Former CIA director is Masons’ speaker Saturday night

Former CIA director and Under Secretary of the Navy James Woolsey Jr. will be the featured speaker and VIP guest at the Masons black-tie gala after the Battle of Ridgefield reenactment Saturday, April 29.

Woolsey, a national security and energy specialist, headed the CIA from February 1993 to January 1995, and was involved in five years of treaty negotiations with Soviet Union in the 1980s, holding a variety of government positions in the 1970s and ’80s. He was under secretary of the Navy from 1977 to 1979. He’s also been a lawyer, venture capitalist and private sector investor.

Mason Benjamin Hughes Morehead of Ridgefield’s Jerusalem Lodge 49 said in an April 26 email that there are still “a few tickets available” to the $175-per-seat black tie event at Lounsbury House. They can be purchased online at

He also said dinner attendees who have a question for ex-CIA director Woolsey could email it to, with their name and an indication of whether they’d prefer their question to be read anonymously.

The event will include a silent auction of 17th and 18th Century Americana — art, maps, first and second edition books — with the highlight item an early 20th Century oil-on-canvas portrait of George Washington, based on Gilbert Stuart’s well-known 1796 Athenaeum portrait for the first president.

The dinner will feature a “farm to table” menu based on foods that would have been available in the colonies in the 1700s, prepared by award winning chefs, Tyler Anderson of Millwrights Tavern in Simsbury and Luke Venner of The Elm Restaurant in New Canaan.