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Old Tymers' Night - May 6, 2008

V.W.Bro. Leo Wayrynen was born in Hornepayne in August of 1936, but moved with his family to Karamat within a few months. Leo's parents had emigrated from Finland in the 1920's and His father was working for the CNR, and they moved a bit throughout Northwestern Ontario. They lived on a farm at Quimet where Leo attended Elementary School. That farm is still in existence beside the Highway. He inherited his commitment to hard work early, as his father would send him over to help their neighbours when he came home from school.

He attended Port Arthur Tech., later to become Hillcrest High School, where he excelled at Track, and became a runner of note, winning many meets at School and Finnish Sports events. He was also President of the Students' Council, and was a noted thespian, taking part in School Musicals.  Even to this day he usually leads us in singing O'Canada!

He met his wife, Fran at High School, where she was a Cheer Leader. After Secondary School, Leo attended Trade School in Toronto, and obtained his license as a mechanic. On return to Thunder Bay he worked at Port Arthur Motors, then operated his own Garage & Service station, Leo’s BP, on Cumberland Street, before being enticed into the Ministry of Transportation. Before taking up his new employment he returned to Port Arthur Motors and sold vehicles for a few months until he became 21, which almost changed his plans, as he was so successful that, his ready wealth nearly diverted him. His time with the Ministry took him to Dryden, and to Toronto, where he headed up the revamping and expansion of the Enforcement Group. He returned to Thunder Bay in 1973, and started up his Industrial Supply & Service Business, A-1 Filter & Supply (We’re not just Filters!!!), which moved a number of times in the intercity area, as Leo moved to bigger quarters to keep up with his expanding business.

Leo married Fran in 1959, and they had two children, a daughter, Judy, married to Jack Korppi, is a School Teacher and the mother of two of Leo's grandchildren, Jessie & Jasmine; and a son, Allan, married to Laurie, and has added two more grandchildren, Max & Dayna, who live in Calgary where Allan is Area Manager for a National Medical Supply Firm. Fran who was a working partner in the Supply business with Leo, passed away in 2002, after a lengthy illness,

Leo's Masonic career has a long impressive record. He joined Shuniah Lodge on June 13, 1972 while with the Ministry, and became Worshipful Master in 1980. He initiated our Famous Fish Derby in 1980 and with his leadership and support it will have it's 28th Anniversary this year. Leo was District Secretary in 2001-02, and was appointed to Grand Lodge in 2002 as a Grand Steward. Leo has been a strong supporter of Masonry in Algoma District, particularly of our outlying Lodges, which he attends regularly, a commitment that was been noted by the then Grand Master M. W. Bro. Terence Shand when he appointed Leo to Grand Lodge.

Leo regularly supplements our fare, at lunches and banquets, with his culinary specialties such as wild game sausages and fish. He currently serves the District as Coordinator of Masonic Events, and keeps the Masonic Calendar current and corrected. Leo's fine example of Masonic Commitment has contributed much to our Lodge, our District, and our whole Fraternity. His selection as Old Tymer of the Year is somewhat premature, given his relatively young age but most appropriate given his many years of devoted and exemplary service.

Well deserved, and much Thanks Leo!

Click here to review other pictures of the memorable evening.