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On Saturday, December 20, 2014 the Toronto Humber Valley Masons gave away 1000 turkeys to those less fortunate. The event was a wonderful collaboration amongst the brethren of Toronto Humber Valley as well as those outside the district, friends and family. It was a very beautiful day as the sun was shining and the brethren were smiling.
Honest Ed's has been giving away turkeys for 27 years and this past year in early December they gave away 1200 turkeys. Considering this is our fourth year of giving away turkeys and we were able to give away 1000, we are very proud of our brethren for accomplishing this wonderful deed for those in the community before Christmas. We could not do it without the help of Vito of Vito's No Frills who provided a wonderful pancake breakfast as well as coffee to those who were in attendance for both turkey recipients as well as volunteers. Read more...
This Article by Meagan Leonard was published in The Wellington Advertiser on January 30, 2015.
What do Henry Ford, Tim Horton, Sir John A. Macdonald and Phil Collins have in common?
They, along with many other notable figures throughout history, have aligned themselves with the age-old fraternity known as the Freemasons. Shrouded in superstition and generally misunderstood, the oft-called “secret society” has been actively involved in bettering communities behind the scenes since the 1700s. This tendency to fly under the radar and reject credit for the many projects and initiatives they undertake has partly led to many of the misconceptions perpetuated by popular culture over the years.
This month, a new exhibit opening at the Wellington County Museum and Archives hopes to assuage some of the misunderstanding and evoke a newfound appreciation for the organization.
Curator Susan Dunlop says the exhibit will cover the history of Masonry and some of the stereotypes portrayed in the media along with a special focus on the lodges of Wellington County. “Freemasonry is something a lot of us are intrigued by, but we don’t know much about it and consequently in popular culture you can get some misconceptions,” Dunlop said. The historical origins of Freemasonry date back to the middle ages in Scotland, England and France, where stone mason guilds were developed to train men to construct buildings and enforce a higher standard of workmanship. Passwords and handshakes were developed to protect trade secrets and quickly identify members. Knowing a password gave a stone mason instant credibility in the field.
Today, there are some 3.2 million Freemasons worldwide, with over 40,000 in Ontario alone, and while members no longer construct cathedrals, they have continued to play an important role in the community. Because their mandate is to keep mum on all contributions, this has often led to suspicion. “I think it’s like the Christian faith says: don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. In other words, you don’t have to be blowing your own horn and touting how great you are,” Dunlop said. “You don’t have to be out there looking for pats on the back.”
Contemporary popular culture in part has been responsible for fuelling the speculation and conspiracy theories associated with Freemasonry – particularly movies like National Treasure and Dan Brown’s best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code. “It’s maybe this secretiveness that they do have – they’re closed-mouth about their rituals and what they do at their lodges, so I think it’s easy to speculate,” Dunlop said. “Modern pop culture sees it as an institution shrouded in secrecy, but often misses the deeper historical significance.”
Over the years Masons have been associated with Nazism, communism, devil worship, founding the United States, sympathizing with Middle Eastern terrorists, writing their own religious doctrine, answering to a pagan deity and being the masterminds behind some of the world’s greatest crimes. Surprisingly, some believe London’s Jack the Ripper acted on Mason orders. Masons are also often erroneously connected with another enlightenment-era group: the Illuminati who were persecuted for promoting revolutionary doctrine and heresy. During the 1700s, Masons were connected with the group and the revolution due to their overlapping values of freedom, liberty and equality. However, unlike the Masons, the Illuminati believed in the creation of a new world order by toppling church and government. Despite modern superstition, the Illuminati had disbanded by 1800.
“It’s easy to read the sensational, but if you take the time and hard work to learn about the group, they’re really quite an impressive organization,” Dunlop says of Freemasons. Members say they simply share a common goal of helping each other be better men and believe they have a responsibility to improve themselves while still remaining devoted to family, faith and country.
Mapleton resident John Green has been a member of the Drayton-Conestoga Masonic Lodge for almost 40 years and says he didn’t really know what to expect when he first joined. “I knew the people that belonged there were well respected in the community, but it was something that was very secretive and I didn’t know much about it,” Green said. “Some of my friends were members and I thought maybe I should be a member too.” He scoffs at the notion of a secret society. “It’s a secret society that’s not very secret in my opinion,” he said with a chuckle. “There are certain things that a lot of people don’t know, but you can find almost anything with the introduction of the Internet.”
Some of the charity initiatives of local Masons in recent years include providing scholarships for students and seeing-eye dogs for the visually impaired. Green says the current province-wide initiative focuses on prostate cancer research. “We’ve given money to three researchers in Kingston, Hamilton and London and they’re researching different aspects of prostate cancer,” he said. “One of the philosophies of Masonry is that you do good in the community and you be a good person but you don’t go around bragging about it and saying ‘look what we did.’ We do it very quietly and have the inner pride of knowing we did something good.”
Green says he is looking forward to the exhibit coming to Wellington County as it has received a great response from other areas of the country. He says he hopes it will give the group some exposure and the public a better understanding of what they do. Although the organization has changed very little since its inception nearly 300 years ago, Green foresees it continuing successfully into the future due to its promotion of universal values. “It’s about brotherly love, relief and truth … supporting your family, your friends and your neighbours - being generous (to) those who are less fortunate and have honesty prevail your whole life,” he said.
The exhibit runs from Jan. 24 to April 26 at the Wellington County Museum and Archives and features a special history of local Freemason groups and the role they played in Ontario towns. One room in the museum will also be converted into a “lodge” setting.
A special event will be held on Feb. 22 featuring guest speaker Michael McDonald, who will provide a look into the fraternity.
Meetings Held - August 11, 2014 and August 12, 2014
It has been almost a year since I provided an update on Canada Lodge U.D., and I thought it might be timely to give you a short update. V.W. Bro. Rick Fulford is in his last few months at Kandahar Air Field, and the exact date of the closure of the military presence in Kandahar, while not known exactly, is also coming to a conclusion shortly. With the fantastic support of Grand Lodge, the members of Canada Lodge have been very active since the first meeting on March 4th, 2010. To date, a total of 73 degrees have been conferred (44 First Degrees, 17 Second Degrees, and 12 Third Degrees)!! The most recent Canada Lodge meetings on August 11th and August 12th conferred the Master Mason degree on 2 candidates that have had all 3 degrees conferred with Canada Lodge, and the photos of these are attached. There is no doubt that the presence of Canada Lodge in Kandahar has been a very welcome relief for many serving military members, both from Canada and also from many of our Allies.
As for the immediate future for Canada Lodge, most of the shops and businesses that had been erected at Kandahar Air Field have been closed down, and many of the compounds are empty and the wooden structures have been demolished. Canada Lodge is meeting at a restaurant which is owned by the Dutch; however, it could be the next to be demolished. If and when that happens, this will exhaust the options for a venue for meetings. When and if that happens, V.W. Bro. Fulford, always the optimist, has promised the continuation of Canada Lodge, albeit only for coffee and fellowship.
V.W. Bro. Rick Fulford,
Worshipful Master, Canada Lodge U.D. , and
R.W. Bro. Bill Lewis,
Grand Lodge Liaison, Canada Lodge U.D.
Grand Master Challenges Three Members of the Board of General Purposes to take the "ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE"
The "Ice Bucket Challenge", in support of ALS Canada, has hit the Craft in a big way - right at the top!
On Friday, August 22, 2014, the Grand Master, M.W. Bro. Donald A. Campbell, followed through on a challenge issued through his private avocation (Toronto Police Service) and took the Ice Bucket Challenge with some colleagues (see video, link below).
On Saturday, August 23rd, 2014, the Grand Master challenged three members of the Board of General Purposes to complete the Ice Bucket Challenge themselves. In turn, each who are challenged are to choose three more Masons.
The Fun Has Begun, and it will ripple throughout Masonry in Ontario!!
Watch the Video (14 Mb): Grand Master - Ice Bucket Challenge Video
“If you take advantage of everything Freemasonry has to offer, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish.”
On July 16th, 2014 the Grand Master, M.W. Bro. Donald A. Campbell commenced his address by welcoming everyone to the 159th Annual Communication of Grand Lodge in Toronto. He made special mention of the Leaders from other Grand Jurisdictions and the Masonic Family.
He went on to suggest to the Masons present that… “I am convinced the world today needs Freemasonry, its philosophy and its fundamental principles of brotherly love, relief and truth,” Moreover he suggested that “It’s not what you are that’s important, the issue is what you are willing to become.” During his address, the Grand Master highlighted the important work that many Freemasons perform for our Grand Lodge, their Lodges, Districts and their communities. Five such Brethren were recognized for their great work:
Two members were conferred with the rank and title of “Past Grand Senior Warden (Honorary)” in recognition of their dedication and work for Grand Lodge.
V.W. Bro. Robert Lindsay, now R.W. Bro. Robert Lindsay, was recognized for his long and dedicated service as Team Leader of the Friend to Friend Program. The Grand Master stated; “Your unwavering support of the program and the promotion of its many benefits, have guided many new Masons to the Craft”.
V.W. Bro. S. Michael Jenkyns, now R.W. Bro. S. Michael Jenkyns, was conferred with the same rank and title for his work as Grand Historian since 2009. He has worked tirelessly to compile and preserve a permanent record of the matters connected with the history of our Grand Lodge so that the Brethren of the future can know and appreciate the past! . His most recent paper, titled Canadian Freemasonry During the First World War – 1914-1918, is recommended reading.
M.W. Bro. Campbell went on to recognize three additional Masons with the “Grand Master’s Meritorious Service Award”. This award was established by M.W. Bro. William R. Pellow as a personal award, presented by the Grand Master to recognize exceptional service rendered by members of Grand Lodge.
R.W. Bro. George Burt. P.D.D.G.M., Union Lodge, No. 118, Schomberg (York District); a strong supporter and tireless worker within York District. The Grand Master noted… “R.W. Bro. Burt is well known for his wood carving talents. Over the years he has made and sold many original wood carvings, donating the funds collected to Masonic charities, lodge and district events. He is even known for coming to the aid of grieving brethren and through his talents, he has provided handcrafted customized memory urns for the grieving families. Words cannot describe his compassion and the true meaning of his Brotherly Love.”
R.W. Bro. Robert A. Johnston. P.D.D.G.M., West Hill Lodge, No. 670, Toronto (Toronto East District). In the words of our Grand Master, the best way to describe R.W. Bro. Johnston, is a quote from M.W. Bro. Raymond Daniels: “There is no retirement age in Masonry!” In October 1978, “I [M.W. Bro Campbell] was initiated into Scarboro Lodge No. 653 (Toronto 4 District), on the night of the Official Visit of the D.D.G.M., who happened to be R.W. Bro. Robert Johnston. He was the first Grand Lodge Officer I had met and he made me, as a candidate, not only feel welcomed to Freemasonry, but he told me it was a lifetime commitment to living a better life. Through his personal actions and demeanour, I wanted to belong to this organization they called Freemasonry and I made a personal commitment to him and the brethren, I would be an active member.” The Grand Master went on to say.. “R.W. Bro. Johnston is still an active member in his lodge and his district. A couple months ago, while I was attending a Lodge Installation, a large delegation of Masons from West Hill Lodge also attended, being led by their Worshipful Master, R.W. Bro. Johnston. He is a clear example of the hardwood of Freemasonry we need today, active Past Masters.”
R.W. Bro. David G. Martin. P.D.D.G.M., King Edward VII Lodge, No. 471, Niagara Falls (Niagara B District). The Grand Master noted… “It has been said that the consciousness of duty done is a great reward. R.W. Bro. Martin has carried out the duties as a Mason and a mentor faithfully and well. His fraternal manner towards all the Brethren, without distinction of rank or position, his courtesy and tact, his unfailing attention to detail, and ready devotion of time and energy, have been actuated solely by his desire to advance the best interests of the Freemasonry in every way possible. These qualities have earned him the admiration and respect, indeed, it is no exaggeration to say, the esteem and affection of all his brethren. R.W. Bro. Martin has advanced Masonry in the Niagara Districts.”
Congratulations are extended to all 5 outstanding Masons.
M.W. Bro. Donald A. Campbell also indicated his great pleasure in joining with the Brethren of the Jurisdiction, in celebrating many special Lodge Anniversaries:
M.W. Bro. Donald A. Campbell made note of the contributions of the work of all members of Grand Lodge and encouraged Masons throughout the jurisdiction to lead a balanced life so that they can give Freemasonry their best and be the Mason they want Grand Lodge to represent.
Our Grand Master concluded with a slightly altered quote by Geraldine Ferraro: “If you take advantage of everything Freemasonry has to offer, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish.”
It just seems like yesterday the DDGM of the 44 Districts assumed their office. It is hard to believe how quickly the year has passed. To all the brethren who received Past Rank this year and those who will receive it on “July 17”, it is not time to retire. You must continue to work for Freemasonry. It is critical that our Past Grand Lodge Officers retain, renew and revitalize their role. No one said being a Past Grand Lodge Officer was an easy position, it takes work, and your work is not done! Your lodge, your district and even Grand Lodge needs your extensive experience for training junior members. Junior members should not be training new members.
Remember, from the moment an apprentice enters into a Lodge, it is impressed upon him that his duty is not to himself, but to his family and his fellow man and his community. The brethren in our lodges are concerned with developing themselves morally and spiritually in order to become better people. We are members of a unique worldwide fraternal organization that we should be very proud to be a member. Where else in the world, if not in our Lodges, can people from all races, religions, socioeconomic levels of society work together in perfect harmony and equality.
As Masons we are the ones who can make a change. We can influence society and point it in the right direction in a positive way. Masonic wisdom encourages us to judge our performance in every aspect of our lives against certain standards. We insist that our members respect and honour both the spirit and the letter of the law of the country in which we live and also to encourage all brethren to fulfill their personal responsibilities, both private and public. We ought to be the examples of good order and regularity, because it is only by own conduct that we can reasonably expect compliance from others.
Truly, the sun never sets on Freemasonry. It’s working all the time both within and without our many lodges. The great work of keeping Freemasonry together as a smooth working machine is due to the continued efforts of our Grand Secretary and his staff. The vast amount of voluntary work done by our Grand Lodge Chairmen, Team Leaders and committee members, all working together, devoting their time to preside over the many initiatives to advance Freemasonry in Ontario. These brethren with their indefatigable interest has earned the honours and respect they truly deserve. We are thankful for and their commitment to the Craft and the brethren they serve.
In today’s social media networking, we need to use all available mediums, including the Grand Lodge Website. But, we must remember that social media is a great tool to get us to a meeting, but social media is not a place to hold a meeting. We need that face to face contact. We have the material to educate members about the most important aspects of Freemasonry, that is, education and a learning institution. We’re great at gathering material but we have to improve disseminating it.
Candidates, young and old are showing an interest in Freemasonry and are on a quest of searching for something that society is not providing them. They are searching for knowledge and a system that will provide it for them. They know more about Freemasonry before they petition a Lodge than have any of their predecessors. It is now up to us to provide for them for what they are searching for. Each one of them, as we do, want to be a member of a quality organization and that is what Freemasonry must continue to be.
Masonry for each of us is exactly what we make it, the directing impelling power within us. We can make it an instrument of almost unbounded good to ourselves and those around us. Brethren, as we move on, let’s be the Mason you want Grand Lodge to represent.
Donald A. Campbell
London Regional Cancer Program (LRCP)
Prostate Cancer Tour Jan. 16, 2014
Your Foundation Dollars at Work
On Thursday, Jan. 16, a number of the Directors of the Masonic Foundation of Ontario were privileged to participate in a tour of the London Regional Cancer Program’s Prostate Cancer facilities at the London Health Sciences Centre.
The following members of the Masonic Foundation were in attendance: President A. Douglas Nichols, Dr. David Cameron, Mr. Garry Dowling, Mr. Patrick McGrenere, Mr. Ed Standish, Dr. Charles Woods and our Deputy Grand Master, Mr. John Green.
We were accompanied on the tour by two private donors, Mrs. Sheila Reynolds and Mr. John Reynolds.
The tour was organized and directed by two members of the London Health Sciences Foundation, Jackie Ellefsen and Pam Taylor.
Photo (left to right)
Back Row: Dr. Charles Woods, Doug Nichols (MFO Foundation President), Patrick McGrenere, Dr. David Cameron, Ed Standish, Garry Dowling
Front Row: Aaron Ward, Leonard Luyt, Mrs. Sheila Reynolds, Mr. John Reynolds, John Green (Deputy Grand Master)
Missing: Dr. Glenn Bauman, Jackie Ellefsen, Pam Taylor Read more...
Camp Trillium - Childhood Cancer Support Center
At a presentation Ceremony held at Camp Trillium, Rainbow Lake (Waterford, Ontario), on Dec 10 2013, Past Grand Master, M. W. Bro. D. Garry Dowling presented a cheque to Camp Trillium on behalf of the Masons of Ontario, in the amount of $44,531.88.
M. W. Bro. Dowling selected Camp Trillium to be the recipient of the Grand Master’s Project during his term as Grand Master July 2011 to July 2013. During that time, Brethren from across the Province made donations to the project, via the Masonic Foundation of Ontario, on behalf M.W. Bro. Dowling and his Lady Wendy. Donations came from individual Masons, Lodges, and Districts in Ontario.
Photo (left to right): V.W. Bro. Wayne Barker, R.W. Bro. Ray Charles, Marci Shea-Perry, R.W. Bro. A Doug Nichols, M.W. Bro. Garry Dowling.
M.W. Bro. Dowling, accompanied by R.W. Bro. A. Douglas Nichols, President of the Masonic Foundation of Ontario, made the presentation on a beautiful sunny afternoon, at the Rainbow Lake Camp facility, to Marci Shea-Perry, Executive Director of Camp Trillium. Marci has been involved with Camp Trillium for approximately 25 years.
Accompanying M.W. Bro. Dowling and Wendy were R.W. Bro. Raymond Charles, Lady Margaret and V.W. Bro. Wayne Barker and Lady Jill. Both had served as Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies during M.W. Bro. Dowling’s term. After the ceremony, Marci led the group on a tour of the Camp’s facilities. Read more...
The Ontario Mason Magazine Team and the Communications Committee are extremely pleased to announce the re-introduction of the Ontario Mason Magazine (OMM), in its new on-line format.
We hope that you enjoy the team’s first effort; it has been a huge undertaking and it certainly has been a learning process for us all. As we move forward with the creation of the Winter Issue, we pledge to you that the team will seek improvement every issue. Read more...
On the 8th March 2013. A number of Members of the Peel Regional Police Service were recognised by the Governor Generals Office, as recipients of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal was awarded to Canadians who have made significant contributions or distinguished service to their fellow citizens, to their community and to their country. The Diamond Jubilee Medal also marks the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth IIʼs accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada. Throughout 2012, an astounding 60,000 deserving Canadians were recognized for this high honour.
Among those officers who received the medal, five are masonic brethren
Bro. Steven Kemley, of Sunnylea Lodge, No.664. W. Bro. Wayne Omardeen, Bro. Donald Jorgensen, Both of Unity Lodge, No. 710. Bro.Thomas Murray, of Harris Lodge, No. 216. W.Bro.Jeffrey Baker of Wellington Square Lodge No.725.
The medal was designed by the Canadian Heraldic Authority and manufactured by the Royal Canadian Mint. It displays the crowned image of Queen Elizabeth II on the front, with recognition of the sixtieth diamond anniversary of her Sovereign’s accession to the Throne on the reverse.