A BRIEF HISTORY OF UNION LODGE #380
Sometime during 1878 or 1879, Grand Lodge recalled the Charter of Eden Lodge. From this nucleus and from other Lodges Union Lodge was formed and instituted September 10th 1879,as Union Lodge #380, A.F.& A.M., G.R.C.
On May 24th 1881 the pleasure boat “Victoria” sank in the Thames River near Springbank Park and among the many fatalities were several members of Union Lodge #380.
Wor. Bro. W.H. Street, the first Worshipful Master of Union Lodge passed to the Grand Lodge Above in December of 1884.
The year 1892 appears to be the financial low point in the history of the Lodge, the year end Treasurers Report shows a balance of $1.28. The balance increased to $3.29 in 1893 and continued to improve. Union Lodge made a grant of $50.00 to the proposed Masonic Ward in the Hospital erected to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897.
The turn of the century proved to be disastrous to many area Lodges, The building containing the Masonic Hall, at the Northwest corner of King and Richmond Streets was destroyed by fire on February 23rd 1900 and many Lodges, including Union #380, lost all records and regalia.
Corinthian Lodge #330 opened its doors to Union Lodge and the next meeting of Union Lodge was held in East London on March 12th 1900.
The committee which was formed to obtain new accommodations for the London Lodges was successful, and obtained new quarters on the 3rd floor of the reconstructed building at the Northwest corner of Richmond and King Streets. This is now the site of the Royal Bank Building.
The new Lodge Rooms were dedicated on January 24th 1902 and on August 11th of that year Mr. Dan Cameron was initiated into Masonry. In 1972 Union Lodge held a “Dan Cameron Night” to honour Bro. Cameron as our first recipient of a 70 year pin.
The Union Lodge Benevolent Fund was created in 1922 and the first Lodge Family Picnic was held in Springbank Park.
Bro. Archie McCulloch was appointed official Lodge Organist in 1929. Bro. Archie served this and many other area Lodges as organist until his death in 1972.
In 1933 Wor. Bro. Carson organized the first “IRISH NIGHT”. Whichhas become an annual affair.
Over 200 members and guests attended on June 10th 1935, when two fathers and their two sons were initiated into Masonry. There were 44 father and sons in attendance.
January 1955 marked the first of the now annual visits of the Senior Wardens.
On Irish Night in 1956 Rt. Wor. Bro Joe Carson, initiated the last of the Carson boys into Masonry. Rev. Robert A. Carson, a minister of the Anglican Church became Bro. Robert A. Carson. Of the four Carson boys three served as Master of the Lodge and one as D.D.G.M London East in 1979.
The high point in membership came in 1957, which saw a total of 620 members on the register.
The last meeting in the Queens Ave., Temple was held in June. We said goodbye to a building which had served this and other area Lodges for 50 years. Meeting were held in Ashlar Lodge #610 in Byron until the Dufferin Ave., Temple was completed.
Irish Night 1967, Rt. Wor. Bro. Joe Carson in the East for the 34th consecutive year.
At the November meeting in 1977, Bro. F. Ray Lawson, former Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Ontario was presented with his 70 year pin, becoming the third member of Union Lodge to receive this honour.
Preparation for the Centennial celebration began in 1978 with the proposal to exchange visits with all Union Lodges in the Grand Jurisdiction.
CENTENNIAL YEAR (1979)HIGHLIGHTS
January: We welcomed St. Paul’s Lodge #107, Lambeth
February:The Worshipful Master performed all the degree work as He initiated his son J. H. Hotson into Masonry.
June: A fraternal visit was made to Union Lodge #7 in Grimsby.
July: Wor. Bro Ed Carson was elected D.D.G.M. for London East.
October: Made a fraternal visit to Union Lodge #3, Detroit, Michigan.
Rt. Wor. Bro. E.S.P. Carson, made his official visit and dedicated our “Gold Regalia”.
November:An emergent meeting was held Saturday Afternoon November 17th at which time we welcomed our visiting brethren, while the Ladies were entertained at Mocha Mosque. Following Lodge we joined the Ladies for afternoon tea. Most Wor. Bro. R.E. Davies, I.P.G.M. was guest speaker at the evening banquet, which was attended by 300 guests. Representatives from seven Union Lodges were present.
On Sunday we joined King Solomon’s Lodge #378 and Middlesex Lodge #379 at Richards Memorial United Church for a Divine Service of Praise and Thanksgiving, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the three Lodges.
UNION LODGE NO. 380 The first Worshipful Master of Union Lodge opened the Lodge on 22nd August, 1879. All of the elected officers had been members of the now defunct “Eden Lodge”. The Charter, granted by Grand Lodge, was presented, and regularly constituted and consecrated at the regular meeting on 13th October 1879. Seventy-four names were read which had been approved at Grand Lodge, and at this meeting, sixteen Master Masons, six Fellowcraft and four Entered Apprentices were administered the healing obligation. The remainder were healed and obligated at various later dates. It was agreed at the November meeting that the bylaws of Kilwinning Lodge No. 64 should govern the lodge until a committee of three, consisting of the W.M., S.W., and the J.W., drafted a code of bylaws to be approved for the use of Union Lodge No. 380. The new bylaws were approved in 1880, and a committee formed to procure a seal. The Tyler’s honorarium was $1.00 per meeting, and he served all six Lodges then meeting in the Temple. He also acted as Janitor. Annual dues were $3.00, and it appears were paid quarterly at $0.75 a quarter. At the close of 1880, membership stood at 83. One of the early financial reports of the Lodge included $5.00 for a leather bag and $0.75 for a file box for the secretary. His honorarium was $25.00 a year. The fee for initiation was $20.00. The financial situation of the Lodge was not the best during the early years. The report at the close of 1892 showed a balance on hand of $1.28, and the following year it had increased to the large sum of $3.29. It may be of interest to our present day brethren to know that in those “good old days” cigars were nearly always a part of the social hour after the evenings work in the Lodge room. In the accounts, a box of 50 cigars cost $2.00. Cigar making was one of early London’s foremost industries.