Inside Windsor Lodge Blue Room

History of

Windsor Lodge 403

To your enemy, forgiveness.

To an opponent, tolerance.

To a friend, your heart.

To a customer, service.

To all men, charity.

To every child, a good example.

To yourself, respect.

Where We Started

Back around the year 1882, several of the Masonic Brethren in Windsor conceived the idea of forming another lodge in this locality and in consequence, petitioned Great Western Lodge, which was the only lodge in Windsor at that time for permission to do so.

Heading this group of Masons was our Late Brother George E. Copeland, founder of Copeland's Book Store, which still carries his name. Great Western Lodge granted permission and this was forwarded to Grand Lodge for approval. On July 13, 1883, at their annual convocation of the Grand lodge of Canada, a motion was passed to authorize the organizing under dispensation of Windsor Lodge. The following year at the next annual convocation of July 9th, 1884, the charter was granted.

Windsor Lodge No. 403 was instituted and dedicated on August 13, 1884.

The first meeting of Windsor Lodge No. 403 was held September 12, 1883 in the lodge rooms in the White Block. The White Block was located about the middle of the first block west of Ouellette Avenue and what is now known as Riverside Drive West.

The Lodge rooms were later moved to the Davis Block which was located about the middle of the first block east of Ouellette Avenue on Riverside Drive East. This was the location of the Windsor Theater and is now occupied by the Smith Auditorium. Later again, the lodge rooms were moved to our present location.

This is a partial copy of the history of Windsor Lodge by persons unknown and printed as a booklet for the 1958, 75th Anniversary Celebration.

Land Acknowledgement

We are on land and surrounded by water, originally inhabited by Indigenous Peoples who have traveled this area since time immemorial. This territory is within the lands honoured by the Wampum Treaties; agreements between the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Lenni Lenape and allied Nations to peacefully share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. Specifically, we would like to acknowledge the presence of the Three Fires Confederacy (Ojibwe, Odawa, Potawatomi) and Huron/Wendat Peoples. We are dedicated to honouring Indigenous history and culture while remaining committed to moving forward respectfully with all First Nations, Inuit, and Métis

Nous reconnaissons que nous sommes sur terre et entourés d`'eau, habités à l`'origine par des peuples autochtones qui ont parcouru cette région depuis des temps immémoriaux. Ce territoire fait partie des terres honorées par les traités Wampum ; accords entre les Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Lenni Lenape et leurs alliés Nations Unies à partager pacifiquement et à prendre soin des ressources autour des Grands Lacs. Plus précisément, nous tenons à souligner la présence de la Confédération des Trois Feux (Ojibwe, Odawa, Potawatomi) et des peuples Huron/Wendat. Nous nous engageons à honorer l`'histoire et la culture autochtones. tout en restant déterminé à aller de l`'avant dans le respect avec toutes les Premières Nations, les Inuits et les Métis.

Windsor Lodge Charter
Perfect Ashlar
Mosaic Pavement
Cornerstone plaque
WW1 Plaque
Ascending Steps
Commencement Dates
View of the West
3d printed windsor lodge
Model Train
rough ashlar
Mosaic Pavement

Windsor Lodge 403

2008 Update

The first mention of Windsor Lodge to the general public at large appeared in the Amherstburg Echo dated September 21st, 1883. it read as follows:

“A second lodge of FreeMasons has been opened in Windsor. This Lodge is known as the “Windsor”, and the charter members held the first communication last week. Lodge will be held on the second Wednesday in each month. The following are the officers and charter members of the new Lodge. J.E D'Avignon, Worshipful Master, J. D. Thomas, Senior Warden, W. S. Bauer, Junior Warden, George Copeland, Secretary, James E. Guillett, Treasurer, J. A. Grosscup, Senior Deacon, Thomas McWhinney, Junior Deacon, T. M. White, Inner Guard.”

In September 1983 Windsor Lodge celebrated its Hundredth Anniversary. It was given permission to embroider Gold Trim on our Aprons, signifying 100 years in existence.

Approximately twenty years ago Windsor Lodge received a large bequest from the estate of longtime member Brother Stewart Douglas Band. This bequest changed the course of proceedings for the Lodge. Windsor Lodge continues to show young men the Great Light of Masonry, but now has the means to share one of the greatest tenants of Masonry... That being Charity. Over the last twenty years Windsor Lodge has taken philanthropy seriously donating to many dozens of Masonic and Community programs and charities. These acts of charity has helped the membership embrace the Ontario Masonic Foundations motto “For the Cause of Good”.

Malden Park War Memorial

In 2000, members of Windsor Lodge spearheaded a Millennium Project between the Windsor District, Erie District and the City of Windsor creating the Masonic War Memorial in Malden Park.

Malden Park Masonic Memorial

As Windsor Lodge celebrates its One Hundred and Twenty Fifth Anniversary, our early history was not overlooked. Prior to the festivities on September 20th, a granite tablet was unveiled on the grave of our First Worshipful Master John D'Avignon, detailing his life and contributions to the community of Windsor and the Masonic Fraternity. It reads as follows;

Very Worshipful Brother

John Eugene D'Avignon

John D'Avignon was born at Aux Sable Forks, New York State on June 14th, 1845.

During the mid 1870's John moved to Windsor and opened D'Avignon's Pharmacy.

On September 12th, 1883 John D'Avignon was installed as the First Worshipful Master of Windsor Lodge No. 403.

At the 1886 Grand Lodge held in Windsor, John D'Avignon was elected Grand Senior Warden of the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario. In 1908 John was appointed Sheriff of Essex County. On March 5th, 1917, Very Worshipful Brother John D'Avignon passed to the Grand Lodge above.

A Look to the Future

As Windsor Lodge marches towards its One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary in 2033, the Masonic principals of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth will continue to guide us in the coming decades.

Gene Alfred Lotz, Windsor Lodge Historian

There is no height nor depth,

In the eternal space,

Not humble work, but work ill done,

Will bring disgrace.

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