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Worcester Lodge # 168
The history of the Worcester Lodge # 168 comes from a combination of several lodges, each with its own inception.
Lodge Cristoforo Colombo # 168
Loggia Cristoforo Colombo has a long and honorable history that began on September 28, 1890 with the organization of the Mutual Benefit Society Cristoforo Colombo by Michele Valva. The society was organized to assist the Italian immigrants in their new country. In 1913, the membership voted to become the new Loggia Cristoforo Colombo # 168 in a national organization, the Order Sons of Italy in America. This was the first lodge organized in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Many of the Worcester organizers helped form the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. Members of the first Grand Council included Worcester Lodge members: Assistant Grand Venerable Gaetano Cuccaro, Grand Financial Secretary Giuseppe DeMarco, and Grand Trustee Salvatore Bello.
Venerables of the Lodge: Pasquale Cuccaro, Pasquale Bertone, John J. Bello, Ignazio Colombo, Josephj Toscano, Domenic Conto, Alfred Molinari, Hon. Robert Robert Scola, Frank Astrella, James DiGiorno, Armand Monfreda, and Arthur Porcaro.
National Delegates: Pasquale Bertone, John J. Bello, Ignazio Colombo and Arthur Porcaro.
State Officers: Gaetano Cuccaro, Giuseppe DeMarco, Salvatore Bello, Felix Scricco, Joseph Toscano, and Ignazio Colombo.
The Worcester Boys Junior Lodge was organized in 1946. Arthur Porcaro was the first president.
Lodge Princess Maria Gabariella # 313
Formerly the Constanza Vittoria and Princess Yolanda Lodges.
In 1900, a group of Italian women under the leadership of Mrs. Joseph DeMarco and Mrs. Maria Gentelesco decided to form a ladies club. They had meetings in various homes and after a few years became a part of the Order Sons of Italy. It was the first organization of Italian women to be founded not only in Worcester, but in the United States. In the beginning, lodge meetings were held in both Italian and English.
The two ladies lodges merged into one and decided upon the new name of Princess Maria Gabriella in honor of the newly born daughter of Prince Umberto of Italy.
In the intervening years many of the members gave their time and energy to maintain the high standards of its founders. In 1950 the lodge celebrated its Golden Jubilee and had a membership of over 500.
Venerables of the Lodge: Rosina DeMarco, Mary Bellomo, Mamie Vendeitti, Isabella Molinari, Marie Fretelli, Anna Scricoo, Cesidia DelSignor, Erminia Zamarro, Angela Capuano, Emma Poti, Anna Toscano, Dr. Italia D'Argenis Granata, Angela Gianuzzi, Clementina Ursoleo, Rae Elia, Minnie Trafecante, Gladys T. Bello, Lillian Fiorentino, Catherina Razzano, Mrs. Ralph Porcaro, Angela DiMauro and Rose Porcaro.
In 1933, the Princess Maria Gabriella Lodge organized the Worcester Girls Junior Lodge. Rose Bronzo was the first president.
In 1940, Dr. Joseph Grande organized the Worcester Girls and Boys Junior Drum Corp.
Worcester Lodge # 168
In 1982, the Cristoforo Colombo and Princess Maria Gabriella lodges merged into the Worcester Lodge # 168.
The first president of newly merged lodge was Arthur Porcaro, followed by Anthony Vigliotti, Rose Porcaro, Carmelita Bello, Michael Sacco, Mary Ann Bello, Kevin Mercadante, and Donna Giuiliani.
Arthur Porcaro- National Delegate
Carmelita Bello - National Recording Secretary, National Delegate, Budget Committee.
Louis Algieri - Trustee
Anthony Vigliotti - Trustee
Carmelita Bello - Trustee, State Recording Secretary, State Orator, State 1st Vice-President, Chairman - State Membership Commission
Mary Ann Bello - Trustee, Benefit Insurance Commissioner
The first Columbus Day celebration occurred in 1934. The Columbus Day Parade was also organized the same year.
The first issue of the National Sons of Italy newspaper was printed in Worcester by Alfred Marcello. Brother Marcello a member of the Worcester Lodge was national director of the OSIA news.
In 1958, the Worcester Lodge # 168 began the Achievement Banquet recognizing an Italian American in the community for their contributions. This award is given during the Columbus Day celebration. The tradition continues to occur annually.