History of Widows Son's Riders Association

Chronological History


From the Widows Sons Archives


1998
Founded: February 18th 1998 at the Mirrage resteraunt schiller Park, Illinois by Carl Davenport. Originally just called “The Widows Sons” the first chapter and it's members were all members of El Jaala Grotto and the El Jaala Motor Patrol. 


Brother Davenport had been working on a site MasonicBiker.com” and then the "Mastermason.com/widows sons" website to reach out on the Internet to see if others might be interested in forming chapters of the Widows Sons in their area.
 

The second chapter of Widows Sons was formed  in the Netherlands, in June of 1998. 
 

1999-2000
Connecticut, and Florida formed chapters a couple weeks apart, and many new potential members who were  waiting to start chapters began  discussions about the Widows Sons being organized internationally.  Some of these brethren were involved with the efforts of transforming the Widows Sons into an International Association were: Nico Lulofs of the   Netherlands, Bill Zimmerman of Connecticut, Rich Greenberg of  California, Anthony Harper of Georgia/Florida, Jeffrey Rosenberg of Boston, Gerard Cannoo of  Capetown South Africa,  Richard Prina of Arizona and Armando Nunez of Florida, It should be noted that not all of those mentioned above were successful in creating chapters but were making an active effort to do so. Three other chapters were  chartered  in 1998, but dropped   out a month or so later,  Illinois is the only 1998 chapter that  remains today  of the o riginal chapters that were chartered in  1998. The Netherlands were the second, making the Widows   Sons an international organization in June of 1998, and about two years later  Connecticut, and then  Florida.  Wisconsin, Indiana,   Michigan and Ohio formed chapters after the Netherlands and before  Connectcut  and Florida, but those four disappeared. Then about two months before Connecticut, Indiana and Ohio started a second group but didn't last.
 

2000
When Florida was chartered, with four chapters now chartered, a need for a logo became necessary. So the  "Widows patch" was designed, and sent to Florida to be made. 


2002
The domain, "WidowsSons.com" was purchased on January 18, 2002 and a website was designed and uploaded to the domain.  Requests started flowing in. Several interested brethren responded and work began on forming an association.


2004
The association was “administratively” divided into 2 jurisdictions, the Northern & Southern. Each jurisdiction would be charged with geographical assignments giving them the duty of chartering new  chapters in their respective states and countries. Brother Fred Broecker, the secretary of the Illinois Grand Chapter, was appointed as the head of  the Northern Jurisdiction and Brother Armando appointed as the head of the Southern Jurisdiction. This was announced to the membership in February 2004, a month later by mutual agreement of Brother’s Broecker & Nunez,   the New England Jurisdiction was formed, putting Brother Bill Zimmerman as its head. The Widows Sons operated under 3 National Jurisdictions  from 2004 through September of 2008 when the jurisdictions were combined   back into one in order to offset perceptions of disunity or separate organizations.
 

In May thealternate/modern logo (winged logo) was introduced in order to appease  concerns regarding the ‘Masonic relevance” of the original Widows logo. The modern logo was first regarded as the Northern jurisdiction logo but  was later adopted by some states in the Southern Jurisdiction. (Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky).
 

The UK Chapter of the Widows Sons  introduced their own alternative  logo, and separated themselves from the Masonic Riders Association by calling themselves the Masonic Bikers Association. The original Widows   logo was copyrighted in 2003 and the winged logo was copyrighted in  2004. The UK logo was never copyrighted because it was not an original  design and it did not promote the exclusive identity of the Widows Sons. 
 

2005
Brother Armando Nunez resigned from his position as a national organizer and active member of the Widows Sons in 2005. His chosen replacement was Brother Karl Seigal of the Knights of the East chapter of Florida.
 

2006
Brother Bill Zimmerman left the Widows Sons and his replacement for the director of the New England Jurisdiction was Brother Frank DeFeo who was appointed by Brother Broecker.

Brother Seigal resigned  as a national organizer due to the death of his father and Scott Frum  was appointed as his replacement by the Florida State Board.


2007
The state of Alabama adopted   the winged logo. The first Widows Sons Degree  and “Branding” was held at the Hawg Valley Bike Rally in Madisonville  Kentucky. The degree was written by Brother’s Jeff Wilson, Robert Lee Curtis, and Ken Sarver of the Traveling Gavel Grand Chapter of Kentucky. Brothers in attendance were from the states of Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Virginia. Brother Mark   Sawyer the Grand Chapter President of Virginia came up with the idea of branding our vests and the practice was incorporated as a traditional part of the degree.


The first Grand Gathering was held in Newport Beach Virginia.


The Widows Sons of Texas applied for recognition as a Masonic organization during their Grand Lodge Communication. The ballot was passed in their favor but a motion was placed on the floor for more discussion and a re-vote. During the subsequent re-vote, acceptance was denied by 1 vote  
 

 2008

The new Grand Master of Texas issued an edict banning all Texas Masons from being members of the WSMRA. The  edict affected over 300 brethren.
 

2011
Brother Davenport married and moved to England. He immediately asked the President and Vice President of the Northumberland chapter to aid and assist widows and orphans first before any other charity, and to change their name and logos back to match the   rest of the organization. They refused. 

 

2012
In January Brother Davenport founded the Widows Sons Magazine (aka WSMag). The magazine was created to publish Widows Sons and Masonic information. 

Brother Davenport asked the   Northumberland PGB President to drop the national governing board , to aid and assist widows and orphans first before any other charity, and to change their name and logos back to match the rest of the organization. They again refused.
 

On July 10,  Brother Fred Broecker the logo copyright holder received an unusual request from the Presidents board in Illinois. It was a request that he turn over his rights to the copyright of the Widows Sons Logo to the Presidents board.  

This same board held a meeting a few weeks later to remove the founder and Fred from the Illinois Widows Sons. It later became known this board  was elected and acted illegally and all their damages were restored.


2013
A new 15th Anniversary patch was introduced for the 15th year of the Widows Sons. Several other anniversary items such as two different  anniversary coins, wood carvings, a Widows Sons Clock and a few other items.
 

Brother Davenport again asked the UK widows Sons to drop the national  governing board, to aid and assist widows and orphans as a first priority before any other charity, and to change their name and logos back to match the rest of the organization. They again refused.

As a result, all WSMRA charters operating under the WSMBA in England, Scotland and Ireland were revoked. 

A new WSMRA chapter, the Sentinels, was chartered in Suffolk, England. The England, Scotland and Ireland chapters were invited to become a part of the Masonic Riders Association.  They refused.
 

On December 12, the Grand Master of Massachusetts, Richard Stewart, issued an edict against the Massachusetts Widows Sons barring  any member of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts from being a member of the Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association.
 

2014
France regained recognition from  mainstream Freemasonry and a the Pathmos Eagle Grand Chapter of France  was chartered by President Forrest McCracken, of the Sentinel Suffolk, England Grand Chapter, with the Special Guest of the Widows Sons of France, Worshipful Brother Carl Davenport, present to obligate the Pathmos Eagle Grand Chapter President and begin the chartering ceremony. At this ceremony, Italy was given the ok to begin forming the Grand Chapter of Italy.
 

Germany is approved and are waiting to be chartered.
 

2015
The Widows Sons European Union was formed to help the European Countries  organize and remain within the founding intentions.
 

France held it's second annual gathering with members from Italy, Belgium, California, and England attending.
 

A new chapter was formed in The South of France.
 

A new Grand Chapter has begun forming in Brazil.
 

Illinois One Five chapter received a award for aiding and assisting widows and orphans of Master Masons in Illinois.
 

2016
Puerto Rico began organizing a chapter in Puerto Rica.
France held its 3rd annual European Gathering in June.

The new Grand Chapter of Germany was chartered on October 15th at the Castle Wewelsberg in Paderborn, Germany.

Recognized Widows Sons chapters from France, Belgium, and Italy attended. Visitors  included the Masonic Bikers of Denmark, The Low Twelve Riders of  Germany, the Masonic Bikers of Austria, and several independent Bikers of Europe. Several of independent Riders present expressed interest in  beginning Widows Sons chapters across Europe after seeing the chartering  ceremony.  The Chartering was performed  by the Widows Sons of France, with Founder WB Carl A Davenport obligating the new Grand Chapter President and presenting him his vest.  Shortly after the chartering, the first Executive Council Meeting was held and the  Executive Council was made an official body of the WSMRA.
 

2017

The Widows Sons Museum was founded after the chartering of the Masons Chapter as the new Grand Chapter of Missouri, and  the opening of  the campground. The Masons Grand Chapter of Missouri Widows Widows Sons  will operate the Widows Sons museum.