History of St. George’s Lodge


Freemasonry was introduced to the Niagara area with the arrival of the 8th Regiment of Foot in 1792 and their Masonic traveling warrant No. 156 from the Grand Lodge (Ancients) of England. St, John’s Lodge of Friendship No. 2 was then formed under the first Provincial Grand Lodge in 1792 which thrived until the War of 1812-14.

Mittleberger Block
St. Catharines, ON

St. George’s Lodge claims to have been founded in 1814 but there is evidence that no charter was granted until 1816, but this did not preclude, George Adams, one of the founders of St. George’s Lodge to put forth a petition to the Provincial Grand Lodge to form St. George’s on June 1st 1814 even though the war of 1812-14 was being fought during
this founding period.

Since its inception, St. George’s Lodge has met in many places in the St. Catharines area such as Samual Dobson’s Tavern on Queenston St., the Mittleberger block near the corner of St Paul St. and its current location at the corner of Centre and Court Streets. Currently, seven other local lodges meet at the Masonic Hall on Centre St.


Currently, St. George’s Lodge carries the number 15, however, it is interesting to note that St. George’s Lodge has carried other numbers such as the 27th Lodge on the Register of the First Provincial Grand Lodge and on the Grand Lodge of England (Ancients) the number 9 and 791 respectively. When the Grand Lodge of Canada was formed in 1855, the number 15 was assigned to St George’s Lodge.


The lodge meets for its regular meeting on the second Tuesday of each month with emergent meeting on the fourth Tuesday as required.

Tuesday has always been the meeting day of the lodge but not necessarily the second Tuesday for the regular meeting. In Article II of the by-laws of 1890, which was identical to the previous one, it read in part as follows: “This lodge shall meet in the Masonic Temple, in the City of St. Catharines, on the Tuesday immediately before the full of the moon, except when it falls on a Tuesday, then it shall be held on that day, at eight o’clock in the evening…” Such was the case before the advent of street lights and automobile transportation and natural light was important.


At a meeting on July 7 1857, a discussion took place in the Lodge which resulted in the following motion.

“Moved that in the opinion of this lodge from the large number of affiliated and non-affiliated members of the craft in this city and vicinity, the formation of a new lodge under the jurisdiction of the G.L. of Canada would be highly conducive to the general proficiency of Masonry and tend materially to stimulate officers and brethren in the discharge of their respective duties, and that in the event of a sufficient number of members in uniting together to petition the Grand Lodge for such a new lodge, the Worshipful Master and officers of this lodge would recommend that the prayer of the petition be granted:”

Masonic Memorial Temple
St. Catharines, ON

Immediately, a group of St. George’s members began meeting to form a new lodge and success was attained on July 29th, 1858 to form Maple Leaf Lodge No. 103. Fifteen members of St. George’s and several other local brethren became charter members of Maple Leaf Lodge and the sister of St. George’s Lodge.

Following this, members of the two lodges who had attained the rank of Royal Arch Masons joined together and founded Mount Moriah Chapter No. 19. Still later, with the erection of the new Masonic Temple at 39

Ontario St., a third lodge, Temple Lodge No. 296 was instituted on April 2, 1873. It is interesting to note that the first Worshipful Master of Temple Lodge, Dr. Lucius S. Oille, was initiated in Maple Leaf Lodge, affiliated with St. George’s Lodge five years later, led a committee that arranged for the organization of Temple Lodge and became its first master.

District Deputy Grand Master
Charles G. McDermott (1887)
Charles G. McDermott (1888)
Charles H. Connor (1897)
Walter P. Holmes (1936)
Charles H. Hesburn (1948)
W.Allen Barnes (1963)
Roland E. Westlake (1974)
J.Anthony Robertson (1988)
Allister S. MacDonald (2003)
David E. Gillis (2014)

Grand Superintendents
of the Work

Walter Chatfield (1869)
Levi Yale (1882)

Grand Junior Warden
Charles G. McDermott (1885)

Grand Sword Bearer
James H. Taylor (1878)

Grand Tyler
Charles G. McDermott (1910)

Grand Steward
Fredrick Parsons (1859)
Samuel G. Dolson (1864)
Alexander McLaren (1907)
Walter P. Holmes (1921)
Edward L. Missen (1932)
Charles H. Hesburn (1937)
William A. Darker (1949)
Fredrick L. Riches (1964)
James M. Wilcox (1975)
Albert G. Kinnear (1984)
William G. Birdsall (1989)
James B. Thompson (1996)
David E. Gillis (2004)
Tony Robles (2009)
Richard Green (2015)

Grand Organist
James W. Byrne (1943)

Grand Registrar
John Johnstone (1954)

William Mercer Wilson
Albert Walz (2015)

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