Highlights of History

Rt. Wor. Bro. Vince Young

In compiling this resume of our Historical Record I must pay tribute to the original Historian who did such a thorough job that have found it difficult to decide how much of the detail to omit. According to our records on December 6, 1880 a request was forwarded to the Grand Lodge of Canada for dispensation to form a Lodge in Edmonton. Since the mail had to be carried by dog train, it was not until the following summer that permission was received to institute Saskatchewan Lodge, the first Lodge to be formed west of Winnipeg. This Lodge, unfortunately, lost its charter at the end of three years.

In about 1900 the Hudson's Bay Company began to release land for purchase and in July, 1903 Alexander Realigned, a pioneer settler in Edmonton, sold his original "squatter's claim" of 132 acres immediately east of the H.B.C. Reserve to Messrs McDougal and Secord. This land was divided into lots which sold for from $40 to $60 per lot. This was the origin of Norwood subdivision. During the year 1908 when John A. MacDougal was mayor the lines of the Edmonton Radial Railway were started being laid and in the fall Norwood was supplied with street cars. In 1909 tracks were laid along Alberta Avenue to Swift's Plant and in 1910 land was purchased for the Edmonton Exhibition Association.

The log buildings known as Hudson's Bay Company's post at Fort Edmonton, close to where the Parliament Buildings now stand, were removed in 1915. In May of the same year Norwood Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, acting under dispensation from the Grand Chapter of Canada, was instituted at McQueen Hall, 8907 Alberta Avenue. At this meeting some sixty Masons from City Lodges were present and hinted at the formation of a Master Mason's Lodge in the district. This idea met with some opposition as all Lodges on the north side of the river were meeting in the Second Street Masonic Hall which was the property of Edmonton Lodge No. 7. However, after considerable correspondence and a great number of meetings, a reply was received on July 21, 1915 from the Most Worshipful the Grand Master, Grand Lodge of Alberta S. Y. Taylor, stating that he had signed the petition and setting August 20 as the date for institution.

Since the Lodge was to meet in the McQueen Hall, and the premises were not in fit shape for an institution ceremony, the brethren got together and decorated, as well doing other necessary work in preparation. The records give much detail as to what work was done, by whom, how the furnishings were obtained, the cost, etc. On August 20, 1915, the Grand Master, M.W. S. Y. Taylor was present at a Lodge room filled to capacity and the following charter members were invested into office in Norwood Lodge, U.D.:

Thomas Holy Wilson, Wentworth Lodge No. 1239, Edmonton W.M.
Robert Moss, Empire Lodge No. 63, Edmonton S.W.
William Thompson, Empire Lodge No 63, Edmonton J.W.
Joseph George Morris, King George Lodge No 59, G.R.A S.D.
John Southworth, Edmonton Lodge No. 7, Edmonton J.D.
Wilmer John Kelly, Unity Lodge No. 51, Edmonton Chaplain
Fuller Sutherland MacPherson, Unity Lodge 51, Edmonton S.S.
Arthur Wright, Unity Lodge No. 51, Edmonton J.S.
John Turner, Empire Lodge No. 63, Edmonton I.G.
Henry Southworth, Edmonton Lodge No. 7, Edmonton Treasurer
James Alexander Spalding, Cannongate & Leith Lodge No. 5, Scotland Secretary
Wilbert Edgar Clark, Unity Lodge No. 51, Edmonton D.O.C.

Bro. J. G. Morris took ill on July 4 with cerebral haemorrhage. This prevented him from being present so Bro. J. E. Reid of Unity Lodge No. 51 was nominated to act in his stead. Also, since there was no charter member to act as Tyler, Bro. G. W. Potter of Empire Lodge No. 63 was elected to that position. On this occasion addresses were given by M.W. Bro. S. Y. Taylor, G.M., W. Bro. C. R. Ruddy, Leduc Lodge No. 34, D.D.G.M., District No. 3, R.W. Bro. Darling and W.Bro. T. H. Wilson. On Nov 9, 1915 V.W. Bro. C. J. Lakey was appointed Acting I.P.M. He was a member of Empire Lodge No. 63.

On January 18, 1916 R.W. Bro. C. R. Ruddy D.D.G.M., paid his official visit — a surprise one. He was well pleased with the work and intimated that he would recommend that a charter be granted.

On January 25, there being no degree work, the W.M. arranged for three officers of Edmonton Lodge No. 7 to give a demonstration of a board of trial in the York Rite and officers of Norwood Lodge then did the same thing in the Canadian Rite. World War I was now making itself felt and R.W. Bro. E. T. Bishop, Deputy Grand Master was present at this meeting and presented jewels to three charter members who had joined the ranks — Bros. H. Southworth, J. Turner and A. Wright. The 63rd Battalion, C.E.F., stationed at the Exhibition Grounds had received two days notice to leave the city for England. A. W. Webster had received his 2nd degree and in order that he might become a M.M. before leaving, a telegram was sent to the G.M. in Calgary asking for a special dispensation for this purpose. The answer being favourable an emergent meeting was called on April 14, 1916 and Bro. Webster received his Third Degree. During these eight months of probation 63 degrees were given and much excellent instruction given. Attendance at meetings had been more than 60%, which must be considered very satisfactory considering that 20% of the members had been on active service.

At the Grand Lodge communication on May 31, 1916, held at Banff, it was thought that District No. 3 of which Norwood was a member was too large so it was divided into three Districts. Nos. 3, 10 and 12. No. 10 was composed of the following lodges: Acadia No. 11, Edmonton; Victoria No. 13, Fort Saskatchewan; Vermilion No. 24, Vermilion; St. John's No. 25, Vegreville; Hope No. 38, Mannville; Empire No. 63, Edmonton; Tawatinaw No. 71, Athabasca; Norwood No. 90, Edmonton. R.W. Bro. T. H. Wilson was honoured by being elected D.D.G.M. of District No. 10. It was at this communication that Norwood was granted its charter thus making it possible for an installation of officers in June.

While I find no reference in the Historical Records to indicate that a Consecration and Constitution was held, a typed communication from the Secretary to the G.M. gives the date as June 10, 1916. At the Second Street Hall, on June 26, 1916, a joint installation of Norwood No. 90, Patricia No. 91 and Saskatchewan No. 92 was held and the following officers were installed and invested:

W.M. Bro. Robert Moss
I.P.M. R.W.Bro. Thomas H. Wilson
S.W. Bro. William Thompson
J.W. Bro. Fuller S. McPherson
Treasurer Bro. Donald B. Lake
Secretary Bro. John Ganner
Chaplain Bro. Alexander D. Campbell
S.D. Bro. William A. Deyl
J.D. Bro. William Orchard
D.O.C. Bro. Joseph G. Morris
S.S. Bro. William Oliver
J.S. Bro. Allan T. Mode
I.G. Bro. Martin Ryan
Organist Bro. Gilbert Anderson
Tyler Bro. George Potter

In October 1918 all meetings — churches, schools, lodges, theatres — were ordered closed because of an outbreak of influenza and it was not until Dec. 10 that lodges were again permitted to resume meetings. During the year 1922-23 W.Bro. J. Mcreath being Master, negotiations were carried out to purchase the German Lutheran Church at 11547 - 93 Street. This was brought to a final decision at the regular meeting held on Jan 9, 1923 and was dedicated as a Lodge Room on April 3. After the installation of W.Bro. A. Wright on June 24, 1924, R.W. Bro. C. J. Lakey, on behalf of W.Bro. J. T. McCreath, W.Bro. A. Wright, Bro. A. Rutherford and Bro. T. M. Hughes, presented the Lodge with three beautifully carved candle stands.

— Membership as at Dec. 31, 1924 was 113.

On June 23, 1926, W.Bro. A. Rutherford was installed as W. Master. In 1926 Bro. Sam Waldman (an appointed delegate from Canada from by the Jewish people to the opening of their college in Jerusalem) gave a splendid talk on his trip and experiences and presented Norwood with a gavel and stone taken from King Solomon's quarries in the Holy Land. During this year, too, Norwood purchased two plots from the Edmonton Masonic Cemetery Board. Also in this year, on June 21, the subway at 101 Street was opened and the first street car was driven through it by Alderman Findley.

After the installation of W.Bro. W. Horrocks on June 26,1927, Rt.W. Bro. R. Moss, on behalf of W.Bro. Horrocks, Bro. G. Potter and Bro. T. M. Hughes, presented an organ to the Lodge. Woodward's Stores opened for business ct. 15. W.Bro. J. T. McCreath was elected to be D.D.G.M. On June 26, 1928 Bro. T. M. Hughes was installed as Master, and on the same night Norwood burned the mortgage on its property. During this year Acacia Temple was built-the corner stone being laid by M.W.Bro. Middleton, G.M., in August 1929 and the building completed and officially dedicated in November. During this year the Lodge created a Benevolent Fund and dues were increased from 8 to 10.

— Membership 121.

At the installation of Bro. R. McQuarrie June 25, 1929, W.Bro. D. D. Penman of Patricia No. 91, presented three gavels — one for each of the senior officers. These gavels were made by W.Bro. Penman from oak from the battlefields of France. Bro. H. G. Sorenson was installed on June 24, 1930 and during this year Acting Deputy G.. Rt.W. Bro. E. A. Braithwaite turned the first sod for the construction of the Central Masonic Temple. The corner stone was laid by on Nov. 1, 1939 by M.W.Bro. Dr. S. M. Sneddon, G.M., accompanied by such notables as His Honour Lieutenant Governor Dr. Egbert, Premier J. E. Brownlee and Deputy Mayor J. J. Allison.

The subway on 97th Street was opened Nov. 4, 1930. Bro. F. A. Smith was installed on June 23, 1936 and on Sept 22 Norwood celebrated its 21st birthday. A banquet was served at which W.Bro. Smith presented a decorated cake. On May 11, 1937 immediately following the regular meeting, a Coronation Celebration was held in honour of the coronation of King George VI, May 12.

— Membership 84.

During 1938-39 W.M. Bro. G. Milne — Trans Canada Airways began carrying mail and passengers. In June 1939 the King and Queen made their first visit to Canada, and, while in Edmonton, a parade passed through town and up Kingsway Avenue, which was renamed (from Portage Avenue) in honour of this occasion. During W.Bro. Shaw's year of office, 1939-40, Canada became involved in World War II. W.Bro. E. Hertzberg was master in 1944-45 and during this year the Lodge decided to sell its building, at 11547 - 93 Street, back to the Lutheran Church (Dec. 14, 1944) with the intention of building on lots purchased at 95 Street and 116 Avenue. Since building material were scarce it was decided to postpone this project. The I.O.O.F. Hall on 95 Street and 112 Avenue was rented for an emergent meeting and the Buffalo Hall on 118 Avenue was later rented. The move to Central Masonic was made during the fall of 1945. The year 1947-48 Norwood had the honour of having W.Bro. E. Paulsen elected as D.D.G.M. of District No. 10.

— Membership June 1948-142.

W.Bro. L. O. Sanders occupied the chair of King Solomon during the year 1948-49. This year saw the addition of 17 new members and several special nights — such as Nov. 2 Father and Son night; Jan 18, Burns Night in conjunction with Unity Lodge No. 51 and special Lodge Nights; Feb 15, Meat Packing Industries Night; March 15, P.M.'s Night; April 19, Druggists Night. Membership- 161. On May 16, 1950 a special collection was taken to be forwarded to Norwood Lodge in Winnipeg to be used to assist brethren who had been forced to flee their homes because of floods. On June 28 W.Bro. F. A. Smith installed his son-in-law, Bro. R. L. Barson, as W.M. Some special events of the year were: Teacher's Night; Burns Night; Druggist's Night, and Packer's Night. Victoria Composite High School was officially opened Feb. 27, 1951. 0007mMembership 205.

Some highlights of W. Bro. E. Colbert's year, 1952-53: Initiation fee raised from $50 to $75; Building Trust Fund abolished: lots on 115 Ave. and 95 St. were sold back to the City thus cutting the last tie with the old Norwood. In June the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth caused us to ask for dispensation to move the Lodge meeting from June 2 to June 5. At the District Meeting in October 1956 W.Bro. L. Q.Sanders was elected to be D.D.G.M. of District No. 10.

In June 1957 W.Bro. F. A. Smith installed his second son-in-law, Bro. V. T. Young, in the Chair of King Solomon and presented him and V.W. Bro. Barson with a Masonic Bible each. In January 1962 a new organ was installed in the small Lodge Room. Ashlar Club Colour Party presented colours and the members conferred the Second Degree. In March the Lodge adopted the Mentor Plan for use by new candidates. At the District Meeting in Nov. at Vegreville W. Bro. V.T. Young was elected to the office of D.D.G.M. for District No. 10.

Before concluding this summary I must explain that naturally a lot of detail and a number of names have been omitted. Tribute should be paid to the members of the early years who worked so hard and gave of their substance to get the lodge going and to keep it going.

A note of sadness was introduced at our Fifth Anniversary celebrations. W.Bro.A. Rutherford was to have received a Fifty Year Jewel with a Sixty Year Bar but he was called to the Grand Lodge above on March 5 of that year.

An unusual set of circumstances at the Grand Lodge Communication in June 1967 brought an honour to Norwood Lodge. R.W.Bro. E. J.Thompson, who was to have been invested as Junior Grand Warden had to leave before the installation; and R.W. Bro. P. Robarts, who had been appointed Senior Grand Deacon passed away before Communication. At the request of the Grand Master, M.W. Bro. Bernie Brown, Norwood served as host lodge on Sept. 5 for the investiture Ceremony. Due to a death in the family the Grand Master could not be present so the Deputy Grand Master, R.W. Bro. P.J. Kendall presided for the Investiture of R.W. Bro. E. J. Thompson as Junior Grand Warden, and V.W. Bro. Cy Cormick as Senior Grand Deacon.

In the summer of 1967, Bro. Wilbur Scott, who was visiting in Vancouver, acting on behalf of Norwood Lodge presented a Sixty Year Bar to Bro. Bert Ward. May 21, 1968 was a 'Pop' Smith Night on which W. Bro. F. A. Smith was honoured as he was retiring from the Office of Tyler which he had held for some 18 years. His son-in-law, R.W. Bro. V. T. Young, on behalf of the Lodge, presented him with a suitably engraved desk pen set. On June 18, 1968, R.W. Bro. L. O. Sanders had the pleasure of installing his son, Bro. John Sanders as Master of Norwood. I am sure there is no connection but on June 26, one Pierre Elliott Trudeau was swept into power as Prime Minister.

During the year 1969-70, a Norwood first was a M.M. Degree being conferred by members of Al Azhar Drum and Bugle Team. Also W. Bro. Ray Barnes took a degree team to Buffalo Lodge in Wainwright to initiate four candidates. On Nov. 4, 1969, Bro. John Wood received a Fifty-Year Jewel and some,time later in the year W.Bro. Ray delivered a Fifty-Year Jewel to Bro. R. A. Nimmo in McQueen Lodge.

June 16, 1970 was the scene of yet another "Family Affair" when W.Bro. Harry Massey installed his son, Bro. Doug Massey in the Chair of King Solomon. On Jan. 19, 1971 we had the honour of an official visit from our Grand Master, M.W. Bro. E. J. Thompson. On that evening, also, M.W. Bro.P. J. Kendall presented a Fifty-Year Jewel to W. Bro. Gilbert Sorenson. In February it was moved in Lodge meeting that a Fifty-Year Jewel be awarded post-humously to Bro. H. G. Stringer. This was to be sent to his son in California.

We were also saddened in October 1971 by the death of two well known brothers, W. Bro. Graham Harris, for many years a part of the "Massey Harris" coaching team and Bro. Bob Olson. Gladness and sadness for 1972. In July W. Bro. Gilbert Sorenson celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary. December lst of the same year saw the passing away of W. Bro. F. A. 'Pop' Smith. On Oct. 3, V.W. Bro. Louis Langford of Acacia No. 11 was present to make a presentation of a case for our working tools. Mrs. Graham Harris had engaged R. W. Bro. V. T. Young to make this case as a memorial to her husband.

On Sept. 9, 1973, M.W. Bro. P. J. Kendall was a visitor at Norwood for the purpose of presenting a Fifty-Year-Jewel to W. Bro. John Farrugia. May 20, 1975 was our latest "Family affair" when R.W. Bro. V. T. Young raised his son-in-law, Bro. Doug Lovett in the M.M. Degree. Doug's father, Bro. Arthur Lovett was a visitor to Norwood for this ceremony.

Before concluding this summary of highlights of our history, I must remark that, of necessity, many names and events have been omitted. Tribute should be paid to all members, particularly to those of the early years when it was necessary to work hard and to pull together in order for the Lodge to survive. Norwood has progressed and is still progressing in harmony and good fellowship. May the Most High give us truly thankful hearts and the kind of men who will guard the landmarks and continue to keep the tenets and principles on the highest plane.

October 28, 1975