Thomas B. Whaley was born June 23, 1907, in Houston, Texas, the son of Samuel E. and Jessie Givens Whaley. In 1912, as he approached school age, Brother Whaley’s family moved into the Birmingham area, where he attended elementary schools in Birmingham and Warrior, Alabama, and graduated from Warrior Senior High School. Also, he attended special classes to study sales and store management. Brother Whaley was employed as manager of a chain grocery store before accepting employment with United States Steel Corporation, where he learned the trade of “Die-Setter”. Later, he became Labor Foreman and Relief Foreman, Cleaning Lines and Shear Lines. He retired as Director of Packaged Products, Cold Reduction Department, with a record of 42 years of continuous service.
Brother Whaley met Miss Laura Mae McDonald, of Birmingham, Alabama, and they were married May 2, 1931. They have two children, one daughter, Mrs. Dorothy M. Shields and one son, James T. Whaley, both of Birmingham. He is a charter member of Parkview Baptist Church where he formerly taught the Intermediate Sunday School Class.
Brother Whaley began his service to Masonry thirty years ago when he was accepted and initiated an Entered Apprentice of King Hiram Lodge No. 774, Birmingham, on August 20, 1945. He was Passed to the Degree of Fellowcraft September 3, 1945 and, fourteen days later, on September 17, 1945, he was raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason. He served through the Chairs of King Hiram Lodge No. 774 and was installed Worshipful Master in June 1953. In 1955, he accepted the duties and responsibilities of Instructor and Director of the Ritualistic work of King Hiram Lodge, a position he served for four years.
In 1959, Most Worshipful Grand Master Gordon L. Evatt gave him his first Grand Lodge Appointment. He was appointed Assistant Lecturer of the Thirteenth Masonic District. He served Grand Lodge Appointments continuously from that time until he was elected Junior Grand Warden in November 1974. Among his many appointments, he served as a District Lecturer; a member of the Committee on Work, as Grand Marshal for Most Worshipful Grand Master James W. Cooper and as Chairman of the “Pennies Program” of the Alabama Masonic Home Endowment Fund.
Brother Whaley was elected and served as Senior Grand Warden in 1975 and was elevated to the exalted office of Grand Master of Masons in Alabama on November 19, 1975.
Brother Whaley is a Life member of the Birmingham. Metro York Rite Bodies and is a Life Sponsor of the Knights Templar Eye Foundation. He is, also, a member of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Valley of Birmingham; a member of Bell Ash Chapter No. 156, Order of the Eastern Star and is Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of Rio Grande De Sol, Brazil, near the Grand Lodge of Alabama.
Brother Whaley and his wife, Laura, reside at 4636 Court R, in the City of Birmingham, Alabama. [ALGL PROCEDINGS]