Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli Lodge #2183
On March 12, 1967, the Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli Lodge #2183 of Wilmington, Massachusetts, was founded. The designated founders of the lodge were Laura Caira, Frances Gray, and George Murray. The new lodge emanated from a series of house meetings culminated by a meeting at the Wilmington Skating Club. The meeting was attended by Joseph Gorrassi, Former Supreme and Grand Venerable; Sophie Gorrassi, Grand Recording Secretary; and Mary Benullo, Grand Deputy. At this meeting, a slate of officers was formulated and after a number of names submitted for the lodge, the name Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (Pope John XXIII) was determined at the suggestion of sister Anna Visconti.
The first Council of the Wilmington Lodge included:
Venerable Charles Ingalls; Assistant Venerable Donald Ugolini; Ex-Venerable George Murray; Orator Vincent Capozzi; Recording Secretary Laura Caira; Financial Secretary Frances Gray; Treasurer Anthony Fortunata; Trustees Gus Cuoco, Marguerite Ingalls, Alfred Powers, Nicholas Casaletto, and Cynthia Esposito; Mistresses of Ceremonies Sylvia Fantasia and Anna Visconti; and Sentinel William Wolley. We had 94 members at the formation of our lodge. The installation and institution ceremonies were held at the Tewksbury Knights of Columbus Hall and conducted by Grand Venerable John Guarino and Grand Orator Aldo Caira.
After meeting for many years at the Grange Hall, the dream of owning our own lodge became a reality in 1976. Through the efforts of members of our Building Trust: Rico Calano, Vincent Puma, Bob Dicey, Aldo Caira, Michael Caira, Jim Capozzi, Rocco DePasquale, Chris S. DiCecca, Fred Miller, and Jim Rando, a state-of-the-art lodge home was built on Ballardvale Street. After many years of enjoying memorable events, the lodge was sold in 1996. Now monthly meetings are held at Villanova Hall on 126 Middlesex Avenue in Wilmington, every fourth Thursday at 7:30 p.m. A social hour, including a light dinner and dessert, is enjoyed by members an hour before the meeting begins.
Our lodge has been blessed with committed and dedicated leadership since its inception:
Charles Ingalls (67-68); Don Ugolini (68-69); Al Powers (69-71); Eileen Wolley (71); Rico Catalano (71-73); Fred Miller (73-75, 77-79); Chris S. DiCecca (75-77); Bob Dicey (79-81); Fortune Carlino (81-83); Chris A. DiCecca (83-85); Peg Dicey (85-86); Jerry Pupa (86-88, 03-05); Kevin Caira (88-92, 96-98); Charlie DeStefano (92-96, 02-03, 07-10, 15-17); Michele Caira Nortonen (98-02); Aldo Caira Jr. (05-07, 10-15); President-Elect John Romano (17- ).
We are very proud that several of our members have attained leadership positions at the State and/or National levels:
The Wilmington Sons of Italy Lodge has been lauded by the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee for its community service, involvement, and generosity. Though it has been a major contributor to charities since 1967, since the sale of our building in 1996, we can account for 1.6 million dollars in contributions to various charities and community activities and fundraisers. Little could our founders have imagined fifty years ago that their lodge would become one of the most respected charitable and fraternal organizations in the state. Noteworthy accomplishments include:
The Wilmington Sons of Italy Lodge sponsors for its members a bowling league (est. 1977), a summer bocce league (est. 2009), a Junior Lodge (est. 2009), and a softball team (est. 2010).
Socials are held to benefit our charitable work and can be found on the calendar section of our website: http://www.wilmingtonsoi.org. New members are always welcomed and need not be of Italian heritage. Contact us at (978) 657-7734 or (978) 658-8284.
The Wilmington Sons of Italy has been an ardent supporter of charitable and educational causes since its inception 50 years ago. Their generosity has assisted individuals, families, and community groups. Whether supporting a local youth group or contributing to international earthquake relief efforts, members of the Wilmington Sons of Italy have always opened their hearts and pocketbooks in the spirit of brotherhood. The charitable and service organizations mentioned above are just a few that the Wilmington Sons of Italy has supported over the past 50 years. With the help of an increasingly strong membership, the Wilmington Sons of Italy will continue to address the needs of our community for years to come.
Order Sons of Italy in America
Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli Lodge # 2183
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