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Nanaimo Lodge No. 1090 (ER), constituted May 15, 1867 and Caledonia Lodge No. 478 (SR) constituted November 18, 1867, consolidated as Ashlar Lodge No. 3 on December 8, 1873.
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Nanaimo Lodge No. 1090 E.R.
[Franklyn] Captain William Hales Franklyn Encouraged by the actions of the Freemasons of Victoria, the Brethren in Nanaimo did not long delay in following their example. Captain William Hales Franklyn who had been sent to Nanaimo as Stipendiary Magistrate and was a member of Grand Master’s Lodge, No. 1, London,1 the Premier Lodge of England, was the leader of the movement. Meetings of the Freemasons in the little town were held in 1865, and after due consideration it was agreed that a Lodge should be formed there and a petition to the Grand Lodge of England be drawn up and forwarded to London. It was favourably received, a dispensation was issued and the warrent for Nanaimo Lodge, No. 1090 was issued forthwith.

The low number given to Nanaimo Lodge is due to the fact that in 1863, before the petition was sent to the Grand Lodge of England, that body had renumbered its Lodges to fill up gaps which had appeared in the Roll of Lodges, and in consequence Victoria Lodge which was originally No. 1085, became No. 783, and Union Lodge which was originally No. 1201 became No. 899. The charter got as far as San Francisco in safety, but was lost in the wreck of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s steamer Labourchere on the voyage north to Victoria. A duplicate had to be obtained from London, and it was not until early in 1867 that the warrent arrived and the establishment of the Lodge could be proceeded with.

The first meeting of Nanaimo Lodge, No. 1090, as the warrent named it, was held in that city on May 15, 1867. A large contingent of the Victoria Lodge Brethren attended, with several from Vancouver Lodge. The steamer Sir James Douglas was engaged for the trip, and to add to the pleasure the band of the Volunteer Militia was taken along. Unfortunately Brother Burnaby was unable to attend.

The meeting was held in the Lodge room, at that time a one-storey house at the south-easterly corner of Hecate and Caven Streets, since torn down. The Lodge was duly constituted by RW Brother Henry Holbrook of Union Lodge assisted by W Brother Richard Lewis of Union Lodge and others. The proceedings concluded with a banquet and ball at which all present made merry, and good Mark Bate, the friend of all Nanaimoites, although not then a Freemason, was so intrigued by what he saw from the outside that later he joined the Lodge and became one of the most prominent members of the Craft in Nanaimo.2


1.Initiated 19 April 1841, passed 17 May 1841, raised 21 December 1841. The lodge has no record of his membership after his raising.
2.Reprinted from History of Grand Lodge of British Columbia, 1871-1970. John T. Marshall. Grand Lodge of British Columbia, Victoria: 1971, pp. 26-27. For further information, refer to Proceedings of Grand Lodge, 1932, p. 146 et seq., "Early Masonry in Nanaimo, B.C., by W. Bro. Joseph M. Brown.

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