DUNDALK LODGE AF & AM #449 GRC
Dundalk Lodge #449 was organized on May 24, 1901 and was placed in Georgian District. It became part of Georgian District 9A in 1912 where it remained until becoming part of Grey District upon its formation in 1916.
The first Lodge room was located what is now known as Dundalk variety Store on Main Street East in Dundalk. In 1923 the meeting place was relocated to its present location at 54 Proton Street in Dundalk. The Lodge purchased the building in 1968.
A review of the minutes of the early years of Dundalk Lodge reveals that most meetings were attended by a large number of visitors, often travelling a considerable distance. The first degree work was an Entered Apprentice degree conferred on Brother Maxwell on October 23, 1901. An Emergent Meeting was held October 31, 1902 for the dedication of Dundalk Lodge at which 28 Grand Lodge Officers and visitors joined with Dundalk brethren in celebration.
At the Lodge Meeting held October 29, 1906, the Worshipful Master ruled it was not right to show the meeting summons to “outsiders.” The meeting of April 29, 1912 the lodge was “closed in harmony in the third, second and first degrees at 12:55 a.m. after conducting a Board of Trial, an initiation, and the conferring of the third degree on three candidates.”
Dundalk Lodge flourished in the early years. However, the Lodge faced various challenges when one Master became a non-resident and only attended two meetings during his term of office. The membership declined to as few as seven members. Upon enquiry the Grand M aster was advised by the Secretary of the Lodge that throughout his term “the Lodge held properly constituted meetings each month and that a Past Master presided at every meeting and saw that Masonry suffered no loss.”
Whatever the problems were at Dundalk Lodge, the situation was reversed following the installation of a new Master and the investiture of a new slate of officers at an Emergent Meeting held in January 1911. The Lodge blossomed during the 1920’s and 1930’s with applications for initiation being received at most regular meetings. Frequently more than one degree was conferred at each regular meeting.
It is recorded that a member of the Lodge prior to his death in 1920, wrote to the officers and brethren stating that although being able to provide for the day to day necessities, it would be necessary to look to his brethren for assistance for his funeral as well as his widow’s needs after his death. The Lodge arranged for his burial with Masonic honours at the cemetery he had selected. At the next regular meeting following his death a committee was struck to meet with his widow and ensure that her needs were satisfied with the assistance of the brethren. This event was a clear example of Masonry at work.
.A revered member of the Lodge, Brother Emerson Ludlow was the recipient of the William Mercer Wilson Medal in 1991in recognition of his devotion as Secretary of Dundalk Lodge #449 for 25 years and for many years of community service as a volunteer with several organizations in Dundalk.
The following members of Dundalk Lodge #449 served as District Deputy Grand Masters of Grey District:
1923 – R.W. Brother W.G. Blackwell, 1952 – R.W. Brother S.C. Sudden,
1964 – R.W. Brother Leslie O. Moore, 1974 – R.W. Brother D.E. Ritchie,
1986 – R.W. Brother Bruce Dobson, 1998 – R.W. Brother Barry Seely,
2009 – R.W. Brother Jack Watkin