Copyright © Harcourt Lodge A.F. & A.M. No. 581, G.R.C.. All Rights Reserved.
Our founding brethren felt that the lodges formed in the early 1900s were too large for the proper development of fellowship and the meetings continued too late in the evenings. They settled on the idea of a small lodge with membership limited to 100 at which the Work would normally be limited to one degree a meeting. Benevolence should be directed to a specific area and there would be a dinner arranged beforehand. This would enable the members to proceed from business, have their dinner, perform the ritual and still be home at a more reasonable hour. This latter result has not always been attained as many of our members have chosen to entertain after the meeting. With these objectives in view our founding brethren gathered some thirty or more other charter members, which interestingly included three groups of fathers and sons. This is one concept that has taken hold and has continued and flourished through the years as more than one third of our members are family related.
Harcourt Lodge has had a number of distinguished people as members since being instituted May 18th, 1921. One member of particular reference is Albert Matthews who was a member from February 16th, 1927 to August 13th, 1949 and had the distinction on being the Lt. Governor of the Province of Ontario from 1937 to 1946.
In our history we have had many past Grand Lodge officers as members, including 15 appointed officers and two elected; Rt. Wor. Bro. Duncan S. Copus, who was elected District Deputy Grand Master of out District in July 1963 and later appointed and then elected a member of the Board of General Purposes. A special emergent meeting of the lodge was held on the 30th September, 1963 to honour him at which many distinguished masons were present . Rt. Wor. Bro. Edgar G. Burton was elected Grand Junior Warden in 1983 and served the office with distinction.
We have elected six Hon. Life Members during our history. M. Wor. Bro. F. W. Harcourt, who has already been mentioned, M. Wor, Bro. John A. Rowland, Rt. Wor. Bro. John Wilson, V. Wor. Bro. C. E. Edmonds, V. Wor, Bro. Arthur Wilson and W. Bro. Starr Edmonds. The first two were ruling Grand Masters and the other four were District Charter Members.