The Ashlar Company
For the good of the craft...
A History of the Early Days of Freemasonry in British Columbia
A HISTORY OF THE EARLY DAYS OF FREEMASONRY IN BRITISH COLUMBIA By
R.W.Bro. William G. Gamble
The pioneers of Freemasonry have laid broad and deep the
foundations of the Craft in this province, and not only does our
Order owe tribute to their memory, but so also does the State, for
they have given strength and stability to citizenship, and have set
intellectual, moral, and spiritual standards for men in every walk
We should remember also those who by Masonic addresses or by Lodge
work have helped in the forward march of Freemasonry, and that
great body of men who have in their writings translated the best
Masonic concepts into a living language, and have beyond measure
enriched Masonic ideals.
Would that all the great in Freemasonry could pass in mental review
before us, as on a moving picture screen, and could flash into our
lives even the merest spark of desire to live the life of true
Freemasons, so that, influenced by their words and works, but most
of all so inspired by their ideals, that we might turn away from
deceptive shadows and, facing the East, see as we progress ever
onward and upward a vision of Masonic perfection shining straight
before us, bright and clear as our spiritual concept of the City of
God but nothing else in Freemasonry can take the place of a deep,
strong, and constant belief in the first and great Commandment:
"Thou shalt love the Lord, thy God, with all thy heart, and with
all thy soul, and with all thy mind."
When Joshua sent the two and a half tribes into the land of their
possession, on the other side of Jordan, he said: "Take diligent
heed to do all the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant
of the Lord charged you, to love the Lord Your God, and to walk in
all His ways, and to keep His commandments, and to cleave unto Him,
and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul."
Thus were summarized the commandments on the first Table of the
Law and those on the second Table may be even more briefly
summarized in the single commandment: "Thou shalt love thy
neighbour as thyself."
Therefore, as Freemasonry is founded on the Volume of the Sacred
Law, its highest ideal is a strong and constant belief in the
Fatherhood of God, and the Brotherhood of Man.
W. G. Gamble.
Freemasonry in British Columbia, as in other parts of Canada,
followed the path of settlement. In the early days in eastern North
America, and later in the North and West, the chief attraction was
the fur trade. The demand for furs in Europe, and the potential
wealth of furs everywhere in the land that is now British North
America led to the formation of fur companies, chief of which was
the Hudson's Bay Company established in 1670 by the Charter granted
by Charles II to Prince Rupert and his Associates.
After the British conquest of Canada the North-West Fur Company,
formed by Scottish merchants in Montreal, sent out explorers and
constructed a line of fortified trading posts which became
important centres of the trade in furs with the Indians. This
company was first to push its operations into the Pacific slope.
East of the Rockies there was a bitter rivalry, even to bloodshed,
between the two companies. The British Parliament put an end to
that rivalry by uniting the companies under the name of Hudson 's
John McLoughtin was made Chief Factor of the whole territory west
of the Rocky Mountains, and James Douglas became his first
assistant. Chief Factor McLaughlin established the main centre of
trade at Fort Vancouver on the north bank of the Columbia River.
That place did not seem desirable as a permanent site because Fort
Vancouver might be found to be in American territory when the
boundary line was settled between American and British territory.
James Douglas was therefore sent northward to discover a more
satisfactory place for the chief centre of trade. He chose the
southern tip of Vancouver Island, which selection was approved by
the company. In the following year, 1843, he set forth with
fifteen men in the Steamer Beaver, the first steamship to sail on
the Pacific, and erected a palisaded fort, which was officially
named Fort Victoria. A few years later when the boundary line was
being settled, it proved to be an important factor in keeping the
whole of Vancouver Island in British territory.
At first the settlement grew very slowly. However, in 1857 gold
was found in the sand bars of the Fraser River, and the following
year, when some gold dust was sent to San Francisco, a great rush
began to the new fields. Almost overnight Victoria became a city
of shacks and tents.
Victoria Lodge, No. 1085, E.R.
In that same year on July 10, 1858, notice was given in the
Victoria Gazette of a Masonic meeting to be held on the evening of
July 12 to consider matters relating to the Craft. It was to be
held in the new store belonging to Southgate and Mitchell, at the
south-east corner of Yates and Langley Streets.
So far as it can be determined the men in attendance at that
preliminary meeting were: Joseph J. Southgate, George Pearkes,
William Jeffray, James N. Thain, William H. Thain, Ronald J.
McDonnell, and Allen McDonald.
In due course application for a charter was made to the Grand Lodge
of England. It was issued, dated March 19, 1858 and signed by the
Earl of Zetland, Grand Master.
Before the Lodge could be formed a Freemason, Samuel James
Hazeltine, Chief Engineer of the Labouchere, was injured in an
accident, and died in the Royal Victoria Hospital on August 26,
1859. The Masonic Brethren formed an "Occasional Lodge," and
wearing white gloves and aprons made by a tentmaker, marched to the
hospital, and from there to the cemetery beyond Christ Church,
where they interred the remains of their late Brother with Masonic
The Warrant for Victoria Lodge, No. 1085, arrived on March 14th,
1860. It was constituted on August 20th, by R.W. Bro. Burnaby, P.M.
of Royal Somerset and Inverness Lodge, No. 4. He was assisted by
Henry Aquilar, P.M. of Good Report Lodge, No. 158, London.
Installed were: Joseph Johnson Southgate, W.M. George Pearkes,
S.W. William Jeffray, J.W. James Nealon Thain, Treasurer Amor de
Cosmos, Secretary William Henry Thain, S.D. Kady Gambitz, J.D.
Lumley Franklin, I.G. R. J. McDonnell, Tyler.
Union Lodge, No. 1201, E.R.
Union Lodge, New Westminster, was organized on December 16th, 1861,
and was constituted as No. 1201, E.R., on June 24th, 1862, by R.W.
Bro. Burnaby. Installed were: R.W. Bro. Henry Holbrook, W.M. Dr.
J. Vernon Siddall, R.E., S.W. Valentine Hall, J.W. Capt. J.
Cooper, Treasurer George Frye, Secretary Dr. S. E. Crain, S.D.
R. Dickenson, J.D. B. F. Moses, I.G. D.B. Hickey, Tyler.
Vancouver Lodge, No. 421, S.C.
Vancouver Lodge, Victoria, was formed by Brethren who wanted the
American Work. They were opposed, at first, by the English
Freemasons at a meeting of Victoria Lodge because they considered
that a dispensation to form a new Lodge should emanate only from a
Grand Lodge of the Mother Country. Therefore, Dr. Israel Wood
Powell, who had recently come to the colony, advised the
petitioners to apply to the Grand Lodge of Scotland for a Charter.
To this procedure, Victoria Lodge offered no objection. A charter
w as issued by the Grand Lodge of Scotland, on August 4th, 1862 to
Vancouver Lodge, No. 421, S.C. The Lodge was constituted on October
20th, of that year. The three principal officers were: William
Jeffray, W.M. Samuel Goldstone, S.W. and Alex. Cain, J.W. In a
few months W. Bro. Jeffray resigned, and went to the United States
and Dr. Powell became Worshipful Master. George Coe became
Secretary. Eventually he too went to the United States, but
visited Vancouver Lodge in April, 1867 and was made an Honora ry
Member. In December of that year he became the first Grand Master
of the Grand Lodge of Idaho.
On June 3rd the Freemasons laid the Corner Stone of the Jewish
Synagogue, at Blanshard and Pandora. The Congregation Emanuel, the
German Verein, the Hebrew Benevolent Society, St. Andrew's Society,
the Masonic Lodges, the band of H.M.S. Topaze, and also many ladies
were present. John Malowanski, the first initiate of Victoria
Lodge, offered prayer in Hebrew and S. Hoffman informed the
assembly that it was the 2675th year from the erection of King
Solomon's Temple. Kady Gambitz presented the silver trowel, and
R.W. Bro. Burnaby laid the Corner Stone. The Scroll recorded the
names of all those who had taken part in the ceremony, many of them
well known in the history of the Colony. The Colonist reported:
"Thus ended an eventful day in the History of the Jews on Vancouver
Island, and it must ever be a source of infinite gratification to
that body that the ceremonies of the day were participated in by
all classes of our community with a hearty good wi ll and brotherly
feeling, evincing the highest esteem in whic h they are held by all
their fellow citizens in the City of Victoria."
R.W. Bro. F. W. Howay wrote of a tragic accident at Hope: "The
winter of 1861-1862 was very severe. The snow at Hope and Yale was
from four to five feet deep. On Front Street in Yale it was even
with the tops of the houses. The mercury fell to thirteen degrees
below zero and the Fraser was frozen from below New Westminster to
the canyons. On January 28th, 1862 Mr. E.W. Crowe, with an Indian
companion, undertook to travel on the ice to New Westminster.
About two miles above Harrison River he stopped to d rink at an air
hole. The ice gave way and Mr. Crowe was precipitated head
foremost into the river. The Indian, one of Billy Ballou's express
messengers, returned to Hope with the sorrowful news. Mr. Crowe
was one of the early settlers in Hope and one of its most
enterprising merchants. The Masonic fraternity of the village met
on January 31st at Hope and passed resolutions of sympathy."
In the year 1861 some miners at Cayoosh wrote to Victoria Lodge:
"We find that our number consists of seventeen worthy Master
Masons, and we meet on occasion, for the purpose of brightening and
improving ourselves in Freemasonry. We have had a dinner on our
great Patron's Day. There are many here of the proper material,
wishing to be received into the Order, and our being so far away
from other Lodges induces us to petition in this wise, so that we
may be able to assist many worthy distressed Brethren wbo pass and
repass, but our being so far away and not properly organized, we
are unable to meet these demands upon us. Also to keep from
rusting, as well as for the diffusion of Masonic knowledge, and
maintaining brotherly love and our beloved Order, we have appointed
a Worshipful Master and Wardens, pro tem. in the hope of receiving
a dispensation from your honourable body."
R.W. Bro. Burnaby and Bro. Lewis drafted a reply, and enclosed
forms and instructions, and these were forwarded by the secretary,
T. C. Nuttall, on May 10th, but the miners had dispersed to the
These incidents show that Freemasonry meant something to the
brethren in those pioneer days. Now when the radio, television,
and the automobile and aeroplane have done so much to annihilate
distance, it is difficult to understand pioneer life as it was in
those days. Men struggled day by day for a mere existence
aboriginal conditions threatened, and the encircling forest
oppressed with inexpressible loneliness, but the memory of a Lodge
recalled to Freemasons the pulsating influence of Masonic
brotherhoo d, and the sublime teaching of the omnipresence of the
Nanaimo Lodge, No. 1090, E.R.
Thus far, Masonic Lodges had been confined to Victoria and New
Westminster. The discovery of coal on the Island led to the
founding of Nanaimo, and the formation of Nanaimo Lodge. In 1849,
a S'nenymo Indian, who was havinc, his rifle repaired by a
blacksmith in Victoria, saw the rifle being heated by the burning
coal, and he said he knew where the "black stones" could be found.
Thereupon, he was taken to Mr. McKay, a Hudson's Bay officer, who
promised him a reward if he would bring some of the "black sto nes"
to the Fort. 71-his he did the following spring, and two years
later, on August I 4th, Douglas wrote to Mr. McKay thus: "Sir, you
will proceed with all diligence to Wentyuhuysen Inlet, commonly
called Nanymo Bay, and formally take possession of the coal beds
lately discovered there for and on behalf of the Hudson's Bay
Qompany." The name of the city is derived from the Indian word
"Sue-ny-mo" or from S'nenymo, the nane of the Indian tri 'be .
Application was made for a Warrant in 1865, and it was granted
to Nanalmo Lodge, No. 1090, E.R., in that year by the Gra,-id Lodge
of England, but it was lost in the wreck of the Labouchere, and the
new Warrant did not arrive until 1867. The Lodge was constituted
by R.W. Bro. Henry Holbrook on May 15th. He was assisted by
Victoria Brethren who had come on the Steamer "Sir James Douglas."
R.W. Bro. Burnaby was unable to attend. The officers installed
were: W. H. Franklyn, W.M. and founder William Clarke, S.W.
William Stewart, J.W.
Cariboo Lodge, No. 469, S.C.
The discovery of gold in William's Creek, Barkerville, in
1861, by William Dietz, for whom the creek was called, and William
Barker, for whom the town was called, led to the formation of a
Lodge, after the completion of the road, in 1866. The petition was
signed on December 8th of that year, and was presented to Vancouver
Lodge on January 16th, 1867 by Jonathan Nutt. It was endorsed and
given to Dr. 1. W. Powell, to be forwarded to the Grand Lodge of
Scotland, as Vancouver Lodge had made application, previously, to
the Grand Lodge of Scotland for a Provincial Grand Lodge, and bad
recommended Dr. Powe!@ for the office of Provincial Grand Master.
He was appointed to that office by Commission, dated May 8th, 1867.
The Charter for Car'iboo Lodge, No. 469, S.C. was received on
December 7th, 1867, and the Lodge was constituted on June 24th,
1868. The first officers were: Jonathan Nutt, W.M. D. McNaughton,
D.M. John Muir, Substitute Master J. W. Hill, S .W. George
Grant, ,J,W@ R. Borthwick, Treastircr: W. Cochrane, Secretary J.
S. Thompscn, S.D. A. Campbell, J.D. W. Jones, I.G. G. C.
Webster, Tyler. Otber Charter Members were: Henry E. Seeley,
W. Muesta, I. W. Powell, B. P. Anderson, W. H. Fitzgerald,
and N. F. Foster.
British Columbia Lodge,
No. 1187, E.R.
Meanwhile, Victoria, Union, and Nanaimo Lodges were working
for a District Grand Lodge, as, by a regulation of December 6th,
1865, all Minor Grand Lodges outside of England were to be so
named but they required another Lodge. A petition, signed by
Thomas Harris as W.M. John Banks as S.W. and Henry Nathan as
J.W. and also by: George Creighton, A. Finlay Main, and Eli
Harrison, was forwarded to the Grand Lodge of England. A Wartant
was issued to British Columbia Lodge, No. 1187, E.R. R.W. Bro. Bur
naby installed the following officers: Thomas Harris, W.M. A.
Finlay Main, S.W. Henry Nathan, J.W. Paul Medana, Treasurer A.
Theakstone, Secretary E. Harrison, S.D. George Creighton, J.D.
1. Ragazzoni, I.G.
-1-he Grand Secretary of the Grand lodge of England noted that
John Banks had left the Colony, and A. Finlay Main had been
appointed ii-I his place, and he said: "If it is 'intended that he
has been appointed to the office, I beg to inform you that such
proceeding is irregular, as it is not in the power of anyone, save
the Grand Master himself, to put anyone ir. a Warden's Chair at the
institution of a i-iew Lodge." He also noted that certain persons
had been appointed to office although their names we re not
attached to the petition also, that the Lodge had not been
Thus early, difficulties began to arise because of the
remoteness of final authority. R.W. Bro. Burnaby constituted the
Lodge on October 27th, 1867 and he was appointed District Grand
Master by patent from the Grand Master of England on September
10th, 1867. The officers of the Provincial Grand Lodge (S.R.) were
installed on December 24th, 1867 and the Provincial Grand Master,
R.W. Bro. Israel Wood Powell, and his Officers conducted the
installation of the Officers of Vancouver Lodge on December 27th,
Caledonia Lodge, No. 478, S.C.
Half the number of members of Nanaimo Lodge wanted the
American work. They made application to the Provincial Grand
Master for a dispensation to form a Lodge, to be named Caledonia
Lodge. The Lodge was instituted by R.W. Bro. Powell on November
18th, 1868, and the two Lodges agreed to an equal division of
assets and liabilities. Caledonia Lodge, No. 478, S.C., was
constatuted on April 5th, 1869. The Principal Officers were: S. D.
Levi, W.M. William Stewart, S.W. James Harvey, J.W. The principal
District Grand Lodge Officers (E.R.) were: R.W. Bro. Robert
Burnaby, D.G.M.: R.W. Bro. Henry Holbrook, D.D.G.M.: R.W. Bro. J.
F. McCreight, D.S.G.W. R.W. Bro. W. H. Smith, D.J.G.W. The first
meeting was on August 20th, 1868. After the open-
ing, the Brethren attended a Service in St. John's Church, and on
their return to the Lodge Room, R.W. Bro. Powell presented R.W.
Bro. Burnaby to R.W. Bro. Holbrook for installation, after which
the visitors retired, and R.W. Bro. Burnaby installed the other
Mount Hermon Lodge,
No. 491, S.C.
The next meeting of the District Grand Lodge (E.R.) was held
in New Westmirster. In the absence of R.W. Bro. Burnaby, R.W.
Bro. Holbrook presided. He not only dismissed a comvlaint against
Union Lodge for accepting a candidate without previous notice to
the brethren at Burrard, but severely reprimanded those who made
the complaint. This the Brethren at Burrard considered the more
unfair, as the candidate in question was a personal friend of R.W.
Bro. Holbrook. In consequence of this and other co nsiderations,
the brethren of Burrard determned to withdraw from Union Lodge and
from the English Jurisdiction, and to form a Lodge of their own at
Burrard Inlet, where Bro. Sewell Prescott Moody's mills were
situated. Bro. Moody helped them to build a Hall, and his
accountant, Bro. J. C. Hughes wrote to the Provincial Grand
Secretary, R.W. Bro. licisterman, who advised him to apply at once
for a dispensation. This the Burrard brethren did. and the
dispensation was issued on January llth, 1869.
-1@he Provincial Grand Master, R.W. Bro. Powell, came to
Burrard on January 15th, and some of the Brethren mct him at the
wharf and escorted him to the Lodge Room. Dr. A. W. S. Black, a
visitor, acted as Secretary, and Bro. J. C. Hughes acted as Tyler.
All the other officers took their own places. The Lodge was then
opened, and R.W. Bro. Powell, Provincial Grand Master,
cons,@crated it and installed the officers, namely: J. C. Hughes,
W.M. W. 0. Allen, S.W. Philander W. Swett, J.W. The Lodge was
nanied Mount Hermon, and numbered 491, S.C. The Charter was dated
May 5th, 1869. At a meeting of the District Grand Lodge, on March
Ilth, 1869, the Brethren invited the co operation of the Provincial
Grand Lodge in forming a Fund of Benevolence, and they appointed to
the Committee Hon. J. F. McCreiglit, Joshua Blackbourns, and Ell
Harrison. At the second meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge
Simeon Duck, W. Jackson, and James Harvey were appointed to the
At that meeting, the Provincial Grand Master said that
discussion 'ifter an unfavourable ballot was productive of evil and
a slur upon the Lodge that, whether in or out of the Lodge, no
brother had a right to say how be voted and that comment is
unlawful. He also advised that the greatest care should be taken
in admitting visitors, and that the most convincing proof of true
fellowship should be demanded and, that if a single doubt existed,
the portals of Freemasonry should be firmly closed to the
He mentioned a complaint that a i,cjected candidate had been
received into a Lodge of the sister jurisdiction, but that R.W.
Burnaby had claimed that the Lodge had a perfect right to receive
and deal with the application. He said that there were other
instances, and he added: "Lodges located in the samc town which
give encouragement to the immediate, or 'f you w@ll, acceptance of
peremote 1 t tations of candidates rejected by a sister Lodge, not
only open 'Aide our portals to the questionable, if not the
unworthy, but loxk,er the respectability and uttcrIN@ destroy, in
so far as their influence is concerned, the l,restig@ of
IZ.W. Bro. Burnaby made a careful investigation, but could
find no eN@idence of solicitation, as charged by R.W. Bro. Powcll,
and that the requited time had elapsed between rejection and
re-application in the case of the candidate in question. He also
contended that the candi(,iate, in applying to another I-odge, was
only exercising the right that would have been his, had he chosen
once more to risk a second application to the Lodge that had
TI)c wliolc truth was that l@.W. Bro. Powell believed
i .urisdiztion over reiccted material. and R.W. Bro. Burnaby
Movement for an Independent
On December 10th, W. Bro. A. H. Adams brought the matter
before Vancouver Lodge by a series of resolutions in which he noted
that eight Lodges with a total membership of three hundred were
supporting two Grand Lodges and contributing to two others, which
were ten thousand mi @les distant that no money was left for local
or charitable purposes that two @urisdictions tended to create
jealousy and rivalry, and that decisions were not final.
When the resolutions were brought before the Provincial Grand
Lodge, on May 1st, 1869, the Provincial Grand Master would take no
part in the movement until he had submitted the resolutions to the
Grand, Lodge of Scotland. At the request of Victoria Lodge, R.W.
Bro. Burnaby wrote to the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of
England, and informed him that there were many Americans, and
Canadians also, who came from jurisdictions where they bad an
Independent Grand Lodge and were acquainted with some form of the
The Grand Secretary in his reply said that as a District Grand
I.,odge under the Grand Lodge of England, they had a far more
influential position than as an Independent Grand Lodge, "whose
paucity of numbers would simply render it ridiculous." He did not
even consider R.W. Bro.
Burnaby's letter of sufficient importance to lay it before the
Grand Master, but trusted that the judiciousness of R.W. Bro.
Burnaby's measures and the good sense of the Brethren would not
render such a proceeding necessary.
The Provincial Grand Lodge held its third and last meeting on
June ?5th, 1870, but no mention was made of an Independent Grand
Lodge. The Brethren of the Scottish Jurisdiction concentrated
their efforts on the formation of a fifth Lodge, which was
instituted as Quadra Lodge, on January I Ith, with James Allen
Grahame as Master. On January 18th, 1871, Vancouver Lodge decided
to form an Independent Grand Lodge, and appointed Simeon Duck, G.
C. Keays, H. F. Heisterman, and George Grant to carry out the
Resolutions and to invite the co-operation of the other Lodges in
the Colony. On July 14th, 1870, R.W. Bro. Robert Burnaby issued
the following Commission: "Know all men by these presents that we,
Robert Burnaby, District Grand Master of F. and A. Masons, in
British Columbia, balling from the United Grand Lodge of England,
by power in me vested, do hereby appoint, constitute and nominate
our well beloved and trusty Brother W. W. Francis, to act for us
and duly to represent us in any and all regular Communications of
the Grand Lodge of Oregon, when
and wherever convened." This was the first appointrnl'nt of a
Grand Representative from this Province to a foreign Jurisdiction.
At a meeting of the District Grand Lodge on March Ilt]), 1871, the
following resolution was passed: "That the Board of General
Purposes do not think it desirable to take steps at present towards
the formation of an Independent Grand Lodge of British Columbia,
whilst they feel that circumstances may occur in the future to
render such pr(>Ceeding desirable."
A Convention for the formation of an Independent Grand Lodge
was called by Vancouver Lodge for March 18th and 20th, 1871,
although Dr. Powell was in England. At that Convention, all the
Scottish Lodges were fully represented. W. Bro. Eli Harrison was
the only Freemason present from the English Jurisdiction. He was
given full voting 1 'leges.
The Convention elected a full slate of officers, and arranged
to meet on Monday, the 20ti) for installation, which Past Grand
Master, Ellwood Evans, of Washington, agreed to conduct. M.W. Bro.
Evans advised by telegram, that he would be in Victoria on Monday,
at 7:30 in the evening, but although the telegram was received
early on Monday morning, R.W. Bro. Burnaby did not receive notice
until 4:30 in the afternoon. Then he received an invitation to be
present as one who had always taken a great inte rest in
Just before the meeting, the District Grand Secretary
delivered to V.W. Bro. H. F. Heisterman, the Convention Secretary,
a letter from R.W. Bro. Burnaby, demanding to know by what
authority they met and a letter was delivered to M.W. Bro. Evans,
protesting against the proceedings. The District Grand Secretary
then protested personally and retired. Thereupon, M.W. Bro. Evans
asked the Provincial Grand Secretary to read the minutes of the
Proceedings. He found that a number of the Lodges refused to take
part in the formation of an Independent Grand Lodge and that the
Grand Master elect was in England. He therefore refused to conduct
the installation, and carly next morning returned to Olympia. A
somewhat lengthy correspondence then took place between M.W. Bro.
Evans, and R.W. Bro. Burnaby, but, while it doubtless led to a
better understanding between them, it added little to the
situation, except to halt what might have been a disastrou s
proceeding from Masonic point of view.
Dr. Powell arrived home early in June. He took no steps
towards forming a Grand Lodge. As soon as possi 'ble he had an
interview with R.W- Bro. Burnaby, and together, they reviewed the
whole situation. They agreed that, since neither Grand t,odge had
shown any real interest in their problems, the solution depended on
themselves alone. Therefore, they decided to take a per capita
all the Freemasons in the Colony and, if a clear two-thirds
iiiaj'ority favoured the establishment of an Independent Grand
Lodge, it should be established if not, matters would have to
remain as they were, at least for the present. Dr, Powell then
wrote a circular letter to the Lodges under his J'urisdiction,
expressing regret at the differences of opinion that had arisen
between the Jurisdictions. In his opinion, first, last, and
always, the most important object of a convention of Freemasons
should be the unity and unanimity of both Jurisdictions in British
He said that when he had received the high honour of being the
representative of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, previous to the
appointment of a District Grand Master, his first action was to
endeavour to bring the government of both Crafts under one head, as
they were in Nova Scotia at that time. He said that if it were the
wish of the Brethren of his 3ur sd'ction, as would appear from the
action of the several Lodges, that the time had arrived for the
establishment of an Independent Grand Lodge, and t he consequent
resignation of his trust, he appealed with confidence to their
sympathy, support, and co-operation in making his efforts for unity
gloriously successful. He said: "Let us all practise that great
Masonic virtue of mutual forbearance, and we shall have the great
satisfaction of making permanent provision for the future
of perfect harmony, and brotherly love of all Freeniasons of this
Colony, which will be your highest and best reward."
He said the conference with the District Grand Master bad been
beset with many difficulties and he bore evidence to the more
kindly spirit which had actuated the distinguished Brother in all
their consultations, without which any effort of his would have
been vain and valueless. He said he though it proper to make no
comment on the past in view of the greater importance of the
future. He commended to them the example of the Right Worshipful
Brother, wbo had assured him of his cordial assent and futu re
co-operation, as proof of which he quoted from R.W. Burnaby's
letter to the Lodges of the English Jurisdiction, dated June 26th,
1871, as follows: "After long and full discussion with R.W. Bro.
Powell, Provincial Grand Master, we have consider@d together that
it will bc for the best interests of Freemasonry in the Colony to
ascertain the views of the Craft generally, as to the formation of
an Independent Grand Lodge, in which all should be ab le to unite
and for that purpose to take a per capita vote, yea or nay, on the
subject. The Brethren under my jurisdiction are requested to
dismiss from their minds all questions that bave been raised, and
to give their unbiased vote on this important point, with a view to
the preservation of harmony, and unanimity in our Ancient Craft."
According to the instructions, the secretary was to read the
circular at the regular communication in July, but no vote @vas to
be taken then the Brethren were given time to con"der the matter.
Then a special si meeting was to be called under seal of the Lodge,
and, after due discussion, a vote was to be taken, vtoa Lloce, or
by ballot, as the Lodge should decide. The result was to be sent
to the Grand Secretary of the Jorl,@dictioii, in a letter signed by
the Master and Secretary, and sealed with the seal of the Lodge.
Union Lod,e did not vote, at first, but the Secretary, John
Murray, wrote to the District Grand Secretary, cin August 28th,
1871, stating tll, obj*ections made by R.W. Bro. Holbrook, but h,2
was informed that it was necessary to send in the returns
-iccord@ng to the Instruct@ons, as the District Grand Master was
pledged to return the numerical result to the Grand Lodge of
England. The New Westminster vote was received on September 2 1
st, 1 8 7 1. The result of the vote in the English Jurisdiction wa
s: Victoria Lodge, 1 8 for and 3 against British Columbia Lodge,
19 for and 7 against: Union Lodge, 2 for and 9 against: Nanalmo
Lodge, I for and 6 against. Thus, the total vote in the Englisl)
Jurisdiction was 42 for and 25 against. In tl)c Scottisli
Jurisdiction the vote was unaninious for an Independent Grand
On September 21st, tfie Grand Secretary of the Provincial
Lodge sent the following notice to the Lodge,,: "Referring to the
Grand Master's circular of June 2 5 th, 1 8 7 1, requesting a per
capita vote of the Brethren of our Jurisdiction on the question of
an Independent Grand I-odge of British Columbia, I am requested to
enclose herewith for the information of your Lodge the resulting
returns of such votes. In accordance therewith, your Lodge is now
desired o authorize the Worshipful Master, Past Masters, and
Wardens to meet like representatives from all othcr Lodges in the
Province, in Convention, on the 21st of October, 1871, at 7:30
p.m., in the Masonic Hall, Government Street, Victoria, to
determine details, and to take such action as may be deemed
necessary for the formation of an Independent Grand Lodge of
Freemasons in British Columbia. Proxies, in lieu of Officers, may
be appointed only if there is no possibility of the latter being
able to attend."
Formation of the Grand Lodge
of British Columbia
Representatives from all I-odges, except Union, met at the
appointed time ind place at 7:00 o'clock as many members of the
former Con-@ vention as were present had mct and cancelled the
proceedings of the former Convention.
At the Convention of the day, a Credential Committee had been
appointed. When the meeting was called to order by the Chairman,
W. Bro. James Allen Grahame, and
wben called upon they reported as follows: Victoria Lodge, No.
783: C. Tborne, W.M. R. Burnaby, P.M.: J. F. McCreigbt, P.M.
Henry Nathan, P.M. John Banks, P.M. S. L, Kelly, S.W. 1.
Ragazzoni, J.W. Vancouver Lodge, No. 421, S.C,: W. Dalby, W.M. Dr.
1. W. Powell, P.M. Simeon Duck, P.M. M. W. Waitt, P.M. Joshua
Davies, Proxy for G. C. Keayes, P.M. James Crump, S.W. and John
Stafford, J. W.
Nanaimo Lodge, No. 1090, E.R.: W. H. Thain, proxy for
A. Allport, W.M. George Booth, Proxy for W. Clarke, P.M.: George
Bevillockway, S.W. Edward Quennell, Proxy for Mark Bate, J.W.
Cariboo Lodge, No. 469, S.C.: H. F. Heisterman, proxy for J. S.
Thompson, W.M. Jeremiah Madden, proxy for Jonathan Nutt, P.M.
Alex. Giliiiour, proxy for John Bruce, S.W. R. F. Rithet, proxy
for Edward Pearson, J.W. British Columbia Lodge, No. 1187, E.R.:
Thomas Shotbolt, W.M. J. Winger, S.W. and R. Brown, J.W,
Caledonia f-odge, No. 478, S.C.: Ell Harrison, proxy for
William Stewart, W.M.: S. D. Levi, P.M. W. R. Willson, proxy for
J. Kenwick, S.W.: J. Kreimler, proxy for A. Muir, J,W.
Nlount Hermon Lodge, No. 491, S.C.: Dr. W. Jackson,
proxy for John %IcDonald, W.M.: Simeon
Duck, proxy for J. C. Hughes, P.M. Charles Taylor, proxy for Coote
M. Chambers, P.M. W. Dalby, proxy for G. W, Haynes, S,W. Quadra
Lodge, U.D.: James A. Grahame, W.M. Eli Harrison, P.M.: C.
Strouss, proxy for W. Fraser, S.W. H. B. Willson Aikman, J.W.
The Report was submitted by S. D. Levi and W. H. Thain,
Credential Committee, and adopted.
Moved by R.W. Bro. Butnaby, and seconded by R.W. Bro.
Powell: That in order to establish perfect I)armony and accord, and
to promote the lasting welfare of the Masonic Fraternity in British
Columbia, it is expedient to form a Grand lodge in and for the
Province of British Columbia. This was carried tinanimously, and
with great applause.
Moved by W. Bro. S. D. Levi, seconded by M. W. Waitt: That
the representatives, now in Convention assembled, on behalf of
their respective Lodges, do hereby declare themselves to be, and
that they now proceed to organize, the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge
of Antiant, Free and Acc@pted Masons of Britisl) Columbia. This
It was then moved by R.W. Bto. Burnaby, seconded by R.W. Bro.
Powell: That the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of England, in so
far as it may be found applicable to existing circumstances, be
adopted, except that the following officers shall be elected: Grand
Master, Deputy Grand Master, Grand Wardens, Grand Chap-
lain, Grand Treasurer and Grand Tyler, This resolution was
R.W. Bro. Powell and R.W. Bro. Burnaby then retired. The
officers elected were: Dr. 1. W. Powell, Grand Master Hon. J. F.
McCreight, Deputy Grand Master Simeon Duck, S.G.W. Henry Nathan,
J.G.W. F. Gribble, Grand Chaplain M. W. Waitt, Grand Treasurer
P. J. Hall, Grand Tyler. H. F. Heisterman was appointed Grand
R. W. Bro. Burnaby was made Past Grand Master, and W. Bro.
James Allen Grahame was made Honorary Past Deputy Grand Master.
The date of Installation was set for December 26th, and R.W.
Bro. Burnaby was requested to act as Installing Officer.
The last meeting of the District Grand Lodge was held on
December 21st, 1871. The Brethren from New
Westminster could not attend because of the breaking up of the ice.
R.WBro. Holbrook, however, was present, having left by an earlier
boat. He objected to their becoming part of the Grand Lodge. The
District Grand Master said he could not see any reason why Union
Lodge could not work in harmony with the Grand Lodge, but he hoped
that R.W. Bro. Holbrook would convey to the Brethren of Union
Lodge the fraternal desire of himself and the District Grand Lodge
to be at all times on the best fraternal interc ourse with them.
R.W. Bro. Burnaby thanked the Brethren most cordially for the
support they had given him during his term of office, and he hoped
they would pardon his shortcomings.
The District Grand Lodge was then closed for the last time.
M.W. Bro. Israel W. Powell
On December 26th, 1871, M.W. Bro. 1. W. Powell and the other
elective officers were installed, and the followinc,, appointive
officers: H. F. Heisterman, Grand Secretary William Clarke, Senior
Grand Deacon I. Ragazzoni, Junior Grand Deacon E.
Lewis, Grand Superintendent of Works Ell Harrison, Grand Director
of Ceremonies William Dalby, Grand Marshal Thomas Shotbolt, Grand
Sword Bearer J. Austen, Grand Organist J. Winger, J. Crump, R.
Brown, J. S. Thompson, J. C. Hughes, Grand Stewards: S. L, Kelly,
G. Pursuivant. R.W. Bro. Burnaby, after congratulating the Grand
Master on the high honour he had attained, said he wished to state
his complete satisfaction in the work just consummated. Although
at first he had felt it his duty to oppose the movement, he had
duly appreciated the efforts of those who had tried to unite the
discordant elements, and as soon as he had seen his way clear to do
so, hc had j@oined with them. He then read a letter from the Grand
Secretary, informing him that he had received the papers regarding
the formation of the Grand Lodge, and the Colonial Board thought he
had conducted himself with great judgment and tact in the difficult
position in which he had been placed, and that he could not have
been better advised. The Grand Secretary
referred to a letter be had received from R.W. Bro. Holbrook,
stating that Union Lodge was adhering to the Grand Lodge of
England, and that its rights and privileges would be reserved. The
Grand Secretary sal 'd that although they would not be intimately
connected, he would have his unalterable esteem and respect.
R.W. Bro. Burnaby had sent his resignation as District Grand
Master, and he wrote: "It will always be a source of pride to hail
from and be connected with the Grand Lodge of England, and it is
not without a pang that I feel myself compelled, in however slight
a manner, to sever the connection that bas bound us together.
Nothing but the urgent neceasity of it would have led me to take
such a step." He hoped the Grand Lodge of England would recognize
that necessity and would officially recognize the Gr and Lodge of
British Columbia. He expressed the wish that all the members of the
Craft would unite in striving to maintain and uphold the Grand
Lodge of British Columbia, so happily and so harmoniously
inaugurated, and that all would endeavour tO CCrnent our Order with
the bond of brotherly love and concord. The Grand Master, after his
investiture, thanked R.W. Bro. Burnaby for the important part he
had taken in the inaugural ceremonies, and he said that if anything
could add to the honour of being elected Grand
Master, it was the perfect gratification of being installed by
him. It was not to be wondered at, he said, that the Craft had
unanimously asked him to be the first Past Grand Master. He hoped
their future efforts, to establish the principles of the Order on a
sure and lasting basis, would be bencfittcd by his valuable
assistance and co-operation. He said in conclusion: "A true
Masonic patriot, a faithful British Columbian, may you be long
spared to shed light and love upon the Craft, and to give good de
eds of faithful citizenship to your adopted country.
R.W. Bro. Burnaby made an eloquent reply, and then the Master
Mason Lodge was closed. and the Grand Lodge was opened in ample
form, a procession was formed, and the Grand Lodge was fully
At the evening session, the Grand Master thanked the Brethren
for the honour conferred upon him, and appealed to them for harmony
and love. He asked them to remember that the excellence of the
superstructure would depend on the excellence and solidarity of the
foundation. He said the eyes of the world were upon them, and that
they must give proof of their capabilitics for self-government, and
of their ability and intention to form a worthy link in the great
chain of Grand Lodges on this Continent. " Let us render grateful
thanksgiving to the Most High for having prospered us in ttic past,
and let us unite in imploring His blessing in our
present union, and with reverence and fervor, seek His guidance in
time to come. He said be had forwarded his resignation to the Grand
Lodge of Scotland on July 21st, 1871, and had previously sent the
resolutions passed by Vancouver Lodge, but bad taken no part in the
movement for or against an Independent Grand Lodge, as it had not
the sympathy of the English Jurisdiction. He believed that such a
change would only cause envy and jealousy, and would mean the
frustration of the very objects for which a Grand Lodge should be
formed. Union Lodge was outside the Jurisdiction, but he hoped they
would not long so remain. "Every enlightoned Brother," he said,
"whose heart is in his home, and whose home is in British Columbia,
miist see that bis first duty is to the Craft, and that the bighest
intere:3ts of the Brotherhood require him to give his cordial
assistance and co-operation in maintaining the exclusive and
undivided supremacy of this Grand Lodge within the boundaries of
On behalf of the Provincial Grand Lodge, be pr,@sented their
regalia to the Grand Lodge, and he said they could also have the
regalia and jewels of the District Grand Lodge by assuming a debt
of $450.00 due thereon. He recommended the formation of a Board
of Relief, the erection of a Masonic Hall, and the sending of
notices to sister Grand Lodges.
In conclusion, he said: "Only tb Corner Stone of the great
Temple we bave united to build in this young Province has been
auspiciously laid. Care, supervision, unremitting zeal, and the
most steadfast devotion will enable us to crown our honourable
efforts with the cope-stone of success. Let us all work faithfully
in the interests of this great work, and may it finally meet with
the approval and acceptance of the Grand Master above, Who is the
Most High and the Great Architect of the Universe." He recommended
the granting of intermediate warrants to Victoria Lodge, No. 1
Vancouver Lodge, No. 2 Nanaimo Lodge, No. 3 Cariboo Lodge, No. 4
British Columbia Lodge, No. 5 Caledonia Lodge, No. 6 Mount Hermon
Lodge, No. 7 and Quadra Lodge, No. 8. After several resolutions of
thanks, the First Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of
Antient, Free and Accepted Masons of British Columbia was closed in
Ample Form, and so proclaimed, on St. John's Day, December 27tb,
Early Years of Grand Lodge
Although British Columbia bad become a Province of the
Dominion on July 20th, 1871, there was continued depression. The
Province was depending chiefly on mines for lumbering, which later
became such an important industry, was confined almost entirely to
the two mills on Burrard Inlet. In 1858, James Allen Grahame, by
order of the Hudson's
Bay officials in London, had relinquished Fort George, and two
years later had moved the Company's headquarters from Fort
Vancouver to Victoria, but even the Company's trade was reduced to
a minimum, because of the failure of the fur market in Europe. So
great was the depression that a petition was circulated for
annexation with the United States. Doubtless the depression was,
in part. responsible for Masonic as well as for political change.
It recalls the Annexation Manifesto of 1849 in the two Canadas, a
movement which was countered by the British America League, which
sponsored three resolutions: to maintain inviolate the connection
with the Mother Country to advocate Confederation and to
institute a commercial National Policy.
During the early years of Grand Lodge, membership remained in
a somewhat static condition. The number of Lodges was reduced,
without detriment to the membership, for Freemasonry depends more
on the strength and character of the Lodges than on their number.
The amalgamation of the two Lodges in Nanaimo, and the reduction of
four Lodges in Victoria to two, by the same means, was an
advantage, as it strengthened the Lodges, and did not lessen the
total membership in the Province, but there could be no h ope of
material advantage until the completion of the railroad brought
people and capital. It was necessary, therefore, to consolidate
what they had.
The Grand Secretary had sent to Union Lodge copies of the
Proceedings of the Convention and of the Grand Lodge Communication,
and also a copy of the Constitution. In the accompanying letter,
he expressed the Grand Master's regret that no representative of
Union Lodge had been present at the meeting of the Grand Lodge, but
he hoped the members of Union Lodge would approve of the action
taken, and he hoped they would see their way clear to become a
constituent of the Grand Lodge, as it was desirable to have Masonic
affairs in the Province controlled by its own members and, if
Union Lodge would agree to what its name implied, it would give im
unfeigned pleasure to accord to it the rank of second oldest Lodge
in the Province.
About that time, it so happened that Union Lodge had acquired
some land in Sapperton for a cemetery, and had planned to erect a
chapel, and to have the Grand Master and his officers present at
the laying of the Corner Stone, and they sent a letter to M.W. Bro.
Powell to that effect. However, soon afterwards the Grand Master
received a letter from R.W. Bro. Holbrook, expressing indignation
at his acceptance of the invitation, although there was nothing
definite in the letter from Union Lodge, nor had the Grand Master
even written a reply. After the recelpt of R.W. Holbrook's letter,
he wrote to Union Lodge that he refused to have anything to do with
ing of the Corner Stone until they had received a reply from the
Grand Lodge of England, or until they had resigned their English
Charter, as he wished to avoid any unfortunate in'dent @n the
matter of an @nteresting cl ceremonial where the utmost harmony
should prevail. The result was that Union Lodge held a meeting, and
passed a resolution that they did not recognize R.W. Bro.
Holbrook's authority, and that they decided to off er the Hall to
the Grand Lodge of British Columbia, and to inform the Grand Master
accordingly. The Grand Master, therefore, agreed to lay the Corner
Stone on July 30th, 1872. On that date, the Grand Lodge was opened,
and a procession was formed on Columbia Strcet, the Victoria Band
leading, followed by the Officers and Members of the Oddfellows'
Lodge, and by the Royal Arch Masons and the Freemasons, and then
the Grand Master with the Grand Stewards and Grand Tyler. On
arriving at the site, the procession countermarched, the officers
took their places, and the Grand Master delivered an eloquent
address, and then laid the Corner Stone with Masonic ceremony. The
procession was then re-formed, and the Freemasons returned to the
Hall, where the Grand Lodge was closed in due form. Soon
afterwards, Union Lodge met, and passed a unanimous resolution to
join the Grand Lodge of British Columbia, The Grand Secretary
forwarded a copy of the
tesolution to the Grand Lodge of England, and Union Lodge sent a
petition requesting a Warrant from the Grand lodge of British
Columbia. When the Grand Lodge of British Columbia was formed, the
English Lodges paid to the Grand Lodge the money due to the
District Grand Lodge, and if Union Lodge had wished to do the same,
it would have been ranked as No. 2, but the members preferred to
rank as No. 9. rather than pay the required sum.
The Grand Master sent his congratulations, ond said he thought
that their becoming a constituent of the Grand Lodge would result
in their future prosperity.
The Grand Secretary reported to the Grand Lodge of England on
December 12th, 1872, and suggested that the District Lodges be
allowed to keep their Warrants, as memorials of their parent Grand
After Union Lodge decided to 'oin the Grand Lodge, R.W. Bro.
Henry Holbrook, at a Lodge meeting, had a serious difference with
the other members, and, deeply incensed with their decision, he
left the Lodge without ceremony. This, and other actions no less
indiscreet, led to his exclusion and, though he made several
appeals at various times, he was unable to obtain a reversal of the
decision of the Lodge.
At the second Annual Communication of Grand Lodge, December
7th, 1872, the Grand Master said
that it was especially gratifying to have Union Lodge as a
constituent of the Grand Lodge. Of Confederation, he said they had
reason to rejoice in the hope of prosperity that brightened the
present and illuminated the future of the Dominion. He looked
forward to the time when they would have rapid communication with
the East, and thus be able to participate in the common thrift, and
in the propitious advancement of our magnificent conIn conclusion,
he said: "If I
tinent. were without the liope of still continuing to aid in the
good work, as a grateful labourer, the resignation of the gavel'
would indeed be attended with sorrow and regret." At the Third
Annual Communication, December 6th and 7th, 1873, the Grand Master
reported that he had visited all the Lodges except Cariboo, but the
Deputy Grand Master had visited it, and had reported that he was
well pleased with his reception, and he mentioned particularly the
interest manifested by the brethren and the prosperous condition of
the Lodge. On April 20th of that year, William Henry Fitzgerald, a
Charter Menber of Cariboo Lodge. died at Germanson Creek and, on
the day appointed for the funeral, Freemasons came from Manson's
Creek and bore the body of their late brother to a suitable burying
place, and interred it with Masonic Honours. William Henry
Fitzgerald, Engineer, at the age of 22, was initiated
in Albion Lodge, No. 17, now No. 2, G.R.Q., on June 12th, 1857,
passed on July 12th, and was raised on August 14th. He served as
Inner Guard from the Annual Meeting following until June 17th,
1858, after which there is no mention of him in the Lodge minutes
but he is recorded in the records of the Grand Lodge of Scotland as
a Charter Member of Cariboo Lodge, Barkerville. On April 12, 1872,
he was appointed Gold Commissioner and stipendiary magistrate of
Omineca, and he spent the following winter at Fort St. James, but
having received a complaint from the Department, relative to his
wintering there, he wrote: "Since I have had charge of this
District, I have endeavoured to distribute my services and those of
the officials under my control, with a view to meeting the
requirements of the public service." Bro. W. H. Fitzgerald should
be remembered as one of the pioneer Freemasons of the Cariboo, as a
pioneer of Northern British Columbia, as a Brother who was a true
Freemason, and as a man who was faithful unto death.
Ashlar Lodge, No. 3
In the absence of the Grand Master from the Jurisdiction, the
Deputy Grand Master authorized R.W. Bro. J. F. McCreight to lay
the Corner Stone of the Masonic Temple at Nanaimo, on October 15th,
1873. He was accompanied by R.W. Bro. Burnaby and the Grand
and by other officers and members of Grand Lodge. The ceremony was
performed with dignity and efficiency, and was marked by complete
harmony between the Lodges. When the Temple was completed, the
brethren decided that if they could work in harmony in the
construction of the Temple, they should be able to work as one
Lodge, but Caledonia insisted on having the American work and the
Scottish regalia. As these were conceded, they united as Ashlar
The Grand Master consecrated the Hall on October 2 1 st, 1 8 7
4, and that was the only meeting of Grand Lodge in that year. The
Fourth Annual Communication was held in Victoria on February 20th
and 22nd, 1875.
The Grand Master in his address referred to the need of a
Masonic Temple in Victoria. He said over Twelve Thousand Dollars
had been spent in rents, enough to have built a temple of their
own. The Committee agreed, and the Board of General Purposes was
authorized to select a site. Simeon Duck, Eli Harrison, H. F.
Heisterman and Thomas Shotbolt were appointed as a Committee.
The Grand Master thought the use of dimerent rituals was
responsible for the lack of interest in the Lodges, and he asked
that Grand Lodge consider the matter, and the Board of General
Purposes was asked to communicate with the Lodges in order to
ascertain their views.
Recognition was accorded to the Grand I.odge of Hungary, as
it had seceded from the Grand Orient of France. Recognition was
accorded to Grand Lodge "Zur Somme," head of the Grand Lodge
League. R.W. Bro. Heisterman was appointed representative.
M.W. Bro. Simeon Duck
One of the outstanding events of M.W. Bro. Simeon Duck's
Masonic Year was the re-union of Grand Lodges at Olympia, on August
17th and 18th, 1875. Representing British Columbia were: Frederick
Williams, D.G.M. Eli Harrison, P. J. Hall, E. Crow Baker, A. A.
Green, and Frank Richards. They sailed on the Steamer Facorl'te,
but arrived a day late, because of fog. They were received by M.W.
Bro. Hadyn, Grand Master of Washington, and by M.W. Bro.
Rothschild, P.G.M. After breakfast, they were taken to a grand clam
bake in a large orchard near the water's edge. The Deputy Grand
Master, replying to the honours given to the Grand Lodge of British
Columbia, gave a cordial invitation to all present to visit
Victoria, and to receive such hospitality and welcome as time and
circumstances would permit.
In the evening, hundreds of brethren with their wives and
daughters embarked on the steamers North
M.W. Bro. Powell had filled the office of Grand Master for
three years and two months, and he refused reelection, and SirTieon
Duck was chosen as the next Grand Master.
Pact@fic and Favorl*te, and arrived in Victoria in the afternoon of
Thursday, August 19th. They were welcomed by the four Victoria
Lodges, by Columbia Royal Arch Chapter, and by the Grand Lodge of
British Columbia. The ladies were taken to Philharmonic Hall, on
Fort Street, and the Lodges, led by a band, formed in procession
and marched to the Philharmonic Hall.
R.W. Bro. Williams introduced the two Grand Masters: M.W.
Bro. Hadyn, of Washington M.W. Bro. Congle, of Oregon and also
M.W. Bro. Ellwood Evans, P.G.M. of Washington, and other
Grand Master Simeon Duck, in welcoming the visitors, said in
part: "I know that there are many who denounce the Order for all
that is low and mean and as something from the Evil One, and that
strong effort is being made in some parts of the country to
accomplish its entire destruction but if ever there existed a
human institution more distinguished
than any other for the principles and practice of Brotherly Love
and genuine morality, it is the one in which we have assembled
The Grand Orator of Oregon said: "May ttie Grand Master of the
Universe grant that no differences may arise between people having
a common origin, speaking a common language, worshipping the same
God, and largely governed by the same unwritten law but let us
rather rejoice in the prosperity of each, and in the glory which
both may claim in common. I feel justly proud that my country
sprang from so great and glorious a country as Great Britain."
At the end of the day, a brief farewell was given by Bro.
Nasmith, a former Senator of Oregon. He said: "A people speaking
the language of Shakespeare, Milton, Locke, and Bacon, and drawing
their inspiration of Liberty from the Magna Carta, in which we
claim equal rights with you, should never be divided."
As the ship sailed out, the visitors' band played "God Save
the Queen," and the Victoria Band replied with "Hall Columbia," and
those on the ship and those on shore waved salutations until
distance dimmed their forms.
Unfortunately, this year that gave such a gleam of sunshine to
visitors and liosts alike, a few tiioiitlls later overcast with
shadowed gloom the hearts of thousands, for the Pact@hc, outward
bound from Victoria, went
down off Cape Flattery at 10:00 o'clock on the night of November
4th, 1875, with over three hundred men, women and children on
board. A sail vessel, the Orpheus, had struck her a glancing blow
amidships, and the doomed -vessel sank in ten minutes but the
Orpheus continued on her way without ever attempting to save any of
the victims, although the night was clear and the sea comparatively
calm. The only survivors were Neil Henley, a quartermaster, and
Henry T. Jelly, a C.P.R. survey man from St. Thomas, O ntario.
Among the lost were: J. H. Sullivan, Gold Commissioner from the
Omineca Captain Otis Parsons and his wife, a Mandeville, and other
members of the Mandeville family, well known in the theatrical
world also, Sewell Prescott Moody. A month after the disaster, a
state-room stanchion was found on the beach below Beacon Hill, with
this brief "All lost' S. P. Moody."
Mr. Secretan, of the C.P.R., said the bodies were recovered by
all the British and American craft available, and laid out
reverently in the City Hall for identification. He told of the
heart-rending sight and of the anguish of the bereaved. The
thought of it saddens the soul and we wish that it had not been.
According to the enquiry, there were grave doubts as to whether or
not the ramming of the Pacthc had been accidental but, whether by
design, or by decree of Fate, the
Orpheus was wrecked a few hours later. There appears to bc no
record as to what view the Insurance Company took of the disaster.
The Pacific had been condemned, and was taken off the service in
1872, but was brought back during the Cassiar gold excitement.
Well did Virgil say: "O accursed hunger of gold, to what dost thou
not compel human bearts!"
When we reflect on the countless lines of circumstance, many
of them emanating in a remote past, that had to centre or cross at
a particular point of time on that fatal night, we must surely
realize that all the teachings of Freemasonry must continually be
directed towards strengthening faith in the Divine, in order that
man's work, whether in the erection of an @difice or in the
building of a ship, or even in the performance of bis daily tasks,
may be marked by honesty and sincerity of purpose, in ord er that
disasters may be avoided or reduced to a minimum and that man's
resolution may be steeled against the souldestroying power of gold,
and that the heart of man may be transformed by that love which
shall fortify his soul against the dark inscrutable mystery of
M.W. Bro. Frederick Williams Frederick Williams was the third
Grand Master. He was elected at the Fifth Annual Communication of
Grand Lodge, held on the 19th, 22nd and 24th of February, 1876, at
During his first year of office, he visited every Lodge except
Cariboo, a report of wbicb was given by W. Bro. Jonathan Nutt. On
September 12th, be went to New Westminster to visit Union I-odge,
but he was informed that there would be no meeting as there was
smallpox in the building. On the following day, he went to Burrard
Inlet to visit Mount Hermon, but, as all the members were employed
in the lumber busincss, and the sawmills were running night and
day, not many could meet him, but he said: "I spent a pleasant
evening in their handsome Lodge Room, and was gr ati 'lied to find
the Lodge in perfect barmony, and financially strong. "
The next day, he went back to New Westminster and held an
informal meeting in Good Templars'Hall. He said: "This Lodge has
suffered much from mismanagement and discord in the past, and
circumstances even now are anything but conducive to barmony." The
Grand Lodge Officers for the Masonic Year 1877-1878 were: M.W. Bro.
Frederick Williams, G.M. R.W. Bro. Ell Harrison, D.G.M. R,W.
Bro. J. G. Vintner, S.G.W. R.W. Bro. C. M. Chambers, J.G.W. M.
W. Waitt, Grand Treasurer Ell Harrison, Grand Secretary P.
J. Hall, Grand Tyler. The Grand Lodge was closed on February 19th,
1877, thus concluding the Sixth Annual Communication.
Building of the Masonic Temple One of the very important prcjects
of the year 1 8 7 7 was the building of a Masonic Temple. The
plans were submitted on October 20th, 1877, and that of Bro.
Teague was accepted. On December 22nd of that year tenders were
accepted as follows: W. E. Wright, stone and brick work
-$4,500.00 John Bennett, carpenter work
2,600.00 D. Heal, unwork 900.00 J. Spratt,
ironwork 100.00 T. R. Mitchell, painting 3
Total for the Building $ 8,428.00
The two lots are 120 feet wide and 1 20 feet long, and cost $ 1,7 5
0. 00. The Building is 49 feet by 67 feet, and is situated on the
corner of Douglas and Fisgard Streets. The Lodge room is 30 feet
wide, 57 feet long and 27 feet 6 inches high. The building is 'ust
opposite to the Hudson's Bay Company's Store, and faces on Fisgard
Street. To finance the building 500 Shares were issued at $20.00
each. Victoria Lodge subscribed $ 1,400. 00 Vancouver Lodge,
$500.00 and Columbia Royal Arch Chapter, $300.00. The Grand
Master, in his Report, sal @d that the Brethren of the Jurisdiction
mourned the loss of M.W. Bro. Robert Burnaby, who died on January
12th, 1878, in Leicester, England, where he had gone for the
benefit of his health.
The Grand Master said: "Grief and mourning fill our hearts.
His life had been devoted to the happiness of his fellow men, and
he died as he l-,ad lived, an honoured member of an Order which he
loved." The Committee on the Grand Master's Address expressed
regret at the loss of M.W. Bro. Burnaby, " whom the members of the
Craft might well regard as the brightest ornament in the history of
Freemasonry in this Jurisdiction." The Grand Master in his address
noted that Victoria Lodge, No. 1, and British Columbia Lodge, No.
5, united to form Victoria-Columbia Lodge, No. 1, and he had
installed the officers on April 3rd, 1877. Also, Vancouver Lodge,
No. 2, and Quadra Lodge, No. 8, united to form Vancouver and Quadra
Lodge, No. 2. He had installed the officers on May 16th, 1877. In
concluding his address, the Grand Master said: "May God, Who
protected our fathers in ages gone, Who is our shield for the
present, and our hope for the future, guide, guard and protect us
in the work wbicb we have undertaken, until its termination shall
unite the whole human family in indissoluble bonds of sympathy and
love." The Board of General Purposes reported: "The Annual
Communication of Grand Lodge shall bc holden in the City of
Victoria on the Saturday in June immediately preceding St. John's
Day in each
year, provided that the next Annual Communication shall be held in
June, 1879. The Report was adopted.
M.W. Bro. Eli Harrison
Eli Harrison, a member of Vincouver and Quadra Lodge, No. 2,
was elected Grand Master at the Sevento Annual Communication, held
in Victoria on February I 6th and 18th, 1878.
On April 22nd of that year he laid the Corner Stone of the
Temple, and he consecrated it on October 18th, in the presence of a
distinguished company of some five hundred people, including
representatives of the Judiciary, the Clergy, the Provincial
Government, and Freemasons of many sister Jurisdictions. In the
conclusion of an eloquent address, the Grand Master said: "We ought
to trust God, and obey the Moral Law, to be charitable, to be just,
upright and honourable. We are taught temperance, prudence,
fortitude, and to conform to the law of the land. We are taught
lessons of virtue from our working tools, and sublime lessons from
our ritual. Genuine manhood is our aim and, if a brother be but
faithful to the cause he has espoused, most cert ainly he 'II be
true to h*mself, to his fellow-
wi 1 men, to his country and to his God"' The
whole Craft mourned the passing of the Deputy Grand Master, R.W.
Brother James Gordon Vintner, in the prime of his manhood. The
funeral was on February 8th,
1 8 79, and it was conducted by Vancouver and Quadra Lodge. The
Grand Master stated that recognition bad been accorded to the Grand
Lodge by more than sixty Jurisdictions, yet no communication was
received from the Grand Lodge of Scotland but the Grand Lodge of
England, after due consideration, had acknowledged this Grand
Lodge, and, by request, bad returned the Charters to the Lodges
formerly ander its jurisdiction.
At the Annual Communication of 1879, recognition was withdrawn
from the Grand Orient of France, by resolution of R.W. Bro.
Cornelius Thorne and V.W. Bro. H. H. Long, Grand Chaplain, as
follows: "Resolved that this Grand Lodge of British Columbia deeply
regrets that the Grand Orient of France has departed from the
ancient Landmarks of the Craft by erasing from ber Constitution,
and ignoring the namc of God, and by not requiring a belief in the
Deity as a prerequisite for initiation, and further, does hereby
express its indignation at the course pursued by the Grand Orient,
and now severs all relations that liavc heretofore existed between
this Grand Lodge and the said Grand Orient, 't such t*me as she
shall acknowlunti 1 edge the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and
otherwise act and abide by the ancient usage of the Honourable
Fraternity to the satisfaction of the Grand Lodge of England and of
other Grand Lodges."
At the Ninth Annual Communication, on June 19th and 2 1st, 1
880, at Victoria, the Grand Master gave particular attention to
Charity. He said: three of every four persons applying for relief
were not entitled to it as members. Of those assisted that year,
one had paid no dues for twenty years another had paid no dues for
nine years and another had paid no dues for seven years.
Notwithstanding this, the common ties of humanity demanded that
they should receive relief. Some of the recipients were from
France some from the West Indies and some from New Brunswick. He
noted that more relief was given by private persons than by others.
He expressed indebtedness to Joseph Spratt, shipowner, and to
Captain Rudlin for passage and care of the sick while travelling.
He thought care should be taken before suspending members for
non-payment of dues, as many who appeared to be comfortably
provided for needed our sympathy and forebearance. At the Ninth
Annual Communication, June 16th and 18th, 1881, at Victoria, the
Grand Master expressed disappointment that no ncw Lodges had been
formed, but he noted that, while so many people had left the
Province, the Lodges had increased in wealth, and had not
diminished in the number of members.
The Grand Master looked upon Charity as the groundwork of the
Order, and hoped he would always
tolerate the poor and upright of every race and religion, for
without such toleration universal brotf)erhood is impossible. He
said every Brother should interest himself in Charity and
Benevolence. and thus brl'.ng JOY to the sorrowful, comfort to the
wretched, relief to the destitute, and consolation to the troubled.
He said: "T have endeavoured to T,,crform my work in accordance
with the ancient landmarks of the Craft. My desire has been to
avoid giving offence to anyone and at the same time not to swerve
from the path of rectitude. I pray the Great Architect of the
Universe to continue to preside over our Temple: and, under his
protection, may we always perform our duties with fervency and
zeal." W. Bro. J. Spencer l@hompson dried on December 21st, 1880.
Vancouver and Quadra Lodge co.'iducted the funeral. In 1861, W.
Bro. Thompson was a member of the Committee to discuss with
Governor Douglas the finishing of the Cariboo Road: and he was also
a member of the Conimittec sent to discuss the question of granting
representative Government to the Colony. In 187 1, he represented
the Cariboo in the Dominion Parliament. The Tenth Annual
Communication was held in Victoria. A Warrant was granted to
Cascade Lodge,,, No. 10, at Yale, then the construction centre of
the railway from Fniory's Bar to Port Moody, but before the Lodge
could be formed,
Yale was destroyed by fire, and the Masonic Hall with most of its
contents was burned. The Grand t,odge arranged for a re-issue of
the Charter, if a sufficient number of members could be found to
re-establish the Lodge, but the Construction Centre was moved from
Yale, and with it went the hopes of establishing a Lodge.
M.W. Bro. C. M. Chambers
M.W. Bro. Coote Mulloy Chambers was Grand Master for
18811882, but bis year was one of apparent inactivity. In Quebec,
Elgin Lodge, to wl)icti Dr. Powell had belonged, King Solomon Lodge
and Argyle Lodge, formerly under tl)e Jurisdiction of the Grand
I-odge of Scotland, became constituents of the Grand Lodge of
Quebec on January 27th, 1881.
On July 2nd, 1881, Prcsicient Garfield was shot by an
assissiii, and died at Elberon, September I 9th, 188 1. On July
21st of that year, Dr. Albcrt Gallatin Mackey died. f-le was
r,iourncd by the whole Masonic N@,orld. The Eleventh Annual
Communication was hcld at Victoria, June 17th, 1882. M.W. Bro.
Coote M. Chambers rulcd: "That to confer the l,onour of Past Master
on any Brother who had not been duly elected as Master of Iiis
Lodge would b,,, at variance with the Ancient I indmarks."
At this Grand Lodge Communication, the rank of Past Senior
Grand Warden was conferred on Bro. E. Crow Baker.
There was some trouble in Utah over the exclusion of Mormons
from the Craft, according to the report of the Grand
Representatl@ve, V.W. Bro. Heisterman. The Lodges concerned
claimed that the chief tenct of the Mormon Church is polygamy,
which is contrary to United States Law, whereas Freemasonry must be
loyal to the Government, and yield a ready obedience to all its
The Grand Lodcle was closed on June 20th, 1882, at Victoria.
M.W. Bro. Henry Brown
The Grand Master of 1882-1883 was M.W. Bro. Henry Brown. One
of the most important events of I)IS year was the visit of the
CiovcrnorGeneral the Marquis of l,orne, and his Royal Consort, the
princess Louise, the daughter of Quecii Victoria. The vice-regal
visit was of very great importance to Britisl) subjects in the
Province, and especially to residents of Victoria.
The Steamer Grappler was burned on April 29th, 1883, and Bro.
Sid-1@homas 1,@ranklyn d*cd bravely ney at his post in Iiis
endeavour to save the lives of those on board.
The Brethren also mourned tl)c passing of R.W. Bro. Ebenczer
Brown, P.Ci.W., and of Phi'llp @J. H.,ill, Grand Tyler.
Fraternal sympathy was extended to the Grand Lodges of Ohio,
Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois, where devastating floods had taken
dread toll of lives and property of Masonic brethren and their
fellow citizens, for disaster makes a brotherhood of all sufferers,
even of those not bound together by Masonic ties. The Twelfth
Annual Communication, commencing on June 23rd, 1883, was held in
New Westminster, and it was the first Annual Communication to be
held outside of the City of Victoria. The Grand Master in his
address 'd he had rece*ved no application
sal 1 from the Yale Brethren for a re-issue of the
Charter, provision for which had been made at the last meeting of
Grand Lodge, but he recommended that the time be extended for
anotl)cr year, in order that the Brethren of Yale might take it up
again without further expense, if they should be in a position to
do so. Of the fifteen petitioners, only two had affiliated with
other Lodges. The Grand Committee of the Grand Lodge of Scotland
had rec(,,remended that recognition be accorded to the Grand Lodge
of British ColurTibla, afid that our represciitativc iie.ir that
Grand Lodge be R.W. Bro. Sava(,c, Provincial Grand i%,Iaster of
the Provincial Grand Lodge of Aberdeen. The Grand Master had
issued a Commission to R.W. Bro. Savage upon receiving notice of
The Grand Master reminded the Brethren that the giving of
pecuniary aid is not the only form of charity we are called upon to
exercise, but there are other ways, such as visiting the sick,
lending a helping hand to an erring brother, and throwing the
mantle of charity over the faults of others. In conclusion, he
said: "Let me assure you that I will return to the ranks, a willing
worker, in the cause of Freemasonry, ever ready to perform any duty
that may fall to my lot, to the best of my ability." The Grand
Chaplain spoke from the text: "We are members one of another."
Ephesians, 4, 25. He said: "We owc our happiness iii a large
measure to the presence of others. We justly glory in our
civilization, but it is the product of the workers of all time.
Our religious liberties have flowed to us in streams of buman
blood. We speak of being independent. It is a vain boast. We are
members one of anotl)er." The following principal officers were
installed: M.W. Bro. Edgar Crow Baker, Grand Master R.W. Bro.
Tlionias Trounce, D.G.M. R.W. Bro. Robert Kelly, S.G.W.@ R. W.
Bro. Robert Beavcn, J.G.W, V.W. Bro. M. W. Waitt, Grand
Tre.isurer V.W. Bro. A, R. Mllnc,, Grand Secretary V.W. Bro. R.
H. Smith, Grand Chaplain: and Bro. W. Trickey, Grand Tyler. The
Grand Lodge wis closed June 24th, 1883.
M.W. Bro. E. Crow Baker
M.W. Bro. Edgar Crow Baker, Grand Master for the Masonic year
1883-1884, had served as Grand Secretary during the previous four
years. He had retired from the Navy in 1872. He was accountant at
Halifax for the Intercolonial Railway. He came to British Columbia
in 1874, and for three years he was accountant at Hastings Mill,
and for the next three years he was employed in the Finance
Department in Victoria by the Provincial Government. He organized
the pilotage system in Victoria and the Esquimalt Telephone System,
and was elected to the Dominion Parliament in 1882, and retired in
1889. The Grand Master I)ad affiliated with Victoria-Columbia
Lodg6, and was Master in 1880. He was absent on Parliamentary duty
for a great part of the year, but he had a very capable Grand
Secretary and a very faltbful Deputy Grand Master. At a special
Communication of Grand Lodge on July 28th, 1883, the Grand Master
laid the Corner Stone of the British Columbia Protestant Orphans'
Honic in Victoria. He was assisted by Grand Lodge Officers and by
Victoria Lodges and members of the Victoria Royal Arch Chapter.
The Mayor and Council also attended. The President of the Home,
Bro. A. A. Green, presented the silver trowel, and Bro. George
Frye, on behalf of the Masons of Victoria, handed to the Grand Mas-
ter, for the Home, a purse of $250-00 and the Brethren marched
around the Stone and deposited thereon their contributions,
totalling $372.40. The Oration was given by Senator Macdonald the
closing prayer was offered by Bishop Cridge, and the benediction
pronounced by Rev. R. H. Smith, the Grand Chaplain. We regret to
say that V.W. Bro. Smith passed away on November I 2th of that
year, @ust ten davs after the death of his wife. The sympathy of
the whole jurisdiction was felt for the three daughters, tt lus
sorely bereaved of both parents.
The Grand Master said that Very Worshipful Bro. Smith bad
left an invaluable legacy in the example of Virtue and Piety, which
his life so eminently exhibited. The funeral was conducted by
Vancouver and Quadra Lodge.
The Brethren of Calgary wished to apply for a Charter, but
eventually received their Charter from the Grand Lodge of Manitoba.
The Lodge was named Bow River. One of the Charter Members, Bro.
William McGillivray, became a charter member of Pacific 16, Mission
The Thirteenth Annual Communication was hcld at Nanaimol
commencing on June 21st, 1884. -1@he attendance was small, as a
loss of ten days was necessary for brethren from the mainland, and
many could not afford to lose so much time from busincss affairs.
The Grand Master said that in all their deliberations they
should endeavour to keep that amity of feeling and sentiment which
should cbarztcterize all our intercourse as true Freemasons and
that we should carefully scrutinize the character of every
candidate for the mysteries. The strictest examination should be
made into the life and character of applicants. No one should ever
pass the portal of our mystic edifice, nor enter the Middle
Chamber, until be has been fully and duly prepared. He also t ried
to impress upon them the great necessity of obedience to our motto:
"Audt', Vide, Tace." On July 12th, 1884, Bro. Albert Pike, a
distinguished Freemason, visited Victoria, and was welcomed by M.W.
Bro. Baker and the Grand Lodge Officers. He was accompanied by
many distinguished and high ranking Brethren from the United
States. On the following evening, Bro. Pike delivered an eloquent
address on "The Symbolism of Our Order." Later, at the banquet
table, there were numerous responses by the Brethren. The Grand
Master said their only regret was the shortness of their stay. The
Grand Master said: "I trust the day is not far distant when the
uniform and salutory, though silent and unseen influences of our
principles will effectively silence the tongue of calumny and
weaken, if not forever extinguish, the unj'ustiliable rancour and
hatred of enemies.
Recognition was accorded to the Grand Lodge of Victoria,
organized in Melbourne, July 2nd, 1883, with 19 Lodges, of which 11
were Irish, 6 Scottish, and 2 were English.
R.W. Bro. Thomas Trounce The Grand Master said that he
could not attend the Fourteenth Annual Communication on June 20th
and 21st, 1885, R.W. Bro. Trounce, therefore, presided. The Grand
Master wrote: "Freemasonry meets with the virtuous of every
persuasion, in the firm and pleasing bonds of fraternal love, and
all are taught to view the errors of mankind, with c by v'
compassion and to striv of our own conduct to demonstrate the
superior quality of our faith, which we ourselves profess to a
dmire, so that Freemasonry may be, in reality, what we allege it to
be: the centre of union between good men and true, and the happy
means of conciliating friendship among those who must otherwise
have remained at a perpetual distance." Bro. John Buie reported
the laying of the Corner Stone of the Episcopal Church at Surrey on
August 6th, 1 884, and that group photographs had been taken by
The Deputy Grand Master said: "In entering upon our business,
let us divest our minds of all selfish considerations, and as true
Freemasons, enter upon the performance of our labours with a steady
purpose to promote the good of our Order, that
tbe work may be completed in such a manner that it may redound to
our credit as Freemasons, thereby gaining the approval of the
Supreme Grand Master, Wbo is above all, Whose judgments are always
perfect, and to Whose guidance and approval all Freemasons look."
The coming year beralded the dawn of progress for British Columbia,
and especially for Freemasons here. The progress was primarily due
to the reaction of the tide of industry that had receded with the
decline of gold production and th,, failure of the fur market in
Europe, as the demand for beaver skins, the staple article of the
Fur Trade, had ceased, especially as beaver hats had gone out of
Kamloops Lodge, No. 10
Confederation had linked the Prairie Provinces with the
Canadas and the Maritimes, and the long stretch of intervening
prairie had been linked with the Pacific Province by the steel
bands of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Towns had come into being
with the coming of the railway, and new life was added to the older
towns and settlements. Masonic development needed no forcing. In
each growing settlement there were Freemasons, and when a
sufficient number could be found, usually a meeting was held and a
movement begun for the formation of a Lodge. Since the formation
of the Grand Lodge, the most important
Masonic event was the founding oll, Kamloops Lodge, No. 10.
Kamloops was a fur trading post in the early days, and it attained
great importance after the coming of the railway. It is the
commercial centre of the Southern Dry Belt. The Lodge was formed by
railwaymen and business men of the city, but the leader was a
clergyman, the Rev. Darrall R. W. Horlock, who came to British
Columbia in 1862, and was resident at Yale during the time of its
prosperity. Afterwards, he was sent to Kamloops by Bishop
Sillitoe and, from that time until Iiis return to England, he was
closely associated with Freemasonry in this Jurisdiction. Kamloops
Lodge was approved by Union Lodge, No. 9, in 1885. After receiving
its dispensation, the first meeting was held January 5th, 1886.
There does not appear to have been any fornial institution. Another
event of great importance was the unanimous decision of Mount
Hermon Lodge, on February 20th, 1886, to move across the Irilct to
Vancouver. Evidently the Brethren came a little too soon, for
Vancouver was destroyed by fire that year, on June 13th, and Mount
Hermon Lodge lost its regalia and other Lodge eff ects. The
Fifteenth Annual Communication was held in Victoria on June 19th,
1886. M.W. Bro. Trounce c(:)mmented on the prosperous condition
of the Craft. He was particu-
Jarly pleased with Kamloops Lodge, for by the end of April it had
initiated five new members, received four by affiliation, and had
two applications on hand. With reference to bis own work, the Grand
Master said: "Permit me to say that, although we bave not been able
to see eye to eye in all mattets, I do claim that, in all my Ma..on
c l@fe, my guiding thought has been, above all other
considerations, to maintain the honour and integrity of our beloved
Order, notwitbstanding there may bave been times of friction in
some matters of rulings, I can conscientiously say that I have been
guided by a feeling of duty to the Craft, based on the solemnity of
my oblig ation, to preserve the Landmarks of our Order, and to
maintain the ancient usages and constitutions on which I was
obligated." This would appear to indicate that M.W. Bro. Baker's
reference to some of the lessons in the Ancient Charges, and his
admonitions against any change in the Landmarks were carefully
considered, and that th,Grand Master had carried out will) some
determination his predecessors ideas in these matters. The
Committee expressed regret that the Grand Master had not been able
to visit the Lodges, because of illness in bis family, but while
they expressed fraternal sympathy, they ventured to hope that his
successor would be able to carry out in the ensuing year his
evident desire in this respect.
By resolution of Grand Lodge, a Warrant was granted to
Kamloops Lodge, No. 10, Kamloops. Three trustees were appointed to
increase the scope and efficiency of the Benevolent Fund. Grand
Lodge also voted Five Hundred Dollars to purchase regalia to
replace that lost by Mount Hermon Lodge in the Vancouver fire.
Grand Lodge closed June 21st, 1886, at Victoria.
M.W. Bro. William Dalby
The Grand Master for 1886-1887 was William Dalby, of Vancouver
and Quadra Lodge, which he had i . oined in 1867 by affiliation and
of which he was Master of 1870. His wife was a sister of Sewell
Moody. On July 13th, 1886, be welcomed to Victoria Hon. Thomas
White, a distinguished member of Parliament. The Deputy Grand
Master said be would always remember bis reception of them, which
was worthy of a statesman and a Freemason. It was also the Grand
Master's privilege to welcome Sir John A. Macdonald, Prime Minister
of Canada and Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of England.
He received them cordially, and his reply to the address was
courteous and appreciative and bore the marks of the creat
0 The Grand Master asked W. Bro.
Angus McKeown to constitute Kamloops Lodge No. I 0, which he did on
November 7th, 1886. The Grand Master said that the Consecration
and Installation were completed to
the satisfaction of Kamloops Lodge, and that it was done in a very
able and satisfactory manner, as was all Masonic work performed by
Bro. McKeown. George Anthony Walkem, a young lawyer who affiliated
with Kamloops Lodge, became Premier of British Columbia and
another young lawyer, William Ward Spinks, who i I oined by
initiation, became a County Court Judge, and also he was the author
of Tales of the Bri'tt*sh Columbi'a Fror2ti"er. Henry John Cambie,
another member, was a Civil Engineer, and took a leading part in
the construction of the C.P.R. Camble Street, Vancouver, was named
Mountain Lodge, No. 11
The Grand Master issued a dispensation to Mountain Lodge,
Donald. It was named for Donald Smith, afterwards Lord Strathcona.
The Lodge was instituted by R.W. Bro. Horlock, assisted by Dr.
Sibree Clarke. It was the first Lodge in th@is Jurisdiction to use
the Canadian Work. When the construction centre moved from Donald,
Mountain Lodge moved to Golden. On May 4th, 1887, there was a
terrible calamity at Nanaimo, an explosion in a coal mine, in which
four brethren lost their lives. Bro. Samuel Hudson, hearing of
the disaster, hastened from Wellington, organized a rescue party
and went down into the mine, but having ventured too far,
he was caught by the deadly afterdamp. He was brought to the
surface. but all attempts to resuscitate him proved unavailing. The
Grand Master expressed sympathy to Ashlar Lodge and to the
bereaved, and also to the citizens of Nanaimo, and he said: "Let
us, my brethren, practise that greatest of all virtues, Charity,
and give to those who need, as the Lord has prospered us. Thus we
may truly honour the names of our brethren, who so nobly perished,
and for whom we grieve: let us shelter those who were dependent on
them and who were bound to them by ties of love an d kindred." The
Grand Lodge met at Nanaimo on June 18th, 1887. The Grand Master
said in his address: "While it is desirable that we should have as
many members as possible, I have always believed in the old axiom:
that it is better to have good men re@ected than to bave one bad
man elected, for we have learned by experience that a troublesome
man will caus@@ so much dissension in a Lodge in one nic.,ht that
it will take months to replace the good feel ing and unity of
purpose that should at all times exist." He thought that something
should be done about the Benevolent Fund. He said: "It is
acknowledged the world over that Charity in its true sense is the
source of our strength. -1@he dispensing of charity is one of the
fundamental tenets of Freemasonry and when a strange brother
from a strange land applies to us for charity, we should have our
Fund in such shape that we can immediatelv render the relief
sought. The Grand Lodge arranged that all money paid into the Fund
after December 31st, 1879, with interest at five per cent, should
be equally divided amongst the two Victoria lodges and Mount Hermon
Lodge, and that all money paid in previous tc that time should
remain in a Fund of Benevolence. This was agreed to, and a
Committee was appointed to draft rules for the government of the
Fund. The Grand Master visited VictoriaColumbia and Vancouver and
Quadra Lodges. He attended the funeral of R.W. Bro. Hughes, who
died on November 8th, and the funeral was arranged for the
following day. Interment took place at New Westminster. He also
presided at the installation of Victoria-Columbia and Vancouver and
Quadra Lodges. He did not visit Cariboo Lodge because of the
distance and the expense to the Grand Lodge. He had arranged to
visit Mount Hermon Lodge and to dedicate the Hall, but was unable
to get transportation, as the Pri@ncess Louise had to cancel the
M.W. Bro. A. R. Milne
The Grand Master for the Masonic year 1887-1888 was M.W. Bro.
Alexander Roland Mitne, who was
born in Morayshire, Scotland, on December 29th, 1839. He received
his higher education in Marichal College, Aberdeen. The family
came to Ontario in 1855, and A. R. Milne came to British Columbia
in 1864, and after some time in the Cariboo, he came to Victoria
and worked in the Customs Department. He was appointed appraiser
in 1882 and Collector in 1890. He rendered valuable service in the
Behring Sea Seal Arbitration he prepared and presented the case,
and was made a Companion of St. Michael and St. Ge orge.
He was a member of Pythagoras Lodge, Meaford, Ontario. He
affiliated with Vancouver and Quadra, and was Worshipful Master in
On August 27th, 1887, lie laid the Corner Stonc of the Masonic
Temple in New Westminster. The Architect was George Grant and the
Contractor was Henry Hoy. In his address, the Grand Master said:
"The Master Mason niay perforni his work never so well the
apprentice and craftsman may labour in subordination to his
authority: the Masonic walls may rise in all their solid strength
the costly 'ewels of our work may adorn the various chambers the
fire may be kindled upon the inner altars and the entranc es may
be well guarded: but all will be in vain unless there is a deeper,
underlying foundation of Masonic love and Masonic unity. With that
beneath the material foundation, the Temple is indeed
secure and indestructible. The solid foundations of the Globe
have need of no more permanent Corner Stone than that structure
under whose deep bases repose Truth, Charity and Brotherly Love. On
November 22nd, 1887, Dr. Sibree Clarke constituted Mountain Lodge,
at Donald, and installed the officers. He was assisted by Canon
Cooper. Dr. Robert Morris, well known as poet laureate of
Freemasonry, was welcomed by Grand Master Milne at a joint meeting
of Victoria Lodges. He gave a very interesting and irxstructive
address on "The Symbolism of Freemasonry." He also recited a number
of his shorter poems and he wrote a poem in honour of the Grand
Master, whose guest he was while in Victoria.
In accordance with the Grand Lodge Resolution, a monument was
erected to the Memory of Samuel Hudson and the Grand Master, by
request, unveiled it at Nanaimo on May 5th, 1888, in the presence
of his principal officers and the Freemasons and citizens of
Nanaimo and visiting Brethren. He recalled the terrible calamity of
the previous year, which had overwhelmed in death some of their
bravest and most honoured citizens. He said: "Our dead are not
forgotten the memory of them shall not perish. May this monument
become a centre of interest and local pride, a monument to the
wisdom and gratitude of the living to the devotion and sacrifice of
the dead. "
"Wbo that believes in the immortality of the soul, who that
has faitf] iti a brighter world, who that looks beyond the horizon
of Time to a reunion with the good and the pure, does not value
such a tribute, and aspire by his devotion and charity, and love of
humanity, to such a Crown upon the efforts of his life?"
"Tbe last bonours are paid to the dead, but the life he left
us is here to admonish us by its speech that want and suffering
have not died, that the wi 'dow and the, orphan remain, that man
has yet need of charity, that oppression and wrong hold their
carnivals, and that the vigils of Liberty and Right yet demand the
constancy of their watchmen."
At the dedication of the Temple in New Westminster on June
23rd, 1888, th,- Grand Master said: "We congratulate you, my
Brethren, upon the possession of this new and beauti 'ful Temple,
the finest and most complete in the Province, a Masonic home, so
admirably adapted to the necessities and conveniences of your Lodge
duties and associations. Wc commend your wisdom in the conception
and plan, your zeal in constructing, completing, ornamenting, and
finishing. We recognize in its erection your devotion to
Freemasc.nry, your fidelity to the interests of Union Lodge, and
your allegiance to the Grand Lodge."
"You have put your house in order, and dedicated it to high
and holy purposes. See that those purposes are well fulfilled.
Let this be your epoch from which to date a generation of Masonic
excellence. Let each resolve to be more attentive, more active,
more solicitous to become not only a brighter, but a better
Freemason." The Seventeenth Annual Commur.ication of Grand Lodge
was openec.1 at New Westminster at 4:00 o'clock in the af ternoon
of June 2 3 rd, 1 8 8 8. The Grand Master said, in opening his
address: "We meet under auspices the most cheering, under
circumstances the most favouring, and it becomes us to acknowledge
that protecting Providence that has upheld and sustained us. May
we now ever look to Flim for support and gul 'dance." All
Freemasons throughout the Jurisdiction were sorry to hear of thL
passing of Jonathan Nutt, Past Senior Grand Warden, and first
Worshipful Master of Cariboo t-odge. The Grand Master said: "He
was a patient sufferer, and faithful and zealous in the cause of
Masonry. His early labours during the pioneer days of our Province
will cver be remembered and his memory cherished." As the Grand
Secretary, V.W. Bro. Ncufelder, was about to leave the Colony, the
Grand Lodge, in -tccordance with the desire of the Grand Master,
conferred upon him the Honorary rank of I'ast Grand Senior Warden.
in iccognition of his
valuable services. Also, by request of Union Lodge, the rank of
Past Grand Treasurer was conferred upon Benjamin Douglas, who, for
many years, had been treasurer of Union Lodge.
The Grand Master welcomed the Honourable Thomas White, Past
Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Canada in Ontario, and a Federal
Cabinet Minister. He regretted to announce his death on April 2]st
of that year. He also regretted to report the explosion of a coal
mine at North Wellington on January 25th last. He sal 'd our
deepest sympathy went out tc the bereaved and our prayers to the
throne of Grace. A dispensation was issued to Cascade Lodge on May
I I th, 18 8 8, and a dispensation to Spallumcheen Lodge on June
On May 22nd, 1888, Right Rev. Bishop A, W. Sillitoe laid the
Cor ner Stone of the Episcopal (-hurch at Kamloops. 'I@he
Jurisdiction was divided into four Districts, namely: Vancouver
Island, New Westniiiister, Yale Kootenay, and Cariboo. The Grand
Chaplain, V.W. Bro. Canon Cooper, spoke from the 133rd Psalm:
"Behold how good and how pleasant it is for Brethren to dwell
together in unity." He said: "Such unity can only be obtained by
the faithful and searching reformation of each community by itself
and for itself, and by the returning of each and all to the
simplicity and purity of the Faith that was once delivered to the
Remember, if you don't see the Ashlar "A", it's not authentic.
By Brothers, For Brothers & always For the good of the craft...
© 2019 The Ashlar Company
DMCA Registration # DMCA-1027882