THE FOUNDING OF GRANTHAM LODGE
On May 6, 1958, an interested group of nine Master Masons met at the home of Bro. Stanley D. Costen to discuss the formation of a new Masonic Lodge to fill an evident need in this area. W. Bro. B.E. Schaab was chosen chairman and W. Bro. W.W. Tanner as Secretary. The Brethren were authorized at this meeting to approach R.W. Bro. Farr, D.D.G.M. of Niagara District "A", and R.W. Bro. E.G. Dixon, the Grand Secretary, and Seymour Lodge re fostering the new Lodge.
At a meeting held on May 20, 1958, reports re the above actions were considered. The name "Grantham Lodge" was chosen, so named after the Township of Grantham, fees and dues were decided; other Lodges in the jurisdiction were asked for approval, and a nominating committee was named.
On June 3, 1958, the
first meeting was held in Seymour Masonic Hall with 28 Masons present.
All previous actions were upheld, the rental agreement with Seymour
Masonic Hall was struck and the slate of officers approved. The first
Master of our Lodge was W. Bro. Frank G. White, a Past Master of
Adoniram #573. The approval of most of the Lodges in the jurisdiction
was received and the charter Member list closed. Our petition for a
dispensation to form Grantham Lodge received its final approval on
September 8, 1958.
The new Grantham Lodge accepted twenty members by initiation and three members by affiliation the following year and has since continued to thrive.
From its inception in September of 1958 to the present time Grantham Lodge has continued to flourish and be a very active lodge in Niagara District A. We have over the last 50 years had a total of 356 members on our registry. Presently we have eighty-five members.
Grantham Lodge has had three District Deputy Grand Masters over its fifty year history, five Grand Steward appointments and one Assistant Grand Chaplain appointment.
Our District Deputies of Niagara District A have been R.W. Bro. Robert M. Robson in 1973, R.W. Bro. Trevor M. Thomas in 1986 and R.W. Bro. Robert W. Tucker in 2000.
Our Grand Steward appointments were V.W. Bro. Arthur Harley in 1974, V.W. Bro. George H. E. Gaines in 1984, V.W. Bro. John M. Atkinson 1987 V.W. Bro. Bruce B. MacDonald in 1994 and V.W. Bro. John A. Golob in 2001. Our last appointment as Assistant Grand Chaplain was V.W. Bro. Norman Pemberton in 2006.
Since 1973 Grantham Lodge has exchanged Fraternal Visits with Medina Lodge No. 336 of the Grand Lodge of New York in Medina N.Y. from which many lasting friendships have developed which continue to this day.
The annual installation of officers was changed in 1988 from January to June to coincide with the majority of the Lodges in Niagara District A.
In 1995 the widow of our very first Master presented the Lodge with a new Altar Cloth in memory of her late husband W. Bro. Frank G. White. At the same time a new Worshipful Master's Pedestal cloth was presented in memory of W. Bro. Wm. Phillips by members of his family.
New Wardens Pedestal Cloths were also purchased by donations from members of the lodge.
In 1997 a special award called the Trevor M. Thomas award was created for distinguished service to our Lodge by a brother who has served the Lodge above and beyond the call of duty. It is not an annual award but is given only when a board of Past Masters feels that a brother is worthy of receiving this honour. To date four brothers have received this award. They are Bro. Gil Walby in 1997, Bro. William Lundy in 1999, W. Bro. Roger Freeman in 2002 and W. Bro. Archie McLay in 2007.
For the first forty-six years of the existence of Grantham our meetings were held in the Seymour Masonic Hall in Port Dalhousie Ward but in April of 2005 we changed our venue to the Memorial Masonic Temple in downtown St. Catharines.
The members of Grantham Lodge have for many years supported Womens Place Niagara (now called Gillians Place) and in 2006 our Lodge under the direction of V.W. Bro Norm Pemberton and W. Bro. Les Pirbus took on a special fund raising dinner dance to assist this organization in their relocation to a new facility.
The year 2008 marks our 50th Anniversary and it is our hope that this lodge will continue to flourish over many more years to come.
V.W. Bro. George Gaines