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Seven Star Lodge receives Master Masons Certificate

September 13, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Wendy Gabrek

On Monday, September 9, Seven Star Lodge No. 285 (Georgian South District) celebrated a significant historical event in the organizations history, and the history of Alliston – the hanging of the Master Masons Certificate of the first initiated Mason of Seven Star Lodge, Bro Robert Samuel Cheffey.

Cheffey was initiated on October 30, 1872 and his dedication was rewarded with this rare historical document from William Mercer Wilson – the first Grand Master of the Masons.

R.S. Cheffey, M.D., was a physician, surgeon and accoucheur (male midwife). He was also a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons; Associate Coroner for the County of Simcoe; and Medical Examiner for the Masonic Life Association.

More on Cheffey, per local author Carolyn Knowles:

Census records of 1881 indicate that Dr. Robert Samuel Cheffey was born in 1827 in the USA, his wife Louisa was born in 1829 in Ireland and the couple had one son Charles aged 27 and one daughter Susannah aged 18 residing at home. As for other offspring, the April 1875 edition of The Canada Lancet announced that Cheffey’s eldest daughter Louisa was married to Toronto alderman William Farley at the family home in Alliston on March 10, 1875. Genealogical records indicate that Dr. Cheffey was born on December 3, 1826 in the USA, married Louisa Cowan in the (Township of) Vaughan in 1852 and resided in Vaughan until 1861 or early 1862. During that time, the couple welcomed son Charles born in c.1853, son Thomas born in c.1856 and daughter Sarah born in c.1857. Their second daughter Susanna was born in 1862 in Tecumseth. The genealogical record makes no mention of a daughter Louisa. 

Alliston business directories indicate that Dr. Cheffey was one of two doctors who had opened a practice in Alliston by 1869. 

Although the location of the first Cheffey residence and office is unknown, records indicate that in early 1876 the family moved into their newly constructed residence/office at 66 Wellington Street West on the northwest corner of Wellington and Paris Streets. By 1884, Dr. Cheffey had departed Alliston to establish a medical practice in Beeton. 

In the History of Beeton by Bert Platt, the author wrote that Dr. R.S. Cheffey was a well-known resident of the village for many years. 

In his personal life, Dr. Cheffey was noted as the first initiate of the Seven Star Lodge No. 285, Alliston of the Masonic Fraternity when the newly-established lodge was consecrated at its inaugural meeting in Alliston on October 30, 1872.  In August 1876, The Alliston Star recorded that Dr. Cheffey continued to hold the position of medical examiner for the Masonic Life Association. 

Dr. Cheffey passed away on September 10, 1904. His obituary indicated that he died at his residence in Toronto, was formerly of Alliston and Beeton and that “some years ago was a prominent figure in Simcoe County where he practised his profession for nearly half a century. About four years ago he retired to Toronto. He is survived by his wife and two daughters”. His wife passed away in 1907.

Seven Star Lodge celebrated the occasion by welcoming guests into their freshly renovated space on Victoria Street, Alliston, with a light repast following their regular meeting.

“Over the summer, thanks to a stellar effort by some of our members and friends, we have a showcase lodge,” said Seven Star Lodge Secretary, Clark Winter. 

Worshipful Master of Seven Star Lodge Steve M. Marsh, thanked those who contributed to the makeover, and to those who assisted in the repatriation of the certificate.


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