Tofield, Alberta, Canada

On the evening of July 21st, 1909, the Masons resident in Tofield held a meeting to discuss forming a Masonic Lodge. These men were:

Alfred Fugl, Brittania Lodge #23 of Saskatchewan;
Charles Spilsted, Wellington Lodge #341 of England;
Charles Cress, Norwood Lodge #223 Canada;
James Hammond, Palestine Lodge #357 of Detroit;
James Letourneau, Warren Lodge #150 of Minnesota;
Clarence Jamieson, Fidelity Lodge #428 of Canada;
James Mafaffy, Pawnee Lodge #17, Oklahoma;
Alfred Schultz, Enterprise #332, Iowa.

As a result of this meeting and after the necessary correspondence between the Grand Lodge of Alberta and the petitioners, a dispensation was granted on September 23, 1909, on the recommendation of Camrose Lodge #37.

On October 13, 1909, Palestine Lodge #46 U.D. was instituted and the following officers were installed and invested:

Worshipful Master

A.F. Fugl

Senior Warden

C.H. Cress

Junior Warden

J.L. Hammond


J.A. Letrouneau

Senior Deacon

A.E. Campion

Junior Deacon

A.F. Schultz

Inner Guard

J.F. Mahaffy

Palestine Lodge #46 was named after Palestine Lodge #357 in Detroit which was Dr. J.L. Hammond's Mother Lodge.

At the time of Institution in 1909, Palestine Lodge in Detroit presented Palestine Lodge In Tofield with a lovely Lodge Bible.

As of 1968, Brother Hammond is the only surviving charter member. He now resides in California, but is still a member of Palestine Lodge. Brother Hammond has attended Lodge here on two occasions in the last eight years.

In the summer of 1910, fire destroyed the building in which the Lodge Hall was situated. Temporary quarters were used until the new Hall Block was completed.

On October 24, 1934 the 25th anniversary of Palestine Lodge was celebrated by a banquet at which over 130 guests were seated. The head table was decorated with yellow chrysanthemums sent by Palestine Lodge #357 of Detroit, Michigan. Sixteen Lodges were represent at the meeting which followed the banquet.

During the years of World War II, parcels were sent overseas, and financial support was given to the Victory Bond Campaigns, the Red Cross, and the I.O.D.E.

At present there are several second generation members of Palestine Lodge. These are Graham Allan, D Dodds, Thomas Jacobs, Arnold Swift, Douglas Murray, Malcolm Murray and Allan Maxwell.

In the Spring of 1955 the old United Church was purchased by the Lodge and after some renovations the first meeting was held in the new quarters on the 21st of June 1955.

In 1958 an addition was built to the Lodge Hall. Kitchen facilities and a new heating plant were added.

The 50th anniversary of Palestine Lodge was held on March 15, 1960, with several Grand Lodge officers present. A service on Thanksgiving for a half century of Freemasonry in Tofield was conducted by Rev. Brother Dr. E.J. Thompson, at that time, Principal of St. Stephen's College.

Brother Penman of Edmonton presented Palestine Lodge with three handmade, inlaid gavels which he had made from Oak from the old Hudson's Bay store in Edmonton.

In the course of fifty years' use, the Bible, which had been presented by Palestine Lodge #357 of Detroit, Michigan, had become rather shabby. So, Brother Bernie Brown, of Edmonton, had it recovered and it was presented anew by Brother D.W. Jacobs.

In the evening 175 guests were served a turkey Banquet by the ladies of Ionic Chapter of the O.E.S., thus bringing to a conclusion, a most successful 50th anniversary celebration.

Over the course of years several of the members have been appointed officers of the Grand Lodge of Alberta. These were:

A.J.H. McCauley

Grand Organist

T.P. Newbigging

District Deputy Grand Master

D.W. Jacobs

Grand Steward

T.W.A. Webb

District Deputy Grand Master

J.W. Chapman

District Deputy Grand Master

H.W. Lovell

District Deputy Grand Master

Rev. D.K. Allan

Grand Chaplain

W.A. Swift

District Deputy Grand Master

N. Phillips

Grand Steward

In 1968, Palestine Lodge A.F. & A.M. #46 was host to 274 Masons from many points in Alberta and beyond on Tuesday, April 16, on the occasion of the visit of a Masonic Degree Team, arranged by Corporal Roy Murray of Tofield, Worshipful Master of Palestine Lodge.

Preceding the meeting, which was held in the Tofield Community Centre, members of Ionic Chapter, O.E.S., served the guests a turkey banquet.

Seated at the head table and introduced by Bill Christensen, banquet chairman, were: Grand Master, Bernie Brown; Senior Grand Warden, Dr. P.J. Kendal; District Deputies, Cliff Jones, Edmonton, and Frank Rogers, Blindloss; Chairman of the Higher Education Bursary Fund, Ken Crockett; Captain of the visiting Degree Team; Stan Harbin; George Thiessen,Don Goss and K. Schroeder.

Following the banquet, the regular April meeting of Palestine Lodge was held, during which Harry Wilkie, John Wall and Floyd Irwin, all of Tofield, were received into Masonry.

Following a short business meeting, the chairs were turned over to the visiting degree team, who conducted the ceremony for Messrs. Wilkie, Wall and Irwin in a brilliant display which set a high standard for the work. Both visitors and members of Palestine Lodge were especially impressed with the crisp precision and perfection displayed by the highly-famed team, whose reputation had brought the large turn-out in the first place.

The guests represented 64 Alberta lodges, including 21 Edmonton lodges, two lodges in Ontario, and one lodge in each of British Columbia, Quebec and Saskatchewan.

As well as those Grand Lodge Officers introduced at the head table, there were present six Past District Deputies, two Past Grand Registrars; two other Past Grand Officers, 76 Past Masters, and 15 sitting Masters.

The register was signed by members from Calgary, Oyen, Mannville, Stettler, Cold Lake, Athabasca, Coronation, Westlock, Chauvin, Camrose, Vegreville, Tawatinaw, Edgerton, Sedgewick, Viking, Rimbey, Hughenden, Wetaskiwin, Wainwright, Whitecourt, Two Hills, Chinook, Castor, Alix, Blindloss, Lamont, Greisbach, Irma, Alliance, Forestburg, Holden, St. Paul and Edmonton, which sent 98 members.


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