Middlesex 379

Meeting Schedule
4th Tuesday @ 7:30pm
Lodge Venue
London East
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On 15th July, 1879 a group of interested Masons, principally from Mount Olivet Lodge No. 300, in Thorndale, applied to Grand Lodge to form a new Lodge in Bryanston. Of these three were Past Masters of Mount Olivet. These brethren and others, who had been members of Mount Olivet, either lived in Thorndale or were neighbours in the vicinity of the 9th and 10th Concessions of London Township, near the Clarke Side Road. The remaining Charter Members lived on the 12th and 13th Concessions near the Proof Line Road, (now highway No. 4). Bryanston, a thriving village at the central point between these Concessions, was therefore a logical place for the Lodge. Most of the Charter Members were in their late twenties and early thirties, and were farmers. Middlesex Lodge No. 379 was constituted on 10th September, 1879, and the Lodge room and furniture was dedicated by the D.D.G.M., of the London District. Before the building of their first Masonic Hall, meetings were held above a livery stable situated on the south west corner of what is now the main corner of Bryanston. The new Lodge did not gain many friends among the temperance minded people of the community with its location on the hotel property. Stories are told of members, still wearing their aprons, visiting the hotel bar during short Lodge recesses. During their first year of operation, the Lodge recorded ten initiations. This number in one year has only been equalled twice, and never surpassed. Undoubtedly, there must have been some problems with ritual, as at least two of the Charter members were members of the Irish Lodge, St. John’s No.20. Annual dues were $2.00 and the Initiation fee was $20.00. In the early days, when applications for initiation were received from persons living in adjacent juristrictions, disputes often broke out as to the Lodge they should be joining. One of the methods of solving the problem was for the two Worshipful Masters to meet at the applicants house, make sure they had the same size buggy wheel, tie a cloth to a spoke, and count the number of revolutions as they drove back their respective lodge halls. The first home of Middlesex Lodge was built in 1892 on the west side of Highbury Avenue just north of the 13th Concession, as a joint project with the Loyal Orange Lodge No. 792, and the Canadian Order of Foresters Lodge No. 282. The upper floor was owned by Middlesex Lodge, with the lower floor being owned jointly by two Lodges. On 6th July, 1938 W. Bro. Thomas Needham reported that he had purchased the building (called Union Hall), for back taxes amounting to $46.97, because of the inability of the other two Lodges to pay their share. He signed the Lodge minute book to the effect that at the end of a twelve month period he would sign the building over to Middlesex Lodge. On 22nd November, 1939 Middlesex Lodge became the sole owner of Union Hall when W. Br. Needham was paid $70.18 as total cost of the building. In 1907 the secretary was instructed to buy a half dozen spittoons, which in later years, were disposed of by the younger members. In 1974 the Lodge moved to its current location, the old Ilderton Community Centre, which it shares jointly with Henderson Lodge No. 388.