Meeting Minutes - Don Hamilton - Freemasonry Today - April 18th. 2019
President Martin Alderwick opened the meeting at 9:58 am with a greeting to all and especially to a new guest, Bob Berry and today’s presenter, Don Hamilton.
Sharon from the Trinity United Church made an announcement about a 50’s and 60’s show being put on by the Church called “Proctor and Petunia” scheduled for May 4th at 7:30 pm and May 5th at 3:00 pm. It will be held in the Church sanctuary and tickets are available for $20.
President Alderwick informed us that he was glad to be back and mostly recovered from his recent heart surgery. He thanked everyone who sent him get well wishes and especially to those who back-filled for him while he was off, particularly Julian Sale and Frank Webster.
President Alderwick announced the slate of potential Club Directors for next year and invited anyone who wished to make a further nomination to contact any of the current board members or John Proctor who is chair of the nominations committee.
Announcements Activities – Ray Biffis - Tickets are now available for the GWMC meeting with Rt. Hon. David Johnston on Wed., May 29, 2019 at the Italian Canadian Club at 135 Ferguson St., Guelph. See Ray if you want a ticket. - A sign-in sheet is ready for a night at the races at Elora Raceway on Mon., September 23rd. - The Activities Committee is looking at arranging a wine tour in the Niagara Region as well as either a trip to the Stratford Festival or to one of the Drayton Theatre productions. More info to come.
Coffee – Andy Curtis - Next Thurs, May 25th coffee will be at the Boathouse and the alternative meeting location is the Airpark Café.
John Proctor introduced today’s guest presenter, Don Hamilton. Bio: A native of Guelph, Don was educated in Guelph schools, and worked at the University of Guelph for 32 years, as a Biological Photographer and Graphic Artist. His formative years and early adult years were spent in Scouting, primarily in the Venturer Program for the 14-17 age group. He also served in administrative roles including District Commissioner and Chairman of the Provincial Venturer Advisory Committee.
Don has been a local piper since high school days. He and his family are St. George’s Anglican Church members, and he has played the Carillon Bells since 1987. He led the renovation and enlargement of the carillon which brought the instrument up to 36 bells with an exceptional new keyboard. Guest carillonneurs have remarked that the instrument is now among the finest in North America.
Don joined Trillium Masonic Lodge No. 724 in 1982, and has served as Master twice, and was the Secretary for several years. He is presently Master of the Royal City Daylight Lodge No. 742. He was a founding member of Daylight, and has served as Secretary and twice as Master. He was elected District Deputy Grand Master for Wellington District in 2006 and has served as advisor to the DDGM’s who have followed him. Don has been a member of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite nearly as long as he has been a Mason and as well as serving several terms “in the chair” of both local bodies, he was made an Honourary 33rd degree Mason in Canada.
Presentation: Don will discuss who the Freemasons are, our relevance in society today and our ideas for the future.
Don gave the background to how the Freemasons began. Freemasons were originally stone masons. They began around the 14th C. when the pope dissolved the religious order the Templars. Some members of the order in England did not follow the pope’s order and they disappeared to prevent them from being arrested as a Templar. Some of these men joined the order of the stone masons and it is from this group that the order of the freemasons developed.
In Canada and the U.S. Freemasonry arrived in the colonies with the military units with English, Irish and Scottish warrants. Warrants are documents in the lodges which give permission to meet and these came from the country that the military unit came from. Don went on to tell us about the history of Freemasonry.
Don showed us a historic warrant dated the 11th of April, 1788 that had been issued to Sir John Johnson, 2nd Baronet of New York (5 November, 1741 – 4 January 1830). There are many other figures from history that were Freemasons including Sir John Graves Simcoe, George Washington, and General Isaac Brock.
A brief history of the Guelph Lodge was provided by Don. The lodge has many symbols and non-masons are not permitted in the lodge but occasionally the lodge does have “open doors.” Terms from ancient times are used in the lodge. Masons are not a religion, a service club or a benefits society. They have no dogma. They don’t tell their members what to believe but they insist that they believe in something and to respect that right in every other individual. They are tolerant of everything except intolerance. On the altar of most lodges is the King James version of the bible. However, this can be substituted by any other holy book for the induction of any member of a different faith.
In general terms the organization is a fraternity that does many things in a community. A man doesn’t ask to become a member he has to be asked to join the Masons and then a background check is done on the person to make sure that he is an upstanding citizen.
Membership in Ontario is about 33,000. Following the Second World War many men came back from the war and wanted to be with there buddies so they joined Freemason lodges. Guelph initiated 600 men in the years 1947 and 1948.
Who are the Masons? (Don put up a slide of men who are/were from the area) Many were men from the U of G who were all connected by knowing each other in the Soil Sciences Dept. There were other well-known men from various areas of Ontario and various walks of life. A new motto being used in some lodges is: Not just a man, a Mason.
Don informed us that if we wanted to join you needed to contact a Mason and then find out what night of the week works best for you so that you could be linked up with a lodge that meets on that particular night
Following a question and answer period to which Don Hamilton responded, John Sneyd thanked Don for his presentation and gave him a token of appreciation from the Club.
Next meeting: Thursday, May 2, 2019, with Dr. Emma Allen-Vercoe on “What’s New in Gut Microbiota Research”