Return to History of Wilson Lodge

1908-1957 The second 5 decades

SIXTH DECADE, 1908-1917
100 Regular Meetings, 73 Emergent Meetings

On March 17. 1908, a Motion to amend the By-laws was carried, after regular notice had been given, that all officers below the rank of I.G. were to be appointed by the Worshipful Master.

December 10, 1910. W.Bro. D. A. Lynn, the newly installed W.M., presented a set of gavels to the Lodge which were made of wood similar to that used in the construction of King Solomon’s Temple to mark his induction as Worshipful Master.

May 16, 1911. W.Bro. R . Segsworth presented the Lodge with a new Volume of the Sacred Law.

October 17, 1911. Designated as Rising Generation Night, when the younger members of the Lodge occupied the chairs and conferred the degree. V.W.Bro. R. Segsworth was presented with his Grand Lodge Regalia.

November 21, 1911. After Notice of Motion had been given, the Board of General Purposes was increased from 10 to 20 members.

January 12, 1912. Bro. A. T. Darragh, who had been Secretary of the Lodge, presented four wands which he had made for the Officers of the Lodge. These wands are still in use to-day.

January 21, 1913. Three Trustees were appointed to represent the Lodge at the meetings of the new Masonic Temple Corporation -W. Bros. J . S. Simmons, S. N. Hughes, and W. A. MacLaren.

June 13, 1913. W.Bro. W. A. MacLaren and other members of the Lodge paid a fraternal visit to Marion Lodge No. 278 F. and A.M., New York. He was presented with three suitably inscribed bronze gavels on which were attached the Square, Level, and Plumb Rule. These were in turn presented to the Lodge at the regular meeting September 16, 1913, according to the September summons.

December 16, 1913. W.Bro. Harry Minchinton was installed Worshipful Master.
Following the Declaration of War in 1914, on November 17, the Lodge made a donation of $375 to the Belgian Relief Fund. Three members had enlisted for Overseas Service with the First Contingent.

December 14, 1915. A special meeting was held to consider a report of the Masonic Temple Corporation on a proposed new building to be erected on Spadina Road. However, owing to existing conditions, it was decided that the Lodge, while approving the proposal in principle, could not pledge any further support at the present time.

April 18, 1916. Approval was given for the establishment of a Central Masonic Bureau for Toronto through which all applications to all the Toronto Lodges would be dealt with. At the Regular Communication of Grand Lodge in July, 1916, approval was given for the formation of the Toronto Central Masonic Bureau.

December 19, 1916. A Report was received from the Masonic Temple Corporation that they had succeeded in raising $125,000, and that work had commenced on a new building situated at 888 Yonge Street.

December 18, 1917. The Lodge agreed to the arrangement drawn up between the Masonic Hall Trust and the Masonic Temple Corporation and appointed a Committee to review the form of lease being drafted for the Lodges which were to occupy the New Masonic Temple, 888 Yonge Street.

During these war years the Lodge conferred degrees on many members of other lodges who were in training for Overseas Service and stationed in Toronto. In some cases by Special Dispensation all three degrees were conferred at the same meeting.

Over this decade the membership had reached 409 28 having been initiated during 1917. Net assets had grown to $12,202.35.

100 Regular Meetings, 107 Emergent Meetings

These were the post-war years of prosperity with a great increase in membership from 409 to 500 in 1924.

January 15, 1918. The first Regular Meeting was held in the new Masonic Temple.

February 19, 1918. R.W.Bro. F. W. Harcourt, then Deputy Grand Master, was elected an Honorary Life Member with full privileges.

March 19, 1918. Bro. W. G. Rook presented a service flag on which were 52 Maple Leaves representing the members of Wilson Lodge who had enlisted for Active Service.

April 26, 1918. By Special Dispensation Claude V. Weir received all three degrees at this meeting.

January 30, 1919. The Masonic Temple at 888 Yonge Street was dedicated with due and ancient ceremony by M.W.Bro. W. H. Wardrope, Grand Master, and a large company of present and past Grand Lodge Officers.

The year 1919 was probably one of the most interesting and active years in the annals of the Lodge, when W.Bro. Col. George Ross, Toronto’s Postmaster, occupied the Chair of King Solomon. Each meeting whether regular or emergent, 17 in all drew a record attendance. Two such meetings were memorable ones
May 20 was designated as Postal Night when postal employees occupied the chairs and conferred the degrees. The climax, however, came at the November regular meeting when V.W.Bro. Sam Brown initiated his son Allan, and W.Bro. John S. Simmons initiated his son, Ernest S. Then, with W.Bro. George Ross in the Chair, and five of his sons occupying the chairs of Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Junior Deacon, Chaplain, and Inner Guard, his seventh son, William H. Ross, was initiated.

Then, on December 16, 1919, the final regular meeting, the Lodge had a Reception for the 47 of our members who had returned from active service and a Memorial Service for the five members who had paid the supreme sacrifice in World War 1914-1918. The year 1919 was truly a memorable one. Membership had now risen to 450, a net gain of 39 for the year with net assets over liabilities of $15,042.79.

During the years 1920-23. the Lodge continued to interest new members, so that by the end of 1923 a peak membership of 500 was reached.

At the Sixty-seventh Communication of Grand Lodge in 1922 R.W. Bro. Ernest A. Lewis, who was Master in 1912, was elected D.D.G.M. for Toronto Centre District 11B, with the choice for District Secretary falling on W.Bro. Col. George Ross.

At the next Communication of Grand Lodge in July, 1923, another member of the Lodge, although not a Past Master of it, R.W. Bro. A. L. Tinker, was elected D.D.G.M. V.W.Bro. Col. George Ross was appointed Grand Pursuivant and V.W.Bro.Sam Brown, who had been Treasurer of the Lodge for 28 years, was appointed Grand Steward.

At the regular meeting on September 18, 1923, M.W.Bro. W. J . Drope, Grand Master, accompanied by R.W.Bro. A. L. Tinker, D.D.G.M., was present. The Grand Master invested the two newly-appointed members of Grand Lodge with their Grand Lodge Regalia, while the District Deputy presented his predecessor
with his Regalia the gift of the District he had served so well. The years 1924 to 1927 continued to be active years but the brethren began to see the result of the call of the Great Architect of the Universe as the Lodge came into its seventieth year of Masonic Activity.

The Seventieth Anniversary was celebrated on October 18, 1927, with W.Bro. W. A. Drummond presiding. Among the distinguished guests were:

M.W. Bro. John S. Martin – Grand Master
M.W. Bro. Fred W. Harcourt – P.G.M.
M.W. Bro. D. J. Goggin – P.G.M.
R.W. Bro. R. B. Dargavel – D.G.M.
R.W. Bro. Chas. Hamilton – D.D.G.M.
R.W. Bro. W. J. Moore -D.D.G.M.
R.W. Bro. J. B. Nixon – P.D.D.G.M.

Also present were the D.D.G.M. s from Muskoka, Sirncoe, and South Huron Districts and some 50 members from Norfolk Lodge No. 10, Simcoe, the Mother Lodge of M.W.Bro. William Mercer Wilson. According to the register there were 93 Officers and Members and 102 visitors.

At the end of this decade the membership stood at 482, of which number 148 were Life Members. Net assets over liabilities were $20,492.45.

EIGHTH DECADE, 1928-1937
95 Regular Meetings, 66 Emergent Meetings

The first of several annual Theatre Nights was held January 20, 1928, when $477.40 was raised for benevolent work. This was the period of economic depression, and while regular meetings were held, they were mainly to carry on the ritualistic work of the Craft and the Benevolent Work of the Lodge. The year 1932 saw our Seventy-fifth Anniversary, during which W.Bro. Walter A. Carveth occupied the Chair of King Solomon. This anniversary was celebrated on October 18, when M.W.Bro. W. S. Herrington, Grand Master, ably supported by 148 visitors, graced our assembly. This meeting was the occasion also of Past Masters Night when W.Bro. John S. Simmons initiated his son Edmund Wilson Simmons born during the year of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Lodge when his father was the Worshipful Master.

The Grand Master presented Veteran Jubilee Medals fifty years in the Craft to
R.W.Bro. George McLeish
V.W.Bro. Sam Brown
W.Bro. J. D. Bland
Bro. John Alexander
Bro. W. H. Stone

The Worshipful Master then presented each with a silver mounted cane.
A new set of Working Tools was presented by W.Bro. L. B. Campbell acting on behalf of V.W.Bro. R. F. Segsworth.

R.W.Bro. Edmund M. Carleton gave an outline of seventy-five years existence of the Lodge.

April 17, 1934. W.Bro.Church, Norfolk Lodge No. 10, G.R.C. presented the Lodge with a gavel which he had carved from an old table, formerly belonging to our first Grand Master, M.W.Bro. William Mercer Wilson.

September 18, 1934. M.W.Bro. John A. Rowland, Grand Master, on behalf of the Lodge presented R.W.Bro. W. A. Drummond with the Grand Lodge Regalia of Grand Senior Warden.

October 15, 1935. V.W.Bro. Harry Minchinton was presented with Grand Lodge Regalia of Grand Standard Bearer, to which office he had been appointed at Grand Lodge Communication in July.

January 19, 1937. Bro. W. G. Brown on behalf of the A.& A. Scottish Rite, Toronto, presented a sword, suitably inscribed, to the Lodge for the use of the Inner Guard.

Death took a heavy toll in our membership: 85 members passed to the Grand Lodge above during this period.

The membership was now 345, of which number 139 were Life Members; net assets over liabilities, $17,207.84.

NINTH DECADE, 1938-1947
90 Regular Meetings, 59 Emergent Meetings

This decade brings the record within the memory if 212 of our members living at the time of writing.

Members 50 years and over – 23
Members 40-49 years – 34
Members 30-39 years – 66
Members 20-29 years – 34
Members 10-20 years – 55

At the Communication of Grand Lodge in July 1938, M.W.Bro. W. J. Dunlop, Grand Master, appointed W. Llewellyn Lawer to the office of Grand Tyler, the only office in Grand Lodge that could be filled by a Master Mason. On September 20, M.W.Bro. W. J. Dunlop, accompanied by R.W.Bro. H. M. Underhill, D.G.M. Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan, R.W.Bro. Harry L. Martyn, D.D.G.M., and other distinguished visitors, attended the Lodge, when the Grand Master, on behalf of Wilson Lodge, presented Bro. Lawer with his Grand Lodge Regalia.

September 19, 1939. V.W.Bro. Chas. Spanner was presented with Grand Lodge Regalia as Grand Steward, an appointment he had received at the Grand Lodge Communication in July.

October 24, 1939. A group of 20 Scottish Masonic Craftsmen, including a piper and a drummer from St. Catharines and Niagara Districts, occupied the Chairs and conferred the E. A. Degree.

March 18, 1941. M.W.Bro. W. J. Dunlop, P.G.M., and Bro. Rev. W. Harold Young accompanied the Past Masters and took a prominent part in a Memorial Service to our beloved R.W.Bro. Geo. McLeish. The Lodge presented the Masonic Temple Corporation with a Portrait and Regalia of our late R.W.Bro. Geo. McLeish, which hangs on the lodge floor of the Temple -a constant reminder of his service to the Craft.

May 20, 1941. Tyrian Lodge No. 925 Buffalo, renewed their visits with us, and presented a cheque for War Relief.

December 15, 1942. The Eighty-fifth Anniversary. M.W.Bro. R. B. Dargavel accompanied by a large delegation of Grand Lodge Officers, occupied the Chairs and conducted the Installation Ceremony. The Lodge presented the Grand Master with a silver tray as a memento of his visit. W.Bro. G. Dean Maxwell gave a synopsis of the proceedings of Wilson Lodge since its inception in 1857.

September 19, 1944. M.W.Bro. W. J. Dunlop, P.G.M., R.W.Bro. Fred M. Wilmot, D.D.G.M., Toronto District C , and many visitors were in attendance when the Past Grand Master, on behalf of the Lodge, presented V.W.Bro. G. Dean Maxwell with the Grand Lodge Regalia as Grand Director of Ceremonies, Senior Appointment of Grand Lodge, carrying with it membership on the Grand Lodge Committee of General Purposes during his term of office.

May 15, 1945. R.W.Bro. Chas. S. Hamilton, Deputy Grand Master, was elected an Honorary Life Member of Wilson Lodge.

October 16, 1945. V.W.Bro. Harold Gilday was presented with the Grand Lodge Regalia as Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies- an appointment he had received at the Grand Lodge Communication in July.

April 15, 1947. Tyrian Lodge No. 925, Buffalo, again paid a fraternal visit, 65 officers and members being present. W.Bro. Warbus, W.M. of Tyrian Lodge, presented the Lodge with a beautiful United States flag. Fraternal visitations between our two lodges were taking place regularly, building a bond of friendship
that grows stronger with the years.

October 21, 1947. Ninetieth Past Masters Night. There were 70 visitors including R.W.Bro. James P. Maher, D.G.M., many Grand Lodge Officers, the Worshipful Masters, and members of Rising Sun Lodge, Aurora, Vaughan Lodge, Maple, and King Solomon’s Lodge. W.Bro. W. A. Carveth occupied the Chair as Worshipful Master and initiated his son. W. Robertson Carveth.

At the end of this decade the membership had dropped to 293 of which number 92 were Life Members. Death had taken a toll of 84 members during this period. Net assets over liabilities were $18,014.08.

TENTH DECADE, 1948-1957

This brings the work of the Lodge into the memory of all except those members received into the Lodge during the last few years. Death has taken a heavy toll of our members during these years a fact that a lodge which is now celebrating its centenary must recognize. During this period we have lost 74 members to the
Grand Lodge Above

In the lodge membership as of December 1956 we have
1 member over 60 years in the lodge
18 members 50-59 years in the lodge
35 members 40-49 years in the lodge
72 members 30-39 years in the lodge
34 members 20-29 years in the lodge
51 members 10-19 years in the lodge
69 members under 10 years in the lodge
of this number
15 are between 80-89 years of age
44 are between 70-79 years of age
70 are between 60-69 years of age
73 are between 50-59 years of age
78 are under 50.

Visits to and from Tyrian Lodge became more frequent and enjoyable.

On April 18, 1950, the first of several annual Civic Nights was held with an attendance of 215: Brethren from Tyrian Lodge, Buffalo, Rehoboam, and Coronati Lodges; Masters and Wardens of District C, numbering 60; Brethren from City Council, City Hall Staff, Hydro Electric Power Commission, Toronto Hydro Electric
System, Toronto Transit Commission and Leaside Lions’ Club, were received as visitors. The meeting was distinguished by the presence of R.W.Bro. John Dodd, Grand Senior Warden, V.W.Bro. Robert Saunders, Grand Director of Ceremonies, and His Worship the Mayor, City of Toronto our own Bro. Hiram E. McCallum.
V.W.Bro. Robert Saunders was the Speaker at the Fourth Degree.

On September 19, 1950, occurred an outstanding event in the annals of the Lodge when a father and three sons were initiated James M. Cleland, David A. Cleland, Robert M. Cleland, and J. Bryce Cleland.

October 21, 1952. R.W.Bro. Harold A. Jackson, D.D.G.M., on behalf of the Lodge, on the occasion of Past Masters Night, presented V.W.Bro. Crawford M. Cook with the Grand Lodge Regalia of Grand Steward, an office to which he had been appointed at the Communication of Grand Lodge in July.

December 16, 1952. M.W. Bro. James P. Maher, Grand Master, accompanied by a large delegation of Past and Present Grand Lodge Officers, headed the installing Board and installed Hiram E. McCallum as Worshipful Master and invested the other officers.On this occasion 231 Masons were present.

January 20, 1953. A Special Committee was set up to consider plans, ways and means of celebrating the centennial of the Lodge in 1957.

October 19, 1954, was the Fortieth Anniversary of V.W.Bro. Harry Minchinton as a Past Master, he having presided over the affairs of the Lodge as Worshipful Master in 1914, and being our senior living Past Master. On behalf of the Lodge, W.Bro. F. J. McRae made a presentation of an electric razor to our highly esteemed brother.

October 18, 1955. V.W.Bro. G. Dean Maxwell had the honour of presenting to V.W.Bro. Hiram E. McCallum, on behalf of the Lodge, the Grand Lodge Regalia of the Grand Senior Deacon. V.W.Bro. McCallum had been appointed to the office by M.W.Bro. Joseph A. Hearn, Grand Master, at the One Hundredth Communication of Grand Lodge in recognition of his untiring work on the Grand Lodge Committee of Arrangement for the Centennial Celebration held at the Canadian National Exhibition buildings and grounds,

October 16, 1956. On the occasion of the annual Past Masters Night, V.W.Bro. Crawford M. Cook, on behalf of the Lodge, presented V.W.Bro. Wilfred V. McClure with the Grand Lodge Regalia of Grand Pursuivant, to which office he had been appointed at the One Hundred and First Communication of Grand Lodge.