Meeting Schedule
3rd Friday @ 7:30pm
Lodge Venue
Masonic Hall
London East
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On 22nd April, 1856, Kilwinning Lodge was granted the use of St. John’s Lodge No. 209 Lodge Room to conduct their meetings. Kilwinning Lodge was first assigned the number 32, but when the “ancient” (Provincial) Grand Lodge united with the Grand Lodge of Canada, in July, 1858, its lodges were granted numbers according to their seniority, and Kilwinning became No. 64. The lodge was instituted on 15th May, 1856, with eleven members. The fact that at least six of the eleven founders were from St. George’s Lodge No. 859 resulted in St. George’s being regarded as the “Mother of Kilwinning”. At its second meeting on 19th June, 1856, eleven brethren affiliated, one more from St. George’s No. 859, English Ritual, and ten from St. John’s No. 209, Irish Ritual. The “Hungry Forties” had caused an influx of emigrants from Britain; the population of Canada West doubled between 1841 and 1851, and increased by another 50% by 1856. The area about London and westward to the border began to fill. The Crimean War, 1854-1856, brought high prices for food, and Western Ontario became an important wheat growing area. In 1853, the Great Western Railway reached London. London rapidly increased in population , and in 1855 became a city. London at that time had only two lodges, an English and an Irish. The Grand Lodge of Scotland had never warranted a Lodge in Upper Canada; but the Scots among the founders must have felt that that could be remedied by the adoption of a Scottish name to set over against the other two. For that purpose, no better name than “Kilwinning” could have been found. Hard upon the founding of Kilwinning followed the inevitable period of deflation. Hard times and unemployment were world wide, but the collapse of the wheat market after the Crimean War, and the crop failure of 1857 brought disaster to London and Western Ontario. Prices fell, trade declined; the boom in land prices collapsed; the population of the city shrank. The members found the Lodge a luxury beyond their means. The effect of the hard times is strikingly shown in the record of initiations. Where thirteen had been initiated in the six months of 1856, only twenty-five were initiated in the next five years; in 1861, only one. In September 1859, St. George’s assisted Kilwinning, with the aid of a pipe band, to lay the corner stone of St. James’ Church, at Princess and Richmond Streets. In 1870, a joint committee of the three lodges, St George’s, St. John’s No. 20 and Kilwinning reported that it had arranged for rooms in the Huron and Erie Savings Society’s new building at 442 Richmond Street. St. John’s No. 209, came under the Grand Lodge of Canada in 1872. Its records state that in that year its officers were installed with those of the other two Lodges in the rooms of the latter in Buckley’s building. In January, 1873, the three moved to the Huron and Erie building. St John’s Lodge No. 209a joined them in 1874.