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Fidelity Lodge #113 F&AM

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HISTORY OF FIDELITY LODGE

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1883 to 1887

Lodge business from 1882 in Ryerson Hall prospered mildly, but not flourishingly. Furniture and equipment were bought on credit and paid for with money derived from lectures, picnics, and entertainments. During this period W.Bro. George Morrison, who was raised December 22, 1871, was Master for five consecutive years. It was only through his courage and ardent devotion to the Craft that the Lodge survived at all during this period. In 1885 Bro. Richard Johns, a charter member, demitted. At the end of the year 1882 Fidelity's membership was 22. This increased to only 25 during the five years W. Bro. Morrison was Master.

1888 to 1889

In 1888 a circumstance occurred that was to have a profound effect upon Fidelity Lodge for the next fifty years or more. William J. Tonkin, a young man destined to become one of Fidelity's most devoted sons, applied for membership. Brother Tonkin was raised April 12, 1889, when W.Bro. Edmund A. Stansfield was serving his second term as Master. Immediately after he was raised Bro. Tonkin was placed on a committee and from that date until his death there was never a time when he was not actively serving Fidelity, his church or some civic affair. Bro. Tonkin received an appointive office almost as soon as he was raised and assiduously devoted himself to gaining proficiency in Masonic work. Then, as during his entire life, he was vigorously interested in all things Masonic.

1890 to 1899

Beginning with the year 1890, W. Bro. Abram Hengeveld, Jr. was Master for three consecutive years. Seven candidates were raised during this period. W. Bro. David P. Pulis, Master in 1893, had the doubtful honor of guiding Fidelity's fortunes through the beginning of another great depression. In 1893 and 1894, when W. Bro. William Holcomb was Master, there were no additions to membership and the lodge was in a bad way financially and so were it subtenants. Toward the end of 1894 conditions improved somewhat.

In 1895, under the leadership of W.Bro. George Cook, four new members were raised and the Royal Arcanum became subtenants. This was a small gain but it marked the beginning of an upswing in the fortunes of Fidelity Lodge after what might be termed a Masonic depression of twenty years.

W.Bro. William J. Tonkin became Master in 1896 and he, with W.Bro. George Cook, persuaded the brethren to subscribe for new carpet and lodge furniture. Three new members were added in 1897 when W.Bro. George M. Ockford was Master.

In 1898 and 1899 W. Bro. John R. Stevens was Master and eleven new members joined the lodge, among them was Bro. Harry Rouclere, the great magician. At the close of 1899, the first 29 years of Fidelity's existence the membership totaled 35.

continued on next page

PAGES IN OUR HISTORY
INTRO/CONTENTS | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
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