Some History

Established in 1921 the Sudbury Shrine Club owing allegiance to Rameses Shriners encompasses the Sudbury and Manitoulin District. 

Sudbury Shrine Club History by Noble Clair Bracken

Application for the formation of the Sudbury Shrine Club was made to Rameses Temple at the fall Ceremonial held in the Masonic Temple in Toronto in December, 1920, by Noble C.A. Durkee and Noble Lorne Fowler, and was granted by the Potentate, A.J. Brown.
The club was formed in March of 1921. The officers for the first few years were Lorne Fowler – president and Joseph Fowler – secretary-treasurer. [apparently these Fowlers were cousins]
The meetings were held in the King Edward Hotel, the Nickel Range Hotel, Miss Kidd’s, or the Masonic Temple in the Burroughs block, until the move by the Masonic Order to their own quarters at 10 Cedar Street.
All these establishments are familiar except Miss Kidd’s place. No one seems to remember anything about this Miss Kidd’s place, and when I talked with some of the older Nobles none would admit knowing her.
With some digging this is what I found!
 A search of the City of Sudbury directory from 1925 through to 1929 did not reveal any restaurant or any other establishment with the name Miss Kidd’s.
The micro film directory starting in 1936 to 1940 included a Zella Kidd who was a resident at 140 Cedar St. and her employment was shown as dietician at the Inco Club. She was later shown with the same employment at the Inco Employees Club. I don’t know when the Inco Employees Club opened, but it was a center for social activities in its day.
The Inco Employees Club was the building on Frood Road, while the Club in Copper Cliff was called the Copper Cliff Club. Both clubs were owned by Inco and a Miss Zella Kidd was listed as the dietician at the Copper Cliff Club.
Given the lady's rather unusual name, one could safely assume that she is the same person and transferred from the Inco Employees Club to the Copper Cliff Club.
It is speculation on my part, but it would appear that the Shriners met occasionally at the Inco Employees Club and that it would have been referred to as Miss Kidd’s, as she was in charge of the catering.
The Sudbury Shrine Club, operating continuously from 1921, is the oldest service club in Sudbury.
At its formation, a charitable charter had to be signed by the Provincial Government. Some of its contents are as follows:
1] to encourage daily living by the golden rule in all human relationships 2] to promote the adoption of high social, business, and professional standards 3] to carry on charitable and relief work of all kinds and to receive and collect gifts and donations for that purpose.
On another historical note, Noble Morley E. McKenzie came from Southern Ontario to Sudbury and became manager of the Royal Bank. He was already a mason and he joined the Shrine at Rameses Temple in Toronto and then became a member of the Sudbury Shrine Club.
In 1929 he was elected as a member of the council of Rameses Temple, and in 1930 he was re-elected to the council and chairman of finance. In 1931 and 1932 he was a member of the board of trustees, and in 1933 he was elected as the Potentate of Rameses Temple. In 1943 he was elected as the Imperial Potentate – one of only two Canadians to ever serve in this position.
His body now rests in Parklawn Cemetery in Sudbury.
Two of the biggest fund raisers for the club for many years were the Shrine Circus and the Ham and Egg Curling Bonspiel.
The first circus was held in 1946 at the Stanley Stadium in Copper Cliff where a profit of $2300.00 was realized.
In 1948 the circus moved to Queens Athletic Field, and in 1953 it moved to the Sudbury Arena where programs were sold for $0.10 each.
The Sudbury Shrine Club started the first curling bonspiel in the jurisdiction of Rameses Temple, and called it the Ham and Egg Bonspeil. This was in 1948 and it continued until 1977. I think many of us remember that brown liquid we were offered at breakfast and continued to sip most of the day.
The Sudbury Shrine Club was a major contributor to the Sudbury Memorial Hospital. The Shriner’s cheque for $500.00 in 1946 was the first cheque the new hospital board received. Another donation of $10,000.00 was recorded in 1957.
The first formal Ceremonial of Rameses Temple to be held in Sudbury was in 1950. Thirty nine candidates and the nobility ate lunch at the Hotel Coulson and had dinner at the Wesley Hall. The initiation part of the ceremony took place at Prince Charles Public School.
The second Ceremonial in Sudbury was in 1957 at the Inco Club on Frood Road, with 151 applicants. The third Ceremonial was in 1964 with 178 candidates. Another ceremonial in 1990 initiated 177 nobles.
On August 14, 1944, seven local doctors motored to Little Current on Manitoulin Island and examined fifty children.
In 1955 a bill was sent to the Sudbury Shrine Club from Rameses Temple for $308.00 for damages done to a street car being shipped to Sudbury from Toronto to be used in our Parade. It isn’t clear how it got damaged, but since the local Shriners didn’t feel they were responsible, they sent the bill back to Rameses unpaid. Rameses paid the bill but then changed their lending policy to require a $100.00 deposit on any article borrowed.
As a little reminder of Rameses Temple’s jurisdiction, in 1967 when the Sudbury Shrine Club purchased their property at 254 Larch Street, their first real home, they had a small mortgage, and when Rameses found out about the mortgage, they ordered the club to pay off the mortgage immediately. It was paid!
At the Official Rameses Temple Worship Service on April 29, 1990, Sudbury Club’s Noble George Bettancourt was the Temple Soloist. The first Temple Soloist from Northern Ontario.
In 1997 the property at 254 Larch street was sold and the club purchased the property on the Kingsway known as the Villa. This was a big property with several banquet rooms for catering and parties.
The property required a significant amount of repair and many nobles worked hard to get everything in top shape. It became a beautiful building with lots of potential, but after several years it became apparent that the whole business was too big for a small club to keep up and the Sudbury Shrine Centre was sold at a reasonable profit.
A committee was formed to find a property more suitable to our needs, and after a lot of planning and investigations, the present property at Elm street was purchased. Our current home.


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