Some History of the Constituent Lodges
The Lodges which together formed Wolseley-Sintaluta are three Masonic Blue Lodges, practising what is known as Canadian Rite ritual. They are: Wolseley Lodge No. 24 , Sintaluta Lodge No. 14, and Grenfell (Evening Star) Lodge No. 10. After Sintaluta amalgamated with Woseley, Grenfell eventually amalgamated with the two to form one lodge, comprised of the three previous lodges.
You will find on this site a picture of Grenfell's Masonic Lodge cornerstone, which is currently in the Adair House Museum in Grenfell. There is a good deal of Masonic memorabilia and that of the Grenfell Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star there, too.
The "new" lodge, Wolseley-Sintaluta No. 10, takes its number in the Grand Registry from that of Evening Star.
Evening Star No 10 was granted its charter in 1894.
Sintaluta was granted its charter in 1902.
Wosleley was granted its charter in 1905.
Amalgamation: Sintaluta No. 14 and Wolseley No. 24 , 1972.
New name: Wolseley-Sintaluta No. 24
Amalgamation Evening Star No. 10 and Wolseley-Sintaluta No. 24, 1997
New name: Wolseley-Sintaluta No. 10
Some history of the Order in SaskatchewanHistorical Sketch Of Freemasonry in Saskatchewan M. W. Bro. Robt. A. Tate, P.G.M.
"Look backward wit Gratitude,
Look upward with Confidence
Look forward with Hope."
This quotation well characterizes the spirit which has activated the growth of Freemasonry within our territorial Jurisdiction.
The story of the establishment of Freemasonry in Saskatchewan is an epic, interwoven with the pioneer initiative of the early settlers, — a story of a great achievement, — a record of an ever-growing influence for the development of the best type of Canadian citizenship.
On May 2nd, 1670, King Charles II granted to "The Governor and Company of adventurers of England Trading into Hudson's Bay" a Charter which gave them power to hold and alienate lands together with the exclusive right "to trade in all lands drained by waters finding their outlets in the Bay."
For two centuries the fur trade was practically the sole enterprise carried on in this vast and unexplored area, known as "beaver-country," and the various river systems were the main arteries of trade and travel.
The immense profits accruing from the fur trade inevitably invited competition and the story of the rivalry among the French interests led by the intrepid Le Verendrye, the North West Company and the Hudson's Bay Company, for supremacy, degenerating at times into virtual warfare and their final merger in 1821, was dramatic.
In this struggle more than three dozen strongly manned posts were established of which, after the union, a dozen were retained. Of these, one, known as Prince Albert, located thirty miles west of the confluence of the "fast flowing" North and South Saskatchewan Rivers, was retained.
Nearby, James Isbister in 1862 formed a settlement of English-speaking halfbreeds whose fathers and grandfathers were mainly Scottish. In 1866, to minister to them, the Rev. James Misbet, accompanied by a group of pioneers, came up the North Saskatchewan River and founded, at Prince Albert, the first Presbyterian mission west of the Red River.
Following Confederation on July 1st, 1867, and the purchase in 1870 by the Dominion Government of the rights of the Hudson's Bay Company, Prince Albert and the surrounding area developed rapidly as a trading, governmental and cultural centre.
In step with this expansion came the natural urge of a group of local Craftsmen to form a lodge, and the appropriate action was promptly undertaken.
The Grand Lodge of Manitoba, formed in 1875, exercised jurisdiction from the western boundary of Ontario on the East to the eastern boundary of British Columbia on the West and all North of the International Boundary. ln 1878 a schism developed in Manitoba of which the Prince Albert brethren had knowledge and therefore they decided to present their application for dispensation to the Grand Lodge of Canada.
This was granted on May 22nd, 1879. At that time there was no rail connection and the settlement was dependent for contact with the outside world on river boat, ox or pony cart or stage to Winnipeg, some 700 miles distant. As a result of these transportation difficulties it was not until October 13th, 1879, that everything was in order and the lodge finally instituted. The lodge was named Kinistino Lodge and numbered 381 on the Register of the Grand Lodge of Canada.
As a matter of historical interest there is recorded brief biographical sketches of the charter members, of this, the first lodge formed in the territory now known as Saskatchewan.
WORSHIPFUL MASTER — MAJOR CHARLES F. YOUNG
W. Bro. Young was an officer in the Imperial Army, having served in almost every part of the Empire. He retired with the rank of major and moved to Canada, where he took up farming near Prince Albert. He returned to England in 1903.
SENIOR WARDEN — JOHN MCKENZIE
Bro. McKenzie was formerly a member of Queen's Lodge No. 34, Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia, in which province he was born. He farmed at Millers Hill near Prince Albert. He fitted and equipped the first grist and saw mill in Saskatchewan, and afterward was an engineer with the Department of Indian Affairs. He died in Prince Albert in 1916.
JUNIOR WARDEN — GEO. RIDLEY DUCK
Bro. Duck, formerly a member of Prince Rupert Lodge No. 1, Grand Register Manitoba was an officer of the Hudson's Bay Company, and afterward became Dominion Land Agent at Prince Albert. He returned to Winnipeg in 1886 where he died shortly afterward.
CHAPLAIN — JOHN LESTOCK REID
Bro. Reid was born at Bowmanville, Ontario in 1841. He was a civil Engineer and Dominion Land Surveyor, and practised his profession in Australia for some time. Returning to Canada he came to Winnipeg in 1871 and in 1875 moved to Prince Albert where he had charge of surveys for the Dominion Government for many years. A great part of this province was surveyed by him. He died at Prince Albert in 1910.
TREASURER — CHARLES MAIR
Bro. Mair was a poet of some repute. Beside other works, he was the author of the epic poem "Tecumseh" which establishes his right to a high place among Canadian men of letters. He was sent to the West for the purpose of collecting data respecting the Hudson's Bay Territory in connection with its transfer to the Dominion. He took an active part in the Red River Rebellion and was one of the 30 prisoners whom Louis Riel detained in Fort Garry and one of whom — Thomas Scott — was so tragically murdered. Bro. Mair died at Fort Steele, B.C., in 1928.
SENIOR DEACON — DR. ANDREW E. PORTER
Bro. Porter was a Nova Scotian. He came from Cumberland County in that province in 1876 and practised his profession in Prince Albert until 1892 when he moved to Calgary. After a short residence there he returned to his native province and subsequently came back to Edmonton. He was the first registered physician in the North West Territories not attached to the Police.
JUNIOR DEACON — GEORGE TAIT
Bro. Tait was a native of Manitoba of Scotch parentage. He farmed near Prince Albert for many years. He died there in 1906.
INNER GUARD — JOSEPH COOMBS
Bro. Coombs was a native of Ontario, and one of the early Manitoba pioneers. He also was one of the Red River Rebellion prisoners held by Riel. He came to Prince Albert in the early seventies and became Town Clerk which position he resigned to take up the business of accountancy which he followed until his death at Prince Albert about 1908. He served as District Deputy Grand Master for Masonic District No. 7, Manitoba.
TYLER — EDWIN STANLEY
Bro. Stanley was a member of St. Patrick's Lodge No. 623, Ireland. He farmed near Prince Albert and afterward worked with Bro. J. Lestock Reid on surveys throughout the West. He became associated with the Department of Indian Affairs and after retiring moved to British Columbia.
JOHN FREDERICK KENNEDY
Bro. Kennedy was a member of Hiram Lodge No. 5, Grand Register, Manitoba. He was a native of Manitoba and came to Prince Albert as manager of the old trading firm of Stobart Eden & Co. He left to take up servicc with the C.P.R. at Golden, B.C.
Bro. Chas. Mair acted as Secretary but at the next meeting Bros. James Flett and Wm. Drever became members by affiliation and Bro. Flett was elected Secretary.
R.W.Bro.REV. CANON JAMES FLETT
Canon Flett was a native of Manitoba and came to Prince Albert on the teaching staff of Emmanuel College, founded by his father-in-law, Bishop John McLean, which was moved to Saskatoon at the organization of the university of Saskatchewan. He was afterward an Inspector of Schools for the North West Territories. He was a District Deputy Grand Master for District No. 7, Manitoba and died at Prince Albert in 1914.
At the first meeting petitions for initiation were received from Thomas McKay, Thomas E. Baker and Justus Duncan Wilson, and they received their First degree on the 8th of December, 1879, the first Masons to be made in this territory. Bro. Baker was the first to receive the Master Mason degree.
This biographical detail impresses one with the wide and varied activities and enterprises so typical of the pioneers. The words — fur trade, — grist mill, — homestead, - surveyor, now almost unheard, were then everyday names of vitally important pioneer occupations.
Our Brethren were naturally influenced in their Masonic activities by the familiar customs and practices of their Mother lodges. We thus find that on December 27th, 1880, the Brethren of Kinistino Lodge attended Divine Service in St. Mary's Anglican Church.
W. Bro. Canon Flett preached the sermon from which the following extracts are quoted:
"For ages these prairies of the North-West have been sleeping in the solitude of nature; fable throws no light on their history; science lifts not the veil of obscurity which covers the dark problems of their existence. Here was the home of the savage, here they roamed in all their primeval peculiarity, here they lived in rude plenty; uncontaminated by the evils of civilization, they pitched their tents among the herds of buffalo that swarmed over these prairies and they feasted royally on the spoils of the chase.
"For years the North-West was set down as an uninhabitable wilderness, but I know that those among you who have travelled over the country will agree with me when I say that its agricultural capabilities are even now greatly under-rated.
"Today Brethren, out here in the far West, we are holding the first Masonic service on record in the history of these Territories. To the uninitiated who are here present, I should say that you see us here today in our character as Freemasons, loyal to our Sovereign and faithful to our native land."
Thus for almost three years the Lodge continued to work harmoniously under the Grand Lodge of Canada whereupon wise counsel having prevailed and harmony restored in the Grand Lodge of Manitoba, the Prince Albert Brethren decided to transfer their allegiance to the latter Grand Lodge. On April 21st, 1882, Kinistino Lodge held its last meeting as a constituent of the Grand Lodge of Canada, and on November 3rd, 1882, its first meeting under the Grand Lodge of Manitoba. Thus was merged the territory now known as Saskatchewan into the jurisdiction of our Mother Grand Lodge of Manitoba. The Lodge, on transfer, became identified as Kinistino Lodge No. 16.
In addition the following is a record of the formation of those other Lodges which twenty-four years later formed the Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan:[[PASTING TABLES IS NOT SUPPORTED]]
Brief reference is made to the following items of special historical interest.
Fort Qu'Appelle was one of the earliest and most important Hudson's Bay trading posts and of the personnel of the Qu'Appelle Valley Lodge a number were connected with the Company. The jurisdiction of the Lodge extended into the ranching country north of the Qu'Appelle Valley for a distance of eighty miles. An illustration of pioneer enthusiasm for Masonry is recorded in the report of the Grand Master of Manitoba on his visit to Qu'Appelle Valley Lodge in 1891:
"I witnessed the conferring of the First degree in a most impressive manner. The candidate, a rancher, had ridden sixty-two miles to be present. He had to leave for home immediately after being initiated. He thus undertook a journey, by saddle horse, of one hundred and twenty-four miles to receive his First degree."
In October, 1894, North West Mounted Police Lodge was formed at Regina and has the distinction of being the only purely military Lodge in this territory. The Lodge was established by members of the North West Mounted Police Force who were stationed at headquarters in Regina and membership in the Force was, in practice, made a prerequisite to membership in the Lodge. There were fourteen charter members of whom six were later posted to the Yukon, six fought for Queen and Country in South Africa and two served both in the Yukon and South Africa. The first fifty-seven members of the Lodge were all members of the Force and carried the teachings of Masonry to the far-flung outposts of the Territories. The interest of those early members in their Lodge is evidenced by the fact that the Ashlars were hand-cut; the Altar and Pedestals were hand-made and the E. of M. were brought down from the Far North. The response of members to the demands of duty to "maintain the law" in the Gold Rush days in the Yukon and to serve the Empire's cause in South Africa, so depleted the resident membership that it became impossible to hold lodge meetings and the Brethren accordingly decided to move the meeting place from the barracks to the City and to admit civilians.
The first Lodge at Battleford was actually instituted in 1886, but subsequently surrendered its charter and a new Lodge was formed in 1904. A similar situation occurred at Broadview where a Dispensation for Wapananung Lodge No. 46 was granted in 1889 but was surrendered the same year, and a Lodge later formed in 1907. Likewise at Wolseley a Lodge was originally formed in 1900, later surrendered its charter and a new Lodge was formed in 1905.
On September 1st, 1905, the two new Provinces — Alberta and Saskatchewan — were established and the attainment of this higher status naturally suggested the desirability of the formation of a Grand Lodge in each Province and we now turn to the detailed story of the steps taken in forming the Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan.
On the 3rd of April, 1906, the Brethren at Regina, members of Wascana Lodge No. 23, appointed a committee consisting of Bros. L. T. McDonald, R. B. Fergusson and A. M. Fenwick, to enquire into and report upon the proper procedure.
The following telegram was sent on the 1st of May, 1906, to Bro. Garnet E. Coombs, Secretary of Kinistino Lodge No. 16, Prince Albert:
"Wascana Lodge has unanimously decided, after careful consideration, that the time has arrived to form Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan. Number of lodges, twenty, membership about one thousand. Desire that you, being the oldest lodge in jurisdiction, call convention at some central point at earliest possible date, that action may be taken before June meeting of Grand Lodge, please advise.
(Signed) L. T. McDonald, Chairman."
(There were in fact twenty-four charter lodges and five U.D.).
This resulted in the calling of a convention at Prince Albert, on May 25th, 1906, at which were present: W. Bro. J.G.M. Christie (16), Chairman; R.W.Bro.J.N.Bayne (23); R.W.Bro.D.C. McLellan (16); R.W.Bro.J.M.Shaw, P.D.D.G.M., Canada in Ontario; R.W. Bro. J.F. Betts (16); R.W.Bro.C.O. Davidson (16); W.Bro.W.M. Hopkins (89); R.W.Bro. J.M. Coombs (16); R.W.Bro.Wm. Fawcet (72); Bro. Robt. Young (16); and W.Bro.W.M. Martin (23).
After due consideration it was unanimously decided to proceed regularly to establish a Grand Lodge. The necessary Committees were appointed including one composed of R.W.Bros. W.B. Tate and Wm. Fawcet, D.D.G.M.s particularly charged with the responsibility of presenting the petition to the Grand Lodge of Manitoba and if favourably received, to arrange all detail.
Their mission proving successful, the preliminary work was proceeded with and on August 9th, 1906, the representatives of twenty-five lodges attended a Convention held in Regina, when the new Body was duly formed.