River Park Lodge No. 356 Streetsville, Ontario Lodge History

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Jun 9, 2012 No Comments ›› River Park #356

On the twenty fifth of November 1876 ten men: Robert Barber, William Barber, Dr. D. J. Woods, Jas. G. Owens, James Breckenridge, William Webb, James Miller, R. T. Grimshaw, Robert Cornish, and T. K. Beatty met to lay the foundation of what was to become River Park Lodge. With the consent and support of Ionic Lodge in Brampton and the Most Worshipful, the Grand Master, River Park Lodge elected its first Master of the Lodge, Robert Barber.

The Oddfellows Hall was the early home of the lodge. The brethren met there and practiced the Work for over 60 years. It was not until 1954 that ground was broken on what would become the River Park Masonic Temple.

The construction of the Temple was not without challenges, the biggest being Hurricane Hazel. The upper structure was demolished. It was at this dark time the true spirit of Masonry shone through. The Toronto District Lodges (at that time) donated $50,000.00 to assist in the clean up and reconstruction of the damaged areas. This work was further assisted but several donations from brethren in American Lodges. Finally in 1955 river Park had a permanent home.

The lower area of the Lodge was not completed until 1971. It was to take the efforts and hard work of several brothers to build and create what we have today. These devoted brethren spent several months of their own time following their regular work, labouring well into the night, building, and installing.

It was approximately ten years later that the majority of the banquet Hall fittings were replaced by a gift from Right Worshipful Bro. William Pellow and several other brethren. Their contribution to River Park Temple can not be emphasized enough.

On Tuesday, May 31st, 1977 the 100th Anniversary of the Lodge was celebrated. Right worshipful Brother James Johnson; D.D.G.M. Toronto District No. 1 explained the significance of the “Gold Trim”.

In the years that have followed the membership has remained steady with a solid base of Past Masters who readily assist the other brothers and help guide those who seek to fulfill the time honoured traditions of this great fraternity.

Over the years River Park Lodge has been privileged to have had several members of Distinction and Valour; they include:

Major General Malcolm S. Mercer
William Mercer Wilson
Sargeant F. E. Graydon
Col. A. T. Thompson
Johm Leprich, Distinguished Flying Medal
Thomas L. Kennedy, Premier of Ontario
Stanley Hall. M.P.P.

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