|MW James T. McWain|
Brother James T. McWain
Born, December 23, 1938 on the family dairy farm in Norton, Vermont, James T. McWain lived there with his parents, Morris L. McWain and Bertha Haley McWain and grandparents, Joseph A. Haley and Mamie LaPointe Haley. He attended first and second grades at the Norton Elementary School, but completed elementary school and high school at Island Pond, Vermont where his parents moved after selling the farm after World War II.
Jim played baseball and basketball on the high school teams, and was very involved in winter skiing on local hills and ski areas, and water skied at the family summer place on Lake Seymour. Jim began working in his uncle's grocery store while in the eighth grade and continued until his graduation in 1956. Brother McWain was accepted at Norwich University, the Military School of Vermont and joined the United States Army Reserves in his senior year. At Norwich University, he majored in business administration and progressed through the cadet ranks to become a Lieutenant Colonel, Battalion Commander in his senior year. He became a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and DeMolay in his junior year, and in his senior year became a member of Island Pond Lodge No. 44 in Vermont, being raised on March 24, 1960.
RW McWain graduated as a Distinguished Military Graduate from Norwich University in I960 and was commissioned in the Regular Army as a 2nd Lieutenant. He attended the Army Armor Officers Basic Course at Fortt. Knox, Kentucky followed by the Ranger Course and the Jump (Parachute) School at Ft. Benning, Georgia. He was then assigned to the 1st squadron, 2nd Armored Calvary where his unit patrolled the East/West German border. This was a three year assignment where he was to he promoted to Captain and command of the units "B" Troop. While stationed on the East/West German Border in Bavaria he had the opportunity to visit Masonic Lodges in Bayreuth and Hof. A number of Masons in the area got together, petitioned the American Canadian Grand Lodge and RW McWain became one of the charter members of in Border Lodge, Hof, Germany.
After being ordered back to Ft. Knox, Kentucky in July, 1964 to attend the Armor Officers Advance Course, he married the former Elaine Smith of Denver, Colorado that December. After graduation, they moved to Syracuse, New York, where he was assigned to the Syracuse University ROTC unit. Twin daughters, Patricia and Robin were born while he was stationed in Syracuse in 1967. His next assignment was to Vietnam where he became the operations officer for the 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry and was promoted to Major.
On his return to the States, Brother McWain was assigned to Headquarters of the Combat Development Command at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and it was there that his son, Scott, was born. After reporting to the General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, he subsequently joined the Armed Forces Scottish Rite, and then joined Abdullah Shrine in Kansas City, Kansas, and was introduced to National Sojourners, and joined the Chapter and Camp at Ft. Leavenworth. It was there that his youngest son, Kevin, was born.
In the fall of 1973, he was ordered to the Joint Staff, Southern Command in the Panama Canal Zone; was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1971 and ended up assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. Following stints at Ft. Carson, Colorado and the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, he returned again to Germany at the Combined Arms School in Vilseck, Germany. His second year in Germany he was selected for Brigade Command, a real honor overseeing 5000 soldiers in Schweinfurt, Germany, and spent two years in that position.
In the fall of 1986, RW McWain was re-assigned to the United States and served on the faculty of the Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. He was able to reconnect with Hancock Lodge No. 311 where he was junior deacon and senior deacon during the two years there. He also became active in the National Sojourners Chapter and Heroes Camp as well as enjoying times at Shrine functions in Kansas City.
Deciding to retire from the army in 1987, he received a call from a head- hunter about a position as Director of Customer Support at Lycoming in Stratford, Connecticut. He was hired and moved to Stratford in 1988. His family was in Colorado, and they decided to stay there. He again reconnected with Masonry and affiliated with Ansantawae Lodge No. 89, Milford, in 1994. Jim as also Director of International and Military Programs, LEED Corporate Services, Danbury, Connecticut and owner of McWain Enterprises as a consultant with Lockheed Aviation. RW McWain has a Master's Degree from Shippensburg University in Public Administration.
Masonic friends introduced him to Bonnie L. Schulz of Fairfield, Connecticut, and they married in 1995. Mrs. McWain has a prominent position in the Fairfield School System and is very involved with Masonicare.
In 1995, RW McWain affiliated with Temple Lodge No. 65, Westport, and became Junior Warden in 1999, Senior Warden in 2000 and sat in the Oriental Chair in 2001. He also served on the Board of Ashlar of Newtown and was elected to the Board of Trustees of Masonicare.
MW Walter Kaechele induced RWB McWain to join the Grand Line. In 2003, RW McWain became the Grand Junior Steward and progressed through the chairs, and will become the Grand Master in the year 2011. It has been a long climb and RW McWain has handled himself flawlessly attending the many functions required of Grand Lodge Officers. He has been on many committees including Publicity and Public Relations, Grand Lodge Session Hospitality, Strategic Planning, Masonic Districts, Budget and Finance, Honors and Awards, the Grand Lodge Permanent Endowment Fund, and is the Grand Lodge Representative to the Grand Lodge of Vermont.
In the year 2010, a special event took place in RW McWain's Masonic life; he became a 50 year Mason. MW Charles A. Buck, Jr., with his suite of Grand Lodge officers, conducted the ceremony in Temple Lodge No. 65. It was a momentous occasion for RW McWain and the lodge room was filled with many family, friends and colleagues.
During his years in the line, RW McWain has met many wonderful people and has been welcomed traveling to other jurisdictions where he has learned much from the dedicated Masons who have the same goals, standards, excitement, responsibilities, and challenges that we have in Connecticut. He looks forward to the coming year and hopes that it will be as memorable to all Masons in this jurisdiction as it will be to him.