Provincial Grand Black Chapter of Ontario West

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In time of depression, an uplifting of heart

Posted on July 10, 2014 at 7:00 AM

Report on the unfurling of a new banner for The Temple R.B.P. No. 292 as given in an article in the Toronto newspaper, “The Globe” on Wednesday August 3rd, 1932


Toronto in 1932, like everywhere in Canada, was in the midst of the Great Depression that started in 1929. Despite this The Temple R.B.P. No. 292 was still able to celebrate and keep the spirits of the people alive when on August 2nd, 1932 they unfurled their new banner in Allan Gardens where several hundred people gathered for the event . The article starts by noting the main speaker there was T. H. (Thomas Hamilton) Bell, M.P.P. (Member of Provincial Parliament) for Bellwoods. Bell was the Conservative M.P.P. for the riding from 1929 – 1934 . He was born in Wellington County, Ontario on November 12th, 1878 and died in Toronto on March 14th, 1939. His main remark was this; “where this flag flourishes [speaking of the new banner of R.B.P. No. 292], communism cannot exist.”


The Temple R.B.P. No. 292 is noted at this time to have a membership of 451 and is said to be the largest preceptory in the world at that time. Following the unfurling they headed back to the County Orange Hall (at this time it was located at 55 Queen Street East) where they held a meeting of the preceptory.


Many speeches were made at Allan Gardens. It was noted, the timely arrival of the banner, just prior to the Derry Day Parade to be held in Brampton on Friday August 12th. It is interesting to note that this Derry Day parade in Brampton was one of the largest demonstrations held in the history of Ontario West Provincial Grand Black Chapter.


The banner was unfurled by Wor Bro A. H. Birmingham who was a grandson of one of the original charter members of The Temple R.B.P. No. 292 when it was formed in 1856. In 1934 A. H. Birmingham would become the County Master of the County Orange Lodge of Toronto.


The guests were welcomed by the Worshipful Preceptor, Sir Knight T. H. Thompson.


The banner was noted to have a depiction on one side of the relief of Derry with the ships Mountjoy and Phoenix breaking the boom on the River Foyle.


In his address to the crowds, M.P.P. T. H. Bell remarked “some of the best names in Toronto were on the rolls of this preceptor.” He continued to defend the Orange and Black Orders against slurs on them that they were disturbers of the peace. He refuted this idea by stating that “at no time in Canadian history were the morals and principles of the preceptory more needed than at this hour.” His reason was quite simple; “to maintain the morale of our people, and keep their hearts stout in front of depression in Canada and around the world. The seed of Communism cannot grow in the same soil where this is an honoured flag [speaking of the new banner of The Temple R.B.P. No. 292]. The principles that this banner stand for have existed throughout the centuries - and it will fly on down through the years, helping to make Canada the pride of Great Britain.”


It is great to be able to say that this preceptory is still in existence today in Toronto and can proudly be called the banner preceptory of the Provincial Grand Black Chapter of Ontario West. They sit in the current County Orange Hall of Toronto.



 

Written and Submitted by; Michael Thomas – Provincial Grand Registrar on July 10th, 2014.

 


Sources

“New Banner Flies Over Preceptory Of Black Knights," The Globe (Toronto, ON), Aug. 3, 1932.

“Thomas Hamilton Bell”, Wikipedia.org, last modified May 10 2014, www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Hamilton_Bell

Report of Proceedings 1933

Past County Masters”, orangelodge.org, www.orangelodge.org

 

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