Belleville Lodge #4 to The Belleville Temple #123

A Retrospect

From previous Records, the assistance of our secretary and many other respected brethren the following extracts may be of interest to those who have been associated with us during the last One Hundred and Fifty years.

Origin and Founding

Before 1800 there was a Lodge in Belleville, called Belleville Lodge No. 4/496, being No. 4 of Canada and No. 496 of England. This old Lodge seems to have met irregularly, about 1802 what was left of it became Moira Lodge, later known as No. 11 of the Grand Lodge of Canada.

This is clearly indicated in a minute of the Belleville Lodge, dated November 1st, 1860, which definitely stated that they considered Moira Lodge the successor to Belleville Lodge No. 4/496. August 22, 1859, Wor. Bro. A.B. Elmer became a charter member of a new lodge being proposed and known as The Belleville Lodge by charter granted December 22, 1859 and numbered 123 on the Grand Register. We are told that the application for a charter read, "Belleville Lodge", but the engraver printed the word, "THE" in front of Belleville, so as a result out title officially contains the two words, "The Belleville".

The first meeting of December 22, 1859 show 10 visitors from Moira Lodge, No. 11, and 6 from Belleville Lodge, No. 4/496, probably former members of this old Lodge. This was evidently the birth of our present Lodge. And so work began in earnest on January 5, 1860, when R.W. Bro. J.C. Franck, D.D.G.M. of the District accompanied by Worshipful Bro. L.H. Henderson, District Secretary, were duly received. The D.D.G.M. read the Dispensation for the Lodge. Bro. A.B. Elmer, Worshipful Master, Bro. J. Wannacott, Senior Warden, and Bro. R. Newberry, Junior Warden, named in the Dispensation, were duly installed in their respective chairs.

The summons read, stated that the communication was for the purpose of opening and establishing a new lodge to be called, "The Belleville Lodge Under Dispensation." and the following First Officers were Invested: W.M. A.B. Elmer; I.P.M. A.A. Campbell; S.W. J. Wannacott; J.W. W.H. Ponton; Treasurer R. Wallbridge; Secretary D. Moodie; S.D. J.R. Stimers; J.D. E. Burrell; I.G. N. O'Camb; Tyler J. Green. Declared by J.C. Franck, D.D.G.M. and L.H. Henderson District Secretary. Temple Lodge No. 666, first met in the newly constituted Temple for which it was named on January 1, 1951 and on October 16, 1951 the Grand Master, M.W. Nelson Collins Hart issued formally the Charter denominated Temple Lodge and consecrated as No. 666.on the register of Grand Lodge.

He appointed Jack Marsh the First Worshipful Master; J.A. Thornbury the First Senior Warden and Harold Mott the First Junior Warden. V.W. Bro. Marsh is the founding father of our current Temple on Foster Avenue for which a plaque commemorating this is placed in the foyer of the Temple. The foundation of our new Lodge, "The Belleville-Temple Lodge, No. 123," is the result of a desired amalgamation of Temple Lodge, No. 666 and The Belleville Lodge, No. 123. On January 20, 2007: M.W. Bro. Gary L. Atkinson Grand Master officiated the Amalgamation Ceremony of The Belleville Lodge No. 123 G.R.C. and Temple Lodge No. 666 G.R.C. and hence the formation of The Belleville-Temple Lodge No. 123 G.R.C. our proud banner of operation today.  

Although not at present recorded in a comprehensive history it is worthy of note that The First Master of Temple Lodge A.F. & A.M. No. 666 was V.W. Bro. John E. Marsh; the Last Master of Temple Lodge No. 666 was Wor. Bro. Ryan Hewton. The Last Master of The Belleville Lodge A.F. & A.M. No. 123 was Wor. Bro. Wayne Tremble; the First Master of The Belleville-Temple Lodge No. 123 was Wor. Bro. Daryl E. Konkin, who, being installed in the chair of Solomon, the Grand Master having put the care of the amalgamated lodge in his hands, invested the new officers and closed the new lodge in harmony for the first time.

The journey begun, has been long, sometimes arduous, many times exciting and always fulfilling. In a short monograph such as this, we must unfortunately content ourselves with a simple passing reference to a few salient points of some interest which have made this journey so worthwhile.  

A historical reproduction would be a project worthy of a historical committee's consideration.
June 29, 1866: Recorded our rent to be $4.00, heat and light included. – December 27, 1876: The Auditors reported a membership of 102. Two years later, December 27, 1878: The membership diminished to 91. – January 7, 1897: The membership had by now risen to 132 and the first P.M.'s Jewel was approved for Wor. Bro. J.E. Walmsley. One year later membership reached 138. – December 1, 1910: Saw the completion of 50 years of active existence. – March 8, 1911: A Special Communication of Grand Lodge held for the purpose of dedicating the Lodge Room of Moira Lodge No. 11, The Belleville Lodge No. 123, and Eureka Lodge No. 183.

The Grand Lodge was welcomed on this occasion by Wor. Bro. C.D. Dyke, W.M. of The Belleville Lodge on behalf of the three Lodges. – May 2, 1912: A motion was passed amending the By-Laws of the Lodge to increase the Initiation fee from $35.00 to $50.00. – July 1921: R.W. Bro. Col. W.N. Ponton was elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario. – May 31, 1926: Wor. Bro. John McKeown, 51 years a Past Master, was presented with the first Long Service Medal awarded in this District. – December 5, 1935: The Lodge commemorated it's 75th Anniversary. M.W. Bro. W.N. Ponton delivered an address at the 4th Degree. – April 29, 1950: The first sod was turned for the new $125,000.00 Temple on Foster Avenue, our present location. The corner stone was laid by the Grand Master, M.W. Bro. James P. Maher on June 28, 1950 and the Temple was dedicated to Craft Masonry on March 20, 1951 by M.W. Bro. W. J. Dunlop, P.G.M. – April 5, 1951: New By-Laws as prepared by a Committee were adopted and a beautiful new Volume of the Sacred Law and a handsome set of Working Tools in a case were presented to the Lodge by Brother William Leslie. – July 1953: Wor. Bro. R.M. Gunsolus was elected Grand Senior Warden – December 27, 1959 to December 18, 1960: During the Centennial Assembly 1960: of The Belleville Lodge No. 123, Brother Carman Adams, a life member, presented the new gold-braided regalia as a gift to the Officers which is still in use today. So, going forward with a common interest, perfect unity, close fraternity with each other, fidelity to our Mother Lodge, and a due consideration and discharge of our Masonic duties will raise our lodge to a higher level, and convince the Craft that upon the Grand Register of Canada there is inscribed no more honourable name than that of "The Belleville-Temple Lodge No. 123."

Some of our Masonic Home

Available information informs us that the first Masonic Lodge in the Bay of Quinte District was formed in September 1801. This lodge met in Simpson's Tavern, a log building which stood at what is now the south-east corner of Dundas and Front Streets in Belleville. John Simpson, who had settled here and built the log tavern was a United Empire Loyalist. The tavern was destroyed by fire in 1812 along with Lodge records.

For a short time the Lodge met in John Everett's Hotel which stood on the north side of what is now Victoria Avenue between Pinnacle Street and Front. After 1835 the Lodge met in the Holden Building located on the west side of Front Street opposite what is now Victoria Avenue. It was here that the newly formed Lodge, The Belleville Lodge No. 123 and Moira Lodge No. 11 met in 1860.

Some time after 1865 the Masons changed quarters and met in a hall on the west side of John Street, formerly the Orange Hall, situated near the north-west corner of Bridge and John Streets. On July 9, 1870, the Masons bought the old Methodist Church on the west side of Pinnacle Street between the city market and Dundas Street which they sold in 1873 to the Grand Junction Railway Company.

In October 1874 the Masons purchased the three story building which stands on the east side of Front Street opposite the Upper Bridge. Masonry, flourishing it was thought that a better building was needed for which purpose a motion was passed giving instructions to the Special Committee composed of members of the Sister Lodges and other Masonic bodies, to conclude an agreement of sale with Bro. E.T. Cherry for the purchase of the lot at the north-east corner of Victoria Avenue and Pinnacle Street for the sum of $3,000.00. It was proposed to eventually build a new Temple on this property. April 29, 1950.

The first sod was turned for the new $125,000.00 Temple on Foster Avenue, our present location. The corner stone was laid by the Grand Master, M.W. Bro. James P. Maher on June 28, 1950 and the Temple was dedicated to Craft Masonry on March 20, 1951 by M.W. Bro. W. J. Dunlop, P.G.M. On December 12, 1950 the last meeting, an Emergent, was held in the Old Temple on Upper Front Street.


The following brethren have been signally honoured by The Grand Lodge of Canada
M.W. Bro. Col. William Nisbet Ponton 1855–1939 (deceased)

Present Grand Lodge Officers active in Lodge and District.

R.W. Bro. R.M. Gunsolus Elected Grand Sr. Warden 1953 and in 1964 Appointed the Grand Representative to The Grand Lodge Of Wisconsin

R.W. Bro. R.W. Verrall Elected D.D.G.M. 1988–1989

R.W. Bro. P. Penner Elected D.D.G.M. 1996–1997

R.W. Bro. T.J. Ross Elected D.D.G.M. 2003–2004

R.W. Bro. M.B. Allen Elected D.D.G.M. 2005–2006

V.W. Bro. Wm. English appointed Grand Steward 1987–1988

V.W. Bro. F.W. Furmidge appointed Grand Steward 1991–92

V.W. Bro. W. Goodfellow appointed Grand Steward 1994–1995

V.W. Bro. C. Allan appointed Grand Steward 1994–1995

V.W. Bro. E. Badgly appointed Grand Steward 2001–2002

V.W. Bro. T.W. McMillan appointed Grand Steward 2003–2004

V.W. Bro. D.C. Bain appointed Grand Steward 2004–2005

V.W. Bro. G. Moore appointed Grand Steward 2004–2005

V.W. Bro. B.P. Rodgers appointed Grand Steward 2006–2007

V.W. Bro. J. King appointed Assistant Grand Chaplain 2007
Awarded the William Mercer Wilson Medal: Bro. G. Sills 2004


December 22, 1859 – December 22, 2009

Friday, April 30, 2010


(Participating in the ceremony)

M.W. Bro. Raymond S. J. Daniels, Grand Master

R.W. Bro. Norm Mathie, Grand Senior Warden

R.W. Bro. Rev. Fr.William M. White, Grand Chaplain

R.W. Bro. William J. Lewis, District Deputy Grand Master - Prince Edward District

R.W. Bro. Richard D. Burden, Past District Deputy Grand Master - Prince Edward District


Worshipful Master - A. B. Elmer

Immediate Past Master -A. A. Campbell

Senior Warden - J. Wannacott

Junior Warden -R. Newberry>

Secretary - D. Moodie

Treasurer- R. Wallbridge

Senior Deacon - J. R. Stimers

Junior Deacon - E. Burrell

Inner Guard - N. O'Camb

Tyler - J. Green

Declared by J. C. Franck, D.D.G.M. and L. H. Henderson, District Secretary


LODGE OFFICERS - The Belleville-Temple affiliated lodge 2010

Living Past Masters

(former The Belleville Lodge No. 123)

1949 – Raymond M. Gunsolus

1962 – W.J. James Rapino

1964 – George T. Greatrix

1970 – W.J. Needham Throop

1973 – R. G. Cruikshank

1976 – George Bongard

1978 – Fred W. Furmidge

1980 – Richard Bredner

1981 – Harry S. Smith

1982 – Brian P. Rodgers

1984 – Morley B Allen

1985 – John H. Ocquaye

1987 – John A.D. McLean

1988 – D. Brian Harder

1989 – R. Stephen Beare

1990 – George Bateman

1992 – Tim Pomfret

1993 – Ray J. Miller

1994 – Leonard Tufford 

1995 – Lawrence Hartwig

1996 – Charles Buhler

1997 – Douglas G. English

1998 – Douglas G. English

1999 – Marvin J. Smith

2000 – Steve Westlake

2001 – James J. McGrath

2002 – Ken M. Collard

2003 – Ken M. Collard

2004 – Donald S. Greer

2005 – Donald S. Greer

2006 – Wayne Tremble

(former Temple Lodge No. 666)

1958 – R.S. Kirkconnell 

1967 – Robert S. Smith

1974 – Ronald B. Buskard

1978 – R.W. Verrall

1983 – George R. Moore

1984 – Donald Pennycook

1985 – Wm. Goodfellow

1986 – R.F. Scott

1988 A. Anthony

1989 – J. A. McKay

1990 – Lloyd Kellet

1992 – Thomas J. Ross

1994 – R. George Winkler

1995 – Terry A. King

1996 – Dennis Bain

1997 – Dennis Bain

1998 – Brian N, Price

1999 – Roderick M. McLeod

2000 – Thomas J. Ross

2001 – Tom E. Thompson

2002 – Tom E. Thompson

2003 – Michaell S. Kerr

2004 – Brian N. Price

2005 – Brian N. Price

2006 – Ryan Hewton

The Belleville-Temple Lodge No. 123

2007 – Daryl Konkin

2008 – Ron Globe

2009 – C. Allan

2010 – Harold Newton

Update on Tuesday, October 23, 2012 at 10:00PM by W. Bro. Chris Amos, Colborne Lodge No. 91

In "The History of Freemasonry in Canada", Vol. I, by John Ross Robertson which I thought might be of interest to you. This lodge was warranted by the Provincial Grand Lodge  of Upper Canada, under the Provincial Grand Master William Jarvis, on March 10, 1801, and initially went by the name "The Lodge at Thurlow" No. 17 (pg. 367). The places of the first meetings are unknown, though possibly in the home of John or Hans Walter Myer arrived at Belleville in 1790 (already a Freemason from
Cataraqui Lodge No. 14), until 1804 when they began to meet in the upper floor of a storehouse at the SE corner of Front & Dundas Streets built several years earlier by John Simpson (who died in 1803), whose widow sold the building to a Mr. Thompson who presumably used the main floor as a blacksmith shop.

This building burned in 1812 and all records, as well as the original warrant, were lost. Subsequently the lodge met in a house at the corner of Dundas Street & Church, and then at the Windsor Hotel on the NE corner of Bridge & Coleman, then at the Royal Hotel, and then during the 1840's at a location on John Street West.

Belleville was originally called Myer's Creek and did not receive the name Belleville until 1816 (pg. 799) and on Feb. 9, 1819, the Lodge at Thurlow was named Belleville Lodge No. 17 and was referred to, as such, during the Convention of 1820 (the 2nd Provincial Grand Lodge was formed in 1822) and on Sept. 23, 1822 received the No. 496 ER from the Grand Lodge of England.

"The History of Freemasonry in Canada";
(Vol. I, pg. 810) provides the following information about the Role of Officers
For the years between 1812 - 1822:

1812 WM Thos. Sparham Jr; Sec'y Simon McNabb; Tyler James Harris --
1817 WM A. B. Couch; SW J. B. Maybee; JW Asa Yeomans --
1820 WM Anson Ladd; SW Jeptha Bradshaw; JW Daniel Wright; Sec'y James Bickford --
1821 WM Daniel Wright; SW James Bickford; JW Ben Ketchum; Sec'y . J.E.Sleeper; SD Theo Nelson; JD Joseph Huckeye; Tyler Anson Ladd --
1822 WM J. Bickford; SW Caleb Morton; JW Anson Ladd; Sec`y D. B. Sole; --