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Ontario Masonic Lodge
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Algeo, Lewis R. obituary

Event Date : December 16, 1899
Event Type : Death

Description : Died at 70 Howard St., Toronto.Was of Bradford.Was the eldest son of the late Robert Algeo. Leaves a widow and a brother and a sister. Age: 48th year.Interred at Mount Pleasant.

Eightieth Anniversary Ashtray

A white porcelain ashtray with 4 grooves to place cigarettes/cigars, commemorates the 80th anniversary of the Simcoe Mason Lodge. Writing on front, in black: "A.F. & A.M. No. 79/1857 Eightieth Anniversary 1937/Simcoe Lodge/April 6th, 1937"

Bill Marks

Ellis, Dr. Charles Wilson obituary

Event Date : Saturday, October 17, 1953
Event Type : Death
Municipality : Toronto, Ont.

Description : One of the oldest practicing dentists in Ontario, being a 1900 graduate from the College of Dentistry, University of Toronto, Dr. Charles W. Ellis was instantly killed as he crossed the street to his son-in-law's car on the Queen Elizabeth Way at Haig Blvd. early Saturday evening. Larry Rutherford, his son-in-law of Applewood Rd., was waiting for him on the shoulder of the west-bound lane to take him home in his car. Dr. Ellis alighted from a bus and was crossing the west-bound lane when he was hit by a car driven by Edward Dinsmore of Toronto. He was pronounced dead at the scene by a Port Credit coroner.
Born in Bradford, Dr. Ellis received his High School education in Barrie. Graduated from the University of Toronto in 1900 he practiced in Beeton for a short time before he married the former Adelia Maude Rose, Syracuse, New York, who predeceased him 29 years ago, and began practice here where he has been for over 50 years. He was a life member of Bradford Lodge, A.F. & A.M., where he was Past Master. He was feted by the lodge recently on the occasion of his 50th year of membership. He was also a life member of the Ontario Dental Association. He was a member of Bradford United Church where he had taught Sunday School and was a former steward in the church and served for many years as church treasurer. He has also been a member of Bradford Lions Club for some years. During his younger days, Dr. Ellis was an athlete and won many medals as a bicycle racer and tennis player.He is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Rutherford, Lakeview, and Mrs. R. G. Freyermuth, Iowa, and two grandchildren, Janet and Charles Freyermuth. He was predeceased by two brothers, Aubrey and Bert, and his only sister, Mrs. W. A. Pringle (Mabel). Dr. Ellis had given valued service to this municipality having served on the Board of Education and the Board of Health for a number of years. Through his long years of practice Dr. Ellis was one of the best known residents of the area. Possessing very definite opinions and the strictest code of honour and honesty of purpose himself, he expected the same high standards from those with whom he did business. His friends, especially in later years, were largely those who had been his patients over a long term of years, and a few of the older residents, and his tragic death was learned with sorrow by them all. A private funeral was held yesterday afternoon from his home, under Masonic auspices, with services being conducted by Rev. F. G. MacTavish. Interment was in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Bradford.

Bradford Witness


Contains news clippings and articles on various events of Bradford West Gwillimbury

Joe Saint

History of Bradford's Grand Old Lady

"Whatever becomes of this grand old lady, her colourful history will not be soon forgotten.

When the Recreation Facilities Committee was formed consisting of Chairperson Ann Currie, Jim Culbert, Steve Boland, Ellen MacKenzey, Bill Germayne and Sharon Sinclair, Director of Parks and Recreation, one of their first commitments was to find the "ideal" location to house the new Recreation and Cultural Complex. After a considerable amount of investigative work and discussion by this Committee, the favorite choice was the old convent.

While the convent certainly fits the "centralized" location criteria, an added attraction is the history which surrounds this 112-year old structure.

In 1876, John MacLean Stevenson built this masterpiece (named Masonic Lodge) and lived in it a short 10 months before selling it to the Robert Bingham family. This family stay was a little longer (16 years) before it, once again, changed hands. In 1893, James Boddy became the proud owner and renamed the house "Fairview". He resided there until 1903 when the property was purchased by Rev. Egerton Ryerson Young (noted missionary and publisher) who again renamed the house this time she was labeled "Algonquin Lodge". Upon the death of Rev. Young in 1910, his family sold the house to Sam Lukes who ran the Bradford Flour Mill. Lukes pet name for the home was "Luxalean". The house stayed in the Lukes family until Gilbert Lukes sold it in 1949. At the time of this sale, the plot of land was divided in two; on the plot south of the house was built St. Mary's Catholic School. The house was occupied by a group of teaching nuns of the Ursuline Order of the Diocese of London in Ontario.

In 1969, John and Maria Moniz bought the stately mansion and turned it into an apartment house. Contrary to the zoning by-laws, Town Council closed their eyes and allowed this grand home to be a multiple family dwelling for 12 years.

From the moment John Moniz' sale was accepted by Fred Picavet's cash offer, which in turn, nullified the offer made by the Town's agent, the convent had been cloaked in a shroud of controversy.

No sooner had the new deed owners, Fred and Betty Lou Picavet begun the extensive renovation work to the upstairs wings, than Bradford town council issued a "stop work order" and filed a Lis Pendents with the County Courts in Barrie (Feb. 26, 1981). This order was subsequently honoured by the County Court Office which necessitated an immediate halt on the renovation work by Picavet. While workmanship was in "pending", taxes continued to be paid by the owner (Picavet).

It wasn't until 1987 when an out-of-court settlement was reached between Fred Picavet and the Town that the convent became the legal property of the town of Bradford.

While the "legal hagglings" were underway, the old convent sat empty for five consecutive winters. Pampering can oft times help to slow down the natural aging process. Unfortunately, pampering the convent during that turbulent time was not a top priority item; henceforth, the building was vandalized on a fairly regular basis.

For someone like Jim Culbert, "the furniture doctor", it was nothing less than a mortal sin that such a fine building should have been so readily accessible to vandals. At the time Jim, personally, approached Town Council and Pat Storey to see if the building could be boarded up to discourage further destruction. He was basically told that the Safety Standards Bylaw which was in place to deal with this situation was unable to be looked after due to the lack of a by-law enforcement officer.

Incensed by that line of reasoning, Jim decided to "go to bat" for the convent. Through public awareness and letters to various newspapers, the convent was eventually boarded up which helped to minimize the continued vandalism.

With the endorsement of the Master Plan Recreation Study and the Facilities Committee, to renovate a part of the convent for the new Recreation and Cultural Complex, Jim Culbert is, once again, appealing to the town's people to "get on board" with regard to bringing this matter to the forefront. The decision on the fate of the convent has "gone on far too long" in Culbert's opinion. "Let's get it resolved one way or the other, either tear it down or renovate it and make it into a beautiful piece of property."

As Jim recalls, "A year ago Town Council promised a public meeting to discuss the convent issue which was never carried out. Hopefully, the newly-elected Council will stick to their electoral views on this issue."

A building with such Italianate design is rare in today's society. By restoring it, a two-fold purpose will be served; firstly, it will provide a complex to house programs such as the arts, drama, brownies, cubs, moms and tots etc. Secondly, and ideally, a room in the old wing of the house will be set aside for a "museum" of sorts to provide past history on the convent and Bradford itself".

IF RESTORED, this spectacular mansion will serve as a memorial to the previous owners."

Bradford Gazette

Kilkenny, Frank obituary

Event Date : Friday, June 21, 1963
Event Type : Death
Municipality : Newmarket, Ont.

Description : Mr. Frank Kilkenny appeared to make good progress during the first few days following the accident which necessitated the amputation of part of his leg, and hope was extended that he might recover, although it was realized that he was still in a state of shock. The accident occurred on Saturday and by Thursday a change was noted and on Friday he passed away. Mr. Kilkenny was born and educated in Bradford and he took over the business of his father. In 1938 he celebrated the centennial of the Kilkenny funeral and furniture business in Bradford and continued in that business until his retirement, when his son continued with the furniture part of the business. He was secretary-treasurer of Bradford Public School Board for many years; was a member and past master of Simcoe Masonic Lodge No. 79 and he received a 50-year jewel from that Lodge recently in recognition of his long term of membership; a member of the Orange Order and the I.O.F., as well as a curler and lawn bowler. His church was the Presbyterian. Mr. Kilkenny was predeceased by his wife, the former Lila Neilly, in July, 1928. He is survived by one son, Keith, of Bradford, and one daughter, Mrs. J. M. Booth (Ruth) of Bradford; also five sisters, Mrs. Howard Carscadden (Bertha), Stayner; Mrs. D. E. McColl (Emily) and Mrs. T. H. Carter (Laura), Bradford; Mrs. George Atkinson (Helen), Mt. Albert, and Mrs. Lorne Arnold (Evelyn), Cookstown. Three sisters predeceased him, Mrs. Jewell (Clara), Mrs. Wm. Simpkin (Lulu) and Alma, who died in infancy. The private funeral was held on June 24 from the Lathangue-Kilkenny Funeral Home, with Rev. F. G. MacTavish conducting the funeral services. Interment was in Mount Pleasant Cemetery.The pallbearers were Ralph Jewell, Fred Wilson, John Arnold, Wray Carscadden, R. H. Devereux, Art Lloyd.

Bradford Witness

Kneeshaw, Arthur Gordon obituary

Event date: November 12, 2003
Event type: Death

Description: Kneeshaw, Arthur Gordon (V.W. Bro. of Simcoe Lodge A.F. & A.M. No. 79, Bradford, past president and member of Bradford Lions Club for over 50 years). Peacefully at Specialty Care Bradford Valley Nursing Home on Wednesday, November 12, 2003. Art Kneeshaw of Bradford in his 86th year. Beloved husband of Ruth (Wood). Dear father of Brian Kneeshaw and Faye (Doug) Paul. Dear grandfather of Neil, Megan, and Daniel Paul. Dear brother of Matt (Frances) Kneeshaw and late Everitt (Lillian) Kneeshaw. Dear brother-in-law of late Joe (Millie) Wood, Helen (Gord) Wells, Robert (late Roberta) Wood and late Doug Wood. Friends called at the Lathangue & Skwarchuk Funeral Home, 30 Simcoe Road, Bradford for visitation on Friday 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. A Lions Service was held on Friday at 6:45p.m. Funeral service held at the Bradford United Church, 66 Barrie St., Bradford on Saturday, November 15, 2003 at 2:00p.m. Interment at St. Paul's Cemetery, Coulson's Hill. Donations to the Alzheimer Society would be appreciated.

Bradford West Gwillimbury Times

Match Safe

  • CA BWGPL OS11403

This well preserved match safe, with its Masonic symbols, was moulded in Thomas Nelson's Foundry in Bond Head c. 1870. Marion McKibbon, his granddaughter, presently owns it.

McKenzie, Stewart Scott obituary

Event Date : Thursday, June 19, 1975
Event Type : Death

Description : Stewart Scott McKenzie, a man who was a strong and active force in Bradford for more than 35 years as a politician and publisher of the Bradford Witness and South Simcoe News, died last week in York County Hospital in Newmarket, last Thursday following a short illness. Mr. McKenzie was born in the Village of Paisley in Bruce County where he grew up and was educated. The former publisher of the Witness had a long tradition in newspapering and was one of four sons born to a former publisher of the Paisley Advocate. Mr. McKenzie served in the Canadian Army during World War I. When he returned after the war he resumed his newspaper career and joined the production department of the old Detroit Times. In 1931, he and his wife Ina, also a native of Paisley, moved to Bradford and purchased the Bradford Witness and South Simcoe News from publisher O. M. Seim. That began a career in this town that stretched over 35 years until the couple retired in 1968 following the sale of the Witness to Gerry and Nona Barker. During that time Mr. McKenzie involved himself not only in the production and technical side of his business, while his wife handled the paper's editorial department, but also in his community. Mr. McKenzie became active in local politics and served as a school board trustee and member of Bradford's village council. In 1937, he was one of the charter members of the Bradford Lions Club and served as one of the organization's first presidents. He was also a member of Simcoe Lodge #73 of the Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons. In addition, he served as an Elder in Bradford's United Church. Funeral services for the man who devoted so much of his life to his community were held on Saturday morning in the chapel of the Lathangue & Skwarchuk Funeral Home on Simcoe Street, in Bradford.The service was conducted by Reverend Robert Chapman. Pallbearers were Norman Collings, Keith Langford, Bradford Mayor Joe Magani, Brock Evans, Charles Evans and Deputy Reeve Ken Wood. Brad Walker, George Jackson and Clarence Ritchie served as flower bearers. Interment was in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto. Mr. McKenzie is survived by his wife Ina, and three brothers.

Bradford Witness

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