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[Victoria Lodge]
The first lodge meeting
Yates Street, Victoria, B.C. - 1862.
Owen Staples.
Looking down Yates Street from the corner of Government Road to Wharf Street, this watercolour painting is recreated from a fancy sketch done by an unknown artist. The white building in the middle of the picture is Hibben and Carswell’s stationery store, built by Southgate and Mitchell, where Victoria Lodge No. 1085 GRE met on the second floor for the first time on August 20, 1860. The building was designed by architect, Victoria mayor, and freemason, Richard Lewis.
More information on the history of Freemasonry in British Columbia and Canada is available on this website or through the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon Library.

Original painting by Owen Staples (1866-1949) is in the J. Ross Robertson Collection, Metropolitan Toronto Central Library. Also see "A street in Victoria," Four Years in British Columbia and Vancouvers Island, Richard Mayne. London : 1862
Illustration of Stationers Hall reproduced from Hibben & Carswell stationery.

Wednesday Morning, August 22, 1860

MASONIC L ODGE.- We take great pleasure in announcing that a Masonic Lodge, under the name of "Victoria Lodge No. 1085," was organized in Victoria on Monday evening last. This is the first lodge of the Order ever established here, or in fact, in any part of the British possessions on the Pacific. The Charter was obtained from the Grand Lodge of England. The petition for the charter was forwarded to England in December, 1858, but owing to some informality, and to the charter being sent out via Cape Horn, nearly eighteen months expired before it arrived. Since its arrival the installation of officers has been delayed to Monday evening last, in order to suitably fit up the Lodge Room over Messrs. Hibben and Carswell’s store, Yates street. We must say that the manner in which that has been done reflects great credit on the Order; in fact, there are few Masonic Halls on the Pacific coast better furnished, or more in keeping with the ancient landmarks of the fraternity. The Officers were installed by Past Master Robert Burnaby, assisted by Past Master Henry Aguilar, of H.M.S. Grappler. The names of the office bearers are J.J. Southgate, W.M..; George Pearkes, S.W.; Wm. Jeffray, J.W.; J.N. Thain, T.; A. De Cosmos, S.; Wm H. Thain, S.D.; K. Gambitz, J.D.; L. Franklin, I.G.; J.R. McDonald, O.G.


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