R.W. Bro. M.E. Grimshaw

R.W Brother Mathew William Edward Grimshaw (for whom a town in Northern Alberta is named), was a Physician – a 1906 graduate of Queens University, in Kingston Ontario.

Dr. Grimshaw’s post graduate studies lured him first to Edinburgh Scotland. While Studying in Edinburgh, St.Stephen Lodge #145, (The Grand Lodge of Scotland), initiated him into Freemasonry. The same year, Stephen Lodge #145 passed Brother Grimshaw on Nov.26th, and raised him Dec. 10th.

In 1912 he moved to Alberta to practice. in 1914, Bro. Grimshaw found his way to Peace River Crossing where he established a practice and was Medical Officer for the Central Canadian Railway (CCR)

The CCR was incorporated in 1913 by the Government of Alberta. Its mandate was to extend the rails from the existing terminal located in McLennan to Peace River Crossing. The line was completed and the CCR looked to extend the line West across the Peace River.

Little is known about Bro. Grimshaw’s medical practice between 1908 and 1912. During 1912, he moved to Alberta and established a practice in Innisfail; and In 1913, a Practice in Medicine Hat.

Bro. Grimshaw was a loyal Husband to Doris Fraser and a devout Father to his Son and Daughter aptly named Doris and Fraser (pictured below).

Dr. Grimshaw with his Wife Doris
Dr. Grimshaw with his Son and Daughter

Dr. Grimshaw worked tirelessly at his profession. In a newspaper article published by the Peace River Record Gazette, his Son Fraser recalls that at the height of the Spanish Influenza epidemic, his Father was so busy he didn’t have a chance to change his clothes for 34 days. His devotion to the community saved many lives during this time.

In spite of having a busy practice​​, Bro. Grimshaw served in Peace River Crossing in several roles, including Reeve. In 1919, when Peace River was about to be incorporated as a town, he was the Commissioner representing the Village of Peace River. He later served as the town’s second Mayor for 3 years until 1922.

Dr. Grimshaw c.1925

Bro. Grimshaw was elected the second Worshipful Master of Peace River Lodge #89 for the Masonic year 1917-18. For the year 1920-21, he was elected as the third District Deputy Grand Master of District 13, now the Mighty Peace District, in the Grand Lodge of Alberta.

On November 8th 1929, after a particularly hectic day, Bro. Grimshaw died of heart failure. He was 49. He and his Wife Doris are buried in the Waterhole cemetary 45 minutes outside of the town named after him. ​​

The Town of Grimshaw c. 1930-40​​

In 1917 the railway built a siding at Miller’s Crossing (then referred to as “The Stop”) A Post Office was built and around it a community began to grow. In 1930 the CPR (successor to the CCR) chose the name Grimshaw in honour of the man and his sevice and devotion to the people of the area. R.W. Brother Grimshaw was indeed worthy of the honour, being “A good man made better”.