1891 was responsible for the formation of Temple Lodge No. 49.

At one time the lodge had 99 members. Bill Cairns himself was the first Master and served in that capacity on eight different occasions over his long career. He died in 1949 at the age of ninety-five years.

The first lodge meeting was held in the upper room of the old Methodist Church. In 1897 the meeting place was moved to a room over Cairns store and in 1898 to a proper lodge room built by William Cook over his hall. That location served until fire destroyed the building in 1905. Lodge records were lost in that fire. The old school, then owned by Brother J.H. Watson became the lodge home for several years. It was subsequently purchased by the lodge and became the official home until 1953. A new lodge home was built at the N .E. corner of Fox St. and North Railway Ave. in MacGregor and served the lodge until 1982.

Temple Lodge No. 49 was sponsored by Assiniboine Lodge No. 7 of Portage la Prairie. Brother Wm. T. Speed, a member of Temple Lodge subsequently petitioned for a Lodge at Austin and in 1900 Gothic Lodge was formed under the sponsorship of Temple Lodge. In 1982 the MacGregor Lodge and Austin Lodges amalgamated to become Gothic Temple Lodge No. 49, meeting in Austin.

A review of early records reveals interesting facts. For instance, meetings were arranged at the time of the full moon so that those coming from outside town would have the moonlight to guide them home. Dedication to office and volunteer effort was much in evidence. Members of Temple Lodge attended the laying of the cornerstone of the new school in MacGregor in 1903 and at the new elementary school in 1966. Concern for their fellow man has always been the cornerstone of the Masonic tradition. ,

Brother Gordon Nelson was the Worshipful Master of Gothic Temple Lodge at the time of the celebration of the centennial of Temple Lodge in 1991. Many men have given of their time and talent over those 100 years to make MacGregor and the surrounding community a better place to live. A few continue to serve as members of Gothic Temple Lodge.


The first Melvin School was built in 1896 on a piece of land donated by John Hay on the N E quarter of 36-10-12. It was a small frame one roomed school. In order to have enough pupils to open a school, George Hay, then four years old had to attend to make up the required number. The first teacher was Margaret Matheson, who a few years later married John Hay and remained in the district, becoming the aunt of some of her pupils.


Melvin School 1896-1905. The first teacher was Margaret Matheson who later married John Hay

John Bradshaw, William Booth, Harry Peck Sr. and James Hay were the trustees. Booth, Peck and Hay later served for 20 years, until the new school was built in 1918.

In 1905 the school was moved to a site more central in the district, this being 35-10-12 owned at that time by Eli Keeping, but known later as the Alke farm. After the school was moved, it had to be cleaned to be ready for the beginning of the fall term. The gentleman who was the janitor left his pipe in his smock pocket when he went home for the night. The pipe had not been out, the smock caught fire and the school was completely destroyed.

Alf Pickering, the lumber dealer in Austin, and also a carpenter, helped build a new school with the assistance of many volunteers from the district. It was built on the same location. This school was also one roomed with outdoor toilets, but quite an impressive building with a patterned metal two foot square tile on

Melvin School #865 built in 1918, demolished in 1988