[Grand Lodge]
[Calendar] [Search] [Resources] [History] [Links] [Sitemap]

HISTORY INDEX
British Columbia
by R. L. Reid
IN 1858 a veritable city of shacks clustered about the big fort of the Hudson's Bay Company on the southern end of Vancouver Island. There it had grown up almost in a single night, as did Jonah's gourd. It already had a little weekly newspaper, however, and in the issue of July 10 the following item appeared:
The members of the Ancient Order of F. #038;& A. Masons in good standing are invited to meet on Monday July i2.th at 7 O'ClOck P.m., in Southgate & Mitchell's new store, upstairs. The object of the meeting is to consider matters connected with the permanent interests of the order in Victoria.
The meeting so convened was attended by seven Masons who drafted a Petition to the Grand Lodge of England asking for a Charter for a Lodge in their new city. So far as we have any record, this was the beginning of Freemasonry in British Columbia.
The Colony of Vancouver Island was formed in 1849, and by 1856 it had been granted a representative assembly. But until 1858 the settlement had very few inhabitants aside from officers and employees of the Hudson's Bay Company, which had made Victoria its headquarters on the Pacific coast. The mainland—New Caledonla as it was then called—had no organised government until November 19, 1858, when it became the Colony of British Columbia.
News went abroad in 1857 that gold had been discovered in the sands of the Fraser River and the following year thousands of goldseekers came in search of the New Eldorado. Since it was necessary to pass through Victoria in order to reach the mines, the little village so far from the busy world was immediately transformed from a quiet trading-post into a noisy bustling metropolis. Vancouver Island and British Columbia were united under the name of the latter in 1866, and five years later this territory became one of the Provinces of the Dominion of Canada.
Once, in 1859, before any regular Lodge had been Constituted, an "Occasional" Lodge was held. It did not come exactly within the meaning of the term as defined by Mackey, for it was not called by a Grand Master; but it did come within the Century Dictionary's definition of "occasional," in that it was "called forth, produced, or used on some special occasion or event." The special occasion " of this "Occasional" Lodge was the funeral of a Mason. Early in September of that year, S. J. Hazeltine, chief engineer of the Hudson's Bay Company's steamer Labouchere, died in the city hospital at Victoria. Since he was a Freemason, the resident Brethren decided to honour his memory by a Masonic funeral. An advertisement in The British Colonist, a local newspaper, called a meeting of Masons to take place at the Royal Hotel on September 7. A large number of Masons responded. Several California Masons able to vouch for one another formed the nucleus of the assemblage and examined others who claimed the Master's rank. This done, they exercised their ancient prerogative and formed themselves into a Lodge. Having chosen Bro. John T. Damon as Acting Worshipful Master, and Bro. B. F. Moses as Secretary pro tempore, they made arrangements for the funeral Rite. Next day they again assembled, donned white gloves, and aprons made for the occasion by a tentmaker on Yates Street, formed a procession, and marched to the hospital, and thence to the cemetery, where they interred the body of their departed Brother with due Masonic honours. Following that, they closed the Lodge in due form.
The Grand Lodge of England was ready to grant the Charter asked for in 1858, but technicalities delayed its issuance. The reason commonly assigned for this delay is that the Charter sent out proved to be defective and in consequence had to be returned to London for correction. The probable reason, however, to some extent supported by credible information, is that the application was defective in form, and that it had to be returned for amendment before a Charter could be granted. However this may be, it was not until March 1860, that the Brethren in Victoria received their Charter. Further delay was occasioned at the time by the necessity for obtaining and fitting up a suitable Lodge room and for acquiring necessary furniture and fittings.
Not until August 28, 1860, was Victoria Lodge, No. 1085 E. R. ready to begin work. On that date the premier Lodge of British Columbia was duly Constituted on the second floor of the Hibben and Carswell Building at the southwest corner of Yates and Langley streets. The ceremony, which included the Installation of the first Officers, was performed by Robert Burnaby, Past Master of Lodge, No. 661 E. R., of Surrey, England, a prominent merchant of the little city. He was assisted by H. Aquilar, R. N., commander of the gunboat Grappler, then lying in Esquimalt harbour, a few miles from Victoria, who was Past Master of Good Report Lodge, No. 159 E. R. The new Lodge numbered eleven Charter members. During 1860 nine Masons became members by affiliation, including W..Bro. Burnaby himself. John Malowansky, a Russian news agent and tobacconist, was the first person to be made a Mason in the jurisdiction by Initiation. This popular young man soon rose to be J. D. of the Lodge, but some five years later he left for the Cariboo gold fields and in 1866 he went to Kamchatka for the Alaska Commercial Company. In 1875 Bro. Malowansky took his demit in order to join a Russian Lodge in Petropavlovsky. No word was ever afterwards received from him. In 1931 Victoria Lodge had 420 members on its Roll. One of its traditions is that the Grand Master for the time being shall Install its Officers. On only one or two occasions since the organisation of the Grand Lodge has this failed to take place.
The example set by Victoria was soon followed by New Westminster, then capital of the Colony of British Columbia. In 1860 the Masons there applied to the Grand Lodge of England for a Charter. It was granted, and in December 1861, Union Lodge, No. 1201 E. R. was duly Constituted.
The Lodges at Victoria and New Westminster used the English Ritual. This was unfamiliar to many Masons who had come from the United States where a different Ritual was in use. Consequently, some of the American Masons residing at Victoria, who wished to use the Work to which they were accustomed, applied to the Grand Lodge of Washington Territory for a Charter in 1861. Victoria Lodge protested that since the Colony of Vancouver Island was British, no Masonic Body other than the Grand Lodges of the mother country had any right to grant elther a Warrant or a Dispensation for a Masonic Lodge in the jurisdiction. It was further declared that any Lodge so established would be treated as clandestine. Foreseeing the difficulties which might arise if their Petition were successful, the applicants withdrew it, and joined by other Masons they applied to the Grand Lodge of Scotland for a Charter for Vancouver Lodge, No. 421 S. R.
Nine Lodges had been Chartered in the two colonies by 1871. The Grand Lodge of England had established Victoria Lodge, No. 1085, later re-numbered 783, and British Columbia Lodge, No. 1187, at Victoria; Union Lodge, No. 1201, later re-numbered 899, at New Westminster; and Nanaimo Lodge, No. 1090, at Nanaimo. Besides Vancouver Lodge, No. 421, the Grand Lodge of Scotland had authorised Cariboo Lodge, No. 469, at Barkerville; Caledonia Lodge, No. 478, at Nanaimo; Mount Hermon Lodge, No. 491, at Hastings, now part of the City of Vancouver. At Victoria it also established Quadra Lodge, which should have been numbered 508, but which was still under Dispensation when the Grand Lodge of British Columbia was established. In May 1867, the Grand Lodge of Scotland appointed Dr. Israel Wood Powell, a prominent physician of Victoria, as Provincial Grand Master, and in December 1867 the Grand Lodge of England appointed Robert Burnaby of the same place as District Grand Master.
As the number of Lodges increased, the advisability of forming an independent Grand Lodge was much discussed by members of the Craft. There was every reason against the existence of two organisations in a country having such a small population. Consequently, Dr. Powell and Mr. Burnaby, close personal friends, were anxious to see the Craft united. In December 1868 a meeting was held by Vancouver Lodge, No. 421 S. R., at which a number of visitors from other Lodges were present. At that meeting members introduced a series of resolutions reciting the condition of Freemasonry in the Colony, the desirability of forming a Grand Lodge of British Columbia, and the advantages to be secured by doing so. These resolutions were again considered at a meeting held on January 2, 1869. At that time they were adopted and forwarded to the other Lodges for consideration, All the Scottish Lodges, except Caledonia Lodge, No. 478, at Nanaimo, approved them. Except Victoria Lodge, No. 1085, the English Lodges disapproved them. The resolutions were then transmitted to the Grand Lodges in England and Scotland. The latter made no reply, but the Secretary of the English Grand Lodge acknowledged the receipt of the resolutions and expressed h”s regret that the Brethren in British Columbia should take any step which might lessen their own influence. As a District Grand Lodge of the Grand Lodge of England, the Brethren in Vancouver Island enjoy a far more influential position than they could possibly do if they formed themselves into an independent Grand Lodge, whose paucity of numbers would simply render it ridiculous.
Undismayed. Vancouver Lodge No. 421 went on with its work. It submitted its plan to the Grand Lodges in Canada and the United States in order to ascertain what reception the proposed Grand Lodge might expect. The result was so encouraging that, at a meeting on January 18, 1871, it was able to announce that all the Grand Lodges to which it had submitted its plan had signified their approval.
Various proceedings resulted in the meeting of a Committee from Vancouver Lodge, No. 411 S. R. They met with other members on March 18, 1871 to elect a Grand Master and other Officers and to declare a Grand Lodge of British Columbia duly formed. M W. Bro. Elwood Evans, Past Grand Master of Washington Territory, was invited to Install the Officers of the new Grand Lodge on March 20, and he accepted the invitation. Notice of the proposed Installation was given to District Grand Master Burnaby of the English Lodges only one hour before the Installation was to take place; he put in a written protest. District Grand Secretary Thomas Shotbolt attended; protested orally; then took off his apron and retired. What happened after he left the Lodge is not known, but the Installation did not proceed and for the time the matter was dropped. Later, R, W. Bro. Powell, and R∴W∴Bro. Burnaby had a conference about the affair with the result that they agreed to submit the matter to the vote of the Brethren of the various Lodges. This was then, done. It resulted in Ppolling 194 votes in favor of the proposal, and 28 votes against it.
Since the majority in favor of establishing an independent Grand Lodge was so large, a meeting to be held in Victoria was called for October 11, 1871, to form a Grand Lodge of British Columbia. All the Lodges in the Province, except Union Lodge, No. 899, at New Westminster, sent Representatives. The Grand Lodge of British Columbia was duly formed, M∴W∴Bro. Israel Wood Powell being elected as first Grand Master and M∴W∴Bro. Robert Burnaby being given the rank of Past Grand Master. All Lodges within the jurisdiction, except Union Lodge, No. 899, surrendered their Charters to receive others granted by the new Grand Lodge. Their respective numbers on the Grand Lodge Roll were as follows: 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; Quadra Lodge, No. 8.
The absence of Union Lodge, No. 899, from the Convention, and its failure on that account to receive the number on the Grand Lodge Roll to which it was entitled by reason of its seniority—No. 2—was due to the determined opposition of Hon. Henry Holbrook, of New Westminster. He took the stand taken by the Secretary of the Grand Lodge of England, namely, that the organisation of a Grand Lodge having such a small number of Lodges was ridiculous. In 1877, however, this Lodge saw the light, surrendered its Charter, and became Union Lodge, No. 9, B. C. R.
By the close of 1872 all other Grand Lodges in Canada and all those in the United States, except that of Indiana, which awaited the action of the Grand Lodge of England in the matter, had recognised the new Grand Lodge.1 The Grand Lodge of England gave full recognition and a kind and fraternal greeting in 1874. The Grand Lodge of Scotland granted conditional recognition in 1880, but reserved the right to Charter Lodges in British Columbia if it saw fit. This action was followed by unconditional recognition, granted in 1883. Indiana recognised the Grand Lodge of British Columbia in 1881.
From 1870 tO 1880 British Columbia was not prosperous. The output of gold from the mines of the Cariboo diminished year by year. The proposed transcontinental railway that was to connect the Province with her eastern sisters was still a matter of negotiation and exploration. Business of the region was nearly at a standstill, and many who had come there during the Cariboo gold excitement of the 60's were now leaving. As the population decreased, the number of Lodges did likewise. Nanaimo, the coal-mining town on Vancouver Island, first felt the strain.
Since two Lodges were more than it could maintain, in 1873 Nanaimo Lodge, No. 3, and Caledonia Lodge, No. 6, united as Ashlar Lodge, No. 3. Victoria presently discovered that it could not support four Lodges, and in 1877 Victoria Lodge, No. 1, and British Columbia Lodge, No. 5, united under the name of Victoria-Columbia Lodge, No. 1. That year Vancouver Lodge No - 2., and Quadra Lodge, No. 8, united under the name of Vancouver and Quadra Lodge, No. 2. The decrease in the number of Lodges went no further and when the construction ot the Canadian Pacihc Ra•lway caused a revival of business, applications for Charters began to come in. In 1881, residents of Yale, at that time a centre of construction at the Pacific Coast end of the railway, though now only a name and a memory, asked for the Charter of a Lodge to be known as Cascade Lodge, No. 10. Owing to fires in the town and to changes in railway construction plans, the application was withdrawn within the year and before the Charter was granted. Five years later a Charter was granted to Kamloops Lodge, No. 10. In 1887 a Charter was granted to Mountain Lodge, No. 11, at Donald, thogzh this Lodae, with the population of the town itself later removed to Golden, on the Columbla River. In 1888 Cascade Lodge, No. 12, at Vancouver, and Spallumcheen Lodge, No. 13, at Lansdowne (now Armstrong), were Instituted. Since that time the Grand Lodge of British Columbia, whose mere nine Lodges were likely to make it appear ridiculous to the Masonic world, according to the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of England, has steadily grown. In I93I it comprised 115 Lodges having amembership of I5,577.
It early became the custom of the Grand Master for the time being to nominate Brethren of standing to visit Lodges and report to him. In 1888 this course of action received the official approval of the Grand Lodge and the Province was divided into four districts: District, No. 1, Vancouver Island; District, No. 2, New Westminster; District, No, 3, Yale-Kootenay; and District, No. 4, Cariboo. In 1931 there were eighteen such districts with a District Deputy Grand Master for each.
The Grand Lodge of British Columbia has never officially used any set form of Ritual. In his address at the first meeting of the Grand Lodge M∴W∴Bro. Powell pointed out that
... Our Grand Lodge is formed by the Union of the English and Scottish crafts of the Province, each of whom are wedded and are partial to, their own particular work. Hence, under any and all circumstances, Lodges taking part in the formation of this Grand Lodge, should have full permission to continue the work they now practise so long as they desire to do so. But I would even go further, and for the present at least ... allow any Lodge that may hereafter be formed, to choose and adopt elther ritual at present practised in the Province.
This matter was again considered in Grand Lodge in 1893 and it was then decided that Lodges might select either the English Work, as exemplified by Victoria-Columbia Lodge, No. 1; the Scottish Work, really the American Work, as exemplified by Ashlar Lodge No. 3 , or the Canadian Work as exemplified by Cascade Lodge, No. 12. The latter, which is that form of English Work used by the Grand Lodge of Canada in Ontario since 1868, should properly be called the Ontario Work.
Though the English Work generally used in British Columbia is the Emulation Work, two Lodges use the Oxford Ritual and one, the Revised Ritual. Another Lodge, Southern Cross Lodge, No. 44, whose first Master was R∴W∴Bro. J. J. Miller, at one time prominent in Masonic circles of New South Wales, uses the Canadian Work with some of the modifications of the Ritual accepted in that part of the British Empire where the Lodge's first Master formerly resided.
Union Lodge, No. 9, of New Westminster, having been originally Chartered by the Grand Lodge of England, at first used the English Ritual. Since, however, a majority of the members were better acquainted with the Scotch, or American, Work, that form was adopted in 1877. It is said that W. Bro. William Stewart, who had been Initiated in Scotland during the early part of the nineteenth century and at different times a member of Union Lodge, No. 9, and of Ashlar Lodge, No. 3, first gave the name — Scotch — to the American form of the Ritual. He probably did so because all Lodges which had been Chartered by the Grand Lodge of Scotland used it.
Cariboo Lodge, which was No. 469 on the Register of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, and is now No. 4 B. C. R., merits special mention here. It was the outlying Lodge of all early Lodges. So far out was it, indeed, that a trip of 540 miles had to be made in order to reach it. One had to go seventy-five miles by steamer from Victoria to New Westminster. Another seventy-five miles by river steamer took one to Yale, the head of navigation on the Fraser River. From there to Barkerville was a stagecoach trip of 390 miles. The journey required so much time and was so difficult to make that Provincial Grand Master Powell never visited the Lodge. When it received its Charter it began to function without assistance from any but its own members. No Provincial Grand Master or Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia ever visited this Lodge until Grand Master William Downie made the trip to Barkerville in 1892.
It was no small community which at that time existed in the heart of the Cariboo Mountains. Gold was the magnet that drew men there. From the mountain streams of that region more than seventy million dollars' worth of precious metal was taken. In the mid-60's, so it is claimed, Barkerville had a larger population than any other place on the Pacific coast except San Francisco. Even in 1872, when the population of the Province had greatly decreased, Cariboo Lodge No. 469, was the second largest Lodge on the Register.
Headed by W. M. Jonathan Nutt, a zealous Mason who on account of his service to Freemasonry was given the rank of Past Senior Grand Warden in 1877, Cariboo Lodge, No. 469, got under way, bought a lot, and built a Masonic Hall. Its membership increased rapidly. Nationality or religious faith was no obstacle to membership, for Swedes, Jews, French-Canadians, Italians, and others were to be found among its members. During its early years the Lodge was financially prosperous. On September 16, 1868, however, just as the prosperity of Cariboo was beginning to decline, a disastrous fire burnt the whole town of Barkerville to the ground. Only one building escaped destruction.
The Masonic Hall was destroyed but the Records of the Lodge were saved. The Lodge immediately began to rebuild its quarters, and on February 20, 1869, it met in a new Hall that it still uses. Despite generous donations from outside sources, the Lodge had difficulty in financing the erection of its new Hall. Mining claims were being worked out and the population was dwindling. After a time, however, the Lodge overcame all its difficulties.
In those early days Barkerville was by no means a peaceful village, as no prosperous mining town far removed from civilisation could be. Because of a clever ruse to which members of Cariboo Lodge, No. 469, resorted, we are led to believe that some residents of the settlement, when in their cups, tried to find out what Masons really do in Lodge. In order to prevent any illicit seeker after truth from succeeding in his quest, some resourceful brain suggested an ingenious "silent" or "mechanical" Tyler when the new Hall was built. The stairs to the Lodge room were hinged in the middle. By means of a mechanical contrivance the lower part of the stairway could be raised and held suspended in mid-air while the Brethren were at Labour. Besides this interesting piece of handiwork massive and handsome furniture was also made and carved by early members of the Lodge.
The jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia is not confined to the Province alone but also includes the Yukon Territory. The Grand Lodge of Manitoba, whose jurisdiction extended over the whole of the Northwest Territories of Canada before the Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan were formed, originally constituted Lodges in Dawson and White Horse.
It proved more convenient, however, for those Lodges to communicate with British Columbia than with Manitoba. With the consent and approval of their Mother Grand Lodge, the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia was extended to include Yukon Territory and in 1907 those Lodges became No. 45 and No. 46, respectively, on the Register of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia.
As has been the case in other jurisdictions, the Grand Lodge of British Columbia has had to deal with clandestine Bodies. In 1914 a Representative of the so-called American Masonic Federation was prosecuted and heavily fined forr his illegal acts. Since that time there has been no other trouble.
In 1921 this Grand Lodge celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in fitting style. Representatives from many other Grand Lodges—England, Canada, and the United States—were in attendance. Many of the pioneers in the Craft who were present were fittingly introduced to members of the Grand Lodge. Addresses made by the visitors in the Lodge and by the speakers at the anniversary banquet were worthy of the occasion and of the reputation of the Ancient Craft.
As the years go on the Grand Lodge of British Columbia prospers and increases. Many of the Lodges are, of course, in the larger centres of population, but many others, not less worthy of mention, are in settlements tucked away among far-off mountain mining camps, or along shores of the great inlets that deeply pierce our long seafront. Others are in lumber towns and in the hamlets of agricultural districts. All are working out the great principles of Freemasonry with interest and profit to themselves and with benefit to the communities in which they carry on.
The benevolent and charitable work of the Fraternity is by no means neglected in the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia. From that September day in 1859 when the Masons of Victoria gathered together to inter the body of Bro. S. J. Hazeltine according to Masonic custom, up to the present, those duties have been carried on unceasingly. Charity has unstintedly been extended to those in need. Among the earliest records of Cariboo Lodge, No. 4, far up in the Cariboo Mountains, is the casual mention of a Committee that was appointed to inquire into the case of Bro. Miserve, of Mount Moriah Lodge, Washington Territory. While digging for gold along Mosquito Creek, he had fallen into bad health, so the report said. Yearly Records of the Lodges in this jurisdiction show large sums expended for relief. A benevolent fund, begun in 1871, has been built up by the Grand Lodge from the donations of individuals and constituent Lodges. In 1931 this fund amounted to $32.6,849.69. Income from it is used to supplement charities of the various Lodges where necessary. In both Vancouver and Victoria, a Masonic service bureau is maintained by the local Lodges. These bureaus look after and assist Masons and their dependents from other jurisdictions while they sojourn here. During the Great War a special relief fund was raised for the assistance of soldier Brethren and their families. This fund was of special value in those troublous times. All such work is carried on quietly, in true Masonic fashion. Few persons know either the extent of Masonic bounty or the names of those who are succoured.
Though British Columbia may not have among its members of the Craft those who are world-famous, nevertheless many pioneers of the Province who took leading parts in laying the foundations of our Commonwealth were faithful disciples of the Square and Compasses. Many leaders of bench, bar and church, distinguished business men, and members of the press have been among our members. In the early days, J. J. Southgate, a well-known merchant, inserted in The Victoria Gazette the advertisement set out in the first paragraph of this article and so initiated the Masonic organisation that has become what it is today. The splendid services to Freemasonry of M∴W∴ Bro. Robert Burnaby, a merchant, and M∴W∴ Bro. Israel W. Powell, a medical practitioner, have been in part described earlier in this article. Another distinguished Mason of British Columbia, a man or probity and profound learning, was John Foster McCreight, Deputy Grand Master in 1871, afterwards a judge of the Supreme Court of the Province. Among the well-known journalists were Amor de Cosmos and David W. Higgins, both at one time residents of Victoria and both men of outstanding ability.
The former, regarded by many as a somewhat eccentric person, had his earlier name, W. A. Smith, changed to that given here by an Act of the California Legislature while a member of that body in 1854. De Cosmos was editor of The British Colonist, of Victoria; a member of the Provincial Legislature; and one of the leaders in the movement that resulted in bringing about the union of the two colonies and the subsequent admission of the Province into the Canadian Confederation. He was also a member of the Canadian House of Commons for some years. David W. Higgins was also an editor of The British Colonist. He published two volumes containing stories of early life in British Columbia. These books, The Mystic Spring and The Passing of a Race, are rather fact than fiction. Though long out of print and now scarce, they are still much sought after and eagerly read. Hon. Henry Holbrook, father of Union Lodge, No. 899, at New Westminster, was for many years one of the most influential men in the political life of the mainland colony.
Major William Downie was another early Mason of British Columbia who can not be forgotten. Born in Glasgow, Scotland, and brought up in Ayr, he was one 'of those men who have an itching foot, one of those who heard "The Whisper" sung by Kipling:
Something hidden.
Go and find it.
Go and look behind the Ranges
Something lost behind the ranges.
Lost and waiting for you.
Go!
Upon the discovery of gold in the North, he came to British Columbia in 1858.
For several years he explored the coast for Governor Douglas, a fellow Scotsman. He visited the Queen Charlotte Islands, passed up the Skeena River to the Fraser, then back to the coast. From 1861 to 1873 he mined in various parts of the Cariboo Country. As late as 1886, at the request of Hon. John Robson, then finance minister in the government of British Columbia, he visited Granite Creek, in the Similkameen District, and later reported on the region. He was in Panama and Costa Rica in 1874 and 1875, and at one time he was on the Yukon River in Alaska. Bro. Downie was the first person Initiated into Vancouver Lodge, No. 2., of Victoria. He became a member of that Lodge in 1862. In his application he gave his occupation as "major and miner." The Records of the Lodge show that he visited it nearly every winter, but never in summer. Thirty years after becoming a Mason at Victoria, Bro. Downie affiliated with Ashlar Lodge, No. 3, at Nanaimo. He died there in 1894 at the age of seventy-four years.
In later years many leading men of the Province have been zealous members of the Craft. There have been Representatives on the bench of the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court of the Province, and the county courts. Many clergymen have taken part in our work, among them His Grace, Archbishop A. U. DePencier, of the Anglican Church in British Columbia. Rev. E. D. McLaren and Rev. C. Ensor Sharp have been Grand Masters. Among the men prominent in political life who also occupied the position of Grand Master were Hon. Simeon Duck, E. Crow Baker, M.P., Ex-Premier W. J. Bowser, and J. H. Schofield, M.L.A. Among the journalists was F. J. Burd, of The Vancouver Province. Among the medical men were Dr. R. E. Walker and Dr. Douglas Corsan. Among the railroad men were Lacey B. Johnson and William Downie, founder of Cascade Lodge, No. 12, at Vancouver (not the Major William Downie mentioned above). Among members who were leaders in business life were A. R. Milne, Angus McKeown, R. B. McMicking, Alexander Charleston, Frank Bowser, H. H. Watson, E. E. Chipman, H. N. Rich, John M. Rudd, William Henderson, James Stark, W. C. Ditmars, John Shaw, and W. S. Terry. David Wilson E. B. Paul, and S. J. Willis, superintendent of education for the Province in 1931, were among the educators that were Grand Masters.
It is a matter of great pride to the Masons of British Columbia that the present Grand Secretary, Dr. W.A. DeWolf-Smith is numbered among our prominent Masons. During his thirty years of Office, first as Grand Historian and later as Grand Secretary, Dr. DeWolf-Smith has been a tower of strength to the Officers and members of the Craft. In carrying out his duties, as Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Correspondence he has become well known in all jurisdictions as an erudite Masonic scholar and a brilliant and witty writer.

Gould's History of Freemasonry Throughout the World, Volume IV. Revised by Dudley Wright. New York : Charles Scribner's Sons, 1936. pp. 9-19.
1.Cf."Immediately upon the formation of this Grand Lodge in 1871, application for Fraternal Recognition was made to all of the then recognized Grand Lodges of the World including Continental Europe. There were but four of these latter who accorded us recognition...." Annual Proceedings, Grand Lodge of British Columbia, 1953. p. 185.

ANTI-MASONRY | ESSAYS & PAPERS | GRAND LODGE OF BC AND YUKON | HOME | LINKS | SITEMAP
[Anti-masonry]

© 1871-2017 Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon A.F. & A.M. Updated: 2007/12/27
freemasonry.bcy.ca/history/bc_history.html