A Journal for the Masonic Student

Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society


Vol. 10 No. 8 – August 1924


The Early History of Freemasonry in Eastern Canada


Grand Historian, Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia;
Grand Archivist, Grand Chapter, R.A.M.; Nova Scotia

It is fitting that a general account of Freemasonry in Canada begin with the story of Freemasonry in Nova Scotia, where the Craft gained its first foothold. Bro. Harris' essay contains a considerable amount of information never before made public.

It is unnecessary here to outline the early history of what is now the great Dominion of Canada. The reader is doubtless familiar with the chief facts: the voyages and discoveries of the Cabots (1497), Jacques Cartier (1534-41), Champlain (1603-35), and other explorers and colonizers; the founding of the first settlements at Port Royal (now Annapolis Royal) in Nova Scotia (1604), and Quebec (1608); the period of the French regime, which ended in Nova Scotia in 1710, and in the rest of Canada in 1759-60; the various sieges of the great French strongholds of Louisburg (1745 and 1758) and Quebec (1759); the gradual organization of the country into British colonies and provinces; the period of the American Revolution and the War of 1812-15; the confederation of four of the provinces in 1867 as the Dominion of Canada; and the subsequent economic and political development of the country to the present status of nationhood. The story is an intensely interesting one, as all readers of Parkman and other historians can testify. Our present duty is to confine ourselves to the story of the Masonic Craft up to the beginning of last century.


What some Masonic students and historians regard as the earliest trace of the existence of Freemasons or Freemasonry on this Continent so far as we are now aware, is afforded by the inscriptions on a stone found in 1827 on the shores of Annapolis Basin, Nova Scotia. On the upper part of this stone were engraved the square and compasses of the Freemason and immediately below it the date 1606.

It is not possible here to go fully into the circumstances of the discovery of this stone, nor the subsequent loss of the stone on its being sent to Toronto. The stone was found on the site of the original settlement of the French at Port Royal and while some historians of the Craft have hailed these facts in support of the theory that Freemasonry existed among the French, recent exhaustive investigation of the original records of this settlement has led the writer to the conclusion (with some regret, it must be admitted) that the stone was the gravestone of an operative stonemason or carpenter who died in November, 1606, and not that of a speculative Freemason.


The French settlement at Port Royal passed into other hands and in 1628 a Scotch colony was settled there under the leadership of Sir William Alexander, to whom the whole country under the title of Nova Scotia, or New Scotland, had been granted in 1621 by King James of Scotland. His son, Sir William, was in the colony for four years, 1628-32, during which period his father was created Viscount Stirling, and later, Earl Stirling and Viscount Canada. The son thereupon assumed the courtesy title of Lord Alexander. The latter, on his return to Scotland, is recorded as present at a meeting of the Lodge of Edinburgh on "The 3rd of July 1634" when he was "admitet felowe off the Craft". As no previous record of Lord Alexander's Masonic career has been found it has been accordingly suggested (and it is of course not impossible) that he may have been initiated by some of the brethren whom he found in the Scotch settlement in Nova Scotia, being afterwards admitted a Fellowcraft at Edinburgh.


Nova Scotia, after nearly a century of conflict between the French and English finally passed to the latter on the fall of Annapolis Royal in 1710. This was a half century before the rest of the country passed to the same Power as a result of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, 1759. In this half century, Halifax was founded (1749) by the Honourable Edward Cornwallis and the fortress of Louisburg underwent two sieges, 1745 and 1758. It was during this half century that Freemasonry was planted on Canadian soil.


The reader is here reminded that the organization of the Craft under a Grand Master and Grand Lodge in England was brought about in 1717, nearly twenty years before the similar event in Scotland, 1736. The first authority for the assembling of Freemasons in America was issued by the Grand Lodge of England in June, 1730, to Daniel Coxe of New Jersey, as Provincial Grand Master of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania; and three years later (1733) Henry Price of Boston was appointed Provincial Grand Master of New England and "the dominions and territories thereunto belonging." In the following year his jurisdiction was extended to all North America. Price established a Provincial Grand Lodge and "The First Lodge" (now St. John's Lodge) in Boston in 1733. (1) Henry Price and St. John's Lodge, Boston, must be regarded as the original source of Freemasonry in Canada.


The next date in Canadian Masonic history is 1737, when we find it recorded in the register book of the Grand Lodge of England that Captain Robert Comins, or Cumins, was appointed Provincial Grand Master for Cape Briton and Louisburg. The entry is repeated under the date 1738, with the addition "excepting such places where a Provincial Grand Master is already deputed." The island of Cape Breton and the great fortress of Louisburg were, at this time, in the hands of the French, but there was a very considerable trade between that port and Boston, and other New England ports. In 1745 the fortress fell to the New England forces under Governor Shirley, Commodore Warren and General Pepperell of Massachusetts; and in the following year we find Capt. Robert Comins again mentioned in the register of the Grand Lodge of England as Provincial Grand Master for Cape Breton and Louisburg. In the same year we find him affiliating with St. John's Lodge, Boston (Jan. 14, 1746). Many of the members of the Louisburg expedition and forces of occupation were members of the Craft, but we have yet to find a reference to Masonic work at Louisburg during the period 1737 to 1748, when the fortress was handed back to France by the treaty of Aix la Chapelle.


During the same period, however, Masonry became active at Annapolis Royal. In 1717 a Regiment of Foot, known originally as Phillips Regiment, but later as the 40th Regiment, had been organized at Annapolis Royal with Governor Richard Phillips as its Colonel. His nephew, Erasmus James Phillips, entered this regiment as a young man and eventually rose to the rank of Major. In 1737 Phillips and other officers in the 40th were appointed commissioners to determine the boundaries between Massachusetts Bay and Rhode Island. In November, 1737, he and a brother officer of the 40th while in Boston on this business were made Masons in St. John's Lodge, Boston, and on their return to Annapolis Royal in 1738 established a lodge there of which Phillips was the first Worshipful Master and which, as far as our present information goes, was the first lodge on Canadian soil. How long this lodge continued is difficult to determine. The records of St. John's Grand Lodge, Boston, refer to it as late as 1767.

In the Boston Gazette of March 13, 1738, we find a note of the appointment by Henry Price of Major Phillips (2) as Provincial Grand Master of Nova Scotia; and on the occasion of his next visit to Boston in April, 1739, he appears as such in the minutes of St. John's Lodge.


The Annapolis lodge undoubtedly initiated a large number of the garrison and in 1755 we find the brethren of the 40th Regiment applying to the Grand Lodge of England (Ancients) for a warrant (No. 42). One theory which has much to support it is that the Annapolis Royal Lodge of 1738 was never a civilian lodge but was attached to the 40th Regiment and that the application of 1755 to the Grand Lodge of England (Ancients) was merely a transfer of allegiance.

The Regiment took part in the second siege of Louisberg in 1758, and after the fall of that fortress wintered there, proceeding in the spring to the siege of Quebec by Wolfe, 1759, and later in 1760 to Montreal. The Regiment, now known as the South Lancashire Regiment, has seen gallant service in every part of the world. Its lodge probably became dormant before 1810, as in that year we find the brethren (engaged at that time in the Peninsular War in Spain) applying for an Irish Warrant No. 204; and again while in Ireland in 1821, for a second Warrant No. 284, which surrendered in 1858.


In 1749, the British Government resolved upon the establishment of a British settlement in Nova Scotia and several thousand families were transferred thither under the leadership of Hon. Edward Cornwallis, and the present City of Halifax laid out. Cornwallis had already been the founder of a Masonic lodge in the 20th Foot, afterwards known as "Minden Lodge," after the battle in which the regiment played a conspicuous part. In 1750 we find him and a number of brethren applying to the St. John's Grand Lodge at Boston for a "deputation"; they were referred to Erasmus James Phillips, and to him they presented their petition. The lodge was organized July 19, 1750, when "Lord Colville and a number of Navy Gentlemen were entered apprentices of the Lodge." Lord Colville received his other degrees in St. John's Lodge, Boston, and was closely identified with Boston Masonry for several years, becoming Deputy Grand Master. Cornwallis, the first Master of the First Lodge, Halifax, was succeeded by Governor Charles Lawrence, who presided until his death in 1760. The lodge appears on the Massachusetts register until April, 1767, when it transferred to the English Register (Ancients) as No. 155. This lodge has met without a single month of dormancy since 1750 and is today known as St. Andrew's Lodge, No. 1, Nova Scotia, "the oldest lodge in the British Empire Overseas"; and bears on its long membership roll the names of many notable Canadians, including seven Grand Masters.

In March, 1751, a second lodge was formed, but it was probably short lived for we find no record of it in the Proceedings of either the Grand Lodge of England or the St John's Grand Lodge of Boston.


In 1757 the brethren of Halifax, all of them undoubtedly owing allegiance to "Modern" principles, petitioned and received from the "Ancient" Grand Lodge in England a Provincial Grand Lodge warrant, and charters Nos. 66 and 67 for two subordinate lodges. This Provincial Grand Lodge warrant of 1757 was the first ever issued by the "Ancients," that for Pennsylvania not being issued until the following year. This Provincial Grand Lodge functioned until 1776; the First Lodge founded by Cornwallis appears on its register as No. 4 Nova Scotia; and two other lodges, Nos. 5 (before 1768), and 6 (in 1769), were established and worked under its jurisdiction for a number of years. In 1768 Lodges Nos. 4 and 5 were registered on the English Register (Ancients) as Nos. 155 (already referred to) and 156.


In 1758 the English government resolved on the reduction of Louisburg in Cape Breton. A large fleet of transports was assembled at Halifax, conveying military forces under Major General Amherst and Brig. General James Wolfe.

The siege lasted from June 2 to July 26, when the French forces surrendered and the stronghold passed forever into the possession of the British. The regiments engaged in this memorable siege were the 1st, 16th, 17th, 22nd, 28th, 35th, 40th, 45th, 47th, 48th and 58th Foot, two battalions of the 60th (Royal Americans), and the 78th Fraser's Highlanders. All but four of these regiments are known to have had lodges attached to them at the time of the siege, and all of them within a short time afterwards.

The historian Capt. John Knox, in his Journal of the Wars in America, says of this siege that "the time passes very wearily; when the calendar does not furnish us with a loyal excuse for assembling in the evening, we have recourse to a Freemason's Lodge, where we work so hard that it is inconceivable to think what a quantity of business of great importance is transacted in a very short space of time."

In passing it should be noted that the lodge (No. 11) in the 1st Regiment of Foot was the first military lodge ever established, remaining in existence until 1847. Lodge No. 74 in the 2nd Battalion of this regiment, also at Louisburg, wintered at Albany, New York, and while there "granted a deputation" to form a lodge which is now No. 3 on the New York Registry.

The lodge in the 22nd Regiment, while working at Louisburg, worked under an Irish warrant which was "lost the following year in the Mississippi." In 1760 the regiment was at Crown Point, New York. Shortly afterward the brethren applied for a Scottish warrant, under the title of "Moriah", No. 132. In 1781 the 22nd was at New York and united with five others in forming the Grand Lodge of New York.

The warrant for the lodge in the 28th Regiment was granted Nov. 13, 1758, by Col. Richard Gridley, J.G.W. of the St. John's Grand Lodge, Boston, and a member of the Expeditionary Forces. In the following year the regiment and its lodge were at Quebec.


In the course of a long history as a garrison city Halifax has been visited by nearly every regiment of the British Army. In the period of 1749 to 1800 lodges flourished in practically all of the many regiments which visited the city. The period of the American Revolution, 1775 to 1785, was a particularly active one, Masonically, in Halifax. Many of the lodges worked under Irish warrants.

The lodge in the 46th Foot, No. 227 (Irish), established 1752, and known as the "Lodge of Social and Military Virtues," was in Halifax in 1757-8; and it is on record that while there it was "very active, doing good and effective work while associated with the brethren throughout the Province." From this lodge "The Lodge of Antiquity," No. 1, Montreal, proudly claims its descent.

Lodge No. 58 in the 14th Foot was in Halifax from 1766-68, proceeding then to Boston, where it participated in Grand Lodge meetings, leaving thence in 1773 for the West Indies.

Lodge No. 322 in the 29th Foot was also in Halifax from 1765-68, proceeding then to Boston, where the regiment took part in the unfortunate affairs known as the "Boston Massacre." Notwithstanding the intense excitement prevailing, the members of the lodge seem to have fraternized with the Boston brethren and actually assisted them in organizing a Provincial Grand Lodge under Scottish authority.

Lodge No. 136 in the 17th Regiment was at Annapolis Royal from 1756-58, when it proceeded to Louisburg, and later to the capture of Quebec (1759), and Montreal (1760). On returning to England the lodge took a new warrant No. 169 under the title of "Unity," the former having been lost through "the Hazardous Enterprises in which they had been engaged." This warrant fell into the hands of the American army at the battle of Princeton in 1777, and the brethren then applied for and obtained one, No. 18, from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and actually continued on that roll throughout the remainder of the War. In 1779 this warrant was also captured by General Parsons, at Stony Point, but was returned by him under a flag of truce, accompanied by a fraternal letter. The regiment served in the War until peace in 1783, when it removed to Shelburne, N.S. (then a garrison town), where it remained until 1786. There are in the archives of Nova Scotia a number of letters between the brethren and the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania of the most friendly and fraternal kind.


Many of these military lodges, particularly those possessing Irish warrants, conferred many of the higher degrees, the variety of them being limited only by their knowledge of the ceremonies. The chief of these were the Royal Arch and the Knight Templar. The earliest record of the former in Halifax is 1760, one of the earliest on the continent, but there is good ground for believing that the degree was conferred as early as 1757 and probably earlier. The 14th, 29th and 64th Regiments with their lodges which organized St. Andrew's Royal Arch Chapter in Boston in 1769 and conferred the Royal Arch and Knight Templar degrees there in that year (hitherto regarded as the earliest record of the degree anywhere in the world), were in Halifax during the period 1765-8 and conferred the "Excellent, Super-Excellent, Royal Arch and Knight Templar" degrees on Canadian soil.

The candidates on whom these degrees were conferred continued the work and there are in existence the minutes and records of meetings of the Royal Arch from 1780 to the present date (now known as Royal Union Chapter, No. 1) and of a Knight Templar Encampment from September, 1782, to 1806, revived in 1839 and still working, now known as Nova Scotia Preceptory, probably the oldest Preceptory outside the British Isles, out-rivalled, if at all, only by the Baldwyn Encampment of Bristol, England, the earliest reference to which is dated Jan. 25, 1772.

Halifax also possesses the earliest records of the Mark Degree on this continent, dating back to 1780.

HALIFAX, 1770-85

Early in this period the Provincial Grand Lodge of 1757 became dormant, leaving St. Andrew's Lodge, then No. 155 (Ancients), and a "Modern" Lodge (which had succeeded No. 2 on the Provincial Registry) as the only lodges in the Province. The latter died out about 1781, owing largely to the aggressiveness of the rival lodge which took the place of a Grand Lodge and established St. John's Lodge in 1780 (now No. 2, R.N.S.), Union Lodge in 1781 (since extinct), and Virgin Lodge, 1782 (now No. 3, R.N.S.), at Halifax, as well as lodges in Prince Edward Island (1781), and New Brunswick (1783). These lodges united in petitioning the Grand Lodge of England (Ancients) for the removal of the Provincial Grand Lodge Warrant of 1757, a request which was acceded to in 1784, when a warrant was granted with very wide powers of self-government.

This Provincial Grand Lodge exerted a tremendous influence on the growth of the Craft in the period 1785 to 1815, not only chartering lodges throughout the three Maritime Provinces, but also granting warrants for a very considerable number of regimental lodges, including the 52nd (Oxfordshire Light Infantry), the Royal N. S. Regiment, and two in the Royal Artillery namely, Virgin, No. 3, and Royal Standard, No. 398 (Eng. Reg.), 142 and 108 years old respectively.


Turning now to the westward of the Maritime Provinces we find deputations issued by Provincial Grand Master Jeremy Gridley (Boston) to his brother Richard Gridley in 1756, to Abraham Savage in 1758, and to Col. Ingersoll in 1759 "to congregate all Free and Accepted Masons" in the expedition directed against the French in Canada, which proceeded by way of Lake George and Lake Champlain. These deputations were all acted upon and lodges established which, however, under the circumstances were temporary. "Lake George Lodge," and "Crown Point Lodge," both referred to in the Minutes of St. John's Grand Lodge, Boston, were held at places then forming part of French Canada, but now forming part of the state of New York.

QUEBEC, 1759

Most of the regiments participating in the siege of Louisburg and the operations around Crown Point moved on the siege of Quebec in 1759. Here we find the 15th, 28th, 35th, 40th, 47th and 48th Regiments all with their lodges, and after the fall of the city the brethren duly celebrated the Festival of St. John the Evangelist, Dec. 27, 1759. Captain Knox, in his Campaigns in North America, has noted this celebration by "the several lodges of Freemasons in the Garrison". Among the notable brethren present on this occasion were Bro. the Hon. Simon Fraser, Colonel of the gallant 78th Highlanders (who was installed by the famous Thomas Dunckerley, then a gunner on H.M.S. Vanguard), Bro. John Young of the 60th Regiment of Foot or "Royal Americans" (Scottish Provincial Grand Master for North America), and Bro. Huntingford, Colonel of the 28th Regiment and Worshipful Master of the "Louisburgh" Lodge. Lieutenant Gunnett of the 47th Regiment was elected Provincial Grand Master under the Grand Lodge (Moderns) of England.


The Vanguard left for England shortly after the capitulation, returning in May, 1760, Dunckerley bringing with him the warrant No. 254 (Moderns) of Naval Lodge, dated Jan. 16, 1760, the first sea lodge ever warranted. He also brought with him an "authorization" from the Grand Lodge (Moderns) to regulate Masonic affairs in Quebec. The second sea lodge warranted was that on board The Prince, No. 279, E.R. (Moderns), and the third on board The Canceaux, at Quebec, warranted by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Quebec, 1768, No. 5, Quebec, No. 224, E.R. (Moderns).

THE PERIOD 1760-90

Among the 10,000 British troops and 7,000 American Colonial troops which invested Montreal in 1760 there were five lodges on the Irish Registry, one on the Scottish, one on the English (Ancients) roll, and two on the St. John's Provincial Grand Lodge Registry at Boston. The British regiments participating in the siege were the 1st, 17th, 27th, 40th, 42nd, 46th and 55th. Several of the lodges in these regiments continued in the Province after the removal of the regiments.

In the next thirty-one years numerous regimental and civilian lodges were chartered in Quebec, Montreal, and various other centres, most of them owing allegiance to the Grand Lodge of England (Moderns). Zion Lodge in the 60th Foot is now No. 1, Detroit, Michigan; Merchants Lodge, Quebec, warranted in 1759, and lapsing about 1790, was the lodge in which John Hancock, the first to sign the American Declaration of Independence, was made a Mason; Dorchester Lodge, Vergennes, Vermont, chartered in 1791, owes its origin to the Quebec Provincial Grand Lodge; which also chartered two lodges on the Niagara Peninsula, another at Cataraqui (now Kingston, Ont.), another at Fredericton, in New Brunswick, three at Detroit, and another at Michilimackinac, Michigan, and still others at Ogdensburg and other points in New York State. Among the Provincial Grand Masters of this period were Col. Christopher Carleton, nephew of Sir Guy Carleton (Lord Dorchester), 1786, and Sir John Johnson (Provincial Grand Master in 1771-81 of New York), 1788.

In 1791 H.R.H. Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, father of Queen Victoria, arrived in Quebec and in 1792 a patent was issued to him appointing him as Provincial Grand Master of Lower Canada for the "Ancients," the installation taking place with great éclat, including a religious service and procession to the Recollet (Roman Catholic) Church. The old regime of "Modern" Masonry speedily disappeared and thenceforth "Ancient" principles prevailed. Among the old lodges on the roll of Quebec are "The Lodge of Antiquity," No. 1, already referred to, which held its first meeting in Montreal in 1846; Albion, No. 2, Quebec, originally attached to the Fourth Battalion of the Royal Artillery as No. 213, which took part in the formation of the Grand Lodge of New York in 1782, the successor of a former Lodge No. 9 in that corps, organized in 1752; and Golden Rule, No. 5, Stanstead, 1803, which since 1857 has held a meeting once in every year on the top of "Owl's Head" mountain, 2400 feet high, on the shores of Lake Memphramagog.


During this early period the Mark, Past and Royal Arch Degrees were conferred in Quebec under Irish, Scottish and "Ancient" military Craft warrants. A chapter of Royal Arch Masons met regularly at Quebec from 1760 to 1778, according to a letter recently discovered by the writer in the Grand Lodge archives at Halifax, and there is abundant evidence of the later existence of such a body. In the minutes of Albion Lodge, Quebec, 1791, and subsequently there are noted as visitors not only M.M. and R.A. Masons, but Knights Templar as well, and it is not unlikely that further research will discover and bring to light other evidence of the conferring of the Knight Templar Orders at an even earlier period.

Two most interesting facts in this connection are, first, the correspondence between the Duke of Kent and Thos. Dunckerley already referred to; and secondly, a statement made by the learned Dr. H. Beaumont Leeson in an address at Portsmouth, England, in 1862, "That the Baldwyn Encampment at Briston was founded by French Masons, who had brought it from Canada towards the close of the last century, a fact of which he was certain, as the original books were in his possession." (A.Q.C. XVII, p. 89.) With the early history of Freemasonry in Upper Canada, now Ontario dating from about 1773 and the more recent development of the Craft in British Columbia, and the other western Canadian jurisdictions, it is not the province of the writer to deal. We leave this task to other brethren, content to confine ourselves to the older portions of the Dominion.

Before concluding it should be stated that the various Grand Lodges of the Dominion, however, do not all exercise exclusive jurisdiction within their territory. In Nova Scotia, Royal Standard Lodge, No. 398, Halifax, organized in the Royal Artillery in 1815, is still under the jurisdiction of England; and St. Paul's Lodge, No. 374 (1770), and St. George's Lodge, No. 440 (1829), in Montreal are also under the same jurisdiction. In Newfoundland, though not politically a part of Canada, we find lodges under the jurisdiction of England and Scotland, the oldest of which dates back to 1850. The pioneer warrant in Newfoundland was issued in 1746 by the St. John's Grand Lodge, Boston, but the lodge was short-lived.

What we have written has necessarily been the merest outline. Many of the lodges mentioned might very well be the subject of an article as long as the present. Our purpose has been rather to remind the reader of the outstanding dates in the Masonic history of Canada:

  1. The first lodge on Canadian soil was established at Annapolis Royal, N.S., 1738.
  2. The first Provincial Grand Masters for any part of Canada more Capt Robert Comins in 1737; and Major Erasmus J. Phillips of Annapolis Royal, N. S., 1738.
  3. The first military lodge chartered by the "Ancients" of England was that in the 40th Regiment of Foot, No. 42, while quartered at Annapolis Royal, in 1755.
  4. The oldest Craft lodge in the British Dominions overseas is St. Andrew's, No. 1, R.N.S., Halifax, established in 1750.
  5. The first Provincial Grand Lodge established by the "Ancients" in any part of the world was that warranted for Nova Scotia in 1757.
  6. The first Royal Arch Degrees conferred in Canada were at Halifax and Quebec in 1760, the oldest Royal Arch chapter being Royal Union Chapter, No. 1. Halifax, dating back to 1780.
  7. The first Knight Templar degrees conferred in Canada were in Halifax in 1766, by Lodge 322 in the 29th Regiment, the first record anywhere in the world outside the British Isles; the oldest Knight Templar Preceptory being Nova Scotia, No. 5, dating back previously to 1782.
  8. The oldest Mark Lodge records on this continent are those at Halifax, dating back to 1781.
  9. The oldest lodge in the overseas Dominions, chartered by the Grand Lodge of Scotland, is Keith Lodge, No. 17, Halifax, chartered in 1827.

Each of these dates is noteworthy and with the exception of the last, takes us back to a period in the nation's history when the greater part of the country was wilderness, when settlements were few and far between, when the people were occupied either in conquering their enemies or in struggling to make their homes. The American colonies and states had gone through the same stages of existence fifty to a hundred years before and were settled down to peaceful pursuits when Freemasonry was introduced about 1730. That the Craft in Canada in the face of such difficulties ever survived and succeeded in establishing itself, and developing into the well-organized Grand Lodges, Chapters and other Grand Bodies of today, is most remarkable and significant.

The Craft in Canada has splendid traditions throughout the whole period of nearly two hundred years; if this sketch has interested but one brother in the story of its early days we shall feel well repaid.


(1) Henry Price, acting on a deputation from the first Grand Lodge of England (afterwards called "Moderns") organized "St. John's Grand Lodge" at Boston July 30, 1733. On December 27, 1769, St. Andrew's Lodge, on a warrant from Scotland, with the cooperation of three military lodges in the British Army, organized the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, with Dr. Joseph Warren as Grand Master. After several years of rivalry these two bodies united, in 1792, as the "Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts."

(2) For the sketch of Erasmus James Phillips and record of his appointment, see The Beginnings of Freemasonry in America, Melvin Johnson, p. 195 ff.

* * *


Bro. James B. Nixon

President Toronto Society for Masonic Research

Bro. N. W. J. Haydon

Associate Editor, THE BUILDER, Ontario

Most of the details up to 1856 here given were drawn from "Freemasonry in Canada," by the late Bro. John Ross Robertson.

Canadian Freemasonry was first founded in Nova Scotia about 1737, the channel of authority being R. W. Bro. Erasmus J. Phillips, Provincial Grand Master, a member of St. John's Grand Lodge of Boston Mass. The paper, The Early History of Freemasonry in Eastern Canada from R. W. Bro. R. V. Harris, K.C., of Halifax, N.S., covers this section.

In 1784 New Brunswick became a separate province and the only lodge warranted between that date and 1829 met at Fredericton, the capital town, its charter dating from 1789.

The first lodge in Prince Edward Island, then known as St. John's Island, was St. John's, No. 1, of Charlottetown, warranted in 1797. This Province is covered by the paper, Freemasonry in Prince Edward Island from W. Bro. G. W. Wakeford, a Past Master of that lodge.

Quebec City first saw Masonic light when the "Field Lodges" of the British regiments stationed there met in the citadel a few weeks after they had won that territory and celebrated the festival of St. John the Evangelist in December, 1759. The first lodge warranted to work there was St. Andrew's, which dates from October, 1760. This part of Canada from Quebec to the Ottawa River was then known as Lower Canada. The first lodge for this Province was the "New Oswegatchie," warranted in 1730 as No. 7 of the Grand Lodge of New York, and the name is said to be all adaptation of the Huron word for "Black Water." It appears to have worked at Ogdensburg, N.Y., from 1783 to 1787, when it was transferred to the north of the St. Lawrence River to Elizabethtown, near Brockville, when it became No. 520, E.R.

The minute book of this lodge was lost for nearly one hundred years, being found in 1889, and it was recorded that Bro. Ziba Phillips, who built the house in Oswego, N.Y., affiliated in 1788. His son, Ziba Marcus, received Masonic honours in 1822 for his services both professional and Masonic.


In 1791 the Province of Upper Canada, now Ontario, was proclaimed, and in June, 1792, the first stationary lodge was born by issue of a warrant from the Grand Lodge (Modern) of England, to Lodge Rawdon, No. 498, E.R., to meet "between the three lakes (Ontario, Simcoe and Huron) in Upper Canada." This lodge was named after Francis, Lord Rawdon, Earl of Moira, who was acting Grand Master of that Grand Lodge in England. From 1790 to 1813 he had seen service in New England and won distinction at the battle of Camden in 1780.

The place of meeting was York, now Toronto, and in 1797 it became No. 13 of the first Provincial Grand Lodge of Upper Canada. The first Provincial Grand Master was R. W. Bro. Wm. Jarvis, Secretary to Bro. Hon. J. G. Simcoe, first governor of this Province, and his contemporary for Lower Canada, who had been appointed by the (Ancient) Grand Lodge of England, was H.R.H. Prince Edward, the father of Queen Victoria.

This year also saw a warrant issued by the (Ancient) Provincial Grand Lodge of Quebec for Lodge No. 5 at Edwardsburg in Upper Canada. During his term of office R. W. Bro. Jarvis erected a Provincial Grand Lodge for Upper Canada at Niagara and between 1792 and 1800 all the lodges in this Province came under his authority.

It is interesting to note here that what is now the State of Michigan was included in the territory of the provincial Grand Lodge of Lower Canada, Zion Lodge of Detroit being warranted as No. 110 in 1794, and working under it until 1807. The Provincial Grand Lodge of New York issued a warrant in 1764 to "Lodge No. 1 at Detroit in Canada," which was registered in England in 1773, but became dormant about 1790. There was also a St. John's Lodge, No. 465, E.R., warranted for Michilimackinac, now Mackinaw, in 1781. It was here that Pontiac captured the fort from the British while playing lacrosse with his braves.

But before stationary lodges were established in Ontario, the ground had been prepared by "travelling warrants" which accompanied several of the regiments that saw service in that Province. The earliest record we have of Masonry in Upper Canada is the certificate issued to Bro. Joseph Clements by Lodge No. 156, F. & A. M., E.R., held in the King's Eighth Regiment of Foot, stationed at Fort Niagara. This regiment held the first military warrant issued, in 1775, by the original Grand Lodge of England and became, later, No. 5, of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Quebec. The lodge room was in the stone building erected by the French in 1760, now at the extreme point of land on the east bank of the Niagara River, in United States territory. We learn from the diary of Mrs. Simcoe, wife of the first governor of the Province, that the erection of this building gave the present name to the river "Niagara," being the Indian word for "Great House," and that the lodge room was used for divine service, as there was no church built then (1792). Fort George, on the opposite (British) side of the river, was the location of another military lodge, No. 3, attached to the Queen's Rangers, and warranted by R. W. Bro. Jarvis. It is also of record that the first celebration of the festival of St. John the Evangelist ever held west of Montreal was carried on by the brethren of the Eighth Regiment in 1775.

Four miles south of Niagara, on the west bank of the river, is the township of Newark, now Queenstown, where Lodge No. 2 worked in the home of Bro. Joseph Brown, from 1782, but it is not known whence its warrant was obtained. About 1787 its name was changed to "St. John's Lodge of Friendship, No. 2, Ancient York Masons," but no later record than 1810 is known of its history.

Cataraqui, now Kingston, is the next link in our chain, this place being surveyed in 1784 by R. W. Bro. Hon. John Collins, Provincial Grand Master of Quebec. But in 1781 a warrant for Lodge No. 14 had been issued by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Quebec and in 1787 R. W. Bro. Collins founded the St. James Lodge in the King's Rangers, then stationed there. In August, 1794, Lodge No. 6 of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Upper Canada was constituted in "Bro. James Darley's 'Freemasons' Tavern'." The first township of Kings Town was allotted to the Loyalist refugees from New York, the second and third being distributed among the Second Battalion of the Eighty-fourth Regiment, or the King's New York Royal Rangers, and from these soldiers came the earliest settlers of the Bay of Quinte and Edwardsburgh districts, and the pioneers of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry townships, who took their Masonic associations with them. The town of Cornwall, where Lodge Union, No. 521, E.R., worked in 1793, was famous as an educational centre during the early days of the nineteenth century, many of the pupils of Rev. Dr. Strachan becoming prominent in our provincial history; one of them, Thomas Gibbs Ridout, was our Provincial Grand Master in 1845 under Sir Allan MacNab.


Coming back to Toronto, the chief centre of Symbolical and Capitular Masonry, both in Ontario and Canada generally, though the Scottish Rite has its headquarters in Hamilton, we find a great store of detailed records going back to the earliest times. The name "Toronto" is of Indian origin, though theories disagree as to precisely how it was first applied. We do know that the French fur traders had a fort here in 1749, which they named Rouille, but popular usage named it Toronto, because the riverway thence to Lake Simcoe was so known and shown on a map dated 1720. The official name of the settlement and later of the town continued to be York until it was incorporated as the city of Toronto in 1834. In August, 1793, the Queen's Rangers removed from Niagara to York, because of the outbreak of the war between England and France, and built a fort of oak logs, part of which is still in use. Here they set up their warrant again, using a room which, ordinarily, served as a reading room for the regiment.

Rawdon Lodge worked here from 1793 to 1800, but the records previous to 1797 are missing; the temper of the brethren is seen from the fact that on their first festival of St. John the Baptist, in June of that year, they expelled a brother apparently for drunkenness. It is also recorded that for the purposes of this festival the brethren met at 11 A.M. and "went to their respective homes at 7 P.M." At that time, too, it was customary, to meet semi-monthly and to elect their officers half-yearly. The same year the lodge subscribed "a donation of at least half a joanna towards supporting the honour and dignity of the Grand Lodge of Montreal." A "joanna" was a Portuguese gold coin worth eight dollars, popularly known as a "Joe." Brethren familiar with "The Ingoldsby Legends" will recall that in the treasure described in "The Hand of Glory" there were "broad Double-Joes from beyond the seas."

The progress of the Craft in this Province was not unhampered by trouble. The Provincial Grand Lodge of Upper Canada, headed by R. W. Bro. Jarvis, continued until his death in 1817, during which period he had warranted twenty-six lodges, but in 1802 a rival Grand Lodge was formed at Niagara by brethren who held that the Provincial Grand Master had no power to change the seat of his Grand East without authority from England and also objected to the removal of the Grand Warrant from their prosperous town to a mere settlement. It also appears from an examination of the original warrant, which was found in 1890, and from letters of complaint, still in existence, that R. W. Bro. Jarvis had both exceeded his powers and neglected his duties, possibly due to pressure from his responsibilities as Provincial Secretary, so as to cause dissension among those active in the Masonic interests of his time. He was authorized only to grant dispensations to be valid for one year from date. These where to be reported to the Grand Lodge in England, which would issue charters and register them in due order. But while twenty-six warrants were issued, it does not appear that a single one was ever reported.

It is interesting to Canadians generally to note from the correspondence preceding this schism that slavery was permitted in Upper Canada until 1800. While no slaves might be brought into the country later than 1792, those then here remained in that condition and could be sold or hired.

In December, 1802, the Niagara Grand Lodge proclaimed itself, with R. W. Bro. George Forsyth as Provincial Grand Master, R. W. Bro. Chris. Danby as Deputy, and Bro. Sylvester Tiffany as Grand Secretary, and these officers were installed in 1803, with like lodges on their roll. In June, next, their first warrant was issued to locate near the present town of Ingersol, and this, with three more, were all they issued up to 1810. There are no records extant for 1811, and no meetings were held during the War of 1812, but the original minutes from 1816 to 1822, found in 1899, show that four more warrants were issued prior to dissolution.

In 1806 the first warrant was issued for a chapter to work at Kingston, this being the earliest separation between our lodges and chapters.

In 1808 the second Masonic funeral was conducted at York, and in connection therewith is the first mention of Knights Templar; those present being probably from Kingston, where an encampment had been opened in 1800.

In April, 1807, the Niagara brethren sent their fees to the Grand Lodge in England for a warrant as a Provincial Grand Lodge, in which Hon. Robert Kerr is named as Provincial Grand Master, with R. W. Bro. Chris. Danby as Deputy, and Bro. Wm. Emery as Grand Secretary. The only result was that R. W. Bro. Jarvis received a sharp reprimand, and their request was refused, no other action being taken. Just how much R. W. Bro. Jarvis permitted his Masonic affairs to run themselves may be judged from a letter written in November, 1806, by Jermyn Patrick, who had been appointed as Grand Secretary to replace Sylvester Tiffany, saying that he had received no communications "either from the subordinate lodges or the Provincial Grand Lodge, these twelve months past."

The War of 1812 affected the regular Provincial Grand Lodge adversely as well as many others; meetings were irregular and returns were not made. Sincere brethren felt this state of affairs to be a scandal and, following the death of R. W. Bro. Jarvis, the Niagara brethren tried to organize a Provincial Grand Lodge of Upper Canada, which should contain both their own lodges and those warranted from York, but their efforts were not favourably received. To the brethren of Addington Lodge, No. 13, at Bath, is due the credit for action that finally restored order and harmony. They organized a Convention at Kingston, in August, 1817, the first of a series of such meetings, which recurred until 1822, and at which the actual work of a Provincial Grand Lodge was conducted, and the Craft kept from becoming dormant for lack of a governing and energetic executive. At the first of these, eleven lodges were represented, Bro. Ziba M. Phillips being elected President, Bro. John H. Hudson, "Moderator," and Bro. John W. Ferguson, Secretary. At this Convention a petition was drafted for the consideration of the Grand Lodge of England, drawing attention to the unfortunate condition of the Craft in Upper Canada and asking for recognition, Bro. Roderick Mackay of Kingston being nominated as Provincial Grand Master.

No reply was received and, owing to the death of Bro. Mackay in September, 1818, a second Convention was called at Kingston in February, 1819. This resulted in fourteen "Articles of Association of the Masonic Convention of Upper Canada" being drafted by the masterly mind of Bro. John Dean of Bath, as well as a second petition to the home authorities, which were sent with a draft to cover expenses for issuing a patent for a new Provincial Grand Master who should be elected later. Another outstanding feature of this Convention was the report of R. W. Bro. Benj. McAllister, who as "Grand Visitor" had inspected all the lodges in Upper Canada, and commented freely on the manner in which their work and business were carried on. This is the first instance in our history of what has come to be the regular duty of every successive District Deputy Grand Master and his visits proved to be of the greatest possible value in uniting the scattered, neglected and disheartened lodges.

Kingston was the scene of the third Convention in February, 1820, at which fourteen lodges and nineteen brethren were present, with Bro. Phillips again presiding. It was reported that the draft sent to England the year before had been duly paid, though no warrant had been received as requested, but that as the charter could be expected at any time, no election or other changes should be made until its arrival. August came, but still no reply, so Bro. John B. Laughton of Ancaster, who was also a Companion of Hiram Chapter and who had to go to England on business, was appointed representative of both Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter (established in 1818) to see what he could do by personal effort to get the action so earnestly desired from the home authorities.

February, 1821, saw fourteen lodges represented in Convention, with Bro. Phillips in the chair; the District Visitors were increased to five, and for the first time all lodges were required to submit their by-laws for approval or change and all future amendments thereto.


It may be well to note here some of the difficulties under which our early brethren laboured in those primitive days. The accounts of the Grand Secretary show what a heavy expense was the cost for letters; to Halifax the charge was fourteen shillings, and to New York, eight shillings and two pence. Forty circulars cost fifteen shillings for printing and one hundred copies of the Proceedings 3 pounds 10 shillings. These amounts were paid in "Halifax Currency," the shilling being worth twenty cents in our money. A letter from Bath to New York was thirty-five days in transit!

August 1821 brought the first letter from Bro. Laughton in England, dated May, and stating as one reason for the long neglect that there was no copy of R. W. Bro. Jarvis' warrant in the archives at London, "or a single return from the Grand Lodge at Niagara nor York, since the first settlement of the same, and having no copy they cannot consider us as Masons!" Bro. Laughton wrote that he was "willing to stay there a year if necessary to put the business to rights" and urged that no pains be spared to procure and send him a copy of original warrant as required for further action.

Another obstacle to his success was the presence of Chief John Brant, who had been sent to England to settle, if possible, the difficulties existing between the Mohawk Indians and the Provincial Government of Upper Canada, respecting certain land titles. Brant was a member of Lodge No. 24, warranted by the Niagara Grand Lodge and his trip to England was used by that body to further their claims before the Masonic authorities there.

In November, 1821, the desired copy was sent the Grand Secretary in England, with a resume of previous letters to which no replies had been received, and submitting the name of R. W. Bro. Fitzgibbon for the office of Provincial Grand Master. Also a request that the fees charged for benevolences in England might be paid to some agent of Grand Lodge in Upper Canada, for use amongst the "many brethren emigrating with their families who are found to be in distress." Another letter to Bro. Laughton covered the same points, while Bro. Fitzgibbon wrote the Grand Secretary accepting the office of Provincial Grand Master and enclosing a certificate as to his military standing and character from Sir Peregrine Maitland, "Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada and Major-General of His Majesty's forces therein." Bro. Fitzgibbon gave further evidence of his good will to the Craft and his faith in Bro. Laughton by sending him a draft towards his expenses.

Eighteen hundred and twenty-two saw twenty-one lodges represented in Convention under Bro. Phillips and the acts of the committee on England were approved. We find here the first signs of trouble from sources outside their membership, in that a lodge warranted by the Grand Lodge of Ireland was reported, with evidence, as acting in an unmasonic manner. The Convention ruled that all brethren under its authority "shall keep themselves aloof from said lodge and its members." Further, that in no lodge under its authority "shall be allowed to introduce ardent spirits into the lodge room during the evening of holding the lodge."

A few weeks later arrived the first of the long awaited letters from the Grand Secretary of England, dated March. This to some extent acquitted him of intentional neglect of the lodges in Upper Canada by stating that a letter had been sent in November, 1819, explaining their position. Had this letter been received or had the succeeding letters sent from York been treated with even the ordinary business courtesy and judgment of that time, it is certain that the years of discontent, friction and ill-feeling would not have burdened those earnest brethren who strove to establish Freemasonry in this (then) outpost of Empire.

So, after five years of agitation from Upper Canada, the Masonic authorities in London abandoned for awhile their policy of masterly inactivity and acted by appointing R. W. Bro. Simon McGillivray, who was about to visit North America, as Provincial Grand Master and Grand Superintendent of Royal Arch Masonry for Upper Canada to look into the claims of "the lodges at present existing ... and presumed to have been constituted by the late Bro. Jarvis," granting their request that they be freed of tax for benevolence in England, and authorizing him to "act in such a way as may appear to him best calculated to promote the welfare of the Fraternity."

In July, 1822, R. W. Bro. McGillivray arrived and found his previous training as Junior Grand Warden of great value in recognizing the undoubted rights of the lodges in Upper Canada and in smoothing away the discords which had been aggravated by official neglect. The letters he wrote to R. W. Bro. John Dean, Secretary of the Masonic Convention, and to W.Bro. Edw. McBride of Niagara are still preserved and were all that could be expected under the circumstances. In August he arrived at Niagara from Kingston, on his way to Detroit, having met R. W. Bro. Phillips and other prominent brethren at Brockville and gone into matters thoroughly. While at, Niagara he impressed on the minds of the brethren there that the Grand Lodge of England could in no way recognize their quarrel with those at York and advised them to come to an agreement since "the law is before us, by that law we must be guided, and, as for the past, if irregularities have occurred, I trust it will not be necessary to refer to them."


As a result of his travels and investigations, R. W. Bro. McGillivray wrote to R. W. Bro. Dean, as executive officer of the Convention, requesting that "acting provisionally as Provincial Grand Secretary," he would issue summonses to all the lodges "represented in the Convention ... or otherwise known to you" to meet at York in September, and also send each of them a copy of a specific statement for them to fill in praying for recognition from and registration under the Grand Lodge of England. The lodges were further required to bring with them whatever documents of authority for their existence they might have, that the same might be sanctioned or new dispensations issued as each came might require. To Bro. Fitzgibbon he wrote asking him to attend the Convention and sending him a copy of the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of England for his information, "as the laws applying to the authority and proceedings of Provincial Grand Lodges are happily very distinct."

Bro. Dean did as requested, sending a courteous and fraternal letter to Bro. Edw. McBride, Secretary of the Niagara Grand Lodge, with a few blank statements for the use of his lodges and expressing the hope that the breach between them might be healed.

Everything went as smoothly as conditions permitted except that a delegation led by W. Bro. Dr.Chas. Duncombe of the Niagara Grand Lodge came to see R. W. Bro. McGillivray with some eleventh hour obstacles. The latter refused to see them as Masons, but heard their objections as individuals and by his tact, firmness and thorough Masonic knowledge so affected their frame of mind that they finally applied for admission to the Convention.

Monday, September 23, 1822, is one of the greatest days in our Masonic history for it marked the first Communication of the Second Provincial Grand Lodge of Upper Canada. Twenty-nine delegates were present representing eighteen lodges, with R. W. Bro. McGillivray presiding. Bro. Dean, as Secretary, read the patent appointing R. W. Bro. Fitzgibbon as Deputy Provincial Grand Master, and he was duly installed. The good judgment of the presiding officer was again shown by his appointing R. W. Bro. W.J. Kerr of the Niagara Grand Lodge as Senior Grand Warden and, in recognition of the services of Addington Lodge at Bath, W.Bro. B. Fairfield was appointed Junior Grand Warden. That the eastern and western sections of the Province might be properly served, two Provincial Grand Secretaries were appointed, W.Bro. Dean of Bath and Bro. Turquand of York, and other honours were distributed to those who had earned them.

It seems strange to read of two Secretaries being needed for a handful of lodges scattered between Niagara and Kingston, when today one, with three assistants, serves the needs of some seven hundred lodges having a membership of over a hundred thousand in the largest self-contained Grand Lodge in the world, but the conditions of such duties have vastly changed in the past century of Masonic progress.

Of the eighteen lodges mentioned above only the following now survive:


Founded Present No. Name Location
1792 2 Niagara, formerly Dalheusie Niagara
1796 3 Ancient St. John's Kingston
5 Sussex, formerly Hiram Brockville
1796 6 Barton Hamilton
1799 7 Union Grimsby
(?)1804-1812 9 Union Napanee
1792 10 Norfolk Simcoe
1801 11 Moira, Belleville
1818 14 True Britons, Perth
1816 15 St George's, St. Catharines

The numbers missing from this list were held by lodges which joined the Grand Lodge of Quebec between 1869 and 1874.

The only sore point left was that centering around Lodge Leinster at Kingston, warranted by the Grand Lodge of Ireland, which appears to have been a consistent nuisance. With the assistance of R. W. Bro. Phillips, a committee from Lodge No. 6 met one from the Irish Lodge in November, "when all matters were agreed to be buried." This lodge applied for and received in 1826 a new warrant from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Upper Canada, though its members were not all agreed among themselves as to doing so.

Next day, September 24, R. W. Bro. McGillivray issued a dispensation for the first of the sixty-nine lodges now working in Toronto, viz.: St. Andrew's, No. 1, P.R., to meet at York, the first Worshipful Master being W.Bro.Wm. Campbell, a Past Master of Temple Lodge, Guysborough, N.S., who had served as Attorney-General of Cape Breton in 1804, and was at this time Puisne Judge of Upper Canada. This lodge has recently celebrated its centenary by publishing a fine record of its history. The first Secretary, Bro. B. Turquand, also acted as Provincial Secretary for the Western District of Upper Canada, and the first Treasurer, Bro. J.Beikie, succeeded R. W. Bro. Fitzgibbon as Deputy Provincial Grand Master.

So the first annual session of the second Provincial Grand Lodge closed with twenty-seven warranted lodges on its register and six under dispensation. The revival under R. W. Bro. McGillivray had infused new life into all Craft bodies and their outlook for service was bright, for such minute books as have been preserved show a great increase in membership throughout the whole jurisdiction during the next few months. In February, 1823, the R.W. Brother returned to England and made full report of his work to the Grand Master. The value of his services was recognized to the full, in that all his recommendations were adopted by Grand Lodge and a vote of thanks engrossed on vellum and handsomely illuminated was presented to him.

(To Be Continued)

* * *


Copied by permission from "Freemasonry in Canada"; compiled by Bro. Osborne Sheppard, of Hamilton, Ont.

The first Masonic lodge to be formed in what is now the Province of Alberta was organized in Edmonton as Saskatchewan Lodge, No. 17, on the register of the Grand Lodge of Manitoba. Their charter was granted in 1882, but was subsequently surrendered about the year 1890.

The next attempt to establish Masonry in Alberta was made in Calgary in May, 1883, when a notice was issued calling upon all Masons to meet in Bro. George Murdock's store, which then stood on the east bank of the Elbow River, nearly opposite the present site of the barracks of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police. Only five Masons presented themselves at this meeting, namely, Bros. George Murdock, E. Nelson Brown, A. McNeil, George Monilaws and D.C. Robinson. Bros. James Walker and John A. Walker were to have attended, but were unavoidably prevented from being present. At this meeting the unanimous opinion of the brethren present was that the time was not opportune for the formation of a lodge, as there was no suitable place in which to meet, there were not a sufficient number of Masons to successfully carry on a lodge, and there was a scarcity of material to work on. After a few months had passed, people began to arrive in greater numbers with the advent of the railway. The C.P. railway track was laid through the site of what is now the city of Calgary on the 15th of August, 1883. A few days later the first freight train arrived, bringing with it the printing outfit of the Calgary Herald. In the first issue of that paper a notice was inserted calling upon all Masons interested in the formation of a Masonic Lodge to meet in George Murdock's shack, east of the Elbow River. A photograph of this shack is still preserved in the archives of Bow River Lodge, No. 1. To the surprise of all a large number of Masons assembled. R. W. Bro. Dr.N. J. Lindsay, at that time D.D.G.M. for No. 1 (Essex) District, Grand Lodge of Canada, was elected chairman, and R. W. Bro. George Murdock, Secretary. Meetings were regularly held every Friday night, and an attendance register kept and minutes of all proceedings recorded, but no Masonic work was done or examinations made until the petition for a dispensation was about to be signed.

A petition was forwarded to the Grand Lodge of British Columbia, asking for a dispensation, the greater numbers of those signing it having lived in that Province. Discouraged at the long wait for a reply, petition was made to the Grand Lodge of Manitoba. A favorable reply was received from both these Grand Lodges at about the same time. However, on account of the easier communication with Manitoba, it was decided to accept dispensation from their Grand Lodge. This dispensation was obtained about the first of January, 1884, and the first meeting was held on the 6th of January. R. W. Bro. Dr. N.J. Lindsay was elected first Worshipful Master. R. W. Bro. Lindsay then attended the meeting of the Grand Lodge of Manitoba, held in Winnipeg, on the 11th of February, and at meeting was elected Grand Junior Warden. At that meeting a charter was granted to Bow River Lodge, Calgary, numbered 28 on the register of the Grand Lodge of Manitoba. Bow River Lodge is now No. 1 on the Grand Register of Alberta.

At the meeting of the Grand Lodge in Manitoba in 1884 charters were granted to lodges at Regina, Moose Jaw and Calgary. These, with the lodges at Edmonton and Prince Albert, might legally have formed a Grand Lodge for the Northwest Territories, which comprised the Districts of Saskatchewan, Assiniboia and Alberta, all being under one territorial government. As even then it was deemed probable that the provincial formations were not far distant, it was recognized that a Territorial Grand Lodge would be broken up by the division of the territories into provinces. It was accordingly decided to leave in abeyance any desire to form a Grand Lodge.

The three districts forming the Northwest Territories have now been divided into two Provinces, Alberta and Saskatchewan, Assiniboia being absorbed by the other two.

The political changes which culminated in the division of the old Northwest Territories into the Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan on the first of September, 1905, precipitated the division of the Manitoba Grand Lodge, for, though it was long considered by many brethren that the large number of Masonic Lodges in the Canadian Northwest and their separation by hundreds of miles from the central authority necessitated a change, the spirit of loyalty to Manitoba was so strong that nothing short of absolute necessity could change it.

"Provincial Autonomy" was expected in the spring of the year 1905, and accordingly the "Medicine Hat Lodge," No. 31, took the initiative. It was at their request that Bow River Lodge, No. 28 (the oldest lodge in Alberta), called a convention in Calgary on the 25th of May, 1905, the result being the formation of the Grand Lodge of Alberta on October 12, 1905, when out of eighteen lodges within the political boundaries seventeen were represented by seventy-nine delegates, and the change was adopted.

* * *


Bro. George W. Wakefield, P.M.
St. John's Lodge. No. 1, P.E.I.

The first step taken to form a lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons in this island [Canadian Freemasonry was first established in Nova Scotia, on which see article by Bro. R. V. Harris, for beginnings in Ontario see article by Bros. Nixon and Haydon] was made by letter dated September 22, 1790, reading:

To the Right Worshipful Grand Master of Masons of Nova Scotia, &c., &c., &c.

We have taken the liberty to address you and the Grand Lodge for a Warrant to form a Lodge in this Island, and being unacquainted with the form of application (if there is any) our Worthy Brother Captain Livingston has given his word as a Man, that he will deliver this, acquaint you of the circumstances and vouch for those who have subscribed their Names as Antient Master Masons.

We have the honour Right Worshipful Master to be your Brothers, &c., &c.,

Peter Stewart
Thos. Desbrisay
L. Hayden
Joseph Aplin
Wm. Hillman

The original of the foregoing letter was found by the writer of this paper in the archives of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia in 1916, but no record as to its disposal.

The next and a successful attempt was made by a letter dated July 14, 1797, reading:

My dear friend and Brother,

I take the liberty to write you that if our petition meets with the approbation of the Grand Lodge that you will send me an account of the expenses which I will take care to by the earliest conveyance. You are perfectly acquainted with my Degrees in Masonry and I have made it my study to brighten myself by visiting every Antient Lodge I could meet with in my excursions and believe I shall be able with the assistance of the other Brethren to establish both a Regular and Respectful Lodge. I have the Belfast Edition of Ahiman Rezon which you saw at Halifax with both the Irish and York Regulations and shall thank you to send one of yours if you think it should be preferable and let the whole package be directed to Charlottetown. My most Respectful compliments to Mrs. Clarke and family to my worthy Brethren in No. 18 and all enquiring Brethren and Friends.

I am Right Worshipful, Yours most sincerely,

E. Nicolson.

This letter was probably addressed to a Mr. Clarke, as the writer sends his compliments to Mrs. Clarke and family, and he may have been James Clarke, Senior Grand Warden, or Duncan Clarke, Deputy Grand Master, as appears in the warrant dated Halifax, Nova Scotia, October 9, 1797, authorizing "The Worshipful Ebenezer Nicolson, Esquire, one of our Master Masons; the Worshipful William Hillman, his Senior Warden; the Worshipful Robert Lee, his Junior Warden, to form and hold a lodge of Free and Accepted Masons aforesaid, at the house of Alexander Richardson or elsewhere in Charlottetown, in the Island of Saint John, on the second Tuesday in each calender month."


The following is a record of the formation proceedings found in the archives of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia:

Proceedings of the Right Worshipful Grand Lodge held in Charlottetown in the Island of Saint John, October 19th, 1797, pursuant to a Warrant Issued by the Right Worshipful Brother Bulkeley, Grand Master of Antient York Masons for the Province of Nova Scotia and its Dependencies, &c.

Members present: R.W. Bro. J. Holland, D. Grand Master. R.W. Bro. A. Gordon, Sen. Warden. R.W. Bro. J. Curtis, Jun. Warden. R.W. Bro. P. Macgowan, Grd. Secretary. R.W. Bro. A. Smyth, Sen. Deacon. R.W. Bro. J. Webster, Jun. Deacon.

The Rt. Wor. Dep. Grand Master was pleased to open the Rt. Wor: Grd Lodge in the Third Degree of Masonry, when the Warrant for holding the same was read in the following words [here is inserted the order for Instalment] and duly acknowledged by the several Brethren.

After which the purposes for holding the aforesaid Lodge was explained.

Bro'r Ebenr Nicolson R.A.M. was then introduced in Masonic form, and acquainted that the Prayer of his Petition and that of the other Brethren of the Island of St. John had been complied with, and that a Warrant empowering them to hold a Lodge by the name of St. John Lodge, No. 26, had been Granted, and that the Rt. Wor: Dep: Grd Master was now ready to proceed according to Antient form in the installation of the said Lodge and the several officers.

Bro. Nicolson after performing the usual ceremonies was then Invested with the Honourable Badge of Master Bro. College as Proxy for Bro. Hillman in the place for Senr Warden likewise Bro. Lee as Junr Warden, they receiving the usual testimonies from the Brethren present. After which they were duly examined and found Skilful and Worthy. This closed the business of the evening and the Lodge departed in peace and harmony.

Bro. Hillman, the Senior Warden, was one of the subscribers to the letter addressed to the Right Worshipful Grand Master on September 22, 1790.


When the first warrant was issued the Province was known as the Island of St. John. By Act of Parliament, passed November 20, 1799, the name was changed to Prince Edward Island.

St John's Lodge continued to be known as No. 26 on the register of the Athol Provincial Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia until March 10, 1829, the date of the warrant granted by the United Grand Lodge of England and numbered 833; subsequently in the closing up of the numbers as 562 in 1832, and 397 in 1863. On the formation of the Grand Lodge of Prince Edward Island on June 24, 1875, it became No. 1 on its register.

The first meeting place was at the house of Bro. Alexander Richardson, known as the "Cross Keys," at the corner of Queen and Dorchester streets. And on October 19, 1797, there were twelve members, including Thomas Alexander, a Fellowcraft, namely:

Ebenezer Nicolson, M.D.; William Hillman; James College, army officer; Robert Lee; Peter Macgowan, attorney-general; Alexander Gordon, M.D.; Alexander Smith; John Webster; James Curtis, assistant judge; Thomas DesBrisay, lieutenant-governor under Governor Patterson; John Clarke, landed proprietor, lot 49.

Bro. Thomas Alexander, an affiliate Fellowcraft, was raised in November, 1797.

Lieutenant-Governor Edmund Fanning was the first member by petition. He was initiated November 14, 1797, and passed and raised December 12, 1797. He filled the office of Worshipful Master in 1801.

The meetings were held at Bro. Alexander Richardson's till 1811 when accommodation was provided by Bro. Thomas Robinson, Queen Street, west side, between Sydney and Richmond streets, and remained there till 1827 when it was decided to move to Bro. John Robinson's house on Kent street, just below the present City Hall. In 1835 "it was ordered that the lodge be now moved to the house of Bro. Robert Hutchinson." This house was on the corner of Pownal and Sydney streets. In 1843 we find it meeting at Bro. James McDonnell's house on the north side of Queen's Square. It is now occupied by his daughter, Mrs. Adam Murray. Fourteen years later, December 28, 1857, the minutes read: "The brethren formed in procession and marched to the new lodge room on Water street when they dedicated the same to Masonry in the usual customary form." This building was destroyed by fire in 1867, and on September 7 we find the brethren meeting in Large's Hall, Queen Street, near Kent Street. On June 11, 1878 the lodge became joint tenants with Victoria Lodge of Masonic Hall, Water Street, the site occupied by the building destroyed by fire in 1867. There it remained till October, 1893, when it moved to the new Masonic Temple, Grafton street.


The earliest by-laws of the lodge now in its possession were adopted on May 10, 1810, and were signed by Peter Macgowan, one of the twelve members, in 1797.

  1. That every Member of the Lodge conform to the several Rules, Usages and Establishments of Free Masonry, as contained in the Book of Constitution known by the name of Ahiman Rezen containing the Laws, Charges and Regulations of the FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS according to the OLD CONSTITUTIONS.
  2. That the Brethren meet the Second Tuesday in every Month, as stated in the Warrant, at the hour of Six from the Autumnal Equinoxis and at the Hour of seven from the Vernal to the Autumnal Equinoxis.
  3. That no business be done in the Lodge after the Hour of half past Nine o'clock and that the Lodge shall not be detained after half past Ten o'clock.
  4. That each Candidate shall deposit the sum of Ten shillings at the time of being proposed, into the hands of the Brother who proposes him, and shall forfeit the same, provided he does not come forward to receive the First degree of Masonry within the space of Three Regular meetings; on rejection the said money to be returned to the Candidate: and each Candidate for Free Masonry in this Lodge shall pay the sum of Three pounds, nineteen shillings and six pence Currency on receiving the First degree.
  5. No Candidate on any Consideration whatsoever shall be proposed and balloted for the same evening, but shall be proposed at one Meeting and balloted for and made (if necessary) the following Meeting of the Lodge, but if Two Black Balls appear it shall be sufficient to exclude a Candidate and if One Black Ball appears the Bro'r who gave it shall be called upon to assign his reasons, which if joined in by any other Bro'r present the Candidate shall not be admitted.
  6. The balloting box shall on no account be sent round more than twice, unless it appears that some mistake has been made.
  7. Every member of this Lodge shall be critically and regular in his attendance on the Regular Meeting of the Lodge, and if any Member shall not attend within Twenty Minutes after the opening of the said Lodge, he shall pay the sum of six pence, and provided the Member shall absent himself during the whole Evening he shall be fined the sum of One shilling, without sufficient reasons be given to the contrary.
  8. Every Member shall come to the Lodge clean and decently dressed, shall clothe himself at the Door, and on no account shall retire from the Lodge contrary to the usual forms on pain of forfeiting the sum of One shilling and three pence.
  9. If any Member shall come to the Lodge in a state of intoxication the Tyler shall not admit him, and if the said Member makes resistance and conducts himself riotously or improperly at the Door, on report of the Tyler, he shall forfeit the sum of Five shillings, and be further dealt with as the Majority of the Brethren shall direct, and if the said Member shall have gained admittance into the Lodge on discovery of his intoxication he shall forfeit the sum of Ten shillings, and shall be immediately Ordered by the Master to quit the Lodge for that evening.
  10. Every Member in Lodge shall conduct himself with due decency and decorum, shall hold no separate conversation without leave from the Master, nor talk of anything impertinent or indecent, nor interrupt the Master or Wardens, nor any Brother speaking to the Chair, nor whisper, nor act ludicrously in order to excite mirth whilst the Lodge is engaged in what is Solemn and serious, on pain of forfeiting One shilling.
  11. Should any Brother forget himself so far as to make use of Oaths or any irreverent expressions shall immediately pay the sum of Two shillings, to be doubled on every repetition of the offence the same evening.
  12. Any member of this Lodge may at any time be allowed to withdraw from the Lodge, on assigning good and substantial reasons for so doing, and on paying the usual fees shall be entitled to his Certificate.
  13. Any Brother having been initiated in another Lodge or wishing to join this Lodge, if in the First Degree only he shall receive the other two degrees on paying two-thirds of the full initiating fee of this Lodge, and if in the Second Degree on paying one-third of the said full initiating fee he shall receive the Third Degree.
  14. No Brother shall be allowed to visit this Lodge unless he shall have received the Sublime degree of a Master Mason. On the two first Nights he shall visit without expense, but on the Third and every succeeding night of visiting he shall pay his proportion of the Night's expenses in common with others.
  15. All matters in the Lodge are determined by a Majority of Votes, each Member having One Vote and the Master Two Votes.
  16. That at the stroke of the Master's gavel there shall be a general silence, and that he who breaks silence without leave from the Chair shall be publicly reprimanded.
  17. That under the same penalty every Brother shall keep his seat, and keep strict silence whenever the Master shall think fit to rise from the Chair and call to Order.
  18. That in the Lodge every Member shall keep his seat, and not move about from place to place during the Communication.
  19. That no Brother is to speak more than Once to the same affair, unless to explain himself or when called upon by the Chair.
  20. Every One that speaks shall rise and keep standing, addressing himself in a proper manner to the Chair, nor shall any presume to interrupt him under the aforesaid penalty, unless the Master find him deviating from the point in hand, shall think fit to reduce him to Order; for then the said Speaker shall sit down; but after he has been set right, he may again proceed if he observes due Order and decorum.
  21. If in the Lodge any Member is twice called to Order at any One Assembly, for transgressing these rules, and is guilty of a Third offence of the same Nature, the Master shall peremptorily order him to quit the Room for that Night.
  22. That whoever shall be so rude as to hiss at any Brother, or at what another says or has said, he shall be forthwith solemnly excluded the Communication, and declared incapable of ever being a Member of the Lodge for the future till another time he publicly own his fault, and his grace be granted.
  23. No motion for a new Regulation or for the continuance or abandon of an Old one, shall be made, till it be first handed up in writing to the Chair; and after it his been perused by the Master at least ten minutes, the thing may be publicly moved, it shall then be read by the Secretary: and if seconded and Thirded, it must be immediately committed to the consideration of the whole assembly, that their sense may be fully taken upon it; after which the question shall be put Pro or Con.
  24. The Opinion or Votes of the Members are to be signified by holding up of hands; that is One hand each Member; which uplifted hands the Wardens are to Count, unless the number of hands be so unequal as to render the Counting useless.
  25. Any Member of this Lodge refusing to comply with any of the above By-Laws or the penalties thereof, shall forthwith be expelled, unless he make a satisfactory submission in the Body of the Lodge for bis Unmasonic Contumacy.

"My son forget not my laws, but let thine heart keep my Commandments; and remove not the Ancient land-mark which thy Fathers have set. Solomon."

Lodge Moto of No. 26

"May Virtue be the Abutment and Wisdom the Key Stone of this Lodge."

P. Macgowan, Late Attorney General.


The records from 1797 to 1826 inclusive are missing. The lodge has, however, a fairly complete list of members for that period, as well as the treasurer's account book opened on February 23, 1810, and still in use.

The first candidate for the degrees was Lieutenant-Governor Edmund Fanning, initiated November 14, and passed and raised December 12, 1797. He was Worshipful Master in 1801. The lodge has the Holy Bible presented by him in 1799.

From 1827 to 1845 the regular business was transacted when the lodge was open on the Third Degree. In 1846 it was done when open on the First Degree; 1847 to 1852 it was the rule to open and transact business in a Lodge of Master Masons; in 1853 when open in either degree; since 1864 all business has been done in a Lodge of Master Masons.

Except for three years (1848-1850), when the regular communication was held on the second Friday, the lodge has since its organization in 1797, set apart the second Tuesday in each month for that purpose.

In a number of instances during the first half of the last century, members who had served the lodge as Senior Warden were, on motion of a Past Master, elected to be "Passed the Chair." When the Honourable Alexander Keith, Provincial Grand Master for Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, visited the lodge on September 9, 1847, he stated: "That the fee for the Past Master and Mark Master degree in Halifax is 40 pounds. But St. John's Lodge is at liberty to charge what they please, but would advise the Past Masters for the future not to give the degree of Past Master without receiving a certain sum they might agree upon."

On June 24, 1869, by an union of the lodges in Nova Scotia an independent Grand Lodge was organized for that Province. The then Provincial Grand Master, the Honourable Alexander Keith, was elected Grand Master, resigning his connection with the United Grand Lodge of England, thereby leaving the Masons in Prince Edward Island without a provincial head, or one authorized to grant dispensations when necessary.

This state of affairs was brought to the attention of St John's Lodge by a letter received from Halifax and the matter was at once taken into consideration by the lodge and a committee appointed to confer with the sister lodges in the Province regarding the appointment of a brother to the position. And on the 8th of November, 1870, memorials addressed to the United Grand Lodge of England were received from King Hiram Lodge, St. Eleanors; St. George's Lodge, Georgetown, and Zetland Lodge, Alberton, recommending the appointment of Brother Adam Murray, Past Master of St. John's Lodge, as District Grand Master for Prince Edward Island, when it was voted "That a similar memorial be signed by the officers of St. John's Lodge and the whole forwarded to the United Grand Lodge of England by the next mail."

The United Grand Lodge of England complied with the request of the memorialists, and communicated the same by letter, reading:

Freemason's Hall, London, S.W., 24th January 1871.

W. Master, I have to acquaint you that the M. W. Grand Master has been pleased to appoint Adam Murray, Esquire, of Charlottetown, District Grand Master for Prince Edward Island, to whom therefore you will in future address all communications relating to the Craft excepting the Return of your Lodge, applications for Certificates and other matters specially directed by the Book of Constitutions to be made to the Grand Secretary and which are to be forwarded to me.

With fraternal regard I remain, W. Master, Your Obedient Servant & Brother,

John Hervey, G.S.

Acting under authority contained in his commission, R. W. Bro. Adam Murray appointed W. Bro. P. Stainforth Macgowan District Grand Secretary, but did not at any time convene a District Grand Lodge, although the Book of Constitutions provided:

"District grand Lodges may fix stated times for their meetings, not exceeding four times in the year; but the district grand master may summon and hold a district grand lodge of emergency whenever, in his judgment, it may be necessary. The particular reason for calling such lodge of emergency shall be expressed in the summons, and no other business shall be entered upon at that meeting."


A second lodge was organized in 1828 under a Warrant of Constitution granted by the United Grand Lodge of England, to be known as Sussex Lodge, No. 822, Charlottetown. The charter members were members of St. John's Lodge, and its first Worshipful Master, Bro. Benjamin De St. Croix, was master of St. John's Lodge in 1813. It ceased to work in 1837.

St. John's Lodge, like many other lodges, was shaken to its foundations during what is known as the "Morgan excitement," 1826-1838. In twelve years from 1828 the records show: Initiated, five; passed, six; raised, six; and at one time the cash in the treasury was reduced to one shilling and three half-pence.

In some of the states in the United States of America "the Grand Lodge did not meet for years; but in every jurisdiction were some faithful brethren who kept the Masonic faith in their hearts and the Masonic fire alive upon the altar."

In 1842 a new day had dawned and the lodge held eighteen meetings, initiating eight, passing seven, raising seven, affiliating three.

To the faithful who met on all called occasions from 1829 to 1839 when the prospects began to brighten are we indebted for the continuance of St. John's Lodge, and their names are worthy of perpetual record, namely:

James Bagnall, initiated March 15, 1815. Charles Binns, initiated February 29, 1816. Theopholis Chappell, initiated before December, 1810. James H. Down, initiated January 20, 1824. John Godkin, initiated April 15, 1828. Robert Hutchinson, initiated October 11, 1825. Henry W. Lobban, initiated August 21, 1828. James McDonnell, initiated before December, 1810. Allan McInnis, initiated May 8, 1815. Richard Reed, initiated February 12, 1833. John Robinson, initiated August 24, 1819. Thomas Robinson, initiated before December, 1810. William Scantlebury, affiliated June 10, 1828. Peter Smith, initiated June 17, 1816. John Willock, initiated January 8, 1833. George Wright, initiated before December, 1809.

On the 24th of June, 1842, an address to Her Majesty Queen Victoria was prepared offering the sincere congratulations of the members of St. John's Lodge upon Her Majesty's late Providential escape from the atrocious attempt of a daring assassin.

The letter to the Lieutenant-Governor accompanying the address reads as follows:

To His Excellency Sir Henry Vere Huntley, Knight, &c., &c., &c.

May it please Your Excellency

We the free and accepted Masons of Prince Edward Island, convened under the Banner of Saint John's Lodge No. 833 and established under the Banner of the Grand Lodge of England, beg leave respectfully to request that Your Excellency will be pleased to transmit this Address, expressing to Her Majesty the Queen our sincere and heartfelt congratulations upon the late providential escape from the atrocious attempt of a daring Assassin, so that the same may be laid at the Foot of the Throne.

In requesting this favour from Your Excellency, we beg to assure you, that like the rest of our Brethren of the Most Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons, we will be found ever ready to defend our Sovereign and Her Representative in this Colony, from all attacks of an enemy should occasion require, and to uphold the glorious Constitution of that Empire, of which we happily form a portion.

That the Great Architect of the Universe may bless Your Excellency, Lady Huntley, and your Children, is our earnest prayer.

His Excellency acknowledged receipt in the following words:

To the Free and Accepted Masons of Prince Edward Island,

It gives me sincerest pleasure and gratification to be employed as the means of carrying to our Excellent Sovereign the expression of abhorrence entertained by the Free and Accepted Masons of Prince Edward Island upon the late execrable attempt upon Her Majesty's life.

The expression of your feelings combined with the assurance of your attachment to the Constitution of our Country, becomes infinitely valuable, because emanating from a Society which has never lent its influence other than to support Religion, Loyalty and universal Benevolence.

Accept the assurance of my deepest gratitude for the kind wishes that you have expressed towards myself, Lady Huntley and my family.

H. V. Huntley, Lt. Govr. Gov't House, June 24th, 1842.

On September 12 the following communication from the Colonial Secretary was read:

Secretary's Office, Augt 20th, 1842.


I am directed by His Ex. the Lieut. Governor to acquaint you that His Excellency has received a Dispatch from the Right Honble lord Stanley, Her Majesty's principal Secretary for the Colonies, Acknowledging the receipt of their Address to the Queen from the Freemasons of Prince Edward Island, upon the late attempt upon Her Majesty's life, transmitted by His Excellency, and announcing that the Address had been laid before the Queen, and that Her Majesty had been pleased to receive the same very graciously.

I have, &c.,

T. H. Haviland, Secretary.

Mr. R. Hutchinson, W. M.


The next address to be presented was one to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales on August 10, 1860, namely:

To His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, K. G., &c., &c., &c.

May it please Your Royal Highness,

We, the Free and Accepted Masons of Prince Edward Island established under the Banners of the Grand Lodges of England and Scotland, desire most respectfully to approach Your Royal Highness and offer our sincere welcome and congratulations on Your Royal Highness' auspicious arrival in the Colonies of British North America.

Gratifying as must be the visit of Your Royal Highness to this Island associated as it is with Your Royal Highness' name and family it is doubly so to our Fraternity as it presents to us an occasion for testifying not only our loyalty to Your Royal Highness, as the Representative and Heir to our much beloved Sovereign Her Majesty Queen Victoria, but also our heartfelt affection for Your Royal Highness personally as the Son of a, Free and Accepted Mason, and as the Scion of an illustrious house which has long been marked for its intimate connection with our Order.

We humbly beg to assure Your Royal Highness, that should the, All-wise dispensations of the Great Architect of the Universe call upon Your Royal Highness to fill the throne of this mighty Empire now so nobly occupied by Your Highness' August Mother the Free and Accepted Masons of Prince Edward Island will ever, in accordance with the first principles inculcated by the Craft, be found foremost in steady attachment to Your Royal Highness throne and person and zealous in the support and defence of that glorious Constitution which it has so long been the privilege of the British nation to enjoy under the distinguished dynasty to which Your Royal Highness belongs.

The unanimous order of the Masonic Lodges of Prince Edward Island.

Adam Murray, W.M., St. John's Lodge, No. 562.
Cuthbert C. Vaux. R.W.M., Victoria Lodge, No. 383.
James Campbell, W.M., King Hiram Lodge, No. 1123.

To which address the following was received:

Government House Charlottetown, P. E. Island,

August 10th 1860.


I have the honour to acknowledge by desire of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales the Address presented to him this day by the Free and Accepted Masons of Prince Edward and to convey to you the thanks of His Royal Highness.

I am, Sir, Your Obedient Servant, Newcastle.

To James Campbell, Esqre., &c., &c.


August 23, 1839. A Lodge of Emergency was called for the purpose of laying the cornerstone of the new jail. The brethren formed in procession and repaired to the site of the proposed building when the cornerstone was well and truly laid by Past Master Brother Thomas Robinson in the absence of the Worshipful Master Brother Ewen Cameron.

May 16, 1843. According to request made to the W. M., Brother Henry W. Lobban, by His Excellency Sir Henry Vere Huntley, Lieutenant Governor, the lodge was called to assist His Excellency in laying the cornerstone of the Provincial Building which they did "quite to the pleasure of His Excellency and suite, and hundreds of spectators."

March 9, 1858. Several members having formed a new lodge, styled "Victoria," under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, withdrew from St John's Lodge. This made the second lodge in Prince Edward Island; up to this date the records of St. John's Lodge is the history of Freemasonry in the Province.

Although the records of St. John's Lodge from 1797 to 1827 are missing, the lodge was not dormant at any time during that period. There is evidence in the archives of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia that returns were fairly and regularly made; and in particular from 1811 to 1826 without a break; and initiated 139, affiliated five, in the thirty years.

In one letter dated August 13, 1816, the Secretary, Bro. James Bagnall, informs the Provincial Grand Secretary that on

"June 24. The festival was celebrated in a most respectable manner, the Lodge having made arrangements proceeded to Church in Masonic Procession accompanied by several visiting Brethren and attended Divine Service performed by the Rev. Mr. Desbrisay; and upon their return to the Lodge Room installed the officers. After the installation the Lodge adjourned and met again at half past Five o'clock and dined together in the Lodge room. The day through the whole was spent in the most harmonious festivity and the Brethren at an early hour in the evening departed in Harmony."

Bro. James Bagnall, printer, was initiated March 15, 1815; passed April 9, 1815, and raised May 8, 1815.

The officers reported as installed on the 24th of June, 1816, were: George Wright, W.M.; Ewen Cameron, S.W.; Donald Manson, J.W.; Samuel Nelson, Treasurer; James Bagnall, Secretary; Thomas Alexander, Tyler.

In the first half of the nineteenth century the Masonic dress for funerals was white scarfs, band on hat, and white gloves. On other occasions the hat band was discarded, and blue scarfs took the place of white scarfs. The form of procession included:

The Stewards, with Black Wands. Three Master Masons, each carrying a Taper. The three Tapers representing the three lesser lights. A Banner, carried by a Master Mason and protected by a Guard in uniform. A Master Mason, carrying the Ark containing the Warrant, Book of Constitutions, and the Working Tools. A Master Mason, carrying the Holy Bible.

Following work, refreshments were sometimes served. The cost for the year 1827 was (pounds) £6 11s. 3½d., and included one-half gallon of spirits 4s., and two pounds of sugar 1s. 4d.


After several preliminary meetings delegates appointed by St. John's Lodge made report on the 9th of March, 1875:

That at a meeting of Delegates appointed by the several Lodges held on the 24th proxime it was decided to form the Grand Lodge of Prince Edward Island; and on the 23rd of June the representatives of

St. John's Lodge, No. 397, R.E., warranted March 10, 1829; formerly No. 26, R. Athol Provincial Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, warranted October 9, 1797;

Victoria Lodge, No. 383, R.S., warranted March, 1858;

King Hiram Lodge, No. 821, R.E., warranted June 4, 1860;

St George's Lodge, No. 866 R.E, warranted May 17, 1861;

Alexandra Lodge, No. 983, R.E., warranted August 28, 1863;

Mount Lebanon Lodge, No. 984, R.E., warranted September 2, 1863;

Zetland Lodge, No. 1200, R.E., warranted November 6, 1867;

True Brother's Lodge, No. 1251, R. E., warranted January 28, 1869;

met in St John's Hall, Charlottetown, and then and there adopted the following resolution:

RESOLVED, That the Representatives now in Convention assembled on behalf of the Lodges represented by them do hereby declare themselves to be "The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of Prince Edward Island."

And immediately proceeded to the election of Grand Officers, when Bro. the Hon. John Yee was elected Most Worshipful Grand Master.

On the following day (June 24) the Most Worshipful Grand Master and other officers were duly installed by M.W. John V. Ellis, Grand Master of New Brunswick, assisted by his Grand Officers.

The lodges (all in the jurisdiction) participating in the formation of the Grand Lodge then became known as

St John's Lodge, No. 1, Charlottetown. Victoria Lodge No. 2, Charlottetown. King Hiram Lodge, No. 3, Summerside. St. George's Lodge, No. 4, Georgetown. Alexander Lodge, No. 5, Port Hill. Mount Lebanon Lodge, No. 6, Summerside. Zetland Lodge, No. 7, Alberton. True Brothers' Lodge, No. 8, Crapaud.

The following lodges have since then been added to the register:

King Solomon Lodge, No. 9, Charlottetown. Warranted February 16, 1876. Charter surrendered, 1883.

Westmoreland Lodge, No. 10, Victoria. Warranted May 16, 1877. Erased, 1879.

Orient Lodge, No. 11, Souris. Warranted August 15, 1877.

Mount Zion, No. 12, Kensington. Warranted June 24, 1878.

St. Andrew's, No. 13, Montague. Warranted June 24, 1884.

Prince Edward Lodge, No. 14, Stanley Bridge. Warranted June 24, 1885.

Mount Moriah Lodge, No. 15, Cape Traverse. Warranted June 26, 1899

King Edward Lodge, No. 16, Malpeque. Warranted June 24, 1904.

Mizpah Lodge, No. 17, Eldon. Warranted June 26, 1912.

* * *


And now abideth Faith, Hope, Charity.
Unchanging, unchanged by time or tide,
Fast in His promises, these abide.
In rage or calm, in ebb or flow,
These cables cling to the Rocks below.

"But the greatest of these" Ah! yes, I know
How this "Greatest," that "Will not let me go,"
Abides and holds, midst the wreck of storms.
"Underneath are His everlasting arms."
— Yes, Love abides.

But tonight as I ride, off a wreck-strewn coast,
With broken power and compass lost,
'Neath sullen sky, on an angry sea,
Faith, too, abides comes dawn, we'll see.
— Faith, too, abides.

This formless night, and this angry sea
Will pass "He is faithful that promised thee."
An ocean and sky of a fathomless blue
Will greet the morn of Hope come true.
— And Hope abides.

— H. Darling P.G.M., Alberta

* * *


Copied by permission from "Freemasonry in Canada"; compiled by Bro. Osborne Sheppard, of Hamilton, Ont.

Masonry in Canada, or that portion of the Dominion which formed "Old Canada" before the Confederation, is only reckoned back to the year 1759, when the "Lily" flag of the Bourbon was replaced over New France by the British "Union Jack." With the advent of the British troops, English Freemasonry was transplanted to Canadian soil, or, more strictly speaking, Anglo-Saxon Freemasonry, for the Grand Lodge of Ireland was more largely represented among the regiments that took part in the capitulation of the cities of Quebec and Montreal. In those days many of the regiments in the British army carried travelling warrants authorizing them to hold lodges, and among those taking part in the siege of the first named city five regiments held Irish warrants, and one an English warrant, and at the latter city five regiments likewise held Irish warrants, one an English and one a warrant from the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Among the number, Lodge No. 227 of the Irish register in the Sixty-fourth Regiment of Foot still survives, and is now called the "Lodge of Antiquity," No. 1, on the registry of the Grand Lodge of the Province of Quebec.

Quebec capitulated to the army of Wolfe September, 1759, and on the following St. John's Day, December 27, 1759, eight military lodges met to celebrate the festival of their patron saint, and there and then formed themselves into a Grand Lodge, and elected Lieutenant Guinnett, of the Forty-seventh Regiment, a member of Lodge No. 192, under the Irish register, as Grand Master.


For thirty-three years this Provincial Grand Lodge had control of Masonry as the Provincial Grand Lodge of Canada, under the Grand Lodge of "Moderns," England, the headquarters being located in the city of Quebec. Among the Grand Masters were Colonel the Hon. Simon Fraser, Seventy-eighth Highlanders, 1760 (who was installed by Sir Thomas Dunkerley (see note), then an officer on H.M.S., the "Vanguard"); Captain Milborne West, Forty-seventh Regiment, 1761; Lieutenant Turner, Forty-seventh Regiment, 1763; Hon. John Collins, 1765; Colonel Sir Guy Carleton (Lord Dorchester), 1786, and Sir John Johnson, Baronet, 1788. This Provincial Grand Lodge chartered many subordinate lodges, upwards of forty having been traced, the first four being located in the city of Quebec, two, Albion, No. 2, and St. John's, No. 3 being still on the roll of the present Grand Lodge of Montreal under the name of St. Peter's, No. 4. This lodge was in active operation for thirty years and lapsed about 1792. In 1767 a Deputy Provincial Grand Lodge was created in Montreal and Bro. E. Antill appointed Deputy Provincial Grand Master. On November 8, 1770, a warrant was again issued for another lodge in Montreal, under the designation of St. Paul's, No. 10.

The Provincial Grand Lodge warranted several other lodges in Montreal and various places, including points on Lake Champlain, Detroit, Kingston, Niagara, Cornwall, Ogdensburg and Rawdon (Ont.); the majority of these, however, disappeared at the end of the last century. In 1752 a schism occurred in Masonry in England and a rival Grand Lodge was formed, which took to themselves the title of "Ancient" and dubbed the premier Grand Lodge the "Moderns." This new body was composed of many of the younger and more aggressive members of the Craft, and proved a very formidable rival to the premier Grand Lodge. The rivalry between the two bodies was at its height when "Prince Edward," father of Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria, arrived at Quebec in 1791, with the Seventh Royal Fusiliers, of which regiment he was Colonel. At this time there were three lodges hailing from the "Ancients" in the city of Quebec, who were in a strong and prosperous condition.


With the advent of Prince Edward came a new era in Masonry in the Province. On March 7, 1792, the Grand Lodge of the Ancients in England issued a patent deputing the Prince "Provincial Grand Master" of Lower Canada, and on the 22nd of June, 1792, His Royal Highness was duly installed with great éclat (a religious service and procession to the Recollet Church (R.C.) forming part of the ceremony), his Royal Highness remaining Grand Master of this Grand Lodge until the year 1813, when he was elected Grand Master of the Ancients in England in succession to the Duke of Athole. The Prince was created Duke of Kent in 1799, and on the amalgamation of the two Grand bodies in 1813 he nominated his brother, the Duke of Sussex, as the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge. This Grand Lodge of Lower Canada warranted some twenty-six lodges between the years 1792 and 1823, five of which are still in existence under the present Grand Lodge of Quebec. These five are: Dorchester, No. 4, at St. John's; Select Surveyors (now Prevost), Missisquoi Bay; Nelson at Caldwell Manor; Golden Rule at Stanstead, and Sussex (now St. Andrew's), at Quebec. Zion, No. 1, at Detroit, still holds an original warrant, Zion, No. 10 issued by this Grand Lodge, of date September 7, 1794. Among the Montreal warrants were Union Lodge, No. 8, chartered in 1793, which lapsed in 1826; St. Paul's, No. 12, May 1, 1797 (which apparently was applied for and granted to the members of the former St. Paul's, No. 10), and Wellington Persevering, No. 20, was formed in 1815 and dissolved, 1826.

These years were ones of prosperity for the brethren of the mystic tie. In 1816 Union, No. 8, made an effort to rase a fund for the purpose of building a Freemason's Hall in the city of Montreal and founding a school for the education of children, but the effort did not materialize. The Duke of Kent having resigned, the Hon. Claude Denechau, M.P.P., was duly elected to succeed him as Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge, which important post he acceptably filled until 1822. Many pleasant and important incidents are related and on record regarding the doings of the Craft during these thirty years. The celebration of St. John's Day, the 27th of December, was annually held with much enthusiasm. At the request of the Royal Grand Master the lodges in Quebec met and marched in procession for some years to the Recollet (R.C.) Church, which was kindly placed at their disposal, when service was held and a sermon delivered by the Grand Chaplain, the brethren dining together in the evening. Before his departure from Canada His Royal Highness presented an antique Masonic square of gold with an inscription that it was "a gift from H.R.H. Prince Edward to the R.W. the Grand Lodge of Lower Canada." This, together with a large "key" of gold surmounted with a crown and monogram, the gift of H.R.H. Prince William Henry, afterwards "King William IV.," are preserved with religious care by the present Grand Lodge of Quebec.


The War of 1812 between England and the United States had a very depressing effect on Masonry and the removal of some of the military lodges, as well as a number of the brethren who had taken an active part in the Grand Lodge of Lower Canada, caused this body to become very inactive for several years.

The year 1823 marked another era in the history of the Craft in the Province of Quebec. The lodges in Montreal, as well as some of the others in the Province, forwarded their Canadian charters to the recently formed United Grand Lodge of England, and exchanged them for English warrants, and then petitioned England to establish two Provincial Grand Lodges under that Grand Body one for Montreal and the Borough of William Henry (now called Sorel), and the other for the cities of Quebec and Three Rivers. This request was acceded to, and the Hon. William McGillivray was appointed Provincial Grand Master of the former, and the Hon. Claude Denechau as the Provincial Grand Master of the latter.

The history of these two District Grand Bodies during the thirty years that elapsed until a new Canadian Grand Body was formed is not an active one, especially in the Quebec District. In the Montreal District several lodges were constituted, however.

In 1836 St. George Lodge was established, it having previously received a dispensation from the Provincial Grand Lodge in 1828. Zetland Lodge was constituted in 1844 and St. Lawrence in 1854. On September 5, 1828, Hon. Claude Denechau, Provincial Grand Master, installed John Molson, Esq., as Provincial Grand Master of the District of Montreal and William Henry. The brethren, accompanied by the band of the Seventy-sixth Regiment, attended Divine service in Christ Church, Montreal, the sermon being delivered by the rector, the Rev. Bro. John Bethune, Grand Chaplain.

In the year 1836 the Grand Master, the Hon. John Molson, died, and the Provincial Grand Lodge did not meet again for over ten years. On May 20, 1846, the Provincial Grand Lodge was again revived, an especial Grand Lodge being held in the lodge room in "Mack's Hotel" in the city of Montreal, to install the Hon. Peter McGill as the Provincial Grand Master. In 1847 the Grand Lodge of Scotland established Elgin Lodge in Montreal, and the lodge of "Social and Military Virtues" in the Forty-sixth Regiment (now Antiquity) was finally located in the same city. In 1849 the Hon. Peter McGill resigned office on account of ill health and the Hon. William Badgley succeeded him. In the city of Quebec the late Hon. Claude Denechau, deceased, was succeeded by Thos. Harington, Esq., and he in turn by James Dean, Jr., Esq., in 1857. The Provincial Grand Lodge at Quebec finally dissolved in 1870, the members joining the then new Grand Lodge of Quebec. That of Montreal and William Henry, which had dwindled down to three lodges after the formation of the Grand Lodge of Canada in 1855, had no active existence, and in the later years of the late Judge Badgley, who was the last Provincial Grand Master appointed by the Grand Lodge of England, it never met.


The history of Freemasonry in the Province of Quebec can be divided into periods of about thirty years each.

A third period had thus elapsed when in October, 1855, the representatives of forty-one lodges it Canada West (now Ontario), and thirteen in Canada East (now Quebec), met in the city of Hamilton and formed the "Grand Lodge of Canada," holding jurisdiction over the two Provinces. This governing body gave quite an impetus to the Fraternity, and many new lodges were formed, some thirty in the Province of Quebec.

From 1855 to 1869 this Grand Lodge was the controlling Masonic Power in the Province of Quebec until the Confederation of the Canadian Provinces under one government.

With the birth of the Dominion of Canada, in 1867, appeared an agitation for the formation of separate Grand Lodges for each Province, the Provinces of Canada West and East being renamed Ontario and Quebec. Nothing definite was done until 1869, when a meeting was held in Montreal on August 12, and adjourned until September 24, when it was fully decided to call all the lodges in the Province to a convention on October 20 for the formation of a Grand Lodge. Upon this date the present Grand Lodge of Quebec was duly formed by twenty-eight of the warranted lodges then in the Province, M. W. Bro. John Hamilton Graham, LL. D., being elected Grand Master. The Grand Lodge of Canada strenuously opposed this movement, and a number of her lodges held aloof and did not at once join in. Matters Masonic were very unpleasant for several years, but in September, 1874, "Canada" finally withdrew from the Province of Quebec, her jurisdiction being now confined to the Province of Ontario only. All of her twenty lodges then in the Province of Quebec affiliated with the new Grand Lodge.

In June, 1878, the Grand Lodge of Scotland instituted two new lodges in the city of Montreal, which, together with Elgin Lodge already of its obedience, were formed into a "Provincial Grand Lodge." This invasion of territory was energetically opposed by the Grand Lodge of Quebec, who immediately issued an edict of non-intercourse. Three years later amicable proposals resulted in the three Scottish lodges affiliating with the Grand Lodge of Quebec on January 27, 1881, and the dissolution of the Scotch Provincial Grand Lodge.

At the formation of the Grand Lodge of Quebec the Grand Lodge of England proffered recognition under certain restrictions which Quebec declined, but in 1906 the matter was again considered, resolutions adopted by both Grand Bodies, and an exchange of representatives made, M. W. Bro., the then Provincial Grand Master of England, the Earl of Amherst, accepting Quebec's commission, and M.Wor. Bro. Sir Melbourne M. Tait of Montreal, Chief Justice of the Province of Quebec, receiving a commission from the Grand Lodge of England.

Following closely upon this action St. Lawrence Lodge No. 640, of Montreal, affiliated with Quebec on October 20, 1906, leaving St. Paul's, No. 374, and St. George, No. 440, still holding under England.

Since the advent of the Grand Lodge of Quebec Freemasonry has made steady strides in the Province. The first five years showed a membership of 2,700 in forty lodges, a number of whose warrants have since been returned, some by amalgamation and others through change of population in their localities. The advance, however, has been most marked in the past ten years. In 1901 the roll stood at fifty-seven lodges and a membership of 3,825. At the last session, 1915, the roll of lodges had increased to sixty-six and a membership of 8,152.

Note: "Sir" is an error; this Masonic celebrity had no titles of nobility.

* * *


The shadows deepen 'round thy quiet shrines,
The candles' golden plumes grow tall and still,
The censers' fragrant echoes fill thine aisles,
And clouds of prayer contrast life's noisy mill.

Hither I turn my weary steps at eve,
One seat, familiar, holds a welcoming arm.
Here I can kneel and, to our heavenly Friend,
With silent words and daily plea return.

The silent twilight glows more eloquent,
The sanctuary lamp swings gently overhead,
Without, the hurrying steps of man and beast
Make dearer still this peace wherein I'm led.

Unwilling, I must leave this hallowed place,
Far up there clangs a loud-resounding bell,
Calm and austere beside me Duty stands,
"Resume thy life, my son, with thee shall all be well."

Thanks be to God for thee, oh, goodly fane,
Whose tinted windows veil the garish day,
From Him the thoughts embodied in thy walls,
By Him thy pillars stand, thy courses lay.

His, too, the stones that rear thee heavenward,
His skill that planned thy winding tracery;
Praise be to Him who doeth all things well,
Who maketh us His regents fit to be.


* * *


Reprinted from "The Square," of Vancouver, B.C., by kind permission of Bro. E. J. Templeton, Editor.

In the 19th of March, 1859, a warrant was granted by the Earl of Zetland, Grand Master of England, authorizing the formation of a lodge at Victoria, British Columbia. The warrant took some time to reach the petitioners, for it was not until the 28th of August, 1860, that the lodge was finally constituted as Victoria Lodge, No. 1085, E. C., at a meeting held over Hibben & Coswell's store, at the corner of Yates and Langley streets, J.J. Southgate being its first Worshipful Master.

Some months later Union Lodge, New Westminster, was organized, Henry Holbrook being nominated first Worshipful Master. Owing to a dispute as to the Junior Warden elect, a warrant was not granted until the 16th of December, 1861.

About the time Union Lodge was being organized, a number of Americans resident in Victoria, being unfamiliar with the English work, decided to petition the Grand Lodge of Washington for permission to form a lodge under that grand jurisdiction. Hearing of this, Victoria Lodge, at a meeting held on the 24th of January, 1861, passed the following resolution:

"Whereas, We have been informed that a party in this community have applied to the Grand Lodge of Washington Territory for a Dispensation or Warrant to organize a Lodge of F. & A. M. in this town, it is, therefore, resolved that while we hail the Grand Lodge of Washington Territory and all other Grand Lodges as Brethren and Masons, we do not recognize their power to grant Dispensations or Warrants out of the district of their own country, and all Dispensations and Warrants emanating from any other source than the Grand Lodges of the mother country in this place we shall hold as clandestine, and all Masons visiting such Lodges cannot be recognized as Masons."

The petition to the Grand Lodge of Washington was thereupon withdrawn.

Shortly afterwards, some unattached brethren asked Victoria Lodge to recommend a petition they proposed to send to the Grand Lodge of Scotland making application for a warrant to form a lodge under that Grand Jurisdiction. This request was granted at a meeting held on the 15th of May, 1862, at which the following resolution was passed:

"That the Victoria Lodge No. 1085 cordially responds to the petition of the Brethren desirous to establish a Lodge under the Grand Lodge of Scotland; but in doing so, they reserve the precedence of the Grand Lodge of England in general Masonic affairs within the colony, and they communicate this resolution to the Grand Lodge of England as a matter of record."

The warrant from the Grand Lodge of Scotland came along in due course, and, on the 20th of October, 1862, Vancouver Lodge, No. 421, S.C., was duly constituted, William Jeffery being first Worshipful Master.

On the 15th of May 1867, Nanaimo Lodge, No. 1090, E. C., was constituted by the officers and brethren of Victoria Lodge, who proceeded to Nanaimo in regalia for that purpose, being authorized so to do under a dispensation granted by the Grand Master of England.

This year, 1867, a second English lodge was warranted in Victoria under the name of British Columbia Lodge.

It was in this year, too, that the Grand Master Mason of Scotland appointed Dr. I. W. Powell Provincial Grand Master of British Columbia. The Provincial Grand Lodge was organized on the 24th of December, 1867. At this meeting the newly appointed Provincial Grand Master announced that he had granted dispensations for the formation of two new lodges Cariboo Lodge, at Barkerville, and Caledonia Lodge, at Nanaimo.

On the 14th of March, 1868, a District Grand Lodge was organized under the Grand Lodge of England, with Robert Burnaby as District Grand Master.

Mount Hermon Lodge, the fourth under the Grand Lodge of Scotland, was organized at Hastings during January, 1869. Quadra Lodge, also under the Grand Lodge of Scotland, was constituted two years later.

There were, then, five Scottish and four English lodges working in British Columbia in the spring of 1871.


A movement to organize an independent Grand Lodge had been started by Vancouver Lodge at its regular meeting held on the 16th of December, 1868. The matter was brought up for further consideration at a meeting held on the 2nd of January, 1869, when the idea was agreed to by the lodge generally, a series of resolutions being passed which were communicated to the other lodges. All but one of the Scottish lodges fell in line with Vancouver Lodge, while the English lodges, with the exception of Victoria Lodge, refused to entertain the proposition. Dr. Powell, too, refused to move in the matter without the consent of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, which seems to have been withheld.

Undaunted, Vancouver Lodge went ahead with its scheme after submitting it to several American and the other Canadian Grand Lodges, by whom, seemingly, it was favourably received. Anyway, a convention was called at Victoria on the 18th of March, 1871, to act on the matter. The District Grand Master, Robert Burnaby, refused to allow his English lodges to attend, but the Scottish lodges held the convention and decided to form an independent Grand Lodge. Dr. Powell, who was in the Old Country at the time, was elected Grand Master. The Hon. Ellwood Evans, Past Grand Master of Washington was asked to attend and install the officers of the new Grand Lodge, which he agreed to do. However, the District Grand Secretary, acting on the instructions of the English District Grand Master, attended the meeting and lodged an official protest against the proceedings, which was effectual in putting a stop to things for the time being.

As a result of this, bitter discord arose between the English and Scottish lodges where formerly had existed only the utmost friendliness and cooperation. This was the state of affairs when Dr. Powell returned from his trip to the Old Country. Noticing it, with regret, he and the District Grand Master at once discussed the whole situation thoroughly, finally deciding that it was obviously desirable to form an independent Grand Lodge if a majority of the members of the two jurisdictions wanted it. Having come to this decision, the Provincial and District Grand Masters issued circular letters to their subordinate lodges, instructing the brethren to vote on the question. The result of the vote was one hundred and ninety-four in favour of an independent Grand Lodge and twenty-eight against it.

A convention was therefore called in Victoria on the 21st of October, 1871, at 7:30 p.m., "to determine details and to take such action as may be deemed necessary for the formation of an independent Grand Lodge of Free Masons in British Columbia."

The convention having assembled, James A. Grahame was unanimously elected chairman and H. F. Heisterman secretary.

After certain necessary preliminary business had been transacted, Robert Burnaby moved, and Dr. I. W. Powell seconded, the following resolution: "That in order to establish perfect fraternal harmony and concord, to promote the lasting welfare of the Masonic Fraternity in British Columbia, it is expedient to form a Grand Lodge in and for the Province of British Columbia." This resolution was carried unanimously and with much enthusiasm.

It was then moved by S. D. Levi, and seconded by M. W. Waitt, "That the representatives now in convention assembled on behalf of their respective lodges represented by them, do hereby declare themselves to be and that they now proceed to organize the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of British Columbia." This was carried unanimously, and it was also agreed "that the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of England for the present be adopted." Grand Lodge then proceeded to the election of officers, when the following were declared unanimously chosen: Dr. I. W. Powell, Grand Master; Hon. J. F. McCreight, Deputy Grand Master; Simeon Duck, M.P.P., Senior Grand Warden; Henry Nathan, Jr., Junior Grand Warden; Rev. F. Gribbell, Grand Chaplain; M. W. Waitt, Grand Treasurer, and P. J. Hall, Grand Tyler. Robert Burnaby, the late English District Grand Master, was made a Past Grand Master, and James A. Grahame, for his services as chairman of the convention, was given the rank of Past Deputy Grand Master.

The convention later adjourned until 2 p.m. on the 26th of December, 1871, when it re-assembled at the Masonic Hall, Government street, Victoria, and proceeded to finally and regularly organize the Grand Lodge of British Columbia.

The following additional officers were appointed by the Grand Master: H. F. Heisterman, Grand Secretary; William Clarke, Senior Grand Deacon; I. Ragazzoni, Junior Grand Deacon; R. Lewis, Grand Superintendent of Works; Eli Harrison, Grand Director of Ceremonies; W. Dalby, Grand Marshal; Thomas Shotbolt, Grand Sword Bearer; W. B. Wilson, Grand Standard Bearer; J. J. Austin, Grand Organist; S.L. Kelly, Grand Pursuivant; J. Winger, J. Crump, W. H. Brown, J. S. Thompson, M.P., and J. C. Hughes, M.P.P., Grand Stewards.

A ball was subsequently held in honour of the inauguration of the Grand Lodge, at which Grand Officers and members of subordinate lodges were granted dispensations by the Grand Master to appear in full regalia.

Authorities Consulted

The published Proceedings of the Convention held at Victoria on the 21st of October, 1871; the published Proceedings of the First Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia; an Address by Dr. A.W. DeWolf Smith on the occasion of the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the introduction of Freemasonry into British Columbia, etc.

* * *


M. W. Bro. James A. Ovas, P.G.M., Grand Sec'y Manitoba

The first lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons to organize in the Province of Manitoba was by authority of M. W. Bro. A.T.C. Pierson (see Note No. 1), Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota under a dispensation dated the thirteenth day of September, 1863, coming by way of Pembina, Dakota Territory, to Fort Garry (now Winnipeg), in what was then known as the Red River Settlement, in the Canadian Northwest.

In his address to the Grand Lodge of Minnesota at the Eleventh Annual Communication, held at the city of St Paul on the twenty-seventh day of October, 1863, M. W. Bro. Pierson, Grand Master, says:

"About the middle of last month I received an application signed by W. Bro. C. W. Nash, J. L. Arlington, A. T. Chamblin, Charles H. Nix and eight others, who were en route for Pembina, Dakota Territory, for a dispensation authorizing them to open and work a lodge. Pembina is the most northern point in the Territory of the United States, a great central point where concentrates a large amount of emigration, and of travel between the two Oceans. The want of a lodge at that place has been long felt, and often expressed, and as the Brethren named were active, well informed and discreet Masons, the first two former Masters and the latter Wardens of lodges, within this jurisdiction, and as they expected to remain in that hyperborean region for at least two years, I granted the dispensation to establish a lodge at Pembina."

Previous to holding the first meeting it was discovered that no name had been given the lodge in the dispensation. How it was settled, says M. W. Bro. William G. Scott, Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Manitoba, in an article on "Early Masonry in Manitoba," I will leave W. Bro. Nash to describe:

"I wrote to the Grand Master, calling his attention to the omission and took occasion to suggest what I thought would be a proper and very appropriate name, and in case it met with his approval to so advise me and direct that I insert it in the dispensation. The name that was suggested met with his cordial approval and was thus named. It came about in this way. It was at night that I was writing the Grand Master, and going out of my quarters I observed the grandest display above me that it was ever my pleasure to behold. I never witnessed such grandeur of this character before and I never expect to again. It was an exhibition of Northern Lights, the celestial globe was grand and beautiful in the extreme and for a long time my eyes feasted upon the sight with delight. It was witnessed by many in our cantonment, and on returning to my quarters to complete my letter to the Grand Master, I narrated the circumstances, hence the name Northern Light Lodge was oven."

The lodge held its first meeting about the middle of January, 1864, and during the few months it remained active in Pembina, several residents of Fort Garry and vicinity made application, were accepted and received the three degrees of Freemasonry, among whom were Bros. A. G. B. Bannatyne, W. B. Hall and William Inkster.

In the early part of 1864, application was made to M. W. Bro. Pierson, Grand Master, for a continuance of the dispensation and for authority to transfer it to Fort Garry. This was granted, as in his address to the Grand Lodge at the Twelfth Annual Communication, held in the city of St. Paul, on the 12th day of October, 1864, the M. W. Grand Master reports as follows: "I also renewed the dispensation of Northern Light Lodge, removing it to the Red River Settlement."


The first meeting of the lodge in Fort Garry was held on the eighth day of November, 1864, in a room over the trading house of Bro. A.G.B. Bannatyne, described by W.Bro. John Schultz, in a letter to M.W. Bro. Thomas Tweed, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Manitoba, in 1895, thus:

"And a novelty it was indeed in this country at that time. It was spoken of far and wide, and the description, which did not decrease in detail, or increase in accuracy as to what was done therein, was listened to with much curiosity, and in some cases with awesome wonder, which was enhanced by the jocoseness of Bro. Bannatyne's clerks who spoke knowingly of the whereabouts and propulsive propensities of the goat, and who pointed out from the room below (to wit, the Trading House) exactly in what part of the up-stairs room the W.M. hung his hat while the Lodge was at work. The Lodge Room itself was made as tasteful as the circumstances of that day would admit, and it may interest the curious to know the exact cost of some of its furniture as given in a memorandum which I happen to have near me in the sterling money of the day, namely; Tables, £1 19s.6d.; Inner door, 1s.; Altar, 19s. 6.; Wall paper 39s.; 24 black beads 1s. 6d.; 24 white, ditto, 1s.; 100 Copies By-Laws, 40s.; and it may be inferred that the Craft were not always at work, for I find on the same list, 15 tin plates, 15 iron table spoons, 15 tea spoons, 12 cups and saucers, 1 tin pan, 4 cans pickled oysters, 1 pound butter, and 2 pounds sugar, which would seem to show that there were intervals for refreshment. The Jewels were borrowed ones from the Pembina Lodge, and were used until the following January (the Lodge having commenced work in November, 1864), when these were replaced by fine ones from Chicago, through the good offices of N.W. Kittson."

W. Bro. John Schultz was the first W. Master; Bro. A. G. B. Bannatyne, Senior Warden; Bro. William Inkster, Junior Warden. These three principal officers remained in their respective offices until the twenty-third day, of December, 1867, when Bro. Bannatyne was elected W.Master; Bro. Thomas Bunn, Senior Warden, and Bro. John Bunn, Junior Warden, but am unable to find any record of their installation.


The dispensation was continued year by year by the Grand Lodge of Minnesota, until 1867, when a charter was granted with the No. 68, the Committee on Lodges, U.D., reporting as follows:

"From Northern Light U. D. located at Fort Gary, no late returns or records have been received. In this the Committee deem it proper to present the following facts: Fort Garry is situated on the Northern confines of the State, several hundred miles from St. Paul, and far outside of the usual mail or transportation facilities, the mails being carried at long intervals by dog trains, through the intervening wilderness, and often lost in transit. Transportation is mostly confined to the spring months. These facts may reasonably account for the non-representation and non-receipt of the records and receipts of the Lodge. The lodge was originally organized under letters of dispensation granted in 1863, to our present M. W. Grand Master, and others, by M. W. Bro. A. T. C. Pierson, Grand Master, and has been continued by dispensation of successive Grand Masters to the present time, and it would seem that the time has arrived when the Lodge should be relieved from its anomalous position. The Committee have had the fullest assurance from responsible sources that the Brethren comprising Northern Light Lodge U. D. are men of excellent character, of good Masonic attainments, and of undoubted ability to carry on the work of the order. After considering these facts they have arrived at the conclusion that it is wrong to make the remote position and consequent inability of these Brethren to communicate with the Grand Lodge at its Annual Communication, a reason for depriving them of the benefit of a Charter; and therefore recommend that a Charter be granted to them, to be issued as soon as they have made their returns to, and settled their accounts with, the Grand Secretary, to the satisfaction of the Grand Master."

In his address at the Annual Communication in 1869, M. W. Bro. C.W. Nash, Grand Master, makes the following reference:

"The Lodges which were chartered at the last Annual Communication, have all been properly constituted and the Officers installed, either in person or by proxy, except Northern Light Lodge, No. 68, at Fort Garry, British America. The Charter of this Lodge remains in the possession of the R. W. Grand Secretary, the great distance of Fort Garry, from an organized Lodge has rendered it impossible to constitute the Lodge and install its Officers."

R. W. Bro. William S. Combs, Grand Secretary, at the same session, reports as follows: "The charter issued by the Grand Lodge at its session in 1867 to Northern Light Lodge, No. 68, has not been called for by the proper officers. I anticipate, however, that the same will be attended to very soon, as I have been in correspondence with the brethren at Fort Garry." The lodge was never constituted under the charter, as during the troublesome times of 1868-9, the members becoming scattered, the pioneer lodge of the great Canadian Northwest, that during the four years of its activity had added to its membership the foremost men of the settlement, terminated its existence.

On the twenty-first day of November, 1870, a dispensation was issued by M. W. Bro. Alexander A. Stevenson, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Canada, to Bro. Robert S. Patterson, W. Master; Bro. Norman J. Dingman, Senior Warden; Bro. William N. Kennedy, Junior Warden, and six others, to form and hold a lodge designated Winnipeg Lodge, which was afterwards changed by permission of the Grand Lodge to Prince Rupert's Lodge, in the city of Winnipeg, Province of Manitoba. The lodge was instituted on the tenth day of December, 1870, a charter granted on the thirteenth day of July, 1871, and the lodge regularly constituted and consecrated as Prince Rupert's Lodge, No. 240, G.R.C., and the officers installed, Bro. William N. Kennedy succeeding Bro. Norman J. Dingman, who had removed from the jurisdiction, as Senior Warden, and Bro. Matthew Coyne succeeding Bro. William N. Kennedy as Junior Warden.

On the fourth day of January, 1871, a dispensation was issued by M. W. Bro. Alexander A. Stevenson, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Canada, to Bro. John Fraser, W. Master; Bro. George Black, Senior Warden; Bro. Thomas Bunn, Junior Warden, and four others to form and hold a lodge, designated Manitoba Lodge, which was afterwards changed by permission of the Grand Lodge to Lisgar Lodge, at lower Fort Garry, in the Province of Manitoba; the lodge was instituted on the twentieth day of February, 1871, a charter granted on the thirteenth day of July, 1871, and the lodge regularly constituted and consecrated as Lisgar Lodge, No. 244, G.R.C., and the officers installed, Bro. George Black succeeding Bro. John Fraser as W. Master, Bro. Thomas Bunn succeeding Bro. George Black as Senior Warden, and Bro. William J. Piton succeeding Bro. Thomas Bunn as Junior Warden. Subsequently permission was granted for the removal of the lodge from lower Fort Garry to Selkirk, Manitoba.

On the nineteenth day of April, 1871, a dispensation was issued by M. W. Bro. Alexander A. Stevenson, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Canada, to Bro. Frederick Y. Bradley, W. Master; Bro. William Drew, Senior Warden; Bro. James G. Milne, Junior Warden, and six others to form and hold a lodge designated The International Lodge, at North Pembina, in the Province of Manitoba. This lodge was never instituted, but when the dispensation was issued to Emerson Lodge in 1876 Bro. Bradley was named as W. Master.

On the nineteenth day of September, 1872, a dispensation was issued by M. W. Bro. William M. Wilson, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Canada, to Bro. James Henderson, W. Master; Bro. Arthur H. Holland, Senior Warden; Bro. Walter F. Hyman, Junior Warden, and six others to form and hold a lodge designated as Ancient Landmark Lodge, at Winnipeg, in the Province of Manitoba. The lodge was instituted on the sixteenth day of December, 1872, a charter granted on the ninth day of July, 1873, and the lodge regularly constituted and consecrated as Ancient Landmark Lodge, No. 288, G.R.C., and the officers installed.


No more lodges were instituted up to 1875, but during this year a far more important step was decided on, namely, the formation of the Grand Lodge of Manitoba. The preliminary steps were taken on the twenty-eighth day of April, 1875, by issuing the following circular:

"To the W. Masters, Past Masters, Wardens, Officers and Other Brethren of the Several Lodges of the A.F.& A.M., in the Province of Manitoba.

"Brethren, at an influential meeting of Brethren hailing from the different constitutionally Chartered Lodges of the Province, held in the City of Winnipeg, on the Twenty-eighth day of April, A.L. 5875, it was after mature deliberation unanimously resolved that a circular be forwarded to all the Lodges in this Province, requesting them to be duly represented at a convention to be held in the Masonic Hall, in the City of Winnipeg, on Wednesday, the Twelfth day of May, 5875, at three o'clock P. M. for the purpose of taking into consideration the present state of Masonry in this Province, and to proceed, if decided, to the formation of a Grand Lodge for the Province of Manitoba. Therefore, we the undersigned Freemasons in good standing, having been deputed by said meeting, do hereby request all the Lodges in this Province to be duly and constitutionally represented at the convention aforesaid if practicable by all their Masters, Past Masters and Wardens for the important object aforementioned.

"(Signed) "W.C. Clarke, P. M. Prince Rupert's Lodge, No. 240. "W.N. Kennedy, P. M. Prince Rupert's Lodge, No. 240. "John Kennedy, W. Master Prince Rupert's Lodge, No. 240. "Gilbert McMicken, Senior Warden Prince Rupert's Lodge, No. 240. "S.L. Bedson, W. Master Lisgar Lodge, No. 244. "Thomas Sinclair, Junior Warden Lisgar Lodge, No. 244. "James Henderson, P. M. Ancient Landmark Lodge, No. 288. "John H. Bell, W. Master Ancient Landmark Lodge, No. 288. "J. D. O'Meara, Senior Warden Ancient Landmark Lodge, No. 288. "John J. Johnston, Junior Warden Ancient Landmark Lodge, No. 288."

To some no doubt this undertaking must have been entered into with many misgivings. For three lodges with a membership of only 210 to sever their connection with such a strong organization as the Grand Lodge of Canada and undertake directing the affairs of a Grand Lodge in a new country sparsely inhabited must have seemed to many a stupendous undertaking, but it serves to show the character of the men who carried out this project to a successful issue, and there is no finer trait known to mankind than the honour and respect accorded men who have risen above adverse and obscure conditions and won.

The convention being assembled, R. W. Bro. George Black was elected Chairman, and W.Bro. John H. Bell, Secretary, when the following resolutions with many others were carried unanimously:

"That we, the representatives of the three Warranted Lodges, being all the Lodges in this Province, in convention assembled,

"RESOLVE, That the Most Worshipful the Grand Lodge of Manitoba, A. F. & A. M., be and is hereby formed upon the Ancient Charges and Constitution of Masonry.

"That in severing our connection from the Grand Lodge, of Canada we desire to express our most profound gratitude to that venerable body for the kind consideration and attention they have always displayed towards us, both as Lodges and individually, and we most ardently desire that the same parental feeling may always be entertained towards us by our Mother Grand Lodge, our connection with which we will remember with the greatest pride and affection.

"That the Lodges in the Province be numbered on the Grand Register according to their seniority, viz.: Prince Rupert's Lodge to be No. 1, Lisgar Lodge to be No. 2, Ancient Landmark Lodge to be No. 3.

"That a committee of three be appointed to assist the M. W. Grand Master in preparing the address to Sister Grand Lodges and that R. W. Bro. James Henderson, G.S.W., R. W. Bro. John Kennedy, Grand Treasurer, and R. W. Bro. Rev. Canon O'Meara, Grand Chaplain, be that Committee."

The election of Grand Lodge officers resulted as follows:

Rev. Dr. W.C. Clarke, Grand Master; Hon. W.N. Kennedy, Deputy Grand Master; James Henderson, Grand Senior Warden; S. L. Bedson, Grand Junior Warden; Rev. Canon O'Meara, Grand Chaplain; Henry T. Champion, Grand Registrar; John Kennedy, Grand Treasurer; John H. Bell, Grand Secretary; Thomas H. Barton, Grand Tyler.

The following appointments were made by the M. W. Grand Master:

Gilbert McMicken, Grand Senior Deacon; G. B. Spencer Grand Superintendent of Works; John J. Johnston, Grand Sword Bearer; Hon. John Norquay, Grand Steward; James McLenaghen, Grand Steward; James Mahoney, Grand Pursuivant; W. J. Piton, Grand Junior Deacon; G. F. Newcomb, Grand Director of Ceremonies; Thomas Sinclair, Grand Organist; Dr. D. Young, Grand Steward; Thomas H. Parr, Grand Steward.

M. W. Bro. W.C. Clarke, Grand Master elect, was presented by R. W. Bro. George Black and R. W. Bro. H.T. Champion and installed and invested by R. W. Bro. James Henderson, Senior Past Master.

R. W. Bro. W.N. Kennedy was the first D.D.G. Master for this Western District, under the Grand Lodge of Canada, and was succeeded by M. W. Bro. George Black, who held that important office at the time of the formation of the Grand Lodge of Manitoba. In recognition of his service to Freemasonry M. W. Bro. George Black was elected an Honourary Past Grand Master of this Grand Lodge at its first Communication.


The first public function was the laying of the cornerstone of the City Hall, Winnipeg, on the seventeenth day of August, 1875, by M. W. Bro. W.C. Clarke, Grand Master, assisted by the Grand Lodge officers, all of whom were present except the Grand Junior Deacon.

Of the nine charter members of Prince Rupert's Lodge No. 240, eight hailed from the Grand Lodge of Canada and one from the Grand Lodge of Quebec, two of whom are still in the city, His Honour, Judge Walker, who still retains his membership with Prince Rupert's Lodge, No. 1, and R.W. Bro. H.T. Champion, who is now a member of "The Assiniboine" Lodge, No. 114.

Of the seven charter members of Lisgar Lodge, No. 244, one hailed from the Grand Lodge of Canada, one from the Grand Lodge of Quebec, one from the Grand Lodge of Minnesota, and four from Prince Rupert's Lodge, No. 240, M. W. Bro. George Black being the only retaining membership.

Of the nine charter members of Ancient Landmark Lodge, No. 288, five hailed from the Grand Lodge of Canada, one from the Grand Lodge of Minnesota, and three from Prince Rupert's Lodge, No. 240, R. W. Bro. James Henderson being the only one retaining membership.

I have been able to trace the joining of ten members only of old Northern Light Lodge, U.D., with other lodges in this Jurisdiction. Two affiliated with Prince Rupert's, No. 1; six with Lisgar, No. 2, and two with Northern Light, No. 10. Of these, six have gone to the Great Beyond, three were suspended, and only one is still identified with us, Bro. Edward H.G.G. Hay, now a member of Assiniboine Lodge, No. 7.

The first dispensation issued by the Grand Lodge of Manitoba was to St. John's Lodge, No. 4, on the sixth day of July, 1875, with nineteen charter members, four of whom still retain membership, viz.: R. W. Bro. John W. Harris, who was the first W. Master, and Bros. William Dodd, Abraham Code and William H. McLean.

In his address to the Grand Lodge at the first Annual Communication held on the fourteenth day of June, 1876, M. W. Bro. W.C. Clarke, Grand Master, said:

"The usual address to the Sister Grand Lodges was sent to all the Grand Bodies on the American Continent, that to the European Grand Bodies being deferred until after this Communication, and I am happy to inform this Grand Lodge that in no single case has any fault been found with the constitutionality of our procedure, but that in some instances I have been congratulated on behalf of the formers of Grand Lodge by high Masonic authorities on the entire correctness of the steps which have been taken and the result attained. It is my pleasing duty to congratulate you upon the marked success which has so far attended your efforts in the interest of the Royal Craft. It is pleasing to note that the Mother Grand Lodge of Canada was first in extending Fraternal relations and intercourse under date of the 14th day of July, 1875."

As the country became settled lodges were formed in the different towns in the Province and the Northwest Territories, the Grand Lodge having extended its jurisdiction over the Districts of Alberta, Assiniboia, Saskatchewan and the Yukon Territory, until the twelfth day of October, 1905, when the lodges on the Grand Register numbered 104, with a membership of 5,725, on which date eighteen lodges in the Province of Alberta met at the city of Calgary and formed the Grand Lodge of Alberta. M. W. Bro. William G. Scott, Grand Master, was present and installed the officers of the new Grand Lodge and was elected an Hon. Past Grand Master. At the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Manitoba, in June, 1906, fraternal recognition was extended with the most kindly greetings and the wish that success and prosperity would attend them, the first daughter Grand Lodge of this Grand Body.

On the ninth day of August, 1906, twenty-nine lodges in the Province of Saskatchewan met at the city of Regina and formed the Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan, the second daughter Grand Lodge from this Grand Body. M. W. Bro. John McKechnie, Grand Master, and M. W. Bro. James A. Ovas, Past Grand Master and Grand Secretary, were present and installed the officers of the new Grand Lodge and were elected Hon. Past Grand Masters.


At the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Manitoba in June, 1907, fraternal recognition was extended and the same good wishes expressed that had been extended to their sister Grand Lodge of Alberta. At this Communication Yukon Lodge, No. 79, Dawson City, and White Horse Lodge, No. 81, White Horse, in the Yukon Territory, applied for permission to surrender their charters and to be allowed to apply to the Grand Lodge of British Columbia for affiliation, the principal reason advanced being that the Province of British Columbia is adjacent and contiguous to the Yukon Territory and bound to it by commercial and other relations, causing continual intercourse between the residents of both districts. The petition was duly considered by the Board of General Purposes and upon their recommendation granted by Grand Lodge, leaving on the Register of the Grand Lodge of Manitoba fifty-seven lodges, with a membership of 3,724, which has increased to date (December 27, 1922) to ninety-two lodges, and a membership of 10,600.

Note, No. 1. Author, with G. W. Steinbrenner, of The Traditions, Origin and Early History of Freemasonry.

Note No. 2. (By N. W. J. Haydon.)

It is interesting to learn from Gould's History that the Grand Lodge of Manitoba followed, in 1882, the precedent set by the Grand Lodge of Canada, by warranting a lodge to meet in the city of Tangier, in the kingdom of Morocco. The details leading up to this action are recounted by Bros. Stillson and Hughan in their History, from which it appears that R. W. Bro. Rev. R. S. Patterson, the first W.M. of Prince Rupert's Lodge, No. 1, M.R., afterwards became Chaplain to the regiments stationed at Gibraltar and, by his efforts, Lodge No. 18, M.R., entitled "Al Moghreb Al Aksa" meaning the Far West was opened at Gibraltar, with the intention of removing to Morocco. However, by reason of the protests of the Grand Lodges of England, Scotland and Ireland, the seat of the lodge was first removed to St. Roque in Andalusia and afterwards to Tangier. Its membership was naturally of a varied nationality and its ceremonies were conducted in English, French, Spanish and Arabic.

(Additional notes taken from Freemasonry in Canada, compiled by Bro. Osborne Sheppard, Hamilton, Ont.)

Until the formation of the Grand lodges of Alberta and Saskatchewan, the Grand Lodge of Manitoba claimed jurisdiction over all the Northwest Territories, although in their first Constitution it was declared that the Grand Lodge was formed in and for the Province of Manitoba; they also provided that in the absence of the Grand Master the officer next in rank should assume the duties of that office.

In 1893 Dr. Goggin, of Winnipeg, was elected Grand Master and Thomas Tweed, of Medicine Hat (District of Assiniboia), was elected Deputy Grand Master. During the year Dr. Goggin was appointed Superintendent of Education for the Northwest Territories and moved to the capital, Regina. This gave rise to a rather peculiar situation; the Grand Master had left the jurisdiction and the Deputy had been elected from without the Province, and to further add to this peculiar condition the Grand Lodge had decided to hold the Communication of 1894 at Banff, Alberta.

To meet this difficulty an amendment to the Constitution was proposed wherein the Grand Lodge would add the Northwest Territories to its jurisdiction, thus making it the largest Masonic Jurisdiction in America, and the only Grand Lodge that ever extended its boundaries after being once constituted. The proposal was at first opposed but finally passed, and so remained until "Provincial Autonomy" in 1905 resulted in the division of the old Northwest Territories into the Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, when Bow River Lodge, No 28 (the oldest in Alberta), called a Convention at Calgary at which the political change became a Masonic one as well, and M.W. Bro. Scott, G.M. of Manitoba travelled the long journey thereto in order to invest the G.M of Alberta with authority over the new Province, on behalf of the Mother Grand Lodge.

* * *


Teach me that sixty seconds of Masonic Service make a Masonic Hour; sixteen ounces of energy applied in Masonic Teachings is one Masonic Pound; and one hundred cents cheerfully given to advance God's Kingdom on earth is a Masonic Dollar.

Grant, I beseech Thee, that I earn my meal ticket by the sweat of my Masonic labours and in the doing thereof I not sponge on my brethren in the Craft.

Help me to live so that I can lie down at night with a clear conscience for having done my chores around the lodge undaunted by the faces of those who detest Masonic indolence.

Deafen my ears to the jingle of unearned Masonic honours. Blind me to the faults of my brothers in the Craft but reveal to me mine own Masonic shortcomings.

Pilot my footsteps so that I may walk in the straight and narrow path of Masonic Brotherhood.

Lead me not into the temptation of Masonic excitement or into the desire for superficial Light in Masonry.

Keep clear my vision that I may discriminate between the cause and effect of mine own Masonic short-sightedness.

Give me courage and fortitude to fight, if necessary, a losing battle for Freemasonry against prejudice, habit and inaction.

Help me to retain my Masonic youth enough to laugh and play when called from labour to refreshment.

Quicken my ears to the clarion notes of the call of Masonic volunteers to carry on for those who have served the Craft unselfishly in the past.

Make me contented with carrying my share of the load without ostentation and clapping of hands.

And when the lambskin, or white leather apron, is deposited on my casket by my surviving Brothers, amid the smell of flowers and the tread of soft steps and the crushing of the hearse's wheels in the gravel out in front of my place, make the ceremony short, the ritual brief and the epitaph simple HERE LIES A MASTER MASON.

— Paul R. Clark

* * *

The influence of Masonry is of a high character — it stoops to no subterfuge, it engrosses the attention of no political or religious clique, it aims at no part in the policy of our municipal or civil government, and its members claim no distinction or preference on account of their connection with it. Freemasonry has an influence and it is a strong and abiding one, it is the influence of kindness, of charity, of Brotherly Love. Its influence is found in the healing balm which it pours into the healing wounds of sorrow, in the timely aid which it brings to the fireside of the disconsolate widow, and in the succor which it affords to the helpless orphan. Who can say that such influence is not blessed of Heaven? It carries out the work which our common Father has made the duty of all his children. Its works, in its silent, unobtrusive course to aid us in attaining a better and purer life, and when its influence is unfelt, and its monitions remain unheard, then, and not till then, will the sons of Masonry desert her shrine, or pause in the great work which they have to perform.

— Selected.

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John Ross Robertson: Philanthropist and Freemason

Bro. W. Harvey McNairn, Canada

IF a vote were taken amongst the members of the Craft in Ontario to determine who was the greatest Mason that this Grand Jurisdiction has produced, there is little doubt but that the unanimous choice would be John Ross Robertson. There is equally little doubt of his inclusion in any list of the Canadians of his day pre-eminent in the fields of journalism, and these are but three among the varied interests which occupied the attention and exercised the boundless energies of this many sided man. In all these spheres of endeavor he has left behind him memorials which will perpetuate his name and achievements down through the centuries of the distant future. It is consequently a difficult task to convey any adequate comprehension of so kaleidoscopic a life in the narrow bounds of a short article.

Bro. Robertson was born in Toronto on the 28th of December, 1841, the son of a leading merchant of the city and a descendant of the chiefs of the Highland clan of Robertson of Struan, who occupied so large a place in the romantic history of ancient Scotland. He was educated at Upper Canada College, one of the oldest and most famous of the secondary schools of the Province, and while still a boy at school gave a remarkable evidence of that journalistic ability which was later to crown his life with wealth and honor. After some years' experience with various local papers he established in 1876 the Evening Telegram, a newspaper which met with immediate success and which still continues to be one of the most popular dailies in the Dominion.

His interest in local history led him to publish a series of articles in the Telegram on the early days of his native city, in the preparation of which he spared neither time, energy nor expense. These papers were re-issued from time to time in a series of five large volumes whose value increases as the years pass. The remarkable collection of some 20,000 pictures which his staff of artists produced for this work now forms one of the most striking exhibits in the Toronto Public Library. He has thus rescued from oblivion many of the most interesting data concerning the pioneer days of his native city, and has made possible the interesting statement that no city of its age has ever had such extensive printed records.

But the great work for which he will probably be longest remembered was the foundation of the Sick Children's Hospital in Toronto. To this he contributed not only his wealth, but also his great abilities as an organizer and financier. Nothing lay closer to his heart than the needs of suffering children and his visits to the hospital, especially at the Christmas season, when he delighted to take the part of Santa Claus, brought joy to the hearts of the little sufferers. Later he erected, largely from his own funds, an auxiliary hospital on Toronto Island, to which all the little patients who can be moved are taken each summer, and a few years before his death he built and equipped a memorial to his wife, a very large and comfortable nurses' residence in connection with his hospital.

As a Freemason his influence was felt in every branch of the Craft. Initiated on the 14th of March, 1867, in King Solomon Lodge, No. 22, he became its Master in 1880, and after serving as Grand Steward in 1880, Grand Senior Warden in 1882, District Deputy Grand Master in 1886, Deputy Grand Master in 1888-89, he was elevated to the throne of the Grand hipster in 1890 and 1891. His Masonic responsibilities were taken most seriously. While Grand Master he visited every one of the 354 lodges under his jurisdiction, covering nearly 23,000 miles to do so. On one occasion when a long drawn-out afternoon visit caused him to miss his train, he chartered a special train so as not to break his appointment with a small country lodge. When in 1894-96 he held the office of Grand First Principal of the Grand Chapter of Canada he repeated his record by visiting each one of the 100 chapters.

Numerous Masonic honors were showered upon him. He was Master of Mimico Lodge, No. 359, the year before he occupied the chair in his mother lodge. He was made an honorary member of many lodges, including Fortrose, No. 108, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, where his maternal grandfather had been initiated in 1798. He held the rank of Past Provincial Prior in the Sovereign Great Priory of Canada; M.I. Past Grand Master of the Grand Council, and a member of the Supreme Council, 33°, Scottish Rite. The Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research of London elected him to its inner circle, and the United Grand Lodge of England conferred upon him the coveted rank of Past Grand Warden.

His literary abilities were also devoted to the service of the Craft. In 1888 he published the History of the Cryptic Rite in Canada; in 1890, the History of the Knights Templar in Canada; in 1893, Talks with Craftsmen, a collection of his Masonic addresses, and in 1899 appeared his magnum opus, the History of Freemasonry in Canada, in two large volumes containing nearly 2,200 pages. The collection of records to this end and the preparation of its innumerable illustrations was a matter of enormous labor and great expense. Not only did he delve through the papers of the constituent lodges, but made several journeys to England where he searched the archives of the United Grand Lodge for the lost records of the early days of the Craft in Canada. He himself stated that the production of these two volumes cost him $50,000. The extensive library which he accumulated in the course of his researches is now owned by the Grand Lodge of Canada, and is housed in the Masonic Temple in Toronto.

It was but natural that his country should desire to honor him. Many influential men in his city urged him to accept nomination for the mayoralty but he declined the honor. From 1896 to 1900 he sat for a Toronto constituency in the House of Commons of Canada, but he would not accept a second term. He and Mrs. Robertson were among the invited guests at the coronation of King Edward VII. at Westminster Abbey, and shortly after they were presented to His Majesty. Further honors might have been his, had he desired them, for he had the unique experience of declining, on the same day, a knighthood and a Senatorship.

He died in Toronto on the 31st of May, 1918, universally respected and, among those who knew him best, deeply beloved. His Grand Lodge regalia today occupy an honored place in the lodge room of John Ross Robertson Lodge, No. 545, Toronto, which has been dedicated to the perpetuation of his name.

* * *



WHEN an American news reporter asked Villa why he was so bold as to invade the territory of the United States, that barbarian replied by fetching a map of Mexico. "There!" he exclaimed, with a grin across his dark face, "you see how little is your country. I can whip it all myself." The reporter broke into a laugh. On the chief's map the United States was naturally foreshortened so much that in comparison with Mexico it appeared to be a small land.

It is probable that a good many citizens of the United States have suffered themselves to be similarly deluded about Canada, for many of them know little or nothing of it, save as a kind of terra incognita, vaguely stretching above the boundaries of the United States.

But Canada cannot be foreshortened! Not after one has had a glimpse of its sweep of plain, of prairies, and of mountain ranges, its lakes, its coast lines, and its upreach into the Arctics! It is one of the Empires of God in which a mighty people is gradually taking shape, destined, soon or late, to have an ever greater share in shaping the policies of the world. The stoutest imagination fails to conceive its scope, where it lies across the upper side of the earth, the home of more than eight million human beings.

The Masonic Craft has had a proud part in the building of this nation, and its own roll is studded with shining names. Early in its career it was intimately associated with Freemasonry in our own Colonies, especially in New England, New York, and Michigan, so that the present cordial relationships between Freemasonry of the two countries has its roots in the foretime when our own history was in its beginnings. From that time until this the Mystic Tie has stretched across the political boundary, helping much to hold the two English speaking peoples together. Even during the troublous times of war it has often failed to break, so that one might compose a book of episodes in which the bonds of Masonry held, after all others had broken.

Canadian Masonry of the present is cautious, conservative, slow to follow after strange gods, not much given to fuss and feathers, keenly interested in civic betterment and education, and always constructive, especially by way of providing for its needy. It encourages small lodges rather than large, believing that three bodies of two hundred members are better than one lodge of a thousand; moreover, it is careful of its material, and not quick to let down the bars. It adheres rigidly to the principles of the original Grand Lodges of England and places more emphasis on religion than most Grand Lodges here. Its Grand Lodges are closely grouped with our own in comparison with the families of Grand Lodges in other parts of the world, and so far as fraternal recognition and Grand Lodge comity are concerned belong with ours in one great circle.

Therefore is it that in the eye of Masonry the boundary line, while it is a fact in politics, law, and business, is after all largely an imaginary line, and quickly forgotten through the exchanges of amity and in all fraternal relations. He who sends greetings to his brethren there indulges in no gesture of empty rhetoric but expresses what is already a fact; and he who prays for his Canadian fellow Masons all good fortune and prosperity in the future, asks what is already written in the Book of Time.

For the present issue with its wealth of information about Canadian Masonry we are indebted to Bro. N. W. J. Haydon, Associate Editor, Toronto, Secretary, The Toronto Society for Masonic Research, and one of the most active workers in that field to be found in the Dominion. This is not the first time that the National Masonic Research Society has been indebted to Bro. Haydon; for years now he has been among our hardest working members, never wearying in his enthusiasm, and always ready to make any sacrifices in behalf of the Cause. If he objects to having his name singled out for this mention (as his modesty will doubtless lead him to do) we can only say in reply that he himself has been very largely responsible for the fact that at present writing the Society enjoys the support of Canadian brethren, whose names, if there were not so many of them, would be inscribed here in an honor roll along with his.

A special vote of thanks is due the brethren who have contributed to the present number; the most casual reading of their essays will make plain how much labor they have devoted to their telling of the story of Freemasonry in Canada. For that labor a multitude of brethren in these States will feel a sincere gratitude, especially since never before has so much information about the Craft in Canada been crowded into so few words and in so convenient a form. May this be the first of a long series of literary courtesies across the line.

* * *



Which one of the Masonic bodies sponsors De Molay Chapters? Is it controlled by the Scottish Rite bodies, or may other Masonic bodies take the lead in organizing a chapter in a town?

D.S., New Hampshire.

Your inquiry was referred to Bro. Roy E. Dickerson, Director of Program and Activities for the Grand Council, Order of De Molay. He replies that according to present records De Molay Chapters have been sponsored as follows: by Blue Lodges, 302; by Chapters, Councils and Commanderies, 698; by Scottish Rite bodies, 199; the Shrine, 8; Grotto, 1; Masonic Association, 3; Masonic Club, 2.

* * *


I noticed in Ye Editor's Corner of the June BUILDER that you desired information concerning Leggett's History of Masonry. John Chambers Leggett was a member of Union Lodge, No. 71, F. & A.M., Ripley, Ohio. He served his lodge in almost every official position, being Worshipful Master for the years 1883, 1884, 1885, 1887 and 1889; also he was secretary for years and what is said of him by those who knew him best was a most lovable character and a good and upright man. He wrote A Concise History of the English Rite of Freemasonry; also an account of the Grand Lodge of Ohio and a History and Censorial of his own lodge.

Fred. W. Sehmerr, Librarian,
Cincinnati, Ohio.

* * *


How many lodges and members are there in the Hawaiian Islands? Under what Grand Lodge do they hold their charters? Are the Chapter, Consistory and Shrine represented there?

M.K.T., Illinois.

Your inquiry was referred to Bro. Jesse M. Whited, Associate Editor, California. You will find your questions completely answered in his reply:

The Grand Lodge of California has jurisdiction over the Symbolic lodges in Hawaii at the present time. The following lodges are in existence there now:

Name Members
Hawaiian, No. 21 405
Le Progress de l'Oceane No. 371 347
Honolulu, No. 409 255
Kabulai (Hilo), No. 330 209
Schofield (Schofield Barracks), No. 443 165
Maui (Maui), No. 472 ---

The Grand Master of California visits the Islands officially every year. So far as I know there is no agitation for a separate Grand Lodge of this locality.

The York Rite is represented by Honolulu Chapter, No. 1, owing allegiance to the General Grand Chapter of the United States and the Grand Encampment. I have not been able to get a line on their membership.

The Scottish Rite is under the jurisdiction of William P. Filmer, S.G.I.G. of Northern California. There are lodges of Perfection, Rose Croix Chapters and Councils in the Islands with the following membership:

Honolulu 614
Kahulai 93
Hilo 89

There is a Consistory in Honolulu with a membership of approximately 800.

There is also a Temple of the A.A.O.N.M.S., known as Aloha Temple.

* * *


What is meant by "conferring degrees by courtesy"? Is this regulated by Grand Lodge laws?

R.W., Texas.

If a candidate is not able to take the degrees in the lodge in which he desires membership because of temporarily being resident in some other community, the lodge of his choice can request the lodge having jurisdiction where he is temporarily situated to confer one, two, or three degrees upon him; the latter lodge does the work through "courtesy," and may collect its own usual fees, or the fees obtaining in the lodge where the brother is to hold his membership, or else may charge no fees at all, depending on its own or its Grand Lodge rules in such cases. Your own Grand Lodge adopted a typical report at its session in 1914, when Bro. A. W. Houston was Grand Master:

Most of the Grand Lodges of the United States have recognized and provided for the conferring of degrees "by courtesy," and we feel it incumbent upon our Grand Lodge to adopt a system or course of conduct in regard to the conferring of degrees "by courtesy" adopted by so many of the Grand Lodges of America. We, therefore, recommend that when the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of any state shall request of our Grand Master that the degrees be conferred upon an applicant for the same, who is in this state, that said request may be complied with, and the lodge most accessible to the candidate shall be designated by the Grand Master to confer the degree, the conferring of which is requested, and said lodge may proceed to confer said degree, and when conferred shall report the fact that it has been conferred to the Grand Master of this Grand Lodge, who will convey such intelligence to the Grand Master of the jurisdiction from which the request to confer the degree originated. The fee for the degree, if collected by the Texas lodge, shall be transmitted to the Grand Master who will send it to the Grand Master of the state requesting the conferring of the degree. When a person under the jurisdiction of a Texas lodge is elected to receive a degree, and who is in another state, may desire to have the degree conferred on him in that state and the lodge having jurisdiction may so desire, said lodge may, under its seal, request of the Grand Master that he present a request to the Grand Master of the state in which the candidate may be that the degree be conferred by courtesy by some lodge most accessible to the candidate. The tee for the degree may be collected by the Texas lodge, or the lodge conferring the degree may be requested to collect the same and forward it to the Texas lodge. Should it be desired that more than one degree be conferred there must be an election of the candidate by the Texas lodge, after due notice from the lodge conferring the preceding degree that the applicant has passed a satisfactory examination in that degree. As soon as a degree is conferred by courtesy in this state, the lodge performing the service shall certify its action to the Grand Master of our Grand Lodge, and the same action shall be taken as to an examination of a candidate for advancement. When a request is made by a candidate that a degree be conferred on him in another state, the Texas lodge having jurisdiction shall make the Grand Master acquainted with all the facts connected with the sojourn of the candidate in that jurisdiction and he shall determine whether the facts justify a request that the degree be conferred in another state, and it is hereby provided that no candidate who may be a casual visitor, or a mere temporary sojourner, in another state shall be permitted to receive the degree by courtesy in another state.

In the majority of cases a request for the courtesy conferring of degrees is made through a Grand Secretary, but in some jurisdictions it is permitted that the constitutent lodge shall itself handle the matter; the former method has caused considerable difficulty owing to the amount of red tape involved. There is great need for more uniformity as among Grand Lodges. It is a subject that might well receive careful consideration at the next conference of Grand Masters.

* * *


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A little book for beginners that has enjoyed a wide sale. Cloth, 30 pages. 35c
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Known and Used the World Over

A CONCISE HISTORY OF FREEMASONRY. R. F. Gould. An entirely new edition recently issued by Macoy's, with much added material. Combines the Crowe revision with the original. Blue cloth, index, addenda, illustrations, 480 pages. $6.30 postpaid

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Entirely New!

STUDIES IN FREEMASONRY. John L. Sanford, P.J.G.W., Maryland. A comfortable companionable book, by a man of rich mind, and many-sided activities in the Craft. There are six chapters, entitled thus:

  1. "Washington, the Man and Mason."
  2. "Present Day Thoughts."
  3. "Masonry in Maryland."
  4. "An Early Chapter Mason."
  5. "Washington, the National Adviser."
  6. "Burns and Scott as Freemasons."

$1.60 postpaid. Bound in red cloth; 110 pages.

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A New Edition!


This (the third) edition of a work long standard, was revised and enlarged by Bros. J.S. Granville Grenfell, John White and F. Trevor Galsworthy. It is based on English usages and the English Constitutions, but has long been widely used among American Masons who have found most of its contents applicable to American problems, in especial those chapters dealing with The Grand Master, Grand Lodge, Masonic Penalties, Qualifications of Candidates, The Landmarks of the Order, The Lodge Officers, and Authority in Ritual.

Beautifully bound and printed, 325 pages.

$4.65 postpaid

The National Masonic Research Society is a non-commercial organization that pays neither profits nor dividends. All profits are returned to the working treasury to be used to increase its service to the Craft. Its Book Department exists for no other purpose than the convenience of its members.

All Prices Postpaid

National Masonic Research Society
1950 Railway Exchange
St. Louis, Mo.