St. Andrew's Lodge No. 62
St. Andrew's Lodge No. 62 has earned the designation:
"Cornerstone Lodge 2016 - 2018"
"The lodge deserves to be extremely proud of the level of proficiency that it has achieved and you are to be commended for your dedication and determination in meeting the Cornerstone challenge." - Brother 2 Brother Team
Meets Third Thursday of Each Month, 7:30 p.m.
(except July and August)
During the War of 1812 a Military Masonic Lodge was situated at York where it remained for many years, until it eventually moved to Niagara Falls upon the movement of the Army.
St. John’s Lodge (York) was first conceived in the minds of nine men who met in Wm. Fearman’s Inn in the Village of York on November 12, 1844.
At a subsequent meeting on November 29, it was decided to make an application for a charter to the Grand Lodge of England through the Provincial Grand Lodge.
In February 1845, the following officers were chosen:
W.M.- Joseph Cornick
S.W. - Wm. Young
J.W. - John Lester
Secretary - David Meters
Treasurer - Warner Nelles
S.D. - Jos. F. Howe
J.D. - Wm. Mussen
Tyler - Hiram Humphrey
On May 15, 1845, their charter was granted and the Lodge was given its official name - St. John’s No. 12, P.Rl, 779 E.R.
The new York lodge met at Wm. Fearman’s Inn, but right from the start they seemed bent on finding a more suitable or convenient location. Although masonry was about to flourish in Haldimand County at the time, it seems then, as now, not everyone was a fan.
In November, 1845 St. John’s Lodge in York wrote to a Mr. Jacob Turner of Seneca for the use of a certain room belonging to him in Caledonia for the use of St. John’s Lodge.
Unfortunately, Mr. Turner replied that he "would rather see all Freemasons on the Grand River damned and in Hell sooner than accommodate them with a room at any rent or price".
St. John’s Secretary D. Meyers then asked Turner if he would accommodate the Lodge so far as to sell them a lot upon which they may build a suitable Masonic Hall. Again, Turner replied that he "would neither sell nor give enough land to bury one individual of the Masonic order if he should rot above ground."
In July 1849, St. John’s search for a new location would lead them to Caledonia.
The York lodge would continue meeting in Caledonia before returning to York the next year.
In 1851, St. John’s, along with several other Lodges, relinquished its English charter and made application and was given a charter under the Grand Lodge of Ireland. St. John’s then became No. 286 I.R.
Many Masons who belonged to St. John’s in York at the time were either farmers or merchants who lived in Cayuga and Caledonia. No doubt there was considerable pressure at the time to find a more convenient meeting place that suited the needs of both groups.
With this in mind, it is presumed that a compromise was worked out between the two groups.
In 1854, on the eve of the establishment of the Grand Lodge of Canada under M.W. Bro. Mercer Wilson, St. John’s relinquished its Irish charter and joined the newly formed body as No. 18 G.R.C, (Grand Registry of Canada) Hamilton District.
On June 6, 1854 it was resolved to move the York lodge to Cayuga and at the same meeting it was resolved to ask the brethren to assist in establishing a lodge at Caledonia. The result was that the first meeting of St. Andrews was held in Caledonia on Dec. 12, 1855 with a Grand Lodge warrant subsequently issued on July 30, 1856.
The December 12, 1855 meeting was attended by seven Masons who met in one of the rooms at Corey’s Hotel and formed themselves into St. Andrews Lodge. They were Joseph Cornick; gentlemen, William McPherson; M.D., William A. Spooner, Adam Goldie; merchant, George Brown; merchant, W.S. Waugh; merchant, all from Caledonia and Dewitt Meyer; a merchant from Indiana. All but Waugh considered St. John’s #286 York as their Mother Lodge (Waugh was initiated at Barton #10).
On Wednesday, February 21, 1856 M.W. Bro. Wm. Mercer Wilson, who was from Simcoe, installed Officers W. Bro. J. Cornick as St. Andrew’s first Master and Bro. A. Goldie as Secretary. A banquet was given at Mead’s Hotel which was located in the west side of Argyle St. between the bridge and Caithness St. and was operated by Joseph Cornick Jr.
Caledonia’s first permanent lodge would officially be known as St. Andrew’s Lodge #31 A.F. & A.M. warranted by the newly formed Grand Lodge of Canada in 1856.
Interestingly, St. Andrews is not considered an original member lodge of the Grand Lodge of Canada, having not officially existed before the Grand Lodge’s formation.
St. Andrew’s was re-numbered #62, the number it is known by today, during the Union of 1858. (When the Grand Lodge of Canada was formed in 1856, it did so without permission from The Grand Lodge of England. Of the 83 lodges in Canada at the time, all were invited to join but only 30 did so. The other lodges either remained loyal to the Grand Lodge of England or were constituted by the Grand Lodge of Ireland or Grand Lodge of Scotland. In 1858, the Ancient Grand Lodge of Canada under the jurisdiction of The Grand Lodge of England and the two-year old Grand Lodge of Canada officially merged forming what we call today The Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario.)
Joseph Cornick Sr, our first master, died on July 23, 1872 in his 85th year of age. He is buried in the St. John’s Anglican Church Cemetery in York along side his beloved and faithful wife, Hannah.
It is Joseph Cornick Jr’s first wife, Jane, that is buried in St. Paul’s Cemetery behind our present lodge hall.
During the first 50 years of our lodge’s existence, there was a steady increase in new members but many moved away and demits were numerous. Lodge meetings were held on the Thursday on or before full moon.
The moon was an aid in getting along the roads in the early days.
Early initiation fees were $20 with annual dues of $3.00.
In 1921, the lodge’s by-laws were published in a booklet. That year, the initiation fee was $35.00
Over the years, the lodge has met in quite a few different locations.
Most of the lodge’s early records and our original charter were destroyed in the Grand Old Oprey House fire of 1947.
After the fire, St. Andrew’s met at York for some time and then at the Odd Fellow’s Hall above Boose’s Drug Store, the present day Coach House Gift Shop, until their new hall was ready.
In 1954 land was purchased along Argyle Street north from the Anglican Parish and a former Army hut was purchased in Hamilton. The building was duly moved to its present location where we are tonight. W. Bro. Wm. Williamson was Master that year and he along with a number of Officers and Brethren did much of the work in putting this building into shape.
Lodge was first held in the new Lodge Room during October of 1954 and the dedication was in March 1955 with W. Bro. Harrison Martindale, W.M., Wm. Harrison S.W., Bro. Chas Matteson J. W., W. Bro. Fred Brown, Treasurer and R. W. Bro. T.J. Hicks secretary. The R.W. Bro. James N. Allan from Dunnville acted as Grand Master. The membership was at 170.
The oldest mason during St. Andrew’s 100th birthday year was V.W. Bro Harrison Arrell who was Master in 1901.
The Centennial of St. Andrews was celebrated on December 12, 1955. A banquet was held in the adjoining banquet room and the members of the Order of the Eastern Star did the catering. R.W. Bro. H.L. Martyn, Deputy Grand Master, Toronto was guest speaker.
Visitors from almost every Lodge in District B were present and many from other districts as well.
After 100 event filled years St. Andrews was finally had its own permanent home.
During our illustrious history there have been many occasions for special banquets to be held.
In the early years, Masonic Lodges held day long festivals to celebrate St. John’s Day every June.
On one occasion in the 1800’s, a barge was hired by Dunnville masons and floated down the river for a day long party that included fellow masons from Caledonia, York, and Cayuga.
A highlight in our lodges history was no doubt the Grand Masters Visit - Friday, June10, 1921 when the Most Wor. Bro. Fred W. Harcourt, KCGM was received by St. Andrews.
Of course our 100th anniversary banquet was suitably celebrated in 1955.
September 17, 1964 was R.W. Bro. T.J. Hicks Night who was Master in 1922 and a longtime secretary of this lodge.
In 1980 Harmony Lodge #57 Binbrook and St. Andrews jointly celebrated their 125th anniversaries in the Agricultural Hall at the Binbrook Fairgrounds, an entertaining evening which many of you present no doubt remember.
Representing Grand Lodge that evening was M.W. Bro. Eric W. Nancekivell, P.G.M.
In the last decade St. Andrew’s has made a habit of welcoming the Scottish Craftsman from St. Catharine’s to our annual Robbie Burns Night.
Recent highlights for our lodge have included the new steel roof installed in 1997 and ongoing improvements with regards to landscaping.
God willing, St. Andrews Lodge #62 will celebrate its 150th Anniversary in 2005, an occasion once again for a grand celebration.
Caledonia Masonic Temple
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