By VWBro Paul Skazin

Learning that H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught was returning to England from his Indian command, via Canada, W. Bro. G. Sterling Ryerson, the Master of the lodge, thought that some recognition of so distinguished a Mason should come before the Craft in Toronto. It was a happy thought, well conceived and promptly acted upon. While yet on his journey from the west, His Royal Highness received a personal invitation from the W. M. to meet the brethren during his brief stay in Toronto. It was at once graciously acknowledged and fraternally accepted.

An emergent meeting was called for the evening of the May 30,1890. At nine o'clock there were seven hundred brethren in and about the spacious lodge room of the Toronto Street Temple.

The R.W. Bro. Duke of Connaught entered the lodge, accompanied by V. W. Bro Col. V. F. Cavaye, P.G. Steward of the Grand Lodge of Bombay, and escorted by M. W. Bro. James Kirkpatrick Kerr, P.G.M.; R. W. Bro. W. Roaf, D.D.G.M. Toronto District; R. W. Bro. F. M. Morson, Grand Registrar; and R.W. Bro. G. J. Bennett, Past Grand Registrar.

As the R.W. Bro. entered the lodge, the brethren united in singing the first verse of the National Anthem. The R. W. Bro. advanced to the altar and saluted the W.M. with the sign of salutation. M. W. Bro. Kerr then presented the R.W. Bro. to the W.M. The W.M. then addressed the R.W. Bro. In part, as follows:

"We welcome your Royal Highness as the brother and representative of H.R.H. the M.W. the Grand Master of England, of whom it is needless for me to say more than that we honour him as a man and as the first officer of the first Grand Lodge of the greatest Empire the world has ever seen. "And further, we welcome you as the son of our beloved sovereign lady the Queen, whose public and private virtues make her a model among women, a constitutional ruler, a true and faithful wife, a loving and devoted mother. She will ever reign in the hearts of her people, and generations yet unborn will tell their children's children of the golden days when there reigned in England the great and good Victoria. May God Save the Queen."

The R.W. Bro. advanced to the east and assumed the gavel, and by direction of the W.M. the assembled brethren saluted the royal visitor with the grand honours.

The R. W. Bro. Duke of Connaught replied to his welcome, in part, as follows:

"It is now nineteen years since I became a member of the Craft, and I have never forgotten the impression made on me when I was initiated. The fraternity is a noble one, whose influence is ever extending, and in whose ranks the brethren meet on a common plane of equality and brotherly love. "In the old land the support of the Masonic charitable institutions, and the care given by the Craft to those who need, show the great principles on which the order is founded to be relief and charity.”

"It is pleasing to learn of the loyalty of the brethren in Canada. I will long remember this visit and your magnificent reception, and when I reach home I will take an early opportunity of conveying your expressions of good-will to the Queen and the Grand Master. "I thank you most warmly, Worshipful Sir, for this great demonstration."

The W.M. announced to the brethren that His Royal Highness had expressed his desire to become a member of this lodge. The. by-laws of the lodge were then presented to the Royal visitor by M.W. Bro. Kerr, and the R.W. Bro. affixed his signature thereto.

At the W.M. request the Grand Lodge officers, the W.M. and P.M.'s present withdrew from the lodge to be presented to His Royal Highness. The reception took place in the adjoining chapter room. The presentations were made by R.W. Bro. W. Roaf, D.D.G.M., the royal brother acknowledging each introduction with a cordial handshake. At the close of the ceremony the brethren formed a circle, and, with R.W. Bro. Wm. Simpson, of St. John's lodge leading, united in singing "Auld Lang Syne," H.R.H. joining in the fraternal chain at the close, with evident pleasure.