In 1905, the Order Sons of Italy was founded in North America. The Italian community of Brantford joined the Order Sons of Italy of Ontario in 1934 and named their club Pontinia Lodge. In 1940 it ceased to function. During the period Pontinia Lodge was in existence, it offered to the people of Brantford, among other benefits, an educational programme in Italian and English. Pontinia Lodge was organized mainly to promote Italian culture and traditions. The first Venerable or president was Mr. Peter De Maggio. The War Measures Act impacted its success with the internment of Italians during the Second World War. Daniele Lezzi and Giulio Mancini, two Brantford Italian internees, were on the executives list of the lodge. As a result of their internment, the lodge was disbanded.
On November 23, 1953, the Italian community in Brantford organized once more through the Order Sons of Italy of Ontario a club to be named Rossini Lodge No. 18. The name Rossini was chosen in commemoration of the famous Italian composer of opera, Gioacchino Rossini. Through the years Rossini Lodge has contributed extensively to the many charitable organizations of Brantford. Rossini Lodge has been a leader in the Brantford community in organizing special drives to raise money when disaster struck. The first Venerable or president of Rossini Lodge was Mr. Charles Del Rossi. In 1957, after four hard years of planning and fundraising, building of the new Rossini ballroom was begun. With all members planning and working together, Rossini Hall at 140 Grey St. was finished in June 1958. In 1965, a two-floor addition was added to the rear premises. The motto of Rossini Lodge "Liberty, Fraternity and Equality" governs all its activities.
Rossini Lodge has contributed monetarily to many local initiatives through their charitable work. Furthermore, Rossini Lodge serves as a meeting place for Italians in Brantford; the lodge is a place to share one another’s company, discuss daily events, enjoy coffee or a glass of wine. Early in the Lodge’s history, it is said that a new immigrant to Brantford could go to the Lodge and would be able to find out which companies were hiring, what the wage would be, and the working conditions at said company.
Click here to visit Rossini Lodge's website. Rossini Lodge