Horace Brittain Whyte
Most Worshipful Grand Master, 1953-1954
Horace Brittain Whyte was born in Stranorlar County, Donegal, Ireland on June 1, 1898. His early scholastic training was received in the elementary school of Stranorlar, Robertson High School and Royal College. Before completing his college training he joined the British Army, first with the Inniskilling Fusileers and later with the Royal Field Artillery. He saw action for three and a half of the four and a half years and served in France, the Dardanelles Campaign, with General Allenby in Mesopotamia and in the Balkan Campaign. At the completion of World War I following an honorable discharge from the Army he joined the Canadian Federal Government as a Flax Specialist for the Dominion of Canada in May 1920. He was later associated with the Shelburne Flax Company of Shelburne, Ontario. In 1923 he came to the United States and entered the employ of the Bank of Detroit and two years later became associated with the financial department of the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company. In 1927 A. & P. transferred him to Louisville, Kentucky as an accountant and in 1935 he was transferred to Grand Rapids as an office manager and treasurer of the Grand Rapids unit. He continued in this position for many years.
He married Delia Lucas on September 12, 1925. They were blessed with a son and a daughter.
He was raised as a Master Mason on December 1919 in Friendship Lodge No. 341 in Stranorlar, Ireland. He immediately became active in the affairs of his Mother Lodge. After coming to Canada, he transferred his membership to Lorne Lodge No. 377 in Shelburne and again became a line officer. Following his move to the United States, he became an officer in a Louisville Masonic Lodge. After moving to Grand Rapids and demitting to York Lodge, No. 410 he was able to successfully serve as Worshipful Master in 1946. In 1948 he was elected Grand Marshal of the Grand Lodge and by regular succession was elected as Most Worshipful Grand Master on May 27, 1953.
Soon after coming to Canada, he made application to Prince Edward Chapter No. 218 and in September of 1920 was exalted to the Sublime Degree of Royal Arch Mason. He was also a Knight Templar, and was knighted in 1952 by DeMolai Commandery No. 5 in Grand Rapids. He received the various Scottish Rite degrees in the Coordinate Bodies of the Valley of Louisville, Kentucky in 1934. After coming to Grand Rapids he transferred his Scottish Rite allegiance to the Valley of Grand Rapids and served as High Priest of Cyrus Council, Princes of Jerusalem. He also took an active part in the ritualistic activities of DeWitt Clinton Consistory. In 1942 he traveled the Hot Sands of the Desert and became a member of Saladin Temple Shrine in Grand Rapids. During his term of office, there were 166,000 Masons in Michigan.
He died on December 2, 1967.