Trafalgar Lodge History

How Trafalgar Lodge No. 712 was formed

During 1963 several Present and Past Grand Lodge Officers, Past Masters, and Master Masons from Claude M. Kent No. 681 G.R.C., and Oakville No. 400 G.R.C. Lodges met in Worshipful Brother Arthur George Wood's home to discuss the formation of a third lodge in Oakville. Several such meetings were held, and it was agreed that sufficient interest warranted calling a meeting of all brethren desiring membership in a new Lodge.
A meeting was held in the Lodge room of the Masonic Hall in Oakville; thirty-eight brethren desiring to be founding members attended.

NAMING THE LODGE

The date and minutes of the founding meeting were lost. It is only from memory, and scribbled notes, that the following information was compiled.

Worshipful Bro. Arthur George Wood was to be our first Worshipful Master. Trafalgar township which had recently been annexed by the town of Oakville had favourable historical beginnings and was one of the names proposed for our new Lodge. Worshipful Brother Wood, having served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War, and one other member who had naval connections with the R.N.V.R. Ulster Division moved and seconded the name Trafalgar, and it was accepted unanimously by the founding brethren.

During the Napoleonic Wars, Great Britain fought and won great battles on land and water.  It was at a time when the surrounding countryside was being named: Townships and villages were proudly named or renamed to honour the heroes and the battles so bravely won. Nelson Township, Wellington Square, Pan Nelson, Bronte, Palermo and Trafalgar Township, all within a few short miles of Oakville. In the nineteen-sixties these names were slowly and sadly disappearing through annexation. The names were being deleted from Ontario maps. Happily, as we near the nineteen-nineties some of these names are again appearing on our maps as a resurgence of historical interest
seems to be fashionable. Having said that, it must be stated that the founding members, many of whom having lived in Trafalgar Township all of their lives simply wanted the name perpetuated. A petition to Grand Lodge, praying for a Warrant of Constitution authorizing the brethren to meet as a lodge, was presented by the following Charter Members:

Wor. Bro. Paget, Walter George; Bro. Shelley, Raymond; Bro. Bunting, Frederick Henry; Bro. Mummery, Arthur Edward; Bro. Hewitt, William Starr; Bro. Murray, William Alexander; Wor. Bro. Shaw, Donald William; Wor. Bro. Wood, Arthur George; Bro. Dawson, John; R. Wor. Bro. Donald, Charles Davidson; Bro. Robertson, William; Bro. Fabok, Daniel Jr.; Bro. Fretwell, Thomas Earnshaw;Bro. McKay, William Scott

Bro. Bolton, Gordon Henry; Wor. Bro. Smith, Hiram John; V. Wor. Bro. Hannah, Stewart Percival; Bro. King William Joseph; Bro. Powell, Colin F.; Bro. Stott, James Cruickshank; Bro. Hayter, Waiter Richard; Bro. Flippance, Edgar James; Bro. Hume, James Whiteside; Bro. Striekland, Leslie; Bro. Baird, Cecil John Smith; Bro. Wagg, Kenneth Arthur; Bro. Dunbar, John Sutherland

Bro. Latta, Edwin Seller; V.Wor. Bro. Smith, Reginald Miles; Wor. Bro. Hows, John Francis William; Wor. Bro. Chamberlain, William Jackson; Bro. Smith, John Colin; Bro. Hopkins, Frank; Bro. Daymond, John Henry; Bro. McVicker, James; Bro. Skuce, Lorne; Bro. Snow, Thomas Delbert

Trafalgar Lodge U.D. was granted a dispensation by Grand Lodge on 28th May, 1964. Right Worshipful Brother Hector McKillop, District Deputy Grand Master of Hamilton Masonic District "A" officiated at its institution.

On May 28th, 1964 at 8:00 pm. Rt. Wor. Bro. Hector McKillop, D.D.G.M. of Hamilton District "A" along with Past Masters of Oakville Lodge No. 400 and Claude M. Kent Lodge No. 681 and other Grand Lodge Officers assumed the chairs. Rt. Wor. Bro. McKillop called on Rt. Wor. Bro. Archie Campbell to bring in the Charter members of Trafalgar Lodge U.D. The dispensation from Grand Lodge was read to the Members of Trafalgar Lodge by the Secretary Rt. Wor. Bro. W.L. Sommerville. With the assistance of his installing board, Rt. Wor. Bro. McKillop installed the Master of Trafalgar Lodge V.D. and invested its officers. The first Master and his Officers of Trafalgar Lodge U.D were as follows:

Worshipful Master Wor. Bro. Arthur George Wood
Immediate Past Master Wor. Bro. Donald William Shaw
Senior Warden Bro. William Alexander Murray
Junior Warden Bro. John Dawson
Chaplain R. Wor. Bro. Charles Davidson Donald
Treasurer Bro. William Starr Hewitt
Secretary Bro. William Scott McKay
Senior Deacon Bro. Arthur Edward Mummery
Junior Deacon Bro. William Robertson
Inner Guard Bro. Frederick Henry Bunting
Director of Ceremonies Wor. Bro. Welter George Paget
Senior Steward Bro. Raymond Shelley
Junior Steward Bro. .Daniel Fabok Jr.
Tyler Bro. Thomas Earnshaw Fretwell

At the conclusion of the investiture the visitors retired to the banquet room. The Lodge closed in harmony at 9:30 p.m. The members joined their visitors in the banquet room. A delightful repast was served by the ladies of the Order of the Eastern Star.

UNDER DISPENSATION

During the time the Lodge worked under dispensation many changes took place. They are listed in chronological order: We lost one of our first founding members, Very Worshipful Bro. Hiram John Smith. Our esteemed brother passed away to the Grand Lodge above on December 31st, 1964. Very Wor. Bro. John Was along with his brother, Very Wor. Bro. Rag, two of the original past masters to start the ball rolling in the formation of our new Lodge. His passing saddened the members, his contributions to the order were missed.

Very Wor. Bro. Peg Smith presented on behalf of his wife an Altar Cloth. The Worshipful Master expressed the lodge's gratitude and wished both Very Wor. Bro. Rag and his wife a happy forty-fifth wedding anniversary.

The members compiled our by-laws. Most Wor. Bro. E.G. Dixon the Grand Lodge Secretary eased our task by his assistance. He recommended that the Master, Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Treasurer and Secretary be elected by written ballot. The Tyler, Auditors and Examining Board by open vote, with the rest of the officers being appointed. The suggestion was moved, seconded and accepted in open lodge.

The members were requested to submit drawings to be used in designing a lodge seal. Two entries were submitted, #1 and #2. Design #1 was the choice of the lodge. Bro. Bill Hewitt was the designer. The design was later to become the adornment on the Past Masters Jewel.

A divine service, commemorating Fifty years of service in the Ministry by our Chaplain,  Wor. Bro. Charles D. Donald was announced by Wor. Bro. Wood. On May 23rd, 1965 the service was held in St. Johns United Church, Oakville. Many brothers attended, including members from all three Oakville Lodges and other brethren from Hamilton Districts "A" and "B': It was a highlight of our Masonic year. Membership of the lodge increased from 38 members to 50 members during our working under dispensation. It had been a busy period for our Wor. Master and officers. Our original slate of officers had changed considerably.

I.P.M. Wor. Bro. Donald Shaw transferred from Ford Oakville to Ford Detroit.
Senior Warden Bro. William Murray changed employment from Ford Oakville to Massey Ferguson in Ohio. Bill
worked his way up the corporate ladder to a vice-presidency of his company. He was killed in a
tragic air disaster at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.
Junior Warden Bro. John Dawson was no sooner in the office of Junior Warden when he was transferred to
Ford's new plant in St. Thomas. Bro. John see-sawed back and fore between Oakville and
St. Thomas finally settling in Oakville.
Junior Deacon Bro. Art Mummery resigned. He later resumed his researches into masonry and was our
Worshipful Master in 1979.

Our lodge has always had an abundancy of well-skilled masons. No sooner is a chair vacated when another mason is ready to fill the vacancy. WM. Bro. Arthur G. Wood served almost three full years as Worshipful Master, a dearth of qualified wardens at the time kept him in the East until Bra. William Robertson completed his terms as Junior and Senior Wardens.

In July 1965, Grand Lodge granted Trafalgar Lodge U.D, a Warrant and numbered 712 on the Grand Register of Canada in the Province of Ontario The Worshipful Master reported this to the lodge at our regular meeting in September 1965. He also reported that an Especial Communication of Grand Lodge would be held in the Oakville Masonic Hall under the direction of Most Worshipful Bro. H.L. Martyn, Past Grand Master, when the lodge would be duly Constituted and Consecrated.

On Wednesday the 27th day of October, 1965 at 6:30 p.m. the lodge met in the Royal Canadian Legion, Oakville Branch, where a suitable banquet was prepared. The head table guests were as follows:

R. Wor. Bro. W.D. Stevens; R. Wor. Bro. T. Greenway; Wor. Bro. B. Foster; R. Wor. Bro. J. Guy; R. Wor. Bro. E. Nancekivell; R. Wor. Bro. R. Johnson; R. Wor. Bro. J.A. Rosser; R. Wor. Bro. G. Hurd; Wor. Bro. A. G. Wood; R. Wor. Bro. H. Grove; W. Bro. J.G. Burritt; W. Bro. W. Anderson; R. Wor. Bro. N. Sparling; R. Wor. Bro. G.E. Turner; R. Wor. Bro. C.D. Donald; R. Wor. Bro. G. McQueen; M. Wor. Bro. E.G. Dixon; M. Wor. Bro. H.L. Martyn

Trafalgar Lodge Officers in attendance were as follows:

Worshipful Master Wor. Bro. A. G. Wood
Immediate Past Master Wor. Bro. J. Hows
Senior Warden Wor. Bro. W. Robertson
Junior Warden Wor. Bro. F.H.Bunting
Chaplain R. Wor. Bro. C. D. Donald
Treasurer Wor. Bro. W. R. Hayter
Secretary Wor. Bro. W. S. McKay
Asst. Secretary Wor. Bro. C. J. S. Bird
Senior Deacon Wor. Bro. T. E. Fretwell
Junior Deacon Wor. Bro. W. S. Hewitt
Inner Guard Wor. Bro. R. Shelley
Director of Ceremonies Wor. Bro. W. G. Paget
Senior Steward Wor. Bro. E. S. Latta
Junior Steward Wor. Bro. J. S. Dunbar
Tyler Wor. Bro. W. J. King

Most Worshipful Brother Harry L. Martyn, the main speaker of the evening, spoke on the historical significance of the name Trafalgar, which had been given to the lodge. He expounded in great detail of Lord Nelson's defeat of the French at Cape Trafalgar in 1805, how the township of Trafalgar had been named in honour of the battle. He also expressed the opinion of great scholars who believed the outcome of the battle was the turning point of the dark days of Europe and the English speaking world.

Our Wor. Master A.G. Wood expressed a very warm welcome to our visitors and members on this special occasion of the Constitution and Consecration Ceremony of the lodge. He expressed his sincere personal thanks to the committees who arranged the details of the evening's affairs.

The following is a direct quote from the scribbled notes on the evening. "At the banquet Pt. Wor. Bro. Gee. Beamer Hopkins presented to the lodge sterling silver square and compasses which he had dedicated in a cave used by Masons in Jerusalem during the Second World War" There was no punctuation, and the rather long sentence can be interpreted as one pleases. Our Worshipful Master received the gift on behalf of the brethren of Trafalgar Lodge.

At the completion of the banquet, one hundred and fifty masons gathered in the Oakville Masonic Hall where the lodge was opened in the first and second degrees at 8:25 p.m. Our Worshipful Master directed Very Wor. Bro. Stewart Percival Hannah and Wor. Bro. Walter Paget to bring in the Grand Lodge for the ceremony of the evening. The Grand Lodge Officers assisted by Past Masters under the guidance of Mast Wor. Bro. H.L. Martyn, on behalf of the Grand Master, then performed the ceremony of Constituting and Consecrating the lodge...

AND THERE WAS LIGHT

The lodge was called off at 9:50 p.m. to allow the Grand Lodge Officers and Visitors to retire. The lodge resumed at 10:20 p.m. and the minutes of the last General Meeting and subsequent emergency meetings were read and confirmed along with the usual accounts to be paid, etc.... The work of the evening being ended, Trafalgar Lodge No. 712 on the Grand Register of Canada in the Province of Ontario closed at 11:15 p.m