GEORGIA FOP HISTORY
EARLY YEARS (1954-1971)
The early history of the FOP in Georgia is very sketchy for the period prior to the forming of the State Lodge. Augusta formed the first local lodge in 1954 and became inactive at some unknown period. The lodge was reactivated on 08-08-73 by a group of Richmond County Sheriff Deputies and Augusta Police Officers and operated for a short period until becoming inactive again. The next lodge to form in Georgia was Albany Lodge #2 in 1959. The Albany Lodge is the oldest continuously active lodge in Georgia. In 1963, Macon Lodge #3 was formed. Then on 03-03-66 the Southside Lodge #4 was chartered and was comprised of officers from south metro agencies including Clayton County. On 05-09-66, Waycross Lodge #5 was chartered and continues today as an active lodge. Middle Georgia Lodge #6 was formed in 1968 and comprised the area around Peach County and Fort Valley. In May of 1968, Hostess City Lodge #7 was chartered in Savannah. Atlanta Lodge #8 was chartered on 12-14-68 and became the last lodge to form before the STATE LODGE was organized.
On 10-04-69, the initial meeting to organize and form the STATE LODGE was held in the Traffic Squad Room at the Macon Police Department. The meeting was arranged and initiated by W. M. Clements of Macon Lodge #3. There were only eight members present from five local lodges. The lodges that originally organized the STATE LODGE were Albany #2, Macon #3, Southside #4, Hostess City #7, and Atlanta #8.
The following were the officers elected:
President Aubrey Bassett Atlanta #8 Vice President John Logan Southside #4 Sec/Tres John Cress Albany #2 Conductor D. M. Stafford Hostess City #7 Inner Guard J. D. Mikell Hostess City #7 Outer Guard D. P. Banks Macon #3 Chaplain E. S. Goff Albany #2 National Trustee W. M. Clements Macon #3
There are few records documenting the events and activities of the State Lodge from 1968 through 1970. The following lodges were chartered during this period.
10/22/69 ---- Karl F. Eidam (Columbus) Lodge #9
01/03/70 ---- W.E.Peacock (Dekalb County) Lodge #10
04/08/70 ---- Griffin Lodge #11
07/13/70 ---- East Point Lodge #12
08/03/70 ---- Kermit Sanders (Cobb County) Lodge #13
09/20/70 ---- Rome Lodge #14
During the summer of 1970 what was considered the 1st State Conference was held in Macon. In December of 1970, a State Board Meeting was held in Macon and elections were conducted to determine officers for the coming year. On 01/10/71, the newly elected officers were installed at a State Board Meeting held in Columbus. Outgoing President Aubrey L. Bassett swore in the following new officers:
President W. E. Kinsman Columbus 1st Vice President Jim Tarver Cobb County 2rd Vice President H. E Faulkner Dekalb County Sec/Treasurer John Gress Albany Conductor D. M. Stafford Savannah Inner Guard Mike Wright Dekalb County Outer Guard D. P. Banks Macon Chaplain Bert Goff Albany National Trustee W. M. Clements Macon
The guest speaker at the meeting was Mrs. Lillian Carter, mother of the Governor Elect. The following State Trustees were present at the meeting.
State Trustee C. B. Prince Macon State Trustee John Logan Southside State Trustee A. L. Bassett Atlanta State Trustee J. V. Schaff Columbus State Trustee Harvey Pierson Dekalb County State Trustee Bill Hayes Cobb County
On 03/01/71, a State Board Meeting was held at the Macon City Hall. President Kinsman introduced Mr. Clarence Thompson of the "Georgia FOP News" who provided an update on his plans for the first issue. He stated that he received very little cooperation from local lodges in submitting news articles. It was reported that the State Lodge had netted $521 from the first month of advertising sales from the magazine. Discussion was held regarding forming a bylaws committee to write the State Constitution and Bylaws. President Kinsman stated the that he and Vice President Tarver were going to attend the Alabama State Conference in June to learn about the activities and events associated with their conference. Secretary Cress reported that the National Secretary had recommended that legal assistance be obtained to get the State Lodge incorporated. Brother Faulkner made a motion to form a Ladies Auxiliary. The motion was seconded and unanimously passed.
On 05/03/71, a State Board Meeting was held in Columbus. Discussion was held regarding the printing to be placed on the Charter for the State Lodge. It was decided that State Officers elected in October of 1969 and December of 1970 both should be listed on the Charter. It was further decided that custody of the Charter would go to the local lodge of the State President. Discussion was held and bylaws were approved. The bylaws were modified and fashioned from the Ohio State Lodge's bylaws. A motion was made by Brother Bassett to approve H. Norwood Pearce of Columbus as the State Attorney with his fee to be $1 a year plus actual expenses. The motion passed unanimously.
On 07/24/71, a State Board Meeting was held in Atlanta at the Lenox Square Auditorium. It was decided that a State Conference would be held in October in Albany. After further discussion, a motion was approved to let current State Officers serve until a State Conference in held in June of 1972.
The 2nd Annual Georgia State Conference was held on October 30th and 31st in Albany at the Holiday Inn. Very little business conducted, but standing committees were appointed and legislative agenda was set.
The following lodges were formed in 1971:
01-15-71 ---- Gainesville Lodge #15
01-19-71 ---- Fitzgerald Loge #16
08-30-71 ---- Otis Bewman (Villa Rica) Lodge #17
09-03-71 ---- J.W. McLarty (Douglas County) Lodge #18
09-21-71 ---- Eugene Ellis (Milledgeville) Lodge #19