It is no great secret in Franck Lodge that the Baton carried by our Director of Ceremonies was a gift from another Lodge and contains within it information about its origins. I’m not sure how many have actually inspected its parchment document. I did recently.
The Baton was presented to W. Bro. Phillip Earl Bonisteel, W. Master of Franck Lodge on October 31, 1936 by visiting brethren from Bay of Quinte Lodge No. 620, Toronto. Not that old a Lodge at the time, it had been formed in Toronto, largely by brethren who had come from the Quinte area.
The Baton was fashioned for ironwood on the Kingston family farm in Rawdon Township. It had been cut about 1866 by the father of V. W. Bro. Kingston. The original ironwood pole had then been used for many years as barn equipment. All this is recorded on the parchment.
The visiting Brethren signed their names, and you will notice that several have surnames still present in the Quinte area.
Here are some of the names identified as read:
Arthur J. Bird W. M., Geo. Kingston PGS, Albert H. Downs PDDGM Dist. B. W. Ofernord PM, S. Chamberlain, IPM, E.S Vanderwater, Champlain, C.W. Delbroat, S. Kennedy, J. W. Russell JW, F.C.McKay JS, J.E. Weller, C.V. Langdon SW, R. M. Devins JD, W . Basil Cross SS, H.S. Vanervord MM, Charles G. Mikel PM, J.Roy Herrington PDDGM, A.K. Roberts, and R.S.Welch SD. Several signatures were hard to read. J.Roy Herrington PDDGM, A.K. Roberts, and R.S.Welch SD.
Several of the signatures were hard to read. Prince Edward Lodge 18 also has a similar Baton, presented in the 1920’s.
I would like to think our Franck Lodge brethren from the 1930’s as well as those from Bay of Quinte Lodge from that distant time would be pleased to know that almost 80 years later, this Baton is valued and still in use in Franck Lodge.
(By W. Bro. Peter Johnson - Historian & Lodge Reporter Franck Lodge)