3rd Thursday of every month. Lodge Meeting at 7:30 pm
THE FIRST HUNDRED YEARS IS THE HARDEST
However, in 1873 Dufferin Lodge had no home, indeed it had barely achieved life. As an agreement had been reached in 1872 with Valley Lodge No. 100, of Dundas, to permit a new lodge in West Flamboro, 5 brethren avowing intent, together with 3 supportive visitors met January 9th, 1873, in a room over the West Flamboro Blacksmith Shop owned by one of the brethren, Bro. Alfred Jones, to start the first 100 years of continuous labour.
Dufferin Lodge was not the first Masonic Lodge in West Flamboro. We knew of the unusual case of Union Lodge No. 24 which was formed in Dundas in 1810, subsequently moved to West Flamboro, back to Dundas and then to Ancaster. In 1825 its insubstantial life failed and it ceased to exist. Its former existence had no effect on Dufferin Lodge, apparently, and there does not appear to have been any physical link between the two lodges.
At that first meeting in 1873, applications for membership were received from Mr. John Dodd and Mr. Robert Peebles and although we hear nothing more of these brethren, their admittance into the Craft made seven. Dufferin Lodge was now perfect.
Apparently that philosophy of perfection was not balanced by a philosophy of optimism and realism for in 1888 a motion of the lodge was recorded that steps be taken to dissolve the lodge and surrender the charter within six months. A later motion, in 1889 that amalgamation with Valley Lodge be investigated, was passed and negotiations were started. Valley Lodge passed the necessary motion approving the amalgamation and the demise of Dufferin Lodge appeared imminent. However, Dufferin Lodge was for some time unable to muster a quorum to ratify the agreement and so by its inability to die it maintained life. It is probably safe to assume that the amalgamation agreement will now never be ratified.
The room in which the 8 brethren met in 1873 remained as the lodge meeting room for 38 years until 1911 when it became obvious that larger quarters were needed. Wor. Bro. Alfred Jones, one of the founders, and the owners of the lodge building, offered them the use of a frame carriage house on the same property and this change solved the immediate problem. After Wor. Bro. Jones’ death in late 1917 an agreement with his widow was not found to be possible so negotiations were begun to purchase the present building from the Methodist Church Trustee Board. In early 1918 the purchase was complete for $550.00, a sum which appears totally ridiculous today. In June of that year the new lodge room with its new furnishings was completed and the first meeting was held there.
Our late beloved brother, R.W. Bro. George Jones, was in July, 1918 the first candidate initiated in the new lodge room. He was in 1931 elected to be the Worshipful Master and in 1954 to be the D.D.G.M., Hamilton District "A". In 1968, after 50 years in our present building, we were treated to reminiscences by R.W. Bro. Jones that brought the lodge and those years alive to us. His sudden death in 1969 has left a void in our fraternity that can never be adequately filled.
It appears from the minutes that there has been a building committee on the scene in our present building, almost continuously, from the start – repairing, remodeling, refurbishing and redecorating. It all started just two years after purchase when the building committee had electrical power and electrical lighting installed. The work still goes on as the present building committee is now finishing up the centennial redecorating and rebuilding. It seems probable that they, or their successors, will find sufficient interest in the lodge building to keep them busy long after the present work is finished. At times we have almost seemed to go out of our way to create work for our building committee. Why, we had the banquet room floor collapse just when the building committee thought that they had caught up.
The occasion for this grand opening event was the celebration of our 75th anniversary in 1948 and the viewers of the spectacle included the M.W. The Grand Master, T. Hamilton Simpson and many other distinguished Grand Lodge personalities. The extremely large gathering was just too much for the floor which had withstood over 70 years of use and had succumbed to dry rot. There is no doubt that both spectators and participants will have remembered this event most vividly. It was fortunate that no one was injured and the good humour of those dumped into the crawl space saved the occasion.
The problem with age and experience is that it produced competence, stability and respectability. Dufferin Lodge has now reached the age when we must expect all these things as a matter of course. We have only perfection to achieve now and it is certain that a history of our second hundred years will show that good humour will have prevailed to help us toward that goal.
|© 2015 Dufferin Lodge No. 291 A.F. A.M. All rights Reserved|