Well-Known Vermont Masons
JAMES H. DOUGLAS
Inaugurated Governor State of Vermont
January 9, 2003
Worshipful Brother James H. Douglas was born June 21, 1951, in Springfield, MA where he spent his youth and obtained his pre-college education. His Masonic career also began in Massachusetts in the Order of DeMolay where he achieved the status of "Senior DeMolay".
Brother Douglas came to Middlebury, Vermont, in 1968 to attend Middlebury College. He met and married his wife, Dorothy, in Middlebury and has resided in that town ever since. They have two sons. While attending college, Brother Jim worked as a "Disc Jockey" for a local radio station and has been in the "public eye" and a public figure ever since. After graduating in 1972 with an AB Degree (Russian), he was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives, where he served from 1973 to 1979, served as Majority Whip from 1975 to 1976, and as Majority Leader from 1977 to 1979. During the period 1979 to 1980, Brother Jim served as Executive Assistant to the late Governor and Brother Richard Snelling. In 1980, he was elected to the office of Secretary of State for Vermont, serving in that position until 1992. After narrowly missing being elected to the office of United States Senator, Brother Douglas was elected Treasurer of the State of Vermont in 1994 and served in that office until January 8, 2003. The fact that Brother Douglas was often unopposed in his bids for election as Secretary of State and Treasurer tells us a great deal about his standing with the Vermont electorate.
Brother Douglas became a Master Mason in Union Lodge No. 2, Middlebury, in 1973 and served as Master of his Lodge from 1977-1978. His interest in Masonic youth has continued through the years, and he presently serves as Dean of the Vermont Preceptory, Legion of Honor, and Order of DeMolay. He served as a valued member of the Grand Lodge Jurisprudence Committee for ten years, 1987-1997. He also served the Grand Lodge of Vermont as Grand Historian from 1993 through 1997. The Grand Master, in June 1997, found that he had lost all members of his critically important Finance Committee. Being an adherent of the age-old philosophy that advocates, when in need of achieving something important, seek out a busy and competent candidate for the task, he immediately contacted Brother Douglas to help fill the important void in the Grand Lodge organization. He served as Chairman of our Finance Committee for four years and was appointed chairman of our Investment Committee in 2001.
Brother Douglas also serves as Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of Costa Rica near the Grand Lodge of Vermont. He is a communicant of the Congregational Church of Middlebury. Brother Douglas is also a popular "after dinner" speaker and an active member of the Vermont Masonic Speakers Bureau, in which capacity he has spoken at many of our lodges around the state.
From the foregoing, it became readily apparent that Brother Douglas is unique in that he has been active in the Masonic Fraternity while simultaneously serving in demanding positions in the public sector. He is a credit to our Fraternity and our state. He is the recipient of one of our most prestigious awards for outstanding service to Vermont Freemasonry, the John Barney Medal.
At the annual session in 2003, Brother Douglas was awarded the Grand Lodge Medal of Honor, the highest award the Grand Lodge of Vermont can give out. The Grand Lodge of Vermont has given out only 20 of The Medal of Honor awards. The first Medal of Honor was given to Warren R. Austin, a Vermont Freemason and the first Ambassador to the United Nations, in 1955.