David Wooster Medal
The Grand Lodge of Connecticut's David Wooster Medal is particularly unique. It is one of two Grand Lodge medals which carry restrictions in the number awarded in any one year.
The David Wooster Medal was struck in 1973 to recognize "service other than to Freemasonry in the fields of art, science, business, government, entertainment, religion, or other service to humanity." Two castings were approved, one in silver for Master Masons, and one in bronze for non-Masons. No more than two Silver and two Bronze may be given in any one year.
The Medal honors the Revolutionary War hero, Brigadier General David Wooster (1711-1777). who gave up his royal commission in the French and Indian Wars to command a Connecticut militia, first in New York and Long Island during the summer of 1775, and finally in Danbury where he died defending a supply depot against a British raiding force. He is buried in Wooster Cemetery, in Danbury, where an impressive monument marks his grave.
David Wooster was graduated from Yale in 1738 and established himself in business in New Haven as a merchant trader. During the War of Jenkin's Ear (1741-43) he became captain of Connecticut's first naval vessel, the Defense. Two years later he took command of an infantry company at the first siege of Louisbourg, a town on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, whose French fortress fell that year (1745) to the New England volunteers.
It is believed it was during this period that Wooster became a Mason in the military lodge at Louisbourg. His efforts to organize the first Connecticut lodge, Hiram No. 1 in New Haven, which was chartered in 1750, earned him the recognition, "Father of Freemasonry in Connecticut."
Merle P, Tapley was Grand Master when the Medal was recommended by a Grand Lodge committee composed of himself, James R. Case, Grand Historian, William C. Neu, Deputy Grand Master, William Campbell, PGM, Grand Secretary; and Carl O. Carlson, PGM.
Recipients of the award have included Raymond E. Baldwin, former governor of Connecticut; M. Jodie Rell, Governor of Connecticut; Dr. Burr H. Curtis of Bloomfield; Milford lawmaker Gerald F. Stevens; Union 40, the Danbury lodge which conducts the Wooster Memorial Service in Danbury, and the Rev. Ray Cooley, retired Masonic Healthcenter Chaplain.