The Third Anglican Church in Sandwich, Ontario

From The Township of Sandwich, Past and Present by Frederick Neal
published in 1909 by Frederick Neal, Sandwich, Ont.

The present church was built during the incumbency of the Rev. Francis Gore Elliott in 1872.   The gentlemen who composed the building committee on this occasion were the Rector Rev. Francis Gore Elliott, Judge Gordon Watts Leggatt, George Fellers, Louis J. Fluett, Abner C. Ellis, Miles Cowan and A. G. McWhinney.   Mr. Fellers was the chairman of the building committee while Mr. McWhinney was secretary-treasurer.

It may be interesting to some of our readers to learn that the Masonic Order has been closely associated with the early history of St. John's from 1803 to the present.   The first rector, Rev. Mr. Pollard, being a member of this ancient and honorable order.   When the church was rebuilt in 1872 the corner stone was well and truly laid with Masonic honors by the Most Worshipful Master Justice William Mercer Wilson, assisted by the officers and members of Great Western Lodge No. 47, A. F. & A. M., Windsor.   The officers of the lodge on this important occasion being James Gibson, W. M.; Stephen Lusted, Chaplain; Archibald Whittaker, Senior Warden; James Burnie, Junior Warden, and Geo. W. Mason, Sword Bearer.

The first baptism that took place after the church was rebuilt in 1872 was our respected townsman, George William Gray, and the first marriage solemnized was that of Miss Harriet Bowers to Robert T. Birdseye, both of the Town of Sandwich. The land on which the church stands was conveyed to the Right Rev. Dr. Stewart, Bishop of Quebec in 1834, by the Crown.
A. G. McWhinney

Who rendered valuable services as secretary-treasurer of the building committee when St John's Church was rebuilt in 1872.   Some years after he was promoted and was appointed Superintendent of the Government Mail Service for this district, with headquarters at London, Ont., to which city he moved and took up residence with his family.   During the year 1905 he visited Ireland for his health, but unfortunately, his health failed him and he died at Belfast, Ireland, July 10, 1905.

Next Page - Rectors of St John's Sandwich 1814-1909