ST. ALBANS LODGE AF&AM #200 GRC
St Albans Lodge U.D. #200 Mount Forest held its first meeting on April 3, 1868 it was originally placed in Huron District, but switched to Wellington District in1869 and became part of Grey District in 1916.
The original, name of the town was Maitland Hills. The town was established in 1837 and when it was found out that the town was not on the Maitland River but on the Saugeen River the town was re-named Mount Forest in 1853. There was a large Irish immigrant population in the area as well as a large population of Scottish and English. There were 10 hotels, eight churches and 18 stores to service the population.
On February 29 1868 the Grand Master, William Mercer Wilson issued a charter for a Masonic Lodge for the town of Mount Forest. The Worshipful Master was W.W. Winfield who served 4 times as Master. W.B. Winfield was a publisher and started the Mount Forest Confederate paper that is still being published today.
In the first 13 years of the lodge the Masters were a combination of Ministers, Doctors, Publishers and Industrialists who all worked and established the churches, factories and medical services in the town. The town had also established a police service and over years many of the police officers were Masons. In the 1970’s there were five officers 4 of whom were Masons and 1 officer was a Knight of Columbus. In later years an Odd Fellows Lodge was established.
The first established meeting was held April 33rd, 1868, in a room on the third floor of one of the Main Street stores and remained there for almost 100 years. Meetings were held on the first Friday after the full moon.
When the Brethren came to Lodge they travelled into town by carriage and stayed at one of the many Inns and went to Lodge with their town brothers, carrying the food and dishes to the third floor for the banquet and then carried them out for cleaning after Lodge was completed. In 1960 the Brethren of the lodge built the present building where we now meet.
The area around Mt. Forest was originally populated primarily by people from England, Scotland and Ireland. When it came time to name the Lodge and the town not yet being incorporated the members picked a name to honour a Patron Saint and picked the name of the first Patron Saint of England, St. Alban.
The following members of Saint Albans Lodge #200 served as District Deputy Grand Lodge officers of Grey District:
1936 – R.W. Brother Ivan G. Chalmers, 1950 –R.W. Brother Wm. Coupar,
1961 – R.W. Brother R. E. Davies, 1972 – R.W. Brother J.D. Lemaich,
1984 – R.W. Brother R.J. Lemaich, 1996 – R.W. Brother Robert J. Leith,
2008 – R.W. Brother Merlyn J. Nicholson