Fellowship Lodge honors its first Worshipful Master elected under charter. Worshipful Brother Thomas E. Rogers was our first Senior Deacon and, on June 13, 1919, was elected Worshipful Master to lead this fast growing lodge. Worshipful Brother Tom was eligible to this office, having served as both Junior and Senior Warden in Phoenix Lodge No. 13 at Ypsilanti, Michigan, from which he transferred to become one of our charter members. The brothers of Fellowship Lodge must have detected early the ability Tom Rogers had and which he displayed for years in the help he gave this new lodge in perfecting the ritualistic work of the various degrees. From the way that the lodge grew in its early days, it is plain that Worshipful Brother Tom Rogers was also an able administrator.
Perhaps it would be better at this point to go back and relate the earlier years of Worshipful Brother Tom's life. He was born May 15, 1882, in Norwood, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, into a family of four boys and two girls. Tom Lived and worked in the province of Ontario in his early years. While working in London, Ontario, he met the future Mrs. Rogers, Martha Olive Smith, who was a violinist in the orchestra of a church revival meeting. They were married June 23, 1906 in London. Shortly afterward, Tom brought his young bride to Ypsilanti, where they lived until 1917.
Tom Rogers was first a street car conductor in Ypsilanti. Then, for a short time, he was a car salesman for a Buick and Maxwell dealer. In April, 1917, he took the job that was to mean so much to Fellowship Lodge. He accepted a position as an agent with the Peoria Live Insurance Co., which made it necessary to move to Flint. From then on, Tom Rogers was in the insurance business to stay. He worked for other companies as changes and mergers took place. Tom finally ended his career as General Agent with Washington National Insurance, from which he retired in June of 1957.
Worshipful Brother Tom and Mrs. Rogers then moved to a new home in Bradenton, Florida, to enjoy their retirement years. Unfortunately, Mrs. Rogers suffered a massive stroke in July, 1957, which left her paralysed. Tom had her flown back to Flint where he devoutedly saw to her care until her death on February 3, 1967.
Worshipful Brother Tom and Mrs. Rogers raised two boys - their own son, Donald E. Rogers, and Harry Douglas Rogers, whose mother had died shortly after his birth. The two boys were raised as if they were, in fact, brothers.
Besides having served as Warden in Phoenix Lodge No. 13 where he was raised in 1910, Worshipful brother Tom had been a line officer in the Royal Arch Chapter, holding the office of Captain of the Host at the time he moved to Flint. After coming to Flint, he went further in York Rite Masonry by joining Genesee Valley Commandery No. 15. He and Mrs. Rogers were also active in Flint Chapter No. 138, O.E.S., and he was Patron for the term of 1927-28.
Tom Rogers was active in other groups outside of Masonry as well. At one time, he was president of the Flint Life Underwriters Association. He had also been a member of the Atlas Valley Country Club and maintained a great interest in golf through the years.
Such is the character of the man that Fellowship Lodge was so fortunate to have as its first Worshipful Master under charter. So, too, must have been the nature and character of our other charter members who laid so well the foundation for the fine lodge which we today enjoy.