The following is a brief history of the early days of our Lodge.
Our Lodge was conceived shortly after the conclusion of World War I. In December 19l8, W. Bro. Paul E. Lumsden broached the subject to Bro. Arthur J. Lainchbury, whilst travelling on a Radial Car operating between Hamilton and Brantford. The matter was avidly pursued from that date.
The matters attendant to the institution of a Lodge are numerous and exacting. A formal request must be presented to Grand Lodge, for permission to form the Lodge, and consent must be obtained from the other Lodges in the District.
Having obtained these consents, a Petition for Dispensation signed by the following Charter Members, was presented to Grand Lodge:
W. Bro. Paul E. Lumsden, Bro. A.J. Lainchbury, Bro. E.J. McMartin, Bro. W.J. Whitfield, W. Bro. A.B. Clark, W. Bro. Thomas Becker, Bro. J.V. Elliott, Bro. J.G. Jack, Bro. J .M. Connor, W. Bro. B.E. Warner, Bro. H. Sykes, Bro. Wm. A. Laidlaw, Bro. R. Collins, Bro. J. Stinson, V. W. Bro. T.E. Epps, W. Bro. A.S. McPherson, Bro. S.A. Wait, R. W. Bro. Wm. A. Logan, Bro. E.B. Mealy.
Following the granting of the Dispensation by Grand Lodge, Ionic Lodge was instituted on Wednesday, May 7, 1919 by R. W. Bro. John G. Gauld, D.D.G.M. of the 8th District assisted by several Worshipful Brethren of the Hamilton area.
At the writing of this article, February 1969, five of these Charter Members are still with us -- W. Bro. A.J. Lainchbury, V.W. Bro. J.M. Connor, R. W. Bro. Wm. A. Laidlaw and W. Bro. B. E. Warner.
Temple Lodge, No. 324, graciously allowed us to use their regalia until our own could be purchased. Ionic Lodge operated under Dispensation until September 1, 1920, when R. W. Bro. H. Graham, Acting Grand Master, assisted by several other Officers of Grand Lodge, dedicated and consecrated Ionic Lodge No. 549 and presented us with our Charter, which is open for inspection at every Lodge meeting. On it are recorded the names of those brethren who worked so hard in the formation of Ionic Lodge.
The first election of Officers was held on Wednesday, November 3, 192l and was conducted by R.W. Bro. E.C. Kelley, D.D.G.M, on his official visit to Ionic Lodge. The first Installation of Officers was held on Wednesday, December 7, 1921 and was conducted by V. W. Bro. Thos. E. Epps, I.M.
During the first year, thirty-five candidates were initiated into Ionic Lodge. In the early days of Ionic Lodge, an Orchestra conducted by Bro. Devreaux added much pleasure to our meetings and Ladies Nights. The Ladies Nights at that time were held at such places as the Lodge Banquet Room, Arcade Rose Room and the I.O.O.F. Temple, which are all memories of the past. We also had a quartet which added much to our Ceremonies and pleasure in the hour of refreshments.
The early minutes of the Lodge refer to the interest of the Lodge in sports. For several years, we sponsored a baseball team in the Hamilton Masonic League. W. Bro. Albert Woods will be remembered as a very capable pitcher. We also had a Five Pin Bowling League, which met at the Strand Bowling Lanes and interchanged visits with our brethren of Runnymede Lodge. Fishing parties organized by Wor. Bros. Frank Collier and Gordon Truscott will bring back happy memories to several brethren. Some of our members belonged to a Hunting Club which provided venison dinners at our earlier Installations.
These are memories of the past - we must look to the future. A bright new vista awaits us. We must all do our utmost toward the erection of a New Temple. Our splendid past with its deeds of dedication, its bright success, its noble aspirations, are but the foyer into what we believe will be a brilliant future. The Torch has been thrown to us. We in Ionic Lodge envisage a Rising Sun of Masonry, which will send its searching rays of Light and Luster, Joy and Hope, Confidence and Trust, Kindness and Brotherly Love, into every dark nook and lurking corner. Let us all endeavour to be worthy of our past. Remember the words of the philosopher who said "It is better to light a candle than to curse the Darkness. On June 30th, 2023, the leadership and members of Ionic Lodge No. 549 surrendered the charter to Grand Lodge.
Hamilton Masonic Center, 4 Queen Street South, Hamilton, Ontario