PRINCE ARTHUR LODGE AF&AM #333 GRC
Prince Arthur Lodge #333, Flesherton, received dispensation to institute a Lodge on July 15, 1875 and held its first regular meeting on January 14, 1876. It was originally place in Georgian District and transferred to Georgian District 9A in 1912 and then joined Grey District when it was formed in 1916.
This history presentation consists of three thematic episodes: The first is a story that took place in 1875, the second being of the seminal meeting that took place in 1876, and the final episode is the story of the genesis of the Lodge building that members so proudly stand in.
The first informal meeting was held on the 7th of May 1875 with William K. Flesher as acting chairman and D.A. Ghent as acting secretary.
“The object of this meeting is to take into consideration the advisability of establishing a Masonic Lodge in the neighbourhood of Flesherton.”
Among others from the community in attendance were nine master masons, three Fellowcraft, and one entered apprentice. Their names were as follows:
John W. Armstrong, Henry S. Mathews, Thomas Nichol, William Pringle, Thomas Mullarkey, C.E. Perry, W.J. McFarland, William K. Flesher, John Black, Matthew Richardson, D.A. Ghent and Thomas Flesher.
The main order of business at the first informal meeting was the securing of Lodge space. Mr. Sproule of Flesherton would provide the rooms necessary for an annual rental fee of $50.00. The rooms consisted of a main room of 30x20 ft. and two ante rooms 10x10 ft. and 10x15 ft. respectively. This suggestion was met with another offer of $25.00 annually, for furnished rooms in Markdale. Brother Flesher guaranteed a rent of no more than $40.00 annually, and in his opinion, suitable rooms could be had for that amount.
A committee was struck to apply for dispensation. Brothers Mathews, McFarland, Ghent as well as Mr. T. Gomry and Mr. Nelson comprised this committee.
Another committee was struck consisting of Brother Richardson and Brother Armstrong, Mr. J. Gomry, Mr. Griffiths and Mr. Nichols to secure applications for the proper furnishing of rooms suitable for a Masonic Lodge.
It was resolved that all meet again on May 15, 1875 to draft a petition to Grand Lodge for Dispensation. It was also resolved that each brother present write to the Secretary of their individual Lodges for a certificate of good standing in their Lodge’s.
The second meeting on May 15, 1875 took place with 10 Masons present. The purpose of this meeting was to petition Grand Lodge for a dispensation to meet as Masons until a constitution was granted.
The first proposed name of the Lodge was “Union Lodge.” An amendment was moved by Brother McFarland, seconded by Brother Mullarkey that this Lodge be called Prince Arthur Lodge. This amendment was approved.
Moved by Brother Matthews and seconded by Brother McFarland that Brother Richardson be appointed first Master of the Lodge. Brother Richardson proposed that Brother Ghent be appointed Master. The original motion was carried and Brother Richardson was appointed as founding Master with Brother McFarland as S.W. and Brother Ghent as J.W. It was also resolved that the Lodge meet Friday on or after a full moon every month.
The first regular meeting was held in the Flesherton school house on January 14, 1876. Brethren present were W.M. Mathew Richardson. S.W. W.J. McFarland, J.W. D.A. Ghent, Brother H.S. Mathews, Brother J.C. Griffiths, Brother Thomas Mullarkey, and Brother Angus McLean. Also in attendance were 15 brethren from Durham Lodge #306 as well as 7 other brethren who were visiting. The meeting highlights included the reading of the dispensation, appointment of officers, and admission of new members. Brother Thomas Mullarkey was appointed S.D. and Brother Angus McLean was appointed J.D. As of March 1876 Brother Charles McConnell was the first Treasurer, the J.S. was Brother Archibald Butters and the Tyler was Brother John Armstrong. Through 1876 approximately 15 new members were admitted to the Lodge.
On January 26, 1876 an Emergent Meeting was held. The minutes of this meeting contain the first reference to the Flesherton Masonic Hall. “The object of the meeting included, the instruction of the Lodge Officers and other matters pertaining to the interest of the Lodge.” Several items were discussed including the exclusion of one member not being in good standing with his Lodge.
An emergent meeting was held on July 25, 1876 in celebration of the arrival of the constitution dated July 23, 1876. The Lodge opened at noon and was moved from labour to refreshment at 1:00 p.m. and all walked to the picnic ground “where 5 hours were spent in partaking of refreshments, speaking, and a variety of amusements after which a portion of the members returned to the Lodge and resumed labour at 6:00 p.m. “ and then closed.
Other significant in the evolution of Prince Arthur Lodge #333are as follows:
August 11, 1876 the Master elect was Brother Matthew Richardson.
December 1, 1876 the minutes of the meeting contain the first reference to the new Masonic hall.
The following officers were present at the regular meeting held on January 22, 1926, 50 years after the first regular meeting.
W.M. Thomas Phillips, W.B. George E. banks I.P.M., S.W. R. Down, Treasurer George Mitchell, Secretary F.J. Thurston, S.D. W.G. Watson,
I.G. W.R. Meads, S.S. W.J. Armstrong, J.S. P. Hemphill.
On Oct 18, 1929 a communication was received from W.J. Armstrong asking that we vacate this Hall as soon as possible. The Worshipful Master appointed the following members to a building committee, Brothers Hickling, McCauley, C.J. Bellamy and Mitchell.
April 14, 1932 W.B. C.J. Bellamy reported that the building committee had bought the township hall property for $660 and requested that the Lodge advance the committee $5 to cover expenses.
September 9, 1932 the building committee evaluated 4 tendered offers and reported they were unanimously pleased to recommend the tender presented to the Lodge by Mr. H. McCauley for the amount of $6,050.00 to absolutely cover the completion in all detail.
The first meeting in the new hall took place on January 6, 1933.
The rich history of the Lodge dates back to the members who were instrumental in the formation of Prince Arthur and all the brethren who have joined through the years and sustained this great history. The members of the Lodge also pay homage to those members who served this country so well over the many years gone by.
The following members of Prince Arthur Lodge #333 served as District Deputy Grand Masters of Grey District:
1938 – R.W. Brother H.A. McCauley, 1944 – R.W. Brother Alfred Down,
1956 – R.W. Brother J. McWilliam, 1968 – R.W. Brother F.A. Bannon,
1979 – R.W. Brother R.I. Smith, 1991 – R.W. Brother Alfred J. Odell,
2005 – R.W. Brother David Wilde