The History of the Organization of Harmony Lodge #438 A.F.& A.M . G.R.C.
Compiled by R.W. Bro J.B. Nixon
In the year 1875, R.W.Bro. J.K . Kerr , Acting Grand Master, granted his dispensation to open a lodge in the City of London, to be called Eden Lodge, and on May 19th , the first meeting was held under the authority of the District Deputy Grand Master of the London District,
At the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge held in London on July 14th, 1875, the Committee on Warrants recommended that a warrant be not granted to Eden Lodge, but that the M.W. the Grand Master be requested to issue his dispensation authorizing the officers and brethren named to pass and raise those already initiated therein, but to refrain from admitting any new material. This recommendation was adopted by the Grand Lodge. The officers and members of Eden Lodge evidently resented the action of the Grand Lodge in declining to grant a charter, as they refused to comply with the instructions given, and proceeded to initiate new members, although strictly enjoined not to do so.
Knowing that this action on their part would cause the Grand Master to suspend them from all the rights and privileges of the Order, they resolved not only lo persist in their rebellion , but to endeavour to establish a Masonic authority of their own. Upon the advice and with the concurrence of certain ill–advised members of high standing, an Act of Incorporation was secured from the Government of the Province of Ontario for a body to be known as the Grand Lodge of Ontario.
This spurious organization was incorporated on February 10th, 1876, and called themselves the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of the Province of Ontario. For twenty years‘ this so–called Grand Lodge had a precarious existence: but finding that they were regarded by the Grand Lodge of the world as a spurious and clandestine body, several of the Lodges which had been established became defunct, and the number of members gradually diminished, until only a comparatively small remnant remained.
As many reputable persons had joined the organization, believing they were connecting themselves with a legitimate Masonic body, they naturally desired to be placed in the position which they supposed they occupied, and overtures were made from time to time to the Grand Lodge of Canada to try and come to some arrangement by which the members of the so–called Grand Lodge of Ontario could be held and the unsatisfactory state of things which had existed for so long a time could be ended. It was finally arranged that a Lodge should be organized in the City of Toronto and the members of the so–called Grand Lodge of Ontario, who were at all acceptable, should be heled, and admitted to membership in this Lodge. The Grand Master, M.W.Bro. W.R. White, requested V.W.Bro. Geo. C . Patterson, Past Master of the Rehoboqm Lodge, No. 65, to undertake the duty of organizing the lodge, and becoming it‘s first Master. This he succeeded in accomplishing, with the assistance of R.W.Bro. Geo. J. Bennett , and R.W.Bro. J.B. Nixon.
At the Annual Communication of Grand Lodge, held in July, 1896, M .W. Bro. W.R . White. GrandMaster, reported to Grand Lodge that the so–called Grand Lodge of Ontario had ceased to exist, it‘s Act of Incorporation had been annulled, and it‘s corporate seal broken up. Thus by the organization of this Lodge the discord and trouble which had been so annoying to the Craft for twenty years, was done away with and amity and concord restored. The Lodge was therefore very appropriately named Harmony. The first meeting of Harmony Lodge was held on October 31, 1895, R.W.Bro. Richard Dinnis, D.D.G.M . of the Toronto District presiding. At this meeting 38 applications were received from held brethren , and three for initiation.
The Charter Members were:
V.W. Bro. Geo.C. Patterson, Rehoboam Lodge No. 65
R.W. Bro. Geo.J. Bennett, Ionic Lodge No. 25
R.W. Bro. J.B. Nixon, Rehoboam Lodge No. 65
Bro. Warring Kennedy, Zetland Lodge No. 326
Bro. Jos. Oliver, Wilson Lodge No. 86
Bro. J.J. Cassidey. Alpha Lodge No.
Bro. J.G. Gibson, Ionic Lodge No.25
assisted by Bro. T.R. Barton, John J. Ramsay, and J.Y. Egan , members of the so–called Grand Lodge of Ontario.
At the Communication of the Grand Lodge, held in July, 1896, a warrant was granted to the Lodge, which was numbered 438, and on September 28th, it was constituted and consecrated by M.W. Bro. William Gibson Grand Master. The rank of Past Grand Registrar was conferred upon V.W. Bro. Geo. C. Patterson in recognition of his service.
Officers of 1896
W.M. V.W. Bro. G. C. Patterson
I.P.M. R.W. Bro. J.B. Nixon
S.W. Bro. Warring Kennedy
J.W. Bro. Jos Oliver
Chaplain W. Bro. Jos Reith
Secretary Bro. J. G. Gibson
Treasurer W. Bro. T.R. Harton
S.D. Bro. J.J. Cassidey
J.D. Bro. J.C. Gardiner
D. of C. Bro. H. B. Hamilton
S.S. Bro. Thos Ridriell
J.S. Bro H. Meade
I.G. Bro A. B. Armstrong
Tyler Bro. J. H. Pritchard