Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Freemasons On Motorcycles: Who Are The Widows Sons?

Every once in awhile I write a piece that nobody really notices, and then all the sudden, a couple years later, for whatever reason, it suddenly goes viral.  That's what happened with this piece last week.  Originally posted 1/13/13 to the notice of almost nobody this is a piece I wrote about a truly remarkable Masonic organization--the Widows Sons.  I'd only add that when I originally wrote this, I'd met a few members on one occasion, but I didn't actually know any of the members very well.  That's changed since I wrote this piece.  We now have a very active local chapter in my neck of the woods, and I know several members now, including the current Master of my Lodge.  


 I wrote a piece earlier in the week about the Allied Masonic Degrees, and I got a few emails asking me why I've never written a single word about the Widows Sons...  I think it may have been a concerted effort to encourage me to do so.  It worked.  I'm going to tell you a little bit about one of the most unique groups you'll find in the Masonic Fraternity--our leather-clad Brothers of the open road.  The Widows Sons.

Actually, I met a number of Widows Sons a few years ago in Chicago and learned quite a bit about the group at the time--like I was going to have to get something a little bigger than a scooter to join.  But they told me about some of the events they organize, and some of the Masonic causes they support.  I was really impressed at how this group had taken something they all loved a great deal--riding motorcycles--and found a way to turn it into a means of doing good in the world.  I shouldn't have been surprised--that's what Masons have been doing for hundreds of years.

The Widows Sons is not a gang or a 1% Club--they are an appendant body of Freemasonry whose membership is made of Master Masons who share a love of riding motorcycles.  Founded in 1998 right here in Illinois, they began with a single purpose in mind--to come to the aid of the widows and orphans of Master Masons.  And while they have expanded their purpose as their group has grown and chapters have been formed in countries around the world, they still consider offering aid and assistance to widows and orphans as their primary purpose.  Some of their other goals include raising Masonic awareness in the motorcycling community, and supporting Masonic Lodges through regular lodge attendance and supporting Lodge events.  Some chapters even have degree teams that travel to different lodges and do degree work.

Alaska Grand Chapter of the Widows Sons after a ride
The Widows Sons have proven to be an asset everywhere they are, and have served as a booster club for Masonry.  They've taken their passion for riding, and turned it into a force of good in the world.  Many chapters even boast that they have Past or Current Grand Masters as members.  You'll find chapters all over the United States, and in several other countries as well, like Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Scotland, and even Japan.

During their relatively short existence, they have done a great job of promoting our Masonic Fraternity, raising money for important causes, supporting Blue Lodges and other Masonic groups, and providing a positive image of Freemasonry to the public.  If you're a Master Mason, with a love of motorcycles (500cc or more), you can find out more about them, or find a chapter near you at the Widows Sons Website

So keep your eyes open for them.  Next time you see a Widows Sons jacket at a bike show or a rally, go up and talk to them--better yet, give them a donation.  I guarantee they'll do some good with it.

And please remember one thing as your traveling this summer:


 ~TEC

Todd E. Creason is an author and novelist whose work includes the award-winning non-fiction historical series Famous American Freemasons and the novels One Last Shot (2011) and A Shot After Midnight (2012). He's currently working on the third novel expected to be released in 2014. All of Todd E. Creason's books are sold at major online booksellers like Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble and are available for both Nook and Kindle.

13 comments:

  1. I can honestly say that the only reason I ever became a Mason was due to seeing the quality of men that were Widows Sons. Joseph Red, WM Memphis Lodge #118

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  2. I joined the Masons because my Grandfather was a Mason. I've joined the YR the SR the Shrine and every other masonic organization I could but have not experienced the degree of brotherhood in the same way as I have since becoming a Masonic Rider. While I ride with a different group, the Widows Sons being the largest are a shining example of what Masonry is about and are nothing short of a Renaissance of Freemasonry that I think my grandfather would be pleasantly excited about were he alive today.

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  3. Good article, just need one correction. The Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association is not an official appendant body of Masons like Eastern Star or the Shriners are. Yes in order to join one must be a Master Mason and be a blue lodge member in good standing, but we are not officially an appendant body. Just making sure the correct information is out there.

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  4. I might be an associate member......But I am a Widows Son.......

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  5. its always good to see and read fresh piece about the widows sons of which I am a part of I can proudly say...... it is a very good masonic booster organization...


    Chris S
    2015 WM #271 Chicago

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  6. The article is well written and very positive! As an additional aside, the article shows the modern patch; however, the original, still worn in Florida is the Widow.

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  7. This is a wonderful article and very well written!

    As a member of the Widows Sons for nearly a decade, I’d like to add a few corrections to Army’s comment about the history of the organization:

    1. WS were founded in FL, not IL
    2. Founded in ‘99, not ‘98
    3. The primary goal was to bring the world of motorcycles to Masonry and vice versa. The Widows and Orphans fund was set up later.
    4. The Widows Sons (of FL at least, I am not able to speak for anyone else) are not now, have never been, and will never be an appendant body.

    It is great to see articles like this written to bring attention to our organization, thank you doing this!!

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  8. This is wonderful article and very well written!!

    As a member of the Widows Sons of FL for nearly a decade, I’d like to offer a few additions to Army’s comment about the history of the organization:

    1. WS were founded in FL, not IL
    2. Founded in ‘99, not ‘98
    3. The primary goal was to bring the world of motorcycles to Masonry and vice versa. The Widows and Orphans fund was set up later.
    4. The Widows Sons of FL (I can not speak for any other jurisdictions) are not now, have never been, and will never be an appendant body

    It is always great to see an article that is this well written discussing this organization that so many brothers have worked so hard for. Thank you!!

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  9. The original Widows Sons starts in Florida not Illinois in 1994 and later 1997 with the Widows patch out of Orlando and Tampa region. Army being the founder and later Carl and Fred joined the Widows sons first patches! It is a very good article on who we are!

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