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
SHUNIAH LODGE A.F.
A.M. No. 287
CHAIRMAN - Wor. Bro.
(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
INTRODUCTION OF HEAD
TABLE GUESTS - Chairman
GREETINGS FROM THE
CITY OF THUNDER BAY - His Worship Mayor Saul Laskin
WORSHIPFUL MASTERS - ALGOMA DISTRICT - Rt. Wor. Bro. Harry G. Demuth
ENTERTAINMENT - Fort
William Male Choir, Mr. Norman
TOAST TO THE GRAND
MASTER AND THE GRAND LODGE OF CANADA IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO - Wor.
INTRODUCTION OF THE
GRAND MASTER - Rt. Wor. Bro. R. W. Faithfull
RESPONSE - The Most
Worshipful Brother William K. Bailey, Grand Master
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
TOAST TO THE VISITORS
- Wor. Bro. Harold G. Blanchard
RESPONSE - Most
Worshipful Bro. Russell E. Tortin, Grand Master of Minnesota
ENTERTAINMENT - Fort
William Male Choir (University Theatre)
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
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
|John T. Brown
|Cosford C. Forneri
|Reverend J. Smith
|Edward (Edwin) Emmons
|John M. McDonald
|James Hartley Woodside
|R. E. Mitchell
|| Senior Steward
|Robert E. Maitland
|P. J. (F. J.) Mitchell
|Edward (Edwin) Emmons
|James Everington Jr.
PRESENT - MEMBERS:
|W. B. Frue
* Early records were totally
destroyed in a fire on the night of November 23rd, 1907. Where existing records
show conflicts, all possibilities arc listed.
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.
laid before the Lodge the accounts relating to the expenses incurred in the
funeral of our late Bro. Morris, which were accepted.
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.
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
A motion by Bro. Secretary,
seconded by Bro. ].W., that Bro. Everington be appointed Tyler of this Lodge was
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.
CLARKE, W. M.
(Sgd.) JNO. M.
Eight of the
Charter Members of this Lodge had their Mother Lodge in the United States of
No. 105, Michigan
No. 67, Michigan
No. 79, Duluth Minnesota
No. 175, Michigan
No. 107, Michigan
of Shuniah Lodge often lived and/or worked at considerable distances. The
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
Letter Copy Book: 1877 to 1894
June 6th. Shuniah visitation to Houghton on steamer Manistee.
May 11th Shuniah visitation to Hancock on steamer Manistee.
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.
Minutes: 1890 to 1972
By-laws called for meetings to commence at 7:30 p.m.
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.
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.
ceremony and dinner. Two gallons oysters $4.00; Eight quarts milk $0.80; Water
1901 The Brethren met at
the Lodge and proceeded to St. John's Church to hold a service on the death of
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
April 25th. The laying of the Corner Stone is mentioned in the notice of this
November 22nd. The first
meeting was held in the new Lodge building. John Osborne Wilks was the first
1911 March 7th.
Consecration and Dedication of the new Lodge hall by D.D.G.M. R.W. Bro. D. H.
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
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.
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.
50th anniversary celebrations, Shuniah Lodge, No. 287.
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.
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.
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.
Palestine Lodge celebrated its 75th anniversary, with many brethren from
Shuniah Lodge attending. Palestine visited Port Arthur later in the same year.
Shuniah Lodge celebrated its 75th anniversary, and the Board of Trustees
donated a new organ to the Lodge.
bible was presented to Shuniah Lodge by the Brethren of Pales- tine Lodge, and
consecrated by Rev. Bro. T. Cann.
Palestine Lodge celebrated its 100th anniversary, and many of the membership
of Shuniah carried congratulations and best wishes to Duluth at this time
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
John T. Brown
Cosford C. Forneri
Reverend J. Smith
Edward (Edwin) Emmons
John M. McDonald
James Hartley Woodside
R. E. Mitchell
Robert E. Maitland
P. J. (F. J.) Mitchell
Edward (Edwin) Emmons
James Everington Jr.
PRESENT OFFICERS - 1972
A. G. MORGAN
E. J. BUTLER
IMMEDIATE PAST MASTER
R. M. ZALE
DIRECTOR OF CEREMONIES
W. J. MATYCZUK
W. J. BOYCE
K. W. CHASE
D. J. YOUNG
A. A. BOTT
H. T. WALSH
H. A. BRIMMELL
R. A. WILSON
J. W. McCOWATT
H. R. COLE
A. H. HARPELL
GRAND MASTER of ALGOMA DISTRICT
Rt. Wor. Bro. HARRY G. DEMUTH