The year was 1803 and a group of settlers in the new community of Oxford-on-Thames decided to form a Masonic Lodge. Arrangements were made with the Grand Lodge of England and on June 24th 1803. Grand Lodge opened in the cabin of Robert Sweet, and formed King Hiram Lodge No. 12 Provincial register.

On March 4th, 1856 the following members withdrew from King Hiram Lodge; Bro. J. Galliford, Bro. G.A. Cameron, Bro. John Patterson and Bro. John Fursman and with the assistance of M.W. Bro. William Mercer Wilson, on March 15th, 1856, the new Lodge of St. John’s A.F.& A.M. No. 36 was instituted (later to be re-numbered 68). The Installation ceremony was opened to the neighbouring lodges, and to the general public by invitation, the Installation Ceremony was held in Jarvis Hall.

WM John Galliford in 1856 was Reeve of the village of Ingersoll and operated a business as Shoemaker. His shop which was located on King street was destroyed in the great fire of 1872. Ironically, on April 6, 1863 it was Reeve John Galliford and Town Clerk R.A.Woodcock (who was WM in 1861and 1862) signed the by-law to form the first and still going Ingersoll Fire Brigade.

The 51st member of St. Johns’ lodge, Charles McCue, affiliated at 104 years of age and lived to 114 years . Known to hold the longest proven record of Masonic membership in the world, Charles joined masonry at 18 years of age in Ireland and was 95 years a Freemason.

ST. JOHN'S LODGE  #68

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