The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

June 22nd, 2016

May 10, 1945Springhill RecordReturns Charter of St. Aidan’s     

     Organized almost a half a century ago in Springhill, Lodge “St. Aidans”, No. 226 Sons of England Benefit Society ceased to exist as from the end of March 31, 1945.  St. Aidans has held a high fraternal standing as representative of a worthy Order.

     For some time past the members of this society have found it difficult to continue operation.  Their once strong lodge has become depleted in numbers by the passing on of members, no new material available and very little hope for the future.  The members remaining, deemed it necessary to return their Charter to Supreme Lodge and thus a link to the past is severed. 

     St. Aidan’s Lodge was formed in Springhill on June 18th, 1896.  The meeting was held in the Oddfellows Hall and was attended by District Officers, Bros. H. Dodson and H. Wooley.  The latter Bro. being still living somewhere in the West.

     In the Registration Roll we find the first three names entered were: Joseph Attwood Stansfield (Editor), Georgie H. Hopkins (Butcher), Joseph Hayes (M.D.).

     Samuel Reid, who joined on December 1897, was present at the last meeting.  It is interesting to recall the old names and old times.  Brother Jones, who recently passed away was the only charter member.  Victor Pugh who joined in 1897 has been for many years a resident of VancouverJames Allbon, late Secretary, has been a member for thirty years.  He joined the Juvenile “S.O.E.” at the age of eleven and was transferred to the parent lodge in 1920.  Some ten years ago he took over the office of secretary which had been held by his father, the late C.J. Allbon, Sr., for 25 years – a valued, a helpful membership dating back to 1899.

     Space will not permit us to record all the names and dates which we would like to mention, but in passing, let us mention just a few:

  1. James Davis, June 8, 1896

  2. George Jones, July 10, 1896

  3. Harry Fox, Oct. 20, 1897

  4. Victor Pugh, Oct. 29, 1897

  5. Jenkin Morgan, Oct. 29, 1897

  6. Samuel Reid, Dec. 8, 1897

  7. Charles J. Allbon, Dec. 15, 1899

  8. Joseph Ridgeway, Feb. 23, 1900

  9. Joseph Dawson, Feb. 23, 1900

  10. John Dawson, Mar. 23, 1900

  11. Walter Mitchell, Apr. 12, 1901

  12. William Cliffe, Sr., Sept. 30, 1904

  13. Edward Green, Mar. 2, 1906

  14. John Mansell, April 12, 1907

  15. Harry Clark, June 7, 1907

  16. Joseph Barton, Apr. 26, 1907

  17. Joseph Dawson, Jan. 3, 1908

  18. Thomas Chell, Aug. 28, 1908

     Among those holding office in the first lodge were the following:

President Joseph Stansfield

Vice Pres.James Davis

SecretaryHenry Shenton

Past Pres. – William Booth

ChaplinHenry Evans

Treasurer and SurgeonJoseph Hayes

     Lodges meetings were held at different places in town until feeling the need for a meeting place of their own, decided to build a hall.  The opening of their hall on Junction Road in January 1909, with many visitors from outside and a special program was an outstanding event in the history of St. Aidans.

     The name of Sons of England Hall was later changed to Community Hall, owned by the members.  It continued as the meeting place of Lodge St. Aidans until its termination.  It is interesting to note that 17 members were present at the first night of meeting.  On the night of the decision to return the Charter, seventeen remained on the books.  Nine members who were present at the opening of the hall were present also at the last meeting.  Bros. Sam Reid, Joseph Ridgeway, John Dawson, Joseph Dawson, Walter Mitchell, Wm. Cliffe, Sr., John Mansell, H. Clark, Ted Green, Thomas Chell and Pat Donovan.

     It is with regret that we record a passing of an institution which has had its place in the social and civic life of this town.


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