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|An Historical Perspective|
Utopia Lodge No. 5, Inc., was the first unit of the Independent United Order of Mechanics, W.H., formed in the state of Connecticut in 1967 due to the instrumentality of the late Most Worshipful Grand Master, Rt. Hon. Clement Glasgow, the late Bro. Allan Reid, VPDGM, members of the Ben Hur District Grand Lodge and locally by Venerable Past Grand Master Hon. David S. Carter. The order began to grow with the addition of the Queen of Sheba Chapter, No 3 in the late 1960ís, followed by the additions of the House of Solomon Lodge No. 11 in 1981, the Daughters of the House of Solomon No. 11 and subsequently the Rose of Sharon Chapter No. 1 in 1986.
The Fraternity expanded during the ensuing years; as a result the Utopia Grand Christian Encampment was formed in 1970 and the Connecticut District Past Illustrative Matronís Conclave in the 1980ís.
During the late 1960 through 1986, the following brothers represented the units in Hartford at Ben Hur District Grand Lodge in Brooklyn, New York; the late Hon. Lowell ĎSlimí Sutherland, Hon. David S. Carter, VPDGM, Hon. Michael Reid, Hon. Dudley B. Duncan, VPDGM, Hon. Lester G White, VPDGM, Hon. Easton L Fuller, and the Hon. Noel G. Solomon. In October 1984 the Hon. Charles Alexander Forrest, was the first delegate from the Connecticut to be elected to the Ben Hur District Grand Lodge. He was elected as District Grand Assistant Secretary.
After nineteen years of superintendence by the Ben Hur District, a committee consisting of the aforementioned District Offices, except Bro. Michael Reid the late Bro. Sutherland petitioned the Ben Hur District Grand Lodge in 1986 with respect to the formation of a District Grand Lodge in Hartford. After diligent negotiations, the Connecticut District Grand Lodge No. 1 was inaugurated and the respective Grand Lodge Officers installed on Saturday, October 4th, 1986. Venerable Past Grand Master, Hon. Dudley B. Duncan, H.P., P.E.G.C., was installed as the first District Grand Master and subsequently served two terms. Venerable Past Grand Master, Hon. Davis S. Carter., H.P., P.E.G.C., served one term until 1985.
In 1993, the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Order, Rt. Hon. Winston Anthony Jones and the executive Committee of the Grand Council created an extraordinary precedence in the strengthening of the Order in the New England States by virtue of announcing the amalgamation of the Connecticut District Grand Lodge; adding three units operating under the jurisdiction of Brooklyn District Grand Lodge in Boston and two units from the Composite District Grand Lodge in Springfield, Massachusetts to the Connecticut District. After one full year of the amalgamation process, a District Convention was held on December 10th, 1994 and the new officers were elected from all represented regions.
The Hon. Charles Alexander Forest was elected to serve as the first District Grand Master of the amalgamated and reorganized Grand Lodge; now called the New England District Grand Lodge, No. 1 consisting of it various units and headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.A.