Most Worshipful Brother R. Stanley Harrison was born February 1, 1919 in North Branford, Connecticut, the son of the late John R. and Anna J. Harrison. The family moved to Bantam, Connecticut in 1927 where Brother Stan further resided until May 1955 when he moved to Bristol, Connecticut.
He began his education in North Branford at the Beech Corner Elementary School a one room, eight class school. Upon moving to Bantam he transferred to the Bantam School system and graduated from the Litchfield High School in 1937.
Brother Stan attended Oberlin College, Obertin, Ohio, during the year of 1939 studying music. Upon the death of his father in 1940, he was forced to leave college and take an active part in the business of John R. Harrison’s Sons Lumber Company in Plainville, Connecticut, becoming the sole owner in April 1966. This Lumber Company supplied all of the White Oak timbers, native to our State, needed to completely reconstruct the steeple of the Old North Church in Boston, Massachusetts, which had been destroyed during the hurricane of 1955. Several of these timbers were 52 feet long and 14 inches square, and along with others of varying sizes were cut, sized and shipped to that historic Shrine in Boston. Most Worshipful Brother Stan retired from the Lumber business in 1973 and later was employed as Office Manager for the Young Funeral and Ambulance Service, Inc. of Bristol, Connecticut.
R. Stanley Harrison entered the Armed Forces in April, 1944 at Fort Devons, Massachusetts. He served in the Corps of Army Engineers, spending 18 months in the Pacific Theatre of Operations mostly on the Island of Shemya, Alaska. His tour of duty ended with his discharge at Fort Lawton in Seattle, Washington on February 17, 1947.
His Masonic career began on November 19, 1947 when he petitioned St. Paul’s Lodge No. 11, A.F. & A.M. of Litchfield. He was Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason on February 25, 1948. His outstanding ability and keen interest led to his being installed as Worshipful Master of St. Paul’s Lodge No. 11 on December 27, 1952. In 1954 he was elected Secretary of his Lodge, and he served in that office for many years. Most worshipful Grand Master Brother John H. Smith appointed Brother Stan as District Deputy of the entire Third Masonic District in 1955 and Most Worshipful Brother J. Hull Manwaring, Grand Master reappointed him in 1956 to serve for a second year.
He was appointed Grand Representative to the Grand Lodge of Japan near the Grand Lodge of Connecticut. He was also commissioned as the Grand Representative to the Grand Lodge of Kansas. He maintained a strong rapport and correspondence with his Brother Grand Representative from the Grand Jurisdiction of Kansas.
In 1963 Most Worshipful Brother Stan was appointed Chairman of the Committee on Table Lodge. After considerable research and diligent work, the findings and ceremonial ritual prepared by this Committee were accepted and adopted by our Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, A.F. & A.M. of Connecticut. Thus the Table Lodge Ceremony as we know it today was reactivated for Connecticut Masonry and has now become an integral part of our Connecticut Masonic Culture.
Other Committees that have benefited by the zeal and attentiveness of Brother Stan’s dedication and service are the Masonic Education Committee, the By-Laws Committee, Bi-Centennial Committee, Budget and Appropriations Committee, Medals and Awards Committee and the Brotherhood in Action Committee, which he Chaired for many years at different times.
In 1975, Brother R. Stanley Harrison was elected to become Connecticut’s Most Worshipful Grand Master.
Most Worshipful Brother Stan was a member of Cyrus Chapter No. 45, Torrington, R.A.M., Buel Council No. 21, R. & S.M., Litchfield, Dark Commandery No. 7, of Waterbury, Scottish Rite Bodies of the Valley of Waterbury, Doric Lodge of Perfection, Ionic Council Princes of Jerusalem and Corinthian Chapter of Rose Croix. He also was a member of the Lafayette Consistory of Bridgeport and Sphinx Temple, A.A.I.N.M.S. of Newington. He was also a member of St. Andrew’s Conclave Red Cross of Constantine, and served as Prelate. Most Worshipful Brother R. Stanley Harrison was nominated to receive the 33° A.A.S.R. on September 28, 1983 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Brother Harrison is a charter member of the Artificer’s Degree Team, sponsored by Union Lodge No. 96, Thomaston, and he always served as Worshipful Master ff King Solomon in all of their 156 performances. This team was known for their outstanding Degree Work throughout New England and New York State. Most Worshipful Brother Stan was also a member of the Caledonian Scottish Degree Team of Waterbury, originally holding the Office of Junior Warden, then Senior Deacon for twenty years, and he served as the Worshipful Master of this Team.
He became a charter member of Wolcott Lodge No. 146 when it was granted a dispensation in 1977 and served for two years as the Secretary of this new Lodge in Wolcott, Connecticut.
Brother Harrison became a member of Ephraim Kirby Chapter No. 75, Order of the Eastern Star of Litchfield and served as Worthy Patron in 1950-51. He later dimitted and affiliated with Pierpont Chapter No. 49, O.E.S. in Torrington, and served that Chapter as Worthy Patron for four terms. He has been a member of the Advisory Board of Torrington Assembly No. 16, Order of Rainbow for Girls, and he always actively supported the activities of DeMolay in the Torrington and Waterbury areas, as well as throughout the State.
Brother Stan as he was affectionately known to all has been an active member and guiding light of both the Blue Lodge Council and Past Masters Association of the Third Masonic District. He has presided over both groups and always served in the Office of Senior Deacon for the Annual conferring of the Past Masters Degree on the Master’s-Elect of the Third Masonic District. Brother Stan continued to serve the District as perennial Chairman of the ever popular Annual Blue Lodge Council Picnic for over fifteen years.
R. Stanley Harrison was married to Miss Marjorie R. Hurlbut on September 1, 1951.
As a resident of Bantam, Brother Stan was active in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Sunday school and choir, serving as Organist and Choir Director for 12 years. He was also active in the Young People’s Fellowship of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Litchfield and was a communicant of Trinity Episcopal Church in Bristol. On numerous occasions he served as substitute Organist in many of the Churches in surrounding areas and he gave his time and talents to preside at the organ for installations, Degree work, and other occasions for Masonry throughout the State.
In St. Paul’s Lodge No. 11, on June 9, 1982 Most Worshipful Brother Stan was invested with the Honorary DeMolay Legion of Honor. He was elected to receive this award at the 1982 Session of the DeMolay International Supreme Council held in Reno, Nevada.
Due to the sudden and unexpected demise of Most Worshipful Brother William Campbell, Past Grand Master and Right Worshipful Grand Secretary on June 26, 1981; Brother R. Stanley Harrison, Past Grand Master, was appointed to serve as Right Worshipful Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. of Connecticut, until his successor was elected and installed. At the 194th Annual Communication of this Grand Lodge, on Wednesday, March 31, 1982, Brother Harrison was elected to the Office of Right Worshipful Grand Secretary.
In recognition of his outstanding qualities as a man, and his dedication and devotion to Masonry, and for his continued untiring services to this Grand Lodge and to Connecticut Masonry, the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, A.F. & A.M. of Connecticut awarded to Most Worshipful Brother R. Stanley Harrison its highest honor, the Pierpont Edwards Medal in Silver for Eminent Masonic Service.
His obituary read:
R. Stanley Harrison, 88, husband of 56 years to Marjorie (Hurlbut) Harrison of Bristol, died Tuesday (December 04, 2007), at Bristol Hospital. Besides his wife he leaves a sister Elsie Gildersleeve of Fayetteville, NY and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by three brothers John Ellsworth Harrison, Donald Harrison and W. Reginald Harrison and a sister Elizabeth Delano. His funeral will be held Saturday, 10am at Trinity Episcopal Church, Bristol. Burial will follow in Hillside Cemetery, Torrington. Calling hours will be held Friday from 4 – 8 p.m. at DuPont Funeral Home, 25 Bellevue Ave., Bristol. The Masonic Ritual will be held Friday evening 7 p.m. at the funeral home. Donations may be made to the Masonic Charity Foundation Endowment Fund, P.O. Box 70, Wallingford, CT 06492.
Case, James Royal & Tapley, Merle P. “‘Thank You Mr. Edwards’: A Bicentennial History of the Grand Lodge, A.F. & A.M. of Connecticut” (1989) p. 313