The dispensation for The Lodge of Strict Observance was issued on August 1, 1847, by Sir Allan Napier MacNab, Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Upper Canada. The first meeting of the Lodge took place on September 21, 1847, in The Barton Lodge room, at the south-west corner of Main and Hughson Streets, Hamilton. At the meeting, W.Bro. C.H. Webster, a Past Master of The Barton Lodge #6, presided over the Installation of the first officers. Nine of the brethren who formed our new Lodge were members of The Barton Lodge. The first Master was the Rev. Alexander Mackid, who was sent out from Ireland by the Canada Land Company. He was inducted in St. Paul's Presbyterian Church in January 1845. He affiliated with The Barton Lodge on April 8,1846 and also was Grand Chaplain of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Upper Canada.
The Lodge of Strict Observance minutes note that on March 18th, 1851 a new hall was proposed on the north-east corner of John and Main streets. On September 16th, 1851 the Lodge held its first meeting in the new stone building; this was the place of organization of the Grand Lodge of Canada in 1855 and of the installation of its first Grand master, William Mercer Wilson.
When St. John's Lodge #40 was formed in 1852, their first Master, W. Bro. Thomas B. Harris, was a member of "Strict". W.Bro. J.M. Gibson (later, M.W. Bro. Sir John Morrison Gibson), after completing his term as Master of "Strict" in 1872, was instrumental in the formation of Temple Lodge #324, (coinciding with the new Masonic Hall in the City), and served as Temple Lodge's first Master in 1874, 1875 and 1876.
The Lodge of Strict Observance has enjoyed the happy exchange of fraternal visits with many Lodges during its 157+ years. Particularly noteworthy are the ties with General Mercer Lodge #548 of Toronto; and the annual visits with St. John's Lodge #209a of London which started on March 15th of 1887 when they exemplified an Irish third degree. Several times over the years, our London brethren have inspired large numbers of visitors with their impressive portrayals of the Craft degrees in the Irish Ritual.
We value the friendship of all our Masonic brethren and will continue to enjoy visiting and visitations by other lodges through out the district and beyond.