Stoney Creek Masons have heavenly new home

News Mar 01, 2020 by Mike Pearson Stoney Creek News

The Stoney Creek Masonic Hall has a new home.

Wentworth Lodge No. 166 has had a presence in Stoney Creek since 1864. Over the years, the group has met at the former Millen general store, the Chestnut Tree building and the Milmine building on King Street in Olde Town Stoney Creek, among other local historic venues.

The Masonic lodge’s fifth location opened in 1957 at 19 Dawson Ave., right across the street from what was then the Stoney Creek Dairy. At the time, Stoney Creek Dairy owner George Dawson was also a Masonic lodge member. Back then, no one thought a parking lot was necessary, as the dairy property could provide ample parking for meetings and private event rentals at the hall.

But all good things must end, and eventually the gentleman’s agreement with the dairy ceased when the property was redeveloped for Amica at their Stoney Creek seniors community.

That, along with other building issues such as accessibility requirements, left local Masons with a conundrum.

As Worshipful Grandmaster Brian Muir explained, a solution was just down the street.

“We put our heads together to try and figure out a new solution for a Masonic facility in the Stoney Creek area. We heard of the challenges Stoney Creek United Church had faced. So we began talking to them,” said Muir.

Today, Wentworth Lodge No. 166 is among the anchor tenants at Bell Tower Place, a new community hub at Stoney Creek United Church. Wentworth Lodge’s membership currently stands at 120.

The Masons signed a 10-year lease agreement and now meet in the church’s historic original chapel. Their first meeting at the new site was on Jan. 21.

“We would have had challenges with our membership if we moved out of Stoney Creek,” Muir noted. “It would have been difficult. But I think by staying in Stoney Creek, we achieved a goal of our membership staying in the community. And also, it helps tremendously (with) Stoney Creek United Church.”

Doug Caldwell, chair of the church board at Stoney Creek United Church and a member of the building management group at Bell Tower Place, said many churches across Ontario are offering surplus spaces for use as community hubs. The Stoney Creek United Church building was listed for sale in 2018, but was later taken off the market in order to create the community hub, which consists of a diverse group of renters offering a range of programs and services. Bell Tower Place was selected by the church congregation as the name of the community hub.

In a presentation to the Olde Town Stoney Creek Community Association, Caldwell said a recent study shows thousands of churches in Canada will close over the next 10 years.

“The idea of a community hub – all over Ontario, churches don’t need to use all of their space,” said Caldwell. “We didn’t want to move and we’re not moving. So we need to share the space and share the burden of the space.”

Caldwell said Stoney Creek United Church reached out to community leaders to find alternate uses for surplus church space.

“The Masons came to us because they were across from what was Stoney Creek Dairy and it became impossible to continue operating there,” Caldwell said.

Thanks to rental income from the Masons and several other community groups, the church is getting a much-needed roof renovation.

“The roof is being fixed,” said Caldwell.

Meanwhile, the old Masonic Hall has been sold and some interior remodelling has been completed at the new hall.

Les Vass, Immediate Past District Deputy Grandmaster, spearheaded the work. It included new paint and some electrical and lighting upgrades. Church pews were reconfigured. Historic paintings and other artifacts adorn the walls, including portraits of former grandmasters such as Erland Lee, who was once a District Deputy Grandmaster.

Before the deal closed on the sale of 19 Dawson, a group of Masons recovered the cornerstone and a small time capsule from 1957. Artifacts included the first summons for the investiture of new officers at 19 Dawson, a Grand Lodge bulletin, copies of the Stoney Creek News and Hamilton Spectator (both were five cents back then), a pocket watch and a 1950 nickel.

The Masons meet regularly on the third Tuesday of each month, excluding July and August. The group quietly supports a variety of charitable initiatives, such as blood donor drives, guide dog programs and CityKidz Hamilton.

The men’s organization is open to members 21 and older who meet the qualifications and standards of character and reputation, who are of good moral character, and who believe in the existence of a Supreme Being. It is not a religious organization; membership is open to any faith background.

“We reward virtue and punish vice,” explained Norm Lampman, Wentworth Lodge chaplain.

For more information, see http://www.hamiltonmasons.com/.


STORY BEHIND THE STORY:

After hearing about the sale of the former Masonic hall building, we wanted to find out why the Masons relocated and how the move is helping the Masons and Stoney Creek United Church.

Stoney Creek Masons have heavenly new home

Masonic hall relocates to Bell Tower Place at Stoney Creek United Church

News Mar 01, 2020 by Mike Pearson Stoney Creek News

The Stoney Creek Masonic Hall has a new home.

Wentworth Lodge No. 166 has had a presence in Stoney Creek since 1864. Over the years, the group has met at the former Millen general store, the Chestnut Tree building and the Milmine building on King Street in Olde Town Stoney Creek, among other local historic venues.

The Masonic lodge’s fifth location opened in 1957 at 19 Dawson Ave., right across the street from what was then the Stoney Creek Dairy. At the time, Stoney Creek Dairy owner George Dawson was also a Masonic lodge member. Back then, no one thought a parking lot was necessary, as the dairy property could provide ample parking for meetings and private event rentals at the hall.

But all good things must end, and eventually the gentleman’s agreement with the dairy ceased when the property was redeveloped for Amica at their Stoney Creek seniors community.

That, along with other building issues such as accessibility requirements, left local Masons with a conundrum.

As Worshipful Grandmaster Brian Muir explained, a solution was just down the street.

“We put our heads together to try and figure out a new solution for a Masonic facility in the Stoney Creek area. We heard of the challenges Stoney Creek United Church had faced. So we began talking to them,” said Muir.

Today, Wentworth Lodge No. 166 is among the anchor tenants at Bell Tower Place, a new community hub at Stoney Creek United Church. Wentworth Lodge’s membership currently stands at 120.

The Masons signed a 10-year lease agreement and now meet in the church’s historic original chapel. Their first meeting at the new site was on Jan. 21.

“We would have had challenges with our membership if we moved out of Stoney Creek,” Muir noted. “It would have been difficult. But I think by staying in Stoney Creek, we achieved a goal of our membership staying in the community. And also, it helps tremendously (with) Stoney Creek United Church.”

Doug Caldwell, chair of the church board at Stoney Creek United Church and a member of the building management group at Bell Tower Place, said many churches across Ontario are offering surplus spaces for use as community hubs. The Stoney Creek United Church building was listed for sale in 2018, but was later taken off the market in order to create the community hub, which consists of a diverse group of renters offering a range of programs and services. Bell Tower Place was selected by the church congregation as the name of the community hub.

In a presentation to the Olde Town Stoney Creek Community Association, Caldwell said a recent study shows thousands of churches in Canada will close over the next 10 years.

“The idea of a community hub – all over Ontario, churches don’t need to use all of their space,” said Caldwell. “We didn’t want to move and we’re not moving. So we need to share the space and share the burden of the space.”

Caldwell said Stoney Creek United Church reached out to community leaders to find alternate uses for surplus church space.

“The Masons came to us because they were across from what was Stoney Creek Dairy and it became impossible to continue operating there,” Caldwell said.

Thanks to rental income from the Masons and several other community groups, the church is getting a much-needed roof renovation.

“The roof is being fixed,” said Caldwell.

Meanwhile, the old Masonic Hall has been sold and some interior remodelling has been completed at the new hall.

Les Vass, Immediate Past District Deputy Grandmaster, spearheaded the work. It included new paint and some electrical and lighting upgrades. Church pews were reconfigured. Historic paintings and other artifacts adorn the walls, including portraits of former grandmasters such as Erland Lee, who was once a District Deputy Grandmaster.

Before the deal closed on the sale of 19 Dawson, a group of Masons recovered the cornerstone and a small time capsule from 1957. Artifacts included the first summons for the investiture of new officers at 19 Dawson, a Grand Lodge bulletin, copies of the Stoney Creek News and Hamilton Spectator (both were five cents back then), a pocket watch and a 1950 nickel.

The Masons meet regularly on the third Tuesday of each month, excluding July and August. The group quietly supports a variety of charitable initiatives, such as blood donor drives, guide dog programs and CityKidz Hamilton.

The men’s organization is open to members 21 and older who meet the qualifications and standards of character and reputation, who are of good moral character, and who believe in the existence of a Supreme Being. It is not a religious organization; membership is open to any faith background.

“We reward virtue and punish vice,” explained Norm Lampman, Wentworth Lodge chaplain.

For more information, see http://www.hamiltonmasons.com/.


STORY BEHIND THE STORY:

After hearing about the sale of the former Masonic hall building, we wanted to find out why the Masons relocated and how the move is helping the Masons and Stoney Creek United Church.

Stoney Creek Masons have heavenly new home

Masonic hall relocates to Bell Tower Place at Stoney Creek United Church

News Mar 01, 2020 by Mike Pearson Stoney Creek News

The Stoney Creek Masonic Hall has a new home.

Wentworth Lodge No. 166 has had a presence in Stoney Creek since 1864. Over the years, the group has met at the former Millen general store, the Chestnut Tree building and the Milmine building on King Street in Olde Town Stoney Creek, among other local historic venues.

The Masonic lodge’s fifth location opened in 1957 at 19 Dawson Ave., right across the street from what was then the Stoney Creek Dairy. At the time, Stoney Creek Dairy owner George Dawson was also a Masonic lodge member. Back then, no one thought a parking lot was necessary, as the dairy property could provide ample parking for meetings and private event rentals at the hall.

But all good things must end, and eventually the gentleman’s agreement with the dairy ceased when the property was redeveloped for Amica at their Stoney Creek seniors community.

That, along with other building issues such as accessibility requirements, left local Masons with a conundrum.

As Worshipful Grandmaster Brian Muir explained, a solution was just down the street.

“We put our heads together to try and figure out a new solution for a Masonic facility in the Stoney Creek area. We heard of the challenges Stoney Creek United Church had faced. So we began talking to them,” said Muir.

Today, Wentworth Lodge No. 166 is among the anchor tenants at Bell Tower Place, a new community hub at Stoney Creek United Church. Wentworth Lodge’s membership currently stands at 120.

The Masons signed a 10-year lease agreement and now meet in the church’s historic original chapel. Their first meeting at the new site was on Jan. 21.

“We would have had challenges with our membership if we moved out of Stoney Creek,” Muir noted. “It would have been difficult. But I think by staying in Stoney Creek, we achieved a goal of our membership staying in the community. And also, it helps tremendously (with) Stoney Creek United Church.”

Doug Caldwell, chair of the church board at Stoney Creek United Church and a member of the building management group at Bell Tower Place, said many churches across Ontario are offering surplus spaces for use as community hubs. The Stoney Creek United Church building was listed for sale in 2018, but was later taken off the market in order to create the community hub, which consists of a diverse group of renters offering a range of programs and services. Bell Tower Place was selected by the church congregation as the name of the community hub.

In a presentation to the Olde Town Stoney Creek Community Association, Caldwell said a recent study shows thousands of churches in Canada will close over the next 10 years.

“The idea of a community hub – all over Ontario, churches don’t need to use all of their space,” said Caldwell. “We didn’t want to move and we’re not moving. So we need to share the space and share the burden of the space.”

Caldwell said Stoney Creek United Church reached out to community leaders to find alternate uses for surplus church space.

“The Masons came to us because they were across from what was Stoney Creek Dairy and it became impossible to continue operating there,” Caldwell said.

Thanks to rental income from the Masons and several other community groups, the church is getting a much-needed roof renovation.

“The roof is being fixed,” said Caldwell.

Meanwhile, the old Masonic Hall has been sold and some interior remodelling has been completed at the new hall.

Les Vass, Immediate Past District Deputy Grandmaster, spearheaded the work. It included new paint and some electrical and lighting upgrades. Church pews were reconfigured. Historic paintings and other artifacts adorn the walls, including portraits of former grandmasters such as Erland Lee, who was once a District Deputy Grandmaster.

Before the deal closed on the sale of 19 Dawson, a group of Masons recovered the cornerstone and a small time capsule from 1957. Artifacts included the first summons for the investiture of new officers at 19 Dawson, a Grand Lodge bulletin, copies of the Stoney Creek News and Hamilton Spectator (both were five cents back then), a pocket watch and a 1950 nickel.

The Masons meet regularly on the third Tuesday of each month, excluding July and August. The group quietly supports a variety of charitable initiatives, such as blood donor drives, guide dog programs and CityKidz Hamilton.

The men’s organization is open to members 21 and older who meet the qualifications and standards of character and reputation, who are of good moral character, and who believe in the existence of a Supreme Being. It is not a religious organization; membership is open to any faith background.

“We reward virtue and punish vice,” explained Norm Lampman, Wentworth Lodge chaplain.

For more information, see http://www.hamiltonmasons.com/.


STORY BEHIND THE STORY:

After hearing about the sale of the former Masonic hall building, we wanted to find out why the Masons relocated and how the move is helping the Masons and Stoney Creek United Church.