Laying the cornerstone - A tradition moving forward

MONTREAL, Sept. 22, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, as the foundations of the new Shriners Hospitals for Children®-Canada are appearing above ground, the Cornerstone of the new facility was officially laid. Based on an ancient Masonic tradition, this ceremony which is now practised for its symbolism was attended by Masons and Shriners from around North America, officials from Shriners Hospitals for Children, government and corporate partners, patients, families and friends.  Current and past patients from across the country were present to represent generations of patients treated in the past, the reason new the hospital is being built.

The laying of the cornerstone, a Masonic rite, marked a significant moment in the construction of the new hospital. VIPS attending the masonic ceremony, which was overseen by Grand Master Jean Reed of the Grand Lodge of Quebec, including the Minister of Families of Quebec, Nicole Léger, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacques Chagnon, the MNA for Masson, Diane Gadoury-Hamelin, the MP for Westmount, Marc Garneau; the Mayor of Montreal, Laurent Blanchard, the Mayor of Westmount, Peter Trent and the Mayor of NDG/Cote-des-Neiges, Lionel Perez. Representing Shriners, Richard Brousseau, Chairman of the Karnak Shriners of Montreal was joined by officials from Shriners International including Imperial Potentate John Cinotto; CEO Doug Maxwell, and Jerry Gantt, Imperial Officer and Liaison for the construction of the new hospital. Also in attendance were the Exceptional Care for Exceptional Kids campaign co-chairs Peter Letko and Deborah Josephson, M.D with Rick & Carolyn E. Renaud.

The Cornerstone Laying Ceremony is a celebration of masonic symbols and a truly historical event. Following masonic tradition, Grand Master Jean Reed first positioned the cornerstone, after which it was checked, or proven by the Junior Grand Warden, Senior Grand Warden, Deputy Grand Master and Grand Master respectively.

This was followed by the Masonic Rite of Consecration, a deeply symbolic ceremony during which the cornerstone, following ancient custom, was anointed with corn, wine and oil: corn representing abundance; wine the symbol of joy and cheerfulness, while oil represents peace and unanimity. Salt was then sprinkled on the cornerstone as a symbol of friendship and fidelity, ensuring peace, happiness and prosperity for all who will enter the new hospital.

According to Grand Master Reed, "Traditionally, the cornerstone (or dedication stone) was the first stone set when building a foundation. It acted as the reference to all other stones while building the structure. Today, the cornerstone is mostly ceremonial, indicating the date of construction."

True to custom, a cornerstone often holds a time capsule and, in the next year, a time capsule containing items commemorating the era and hospital's outstanding achievements over its 90 years of service will be prepared to be placed inside the cornerstone when it is installed on the building.

The new ultra-modern Shriners Hospital is scheduled to open in the fall of 2015, with the building structure being completed in early 2014, and the exterior envelope, inside finishing and electro-mechanical work being substantially completed by end of 2014.

Shriners Hospitals for Children-Canada provides world-class care to children from across Canada, the U.S. and abroad in a family-focused environment. This relatively small hospital is a centre of excellence in pediatric orthopaedics and is recognized internationally for its world-class research and bone-disease treatment. For more information, please see


SOURCE: Hôpital Shriners pour enfants (Canada)

For further information:

Emmanuelle Rondeau
Communications & Marketing Manager
Shriners Hospitals for Children®-Canada
C: 514-207-1057

Charles Pitts
For Shriners Hospitals for Children®-Canada
514-984-5614 c

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