This page is the portal into our "Brother Profiles" feature from the Lake Harriet Lodge Herald. Here you can read short articles about some of the brothers of our lodge.
Bro. Ted Melander
In our inaugural Brother Profile it is only right we should honor our retiring Herald editor and say "Thanks brother, we'll take it from here!" Bro. Ted was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason in 1992 at the age of sixty-five. The following tribute was written by M. W. Grand Master Thomas Jackson in Fall of 2008.
In this day of heightened security, our Bro. Melander reminds me of a more clear-headed time, when young boys would bring their fishing rods or shotguns to school each day and lean them safely in the corner by the door. A cause for alarm? No, merely the tools of a boy becoming a man: both a protector and provider. Men of a certain age will remember a childhood free of worries over such things. Lessons of North Woods virtue were instilled into their very being.
I remember working on a repair project at the Lodge, with Ted. He was busy whittling at something with the knife he kept at his side, "always prepared", as he explained. I asked if I might borrow it for a quick cut. Rather than giving me the one he was using, he pulled out of his pocket another knife. Then a third, giving me a choice. Ever the scout, Ted walks through life more prepared than most.
You see, at an early age, Ted learned five "R"s instead of three, with Responsibility and Reverence joining Reading, 'Riting and 'Rithmatic as the output of a good primary school. In a teaching method little different from that used in "the old country" hundreds of years earlier, men of Bro. Melander's stature learned the difference between Goofus and Gallant, and why one would emulate Gallant. Or Washington. Or Percival, with a little bit of Huck Finn tossed in for amusement. I'm certain there were many lucky afternoons when Ted walked home and spotted a prize turkey, or an inviting stream where the fish were jumping, and thus was able to surprise his family as a very real bread winner that day.
For most of his life, until his recent bout with Macular Degeneration, Ted had a woodsman's keen eye, and used his skills and intellect to define a career as one of the finest munitions experts Minnesota has produced. His engineering and ballistics skills led him to a position on the design and testing team for the big guns on the M1 Abrams tank and on Navy ships.
Ted's childhood experiences, the backbone forged as a self-reliant youth who never forgot his rugged Finlander roots, became the strength that defined his career, made him a loving husband and father, a doting grandfather, a man of faith, a beloved Boy Scout leader, and a devoted Freemason.
Ted has enjoyed a profound love of poetry all his days, with Kipling, Dante, Browning and Macaulay bubbling up like an unceasing spring. While attending to the most innocuous of tasks, or when exchanging pleasantries with a friend, Ted would burst into a recalled stanza, quoting some page from the depths of his memory, mined from the great Canon of Western Literature - "All the wonder and wealth of the mine in the heart of one gem..." Ted's adoration for literature and great thoughts that may only, fully, be expressed by poetry has often made us ask ourselves that question - Quo Vadis? Where are you going?
Canon and cannons - two potent elements that have defined our faithful brother all his life. He has been a marvelous editor of our newsletter, a good Mason and a great friend. To him we dedicate this edition of the new Lake Harriet Lodge Herald, in recognition of his many years of inspiration and service.