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Shuniah Lodge A.F. & A.M. No. 287 G.R.C.

 

On Saturday, September 30, 1972, Shuniah Lodge A.F. & A.M. No. 287 G.R.C. celebrated its Centennial Celebration with a dinner at Lakehead University.  The evening's program is reproduced below.

 

RECEPTION TO THE GRAND MASTER - ALGOMA DISTRICT

AND

SHUNIAH LODGE A.F. & A.M. No. 287

 

CHAIRMAN - Wor. Bro. D. J. Young, (Chairman Centennial Committee)
CO-CHAIRMAN - Rt. Wor. Bro. Harry G. Demuth, D.D.G.M. Algoma District
CO-CHAIRMAN - Wor. Bro. A. G. Morgan, Master Shuniah Lodge No. 287
GRACE - Brother Rev. R. A. Peden D.O.

SINGING OF THE NATIONAL ANTHEMS - Organist, Bro. A. A. Bott
TOAST TO THE QUEEN AND THE CRAFT - Brother Ross A. Wilson

TOAST TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - Brother Ross A. Wilson

 

DINNER

 

INTRODUCTION OF HEAD TABLE GUESTS - Chairman

 

GREETINGS FROM THE CITY OF THUNDER BAY - His Worship Mayor Saul Laskin
 

PRESENTATION OF WORSHIPFUL MASTERS - ALGOMA DISTRICT - Rt. Wor. Bro. Harry G. Demuth
 

ENTERTAINMENT - Fort William Male Choir, Mr. Norman J. Kleven, Director

 

TOAST TO THE GRAND MASTER AND THE GRAND LODGE OF CANADA IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO - Wor. Bro. J. A. MacDonald

 

INTRODUCTION OF THE GRAND MASTER - Rt. Wor. Bro. R. W. Faithfull

 

RESPONSE - The Most Worshipful Brother William K. Bailey, Grand Master
 

APPRECIATION AND PRESENTATION TO THE GRAND MASTER

- Rt. Wor. Bro. Harry G. Demuth, D.D.G.M. Algoma District

 

TOAST TO SHUNIAH LODGE - Wor. Bro. Alvan C. King, Master Palestine Lodge No. 79, Duluth
 

RESPONSE - Wor. Bro. A. G. Morgan, Master Shuniah Lodge No. 287

 

TOAST TO THE LADIES - Wor. Bro. F. Howard Young

 

RESPONSE - Mrs. Walter Matyczuk

 

TOAST TO THE VISITORS - Wor. Bro. Harold G. Blanchard

 

RESPONSE - Most Worshipful Bro. Russell E. Tortin, Grand Master of Minnesota

 

RENEW ACQUAINTANCES

 

ENTERTAINMENT - Fort William Male Choir (University Theatre)
 

DANCING

 

GOD SAVE THE QUEEN

The following is a reproduction of the history of the Lodge and was circulated to all of the brethren in attendance at the celebration dinner.

 

IN THE BEGINNING

 

    As befitting the first Masonic unit in that great territory known as Northwestern Ontario, Shuniah Lodge had something of a storybook beginning.
The new lodge had its conception in the casual meetings of men who found themselves to be mutually interested members of the craft.

 

The birthplace of Shuniah Lodge was a bunkhouse. The initial gathering took place late in 1871 or early 1872 at the Shuniah Mine, a silver property not far to the northeast of Prince Arthur's Landing, so named after Prince Arthur of Connaught, a son of Queen Victoria then in Canada on a military mission associated with the difficulties in the Northwest.

 

The evening meeting took a form far from uncommon among men employed in mine or lumber camp, even to this day. The conversation was varied, and it soon became apparent that several Masons were indeed present. These included 1- F_ Clarke, then Sheriff of the District of Thunder Bay; C. C. Forneri, engaged in survey work; and Brother Errmais, a miner. The masons continued their discussion after the remainder had retired, and the idea of a new lodge received their closest attention. Very Worshipful Brother Clarke proposed that a new lodge be formed, and meeting with complete agreement on the part of the brethren present, the name of Shuniah, the Ojibway name for silver, was chosen.

 

Returning to the village after his visit to the Shuniah Mine, Very Worshipful Brother Clarke contacted Brothers R. E. Mitchell, Robert Blackwood, and William Woodside, and requested that they assist in locating as many other brethren as possible. Seven brethren, including V. "V. Brother Clarke, held their first formal organizational meeting at the home of Brother R. E. Mitchell.

 

A short time later, the seven brethren attended the inauguration of Palestine Lodge No. 79, A.F. & A.M., Duluth, Minnesota. The trip was made by boat, the only means of transportation between the two points.  Here they met Brother J. M. McDonald, a most capable individual, who agreed to accept the position of secretary of the lodge-to-be. Brother McDonald did much to further the interests of the group, and to bring about the complete organization of the new lodge.

 

In the latter part of May, 1872, a meeting was convened at the home of Brother C. C. Forneri, located on what is now the south side of Arthur Street, about midway between Cumberland and Court Streets. Here they prepared the petition for presentation to the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario. The report of the proceedings of Grand Lodge, held in the City of Hamilton on Wednesday, July 10, 1872, contains a note that Shuniah Lodge, Prince Arthur's Landing, was under dispensation, Very Worshipful Brother J. F. Clarke, M.D., Master, with 13 members. The dispensation for Shuniah Lodge was granted in the name of William Mercer Wilson, first Grand Master of the new Grand Lodge which had been formed to consolidate divided jurisdictions in existence in various parts of the Province of Ontario.

 

The first regular meetings were held on Wednesday evenings. Shortly thereafter, however, the day was changed, and over a period of a full century, as members in their thousands have come and gone through these portals, Tuesday became established and recognized as "Shuniah Lodge Night".

AND THERE WAS LIGHT

Minutes of the first communication ion of the Shuniah Lodge (U.D), held at the residence of Brother C. C. Forneri, in the Village of Prince Arthur's
Landing, on the twenty seventh day of September, A.I.,1872.

PRESENT - OFFICERS:

John F. Clarke Worshipful Master
John T. Brown Senior Warden
Cosford C. Forneri  Junior Warden
Reverend J. Smith Chaplain
Edward (Edwin) Emmons Treasurer
John M. McDonald Secretary
James Hartley Woodside Senior Deacon
R. E. Mitchell Junior Deacon
R. Burkholder  Senior Steward
Robert E. Maitland Junior Steward
P. J. (F. J.) Mitchell Inner Guard
Edward (Edwin) Emmons Inner Guard*
James Everington Jr. Tyler

PRESENT - MEMBERS:

W. B. Frue W. Scott Robert Williams
D. MacDonald Thomas Shortiss Bro. Machar
Bing Young Thomas H. Lowe R. Blackwood
J. W. Lewis James Warnock H. J. Eberts
James Grahame    

* Early records were totally destroyed in a fire on the night of November 23rd, 1907. Where existing records show conflicts, all possibilities arc listed.

 

    The Dispensation of the Grand Lodge of Canada empowering Shuniah Lodge to be held U.D., was read by the secretary, and the W.M., S.W., and J.W. therein designated took their place of office accordingly. The W.M. appointed the brethren to be hold office as above recorded pro tem. The Lodge was then opened in due form at 8 o'clock p.m.

 

    The secretary laid before the Lodge the accounts relating to the expenses incurred in the funeral of our late Bro. Morris, which were accepted.

 

    Resolutions were then put and carried that the following brethren be admitted forming members of the Lodge: Bro. R. E. Maitland, Bro. W. Scott, Bro. Thos. H. Low, Bro. F. J. Mitchell. Bro. ]. Everington Jr., Rev'd Bro. Smith, Bro. Machar, Bro. Burkholder, Bro. D. MacDonald, Bro. Jas. Warnock, Bro. J. Grahame.

 

    It was then moved by J.W., seconded by Bro. S.W., that after due examination, Bro. Frue be admitted forming member of this Lodge.
Carried.

 

This form of business was then closed by the W.M. at 9 o'clock.

 

The W.M. then read from the constitution of the Grand Lodge, the qualification of officers forming a Lodge.

 

A vote in open Lodge was taken for Treasurer, on which Bro. Emmons was unanimously elected to fill that office.

 

A motion by Bro. Secretary, seconded by Bro. ].W., that Bro. Everington be appointed Tyler of this Lodge was carried.

 

It was then moved by Bro. Low, seconded by Bro. Tyler, that the annual membership dues shall be five dollars per annum, and that no member
shall be charged who resides outside of the jurisdiction of this Lodge, but to retain his membership he shall keep up his Grand Lodge dues. Carried.

 

    It being now 10 o'clock, it was moved by Bro. J.W., seconded by Bro. Tyler, that the Lodge shall remain in session one-half hour longer. Carried.

 

It was moved by Bro. Tyler, seconded by Bro. J.W., that the W.M. assisted by Bro. Secretary, be appointed a committee of two to procure jewels and regalia for the Lodge. Carried.

 

Bro. C. C. Forneri then offered the use of the room now occupied, to the Lodge for use pro tern, which was gratefully accepted.

 

Moved by Bro. C. C. Forneri, seconded by Bro. S.W., that one-half year's dues be paid in advance. Carried.

 

Moved by Bro. Low, seconded by Bro. S.W., that the sum of thirty dollars be the fee for initiating, passing and raising a candidate, of which eight dollars shall be paid in with the application and the balance previous to initiation. In the case of the ballot proving foul, the entire money to be refunded. Carried.

 

Moved by Bro. Low, seconded by Bro. S.W., that this Lodge do now adjourn. Carried.

 

   The Lodge was closed in harmony at 10:30 p.m. in due form.

 

   Receipts of evening, $10.50.

(Sgd.) JNO. CLARKE, W. M.

(Sgd.) JNO. M. McDONALD, Sec'y.

 

    Eight of the Charter Members of this Lodge had their Mother Lodge in the United States of America.

 

JohnT. Brown Rockland No. 105, Michigan
Cosford C. Forneri Madoc
Edward (Edwin) Emmons Ontonogan No. 67, Michigan
John M. McDonald Palestine No. 79, Duluth Minnesota
Robert Maitland St. Andrews
Thomas H. Low(e) Quincy, Michigan
James Everington Jr. Excelsior No. 175, Michigan
Bro. Mitchell Marquette No. 107, Michigan

 

    Early members of Shuniah Lodge often lived and/or worked at considerable distances. The following:

 

William Mapledorm Albert J. Bowden
J. G. Gillis W. H. Barlow
S. Ridout William Currie
James Bailey Lorne C. Campbell
James W. Williams Thomas Tretheway

 

in addition to Bro. W. B. Frue, gave their address as Silver Islet, site of the famous silver mine. Their only means of access to Lodge was by boat, a distance of approximately 25 miles over the open waters of Lake Superior.

 

GLEANINGS FROM THE PAST

 

From the Letter Copy Book: 1877 to 1894

1879     June 6th. Shuniah visitation to Houghton on steamer Manistee.
 

1881     May 11th Shuniah visitation to Hancock on steamer Manistee.

 

1890     June 9th. Lodge rooms to be illuminated by electric light. Three 30 candle-power lamps to be installed in the Lodge room, one 20 candle-power lamp to be installed on the landing, and one 10 candle-power lamp to be installed in the anti-room. Rental: $3.00 per month.

From the Minutes: 1890 to 1972

1890     By-laws called for meetings to commence at 7:30 p.m.

 

1892     January 5th. The original seal, bearing the name Prince Arthur's Landing, was changed on this date to read Port Arthur. From the By-Laws: Every officer shall attend punctually at the hour named in the summons. Officers failing to attend, or to attend punctually at the hour stated, will be liable to censure by the Master unless exonerated by a reasonable excuse.

 

1889     December 15th. Brother John F. Walker, who passed away in 1971 at the age of 106 years, was initiated into Masonry on this date. Bro. Walker was passed on February 4, 1890, ant! raised on April 15, 1890. Before his death, Bro. Walker had received his Fifty, Sixty and Seventy years medals.

 

1898    Emergent meeting were being held in J. W. Haskins store, and other places of business.

 

1899    Installation ceremony and dinner. Two gallons oysters $4.00; Eight quarts milk $0.80; Water $0.25.

 

1901    The Brethren met at the Lodge and proceeded to St. John's Church to hold a service on the death of Queen Victoria.

April 16th. Approval granted for improvements to the Hall, a 40x 16 addition at a cost of $400.00. At a somewhat later date, the Lodge was authorized to borrow $700.00 at 7% from the Ontario Bank to pay for the improvements.

 

1902     A bill for $7.00 for two teams of horses taking part in a late Brothers funeral, was approved.

At one point during the year, the Lodge was called off for 15 minutes on account of a fire alarm, resuming labour at 8:40 p.m.

 

1904     The granting of First, Second and Third degrees in the same evening was not uncommon at this time. The Lodge often closed well after midnight.

April 19th. Opened in First Degree at 7:45. Two candidates.

Opened in Second Degree at 9:55. One candidate.
Opened in Third Degree at 10:45. One candidate.
Closed in harmony at II :55 p.m.

August 2nd. Opened in First Degree at 7:50. Business.

Opened in Second Degree at 9:20. Two candidates.
Opened in Third Degree at 10:40. Three candidates.
Back to First Degree with two candidates.

Closed in harmony at 12:50 a.m.

 

1907     At a meeting held, under dispensation, at Royal Lodge rooms, a motion was carried to the affect that cigars not be cut out of the refreshments budget, as recommended by the Board of General Purposes.

November 23rd. The Masonic Hall, Port Arthur, was totally destroyed by fire, together with all the Lodge furniture, jewels and regalia. The warrant was lost as well.

 

1908     W. Bro. G. W. Brown gave a very interesting description of his trip to Jerusalem, and at the conclusion of his talk, presented the Lodge with three very fine carved stone gavels as a souvenir of King Solomon's quarries.

 

1909     In this year, property was purchased and plans finalized for the construction of new Lodge rooms. The property was that occupied by the present building.

 

1910     April 25th. The laying of the Corner Stone is mentioned in the notice of this date.

November 22nd. The first meeting was held in the new Lodge building. John Osborne Wilks was the first candidate initiated.

 

1911    March 7th. Consecration and Dedication of the new Lodge hall by D.D.G.M. R.W. Bro. D. H. Currie.

 

1913    March 4th. That it be referred to the Board of General Purposes to collect photographs of all Past Masters of Shuniah Lodge, and have same enlarged and framed in a suitable manner.

 

1914     This year saw the first visit of Palestine Lodge to Port Arthur since 1874. An 18 course dinner was served at the Prince Arthur Hotel. The gift of a brass key, weighing 23 lbs., and a duplicate of that presented to the Duluth Brethren, was made by Bro. T. H. Fisher at this time.

 

1915     A Masonic certificate and hand-worked apron, dated 1816, and which had been in the possession of R. W. Bro. J. F. Clarke, first Master of Shuniah Lodge, was presented to the Lodge by his son, Bro. W. J. Clarke.

 

1922     50th anniversary celebrations, Shuniah Lodge, No. 287.

 

1923     As a substantial portion of the membership of Shuniah Lodge were resident in Schreiber, Ontario, the Doric Club was formed in this year. The Club was dissolved in 1956, as the Terrace Bay Lodge had been formed in 1949.

 

1928     Shuniah Lodge furnished a ward at the opening of the new Port Arthur General Hospital. In 1929 they assisted financially with the installation of X-ray equipment. In 1947 another ward was furnished on behalf of the membership.

 

1932    Diamond anniversary of Shuniah Lodge. 44 W.M's and P.M's pre- sent.

 

1939    Colonel S. W. Ray passed away in this year. The funeral was held with the casket placed in the Lodge rooms. A large number of citizens viewed the body, and members of the Order stood guard duty at all times. As far as can be ascertained from available records, this is the only occasion when a funeral has been conducted from the Lodge.

 

1945    Palestine Lodge celebrated its 75th anniversary, with many brethren from Shuniah Lodge attending. Palestine visited Port Arthur later in the same year.

 

1947    Shuniah Lodge celebrated its 75th anniversary, and the Board of Trustees donated a new organ to the Lodge.

 

1948    A bible was presented to Shuniah Lodge by the Brethren of Pales- tine Lodge, and consecrated by Rev. Bro. T. Cann.

 

1970    Palestine Lodge celebrated its 100th anniversary, and many of the membership of Shuniah carried congratulations and best wishes to Duluth at this time

 

1972    Shuniah Lodge, No. 287, celebrates its 100th year of Masonry.

The foregoing is the result of an examination of available records and minutes of meetings of the Lodge, and contributions from the memories of some of the members. No doubt much has been overlooked, and we would indeed enjoy hearing from one and all, that we might enrich our archives. We trust, however, that the gleanings reported above will be of interest.

 

FIRST OFFICERS - 1892

John F. Clarke

Worshipful Master

John T. Brown

Senior Warden

Cosford C. Forneri 

Junior Warden

Reverend J. Smith

Chaplain

Edward (Edwin) Emmons

Treasurer

John M. McDonald

Secretary

James Hartley Woodside

Senior Deacon

R. E. Mitchell

Junior Deacon

R. Burkholder

 Senior Steward

Robert E. Maitland

Junior Steward

P. J. (F. J.) Mitchell

Inner Guard

Edward (Edwin) Emmons

Inner Guard*

James Everington Jr.

Tyler

 

PRESENT OFFICERS - 1972

A. G. MORGAN

Worshipful Master

E. J. BUTLER

IMMEDIATE PAST MASTER

R. M. ZALE

DIRECTOR OF CEREMONIES

W. J. MATYCZUK

Senior Warden

W. J. BOYCE

Junior Warden

R. MacKENZIE

Chaplain

K. W. CHASE

Treasurer

D. J. YOUNG

Secretary

A. A. BOTT

ORGANIST

H. T. WALSH

Senior Deacon

H. A. BRIMMELL

Junior Deacon

R. A. WILSON

Senior Steward

J. W. McCOWATT

Junior Steward

H. R. COLE

Inner Guard

A. H. HARPELL

Tyler

 

GRANDMASTER

 

DISTRICT DEPUTY GRAND MASTER of ALGOMA DISTRICT

Rt. Wor. Bro. HARRY G. DEMUTH