Charles Solmo

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Charles Solmo, PGM,
Charles Solmo, PGM (From the Michigan Masonic Museum and Library Collection)

Most Worshipful Grand Master, 1970-1971

Charles Solmo was born on January 29, 1915 in Homestead, Pennsylvania. He lived and attended grammar school in Homestead until he was 12 years of age. Then, in 1926 his parents and family moved to Detroit where he graduated from Southeastern High School. He attended the College of the City of Detroit (now Wayne State University). He graduated in 1939 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. On October 25, 1941 he entered the army as a member of the 32nd (Red Arrow) Division. This unit was principally composed of men from Michigan. He saw a great deal of fighting in New Guinea. He was awarded the Bronze Star on three occasions for service over and above the call of duty. He was transferred to Australia, then to the Philippines in Manila and placed in charge of the Adjutant General’s office. He left the service with the rank of Master Sergeant on November 1, 1945. In 1946 he married Reba Elizabeth Avera. They were blessed with two daughters. He was active in the Boy Scouts of America from 1930 until the time he left Detroit to serve in the military. Upon his return from service he again became active as a Scout Master and served for several years in that capacity. He was Treasurer of the Pro Mozart Society of Detroit. He was especially interested in raising the funds used to publish an entirely new edition of Mozart’s Works. In 1950, he secured employment with Berg Engineering and remained there until 1954. Then, he and Frederick Graham formed a new company titled Multi-Crafts, Inc. This firm specialized in design engineering, industrial art, and in technical publications. He and his partner started the company with $5,000 in assets and grew it into a multi-million dollar enterprise. He was a Vice President of the Madison Heights, Michigan, Chamber of Commerce, a member of the National Association of Engineering Companies, and the Society of Engineering Illustrators, as well as the Franklin Community Methodist Church. He was raised as a Master Mason on September 4, 1941 in Vedic Lodge No. 496. He served as Worshipful Master of Vedic Lodge in 1954. He became a member of the Coordinate Scottish Rite Bodies of the Valley of Detroit in November 1959 and was created as a Noble of the Mystic Shrine in the same month. On June 22, 1964 he was exalted to the Sublime Degree of a Royal Arch Mason by Pillar Chapter No. 181, R.A.M., and had a Dual Membership with the Ancient Craft Chapter No. 186, R.A.M. He was knighted in Detroit Commandery No. 1, K.T., on October 23, 1964, and was also greeted as a member of Monroe Council No. 1, R. & S.M., and was a member of the National Sojourners. He was a member of the exclusive research group, Thistle and Rose Council No. 27, Allied Masonic Degrees, in May 1965 and served as Sovereign Master in 1969. He was created a Knight of York in Detroit College No. 1 in 1965. On August 13, 1966 he received the coveted Order of the Purple Cross of the York Rite Sovereign College of North America. He was also a member of St. Clement Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine, and Detroit Court No. 28, Royal Order of Jesters, and belonged to Lakeshore Chapter No. 520, Order of the Eastern Star. In May 1965, he was elected to the office of Worshipful Grand Marshal. He was elected Most Worshipful Grand Master of Michigan Masons on May 27, 1970. During his term of office there were 160,000 Masons in Michigan.

He died on October 20, 1973.

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