The opening of the initial meeting of Kosciuszko Lodge, was accomplished on the evening of June 6, 1927, at the Old Fraternal Hall, 337 East Fordham, Road, Bronx, New York
The event was heralded as the most important and unique
in the annals of Freemasonry, since Kosciuszko
Lodge emerged as the first Lodge composed of men of Polish and Slavic descent
R.·.W.·. John L. Little, District Deputy Grand Master of the Bronx District, read the Articles of Dispensation and Kosciuszko Lodge U.D. began to function.
Kosciuszko Lodge was welcomed into the Bronx District and assured of wholehearted cooperation by a number of distinguished craftsmen. W.·. Philip Wall, in the name of Trowel Lodge No. 873, presented the Lodge with Wardens Columns. Excellent Comp. Alfred Gatow, High Priest of Ivy Chapter No. 238, R.A.M. presented the Ballot Box. W.·. Harry Aery and W.·. Gustav Fausel, on behalf of Angle Lodge No. 988, presented a set of Working Tools. An American Flag was presented to the Lodge by W.·. Paul L. Odell on behalf of the True Course Lodge No. 1077. There were tears in the eyes of those Charter Members whose lifelong dream was finally realized. There was faith and hope in their hearts, that future members would build Kosciuszko Lodge into a great and lasting segment of our beloved fraternity. One year later, with probationary period over, Kosciuszko Lodge U.D. was officially born as Kosciuszko Lodge N0. 1085, Free and Accepted Masons. On the night of May 31, 1928 R.·.W.·. John Lecky, District Deputy Grand Master of the Bronx District and acting for the Grand Master, the Most Worshipful John A. Dutton, presented the Grand Lodge Charter to Kosciuszko’s first Master of the Lodge W.·. John A. Wasilewski.
With the Fraternal Hall filled to capacity and number of Grand Lodge dignitaries in attendance, the following officers were installed:
The Early Period
The first important event of Kosciuszko Lodge took place on August 15, 1929. With W.·. John A. Wasilewski presiding, the Lodge honored four of its stalwart friends of the Lodge, by bestowing Honorary Memberships upon R.·.W.·. Ossian Lang; R.·.W.·. Edward Feih; R.·.W.·. John Lecky and R.·.W.·. Robert B. Wilson.
In addition, each of the Honorary Members were presented with a gift to commemorate the event.
Another important event was recorded when Brother Emil S. Brykczynski, Treasurer of the Lodge, donated a sum of $300.00 to the Grand Lodge Library for the purchase of books on Polish Freemasonry. In presenting the gift to the Library, Brother Brykczynski was accompanied by a delegation of Kosciuszko Lodge members and the Brethren of the Bronx District.
The first dinner-dance of the Lodge was held on March
1, 1930, attended by many members and friends of Kosciuszko
Lodge. The guest of Honor was Dr. M. Marchlewski,
Consul General of Poland in
The Grand Lodge of F. and A. M. of the State of
impressive ceremony in our Lodge occurred on February 20, 1933 at which time
R.·.W.·. Emil S. Brykczynski was presented with his commission as Grand
Representative to the Grand Lodge of Poland near the Grand Lodge of the State
Ten Years Later
At the Annual Communication of December 9,1938, W.·. Stanley Ozimek was elected Master; Brother Casimir H. Brykczynski - Senior Warden; Brother Joseph B. Barrett - Junior Warden; Brother Frank Golankiewicz – Treasurer and Brother Thaddeus V. Ziembinski – Secretary. The election night also marked the end of Kosciuszko’s tenth year of existence. Although, numerically still the smallest Lodge in the Bronx District, registering but 56 members, the spirit and enthusiasm among members continued to prevail.
The 400th Anniversary of the death of Nicholas Copernicus, the Polish Astronomer, was observed by the Lodge on May 14, 1943. W.·. Henry Archacki, Master of the Lodge, arranged an outstanding program. Dr. Ludwig Krzyzanowski, Managing Editor of “New Europe” delivered the principal address.
At the meeting of September 10, 1943, A memorial service was held for two of Kosciuszko’s Charter Members. Grief stricken members of the Lodge, paid high tribute to W.·. John A. Wasilewski, Kosciuszko’s first Master and R.·.W.·. Emil S. Brykczynski, past Master and Grand Representative to the Grand Lodge of Poland, who were called to the Grand Lodge on High on May 9 and August 11 respectively.
The 15th Anniversary of Kosciuszko
Lodge was observed on November 12, 1943. A beautiful 36 page Historical
Brochure compiled and written by W.·.
Henry Archacki, was published and distributed to all attending the
meeting. The Brouchure also included and articule written by W.·.
Henry Archacki entitled “ A
Brief History of Polish Freemasonry.” Among the many Masonic dignitaries
present were M.·.W.·. Charles
H. Johnson, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of the State of
The 15th Anniversary was widely publicized in the several daily papers as well as in number of Masonic periodicals. The New York Masonic Outlook printed the following in its January 1944 issue:
Lodge No.1085 F.& A.M. of the Bronx Masonic District, has had for many
years, the unique distinction of being the only Polish Lodge in the world. When
the 151sr Communication of Grand Lodge of
Since that time, Kosciuszko Lodge, named after the Revolutionary hero and Polish Patriot, Tadeusz Kosciuszko, has maintained a steady growth and on the occasion of its fifteenth anniversary, arranged a fitting program at which the guest of honor and the principal speaker was Most Worshipful Charles H. Johnson. The affair brought out the largest gatherings of recent years in the Bronx District and a handsomely printed Historical Brochure was presented to all present.
The War Years
At the start of 1944 with W.·. Thaddeus V. Ziembinski, presiding as Master, Kosciuszko Lodge was now well established and on the threshold of Masonic manhood. Spirit and enthusiasm among the members was the signal theme and desire to bring Kosciuszko further into Masonic limelight.
1944 saw Kosciuszko Lodge become the first in the
Bronx District to obtain 100% quota in contributions to the Masonic War Chest
Fund. The year 1944, will also be remembered as the year in which our gallant
American soldiers crashed trough the blood-soaked beaches of
The Bicentennial Years
Bicentennial observance of the birth of Brigadier General Tadeusz
Kosciuszko was celebrated by Kosciuszko
Lodge on February 27, 1946. An elaborate program was arranged by W.·. Henry Archacki
– Chairman of Committee and Past Master of Kosciuszko
Lodge, with W.·. James W. Nitecki entertained a number of Military guests at a
dinner held prior to the celebration. The dinner was held at the New York
The life of Tadeusz Kosciuszko was depicted in a 16 page brochure, written by W.·. Henry Archacki and distributed to all attending the ceremonies that evening.
Plans to hold the 25th Anniversary celebration of Kosciuszko Lodge in 1953 were formulated at a meeting of January 22, 1947. A fund of $1,000.00 was agreed upon to cover the costs associated with the forthcoming celebration. W.·. Matthew Jankowski, Master of the Lodge appointed W.·. Thaddeus V. Ziembinski General Chairman.
The annual meeting of December17, 1948, marked the end of the 20th year for Kosciuszko Lodge. Twenty years of diligent work and dedication to the principles of freemasonry brought Kosciuszko Lodge from its original 13 Charter Members to a total of 78.
At the annual meeting of Masters and Past Masters Association of the Bronx Masonic District, held January, 1948, W.·. Thaddeus V. Ziembinski was elected President, and Brother Charles J. Sulewski was elected Secretary of the 1948 Wardens association.
The second member of the Kosciuszko
Lodge to be honored with the purple of the Fraternity was R.·.W.·.
Walter A. Klass, who was appointed by M.·.W.·. Frank M. Totton,
Grand Master of Masons in the State of
With W.·. Martin S. Ziembinski presiding as Master of the Lodge, Investiture Ceremonies for R.·.W.·. Walter A. Klass were held on February 18, 1949 at Guild Hall. R.·.W.·. Klass became a member of Henry Clay Lodge No. 277 F. & A.M. on December 3, 1915, affiliated with Kosciuszko Lodge on June 6, 1927 and was elected Master December 15, 1930. The new Grand Representative was presented with the Commission of his Office by R.·.W.·. Henry Emmerson, DDGM, Bronx District. R.·.W.·. Edward Feih presented him with the Apron and R.·.W.·. Robert B. Wilson presented the Jewel. He was escorted into Lodge Room by W.·. Thaddeus V. Ziembinski and Past Masters of Kosciuszko Lodge. Prior to the Ceremonies, a dinner was tendered R.·.W.·. Walter A. Klass by the Past Masters of Kosciuszko Lodge at the Masonic Club, 71 West 23rd Street, New York.
More honors were bestowed upon Kosciuszko Lodge members when W.·. Charles J. Sulewski was elected President of the 1950 Masters Associations of the Bronx District and appointed Chairman of the 1951 Bronx Masonic Charity Ball.
Heads were bowed in grief, for an old and faithful worker of Kosciuszko Lodge. R.·.W.·. Robert B. Wilson affectionately known as “Bob” passed away in his 84th year on February 23, 1951. R.·.W.·. Brother Wilson together with R.·.W.·. Feih worked tirelessly, to help Kosciuszko Lodge obtain its Charter in 1928.
Twenty fifth Anniversary Historical Brochure containing history of Kosciuszko Lodge over the past twenty five years, written by R.·.W.·. Thaddeus V. Ziembinski and a brief history of Polish Freemasonry written by W.·. Henry Archacki, was distributed to all present. Silver Anniversary souvenirs were also distributed to all who attented the affair. Six piece Orchestra under the direction of Mr. Thaddeus Maksymowicz, provided dance music and entertainment during the dinner hours. Thus Kosciuszko Lodge closed its first quarter century chapter, with the fervent hope that Lodge members will continue to work and strive to build Kosciuszko Lodge into a great and stronger segment of our beloved Fraternity.
The twenty-sixth year of Kosciuszko Lodge began with the meeting held on January 15, 1954. The signal honor to start the second quarter century went to one of the dedicated workers of the Lodge, W.·. Henry A. Haliasz who was elected Master of the Lodge at Annual meeting of December 18, 1953. The Worshipful Master in his initial meeting notice to the Lodge members wrote as follows:
“As newly elected and installed Master of Kosciuszko Lodge, I resolve, with you my Brethren, at this January communication that we may rededicate ourselves on this, the beginning of our 26th year. A year which gives us the opportunity to take our bearings and make our observations of the past and thus rekindle the fires of enthusiasm and renew our obligations; that we may radiate hospitality, good fellowship and good will; that we may maintain and promote the efficiency of our Craft and thus recreate an understanding of Freemasonry among ourselves and the world at large; that all men may know that our organization is not bigoted and narrow, but rather, that it is an organization with the finest of purposes, the noblest of ideals and the best of teaching. That harmony may preside and firmly imbed itself in all our doings and thus unify our thoughts of a brotherhood, whereby we will install a genuine exemplification of the spirit of humanity and faith in God and Country. That we may, by our presence at all Communications, support our Officers and Committees in their duties and obligations, both in the Lodge and in the District and thereby enrich our hearts and souls by the goodness we can do and give to others.”
For the first time in the history of our Lodge, the Grand Lecturer’s Convention was held on February 19, 1954, with R.·.W.·. Howard W. Potts, Grand Lecturer presiding. Brother Stanley W. Weglarski, Senior Warden together with Wardens of the Bronx District portrayed the first section of the Second Degree.
The first annual dinner-dance since the 25th Anniversary Banquet, was held on Saturday, October 23, 1954, at the George Washington Hotel, New York. The affair was an overwhelming success, mainly due to the efforts of W.·. Martin S. Ziembinski, chairman and W.·. Richard L. Zima, co-chairman. R.·.W.·. Harry Lazarus, District Deputy Grand Master, Bronx District and Mrs. Lazarus were guests of honor.
At the annual meeting of December 17, 1954, W.·. Stanley W. Weglarski was elected Master of the Lodge.
To reward the Lodge members for their continues and faithful service to Kosciuszko Lodge, it was proposed and adopted by the members, that a Masonic Birthday Certificate be presented to every member of our Lodge on attaining 25th Masonic Birthday.
Brothrt John B. Przybylowicz, a member of our Lodge and a member of a number of medical groups in New Jersey, was honored with a testimonial dinner on April 13, 1955, by the Polish University Club of New Jersey. He was presented with an award as the most outstanding Citizen in the State of New Jersey during 1954.
Torrential rain did not dampen the spirit or prevent the forty members and their wives, from attending the annual Kosciuszko Lodge Church Service, which was held October 30, 1995. The service was held at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, followed by a breakfast at the George Washington Hotel. Worshipful Stanley W. Weglarski presided.
Worshipful Paul Cernak, Master-elect for 1956 had the distinction of serving Kosciuszko Lodge as Master during 175th anniversary of the Grand Lodge of the State of New York. The first meeting, of which there was any record of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons in the State of New York, was held on January 23, 1781. The year 1956 marked the 175th anniversary of that founding and was celebrated with appropriate ceremonies, Sunday, April 29, 1956.
All Masons, their families and friends, were cordially invited by the Grand Master, the Most Worshipful Raymond C. Ellis, to attend a Service of Thanksgiving in commemoration of the 175 anniversary of our Grand Lodge. The Service was held in trhe beautiful and spacious Cathedral of St. John the Devine, Amsterdam Avenue and 112th Street in New York City.
The annual Kosciuszko Lodge Service was held on November 11, 1956 at the Holy trinity Lutheran Church. Thirty one members and their wives attended the Service. Breakfast was held at the George Washington Hotel. Worshipful Paul W. Cernak presided.
With Worshipful Edward J. Lubensky, presiding as Master of the Lodge, the annual Church Service was held on October 27, 1957, at the Holy Cross Polish National Church. Close to fifty members and their wives attended the Service and heard an inspiring talk by W.·. Henry E. Haliasz, entitled “one common purpose.”
“John Lecky Night” was held by Guiding Star Lodge No. 565 F. & A. M. on November 26, 1957, R.·.W.·. John Lecky, past District Deputy Grand Master, Bronx District, and Honorary member of Kosciuszko Lodge, was honored by one of the largest assembly of Brethren of the Bronx District. A delegation of Kosciuszko Lodge members attended the meeting honoring ith Honorary Member and a faithful friend of the Lodge. R.·.W.·. Thaddeus V. Ziembinski, on behald of Kosciuszko Lodge presented R.·.W.·. Brother John Lecky with a beautiful silver bowl.
The first meeting of the new year convened on January 17, 1958, with W.·. Walter A. Jankowski presiding as Master of the Lodge. Conferring degrees upon new candidates, was the principal work during the first half of the year.
At the May 16th communication, the annual Memorial Service was observed for the members of the Lodge who were called to the Celestial Lodge on High.
The formation of a new Polish Lodge, to be known as Casimir Pulaski Lodge No. 1158 F. & A. M. in Buffalo, New York, was announced by the Worshipful Master Walter A. Jankowski, at the September 19, 1958 meeting. To commemorate the event, a gift from Kosciuszko Lodge consisting of three silver gavels, was presented to the Master of the new Lodge, by our member Brother Francis L. Martin, a resident of the City of Buffalo, N.Y.
Mainly thru the efforts of W.·. Martin S. Ziembinski, Honorary Membership was conferred upon R.·.W.·. Frederick J. Starr, member of Guiding Star Lodge No. 556. R.·.W.·. Frederick J. Starr, has been a constant visitor in Kosciuszko Lodge and has on many occasions, participated in the conferral of the degrees. As a token of esteem for R.·.W.·. Brother Starr and for his efforts expended on behalf of Kosciuszko Lodge, the members voted to reward him with Honorary Membership.
At the 340th Stated Communication of the Lodge, held December 19, 1958, the ever willing worker and a fine ritualist, was elected Master of the Lodge. W.·. Albert Zacek, in spirit of fraternal love and his dedication to the principles of Masonry, became the new Master for 1959. Although, residing in Yorktown Heights, New York, some 50 miles from the meeting place, distance had no bearing on W.·. Zacek. Brother Zacek’s determination to fulfill his obligation to the members of the Lodge.
Prior to the first meeting of the new year, the newly appointed Chaplain, Brother and Reverend Konstanty Naider held Church Service for members of Kosciuszko Lodge on January 4, 1959 at the Church of All Nations, followed by a breakfast in the Parish Hall.
The three silver gavels, which were presented to the newly constituted Casimir Pulaski Lodge No. 1158 F.&A.M. of Buffalo, N.Y., were gratefully acknowledged in a letter written by W.·. Edmund E. Angielczyk, Master of the new Lodge. W.·. Albert Zacek read the letter at the February 20 meeting in which an expression of deep appreciation and hope of lasting friendship would endure between the two Lodges.
Mrs. Jadwiga Ziembinski, beloved mother of W.·. Martin S. Ziembinski, R.·.W.·. Thaddeus V. Ziembinski and W.·. Walter Ziembinski, passed away quietly on July 3, 1959. A silent prayer was offered by the Lodge members at the September meeting.
Forty members and their wives attended the annual Kosciuszko Lodge Church Service, which was held on November 22, 1959 at the Church of All Nations, 9 Second Avenue, New York City.
The Worshipful Master reported that during the year, degrees were conferred on three candidates and the year concluded with 86 members on the roster.
(On our website there is an article from The New York Times about the Church of All Nations. For a long time this church played an important role in Kosciuszko Lodge activities. Konstanty Naider, member of Kosciuszko Lodge No. 1085 for many years, was a reverend in this church).
Soft spoken, quiet but efficient and dedicated to the cause of Masonry, would be the manner to describe W.·. Paul Cernak, who was elected Master for the second time since 1956.
Worshipful Rudolph Bobermin, one of the great ritaulists, first Senior Deacon of the Lodge and Charter Member, passed to the Great Beyond on February 8, 1960. Forty two grief stricken members of the Lodge paid their last respect at the Masonic Funeral Service, held on February 10, 1960. On April 14, 1960 Worshipful Joseph M. Kopec, Past Master of the Lodge was called to the Lodge on High. At the April 21 Stated Communication a solemn memorial service was held in tribute to our departed Past Masters.
R.·.W.·. and Doctor J. K. Burger of Estrella Bolivar Lodge No. 118 of Venezuela paid Kosciuszxko Lodge an unexpected visit at the October 21 Communication. R.·.W.·. Burger, spoke briefly about the Masonic activities in South America and extended an invitation to Lodge Members to visit his Lodge in Venezuela.
The Annual Kosciuszko Lodge Service was held on November 20 at the Holy Trinity Lutherans Church. Breakfast followed at the George Washington Hotel.
Kosciuszko Lodge’s Charter
issued by Grand Lodge of
on May 3, 1928