THE NEW TEMPLE.
It was also early in this period that the Masonic Hall in the Rowse Block was recognized as being entirely inadequate to meet the needs of "fourth degrees" and other expansion. In 1920 Bro. F. J. Bailes presented the Lodges with a proposition to build a new building on the southwest corner of King and Centre Streets. After much consideration a Committee deemed the proposal as having merit, but presenting other problems and so declined the offer. The idea was, by now, well developed.
In 1927 a further proposal was submitted by R. W. Bro. (Dr.) T. E. Kaiser which involved turning over a piece of his property, where in 1947 the Biltmore Theater stood. This, it is recorded, "really started something and things happened fast". With R. W. Bro. George Hart as its President, Oshawa Temple Buildings, Limited, was incorporated. Stock sale was conducted in earnest while work on the Temple, on the corner of Metcalfe and Centre Streets, was commenced.
The Grand Master, M.W.Bro. John S. Martin, performed both the laying of the cornerstone on August 15th, 1928 and the dedication of the Lodge Room on May 10th, 1929. By mutual agreement between the Lodges and Temple Buildings, at the first meeting on May 28th, 1929, the rent was set at $1000.00 per annum - a dramatic change from the 1872 number of $30.00. Bro. H. A. Brown, the then General Manager of GM of Canada, presented the Lodge with a beautiful hand embroidered Alter Cloth. One Brother, not of our Lodge, presented a gift of stock which he had purchased. It was felt this may well have been the start of many similar gifts. The Lodge also purchased 40 shares of stock, which was the first of several such purchases.
OUR VETERANS OF THE GREAT WAR, 1914-18.
Neither space or time will permit us to capture the reports from the many "Military nights" held to recognize the various contributions made by members belonging to the Canadian Forces. On April 9th, 1918 the D.D.G.M., a Cedar Lodge Past Master, R. W. Bro. (Dr.) T. E. Kaiser celebrated the anniversary of the achievements at the Battle of Vimy Ridge with a joint meeting of the two Lodges.
A gavel made from oak secured from the site was presented to serve as a memorial to those making the supreme sacrifice. A tablet which inscribed Cedar Lodge members serving in the forces between 1914 -18 was unveiled in December of 1923. The recognition of our veterans resulted in their reciprocation with the presentation of a pair of flags in 1927. In true military style the flags were conveyed to the W. M. by two Commanding Officers, both members of the Lodge, Bro. (Lt. Col.) Frank Chappell and Bro. (Lt. Col. ) P. H. Jobb with the Colour Party consisting of veterans.
This period witnessed fraternal visits between various Lodges, many with whom we still enjoy regular communications. Individual initiatives with a view of enhancing and promoting the continuance of these visits were both creative and interesting. One such event was a theatre evening, sponsored by R. W. Bro. Hutcheson on the occasion of the newly constructed Regent Theatre. Bro. Hutcheson would surely cringe should he see the 1997 face lift of the grand old landmark, now sporting a ghastly blue facade. Gifts of working tools and other lodge related items were exchanged resulting in long lasting reminders of these important visits.
One of the historical visits was that of War Veterans, now Remembrance Lodge, in April 1928. This visit has resulted in a long lasting and one of our most cherished traditions. Books with fraternal greetings, compiled by the serving Masters, have been exchanged yearly and are a part of friendships enjoyed to this day. April was chosen because it marks the anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
Between 1918 and 1931 three changes to our By-laws saw our initiation fees rise from $40.00 to $100.00. In 1929 another enduring tradition, that of presenting a bible to each initiate, was instituted.
While in some ways our order appears unchanging, 1930 recorded several firsts. "Side Benchers Night" (Members), "Ladies Night" and "Senior Wardens Night" were instituted and continue today. R. W. Bro. E. F. Farrow, D.D.G.M., started an Oshawa Masonic Research Society meeting each Sunday afternoon. These innovations appear to have contributed to our numbers as during this period our records indicate 233 candidates were initiated and 60 were made members by affiliation. Benevolent work, again, was evident with contributions being made to members, widows of members and several charitable organizations.
The last of the permanent Stewards of our 1872 brethren, Bro. W. H. Thomas, died in 1921, thus joining the others promoted to "The Grand Lodge Above".
Fulfilling a long felt want in the community, Temple Lodge was formed in 1928 with W. Bro. (later V. W.) Charles Roy McIntosh as it's first Master. Several of our members were "Charter" members and included Bro.s W. O. Wilson, E. F. Farrow, Wm. Deans, L. F. McLaughlin, W. E. Gillott, Robert Sterling and J. C. Fowlds. Bro.s McLaughlin and Gillott would later find their way to the east. Over the years Temple Lodge has served the Grand Lodge with distinction. The district was re-arranged in 1923 reducing the number of Lodges to 12. Cedar Lodge provided two D.D.G.M.s, R. W. Bro. T. E. Kaiser in 1917 and R. W. Bro. E. F. Farrow in 1931.
THE TREE AS WE KNOW IT. 1932 - 1946.
The great depression and World War 11 received only a general reference in our recorded history while celebrations associated with the construction of our new Temple and the Masonic accomplishments of various Brethren generated many occasions of recognition. The brass tablet in our foyer was unveiled on June 29th, 1935 on which is inscribed all the details of the building, dedication of the new Temple, as well as the names of the brethren chiefly responsible for this accomplishment.
Special tributes were paid to R. W. Bro. George Hart, President of Oshawa Temple Building, Limited and to Bro. George W. McLaughlin, Vice President of the Temple Company. A further occasion of celebration was presided over by the Grand Master, M. W. Bro. J. A. Dobbie and other Grand Lodge officers on December 4th, 1939, when the mortgage on the Temple was burned. Perhaps our most well known member and Past Master, V. W. Bro. R. S. McLaughlin, was honored on two occasions during 1945. On February 7th, 1945 he was presented with a Veteran Jubilee Medal marking his 50th year as a member of the Craft. On April the 24th. he was invested by the Grand Master with the regalia of his office.
Remarkable as it may seem, there is no record of any casualities among serving members of our Lodge during the war. Various initiatives to remit dues, care for enlisted brethren and their dependants and a rehabilitation committee are mentioned in our history. This, along with the well-organized local industries, resulted in a supportive community awaiting returning veterans. The period, first experiencing the depression and later gasoline rationing, restricted visiting somewhat in the earlier part but did encourage more visitation between local Lodges. The exchange of visits with our friends of Remembrance Lodge continued on a smaller scale.
In 1932 another tradition was incorporated, that of conducting our own installation with the help of Cedar Lodge Past Masters. Our history is in conflict by now suggesting 1938 as the beginning of what is known as Ladies night (1930 is previously suggested as the beginning). The event was a resounding success as it is written that each year during this evening "The accommodation of the Temple is taxed to the limit". A 1940 by-laws amendment made provisions for a Reserve Fund, and has proven to be an anchor in terms of financial stability for Cedar Lodge. The detailed formula combined with wise investments should result in available funding for "dire emergencies" while at the same time protecting it against routine expenditures.
One of our most attended annual events, District Senior Wardens night, was first held in 1935 (1930 was earlier stated as beginning of Senior Wardens night) and has over the years been an event of which Cedar Lodge is proud to sponsor. This evening is usually graced by the presence of the Grand Senior Warden and other Grand Lodge officers. The pomp and circumstance (as well as the quality of the work) by our future Masters, during the evening, provides fond memories for both the Senior Warden from our Lodge and all the participants.
As well as having 144 members initiated, 21 affiliations during this period of our history, R. W. Bro. Robert Meek was elected D.D.G.M. in July of 1941. Our Lodge was further honored by having the following Past Masters appointed Grand Lodge Stewards: William Deans, 1932; Alex. G. Storie, 1940; Byron S. Edmondson, 1942; and R. S. McLaughlin, 1945. At the end of 1946 and 75 years, our membership stood at 332 as compared to 238 in this our 125th year, 1997.