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ORIGINS

100th anniversary! - University Lodge celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2010.

University Masonic Lodge was formed in 1910 by 75 Masons who had a very close association with the University of Toronto being almost entirely members of the University Staff, Graduates and Students. Many were recognized leaders in their respective fields. The Charter Master, the Most Worshipful and Honourable Sir John Morrison Gibson, was the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, soon to be Knighted by the King, a lawyer and entrepreneur who 20 years earlier had served as the Grand Master of Ontario Freemasons. Through the years members of the Lodge have included Professors, Principals, Deans, two Presidents of the University, two Lieutenant Governors of Ontario, and a Minister of Education.

The history of University Lodge records that during the 1920`s an awards program was created that provided bursaries to needy Secondary School students. This program did not survive the great depression when organizations could scarcely pay their bills.


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In 1985 when the Lodge celebrated its 75th anniversary the members sought a project to mark the event in an outstanding manner. Realizing that little had been done to recognize its unique relation with the University of Toronto, the Anniversary Committee proposed that a special fund be created to provide annual awards to worthy and needy students. This would provide perpetual recognition and support to this great University to which the Lodge owed its name and so many of its members.

By chance, 1985 was also the year when our late Brother Harold Elder, a former graduate of the Faculty of Engineering, bequeathed a large sum for the purpose of providing awards to students of the University. The bulk of this was released to the Masonic Foundation of Ontario to increase their Bursary program while the amount of $5000 was retained for investment to provide an annual award of $500 under the direction of a new Lodge committee, The University Lodge 496 75th Anniversary Awards Committee.