Charles Alfred Sankey was born in the rural municipality of Brenda Manitoba and was raised just east of Belleville Ontario in the home of his uncle William Nisbet Ponton, Grand Master Province of Ontario 1921-23. He was mostly home-schooled by his Aunt Grace, then attended Upper Canada College, earned a B.A.Sc. and was Chemical Engineering Medallist 1927 at the University of Toronto, and obtained his Ph.D from McGill University in 1930 as a graduate student in the recently formed Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada. He worked in the Price Brothers Research Department, Quebec City, 1930-1935, and then at the Ontario Paper Company, Thorold Ontario, 1936 to 1971, as Research Engineer, Research Director and finally Vice President Research. His work resulted in many advances in the technology of pulp and paper and its by-products, particularly alcohols and vanillin.
His interest in education led him to play a major role in the founding of Brock University, then to be a very active Chancellor (1969-1974). Music is a very important part of his life, leading to involvement with the St.Catharines Symphony, the St.Catharines Youth Orchestra and helping establish the Department of Music at Brock University. His interest in philosophy led him to become a founding member of the Unitarian Fellowship Church of St.Catharines.
He was initiated into University Lodge No.496 Toronto 9 March 1927 and is a life member. He is an affiliate of St.Andrew's Lodge No.6 G.R.Q. and also of North Star Lodge No.121 G.R.C. in Baie Comeau Quebec. After his move to St.Catharines he joined Perfection Lodge No.61, becoming its Worshipful Master in 1950. He was elected D.D.G.M. of Niagara District "A" for 1967-1968 and for many years served as a member of the Board of General Purposes of Grand Lodge and of many other committees, in particular the Mason Education Committee. In capitular Masonry, he received the Royal Arch degree 9 November 1962, in Mount Moriah Chapter No.19, St.Catharines, becoming First Principal in 1970. He joined Plantagenet Preceptory No.8 K.T. St.Catharines in 1964, and Harrington Conclave No.16 Hamilton in 1973.
His Scottish Rite involvement began with the 14° in Quebec City 25 February 1932 and the 18° 16 April 1933. Following his move to St.Catharines, he received the 32° in Moore Sovereign Consistory, Hamilton 6 March 1936. Ill.Bro.Sankey, 33° affiliated with Elgin Lodge of Perfection in Niagara Falls and became T.P.G.M. in 1944. He served as Trustee for many years and is currently Grand Orator Emeritus. He was Chair of the founding committee of Niagara Chapter of Rose Croix, is a charter member and again served as Trustee for many years.
He was coroneted an Honorary Inspector-General in Quebec City in 1946 and crowned a Sovereign Grand Inspector-General in Vancouver 8 September 1973. He served as Chair of the Special Committee on Annual Sessions, Chair of the Committee on Rituals and Ritualistic Matter and Vice-President of the Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation. He was admitted to the Royal Order of Scotland in 1947 and was an officer in that body for many years.
Many other honours came his way. The Canadian Pulp & Paper Association awarded him the Weldon Medal, the E.G.Robinson Award and made him a honorary member in 1973. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts of the Chemical Institute of Canada and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was St.Catharines Citizen of the Year in 1973. The Professional Engineers of Ontario gave him its Citizenship Award in 1978. The University of Toronto enrolled him in their Hall of Distinction in 1980, Queens University awarded him an honorary D.Sc. in 1980, and Brock University an honorary L.L.D. in 1983. He was awarded the John S.Bates Memorial Gold Medal for his outstanding career and contributions to Canadian Pulp and Paper. In July 2005, the Senate Chamber of Brock University was named the "Dr.Charles Sankey Chamber" in recognition of his contributions to the University in its formative years and to celebrate his 100th birthday.
On 9 March 2007, Dr.Sankey celebrated his 80th anniversary as a mason, with several senior Masons in attendance.
"Last night I loved. This morning I am love." 29 April 2009