The History of Our Lodge
By V.W.Bro. Paul Skazin
On July 6, 1847, R.W. Bro. Allan Napier MacNab, Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Canada West, Acting under Thomas Dundas, Earl of Zetland, Grand Master of the Most Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons of England, granted his dispensation for the formation of "The Ionic Lodge," to meet in the City of Toronto.
There were seventeen petitioners for the dispensation and were all members of St Andrew’s Lodge which up until then was the only Lodge in Toronto.
The first meeting of the Lodge was held July 8, 1847, in the lodge room in the upper story of the Wellington Buildings, on the north side of King Street, between Toronto and Church Streets.
On July 8, 1897, the Lodge celebrated the fiftieth anniversary at a meeting, which was honoured by the presence of R.W. Bro. Richardson, the first Master, M.W. Bro. Kivas Tully, the first S.W., and M.W. James Kirkpatrick Kerr, the first member of Ionic to hold the office of Grand Master.
On June 7, 1922, there was a simple, but impressive celebration of the Seventy-fifth Anniversary. At the supper table afterwards, V.W. Bro. A.R. Boswell, presided. A cheque for $2,000 to endow the “Ionic Memorial Cot” was given to the Home for Incurable Children (now Bloorview McMillan Centre).
The outbreak of war in 1939 naturally had its effect on the lodge, and thirty-six brethren served with the forces. The Lodge lost one member on active service, Bro. Robert W. Harcourt, who was killed in a bombing raid.
The Lodge attained its hundredth anniversary in 1947. Among the special events was a meeting held on November 5, 1947, at which time the Lodge was honoured by the attendance of the M.W. the Grand Master, M.W. Bro. Thomas Simpson. A divine service was held on the evening of Sunday November 6, 1947, at St. James' Cathedral, conducted by the Dean, The Very Rev. Charles E. Riley, Chaplain of the lodge. The sermon was given by The Most Rev. and R.W. Bro. George F. Kingston, a Past Master of Ionic Lodge and Primate of All Canada.
The years 1947-75 were characterized by strong growth and development for Canada. During this period, several members of the lodge gained prominence. Bro. James Keiller Mackay, Q.C., was a Justice of the Supreme Court of Ontario and then served as Lieutenant-Governor of the Province. V.W. Bro Dana Porter was Chief Justice of Ontario and presided over the Court of Appeal from 1958 until his death in 1967.
The 150th Anniversary of the Lodge was celebrated on September 22, 1997 at which time a reception was held in the Lieutenant Governor’s, suite in Queens Park at which time a cheque was presented to Bloorview Macmillan Centre. Following the presentation a formal dinner was held at The Toronto Club with the keynote speech delivered by the Grand Master, M.W. Bro. William Anderson.