Parthenon Lodge was chartered on January 19, 1872, by Most Worshipful Brother William Mercer Wilson, the first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario. The first meeting was held on January 24, 1872 in the Barfoot Building on Fifth Street, with 29 charter members in attendance.
The Lodge has occupied quarters in four different lodge rooms over the past 144 years:
1872 to 1905 in the Barfoot Building on Fifth Street; 1905 to 1930 in the Scane Block on King Street; 1930 to 1997 in the building now known as “Gentry Manor”; and since 1997 we have been at our present location of 430 Riverview Drive.
The “Minute Books” and “Roll Book” of Parthenon Lodge are completely intact back to the first meeting in 1872 and contain much interesting material and insight on our history.
It is not recorded as to how we came by the name of Parthenon Lodge; however, it is safe to assume that the name was derived from the wisest and most beautiful of all Grecian deities, “Athena Parthenos”; the Parthenon, the “Temple of Virgins”, was her temple.
During the periods following the two World Wars, membership in all Masonic Lodges exploded, and at various times, the membership of Parthenon Lodge exceeded three hundred members. Our current membership stands at 97, making Parthenon the largest of the 11 lodges in Chatham District.
There have been many notable members of Parthenon Lodge, including prominent business people, politicians, clergy, professionals and others, but it is important to remember that regardless of their backgrounds and achievements, the men who have joined Parthenon Lodge stand as equals in the eyes of God and of their peers.
In the General Charge given each year upon the Installation of new Officers, the following statement is made:
“If you see a man who quietly and modestly moves in the sphere of his life, who without blemish fulfills his duties as a man, a subject, a husband and a father…if you meet such a man, you will see the personification of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, and you will have found the ideal of a Freemason.”
These are the ideals to which we aspire as Masons.
The Grand Lodge of A.F. & A.M. of Canada in the Province of Ontario