Freemasonry is the oldest fraternity in the world. No one knows just how old it is because the actual origins have been lost in time. Probably, it arose from the guilds of stonemasons who built the castles and cathedrals of the Middle Ages. Possibly, they were influenced by the Knights Templar, a group of Christian warrior monks formed in 1118 to help protect pilgrims making trips to the Holy Land.
In 1717, Masonry created a formal organization in England when the first Grand Lodge was formed. A Grand Lodge is the administrative body in charge of Masonry in some geographical area. In Canada, there is a Grand Lodge in each province. Local organizations of Masons are called lodges. There are lodges in most towns, and large cities usually have several. There are about 1,300 lodges in Canada with over 80,000 members.
History of FHKG
History of Foothills
The first meeting between Foothills and Kelvingrove Lodge took place on 18 January, 2007. This meeting started the Amalgamation process between the two York Rite lodges.
On March 1, 2007 during Foothills Regular Business Meeting, the members in attendance voted on the resolution to Amalgamation Kelvingrove Lodge #187 and Foothills Lodge #174.
On March 14, 2007 during Kelvingrove Regular Business Meeting, the members in attendance voted on the resolution to Amalgamation Kelvingrove Lodge #187 and Foothills Lodge #174.
On May 26, 2007 the Amalgamation Ceremony, elections and investiture of the Officers was performed.
In 1956 across the Bow River, west on the south hill, Foothills came into being. It was to find a home in St. Mark's Masonic Hall. Foothills Lodge No. 174 was instituted on April 13, 1956 and constituted on October 23, 1957. M.W. Bro. W. L. McPhee, P.G.M another well known Masonic figure in this jurisdiction and, at times, Chairman of the Grand Lodge Finance Committee, was elected as honorary Past Master of Foothills Lodge.
"Many drops form a trickle. Many, many trickles are required to form a stream. Each plays its part. So to with the formation of Foothills Lodge."
The desire frequently felt by unaffiliated brethren to form a new Lodge went unexpressed until early in 1956 when W.Bro. Charles P. Blacklee, a Past Master from Medicine Hat Lodge No. 2, caught the vision of a York Rite Lodge being established in the Southwest Section of Calgary. On March 4th, 1956 several brethren under the Chairmanship of W. Bro. C.P. Blackee met and decided to proceed with the organization of a new Lodge. Two weeks later, on March 18th, twenty nine of the Craft met in the banquets room of the Central Masonic Hall and submitted plans for the formation of a Lodge and "Foothills" was chosen as the most approbate name; Calgary being the "Foothills City".
A petition for dispensation bearing the signatures of forty Master Masons was completed and presented to R.W.Bro. E.H. Rivers, Grand Secretary, to receive the approval of the Most Worshipful Grand Master, M.W. Bro. S. Carl. Heckbert Grand Master issued the dispensation.
The ceremony of Institution took place in St. Marks Masonic Hall, Calgary, Alberta, on Friday April 13th, 1956 and was conducted by our Grand Master, M.W.Bro.S. Carl Heckbert, assisted by R.W.Bro. W. Lloyd McPhee, DDGM and other Grand Lodge Officers.
Following a period of successful operations, the new Lodge was formally consecrated on Wednesday, October 23rd, 1957. The Lodge was denominated Foothills Lodge and numbered 174 on the register of the Grand Lodge of Alberta. The Ceremony of Consecration being held in Al Azhard Temple, Calgary. It was presided over by M.W. Bro. S.G. Bannan, Grand Master capably assisted by R.W. Bro Canon W.H. Morgan, Grand Chaplain, and the Worshipful Master of the Thirteen Calgary Lodges. The Ceremony of Installation of the officers, elected and appointed, was under the direction of R.W. Bro. E.H. Rivers, Grand Secretary.
History of Kelvingrove
In the early 1960s the City of Calgary continued to expand southward with new residential subdivisions springing forth. The Chinook Shopping Centre had just opened and a need was identified for a York Rite Lodge for the Southwest. In response to an invitation in the Calgary Herald seventeen interested Masons attended a meeting in Meadowlark Community Hall on, November 18, 1962.
It was proposed that if a new Lodge was formed, it would meet on the Second & Fourth Wednesdays.
At the third formational meeting the name Kelvingrove Lodge was selected in part because of the new subdivision Kelvin Grove was being developed in the southwest. The other reason was Brother Frew, the Lodge’s first Worshipful Master had lived in the Kelvingrove district of Glasgow, Scotland and his home overlooked the famous Kelvingrove Park in the west end of the city. The park is praised in Scottish song and stories for its scenic beauty and the River Kelvin runs through that Park near the University of Glasgow, and Anderson School of Medicine. William Thomson formulated the principle of refrigeration in Glasgow and his refrigerator was known as the “Kelvinator.” Thomson was an electrical engineer who was also in charge of laying the first Trans Atlantic telecommunications cable in 1866.
In keeping with the Scottish Theme, the new Lodge adopted the Motto “Shall Brothers Be” and was taken from one of the poems of Scotland’s National Bard, Brother Robert Burns:
“When Man to Man the World O’er
Shall Brothers be for A’ That”
The Ceremony of Institution and Appointment of Officers was held by Most Worshipful Brother Lloyd McPhee with 31 Charter members present in the Meadowlark Park Community Hall on April 24, 1963. (44 years ago).
It’s signature tune the Scottish song “Let Us Haste to Kelvingrove” and the Grand Master commented “I trust that you will always find the welcome here so warm that will always haste to Kelvingrove Lodge as often as you can.
Kelvingrove’s First Worshipful Master was WBro. James Frew who had emigrated from Scotland in 1955. During the first Masonic Year, six Entered Apprentices were initiated and nine Master Masons raised.
Grand lodge’s Constitution and Consecration Ceremonies including Installation of Officers was held on Saturday, September 12, 1964 by Grand Master MWBro. Collette and Grand Secretary RWBro. Rivers.
In his address during this Consecration Ceremony, M.W. Bro. Samuel H. Hardin offered:
“We all hope and trust that Kelvingrove Lodge No. 187 will go from
strength to strength and justify Grand Lodge’s faith in the Brethren.”
The 31 charter members came from diverse Masonic backgrounds including: Mt. Lebanon, Jubilee & Perfection Lodges Calgary; Airdrie & Dundee Lodges, Scotland; Royal Standard Lodge, Halifax; High River, Stavely, Diamond City, Oyen, Barrhead, Blairmore, Ivanhoe, Medicine Hat; Rocky Mountain House, and Edmonton Lodges; Lebanon, Alsask, Wakaw, Victory & Verdun SK; St. John’s NB;, Vancouver, Columbia and South Burnaby Lodges, BC; Stony Creek & Kirkland Lake, ON; and Inkerman Lodge, Australia.
During the year following, members made some items of lodge furnishings while necessary regalia were purchased. Other Calgary Lodges made presentations of certain regalia including Holy Bible, square and compasses, working tools, and a set of officer mallets; which were all gratefully received by Kelvingrove Lodge.