Helping Others One Mile at a Time

Helping Others One Mile at a Time

reprinted from Freemason Magazine, Spring 2021 edition

“We spread the cement of Freemasonry from the saddle of a motorcycle.” – Jonathan DeLuca, State President, PA Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association

Brother Dale A. Peters enjoys Freemasonry, riding his motorcycle and giving back to the community. Thanks to his involvement with the Pennsylvania (PA) Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association, he’s able to do all three things simultaneously.

“I love riding motorcycles, especially with other Freemasons,” said Dale, Worshipful Master of Western Star Lodge No. 304 in Albion. He also serves as President of the Pennsylvania Noblemen Chapter (Albion) of the PA Widows Sons. “When I get on my bike, it’s just a feeling that’s hard to explain … there’s nothing else that can bother you because you just feel free riding into the wind.”

The Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association was established in the late 1990s. Today, there are chapters in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, Russia, Europe, the Far East, Australia and New Zealand.

The goal of the organization is to contribute to the aid and relief of Masonic widows and orphans and introduce Freemasonry to the world of motorcycling. The group also supports various individual charities in the community through motorcycle events, rides and raffles.

“Our purpose is to help our fellow brothers’ wives and kids,” Dale said, noting that they have assisted widows at the Masonic Villages in Elizabethtown and Sewickley. “We do whatever we can for them. If they are older and need a ramp built in front of their house, we’ll do it. If they need help getting places, we will pick them up. Sometimes, we’ll have a lodge dinner and bring them to the dinner. All you can do is keep reaching out to them. If they want us to do something, we do it.”

The PA Widows Sons was founded in 2001 in Philadelphia. Currently, there are 16 recognized chapters throughout the state. Each chapter holds a monthly meeting to conduct business and plan upcoming events, said Jonathan DeLuca, State President of the PA Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association and Past Master of Mozart Lodge No. 436, Philadelphia.

All Master Masons in good standing, under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, who are motorcycle riders, are welcome to petition a local chapter.

The PA Widows Sons is governed by the Pennsylvania Presidents’ Council. The council is made up of the presidents of each of the recognized local chapters throughout the state.

“We’re Freemasons first and Widows Sons second,” Jonathan said. “Our organization is made up of Past Masters, Worshipful Masters, District Deputy Grand Masters, etc. If we’re aware of a Masonic charity, we’re going to be there to help and support it. Our goal is to do good for others while we’re having a blast.”

“Having a blast” to Jonathan means spending a day riding his motorcycle at 65 mph, just a few feet away from his fellow brothers. “Trust is born that way,” Jonathan said. “When something happens, we come together. I know when my chips are down, I can call my brothers, and they will be there.”

Every year, the PA Widows Sons chapters come together to host the “Grand Master’s Charity Ride.” All proceeds from the event go to Masonic charities within the state, mainly the Masonic Children’s Home of Pennsylvania.

“We are fortunate and grateful to have the support of the Grand Lodge when it comes to holding this event,” Jonathan said.

The chapters are also raising money to purchase computer tablets for patients at Shriners Hospitals for Children. Dale said his chapter has already raised about $600.

Dale was formerly a member of a chapter of the Ohio Widows Sons. When he moved to Pennsylvania, he joined the Brothers of the Trowel Chapter in Meadville. Since there was no presence in northwestern Pennsylvania, where he lived, Dale decided to start a chapter there. The Pennsylvania Noblemen Chapter was chartered in 2019.

The Noblemen Chapter participates in motorcycle rides each year for various charities, most recently raising $400 for the Northwest Food Pantry in Albion.

“For every dollar raised, the food pantry can purchase approximately $17 worth of product,” Dale said. “The buying power they have with the money you give them is unbelievable. It’s a good feeling to help them, and they were really grateful.”

The Noblemen Chapter also donates money to Project NEED (Northwestern Extended Emergency Dwelling), a small non-profit organization in Albion that provides housing for people who are displaced. “We’ve raised anywhere from $500 to $600 for them over the past two years. I was with the brothers of the Trowel Chapter when we started the project, and I took it over with this chapter,” Dale said. “It’s a great organization.”

For a chapter locator and more information on the Pennsylvania Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association, visit