| The Doric Lodge No. 382 G. R. C. A. F. & A. M.
||Chapter 1: The Beginning
On the death of M.W. Bro. William Mercer Wilson, the first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Canada, who held office from 1855-1859, and from 1866-1869, and again from 1872 until his death on January 16, 1875, the Deputy Grand Master R. Wor. Bro. James K. Kerr became Acting Grand Master.
One of his first acts as Acting Grand Master was the granting of a dispensation to "Eden Lodge of London".
The brethren working under this dispensation at the Annual Communication held in London, Ontario in July 1875 petitioned for a Warrant.
The Board of General Purpose in its reporting to grand Lodge recommended that a Warrant be not granted but that the Grand Master be requested to issue his dispensation authorizing the officers and brethren named therein to pass and raise those already initiated in the Lodge.
Grand Lodge adopted that portion of the report.
R.W. Bro. Kerr was duly elected Grand Master, and intimated to the District Deputy of the London District that he was prepared to issue a dispensation in the terms of the report at any time, upon delivery to the Grand Secretary of the dispensation then in the hands of "Eden Lodge" and upon a return being made of the work done thereunder. The opposition to the granting of the warrant had emanated from the brethren who had satisfied the Board that it was not in the interest of the Craft to favour another lodge in London at that time.
The Grand Master learned that a meeting of "Eden Lodge" had been called for the purpose of initiating a candidate, and at once instructed the Grand Secretary to forbid the Worshipful Master holding the meeting.
The meeting was held and the candidate initiated.
The Grand Master subsequently met the brethren of "Eden Lodge" and repeated that upon the surrender of the dispensation granted, he would issue a new one in the terms prescribed by Grand Lodge. The dispensation was not surrendered, although the Grand Secretary, upon instructions from the Grand Master, formally applied for the same.
On February 7, 1876, the Grand Master was again requested to issue a dispensation, either general in its terms, or at all events extending its operation until the next Communication of Grand Lodge; this request was refused.
Three days later, on February 10, 1876, a declaration of incorporation of "The Grand Lodge of Ontario" was made by five of the brethren who had been most energetic in the demand for a warrant.
When the Grand Master was apprised of the declaration of incorporation, he forthwith issued an edict, suspending the brethren named in the declaration and all others connected with this so-called Grand Lodge.
The interested reader will find these events dealt with at great length in the History of the Grand Lodge of Canada in the province of Ontario, pages 133-135, 137-139, 151-152 and page 179.
This so-called Grand Lodge had a very short and undistinguished life, being recognized by only one grand jurisdiction, and that recognition was withdrawn when the facts of its formations were made known.
At the Annual Communication of Grand Lodge held in Kingston in 1879, Grand Master Weller announced that the so-called Grand Lodge of Ontario had ceased to exist and that the formalities for its extinction had been complied with.
All these events, while taking place from 1875 to July, 1879, and at some distance from Hamilton, nevertheless led to the formation of what we now know as The Doric Lodge A.F. & A.M. No. 382, G.R.C.
One of the constituent lodges of this so-called or clandestine Grand Lodge of Ontario was situated in Hamilton, Mount Sinai Lodge No. 20.
On the dissolution of this so-called Grand Lodge, the former members of Mount Sinai Lodge No. 20 found themselves deprived of all rights and privileges of Ancient Freemasonry, and could not have any communication with any regular Mason, or Masonic body.
Informal meetings between members of regular Masonic Lodges and former members of Mount Sinai Lodge were held, but unfortunately no records of these meetings appear to exist. These meetings, of course, were held for the purpose of admitting or re-admitting members of Mount Sinai Lodge into Ancient Free and Accepted Masonry.
A petition was drawn up reading as follows:
To the M.W. Grand Master of the fraternity of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of Canada.
We, the undersigned, being regularly registered Masons of the lodges mentioned against our respective names having the prosperity of the Craft at heart, are anxious to exert our best endeavours to promote and diffuse the genuine principles of the art; and for the convenience of our respective dwellings and other good reasons, we are desirous of forming a new lodge to be named Unity. In consequence of this desire, we pray for a warrant of constitution, empowering us to meet as a regular lodge at Hamilton in the County of Wentworth, on the Third Monday of every month, and there to discharge the duties of masonry, in a constitutional manner according to the forms of the Order and the laws of Grand Lodge' and do recommend Brother W. L. Smith to be the first mater, Brother B. Schram to be the first Senior Warden, and Brother A. Goforth to be the first Junior Warden of the said lodge. The prayer of this petition being granted we promise strict obedience to the commands of the Grand Master, and the laws and regulations of the Grand Lodge.
This petition was signed by -
W. L. Smith
||The Barton Lodge 6
||St. John's 40
N. J. Dingman
|Prince Edward 18
J. .J. Mason
|Strict Observance 27
R. L. Gunn
|Strict Observance 27
|St. John's 40
|Temple Lodge 324
|The Barton Lodge 6
|Stict Observance 27
|The Barton Lodge 6
The petition having received approval of the Constitutional number of lodges required, there in this case, as there were, at that time, but five Masonic Lodges in Hamilton. A letter dated November 29, 1879, addressed to James A Henderson Esq. Q.C., from Johathan M. Meakins, D.D.G.M. Hamilton District, reads in part -
A petition for the formulation of a new lodge, ostensibly for the purpose of healing such parties as may be acceptable of the Members of the lodge called Mount Sinai working in this City under the so-called G.L. of O.
W. Bro. R. L. Gunn Immediate Past Master of the lodge of Strict Observance No. 27 to be the first Master and Bro. Geo. Midgley of Acacia Lodge No. 61 to be the first J.W. and that the name of the lodge be changed from Unity to Doric.
It will be noted that in the petition W. L. Smith was to be the first Worshipful Master and Alexander Goforth to be the first Junior Warden, but in the letter to the Grand Master it was stated that Worshipful Bro. R. G. Gunn was to be the first Worshipful Master and Bro. G. Midgley to be the first Junior Warden. It was felt that the latter two would prove to be more suitable than the two principal officers mentioned in the petition.
No Reason is given for the change in the name of the new lodge from Unity to Doric. Unity, it would seem, was an appropriate name for the new lodge, probably inspired by the first verse of the 133rd Psalm which reads "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" or perhaps in the original version of the saying "In unity there is strength", referring, of course, to the unity of the former members of the now defunct Mount Sinai Lodge.
Strength may have been the uppermost thought in the minds of the majority of the brethren of the three lodges that gave their approval for the formation of the new lodge' if this were the case, of the three most celebrated of the noble orders of architecture, Doric is the strongest and representing strength it is reasonable to assume that Doric was a popular choice.
This writer leaves that thought with the reader to form his own conclusions.
On December 9, 1879, our Grand Master wrote a letter addressed to:
J. .J. Mason, Esq.
Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. of Canada
Dear Sir & R. W. Brother;
On the recommendation of R.W. Bro. Meakins, the D.D.G.M. of the Hamilton District of Strict Observance No. 27, of Acacia No. 61 and of Temple No. 324, let a dispensation be issued, authorizing the brethren whose names are subscribed to the amended Petition to meet as a lodge until the Warrant of Constitution shall be granted by the Grand Lodge, subject however, to the following alterations in the Petition:
The new lodge to be called "The Doric"; W. Bro. R. L. Gunn to be the first Master, Bro. George Midgely to be the first Junior Warden.
I remain yours fraternally,
John A. Henderson.
The Grand Secretary on instruction from the Grand Master issued a Dispensation dated December 11, 1879.
The first regular meeting of the Doric Lodge U.D. was held in the lodge room on James Street North, Hamilton on Monday evening, December 15, 1879.
The first officers of the new lodge were as follows:
*Later R.W. Bro. Ralph Lemin Gunn.
||*W. Bro. Ralph Leming Gunn
||Bro. Burwell Schram
||Bro. George Midgley
||Bro. F. N. Tennant
||Bro. Charles Hunter
||Bro. Will J. Vale
||Bro. R. E. Gallagher
|Director of Ceremonies
||Bro. John McKenna
||Bro. John K. Knott
||Bro A. Blakeslee
||Bro. George H. Lanigan
||Bro. Harry Simon
||Bro W. W. Summers
Of the above mentioned officers the three principal officers and the Secretary were the only officers to occupy their chairs that evening as all other officers were former members of Mount Sinai Lodge with the exception of the Tyler. The officers who were formerly members of Mount Sinai Lodge were not admitted to membership in The Doric Lodge until early in the year 1880.
The Tyler, a member of The Barton Lodge No. 6, did not affiliate with The Doric Lodge until much later.
The Doric Lodge No. 382, in the opinion of the write, has the most colourful beginning of any lodge in the three Hamilton Districts, as no lodge prior to, or subsequent to the year 1879, was formed for the same purpose, that purpose being, the healing of such parties as may be acceptable of the members of the lodge called Mount Sinai working in the this city under the so-called G. L. of O.
||Chapter 2: The Early Years
On December 15, 1879, A.D. 5879, A.L. the third Monday of the month, The Doric Lodge held its first regular meeting under dispensation granted by the Grand Master Most Wor. Bro. James A. Henderson, of the Grand Lodge of Canada.
Ten members and ten visitors attended that first meeting.
Thirty-five applications for affiliation were received from former members of Mount Sinai Lodge, a constituent lodge of the so-called Grand Lodge of Ontario.
The Worshipful Master and his two Wardens, and the Secretary were the only officers to occupy their chairs as all the other officers, with the exception of the Tyler, who was a member of The Barton Lodge No. 6 and had not yet affiliated with The Doric Lodge, were all formerly members of Mount Sinai Lodge and were not admitted to membership until early in the year 1880.
According to available records no degrees were conferred until June 21, 1880 when they Entered Apprentice Degree was conferred on Mr. Benjamin Lewis.
On July 17, 1880, John T. Bronson a Fellowcraft, formerly of Mount Sinai, received the degree of Master Mason.
On September 20, 1880, Archibald Spera, an Entered Apprentice who was a former member of Mount Sinai Lodge, received the degree of Fellowcraft. There is no record of Bro. Spera receiving the degree of Master Mason.
At the twenty-fifth Annual Communication of Grand Lodge, held at Guelph on July 13, 1880, The Doric Lodge was granted its Charter, being denominated No. 382 on the Register of Grand Lodge.
The original By-Laws were formed in 1880, adopted by the lodge on October 18, 1880, and approved by the Grand Master, Most Wor. Bro. J. A. Henderson on November 11, 1880. The By-Laws remain basically the same as when they were adopted in 1880, but they have been revised fourteen times, the last revision taking place on July 29, 1976, and completely reprinted in September, 1978.
Our first set of jewels was presented to Saskatchewan Lodge, Manitoba in the year 1884.
In June, 1884 our Lodge sponsored its first picnic to the Brant House. Picnics for many years were an annual event and most were held locally, but the writer recalls one picnic, a father and son picnic, sponsored by the Lodge, held at Queenston Heights; due no doubt to the automobile and many families spending the weekends at summer cottages, we have not sponsored a picnic for the past few years.
The past Masters' Reunion, an annual event in the life of our Lodge, was inaugurated by Wor. Bro. Thomas Smith, Worshipful Master 1894-1895. The Past Masters conferring a degree, usually at the regular meeting in March, it has been held without interruption every year since 1895.
It would appear that in the early years of this century and extending to mid-century, The Doric Lodge members have been interested in the formation of new Lodges, members of our Lodge who have been Charter members of Lodges formed since 1879 are as follows;
|St. Andrews Lodge
At the regular monthly meeting on November 20, 1905, the first meeting of the three "Dorics" was held, our Lodge, The Doric No. 382, being the host Lodge. There were 95 from Doric Lodge No. 121, Brantford; 75 from Doric Lodge No. 316, Toronto; 120 of our own members and over 100 from other Hamilton lodges. In all 400 members were present on that occasion; a medallion was struck to mark this historic occasion.
Further reunions were held in Toronto October 21, 1909, and in Brantford on March 15, 1912.
In 1967 a reunion of seven Doric Lodges was held at our regular meeting on October 21. Members of the following "Doric" Lodges were our guests:
Over 200 attended that meeting.
In 1906 our By-Laws were revised to provide for the Committee on General Purposes, and the organizing of a Posting Committee.
Since January, 1914, each candidate, after receiving his Master Mason's Degree, has been presented with a copy of the Volume of the Sacred Law.
It was the custom for several years to issue a booklet containing Officers' Reports and Directory. The Directory for the years 1916-1917, gives the dates of the meetings from August, 1916 to August, 1917; thirteen meetings in all, and no summer recess.
The officers for the year and the various committees, the chairman and the members of the various committees, are also given.
The Past Masters are listed and of the thirty-five Past Masters listed, seven are life members and the other eight listed are honorary life members.
The Secretary's report comes next. Twelve meetings and two emergent meetings were held, one for the purpose of attending a funeral of our late Brother Gabriel Belanger.
The other emergent meeting was held for the purpose of conferring seven Second Degrees, and six master Mason's Degrees. One of the brethren to receive the Fellowcraft Degree is now one of our Past Masters, V. Wor. Bro. W. H. Wallace.
A number of these degrees were conferred by special dispensation as the brethren had enlisted for overseas service, with the Canadian Armed Forces during the war 1914-1918.
The death of the first Junior Warden George Midgley was listed on the Death Roll. He moved away from Hamilton many years before and died on July 28, 1915. On March 19, 1906, he was elected an honorary life member. Five deaths were recorded in the report including the death of Bro. George Orme McNiar, Bro. McNair held the rank of Captain and was killed in action on May 1, 1916.
The name of twenty-two of our Lodge members who joined the Canadian Army are also given.
Twenty applications for membership were made during the year 1916-1917. During that period fifteen were initiated, eleven passed, and ten raised and seven brethren affiliated; one from a Hamilton Lodge, one from a Lodge in Saskatchewan, one from a Lodge in Pennsylvania, one from an English Lodge and two from Lodges in Scotland. Net membership as of June 30, 1916 was four hundred and five; receipts for the year ending June 30, 1916, exceeded expenses by $1656.92.
Past Master's Reunion - the report on the past Master's Reunion reads as follows:
"The Past Masters held their reunion on March 20 and in a very credible manner conferred the First Degree on Bro. William Hilton Wallace."
The brother on whom the First Degree was conferred is now V.W. Bro. William Hilton Wallace who was Worshipful master of our Lodge in 1923.
The first Doric Lapel Pin for proficiency in all three degrees was presented to Wor. Bro. E. E. Walker in 1917. These pins are usually presented to brethren, who prove their proficiency, by the Worshipful Master at the December meeting.
Due to the influenza epidemic of 1918, at the request of the Medical Officer for Health, the regular meeting scheduled for October 21, was cancelled. This is the only regular meeting in 100 years that a meeting of our Lodge has been cancelled.
The Doric Lodge orchestra which played as well in the banquet room after all our regular meetings and special events was organized in March, 1919, but was disbanded in the late 1960's.
Prior to 1920 it was the custom for our lodges to meet twelve times for regular meetings. The elections being held in June, but in that year the elections were held in December with Installations at the regular meeting in January. In 1920 the Lodge closed for a recess for the months of July and August.
During our one hundred years of active existence there have been six anniversary celebrations.
In December, 1900 we celebrated our Twenty-first Anniversary.
In December, 1919 our Fortieth anniversary was observed. Most Wor. Bro.W. D. McPherson, representing the Grand Master; Most Wor. Bro. F.W. Harcourt was our guest of honour.
The ruling Grand Master Most Wor. Bro. R. B. Dargavel honoured us with his presence on the occasion of our Fiftieth Anniversary celebrated in December, 1929.
The Sixtieth Anniversary was celebrated in November, 1939. Rt. Wor. Bro. Don Henshaw on this occasion was our guest of honour. It was an outstanding event and all present enjoyed themselves to the fullest.
The Seventy-Fifth Anniversary was celebrated in October, 1954. The guest of honour on that occasion being Rt. Wor. Bro. G. H. Gleghorn.
This anniversary was another time for rejoicing.
Chapter 3: The Later Years
We have been fortunate in having other Lodges visit us, and having other Lodges extend invitations to visit them.
Evidently we exchanged visits with High Park Lodge No. 531, Toronto. They presented a gavel in the form of a heavy setting maul, but no date appears on the silver plate on the gavel. Enquiries have been made regarding the circumstances involving the presentation, but unfortunately no replies have been received.
We also have a Master's Collar which was presented to us by Brant Lodge No. 45, Brantford, on Monday, February 19, 1912, on the occasion of a fraternal visit; again enquiries were made regarding the circumstances concerning this presentation, but no information has been forthcoming.
In 1936 The Doric Lodge No. 121 visited us formally and since that year they have visited us every fall and we have returned the visit in the spring. These inter-lodge visits have continued without interruption for over forty years and we hope that when our 200th anniversary rolls around it can be said that these inter-lodge visits have continued for over 143 years.
The Doric Lodge also exchanges visits with Alden Lodge No. 594 F. & A.M. of Alden, NY. These visits commenced in 1946 and were terminated during the time of the United States was with Korea, as Alden Lodge lost so many members due to enlistments in the U.S. Armed Forces.
May 1, 1954 marked the first time that Niagara Lodge No. 375, F. & A.M., Lockpart, NY visited us formally. These visits were on an annual basis. They would visit us in the spring and we would return the visit in the fall. We continued on that basis until 1967 when attendance fell off somewhat and decided to make visits bi-annually. Niagara Lodge visits us one year, we visit them the following year.
Many lasting friendships have been formed as a result of these visits and our earnest hope is that these inter-lodge visits will continue.
Our regular meeting, the first held after the summer recess, was held in the lodge room on James Street North on Monday, September 16, 1968.
Business was held as usual and as we left none even imagined that this would be the last meeting that our Lodge would hold there.
On September 20, 1968 a fire occurred and gutted the building. It was a great loss to all Hamilton Lodges which held their meetings there.
On October 21, 1968, we held our meetings in Buchanan Hall on Upper James Street, just north of Fennell Avenue.
At this meeting the Square Club of International Harvester Canada, as a tribute and memorial to our late brother very Wor. Bro. Percy T. Wood, a Past Grand Steward, presented our Lodge with a Trowel, suitably inscribed
This meeting held on October 21, 1968 marked the first occasion on which our Lodge held a regular meeting at a location other than the lodge room on James Street North.
We continued to meet in the lodge room at Buchanan Hall until our first regular meeting on January 15, 1973. This was the last regular meeting of our Lodge and the last Installation of our Officers in that Lodge Room.
On February 12, 1973 our regular monthly meeting was held in the lodge room at Stoney Creek.
The year 1973 may well be a year of "firsts".
Our regular monthly meeting held on February 12, 1973 marked the first occasion that a regular monthly meeting of our Lodge was held in a lodge room beyond the limits of the City of Hamilton. This regular monthly meeting to be held as a regular occurrence on the second Monday of the month.
At our installation Ceremony in January, 1973 Bro. The Rev. Arthur W. Watson was installed as Worshipful Master; this was the first time that an ordained minister of the United Church of Canada was elected to that position.
During Wor. Bro. Watson's tenure of office as Immediate Past Master, he was appointed Grand Chaplain; he was the Rt. Wor. Bro. Watson.
We continued to meet in Stoney Creek lodge room on the second Monday of the month until the completion of the Central Masonic Temple of Main Street East in Hamilton.
Land for the erection of the Central Masonic Temple was purchased and in the spring of 1975 the sod turning ceremony took place. Spades used in this sod turning ceremony hang in the rotunda of the building. Among those participating in the ceremony were our Grand Secretary Most Wor. Bro. J. A. J. Irvine, Ralph J. Cocks, President of the Masonic Temple, Mrs. Anne Jones, Chairman of the Municipal Region of Hamilton-Wentworth, His Worship Victor K. Copps, Mayor of Hamilton, and Rt. Wor. Arthur W. Watson, Grand Chaplain, a Past Master of The Doric Lodge No. 382.
The corner stone of the Central Masonic Temple was laid on August 13, 1975 and was put in place without Masonic Ceremony.
In January 1976 we held our first regular meeting of the year, reverting to the third Monday of the month. At this meeting the Ceremony of Installation was carried out; the first installation of any Lodge in the new temple. The first Worshipful Master of the Doric Lodge No. 382 to be installed was Wor. Bro. Max Matchen. Since then we have continued to meet in the Central Masonic Temple.
On March 20, 1977 after our regular meeting two presentations were made to the Lodge both in memory of four of our departed brethren.
The lesser light which represents the master of the Lodge was presented to our Lodge in memory of our late Brother George J. McQueen.
The inscription reads:
In Loving memory of
Rt. Wor. Bro. George J. McQueen
Wor. Master Doric Lodge No. 382, 1935
D.D.G.M. Hamilton District B 1954-1955
Presented by his wife Norma and daughter Pamela.
The grandfather clock in the rotunda of the Temple was presented to our Lodge in memory of our late brethren Grant I. Budden, George T. Budden and John Mahon.
The inscription reads:
Presented to The Doric Lodge No. 382 by T. Ruth budden in loving memory of her husband Grant I. Budden. Initiated February 16, 1942 Wor. M. of The Doric Lodge No. 382, 1954; Died January 14, 1976. His father Bro. George T. Budden initiated November 14, 1925; Died November 9, 1970. His grandfather Bro. John Mahon initiated April 18, 1910; Died December 30, 1928.
Mrs. McQueen and Mrs. Budden were presented with members of their families.
This writer has endeavoured to record the outstanding events of the past hundred years of the life of our Lodge. The names of all the Worshipful Masters of our Lodge, those who received Grand Lodge Honours, the brethren who were presented with the Year Lapel Pin, those presented with the Sixty, Seventy and in one case Seventy Fifth Veterans Lapel Pin are all shown in the Appendices to this history, as well as the Past Masters who received the Veterans Past Master Lapel Pin.
There have been 1,558 admissions by way of either initiation or affiliation. Of that 1,558, 96 have been honoured by the Lodge by being elected to the office of Worshipful Master, several of whom have received Grand Lodge Honours.
At this time let us pause for a moment and pay silent tribute to the largest majority who were admitted to membership and lived out their Masonic careers without receiving any honours whatever before passing to The Grand Lodge above. Each one of them contributed to the life of The Doric Lodge and without whom we would not be celebrating our Centenary.
During the year 1979, our Centennial Year, we have had special evenings and have been visited by many distinguished Masons including a Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New York and Past Masters from Scotland and finally our own Grand Master Most Wor. Bro. N. Richard Richards honoured us with his presence at our centennial Banquet.
It may be of interest to note that at the 25th Communication of Grand Lodge held on July 14, 1880, in the City of Guelph, that our Grand master for 1979-1980 M. W. Bro. N. Richard Richards is a resident of that city.
Our first hundred years was celebrated by a banquet at which our Grand Master Most Wor. Bro. N. Richard Richards delivered a most interesting, timely and thought provoking speech which was enjoyed by all.
Appropriate regalia for a Lodge which had reached the century mark was dedicated. The ceremony of dedication being conducted by R. Wor. Bro. Arthur W. Watson, Past Grand Chaplain, a Past Master of our Lodge.
In reviewing the events of the year 1979 and recalling to mind all that has happened during the year it may be appropriate to bring to mind the works written by that Mason, Novelist, Poet, the late Bro. Rudyard Kipling who wrote these words in his hymns "the Recessional":
The tumult and the shouting dies;
The captains and the kings depart;
Still stand thing ancient sacrifice;
A humble and a contrite heart
Lord God of Host be with us yet,
Lest we forget - Lest we forget.