Until the year 1988 in the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario, there was no mode of recognition of meritorious service for Masons from the ranks of Master Mason to Past Grand Master, other than a Grand Lodge appointment. In that year the very prestigious Grand Master’s Meritorious Award was created, the insignia designed and awarded by Grand Master M. W. Bro. William R. Pellow to two very deserving brethren. The selection criteria for this award are very specific and the recipients are carefully chosen with great discrimination and selectivity with the recipients having to prove themselves exceptional in devotion, loyalty, zeal and assiduity in both Masonic and community circles.
In 2017, the Grand Master bestowed this honour to Hamilton Valley’s very own R. W. Bro. H. Edward Standish or as we in the Valley know him best, Ill. Bro. H. Edward Standish 33°.
Harry Edward Standish was born on April 11, 1938 in Brampton, Ontario and lived on the family homestead cleared by his great grandfather and farmed by his family since 1819. The family moved to Thorold, Ontario during the war years where Ed completed his public and high school education in the Thorold school system.
Ed articled as a student in accounting in St. Catharines, Ontario for three years before moving to Stoney Creek, Ontario in 1964 to finish his training with Coopers & Lybrand, graduating as a Chartered Accountant in August of 1966 and remained with them as an Audit Manager for five years. Ed was married to Marion Gordon in July 1961 and had three children, Ellen, Alison and David.
He moved to Ottawa, Ontario in 1971 joining the CBC in the Management Reports and Financial Analysis Division. In 1972 he moved to Caledon, Ontario and transferred to Sterisystems of Etobicoke, Ontario which was a company that specialized in hospital TV rentals, pharmaceuticals and electronic operating room equipment sales and services.
Although remaining in Caledon, Ontario, Ed returned to Coopers & Lybrand in Toronto in 1974 and was put on a temporary loan to the Hamilton, Ontario branch until the spring of 1975 at which time he joined Porritts & Spencer Canada Inc. on a temporary transfer which subsequently lasted until his retirement. Ed started as the Controller rising to Vice President Finance, Director and Secretary of the Corporation. During his time with the company some of the areas that came under his direction were general administration, employee benefits, treasury, financial reports and union negotiations.
Ed has been very active in the communities in which he and his family have lived. He has been involved with the Caledon Agricultural Society for many years serving as an Associate Director, Auditor and assisting with various projects and committees as well as acting as Emcee for the parade and the opening ceremonies. Of particular note, in 1993 Ed received the Volunteer of the Year Award from the Town of Caledon for his devoted and tireless work.
Much like his community involvement, Ed has been an active member of Knox United Church in Caledon participating as a member of the choir, Chairman of the General Board and on numerous committees over the years.
Ed’s Masonic resume is very impressive. He was initiated on April 5, 1968 into Acacia Lodge A.F. & A.M. No. 61 G.R.C. in Hamilton, Ontario. He was passed, raised and then Installed as Worshipful Master of Acacia Lodge on January 14, 1983. Bro. Standish also affiliated with Wellington Lodge A.F. & A.M. No 271 G.R.C. in Erin, Ontario on May 6, 1982 and was installed as its Worshipful Master in 1988. Ed affiliated with Heritage Lodge A.F. & A.M. No. 730 G.R.C. on November 15, 2000 and most recently with The Barton Lodge A.F. & A.M. No. 6 G.R.C. on January 11, 2017 in Hamilton, Ontario.
He was elected to the Board of the Hamilton Past Masters Association in 1985 and was served as Chairman in 1991.
In Hamilton Masonic District B, Ed served as Chairman of the Special Events Committee from 1995 to 1998 and was installed as District Deputy Grand Master of that district at the Annual Communication of Grand Lodge on July 16, 1998 in Toronto, Ontario.
As a member of Grand Lodge, Ed served as the Chairman of Masonic Education for 1997-1998 and is currently a member of the Board of General Purposes and has been since 2003.
Much like his resume in craft lodge, Ed’s accomplishments as a member of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of Canada are noteworthy.
Ill. Bro. Standish became a member of Murton Lodge of Perfection at the Spring Assembly in Hamilton on May 8, 1979 and a member of the Hamilton Sovereign Chapter of Rose Croix at the Easter Ceremonies on April 3, 1980 receiving his 32° as a member of Moore Sovereign Consistory on May 10, 1980. Ed then joined the Rose Croix officer progression ultimately being installed as the Most Wise Sovereign for the years of 1992-1993. He also served on the Board of Directors for the Scottish Rite Club of Hamilton and as Chairman in 1991.
On September 12, 1996 in Calgary, Alberta Ill. Bro. Standish was coroneted a Honourary Inspector General 33°. He was then appointed as an Active Member of Supreme Council 33° at Barrie, Ontario in 1997 as well as being elected Grand Treasurer-General at the same session. Ed was also received into the Royal Order of Scotland in October 1996.
A very humble and unassuming man, Ed Standish accepts praise and recognition very reluctantly. He prefers to go about his business and serve his community and fellow brethren with little or no fanfare. It is this type of character that sets Ed on the top shelf of excellence. He is the type of Mason that this very special award was created for. Please join me and all the members of the Hamilton Valley in congratulating Ed on this wonderful and well deserved achievement.