A Brief History of Amity Lodge
Freemasonry had its beginning in Dunnville, a village in Upper Canada, on Wednesday April 3rd 1850. Nine Masons met and instituted Amity Lodge under the Provincial Grand Lodge of Canada West, acting under the jurisdiction of the United Grand lodges of England. The instituting Masons were Herzekiah Davis, Joseph Brown, William Leaney, Robert Murdy, Amos Bradshaw, Gilbert Morgan, Jacob Osman, Dennis Keely, and James Kearnes.
The Grand Lodge of Canada West under M.W. Bro. Sir Allan Napier McNab separated from the Grand Lodge of England in 1857. The Warrants of the individual Lodges, including Amity of Dunnville, were called in on September 9th, 1857 and returned to the Grand Lodge of England. The next year on July 14th, 1858 saw the union of the two Sovereignties with M.W. Bro. William Mercer Wilson as the Grand Master of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Canada.
From its institution in 1850, Amity Lodge has had normal growth, always adhering to the principals of Masonry which are Virtue, Honour, and Mercy. The Lodge met for a number of years above Fry's Furniture Store, later moving to above Nevills Dry Goods. For some forty years Amity held its meeting above the Dunnville Chronicle Office. Throughout the years men from all walks of life have numbered among its members. A goodly number achieved prominence in local, provincial and national life of our country. Not forgotten are those members who served in the Armed Forces, especially those who laid down there lives in the cause of humanity and freedom.
The zeal for the institution has been handed down through the years as a Masonic heritage indicated by the fact that only twice has a Master of Amity Lodge served a second term. Fraternal visits with other lodges has been the custom of Amity Lodge. One such visit to St, John's Lodge No. 35 in Cayuga in 1867 was made by steamer up the Grand River. Visits to other Lodges were also made, United Craft Lodge, Buffalo numbering among them.
In 1950 Amity Lodge celebrated its 100th. anniversary when over 250 members and visitors sat down to a banquet in Dunnville Secondary School. From that time on a vision of an Amity Temple began to grow. The election of J.N. Allan to the highest office in Grand Lodge, that of Grand Master in July 1965, proved to be the incentive needed. Committees were formed to investigate raising necessary funds and procuring a site to build the Temple. At the December meeting the members voted to build. One committee canvassed the membership for funds and the second committee recommended the purchase of property on Lock Street West. 1966 saw the project started and on June 24th., the cornerstone was laid, the building being completed by the end of the year. This fine structure was dedicated on May 6th. 1967 by Grand Lodge under M.W. Bro. J.N. Allan. During his address he urged members to shed their veil of secrecy and enlighten the world of Masonic beliefs and customs. The lodge has continued to prosper and on April 23rd. 1975 celebrated its 125th. Anniversary with a banquet with a large number of members and visitors attending. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of a 50 year Past Master's Pin to M.W. Bro. J.N. Allan. The banquet was catered by members of the Eastern Star who hold their meetings in the Temple building. In 1978 the members constructed a large parking lot on the premises for Masonic use.
On April 29th, 2000 the lodge celebrated its 150th anniversary (1850 - 2000) by welcoming the Grand Master, M.W. Bro. Robert J. McKibbon.
On June 27th, 2003 M.W. Bro. Terence Shand, Grand Master, was in attendance as Amity Lodge No. 32 and St. John's Lodge No. 35, Cayuga celebrated 150 years of fraternal visits.
On November 16th. 2005 the Grand Master, M.W. Bro. Gary L. Atkinson, had the great honour of presenting the William Mercer Wilson Medal to Bro. Roger Bain.
We Installed an elevator in 2001 for Handicap Access to the Lodge Room
In February, 2005 Amity, along with five other Haldimand Lodges, sponsored LIFE "The Vial of L.I.F.E. is Lifesaving Information For Emergencies", used to provide information when the patient cannot.
In November, 2004 we sponsored a Handicap Access Door at the Dunnville Library.
Amity Lodge has played its part in the Masonic District, and throughout the Grand Jurisdiction by having a goodly number achieve Grand Honours. Numbering among these, with office held;
R.W. Bros. S. Amsden, J. Perry, T.L. Lipton, R.W. Connolly, J.N. Allan, T. Camelford, O.M. Krick, L.J. Stringer, J. Toll, D. Madill.
V.W. Bros. G. Camelford and H.V. Bartlett.
V.W. Bros. T. Marshall, F. Raney, W.C.B. Mills.
V.W. Bros. W.T. Robb, F. Martin, D. Phillips, J. Cowan, J. Chapman.
WILLIAM MERCER WILSON