Doric Lodge No. 58 AF & AM

Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario


A History


V. W. Bro. Ronald H. Ashworth, PGS




                 The Seal of Doric Lodge A.F. & A.M. # 58 is seen on the main pageThe Seal of the Lodge is first mentioned in the duties of the Secretary outlined in the By-Laws of the Lodge dated 1869. The diagram first appears on the cover of the By-Laws dated 16 November 1893.


 The Seal of the Lodge is first mentioned in the duties of the Secretary outlined in the By-Laws of the Lodge dated 1869. The diagram first appears on the cover of the By-Laws dated 16 November 1893.

The seal is formed in the shape of a pointed oval with an oval contained within. The outer rim contains the name Doric Lodge F & AM No. 58. G.R.C. Ottawa.

In the outer rim at the top center-point or peak of the oval contains a triangle formed with three dots. At the bottom center-point of the oval is an inverted triangle of three dots. In Masonic traditions the symbol is used for abbreviation, instead of the usual period, essentially an initial or monogram continuing the meaning of "therefore", "standing for", i.e. "thus". Contained within the inner oval you will find the “All Seeing Eye” a five pointed morning star, an inverted triangle with the letter “G” in its centre, two sprigs of Acacia and the Lodge’s motto in a ribbon below.

At the peak of the inner oval is the “All Seeing Eye” (of the Deity), reminding all Masons that their words and deeds are being judged by the Supreme Architect of the Universe.

The two sprigs of Acacia are crossed at the stems and signify the hopeful expectation of success in the search for the True Word.  Acacia was believed to communicate the spirit of prophecy and poetry and was seen as a purifying plant with powers of immortality.

The sprigs of Acacia surround a five-pointed morning star which signifies the moral virtues of masonry and further alludes to the Five Points of Fellowship.

The sprigs of Acacia also encompass the inverted triangle containing the letter “G” in its centre.  The triangle has long been a sacred symbol for life.  The inverted triangle represents the personal transformation that is not only the goal, but also the essential condition for all our educational discourse about values.  The letter “G” in its centre has two meanings.  The first is Geometry, the science that the ancients believed most revealed the glory of God and His works in the Heavens.  The second is God, who must be at the centre of all our thoughts and efforts.

Below the sprigs of Acacia is a ribbon with two bends creating three parts and contains the motto: LUX DEI SEMPER ADEST translated as “The light of God is always here.”

The color of the seal is Blue. To our ancient brethren, blue was used to represent truth.  Additionally, the color blue embodies height and depth and corresponds with the blue sky above and the blue sea below.  It reminds us that the boundaries of Masonry are as far reaching as these dimensions.  It is also interesting to note that some consider blue to the most neutral of colors, since it is between black (evil) and white (good).  As Masons we are equal in our position with other members, regardless of color, rank, title or any other status and it is very appropriate that blue would represent this equality.


The above interpretation was researched and developed by Wor. Bro. Ronald H. Ashworth, Lodge Historian, January 2007.


The following paragraphs are an excerpt taken from a historical sketch, prepared by RT. Wor. Bro. E.D. Parlow of Dalhousie Lodge on the occasion of that Lodge’s 50th anniversary in 1898.

“In our day (1898) we often hear that Masonry is an honourable institution and that it behooves its devotees to mark well their conduct – that the eyes of our fellowmen are upon us, that they judge us  by our actions, that we must strictly adhere to the tenets of our profession and carefully abstain from anything that would decrease our usefulness or tarnish the honour of our order that our charities should be warm hearted, that we must be kind and true, not only to brother Masons but to all the world, so that, when the crucial test is applied to our acts, the practical results for good cannot be questioned, that it is within the power of every member of the craft to be an earnest servant of its beautiful principles and a benefactor in the lodge, in the family, in the community and in the country.

In writing the history of the one hundred years of Masonic endeavour in Dalhousie Lodge No. 52, one meets again and again the oft recurring thought, “How great has been the good work accomplished within the portals of this historic Lodge, what deeds of mercy and brotherhood have been performed and what words of encouragement spoken that have given new heart to many discouraged brethren.”  This good work accomplished, these deeds of service and these words of encouragement are, for the most part, unrecorded in the minute books of the Lodge, but upon them as a sure and firm foundation has been built which, after a century of service to its members, to the city of Ottawa, and to the great Order of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, is now girding itself for another century of service to mankind.

The minute books of any institution such as a Masonic Lodge are filled with such routine matters as the passing of accounts, the receiving of petitions, the reports of committees, the balloting for candidates and the election of officers.  In order to interpret the various experience of the past, one has to live again in imagination those days of yesterday.  Here and there, however, are found keys which open doors through which one can enter to discover the problems of those men, true and strong, who have handed them down to us.  Throughout the years of its existence there has ever been the desire to build better and stronger as the years went by.

In the building of a Masonic Lodge, as well as of any other institution, much depends upon those brethren who from time to time are entrusted with the management of its affairs, the Worshipful Masters, the Wardens, the Secretaries and the Treasurers. 

The Lodge minute books show the meticulous care the business of the Lodge was carried on, and the records have been neatly and correctly kept.  It is most proper that here should be expressed the debt which the members of the Lodge owe to those worthy Masons who, from time to time, held the very important office of Secretary.  In perusing their minutes one has peculiar feelings of gratitude to those officers of other days, as they enthusiastically carried on their heavy tasks, often under considerable difficulty, and, to them, we of the present membership of the Lodge owe more than we can realize. Would that there could be presented to the brethren of to-day a story that would tell of the spirit that actuated those of by-gone days.  Then, we would be proud to be successors of those men of other generations who ever had their hands and hearts open to help their needy brethren.  It should be here recorded that, from the very organization of this Lodge, there are minutes relating to the practice of that Charity which is the distinctive characteristic of a Mason’s heart.

The following historical details have been researched in the Lodge records including minute and visitor register books and Lodge centennial commemorative booklets.

 Our roots are traced back to 1855, when Doric Lodge was constituted as No. 952 ER to meet at the City of Ottawa under a Dispensation dated 17th February, 1855, granted by the Provincial Grand Master, Canada West, United Grand Lodge of England.

A petition to form Doric Lodge by 7 Past Masters of Dalhousie Lodge #835 ER and subsequently changed to #571 ER led to the dispensation of February 17, 1855 which was, in turn, followed by a Warrant dated 20th August, 1855, issued by the United Grand Lodge of England to the following brethren:-


       William Tracey [W.M.]       From Ireland

       James Wilson   [S.W.]      From Lodge No. 491 (now St. John’s Lodge No. 3, G.L. of Canada)

       James Ashfield [J.W.]         From Lodge No. 835 (now Dalhousie Lodge No. 52, G.L. of Canada)

       Robert Hick                    From Lodge No. 731 (now Zetland Lodge No. 12, G.L. of Quebec)

        James Peacock                   From Scotland

        John Fotheringham             From Scotland

        Robert Dale                        From Scotland

The number 952 ER continued in use until the Provincial Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Canada West was dissolved and reformed in Sept 1857 as the Ancient Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Canada and then Doric was renumbered 49. The Lodge was erased from the Roll on transfer to the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Canada and the Warrant returned to London on 27th November, 1857. Upon uniting with the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons Grand Lodge of Canada on July 14th, 1858, Doric Lodge was once again renumbered 58 from 49.

The Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Canada was formed on October 10, 1855 in The Barton Lodge, Hamilton in accordance with action proposed in a motion adopted at a meeting held in Clifton House, Niagara Falls on July19, 1855. M.W. Bro. William Mercer Wilson, Grand Master elect was duly installed in the office on November 2 1855 in the Mason Hall, Hamilton, by the M.W. the Hon. H.T. Bachus, Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Michigan.

It must be remembered that there were, at this time, two Grand Lodge bodies in Ontario; one called The Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Canada, headed by Grand Master Wilson and the other called the Ancient Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Canada, headed by Grand Master McNabb. With little difference in name, there was nevertheless quite a gulf in so far as a uniform jurisdiction was concerned; a condition that was far from healthy. Fortunately for Masonry in Canada, the wisdom and fidelity of the two groups prevailed and the Grand Lodge under Sir Allan (GM McNabb) was formally dissolved on July 14, 1858, with its constituent lodges, including Doric, simultaneously uniting with the other body under Grand Master Wilson.

The dramatic scene in King Solomon’s Lodge No 22, Toronto will always be one of the brightest lights of Masonry. At long last, when Grand Master Wilson stepped down from the dais to grasp the hand of his brother Grand Master McNabb, the brethren who, for many years had striven zealously for this day, were finally united. Here, in the handclasp of sure brotherhood was practised the first of the Five Points of Fellowship.

The minute books of Doric Lodge are completely intact dating back to the first meeting in 1855. It would be impossible to reproduce even a summary of the principal events due to the fragile condition of the book. However, those minutes contained in the first book embracing the first eight years exemplify the development and progress of the Lodge.

The first lodge meeting after constitution was held on April 4, 1855 in a Lodge Room on Wellington Street, Upper Town, Ottawa, where three applications for initiation were read out.

The first candidate to be initiated into Doric Lodge was William Young, an Ottawa merchant May 2, 1855 at the early age of 24 years. Initiation fee at that time was 5 pounds and dues were 2 Shillings 6 pence monthly.  Bro. Young became Secretary in 1856.

If you want to compare the value of a £5 2s 6d in 1855 to today’s earning money it would equal £98.12, converted at 1.9026 or $186.68Cdn. a considerable amount of money in those days. 

In order to discourage officers from absenting themselves from meetings, it was regularly moved and seconded on June 2, 1858 that the by-laws be amended as follows: “That the officers of this Lodge, neglecting to attend the regular meetings and meetings of Emergency of this Lodge, when summoned so to do, shall each be fined in the sum of five shillings currency, which shall form part of the Lodge funds.”

On June 6, 1858, an auditor’s report showed £18.10.0 in the Lodge treasury, and which rose to £29.1.6 by July 20, 1859. We are unsure if the penalties had anything to do with the increase.

The first Board of General Purposes was held prior to the Regular Meeting of April 4th 1860 when they reported on petitions presented by the candidates. It is of interest to note that the lighting facilities were not yet available at Doric Lodge in those days as shown by a minute of April 4 1860 authorizing the Treasurer to pay a gas bill in the amount of £1.4.0.

The W.M. for 1860 R.W. Bro. MacLeod Moore presented “an Italian fencing dagger” to the Lodge to be used by the Inner Guard (regrettably lost in the fire in 1913).

On May 23 1861, the first Masonic funeral held by Doric Lodge was requested by telegraph by Maple Leaf Lodge No 103 St Catharine’s Ont. on behalf of their late brother Henry Burrows. The brethren of Corinthian and Dalhousie Lodges gathered to open the Lodge at 9:30 am, on May 23rd, 1861 for that purpose. The service was conducted by WM Thos Storey and upon return from the cemetery the lodge was closed at 1 pm.

A second funeral made the next Emergent meeting of May 28 1861 necessary to accede to the last request of our Late Bro. Jno McElroy; Rev. Bro C.B. Petit Chaplain of Doric Lodge preached an impressive sermon.

On another occasion, the Lodge enlisted the services of The Governor General Foot Guard Band at a considerable cost in procession from the Lodge to Beechwood Cemetery.

The long history of this Lodge has shown itself in the brotherly love and relief practiced by the members and its willingness to grow with the times. In 1861, for example, a demonstration of that attribute which we all possess, charity, was recorded in the minutes having the brethren unanimously vote $10.00 to be paid to Bro. Nagle to enable him to “obtain substitutes for both of his hands which were frozen off some twelve months previous.” The first committee of benevolence was formed in Aug 1862. 

Minutes of April 16 1862 describe the First Masonic Trial which was investigated by DDGM Simpson on November 5, 1862. The offending brother was reinstated and requested to apply for withdrawal that was made and granted on December 3, 1862.

In June 1863, a request from Rev. Bro. C.B. Pettit to the Officers and Members of Doric Lodge was favourably received in requesting Doric Lodge to petition Grand Lodge to establish a Lodge in Richmond. Upon having the Charter granted, The Rev. Bro. C.B. Petit became the first Worshipful Master of Goodwood Lodge in 1863. He served in that capacity for the first three years of the Lodge until 1865 inclusive and then again in 1869.  

This was the second lodge that was created in Richmond. The first being Richmond Lodge that was chartered in 1821 and unfortunately passed into darkness in 1846. Between 1846 and 1863 the brethren met in a new Lodge in Kemptville until the erection and creation of Goodwood Lodge in Richmond.

July 1, 1867 the new Dominion of Canada came into being. Both Upper and Lower Canada were renamed Ontario and Quebec, joined by the Provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

In 1869, the Grand Lodge of Quebec was duly formed. Readers should observe that the Grand Lodge was at Quebec neither in nor of the Province, being therefore a distinction consistent with the fact that its formation was initially at Quebec, the garrison city where the military Lodges met in 1759 after the siege and capitulation of that city.

On June 1, 1900, Wor. Bro. Robertson spoke briefly on a Grant to the Brethren who were sufferers in the recent fire and it was decided to collect $50.00 among the Brethren to be given to General Masonic Relief Committee in aid of Masonic Brethren who were burned out.

February 1, 1901 a Resolution of profound regret and sorrow was entered into the Minutes of the Lodge on the passing of Queen Victoria. Edward VII, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England ascended to the Throne.

February 1, 1901 members returned from South Africa.

October 4, 1904 an especial communication of Grand Lodge will be held at Carp on Friday 14th of October 1904 for the purpose of Constituting and Consecrating Carleton Lodge # 465.

March 28 1905 Doric Lodge celebrated its 50th year anniversary. Chaudière Lodge lent us the Lodge Room to celebrate the event.

May 5, 1905, a communication was read Bro. H.W. Sterrett, Secretary Northport Lodge #110 Washington State USA, informing us of Bro. R.C. Morrison having his right hand taken off in an ore smelter and ascertaining if Bro. Morrison was in good standing member of Doric Lodge and if he was, the desire of Doric brethren if they should take action in the matter. An enquiry to the Secretary of Northport Lodge was made as to the financial standing of the brother. Subsequent communication received June 2, advised that he is doing nicely and that the boys of Northport were going to present him with the equivalent of an artificial hand.

The 1906 San Francisco earthquake struck the coast of Northern California at 5:12 a.m. on Wednesday, April 18 with an estimated moment magnitude of 7.9 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI (Extreme). High intensity shaking was felt from Eureka on the North Coast to the Salinas Valley, an agricultural region to the south of the San Francisco Bay Area. Devastating fires soon broke out in the city and lasted for several days. As a result, up to 3,000 people died and over 80% of the city of San Francisco was destroyed. The events are remembered as one of the worst and deadliest earthquakes in the history of the United States. The death toll remains the greatest loss of life from a natural disaster in California's history and high in the lists of American disasters.

On April 19, 1906 a motion was tabled that $25.00 be granted by the Lodge to assist in the relief of the affected brethren in San Francisco and vicinity. Carried. The equivalent in 2019 dollars would be $694.44.

June 7, 1907, a motion was tabled to raise the Initiation fee from $30.00 to $40.00 and the new sum to be supplied to each candidate with a Master Mason Apron on being raised to that degree. The motion was amended to not include an apron.  Carried.

January 7, 1910, a communication to all City Lodges was received from Mississippi Lodge #147 Almonte, to assist with the replacement of the working tools due to a recent fire. Motion to contribute Doric’s proportionate share was moved and carried.

May 6, 1910 the death of His Majesty King Edward VII was announced in Lodge. Out of respect and esteem to His Majesty and as a Past Grand Master Grand Lodge of England, the Lodge was called off without any degree work and was forthwith closed accordingly. The Charter was draped for a period 3 months in expression of the very great respect and love for the memory of our distinguished Brother.

June 3, 1910, an account was read from Dalhousie Lodge #52 giving a statement of the funeral of our Late Bro. Smith who was a member in Scotland and had died in this city. February 1910 leaving his widow in destitute circumstances. The total funeral expenses were $91.20 of which this lodge’s share is 1/7 or $13.07. Motion moved and carried to pay this share of the funeral expenses.

April 7, 1911 an especial communication of Grand Lodge was held in Carleton Place for the laying of the Cornerstone of the new Masonic Temple.

Oct 6, 1911 a request was received from Campbellton Lodge #32, G.L. NB appealing for assistance to enable them to rebuild their Masonic Hall which was destroyed by the conflagration in July last. Moved and seconded that the Lodge donate the sum of Twenty-Five dollars to Campbellton Lodge. Carried.

Oct 16, 1911, a request for assistance by the City Lodges to restore the furniture of Eganville Lodge which was destroyed by fire. Moved and seconded that the Lodge donate the sum of Twenty-Five dollars to Eganville Lodge. Carried.

January 5, 1912 a motion was tabled to raise the Initiation fee from $40.00 to $50.00 and the new sum to be supplied to each candidate with a Master Mason Apron on being raised to that degree. The motion was amended to not include an apron.  Carried.

June 7, 1912 an especial communication of Grand Lodge will be held at Carp for the purpose of laying the Cornerstone for the new Methodist Church.

In July 1913, priceless treasures were lost in the disastrous fire that consumed Harmony Hall, then the home of Freemasonry in Ottawa. The Lodge Charter and Membership Register from 1893 to 1913 were destroyed. All other records of Doric Lodge were located elsewhere at the time and were not subject to destruction in the fire. A replacement charter was issued in 1913.

The care and last resting places of the soldiers, sailors and airmen who made the supreme sacrifice for their country during the Great War, was the responsibility of the Imperial War Graves Commission. Brethren who served under this commission were formed into a Lodge No 4948 in 1927, and at the suggestion of Bro. Rudyard Kipling, it was named “Builders of the Silent Cities”.

In 1914, R.W. Bro. Sidney Albert Luke was installed as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario. A petition for initiation was received from Sidney A Luke on September 6, 1889, Collector, Aged 28 years. Recommended by Bros. G.M Ryerson and John Robertson. Initiated Oct 4, 1889, Worshipful Master 1893; DDGM 1904.

The premature death of S.A. Luke in November 1918 was a grievous shock to Doric Lodge, The Ottawa District, The Province of Ontario and the Dominion of Canada. Over 1000 masons attended the funeral service held in Sandy Hill, Ottawa.

One year after his death, a new Lodge was formed bearing his illustrious name and numbered 558 on the Register of Grand Lodge.

The enthusiasm for Masonry in the days following the horrors of the First World War saw a rush of applications for membership. This led Doric Lodge to adopt a Motion to “limit to not more than twenty the number of new candidates in the space of one year”. This was met with swift action from Grand Lodge that they could not approve an amendment to the Lodge By-Laws to limit the number of members admitted to the Lodge.

From 1914-1922 the average number of applicants per year rose from 10 to 20 over a 30 year period. The peak was in 1920 when 47 were initiated.

February 3 1916, while World War I was raging in Europe, the Canadian Parliament Buildings in Ottawa caught fire on a freezing February night. With the exception of the Library of Parliament, the Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings was destroyed and seven people died. Rumors were rife that the Parliament Buildings fire was caused by enemy sabotage, but a Royal Commission into the fire concluded that the cause was accidental. 

In May 1918, the 2nd and 3rd degrees were conferred on Bro. R.G. Fowler of Kilwinning Lodge London England under Grand Master Dispensation.

In 1929, the great Stock Market Crash occurred upon the heels of which there followed the world depression of the grim 30’s. Doric Lodge found, as other Lodges did, that its funds could not readily be replenished and was quick to realize that only a programme of austerity and the prudent administration of its affairs would tide it over to better days. Doric Lodge survived these trying times with pride and honour.

In 1930, Doric Lodge celebrated its 75th anniversary and the Minutes of the Lodge reflect that the ceremony was “designed not to spend a large sum of money” but that $10.00 for each year of the existence of Doric Lodge should be donated to the Protestant Home for the Aged, “spread over a period of time so as not to impair the funds of the Lodge.”

1939 to 1945 plunged the world into World War II.

World War II began in Europe on September 1, 1939, when Germany invaded Poland. Great Britain and France responded by declaring war on Germany on September 3. The war between the U.S.S.R. and Germany began on June 22, 1941, with the German invasion of the Soviet Union. The war in the Pacific began on December 7/8, 1941, when Japan attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor and other American, Dutch, and British military installations throughout Asia. The war ended September 2, 1945.

In Early 1934, soon after Hitler’s rise to power, it became evident that Freemasonry was in danger. In that same year, the “Grand Lodge of the Sun” (one of the pre-war German Grand Lodges, located in Bayreuth) realizing the grave dangers involved, adopted the little blue Forget-Me-Not flower as a substitute for the traditional square and compasses.

It was felt the flower would provide brethren with an outward means of identification while lessening the risk of possible recognition in public by the Nazis, who were engaged in wholesale confiscation of all Masonic Lodge properties.

Freemasonry went undercover, and this delicate flower assumed its role as a symbol of Masonry surviving throughout the reign of darkness. During the ensuing decade of Nazi power a little blue Forget-Me-Not flower worn in a Brother’s lapel served as one method whereby brethren could identify each other in public, and in cities and concentration camps throughout Europe. The Forget-Me-Not distinguished the lapels of countless brethren who staunchly refused to allow the symbolic Light of Masonry to be completely extinguished.

When the “Grand Lodge of the Sun” was reopened in Bayreuth in 1947, by Past Grand Master Beyer, a little pin in the shape of a Forget-Me-Not was officially adopted as the emblem of that first annual convention of the brethren who had survived the bitter years of semi-darkness to rekindle the Masonic Light.

At the first Annual Convention of the new United Grand Lodge of Germany AF&AM (VGLvD), in 1948, the pin was adopted as an official Masonic emblem in honour of the thousands of valiant Brethren who carried on their Masonic work under adverse conditions.

The following year, each delegate to the Conference of Grand Masters in Washington, D.C., received one from Dr. Theodor Vogel, Grand Master of the VGLvD.

Thus did a simple flower blossom forth into a symbol of the fraternity, and become perhaps the most widely worn emblem among Freemasons in Germany; a pin presented ceremoniously to newly-made Masons in most of the Lodges of the American-Canadian Grand Lodge, AF&AM within the United Grand Lodges of Germany.

In the years since adoption, its significance world-wide has been attested to by the tens of thousands of brethren who now display it with meaningful pride.

This information has been taken from a presentation card issued by the American Canadian Grand Lodge, AF&AM within the United Grand Lodges of Germany.

Commemorative ceremonies were held on Monday, March 28, 1955 exactly 100 years after Doric Lodge was instituted, 1200 months, 1000 seasonal months, two meetings for each of these months, this surely was recognised as the 2000th communication of this old Lodge. Two thousand times that the brethren, over the years had assembled to promote the great work of the Craft, to enjoy the friendly warmth of fraternity, to build for a strong and healthy future, to share the joys and sorrows, the pleasures and distresses if life’s vast arena.

“In the world of mortal existence, time consumes mortality and mortality puts on immortality”. With these words, the Worshipful Master  called upon the brethren to stand in silent tribute to the honour of the brethren who have been summoned to the Grand Lodge above. In this tribute to all brethren of the past, the assemblage took note of many to whom the welfare of the Lodge had been entrusted and to whom Doric members are eternally indebted.

The minutes of Doric Lodge dated February 20, 1975 state the following:

“A Wor. Bro. commented on the fact that the Lodge would be holding its meetings in the Masonic Temple in Richmond next fall. He referred to the close association between Doric Lodge and Goodwood Lodge and felt that this was a most fortuitous arrangement. He also referred to the generosity of the host Lodge in refusing to accept any rent over and above the actual costs incurred for such things as heat, light, etc.”

In September 1975, Doric Lodge held their first meeting in the Masonic Temple in Richmond while Doric’s new home on Walkley Road, Ottawa was being built. In addition, Goodwood Lodge permitted Doric Lodge to use their lodge building at no cost and the lodge’s vestments and jewels since all of Doric’s were in storage.

In May 1975, the 1st exchange visit between Gouverneur Lodge #217, Gouverneur New York. Grand Lodge of the State of New York in took place. The brethren of Doric have continued the tradition of making annual fraternal visits to Gouverneur Lodge #217 in Gouverneur NY, and our American brothers reciprocating with a return visit and at times exemplifying their degree work.