Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My visit to Golden Rule Lodge (Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario)

Monday September 8, 2008 (Ontario)

I drove up from my hotel in Vaughan to Orillia to meet fellow e-Mason, Bro. Shawn, which distance was much, much further than I expected. Several roadside businesses and places were like ghost towns

Needless to say, Shawn wasn't what
I expected either. Mind you, I didn't have any expectations other than I knew he was a good contributing member of this board, a Mason, and a fellow Canadian. Well, he exceeded all those expectations and more.

So we drove up north even further, saw a gas station on fire with firefighters on hand. The thing was burned to a crisp. We finally arrived at his lodge in Gravenhurst, a small town with old shops and there on the main street, a little door with steep stairs taking you to the street front landing area where brethren put on their aprons.

But before that, we went to the church basement next door where we had a hearty banquet served by ladies from the church. Followed by a speech from the DDGM (this was his official visit), the brethren continued to the lodge.

The lodge room was very nice (pics to come soon) and I noted the many similarities to mine and when the brethren were seated and the openings and closings in all three degrees were done perfectly, I noted the following:

- While all Ontario lodges are supposedly "Canadian Rite", the three lesser lights surrounded the altar as we would find in the U.S. and in Alberta and BC
Ancient York Lodges.

- "Worshipful Sir" not "Worshipful Master"

- The Immediate Past Master sits on the WM's right, not left

- When coming to order, the p. signs are held where we 'finish' them off. (Arms must get sore for some of the older guys.)

Other than that, the ritual wording was 99% the same and music to my ears.

There was a real nice relaxing feel to the lodge while all the protocols and traditions were maintained.

The brethren were very welcoming and interested in meeting me.

After the meeting, all the brethren went up to the third floor where a nice Coke machine dispensed $2 beer!

So there I was with Bro. Shawn, the Worshipful Master, and a retired policeman drinking Molson Canadian, eating Timbits (Tim Horton doughnut holes), and us sharing various stories about pulling over Eric Lindros for speeding, meeting Bobby Orr, Gordie Howe, seeing Shane Corson and Tie Domi get the shit beat out of them outside a bar, and making fun the Toronto Maple Leafs.

You really can't get more Canadian than that.

It now being 12:30am, on our way back to my rental car, with rain coming down, I couldn't start the car started due to my stupidity in leaving the lights on. So Shawn kindly drove to his house to get jumper cables and back we went and I was on my way for a 150km trip in massive rain.

A fantastic night. And I also know why Shawn's username is bncprez, but I'm not going to share. You'll have to visit his lodge to find out.

Thanks again Shawn. It's guys like you and your welcoming lodge who make Masonry truly worthwhile for this traveller.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Hattie, I'd have to try to find the reference again, but it was only in the 1920s the GL of Canada in Ontario decreed where the lesser lights were to be in that jurisdiction. I presume it wasn't uniform before then. It is not uniform in B.C. in the Cdn. Work.

At least locally, most Cdn. Work Lodges did away with the sign holding years ago for the reason you mention; I'd have to check my Cdn. Work book published by GL to see if that's the actual instruction now. Trinity No. 98 was still doing it until maybe a year ago; its founder was WM of Plantagenet No. 186 in Ontario in (I think) 1903.

IPM to the left is English custom; Lodges universally do that in B.C. to my knowledge.