Grand Masters

Grand Master Bennie Avant O’Brien
Title: Grand Master
Year: 1997 - 1998
Home Council: La Marque No. 406

Born in Wichita Falls, Texas, Ben O’Brien was raised in West, Texas, attending schools in Big Spring and Wink.

After a slight interruption called World War II, in which he served on PT Boats in the Pacific Theater, he went to college in Alabama. There he met and married Janet Sightler of Florala, Alabama. They were blessed with four children, daughters, Peggy and Terri Lee and sons, Perry and Michael. Then followed a period of service in the U. S. Air Force.

In 1957, he joined the M. W. Kellogg Co. and started a long career in crane and rigging operations. In 1966, he founded Domac, Inc. in Texas City and added to that in 1998 by founding the Texas School of Cranes. He is an OSHA certified instructor and a member of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

He was raised a Master Mason in Dickinson Lodge No. 1324. He was immediately appointed Chaplain and became Worshipful Master in 1990. While Master he has the signal honor of conferring the Blue Lodge Degrees upon his son, Perry O’Brien. Perry went on to become High Priest and Thrice Illustrious Master of LaMarque Chapter No. 491 and LaMarque Council No. 406. He will serve the Grand Council as Grand Conductor of the Council during 1998. Ben, meanwhile, took a deep interest in Masonic affairs and, in short order, took all the degrees available in both the Scottish and York Rites.

He served Grand Master Tinsley as Assistant State Coordinator in 1994, while filling the Commander’s chair in San Felipe de Austin Commandery No. 1, and acting as District Deputy for Grand High Priest Jack L. Wright. He also served as Sovereign Master of the AMD and Excellent Chief of the Knight Masons that year.

In 1995, he was appointed District Deputy for 31-B by Grand Master Benham.

He became degree master of the 5th degree of the Scottish Rite in 1995 and soon added the 13th degree to his responsibilities. He also works in the 9th, 11th, and 14th degrees. He received the honor of KCCH in 1997 and is presently the Senior Warden of the Chapter of Rose Croix.

Ben O’Brien holds a total of twelve endowed memberships of various bodies and is a member of six Blue Lodges. He is also a member of the Texas Lodge of Research, Quator Coronati, Scottish Rite Research Society, Society of Masonic Rosicrucians, and is an active participant in the affairs of the York Rite Library and Museum of Texas.

He is a member of the Royal Order of Scotland, Red Cross of Constantine, and the Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests. He received the Red Branch of Eri in 1994 and received the Sovereign Order of Knight Preceptor in the charter class. He also holds the Royal Ark Mariner, Knight of Constantinople, Order of the Secret Monitor, and with his wife and two daughters, is a member of the Order of the Eastern Star.

In 1995, he served as the District Deputy Grand Master of the Royal and Select Masters of Texas. He is also a member of the Gulf Coast York Rite College.

Ben O’Brien served Grand Master Robert Walker as a presenter in the Conference Program and helped put together the Warden’s Retreat Program, where he continues to serve.

Ben O’Brien started several years ago to travel the state, at his own expense, giving lectures on “Masonic Symbolism.” He and the crew who work with him are available to any Masonic body, which is interested in a more complete and deeper understanding of the Craft.

He also served as Chairman of the By-Laws Committee in 1996, and as Assistant Grand Marshal in 1996. He served Grand Master Joe Regian as the Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Texas in 1997.

Presently, as a member of the Grand Lodge Committee on Education and Service, he is happily helping the Warden’s Retreat Program meet expectations.

Ben O’Brien also serves as a Representative of the Grand Council, he is deeply involved with preparations for the Warden’s Retreat Program. He also serves the City of Texas City on the Mayor’s Board of Emergency Preparedness.