Through donations, bequests, and fund raising activities, members and friends of University Lodge are proud supporters of the Educational Awards Fund, a registered charity that offers 4 annual merit awards:
An ad-hoc Awards Committee had been appointed by the Master, W.Bro. T.J. Soyka to investigate the variety of educational awards available from the several bodies of the Masonic Order and also the needs of the University of Toronto at that time. It was learned that most Masonic awards were given as bursaries to assist needy students yet the University of Toronto Director of Awards felt that an even greater need existed for Scholarships that would recognize academic achievement as these were in short supply in some Colleges and Faculties.
It was a unique co-incidence that the recently-formed Woodsworth College was suggested as the most appropriate situation for such a scholarship. Woodsworth College had been formed in the mid 1960s as the outgrowth of the former Department of Extension of the University and already had a connection with Freemasonry and with University Lodge. The Department was created in 1921 with Wm. James Dunlop, a teacher for the previous 11 years at the University of Toronto Schools, as its Director. By a further chance, Bro. Dunlop had joined University Lodge in 1914, was to serve as its Master in 1922, and as Grand Master of the Masons of Ontario in 1937-39. Throughout this 30 year period he continued to head up the Department of Extension, retiring in 1951 at age 68. But his achievements were far from complete. Within a few months he was made Minister of Education for Ontario, duly elected, and served this high office until his death in 1961..
What could be more fitting for our initial award than to honour the memory of so great a man and to be offered in the College founded on his lifetime of service! The Wm. James Dunlop Scholarship $500 was made in June 1986.
The Fund received a boost from a second generous but sad bequest. Brother Dr. Wolf D. Leers who suffered sudden death piloting an aircraft generously funded a medical sciences scholarship at the University where he served as a Professor of Medicine. This second scholarship was given in New College in his memory. The award was made in July 1989.
In 1991 University Lodge was honoured by having another of its members become Grand Master. M.W.Bro. Norman E. Byrne was initiated in 1950 into University Lodge. In 1992, to mark his election as Grand Master, the Lodge created its third award. With the support of the Masons of Ontario, a new scholarship in his name was first given in 1995.
In 2005, the trustees established the James F. Johnson Masonic Award at OIKE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education) at University of Toronto. V.W. Bro Johnson was accomplished Mason, musician and for many years Master of the Toronto Teachers College, which later became the Lakeshore Teachers College.
It is with considerable pride of success that we have watched the initial 1985 bequest of $5000 increase considerably until today. To achieve this splendid increase in invested capital, we have received hundreds of donations and have given out close to $50,000 in awards.
All of this has been possible only because of the very strong support by members and friends of University Lodge. We hope to continue to expand so we may provide further awards in other Colleges and Faculties of the University and in time to all the Universities of Toronto.
A donation to the Awards Fund may be made at any time of the year and the donor will receive a tax-deductible receipt. A donation made in memory of a deceased person will be reported to the family of the departed.
Bequests are appreciated and it is important when making a Will that they be directed to this Fund rather than to the Lodge for general use. We are proud to report that 100% of donations have gone to providing awards as all administrative costs have been covered by the pleasure of the Trustees.
To contribute to the Foundation, donations can be sent to the UNIVERSITY LODGE 496 EDUCATIONAL AWARDS FUND, to the attention of W. Bro. Manoj J. Dave, 17 Kentish Crescent, Scarborough, ON, M1S 2Z3.