2004 - 150 Years History of Consecon Lodge #50

- As read by R. W. Bro Stewart C. Wood in 1954 at our 100th Anniversary -

After a thorough search, we are forced to conclude that, from the fire in 1904 which destroyed the lodge room of Consecon Lodge No. 50, all that was saved was the charter and one minute book. However, in our endeavour to establish that Consecon Lodge has been in continuous operation for one hundred years, we have discovered these facts.

Consecon Lodge was originally formed under dispensation from the Grand Lodge of England and was shown as No. 947 on its roll. This number was confirmed on June 24, 1854 on which date the first meeting was held. On June 14, 1855, Consecon Lodge was granted a Charter as Lodge No. 44, Provincial Grand Lodge. This charter was received on August 20, 1855. In 1859 Consecon Lodge was denominated Lodge No. 50 on the Grand Registry of Canada.

The charter members were:

  • Worshipful Master: J. P. Morden, Ameliasburg, Yeoman, Master in 1846 of Belleville Lodge No. 4 Provincial Grand Lodge.
  • Senior Warden: J. H. Peck, Ameliasburg, Yeoman, Senior Warden of Trent Lodge No. 32 Provincial Grand Lodge.
  • Junior Warden: Gibb Squire, Consecon, Shoemaker, of United Murray Lodge No. 769 (now United Lodge No. 29, Brighton), Initiated July 19, 1819.
  • M.I. Clute: Consecon, Innkeeper, of Trent Lodge No. 32, Initiated Oct 15,1851.
  • S.J. Pennock: Consecon, Merchant Clerk, of Trent Lodge No. 32, initiated Oct 16, 1852.
  • William S. Kirkland: Consecon, Gentleman, of Lodge No. 51, Scotland.
  • William Baird: Consecon, Labourer, of Lodge No. 148 Scotland.
  • Francis Peck: Ameliasburg, Farmer, of Trent Lodge No. 32.
  • Syron Johnson: Ameliasburg, Farmer, of Trent Lodge No. 32.
  • John Pennock: Castleton, Merchant, of Trent Lodge No. 32.
  • C. A. Wiggins: Hillier, Hotel Keeper, of Prince Edward Lodge No. 8.
  • W. Bro. Morden: served as Master for our first three fledgling years (1854 through 1856).

We have not been able to determine what Lodge sanctioned Consecon's right to obtain a Charter, but the list of charter members shows six as former members of Trent Lodge, it would therefore seem that Trent Lodge was the one most interested, not only from a geographical standpoint but also in loss of members.

The first meeting recorded in the minute book that was saved is dated February 3, 1882.

  • Wors. Bro. J. H. Thornton, Worshipful Master
  • Bro. R. J. Osborne, Senior Warden
  • Bro. J. Baird, Junior Warden
  • Bro. George Waddell, Secretary.

At this meeting, one application for membership was received and one brother was passed to the second degree. The initiation fee was $20.00 and the yearly dues were $2.00.

March 3, 1882: Lodge was opened at 7:50, passed to the second at 8:00 and raised to the third at 8:05. A brother was raised to the sublime degree. The lodge was closed in the third at 9:45, closed in the second at 9:50. A candidate was initiated and lodge closed in harmony at 10:50.

February 16, 1883: the Lodge was opened at 7:50 and closed at 8:30. These meetings would seem to indicate that the officers were very proficient.

October 23, 1885: an insurance premium of $3.75 for the ensuing year was ordered paid.

December 30, 1887: Bro. D. P. Cory was engaged as janitor at $12.00 per year for regular meetings and 50 cents for emergent meetings. Bro. Cory was to furnish fuel and lighting.

December 14, 1888: one year's rent of the building in the amount of $50.00 was ordered paid.

June 19, 1891: a committee was appointed to procure material to drape the lodge room for three months in memory of our late Bro. Sir John A. McDonald.

December 11, 1891: a levy of 40 cents per member was collected as payment for dishes.

July 8, 1892: W. Bro. Thornton was given proxies to represent Consecon Lodge at the Communication of Grand Lodge to be held in the city of London. On July 20th at this communication, W. Bro. Thornton was elected and installed as D.D.G.M. He also served as master for ten years, 1875 through 1877 and 1879 through 1885.

October. 6, 1894: shows 36 members in good standing and four one year in arrears.

March 26, 1904: the lodge room burned.

May 29, 1904: the secretary was instructed to write Trent Lodge thanking them for their generosity in loaning regalia. A motion was also made placing the charter in Bro. Yott's care.

Several emergent meetings were called to hear reports of committees and discuss rebuilding.

On July 22, 1904, the treasurer was given authority to purchase the Killip site for a new Mason's hall.

September 21, 1904: nine members were named as Trustees of the Lodge with power to mortgage the land for the purpose of raising money to erect a building.

November 18, 1904: eleven members were appointed as a dedication committee.

January 3, 1905: the new hall was rededicated and consecrated with D.D.G.M. R.W. Bro. J.E. Halliwell from Sterling Lodge (now spelled Stirling) in Prince Edward District officiating. The building cost $2,500.00 with a debt owing of $600.00. R.W. Bro. Halliwell wrote in his report for the annual communication, "As Consecon is neither a large or wealthy lodge, I consider this a striking example of what men of pluck and determination can accomplish when they work together in a true Masonic spirit".

January 17, 1913: a committee was appointed to buy three chairs, side seats and pillars, and not to exceed $250.00.

September 4, 1914: moved, seconded and carried that any Patriotic Society have free use of the hall for the duration of the war.

November 19, 1915: a motion carried that the Lodge give $500.00 to the Hillier Institute, $500.00 to Consecon Institute and $500.00 to the Guild of St. John's Church, Carrying Place, to purchase yarn for knitting socks for soldiers.

April 18, 1924: a motion carried that the initiation fee be raised to $25.00 and dues to $3.00.

June 24, 1924: it was reported that there had been 16 initiations during the past year bringing the total membership to 100.

1925: Lodge was held Christmas evening.

October 11, 1933: Bro. W. A. Chase was paid 30 cents per hour for redecorating the hall. He worked 82 hours for a total of $24.60.

During 1933: dues were raised to $3.50.

In 1940: $25.00 was granted the Consecon Women's Association for war purposes and $40.00 sent to the British War Victims Fund.

In 1944: the lodge room and anti room were enlarged and re-decorated.

September 1, 1944: a motion carried that all brethren 70 years of age who have been a Mason in good standing for 25 years be made Honorary Life Members. Also a motion raising the initiation fee to $40.00 and yearly dues to $5.00 was carried.

June 1948: a motion carried to charter a bus to transport the Past Master and Wardens to Grand Lodge for the purpose of electing a D.D.G.M. It was my privilege (Steward C. Wood) to be elected and installed in that office. This honour I will always cherish and again express my deep appreciation.

In 1950: the lower hall was redecorated and a new hardwood floor laid by all voluntary work by the members, which now stands at 113.

1952: A brief record of one of our outstanding members.

  • Nov. 9, 1894 the petition of Willard W. Locie was received.
  • Dec. 7, 1894 Willard W. Locie was initiated.
  • Jan. 1, 1895, Bro. Willard W. Locie was passed to the second degree.
  • Feb. 8, 1895, Bro. Willard W. Locie was raised to the sublime degree.
  • Dec. 20, 1901, Bro. Willard Locie was elected master.
  • Dec 27, 1901, Bro. Willard Locie was duly installed as master.

Bro. Locie has been a very active member in the history of the Lodge and served five years as master (1901 through 1905). He is recognized not only as a 50 year Master Mason, but also 50 years as a Past Master. Unfortunately, he is not able to be with us tonight, but we have his brother whose application was received December 16, 1904. Although he is junior to Bro. Willard in masonry, he is senior in calendar years, being in his 93rd year. I would ask Bro. Walter Locie to stand, that the brethren may salute him.

These brethren are quotations from the minute books of Consecon Lodge No. 50., and in reading them one felt that they were enjoying the association of the brethren of yesteryear and sharing their trials.

November 20, 1953: W. Bro. Cecil Carley donated a picture of our first Worshipful Master to the Lodge which is hanging in the Lodge room today.

Years 101 to 150 as prepared by W. Bro. Gary Harvey.

At our 100th anniversary in 1954, R. W. Bro. Raymond Gunsolus drove M.W. Bro. J.A. Hearn from Belleville to Consecon Lodge to help us celebrate and perform a Lodge Rededication Ceremony. We are very honoured and fortunate to have R. W. Bro. Gunsolus with us again today for our 150th anniversary celebrations.

January 1995: Consecon Lodge sent our regalia out to have gold braid applied to the inner and outer edges signifying a Lodge of 100 years old.

February 7, 1958: a birthday gift was sent to W. Bro. Willard Locie who was celebrating his 90th birthday. On March 15, 1961, a Masonic Funeral Service was conducted for W. Bro. Willard Locie.

January 19, 1962: a letter of congratulations was sent to Bro. Dawson Campbell, who was Initiated, Passed and Raised in Consecon Lodge in 1952/53 and then moved to Detroit, on being installed as High Priest in Royal Arch Masonry. Bro. Campbell is 85 years young this year (2004) and is still a member of Consecon Lodge.

March 1, 1963: a wood fired stove was replaced with a new oil fired stove in the Lodge Room.

April 2, 1971: it was decided to sell the spittoons and the money be used to start an entertainment fund. Formation of the entertainment committee with its functions and support by the volunteer efforts of its members, have helped keep Consecon Lodge financially active during some lean years.

June 2, 1972: an oil stove was installed in the banquet hall to replace the wood stove at a cost not to exceed $30.00.

May 2, 1975: a Jewel was found on the beach of Weller's Bay in front of the cemetery. It was traced by V.W. Bro. Bram Humphreys to Lodge No. 818 in Ireland to a W. Bro. W. Thompson who migrated to Canada and affiliated with a Lodge in Toronto. There was an attempt to determine what Lodge and who his ancestors were, but there is in only this one reference to it in the minutes.

The Lodge was first wired in 1930 when W. Bro. Douglas Bush was master. It was rewired in 1982, 52 years later, to upgrade the wiring and install electric heating when his nephew W. Bro. Gerald Bush served as master. An antique bayonet and scabbard was found in the attic by W. Bro. Gerald Bush and Bro. Donald Munro during the rewiring process. It is displayed in a case in the anti room, and is thought to be the Lodge's original sharp instrument, later replaced by the sword being used now.

May 6, 1983: a Grand Senior Warden's night was held at Consecon Lodge. Banquet tickets were $3.50 each.

May 4, 1984: R.W. Bor. Rae Spencer donated the silver tea service that had been given to him by the Lodge 17 years prior. It is on display in a case in the anti room with his D.D.G.M. regalia.

July 1984: W. Bro. Ross MacDonald, being a Great Lakes pilot, was chosen to pilot Her Majesty's Yacht "The Britannica" through the Great Lakes.

October 3, 1986: it was noted that Mrs. Bessie Smith of the Consecon Women's Institute had help serve our D.D.G.M. banquets for 58 years. A very impressive record. The Women's Institute is still serving the banquet for our D.D.G.M.'s official visit. Their excellent meal attracted as many visitors that night as the D.D.G.M. himself.

February 5, 1988: a motion to replace the existing carpet in the Lodge room was defeated. It is still in good service and I believe to be the last of its kind left in the district.

March 4, 1988: W. Bro. John Jinks was installed as High Priest of Kente Tabernacle (Knight's Templar No. 18). This is another in a long list of accomplishments of W. Bro. Jinks.

June 2, 1989: W. Bro. John Jinks received his "Gold Award" from the York Rite College.

September 16, 1992: the regular September meeting of Heritage Lodge No. 730 was held at Consecon Lodge No. 50. R.W. Bro. Frank Dunn, the Worshipful Master, conducted the meeting and their annual election of officers. W. Bro. Stephen Maizees was chosen Master Elect for 1993.

December 17, 1997: V.W. Bro. John Jinks passed to the Grand Lodge Above.

September 1998: potable water was piped into Consecon Lodge.

May 22, 2002: R.W. Bro. Ross MacDonald was elected as chairman of our 150th anniversary committee but was unable to see his dream to fruition. R. W. Bro. MacDonald passed to the Grand Lodge Above on November 14, 2002. On December 20, 2002, R. W. Bro. Victor Alyea accepted the position as chairman to continue where R.W. Bro. MacDonald left off.

April 2004 two 8" X 12" beams were installed under the floor of the lodge room (ceiling of the banquet room) to reinforce the lodge room floor for the anticipated turnout of visitors for our 150th anniversary celebrations in May.

May 29, 2004: Our 150th anniversary celebrations were held with a resounding success. The Grand Master was brought to the lodge in an 1854 "limousine" - a horse and buggy, much to his delight. We had a sell out with 105 quests at the banquet and more for the lodge re-dedication ceremonies in the afternoon. The Grand Chaplain, R.W. Bro. John Moor, led all the Consecon Officers in a very impressive re-dedication ceremony that he had prepared just for Consecon Lodge. The Worshipful Master was still getting favorable comments on our celebration until the end of the year.

W. Bros. Raymond Gayton, James Alyea, Bob Keene and Gary Harvey delivered a 150th anniversary pen to all brethren who did not attend the 150th anniversary banquet as a memento of the occasion.

W. Bros. Bob Keene and Gary Harvey delivered widow's pins to all the widows who had been missed in the last while. A 150th anniversary pen was given as well.

These observations were taken from the minute books of the past. It has amazed me as I get older myself and struggle to get out to lodge on a nasty night in a well-heated vehicle, the dedication and stamina that was shown by our past brethren to travel to lodge by horse and buggy or semi-heated vehicle to a wood heated, drafty lodge building faithfully every month. I sometimes think the easier we have it, the harder we think we are done by. I would now ask you to rise with me and observe one minute's silence, in memory of those whose fortitude has made possible our celebration tonight, and who have passed to the Grand Lodge above.

In 2005, Bro. Donald Harvey completed the Masonic College Course in seven months and received his Certificate from V.W. Bro. Robert Sararas in January 2006, and in doing so was the first Consecon Brother to complete the course.

In 2007, new windows were installed in the Lodge room and the front door trim was clad in metal.

In 2008, the Installation and Investiture of the Officers was held on January 24, and led by R.W. Bro. Thomas Hogeboom, a long time associate of Master Elect Bro. Donald Harvey. The installation team consisted of a full contingent of Grand Lodge Officers including the Grand Master, M.W. Bro. Allan Petrisor, who installed Bro. Donald Harvey in the chair of King Solomon.



Grand Lodge Officers Left to Right - Installation 2008
Deputy Grand Master - R.W. Bro. Raymond Daniels
Grand Secretary - M.W. Bro. Terrence Shand
Grand Master - M.W. Bro. Allan Petrisor
W.M. Consecon Lodge No. 50 - W. Bro. Donald Harvey
Sect. Consecon Lodge - W. Bro. Gary Harvey
Custodian of the Work - M.W. Bro. Donald Mumby
Prince Edward D.D.G.M. - R.W. Bro. Harry Danford
Installing Master - R.W. Bro. Thomas Hogeboom

In 2009, the installation of new floor joists under the banquet room floor was completed as well as Lodge room and Anti room attics and East wall were blown full of insulation. The coat room in the banquet hall was stripped and new paneling, ceiling, lighting and carpet was installed. The Lodge by-laws were updated and approved by Grand Lodge and issued in February. A Friend-to-Friend night resulted in two applications for initiation from three attendees.

In 2010, Two Friend-to-Friend meetings resulted in three more applications for initiations. During the summer recess a small work party tore out the stage area and added the space to a completely rebuilt kitchen and bar area. It was a complete functional and aesthetical success. A grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation let us install a new propane unit heater in the banquet room to help reduce heating costs and improve heating efficiency.

All the Past Masters submitted a petition to Grand Lodge to have W. Bro. Robert Keene appointed as Grand Steward of Prince Edward District. W. Bro. Keene received the well-deserved appointment to Grand Steward at the Grand Lodge Convention in July and became V.W. Bro. Robert Keene.

In 2011, during the summer recess, the washrooms were remodeled and upgraded to reflect a more spacious modern design by the same work party that rebuilt the kitchen the year before. Part of the cost was supported from a grant from Prince Edward County as the banquet hall is frequently used as a Town Hall in this end of the county.

(Years 101 to 150 as prepared by W.Bro. Gary Harvey)