The History of Unity Lodge 710
The start of Unity Lodge 710 in Brampton, Ont. began in 1962/63 when Nortel Networks transferred 25 Masons to their new facilities at 8200 Dixie Rd., Bramalea from Montreal, Quebec. These 25 Masons represented 21 lodges mostly registered under the G.L.Q., the exception being St,Georges 440,G.L.E.

W. Bro. Vern Davie, with the help of W. Bro. Gord Shaw, canvassed these masons during the early part of 1963 to attend a meeting at his home in Brampton to discuss the future of their Masonic interests. There were several meetings held over the next few months and the options discussed were:

1. To affiliate with lodges such as Ionic 229 or Flower City 689.
2. Apply to G.L.Q. for a Charter to start a new lodge in Brampton.

Wor. Bro. Stan Creeggan who had joined us as a result of his transfer by N.T. to the Dixie Rd. facilities from Bellville, explained that a lodge registered under any other Grand Lodge would be considered clandestine. Ionic and Flower City Lodges were approached by our steering committee on the subject of affiliation and although Flower City Lodge was a young lodge at the time, their response was not too receptive because of the large number of Affiliates and from another Masonic Jurisdiction which practiced a different type of ritual.

Rt. Wor. Bro. Archie Campbell, DDGM, met with our delegation during the summer of 1963 and suggested a new lodge could be supported in Brampton as a result of the rapid population growth in this area. From this announcement another 15 masons from the area as well as 2 masons hailing from the G.L. of Scotland joined the 25 from Quebec to increase the Charter membership roll to 42 for this new lodge.

The next step was to find a suitable name and corresponding emblem that depicted the make-up of this new lodge. I was asked to chair a committee consisting of Ben Young, Neil Wilkinson and Bob Tate to submit suggestions and drawings for such an emblem. After many meetings it was agreed to submit the name “UNITY” because there were but four Masonic Jurisdictions, GLE., GLS., GLQ., and GLC. In Ont., that the Charter Members hailed from. It was also our view to incorporate “Clasp Hands” as the focal point of our emblem to represent the joining of the GLQ with the GLC. in the formation of Unity Lodge. The recommendations were overwhelmingly accepted and the committee discharged with thanks.

The Institution Ceremony of Unity Lodge [U.D] G.R.C. A.F & A.M. was held on Thursday, January 2nd.,1964, at the Brampton Masonic Temple,10 Main St. South, Brampton, Ontario. The following Officers were selected to serve a two year term:

W.M. W. Bro. Gordon Kearns
I. P. M. W. Bro. Stan Creeggan
S. W. W. Bro. Vern Davey
J. W. Bro. Christopher Gibson
Chaplain Bro. John R. Jones
Treasurer Bro. Brien Damrell
Secretary Bro. Jacques Lachapelle
S. D. Bro. Donald MacKenzie
J. D. Bro. Herbert Howell
I. G. Bro. John B Young
D. of C. Bro. Milt Williamson
S. S. Bro. Robert Tobin
J. S. Bro. Neil Wilkinson
Organist W. Bro.Gordon Shaw
Tyler Bro. John C.Bennet

During this first year under dispensation the lodge was very busy , initiating 8 candidates and accepting 5 masons by Affiliation. At each meeting we welcomed large delegations of Grand Lodge Officers and members from lodges within District 1 as well as general visitors from outside the district. Throughout this early period numerous workshops and practices with ‘dummy’ candidates in the lodge room were held in order to master the variations in rituals as well as lectures for all degrees. Most of these early candidates received their degrees with a mixed ritual that varied between Emulation of Quebec and Canadian in Ontario. This became the main subject of discussion during the hour of refreshment, with warnings that a continuous usage of anything other than the ritual written by Grand Lodge would not be tolerated.
It was shortly after the 1964 Annual Communication of Grand Lodge that Rt. Wor. Bro. George McGee DDGM. called an emergent meeting with all the officers at the Brampton Temple on a Sunday afternoon to announce that our Charter would be revoked by Grand Lodge if the “Work” did not improve to meet GRC standards. This announcement did not sit well since our efforts to learn were not being considered under our circumstances. Both Wor. Bros. Gord Kearns and Stan Creeggan argued in our defence that more time was needed considering the short time we had been in office and having to relearn ‘letter perfect’ the degree work. That if this proved unsatisfactory to Grand Lodge then the officers would take their demit.

The following week a meeting was called by Wor. Bro. Kearns and R.Wor. Bro. G. McGee announced that Grand Lodge had listen and granted more time to learn the Work. The officers pledged their support to the Canadian ritual and promised that Unity Lodge 710 would be a model for the Work in District 1. This was accomplished as attested by the report each subsequent DDGM submitted to Grand Lodge thereafter. Note: It is my honest opinion that as I re-visit Unity Lodge and observe the Work , the quality and sincerity prevails for the benefit of the candidate as it was pledged 40 years ago.

The Constituting and Consecrating Ceremonies held Saturday October 24th.1964. The ceremony was conducted by Most Wor. Bro. J.A. Irvine, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge A.F & A.M. of Canada in the Province of Ontario. Special guests were Most Wor. Bro. S.L. Hodge, Grand Master A.F. & A.M. of Quebec and Most Wor. Bro. J. Marshall, P.G.M. Grand Secretary G.L. Que.

Submitted by
V.W.Bro. Don MacKenzie, PGS.