Thanks to the Officers and Members of Toronto Lodge AMORC for your Fraternal Warmth yesterday during our visit to the Centre and the restaurant after. Former Colombe Tanith was touched by your warm inclusive greetings.
Yesterday Tanith Hatcher my daughter and former Colombe joined 19 other interested participants and Members of Toronto Lodge AMORC on a Mystical Day Trip to The N.C.C.T. The Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, 16 Spadina Road, Toronto, Ontario, October 28th, 2023.
We started the day with an introductory talk by Frater Hugh McCague, who most will recognize as being one of the main contributors to the Department of Instruction Weekly Teleconferences.
He gave a brief history of the building the Centre now is in, it was at one time the Tynedale Bible College. He also addressed the Medicine Wheel, and how the two rivers flowing into Lake Ontario, The Humber and Don were very important to early indigenous life. In fact Toronto is an anglicized version of a First Nation phrase meaning “a place of meeting”. The English phrase is part of the Toronto Lodge AMORC Lodge Seal.
Charlie a staff member of the Centre and Laila a volunteer lead us through the centre, explaining the many, diverse, very inclusive programs open to those who wish to partake of them.
Charlie also took great care in explaining the importance of the sacred fire that is lit and tended by fire keepers who are always male, when special occasions or ceremonies are held. Different to our tradition where our Colombes, young girls are keepers of the flame, in our Temples.
Time was also spent in front of a Totem Pole which was carved by a member of a First Nation Tribe on the West Coast. The Totem Pole is not a custom in this part of Canada, but this one has stood at the Centre since the 1980’s.
We also enjoyed some of the art in different mediums that are always on display in the Centre.
We finished our visit in the “Talking Room”, which Charlie said is also a “Sweat Lodge” in function at times, even though not of typical construction. Electric heaters are used here.
A few of us participated in a Meditation in the “Talking Room” led by Frater McCague.
A visit to the “Cedar Basket” gift shop saw many Members buying items from many Indigenous suppliers, to close out their visit.
We then had a most pleasent lunch together at a local restaurant that catered to our group in a most wonderful way.
On the way back to our car a plaque in a garden of Trinity Saint Paul’s United Church a very progressive Church in Toronto speaks to a very dark part of our history, that of the Residential Schools. Charlie spoke of the generational pain still experienced by those who directly suffered in those schools, and their descendants who still carry the pain. This generational pain is further compounded by that caused by the loss of “Missisng and Murdered Women”. Charlie has experienced both.
Then due to whatever causes traffic mayhem in a City like Toronto on a sunny October Saturdayday, it took us close to two hours to get out of the City back to the Highway to return to our City of The Kawartha Lakes. “Kawartha” is another anglicized version of an Anishnabeg phrase meaning “Land of Reflections”.