Wellington Lodge 635

Let there be light

A brief history of Wellington Lodge, A.:F.: & A.:M.: NO 635 G.R.C

Such was the command that seemed to come to the mind of the writer early in the year 1925, when he first thought, as in a dream, of the Wellington Lodge that was to be – to bring Masonic Light to those worthy men who desired to posses it, and to keep the Light of Masonry burning brightly in the hearts of those who had already received it. Many of those who had come into that Light in Wellington District were residing in Toronto, with no Masonic affiliation.

After discussing with a number of these brethren the advisability and the wisdom of organizing a new lodge, a conference was arranged with the Grand Master, M.:W.:Bro.: William J. Drope; and the Grand secretary, R.:W.:Bro.: W.M. Logan; both of whom acquiesced in the suggestion.

A preliminary meeting was held at the home of the writer on the evening of April 15th, 1925, when representatives from most of the lodges in Wellington District were present. After an interesting discussion a temporary organization was formed, with the following committee:

  • R.:W.:Bro.: Evron Flath
  • R.:W.:Bro.: Thomas Rafter
  • W.:Bro.: Wm. E. Finnegan
  • Bro.: Alec R. Rundle
  • Bro.: J. Ernest Robertson

At a general meeting held on April 29th in Freemasons’ Hall, 491 College Street, fifty-six Wellington District Masons were present, and it was unanimously decided to adopt the name “WELLINGTON” for the proposed lodge, in honour of the parent district and because of the historical traditions associated with the name.

Consent to the formation of a new lodge was then obtained from the lodges in the four Toronto districts, and a petition containing 108 names of brethren from Wellington District, and five others, was presented to the then Grand Master, M.:W.:Bro.: John A. Rowland; through the good offices of R.:W.:Bro.: Peter M. Grant, D.D.G.M. of Toronto District “A” praying for leave to institute the new lodge.

The Grand Master acceded to this petition and granted a dispensation for the Institution, to take place in College Street Freemasons’ Hall on Saturday evening, November 14th, 1925.

The ceremonies were conducted by R.:W.:Bro.: Peter M. Grant, D.D.G.M. of Toronto District 7. Wellington Lodge was allotted to District 7 where our relationships have been most congenial.

The first officers were:

  • W.M. R.W.Bro. Dr. Everon Flath, Conestogo Lodge No. 295, Drayton;
  • I.P.M. R.W. Bro. Thomas Rafter, Prince Arthur Lodge No. 334, Arthur;
  • S.W. W.Bro. Wm. E. Finnegan, Twin City Lodge No. 509, Kitchener;
  • J.W. Bro. Alec R. Rundle, Speed Lodge No. 180, Guelph;
  • Chaplain Bro. Matt. Boyes, Irvine Lodge No. 203, Elora;
  • Treasurer W.Bro. Wm. A. Glenney, Harriston Lodge; Harriston;
  • Secretary W.Bro. Walter H. Williams, Grand River Lodge No. 151, Kitchener;
  • Asst. Secretary Bro. D. Stuart Lillie, Galt Lodge No. 257, Galt;
  • S.D. Bro. Albert E. Bryson, Prince Arthur Lodge No. 334, Arthur;
  • J.D. Bro. J. Ernest Robinson, St. Alban’s Lodge No. 200, Mt. Forest;
  • D. of C. Bro. Fred A. Lewis, St. Alban’s Lodge No. 200, Mt. Forest;
  • I.G. Bro. Douglas G. McGregor, Mercer Lodge No. 247, Fergus;
  • S.S. Bro. James A. Partridge, Wellington Lodge No. 271, Erin;
  • J.S. Bro. J. Harvey McKinney, Credit Lodge No. 219, Georgetown;
  • Organist Bro. S.C. Holley, New Dominion Lodge No. 205, New Hamburg;
  • Tyler Bro. John W. Richardson, Alma Lodge No. 72, Galt.

Thus Wellington Lodge came into being. Now after thirty-six years of happy experience, we are amply convinced that our existence has been justified. Harmonious fellowship has been the outstanding characteristic of our meetings, and it is to be desired that our members in years to come may guard very definitely against any semblance of discord or the development of groups or factions within the Lodge.

The standard of degree work has been of a high character and the ceremonies have been at all times conducted with such dignity and efficiency as to make a lasting impression on the candidates.

“Let us do our work as well, Both the unseen and the seen; Make the house where God may dwell, Beautiful, entire and clean; Else our lives are incomplete.”

In the thirty-six years that have passed since out institution there have been initiated 323 candidates representing 969 degrees conferred.

Affiliations of brethren from other lodges number 285 (of which 113 were charter members).

We regret to say that death stands at 275.

It was a matter of Gratification that permission was obtained by Bro. J.E. Robertson from the Duke of Wellington to use the crest of his grandfather – the Iron Duke – as the crest of the Lodge.

Should and attempt be made to create an honour roll of the faithful and zealous workers in our Lodge it would indeed be an impressive list, for not only those who had a part in the organization and institution of the lodge, as well as its Past Masters, but also many of its members who have never held office, have been responsible for its success and for the position that Wellington occupies.

The history Wellington Lodge, now written up to date, records in greater detail matters of interest occurring at its meetings and social functions.

May the future be regarded as an opportunity, yes, even as a challenge, to those who follow the trail blazed by the pioneers of Wellington Lodge.

Everon Flath, M.B., P.D.D.G.M.
November 1961

Epilogue I

Since the above history was compiled by our founder, R.W.Bro. Everon Flath in 1961, our Masonic Journey has continued on through the remainder of the 60’s, the 70’s, the 80’s and now into the 90’s. Many changes have taken place in those nearly 35 years. R.W.Bro. Flath and all the charter members living in 1961 have passed on to service in the Eternal Kingdom. The profile of the Lodge has changed considerably, the membership has dropped to some 90 members but we like to think that the zeal and dedication to Masonic principles is still alive in the officers and members in 1994. The rationalization of the membership numbers is in keeping with conditions afoot in the Craft in general.

We are proud to report that since 1961, Wellington Lodge has witnessd the election of 2 District Deputy Grand Masters, namely R.W.Bro. C.J. Saylor Nixon 1964 and R.W.Bro. Charles Peck 1975. As well, M.W.Bro. R.E. Groshaw served as Grand Senior Warden in 1976 and went on to be elected Grand Master in 1983 for the customary 2 year term in that office. One can readily perceive that these elections as well as a number of Grand Lodge appointments, to the following brethren: V.W.Bros. Norman Nixon, Frank Elliot, L. Ashton Collingham, Herb G Hearn, Donald A. Hughes, William J. Trider, Ronald G. Cooper, Peter E. Taylor, and Edmund E. Wilikings to various Grand Lodge offices, have brought credit to Wellington Lodge.

While we take pride in the knowledge that these honours have brought our lodge much recognition and distinction, we must sense a challenge among our Brethren to keep the Masonic flame alive and vibrant for the benefit of generations of Masons yet to come. The Grand Principles upon which the Craft is founded, Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth are still with us and it is our mandate as members of the order to insure that we keep the images bright and shining.

V.W.Bro. Donald A. Hughes, Past Grand Steward April 25, 1994

Epilogue II

The year 2002 has seen another review of our By-Laws and our Worshipful Master, W.Bro. Jack Khasram, has requested that an update of our lodge progress be prepared in keeping with the traditions of our beloved organization. This document I am pleased to submit for your study and reflection.

In the period from 1994 (the year of the last revision of our By-laws) until now (2002) several landmark events were witnessed in our lodge. We moved from the Davenport Masonic building at 888 Yonge Street when it ceased to function as a meeting place for Masonic groups and we made our new home in the York Masonic Building at 1100 Millwood Road. Our tenure was short lived and we moved to Woodbridge Masonic building at 8000 Kipling Avenue. This building was soon declared unsuitable for gatherings due to structural difficulties and we found, subsequently, we would have to relocate our place of assembly. This transition took place some two years ago when we chose Maple Masonic Building at 2142 Major MacKenzie Drive for our meetings. For some members this location may be a trifle inconvenient situated, as it is, some distance from the core Toronto area. However, the access is good and attendance does not seem to be inhibited nor the flow of applications disrupted.

Since Epilogue I was penned, we have lost one of our outstanding members in the person of R.W.Bro. C.J. Saylor Nixon who was tragically killed in a motor accident on July 18, 1997. His contributions to the well being of our Lodge were manifold and the impact of his counsel and dedication to Masonry and in particular to Wellington Lodge will be etched on the minds of those who knew him for many years to come.

Wellington Lodge has been richly blessed by the dedication and sterling contributions to the Office of secretary for number of years in the person of V.W.Bro. George Ghneim who was made Grand Superintendent of Works by Grand Lodge on July 18, 1996. A recognition well deserved!

Our 75th Anniversary celebration took place at the Toronto Cricket, Skating, & Curling Club on October 27, 2000, at which time we were privileged to have our own M.W.Bro. Ronald Groshaw, P.G.M., and Mrs. Groshaw in attendance. As well R.W.Bro Terence Shand, D.G.M., graced our gathering to bring greetings from the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario.

The Leadership Provided by our Worshipful Masters and officers over the past few years is reflected in the zeal and attachment borne out by the attendance at our stated meetings. Should this enthusiasm be continued as, we trust, it may be, then Wellington Lodge’s future as one of the brighter lights in Toronto District No. 7 and indeed in the overall Grand Jurisdiction will be assured. Our founders built well and it is our mandate and indeed our bounden duty to make certain that the momentum they initiated is maintained and hopefully enhanced.

May the Great Architect of the Universe continue to bless us all.

V.W.Bro Donald A. Hughes,
Past Grand Steward
March 28, 2002

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