Digest of History of
King Solomon’s Lodge #378
King Solomon’s Lodge #378 had its beginning in the village of Petersville ( now London West ) with its institution on June 23, 1879.
The Consecration and Dedication took place on October 18th of the same year.
The early minutes refer to several meeting places and varying meeting nights. By 1902 the Lodge had settled in the quarters of the Knight’s Templar, which were located over the Ontario Loan and Debenture Co. at the corner of Dundas St. and Market Lane. The lodge vacated these rooms in 1906, possibly due to a rent increase to $19.39 per month.
After many construction delays, the London Masonic Temple at 250 Queen’s Ave., was completed on December 19, 1912, and King Solomon’s Lodge #378 had its first permanent home.
In 1915, with annual dues of $3.00, the Lodge approved the waiver of dues for all members in active service with Canadian Forces. This year also saw the formation of the London Masonic Bureau, to record changes in all lodge’s membership throughout the London area.
The year 1923 saw the formation of a local Board of Relief. This was followed in 1928 by the formation of the Past Masters, Masters and Wardens Association.
In February of 1942, King Solomon’s Lodge #378 hosted a Euchre Club, which met on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month the cost per player was 25 cents and all proceeds went to the supply of food parcels to Britian.
A regular interchange of lodge visits, with Royal Oak Lodge #464 Royal Oak, Michagan began in 1954. These regular visits were discontinued in 1991, although, although small deputations still visit at Ladies Night and Installations.
King Solomon’s #378 contributed $1,763.00 toward the 1954 installation of the elevator in the Masonic Temple. This same year, Bro. Archie Bryce was the receipent of the William Mercer Wilson Medal. In later years two other Members of King Solomon’s Lodge were also awarded this Medal, Bro. Gordon Sanders and Bro. Archie McCullouch.
June of 1963 saw the end of all labour, in the Queen’s Ave., Temple. A new Masonic Temple was under construction on Dufferin Ave.. After the summer recess, when all lodges were called to labour, King Solomon’s Lodge #378 and other District Lodges held meetings in Byron, at the home of Ashlar Lodge #610. The Dufferin Ave., Masonic Temple was ready for occupancy in early 1964, at a rental cost of $3.00 per capita.
With the division into London West and London East Masonic Districts in 1966, King Solomon’s Lodge #378 requested to be included in the London West Masonic District, as it began in what is now that part of the city.
King Solomon’s Lodge No. 378
The beginning of King Solomon’s Lodge No. 378 A.F. & A.M., G.R.C. took place in the year 1879 A.D., when a petiton was prepared by a group of Masons of the London area to form a lodge by that name, to meet on the third Wednesday of each month, in the village of Petersville, (now London West). The petition was presented to Kilwinning Lodge No. 64, and approval with concurrent jurisdiction obtained by a vote of its members. Grand Lodge Dispensation was granted on June 3rd, 1879 A.D. (A.L.5879). The first meeting of King Solomon’s Lodge was held in the village of Petersville for the purpose of Instituting the new Lodge and for the Installation of the Worshipful Master and the Investiture of the Lodge Officers. On October 15th, 1879, the Lodge was duly Consecrated and Dedicated by Officers of Grand Lodge. This ceremony was followed by the Installation and Investiture of the Officers for the ensuing year. There is no record in the early minute books of the Lodge indicating the locations of the meetings held in Petersville, although there is a reference made at the meeting of June 24th, 1881 to an exchange of quarters with the Order of Foresters. From other sources, it appears that one meeting place was Dexters’ Flour Mill on Mill Street, which is now Beaufort Street; another being upstairs in a hotel located on the south west corner of Blackfriars Street and Centre Street, which is now known as Wilson Avenue. Until May 20th, 1881, the caption at the head of the Lodge minutes read “Petersville”. At that date, it was changed to “London West”, which was used until March 8th, 1900. In 1892, the meeting nights of the Lodge changed many times for reasons which aren’t made clear, from the third Wednesday, to the fourth Tuesday, to the fourth Thursday, to the second Friday, to the third Friday. In November 1899, the decision was made to vacate the original Lodge rooms and relocate to the new Masonic Temple on Richmond Street in London. However, before they were able to conduct their first meeting in this building, it was destroyed by fire on February 28th, 1900. Although the Charters of six City Lodges were lost in the fire, that of King Solomon’s was not. As a result of this disaster, other arrangements for both regular and future meetings had to be decided. During the next twelve years, the Lodge met in various locations, commencing with Sherwood Hall; then at Court Middlesex, which necessitated another change in meeting nights, to the second Thursday of the month; to the quarters of the Knights Templar, located over the offices of the Ontario Loan and Debenture Company on the corner of Dundas Street and Market Lane; to the quarters of the City of London Board of Lodges; to the new Masonic Temple at 250 Queens Avenue in January 1913. This remained the home of King Solomon’s Lodge until the building was sold to the London Life Insurance Company in 1962, and plans for the construction of the new Masonic Temple on Dufferin Avenue commenced.