Nilestown 345

Meeting Schedule
3rd Tuesday @ 7:30pm
Lodge Venue
London East
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Contact The Lodge

The inaugural meeting of Nilestown lodge No. 345 was held on 7th March, 1876. Twenty masons were present, twelve of whom were from Belmont Lodge no. 190, and one of whom was installed as the first Worshipful Master. At the second meeting, a committee was formed to take into consideration the purchase of the building. The building became the home of Nilestown Lodge for the next 81 years, and stood on the property almost directly across the road from the present Temple. There is reason to believe that this building was the former grist mill, moved from the vicinity of Belmont. During the first year seventeen candidates were initiated and two members affiliated. The two world wars had their affect in the ensuing years. Being true to the ideals of the craft, many members answered the call to duty, and their names are enshrined on the honour rolls which hang on the walls inside the anteroom. Following each world war, there was a resurgence in it was Masonic membership, the first resulting in Nilestown Lodge being very active in the 1920’s. The great depression of the 1030’s curtailed many of the activities, and brought the flow of candidates virtually to a halt. After struggling through the second world war of the early 1940’s, Nilestown, once again, experienced an increase in the number of applications. The members of Nilestown Lodge must be ever grateful to the dedicated brethren who kept the faith and guided the Lodge during those troubled times. The “Old Mill” found it difficult to stand the strain of this latest influx of members, and began to lean a little more each time the wind blew. By 1954 it was quite evident that a new hall must be built. Lots were purchased across the road, and many schemes were explored and tried to raise money for a new hall. The members supported scrap drives of wool and iron, raffles for suits of clothes every month, and showing their rural heritage, a calf raffle. Plans were drawn and approved and construction started in the spring of 1956. By September 1957 the building was ready for occupancy. Membership continued to rise steadily and by 1965 reached a high of 284. The second century pf the lodge started debt free, and the brethren started to make improvements to the building for the comfort of the brethren and to conserve energy. These included: insulation in the walls, new panelling, lighting, Mosaic Pavement, new rugs in the Lodge room and stairs and new floor tile in the banquet room. In 1990 the “Nilestown Masonic Memorial Park” was established on the adjacent property east of the present temple. Also, in 1990, a granite monument was created and placed in a prominent position on the site. This structure includes a section for each of the four Masonic units resident in the Temple on which families and friends may preserve the names of departed Masons. A picnic area has also been provided.