By CAROL COMEGNO
The Battleship New Jersey Memorial and Museum has received a $50,000 donation from the Grand Lodge Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons of New Jersey.
The state group also refurbished the quarters formerly used by executive officers on the historic ship.
The lodge presented a check for $50,000 last week to the Home Port Alliance, the nonprofit coalition that operates the ship as a museum on the Camden Waterfront.
Norman Matthews, project chairman for the Masons, said Adm. William "Bull" Halsey, one of the admirals who used the New Jersey as a flagship, was a Mason as were several of the other officers.
"We wanted to carry on the Masonic tradition," said Matthews.
He said the state lodge plans to contribute at least $25, 000 a year to further restoration of the nation's most decorated battleship.