SGM Larry Halliday

M. Ven. Bro. Lawrence Morrow Halliday, SGC
Sovereign Grand Master
Allied Masonic Degrees of Canada
Biographical notes


Lawrence M. Halliday was born March 5th, 1940 in Edmonton, Alberta where his dad was working as an accountant at University Hospital. He was an only child, born late in life to Margaret, nee Morrow and Cecil who thought their marriage never would be blessed. However, the family moved within a year to the Rosedale neighbourhood of Toronto and it was here that Larry (as everyone calls him) was really raised.
Larry went to Whitney Public School and Jarvis Collegiate where his education was anything but distinguished. In fact it is rumoured that when he announced that he was to attend Teachers’ College his fomer Algebra teacher, Miss Roberts, mumbled, “Lord bless all the poor children!”. It wasn’t until he attended York University after he started teaching that he finally applied himself and managed to graduate with an Honours B.A. in 1971. Later he added an M. Ed. Degree at the University of Toronto and finished his formal schooling.

Larry married Jeanette Keel on August 14, 1965 and they are still together 45 tumultuous years later which is not easy with as many Masonic commitments as Larry has broached over the years. They have two daughters, Lexanne and Deborah – both born and raised in Aurora, Ontario which was central to their father’s work. Both are now married with their own respective families. Lexanne has her own two girls, Lorraine and Stephanie and Deborah, one boy, Owen. Jeanette is the consummate grandmother and doesn’t mind babysitting for days on end. When all three of them get together, Larry has about enough patience for 20 minutes! 

During his high school years, Larry worked part time painting houses and, with his friends, Evan Monkman and Robert Box, indeed partnered the Rosedale Handymen Association…later to become the College Pro Painters. It was during this time that he met Jeanette whose family had moved into the area.
After high school Larry spent a year in the Army Service Corps and the Royal Conservatory of Music (thinking that he might like to teach piano) then attended Toronto Teachers’ College, graduating in 1962. His first teaching assignment was at Crosby P.S. in Richmond Hill, ON where he taught grades 4,5 & 6, specializing in science. Many changes in assignments, schools and specialties came quickly as York Region was expanding rapidly and so too their school system. In 1972, Larry was posted to Markham District H.S. teaching music and guidance. On to Sutton D.H.S. in 1978 as Head of Guidance and back to Markham D.H.S. in 1983 as Head of Guidance and Principal of Continuing Education. Larry transferred to Aurora H.S. in 1989 and finished his career in Education in 1996 with a well-remembered retirement party given by his many friends and colleagues in Aurora.

Community Involvements

As Larry had been initiated into the Boy Scout Movement in Toronto at an early age and always enjoyed the fun and learning. He went on to become Sea Scoutmaster in the 81st Toronto. When they moved to Aurora, he and Jeanette were prevailed upon to lead the 2nd Aurora Cub Pack and when the boys moved on to the 1st Aurora Scouts, Larry went with them as Scoutmaster. Following in his mentors, Robbert Hartog, steps he enjoyed hiking and camping with the boys. Jeanette went on to lead our girls and their friends in Brownies, Guides and Pathfinders eventually becoming District Commissioner. Larry has sung in a church choir for many years from the age of eight and has been a member and supporter of the Anglican Church of Canada.
After the girls were educated and finally left home the Hallidays realized that a five-bedroom almost empty house was too much to keep up and they decided to shift their operations to Midland, ON. Jeanette wanted to live on the water but with the comforts of town utilities. Today Larry is a member of the Wye Marsh Conservation Society, Member of the Midland Tennis Club, Midland Kayak and Canoeing Club and the Balm Beach Seniors Golf League.
Larry and Jeanette have wintered for 10 years in Florida but for the last 3 years have preferred the drier air of Arizona.

Masonic Endeavours

Initiated in Tuscan Lodge #99 GRC: 1983 — Served as Worshipful Master: 1992
Member of the Grand Lodge Degree Team: 1994
Appointed Assistant Grand Organist: 1996

Royal Arch Masons

Exalted in The St. Patrick Chapter #145 GRC: 1984
Served as First Principal: 1987
Elected Grand Superintendent, District 8: 1990
Honorary memberships: Aurora Chapter #235 GRC
 — University Chapter #241 GRC
 — Mt. Sinai Chapter # 212 GRC
Appointed Grand Representative to Argentina: 1992
Appointed Grand Representative to South Carolina: 2007
Allied Masonic Degrees of Canada
Admitted to Richmond Hill Council #168 GRC: 1987
Served as Sovereign Master: 1989 & 1990
Coroneted Knight of the Royal Order of the Red Branch of Eri: 1997
Raised to Knight Commander: 1999
Appointed to the Grand Executive Committee: 1999
Coroneted Knight Grand Cross: 2000
Elected Grand Registrar: 2000
Elected Grand Secretary: 2001
Elected Deputy Grand Master: 2007
Elected Sovereign Grand Master: 2009
Sovereign Great Priory of Canada
Proclaimed Knight in Geoffrey de St. Aldemar Preceptory #2: 1987

Royal and Select Masters of Ontario
Greeted in Adoniran Council #2 GCO: 1989

York Rite Sovereign College of North America
Elected Member of Athelstan College #41: 1989

Grand Imperial Conclave of Canada
Installed a Knight Companion of the Red Cross of Constantine in Holy Land Conclave #3: 1991

Royal Ark Mariners of Ontario
Initiated in Lake Ontario Lodge #5: 1991