Princeton – Harland Samuel Hitchings, 95, passed away surrounded by his family on Saturday, September 30, 2017 at a Bangor hospital. Harland was born in Bangor on January 13, 1922, son of the late Samuel and Katharine (Merrill) Hitchings. He graduated from Orono High School, Higgins Classical Institute, and the University of Maine in Orono.
On June 4, 1944 he married Charlotte Estelle Magoon. He was employed by Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife for twelve years as a Game Warden. He later went into business for himself as Hitchings TV and Electrical. He became a Coordinator for the Safety Division of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in 1976 and was responsible for Washington and Hancock Counties, certifying thousands of students in the Hunter Safety Course. Harland retired after 55 years of service. Harland owned and operated Hitchings Apiary for several years, using the bees for pollination on blueberry fields in Washington County.
Brother Hitchings was raised a Master Mason in Lewy’s Island Lodge #138 in Princeton on April 6, 1955 and served as Master of the Lodge in 1980, 1999 and 2000. He was Chaplain from 1981 – 1994 and was chosen Mason of the Year for the 2nd Masonic District in 1989. He is an Honorary member of St. Croix Lodge #46, Eastern Lodge #7, Washington Lodge #37, Crescent Lodge #78, Eureka #84 and Blazing Star Lodge #30 in Rumford. Harland is also a member of Sussex Lodge in St. Stephen, NB. Brother Hitchings was appointed and served as District Representative for 1981-82; Grand Sword Bearer in 1981; Grand Senior Deacon 1982-83, District Deputy Grand Master 1984-85; Grand Senior Warden 1986, Assistant Grand Lecturer 1991. He was elected Deputy Grand Master 1992-93, and elected and installed Grand Master in 1994 and 1995. Brother Hitchings was appointed Grand Representative to Santa Catarina, Brazil, near the Grand Lodge of Maine on June 11, 1984. In January 1996 he was appointed Grand Representative to the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia by M.W. Gordon F. Conrad. He has served on several Grand Lodge Committees, including Photography, Doings of Grand Lodge Officers, Public Relations, Prevention of Drug & Alcohol Abuse among Children, and is a Trustee for the Grand Lodge Charity Fund. He was a member of the Grand Lodge Speakers Bureau, Grand Lodge Finance Committee, Chairman of the Child Identification Program and Chairman of the Computer Committee.
He was exalted a Royal Arch Mason in St. Croix Chapter #17 in March 1977, and was Excellent High Priest 1982, 83 and 84, District Deputy Grand High Priest 1989, 90 and 91, and Grand Scribe of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter in 1992 and Grand Representative to the Grand Chapter of South Australia. Harland was anointed in Maine Order of the High Priesthood and Member of Maine Council of Thrice III. Masters, Greeted a Royal and Select Master in St. Croix Council #11, and Illustrious Master in 1987. He was Knighted in Hugh De Paynes Commandery #11 K.T. in 1977, Commander 1987, 88, 89 and 90 and Knighted in Tammerlane Conclave #4, Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine. He was elected on March 7, 1987 to the Past Officers Assoc. Maine #1, Member of the Cross and Crown Tabernacle #L111, member of Maine College Societas Rosicruciana Holy Royal Arch Knights Templar Priest, Pine Tree Priory #65, Knights of the York Cross of Honor, Maine Chapter of Knights Preceptor, Pine Cone Council #31, Oxford Lodge #1 Ark Mariners, Lodge Research Member of the Dirigo York Rite College #103, and served as President of the Past Commanders Assoc. in 1991.
Brother Hitchings is a member of the Scottish Rite of Bangor and a 32 Degree member of Maine Consistory Valley of Portland.
Most Worshipful Harland Samuel Hitchings was created a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33 Degree and honorary member of the Supreme Council Northern Masonic Jurisdiction in Milwaukee, WI on October 3, 1995.
He became a member of Anah Temple in Bangor on June 14, 1976; Assistant to the Potentate; Anah Temple’s Past Master’s Degree Team; Past President of Washington County Shrine Club; Past President of Schoodic Shrine Club; and also a member of Orion Chapter #45 Order of the Eastern Star.
Brother Hitchings is a Past Master of the Princeton Grange, Past President of the Lion’s Club, Past President of the Men’s Club, and Past President of the Rod and Gun Club of Princeton. He was an avid Amateur Radio Operator Licensee, Past President of the International Repeater Group of Maine and New Brunswick, and Past President of the St. Croix Valley Radio Club. He also served as Fire Chief for the Princeton Fire Department for several years.
His fishing days have been many, and he still enjoyed hunts but with a camera instead of a gun. Harland was a member of Princeton Congregational Church and was baptized in the Congregational Church in Burlington.
Most recently Harland received the Boston Cane from the Town of Princeton, Employee of the Year Award for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from Washington Academy Trustees.
In addition to his parents, Harland was predeceased by his beloved wife Charlotte in 1999; a sister Margaret; and a brother Charles. Surviving are his two children, David Hitchings and wife Gloria of Ft. Myers, FL, and Katharine Lloyd and husband Leonard of Alexander; grandchildren Stephen Scott Vose and wife Anita, Matthew Vose, Amanda Hitchings, Thomas Folsom and companion Janet Chamberlin, Erik Lloyd and wife Danielle, and Robyn Leighton and husband Justin; great-grandchildren, Azelia, Skye, Ethan, Aiden, Brianna, Brayden, Madyson, Jerrod and wife Cindy, and Lincoln and wife Amy; several nieces and nephews; and his very devoted companion, Mary Donovan of Calais.
Visiting hours will be held 6-8 p.m. Monday, October 2, 2017 at Mays Funeral Home, 26 Church St., Calais. A Masonic Funeral Service will be held 1 p.m. Tuesday, October 3 at Calais United Methodist Church, 849 Main St., Calais, followed by a service by Pastors Ray Morse and Mark Rustin. Burial will take place in Calais Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in Harland’s memory may be made to the Princeton Rod & Gun Club, PO Box 154, Princeton, ME 04668, or Princeton Congregational Church, 77 Main St., Princeton, ME 04668.