Where he is known the best is where our new Grand Master is loved and respected the most. This certainly is a compliment to anyone and should make us all proud that we have elected him to serve this exalted station.
Brother Blackwell was born in Frisco City, Monroe County, Alabama, May 11, 1909, the son of William R. Blackwell and Susan V. Whatley Blackwell of that city. He attended the schools of Frisco City and graduated from Frisco City High School and the Mobile Business College. He also attended San Diego State College, San Diego, California. On December 2, 1938 he married Irma Lee Conway, Pensacola, Florida, and they have one son, Leslie Howard Blackwell, a junior partner in Blackwell Automotive Parts Company established by Howard E. Blackwell in 1958, in Satsuma, Alabama.
Brother Blackwell is a member of and active in the First Baptist Church of Satsuma. He has been a participant in civic, cultural and business affairs of the community, serving the Housing Authority of his City, the Industrial Board of his County and was a member of and President of Satsuma’s Town Council (city governing body) for eight years.
He was initiated an Entered Apprentice in Frisco City Lodge 702 F&AM, on October 19, 1944; Passed to the Degree Fellowcraft on October 23, 1944 and Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason on October 26, 1944. He became a Charter Member of Satsuma Lodge 899 on August 18, 1951 and is a Past Master of that Lodge. On November. 15, 1954 he qualified for the coveted Proficiency Certificate in the Alabama Ritual, his score being near perfect. He has served his lodge many years as Treasurer, which office he. now holds. He was appointed District Lecturer for Mobile and Baldwin Counties in November of 1955 and served until 1961, at which time he was promoted to the Committee, on Ritual Work, serving as its Chairman in 1963-64 and remaining on the committee until he was elected Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge in November of 1965. He regularly advanced through the Senior Grand Warden and Deputy Grand Master stations and was elevated to the exalted office of Grand Master of Masons in Alabama on November 20, 1968.
He is currently the Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of Turkey near the Grand Lodge of Alabama. Brother Blackwell was Exalted a Royal Arch Mason on April 15, 1949 in Mobile Chapter 21; Greeted a Royal and Select Master in Mobile Council 12 on April 22, 1949, and was Constituted a Knight Templar in Mobile Commandery No. 2 on May 13, 1949. He became a Charter Member of St. Bernard Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine in Mobile, and later presided as Sovereign. He is a Shriner in Abba Temple, Mobile. He became a Charter Member of Satsuma Chapter 515, Order of Eastern Star, serving as Worthy Patron from 1954 to 1957. Thus you will determine that Masonry in Southwest Alabama in particular and in the whole State in general, has felt the touch of Howard Blackwell for the past two decades.
Fraternal associates will avouch for the fact that Brother Blackwell is a dedicated Mason, always ready to give freely of himself and his time to promote Masonry, thereby rendering service to God, country and fellowman. He has a deep and abiding faith that this endeavor will help to make this great land a better place in which to live and inspire others to keep the laws of the Supreme Architect of the Universe and show forth His praise in the world.
His tenure as Grand Master can only mature him in the faith, hope and charity begun in his early Masonry and continued to the very gateway of the venerable duty he now discharges as Alabama’s leading Mason.