History of Laurel Wreath Lodge No. 149


Many of us may be aware that Laurel Wreath Lodge has long been involved in the field of local, county and state law enforcement through membership of their officers in our Lodge. This connection started in 1943 when Roland B. Sweitzer, Sr., then unmarried, and his now deceased friend Boyd A. Hamilton of the Prince George's County Police Department were raised by Past Master Lafayette Clinton Donaldson (DeWitt's father). Brother Sweitzer subsequently rose to the position of Chief of Police for Prince George's County before retire in 1975. His successor Brother John W. Rhodes, now retired, is also a Laurel Wreath Lodge member. At present there are nine members from the Prince George's County Police Department.

In addition Brothers Martin M. (Mat) Puncke and Charles Diffendal put in long service on the Maryland State Police. Mat, now deceased, rose to Major. Also two of our brothern have been Laurel Police Officers, one who is on the force at the present time and the other is now a member of the Baltimore City Police. A pretty impressive record!