suffolk Masonic District 2004 – 2006
Grand Master’s Advisory Committee 2008 – 2014
Deputy Grand Standard Bearer 2008 – 2010
Grand Standard Bearer 2010 – 2012 Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Medal 2012
Deputy Grand Marshal 2012 – 2014 Protocol Committee Chairman 2014 – 2015
However it’s not all about the accolades and awards. The R:.W:. George D. Emmons is a Brother Mason and a good man and true. As stated above many know of R:.W:. Emmons, maybe even met and shook hands with him at a District or Lodge event. But the point of the post is to truly get to know R:.W:. Brother Emmons or just George.
George D. Emmons, born March 14th, 1947 in NYC. Born in Manhattan, growing up in Flushing, he first went to sea as a sixteen-year-old Ordinary Seaman and performed duties also in the Steward’s and Engine Departments during that trip. George was successful in gaining admission to the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York following his graduation from Holy Cross High School. Once at the Academy, he performed well in his military subjects and won three individual Regimental Drill competitions. While a Cadet-Midshipman, he sailed the world’s oceans during his sea year, even going to Vietnam to deliver critically required supplies and narrowly escaped becoming involved in the Six Day War in the Middle East. Upon his return, he had the very good fortune to meet, via a blind date, a nurse from the local hospital and his days as a foot-loose bachelor were numbered. Maureen very quickly became the love of his life and following his graduation with honors from the Academy, they were married at the Church nearest the hospital on 15 June 1969.
While the sea was his first calling, the maritime industry was subject to massive post-war fluctuations which made sailing essentially impossible. So after a couple of short tours as Third Mate, George put his Academy education to good use and became a teacher, eventually becoming permanently state-certified in mathematics as a result of his continued studies at the C W Post campus of Long Island University from which he obtained his Master’s degree. Things really began to change for the Emmons family then. In quick succession, they became parents of a son, another George, known as Geordie; he returned to the Academy as Assistant Director of Admissions; they moved from Flushing to Smithtown, way out in Suffolk County; he commenced a doctoral program at St. John’s University and he became a Mason on 4 June 1975 in Garden City Lodge No. 1083. Meanwhile, he had been a Naval Reserve officer, having been commissioned an Ensign upon his Kings Point graduation. Service during Operation Graphic Hand (Postal Strike) while attached to a Military Sea Transportation Service Unit preceding his promotion to Lieutenant (junior grade) and honorable discharge from the Naval Service had also taken place in his busy life.
Rapid progress through the line in Garden City Lodge resulted in George becoming Master in 1979, President of the District Masters, and also President of the District School of Instruction all the while attending St. John’s, being a new father and having gained an Army National Guard commission, drilling as a First Lieutenant and later Captain in the 42nd ‘Rainbow’ Division Headquarters and later in the 102nd Engineer Battalion. Militarily, George had the time of his life – he became advance qualified in five different branches, with all sorts of weapons and vehicles and even became air-crew qualified. He also served in Operations Snow Blow I and II, and Gold Plum (two blizzards/ice storms and a prison strike) in service to New York State.
But something was missing. The call of the sea made itself heard and taking his discharge from the National Guard and a transfer to the Army Reserve, curtailing his doctoral studies with a Professional Diploma, and resigning his position at the Academy, he headed back to sea as an officer in the Merchant Marine. There followed tours aboard ocean-going vessels of all types and sizes – liners, tankers, bulk carriers, roll-on / roll-off ships; he even served aboard the passenger ship SS Independence when she was in Hawaiian service – as he advanced his marine license, eventually obtaining his unlimited Master’s and gaining pilotage in both Alaskan and Hawaiian waters.
Between tours at sea, George and family attended the Episcopal Church in Smithtown, even chairing the mortgage burning celebration for the parish, and cheered their son in his scholastic and athletic pursuits. While not occupied with domestic responsibilities, George kept up his Masonic participation, and indulged in his favorite shore-side pastimes – genealogical and military historical research.
A calamity aboard ship resulted in an over-long tour while the vessel was subsequently repaired in a Seattle shipyard during the summer of 1990. While in shipyard, the entire maritime force of the country had been mobilized for Operation Desert Shield. Following a very short vacation, George was off again, but this time to his first command. After years as Third, then Second, then Chief Mate, he was now Captain. To the Persian Gulf he went and three commands later, the first Gulf War was over. George arrived home in time to attend his son’s high school graduation and help him get off to college before again going into the theater of operations. Upon his return he affiliated with Smithtown Lodge No. 1027.
There followed several years of regular shipboard employment again plying the waters of the North Pacific trading to Alaska from Washington before becoming an original member of the commissioning crew of the United States Naval Ship Yano as Chief Mate and later Master. This ship was much larger than a WWII aircraft carrier. Master’s service aboard her in the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Southern Watch and at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean followed. And then, finally, after a couple of short cruises, retirement: ‘home is the sailor, home from the sea!’
Meanwhile, George had not been idle masonically. He’d been a member of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and Post No. 46 Masonic War Veterans before returning to sea, but during those years of regular runs to Alaska, he became a member of the York Rite bodies in the Suffolk District, eventually assuming the chair in each and in his Lodge; he also transferred his Post membership to No. 23 of which he became Commander in 2001 and Grand Post Representative from 2003 until 2010.
He is a member of nearly all the invitational bodies, and is a past presiding officer in all save two of them, currently holding a Recorder’s position and two Treasurer’s positions. Grand Master Edward R. Trosin appointed George District Deputy Grand Master for the Suffolk District for the term 2004 – 2006. In 2007, he became the Chairman for the Re-Member the Blue Lodge Program of the Concordant Bodies of the State of New York. Grand Master Edward G. Gilbert appointed him to be the Deputy Grand Standard Bearer for the term 2008 – 2010, and Grand Master Vincent Libone appointed him Grand Standard Bearer for the term 2010 – 2012 for which he was awarded the Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Medal.
Grand Master James E. Sullivan appointed him Deputy Grand Marshal for the term 2012 – 2014. Grand Master William J. Thomas appointed him Grand Marshal for the term 2014 – 2016 for which he was awarded the Wendell K. Walker Medal. Additionally, he served for five years the Grand Commandery of the State of New York, Knights Templar becoming Grand Senior Warden. In 2011, he was named the Mason of the Year by Grand Post, Masonic War Veterans and in 2012, he received the Order of the Purple Cross from the York Rite Sovereign College. George was invested an Honorary Member of the De Molay Legion of Honor and received the Patriotic Service Medal in 2016. Too, he’s become the Grand Treasurer of the Grand Council, Cryptic Masons of the State of New York. He’s also a Grand Representative from Iowa in Royal Arch, from Kentucky in Cryptic and from Delaware in Commandery. In National Sojourners, George is a Past President, Past Secretary, Past Camp Commander and has been Regional Representative for a number of years.
Obviously, he couldn’t have accomplished any of what he’s done without the love and support of his lovely wife, Maureen and the encouragement of his son, Dr. and Brother George D. R. Emmons, DPM and his family – wife, Dr. Christine M. Peterson, DPM, daughters Anya and Lorelei, and son Sebastian. Their grandchildren provide George and Maureen with great joy and excitement and the opportunity to spoil them thoroughly.
George is also a member of a variety of organizations without the fraternity such as the Sons of the American Revolution, the Council of American Master Mariners, the Naval Order of the United States, and the Military Order of Foreign Wars among several others. He is currently the New York State Commander of the Military Order of the World Wars and a recipient of the Order’s silver Patrick Henry Award for patriotic service and the Outreach Medal for services to the Order. He is also a silver medalist of the Society of American Military Engineers.
His military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal with bronze oak leaf cluster, the Army Commendation and the Army National Guard Achievement Medals, two Navy Unit Commendations, the National Defense Service Medal with bronze service star, the Armed Forces Expeditionary, Merchant Marine Vietnam and Expeditionary, and Humanitarian Service Medals along with decorations and medals from Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Poland and several from New York State. Recently he’s been honored by the Long Island Air Force Association Chapter with a 50 Year Commemorative Medal for his service in the Merchant Marine during the Vietnam War, and by the Governor of the State of Kentucky with a commission as a Kentucky Colonel for all of his life’s work. A similar commission as a Kentucky Colonel has recently been presented to Maureen for all she’s accomplished in her life.