May is generally an extremely busy month in Masonic circles and it never seems to take a breath. Some Masons from West Gate 734 travelled with me to Ionic 229 and university 496 to witness a change in government with the Installations of W. Bro. John Thomas of Ionic and W. Bro. Deland Karmanga of University. We wish those WM and Lodges a great and successful year.
Our April regular meeting being step-up night was run perfectly by our Senior Warden; Bro. Lund and it looks to be another successful year at West Gate under his helm-ship as I prepare to pass the gavel over to my successor.
Congratulations go out to Bro. M. Yeung as he was successfully advanced to the Sublime Degree of MM. Another one of the pleasures of being Master is to present awards to worthy brethren and it was with great pleasure to present our Bro. B. Clark with the Lewis Jewel awarded to sons of Masons. What a wonderful Masonic legacy for our brother as his father and grandfather were both members of our beloved Craft and a wonderful example of Masonic perpetuity.We also had the pleasure of welcoming a Past Master from Zambia and having him become our newest affiliate....welcome W.Bro. J. Desai.
It was also our annual "Con Carne Cup" Challenge were our members prepare time honoured batches of Chili to be eaten and voted on by the brethren. Once again the top title goes to our W.Bro. J. Pheonix who is truly a Chili connoisseur aficionado. Well done Jeff!
R.W. Bro. Charles Woods and myself (W.Bro. Kevin Furlong) enjoying the camaraderie and genuine hospitality offered by the new Worshipful Master, officers and members. Congratulations Worshipful Master...W.Bro. Keith Thomson. We wish you a wonderful year at the helm of your Lodge and may the Great architect grant you piece and wisdom during your tenure as a ruler in the Craft.
March went out as a Lion at West Gate 734 as we always entertain the DDGM from Toronto West in traditional 734 style with a roast of the occasion of his Official visit. Last night was no exception as the WM, officers and members welcomed R.W. Bro. Gursharan Parmar and the District Secretary W. Bro. Matwinder Phull. This special night began with the Initiation of Bro. Adam Hartzema (a Lewis) being sponsored by proud father and grandfather R.W. Bro.'s John Hartzema and Ernie Morrison. Adam we all wish you the very best as you start your Masonic journey toward further light.
The evening became even more magical as the degree was conferred with musical accompaniment by a choir led by W.Bro.'s Louis Jansirik and David During. This night also saw the coveted holy grail of the district, the 'Travelling Gavel" leave it's temporary home of West Gate and be liberated by the WM, W.Bro. Daniel Hill, officers and members of Unity Lodge 710. Congratulations Unity....enjoy before it again is challenged for. Three Lodges challenged for the Gavel Unity 710, Kilwinning 565, and Ionic 229.
The DDGM R. W. Bro. Parmar was then elevated to the exalted position of KING PARMARSAN II aka "the Big Cheese" by the members of West Gate and all visitors present. Ni....Ni....Ni....Yaooooooo!
On Saturday March 24, 2018, thirty members of West Gate 734 accompanied by partners, family and friends converged on Woodbine racetrack and were treated to a wonderful evening of racing, food and fellowship. A super time was had by all and we thank our SW Bro. Lund for organizing such a superb evening.
Seven members of West Gate Lodge 734 visited the Lodge of Strict Observance no. 27 in Hamilton B District on the occasion of their Official Visit from their DDGM R.W. Bro. Glenn Jarvie on March 16, 2018. The photo above features our very own R.W. Bro. Charles A. Woods Member of the board, W. Bro. T.Qurashi (WM), R.W. Bro. Ed Standish and R.W. Bro. Michael Locke both members of the Board of General Purposes of Grand Lodge.
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.
Our emergent meeting March saw the Initiation of brother S. Curtis, and West Gate 734 and Toronto West welcomes our newest Mason to the greatest fraternity. The WM, officers and members conferred an excellent degree and we are all excited to see this new Mason advance further in his continuing journey for further enlightenment. Congratulations Shaun.
“Nothing brings home closer than going home...”
― Will Advise