THE TREE MATURES. 1948 - 1997.
Written and complied by: W.Bro.Mike E. King and V.W.Dave J.I. McCullough In celebration of the 125th Anniversary of Cedar Lodge 1997.
The second seventy-five years of Cedar Lodge's history would not witness the same degree of structural changes as those experienced since our inception in 1872. While many significant changes occurred in our world, those changes would not dramatically effect where we met, how we conducted our work or pursued our interests in the craft. Our history is therefore enriched by a series of celebrations of accomplishments, remembrances and the formats of our fraternal visitations. The following will capture, not all the details of how so many individual members' lives were enriched by the Masonic journey, but some of the high lights of the second half of that wonderful experience.
DID YOU KNOW?
1956 was the first year our installations occurred in January. Prior to 1956 they were held during our December meetings. During the 1940's and well into the 1950's, the past masters of Cedar Lodge often installed the officers of both Orono and Fidelity Lodges. Traditions such as these are the bases of many long-standing friendships and fond memories.
In 1952 a memorial service was conducted following the passing of The Most Worshipful Brother, King George the VI. Also in 1952 our portion of the Temple Building rent was based on a rate per member and set at $1402.80. Cedar Lodge was honored by the election of R. W. Bro. C. M. Wallace as D.D.G.M. in 1953. The period was one of growth in terms of membership. A rather busy 1953 Emergent meeting on a Saturday, starting at 2:00 PM and ending at 9:00 PM, initiated five new members and raised one brother to the third degree. Accomplishments often occur when we are most busy.
During 1954, a hectic year with 19 new members joining, Temple Buildings Limited raised $20,000.00 for building restorations. Also of interest, due to the yearly visits to Remembrance Lodge, Cedar Lodge rented a bus for $34.00 with each member contributing $1.00 to offset that cost. Grand Lodge celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1955 at the Canadian National Exhibition grounds with Masons from all parts of Ontario participating. Books detailing our history sold for $2.00. The Past Masters, Worshipful Masters and Wardens association initiated a Blood Donor service, an important cause that is supported to this day.
Parkwood Lodge, another welcome addition to the Oshawa Masonic family, was constituted in 1958. Our Brother Walter Johnson was presented with the William Mercer Wilson medal in 1959 to honour his many contributions to our Lodge and the ideals of Masonry. Brother Johnson created the first school of instruction for new candidates and chaired that school for ten years. He chaired the Blood Donors committee for six years. He contributed to the social aspects of the craft by arranging the annual Ladies nights and spending many hours visiting members in poor health. He is indeed a worthy recipient. Perhaps a forerunner of todays Hunter's night, in 1960 the fishermen of the district conferred a degree. 1961 saw our dues raised from $12.00 to $15.00, Hope Lodge celebrate their 100th anniversary and further recognition of the many years
V. W. Bro. R. S. McLaughlin contributed to Cedar Lodge with the presentation of his 60 years as a Past Master. The passing of Bro. Sir Winston Churchill in 1965 was recognized by Cedar Lodge by observing two minutes of silence. Cedar Lodge conducted a Masonic funeral for V. W. Bro. R. S. McLaughlin at the Oshawa Armories in 1972. While his passing ended a physical presence in our Lodge and community, his influence and contributions continue after twenty-five years.
1972 also marked our 100th. year. Our Worshipful Master William Alger received M. W. Bro. Harry Martyn who presented and dedicated our Centennial regalia. A May 10th. reception hosted by Cedar Lodge had the D.D.G.M. R. W. Bro. J. F. Patterson introduce the Masters of the district and W. Bro. Alger toast our Grand Master, M. W. Bro. William K. Bailey who responded appropriately. As in 1953, 1973 also required an emergent meeting to handle a backlog on candidates. A 9:00 AM Saturday start ended at 4:50 PM after having initiated four new members and passing one to the Fellowcraft degree.
In 1988 Cedar Lodge donated some $8825.00 to the Temple Buildings restoration campaign. Yet another Masonic milestone was celebrated in 1989 with Cedar Lodge and Remembrance Lodge having completed 50 years of fraternal visits and the exchange of the books of fraternal greetings. In these books each master writes a message reflecting on both the exchange and events of the year. A tradition in which all officers aspiring to the chair of King Solomon anxiously await their turn to read the messages of masters who have gone before them, and an opportunity to leave one of their own. This reading is a journey through history. The next years were challenging and enjoyable for all those who were active in the Lodge with the various regular visits, Inspection nights, Installations and many other Masonic related events. Between 1948 and 1997 our dues have risen from $10.00 to $110.00. In the 1950's our Lodge received, on average, 14 initiates a year. The 60's, 70's and 80's saw about 8 initiations per year and the 90's have had only 3 per year join.
THE TREE HAS FLOURISHED!
On this our tree, many honours have been bestowed. Eight of our Brethren have served with distinction as District Deputy Grand Masters and sixteen have received appointments to Grand Lodge. R. W. Bro. Wilfred E. Baker served our district as D.D.G.M. in 1966-67. He is celebrating his 98th birthday during this our 125th anniversary. R. W. Bro. Jack M. Penfound served as D.D.G.M. in 1979-80. R. W. Bro. George E. Robbins was elected this year as D.D.G.M., and will serve our district during 1997-98 as well as during our 125th anniversary.
Today in 1997, in a world where knowledge is increasing at an unbelievable rate, and competition for our time and attention is higher than ever imagined, our unchanging rituals and fundamental principles still provide special fellowship. Installations, inspections and other special events continue to fill Lodge rooms across the Ontario District.
"They are like skilled master-builders, who by God's Grace laid the foundations, someone else is putting up the building - let us each take care how he builds." (1 Corinthians 3:10)