Grand Secretary

Grand Secretary, glsec@vtfreemasons.org

Phone:  802-223-1883 or 800-479-3975. 

Palmer E. Martin was born on November 3, 1939 in New York City, the son of Hildreth F. and Georgia Palmer Martin.  He attended schools in the New York City school system and was graduated from Peter Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan in 1957.  Being a summer resident of Vermont, and a Vermonter at heart, he naturally followed in dad’s footsteps and attended the University of Vermont until entering the U.S. Air Force in 1962 where he served as a Chinese and Serbo-Croatian linguist in the continental U.S. and the former West Pakistan.  After eight years of active duty, he decided that the military life was not for him, and returned to Vermont where he attended Vermont Technical College, receiving an Associate of Science degree in Electro-mechanical engineering in 1972.  Following graduation he was employed by New England Telephone and its successor, NYNEX, as an engineer until retirement in 1990.  He continued in the field as a contract engineer, much of the time sitting at the same desk, and is still active with Byers Engineering Corporation.

On July 27, 1963 Palmer married Nadine M. Gilman, of Barre, Vermont.  They have two sons, Brother and Past Master Daniel J. Martin, married to Patricia Maza of Barre, now residing in Barre, and Lewis D. Martin, who lives in Williamstown.  They are also proud grandparents of four grandsons and one granddaughter.

Palmer was raised a Master Mason in Summit Lodge No. 104 of Williamstown on January 16, 1974.  He has served several terms as Master, and 28 years as Secretary.  He is currently again serving as Secretary.  He took dual membership in Granite Lodge No. 35 of Barre, and served as Master in 1989.  He was also Secretary of Granite Lodge for eleven years.  Palmer served the Grand Lodge as District Deputy Grand Master in 1982–1984, and as Grand Junior Deacon 1984-1985.  He is a charter member and Past Master of Edward J. Wildblood, Jr. Vermont Lodge of Research No. 110.  As the Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of Newfoundland and Labrador, he is a charter member of the Farnham Lodge of Research No. 33 in that jurisdiction, and is currently Junior Deacon.

In the York Rite, Palmer received the Capitular Degrees in Granite Chapter No. 26, R.A.M. and has served as High Priest and Secretary.  He served the Grand Chapter as Grand High Priest 1990–1991 and the General Grand Chapter, Royal Arch Masons International as Deputy General Grand High Priest for the Northeast Region from 1993 to 1996, Trustee from 2005 to 2011, and is scheduled to be elected General Grand Treasurer at the triennial session in August 2011.

He was greeted as a Select Master in Barre Council No. 22, R. & S.M. and served as Thrice Illustrious Master and Recorder.  He was elected Grand Master in 1991.

The Chivalric Orders were conferred in St. Aldemar Commandery No. 11, K.T. where he went through the chairs serving as Commander, and then as Recorder.  He served the Grand Commandery of Vermont as Grand Commander in the chivalric year 1992 –1993.

In the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite he is a member and past presiding officer in the three bodies in the Valley of Montpelier, and was elected Commander-in-Chief of Vermont Consistory in the Valley of Burlington in 2010.  He was coroneted a 33o Sovereign Grand Inspector General on September 29, 1998.

Palmer has been active in the Allied Masonic Degrees and other Masonic organizations, and is a member and past presiding officer of the Red Cross of Constantine, Knights of the York Cross of Honor, York Rite College, Knight Masons in New Hampshire, and many others too numerous to mention.

Believing that a “Grand presiding officer” should be a member of any order to which he might be invited, he and Nadine joined Charity Chapter No. 57, O.E.S. in 1988, where they have been in one of the chairs ever since, sharing the East for eight years.

Palmer is a member of the United Federated Church in Williamstown, where he has served on several committees, and can be found occasionally as an usher or greeter.

He has also filled adult leadership positions in the Boy Scouts, the Order of DeMolay, receiving the Honorary Legion of Honor, and the International Order of Rainbow for Girls.

In his “spare” time, though inactive the last ten years, Palmer is an amateur radio operator and has been quite active in the Army branch of the Military Affiliate Radio System (43 years), serving as State Director for nine years.  The reason for the inactivity is the lack of an antenna, and, as HAMS are known to wait for the worst weather to put up antennas, he has been heard to say that the weather hasn’t been lousy enough to hold an antenna party.

He also enjoys playing golf when he gets the chance, although it really should be backwards, as in “F-L-O-G.”

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