THE FIRST 50 YEARS
The first meeting of “The Tuscan” Lodge was held in the Masonic Hall on Richmond St. on December 23, 1867. Although the exact location is not given, the Lodge room was undoubtedly in the “Albion Block”, a large 3 storey building located north of Carling St. on the west side of Richmond.
The first W.M. of “The Tuscan” Lodge, Captain Thompson Wilson, was well known to the Freemasons of the then extensive London District (Canada West). He was the second D.D.G.M. in 1857 and again the fourth in 1859, when the District was reduced to include Lodges from Essex, Kent, Lambton, Middlesex and Elgin. He was also a Charter Member and the first W.M. of St. George’s Lodge No. 42 in 1852.
CHARTER MEMBERS OF THE TUSCAN LODGE NO. 195
- Thompson Wilson W.M.
- John MacBeth S.W.
- Goldbert Todd Barnwell J W .
- Thomas McCracken
- Edward de Ia Hooke
- Thomas Mahon
- Thomas Beattie
- Charles Hutchinson
- john Henry Jackson
- James Moffat
- Edgar B. Griswold
- Francis W. Thomas
- Thompson J. D. Brown
- George S. Birrell
- Josiah Blackburn
- Stephen Blackburn
- Alfred G. Smyth
The following brief excerpts from the Minutes tell something of the development of the following years:
February 3 – A resolution that regulation No. 3 be rescinded and that the annual dues be $3.50 instead of S1.50 was carried. At the same meeting it was agreed that a Lodge of Instruction in connection with The Tuscan would be formed and meet on the third Monday of each month.
January 4 – The members agreed “that the Lodge purchase proper Masonic costume for the officers.”
October 22 – A sad day. An emergency meeting to attend the funeral of the late brother, Capt. Thompson Wilson.
January 7 – The Lodge appears to have moved to the new Masonic hall at the northwest corner of King and Richmond Streets at about this time.
The minutes of meetings following record references to furnishing the new lodge room. The signing of the lease at $75.00 per lodge per annum was reported on May 6. By November each lodge had been asked to contribute $200.00.
November 4 – W. Bro. A. F. Goodhue asked the Lodge to accept a set of three gavels which he had made for The Tuscan Lodge while at Jerusalem, from wood grown on Mount Olivet. The Lodge voted to provide plates with a suitable inscription and a box to keep them in. Presumably, these gavels were lost in the Masonic Temple fire on February 23, 1900.
February 1 – It was agreed that the regular meetings should be held on the first Monday in the month instead of the first Friday.
December 31 – Total of members: 59.
October 2 – The Lodge endorsed the action of the Finance Board in lighting the lodge room with incandescent lamp.
February 6 – W. Bro. Paull was asked to interview the manager of the electric light company and to complain of the quality of the light provided in the lodge room.
March 5 – The minutes had always recorded the meeting place as “their lodge room Masonic Temple London.” On this day, however, the meeting is recorded as being held in Corinthian Lodge Room. The Masonic Temple at King and Richmond Streets had burned on February 23.
March 7 – The Secretary reported that the building committee had secured a lot on Queens Avenue and would at once proceed to build a new Masonic hall.
June 5 – Grand lodge returns to June 24, 1911, number or members on roll 105; total of meetings for year 13; average attendance 18.
April 7 – Special mention was made of the forthcoming dedication of the Masonic Temple on April 16th next.
December 3 – Brief reference was made by W. Bro. Waller to the fact that this being near the close of the 50th anniversary year of the installation of The Tuscan lodge, and that owing to the great war it had not seemed fitting to celebrate the occasion with festivities yet the splendid progress being made was after all the most fitting tribute due the establishment of the lodge.