The history of the Electric Lodge

Instituted 23rd June, 1909

What’s in a name?

There is no doubt that our Masonic forefathers, who assembled on June 23rd, 1909, would justly be proud of the continued progress, in Masonic life, The Electric Lodge No. 495 has made since that time. For many of the younger members of The Electric Lodge and visitors, there seems to be an abiding interest as to why the name “The Electric” was selected. The Lodge took its name from the Companies from which its Charter members had originated. One was Hydro’s predecessor, The Dominion Power and Transmission Company. They drew their power from Decew Falls which was located on the Niagara escarpment, South, and West of St. Catherines.

Decew Falls Power Station
Decew Falls Power Station – aerial view
Decew Falls power station
Decew Falls power Station.
Photo credit: © Mark Csele used with permission

Part of that generating station, a “susbstation” named A still used by Hydro, is located on Victoria Avenue, close to the C.N.R. line. The father of Most Worshipful Brother James Dixon, one of the founders, was one of the first householders to have electric lights installed in his home and, for several years, visitors came to see the marvel of the electric light bulb.

The company supplied power to the Street Railway and the various high-speed electric railway lines, known as radials, running to Burlington, Brantford and Beamsville. Founders of The Electric Lodge were associated with Management for all those firms who were heavy users of electricity, as well as the Bell telephone. Thus the name “The Electric” was chosen for the new Lodge. There is a picture in the Dundas Masonic Temple of Very Worshipful Brother A. E. Hutchinson, an employee of Bell Telephone Company, and the Worshipful Master of the Lodge in 1921.

Back in the 1920’s many firms used both Dominion Power and Hydro so, that if and when one had a power loss, they could switch over to the services of the other company. The Lodge was instituted at the inaugural meeting, Wednesday, 30th June 1909, by Right Worshipful Brother William Birrell. At the Grand Lodge meeting in July of 1910, a warrant was granted to The Electric Lodge, numbered 495. In the October of 1910, the Lodge was dedicated and consecrated. A report from the local newspaper read:

No more of a distinguished or representative a gathering of local Masons ever gathered in the Masonic Hall, than those who participated in and witnessed the dedication and consecration of The Electric Lodge A.F.& A.M. No. 495 G.R.C., by the Most Worshipful the Grand Master, M. Wor. Bro. Judge D.F. MacWatt.

The first election of Officers of the Lodge took place on the 18th October 1911. The Electric Lodge was the eighth Masonic Lodge constituted in Hamilton and the twentieth in the Region.

One of the notable occasions in the history of our Lodge occurred in 1942, when after the great fire at the Moose Hall in Hamilton, the Worshipful Master of that year, Wor. Bro. William M. Hoyle, as president of the Masters’ and Wardens Association., was instrumental in forming a Masonic Blood Donor Clinic. This filled a desperate need in those times for several years until the service was taken over by the Canadian Red Cross Society. As a result of his work in connection with the blood donors, Very Worshipful Brother Hoyle was appointed a Grand Steward. This appointment was made on the Grand Master’s initiative as a special mark of recognition.

The Lodge has been privileged to provide, to our Craft, several members who have served in the position of District Deputy Grand Master: The first was R.W.Bro. Herbert F. Fuller for Hamilton District “B” in 1951. The second being R.W.Bro. James G. Hamilton for District “B” in 1970. The third being R.W.Bro. John J. Knight for Hamilton District “C” in 1984; in 1998/99 D.D.G.M. for Hamilton District “C” was R.W.Bro. Peter C. Mouriopoulos, and for 2013/14 R.W.Bro. Geoffrey S. Allan.

The Electric Lodge celebrated its One Hundred years of service on the 23rd June 2009.