On November 1, 1997, a historic event occurred in the world of Freemasonry within the United States and Canada. The last and final Grand Lodge in these countries came into being. Up to that time every State in the US and every Province in Canada was represented by a Grand Lodge except one - Newfoundland & Labrador. It had been proposed several times, but like Confederation with Canada, it did not gain any traction. In 1995 several dedicated Masons from Avalon Lodge No. 776, led by W Bro. Melvin A. Miller, decided it was time to push a little harder.
At that time, we were a remote District of the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) and lacked control of our affairs and were paying a significant portion of the lodge assessments to England in pounds sterling. Following the protocols established by the UGLE presentations were made to all Lodges in the Province, including those of the District Grand Lodge of Scotland. All the Lodges under the UGLE voted overwhelmingly in favour of our own Grand Lodge, including five Lodges from the District Grand Lodge of Scotland.
We had the protocols to carry out the voting but knew little or nothing about the process of setting up and consecrating a Grand Lodge. After several trips to London and with support from all the Grand Jurisdictions in Canada, particularly the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario, the UGLE agreed to consecrate the new Grand Lodge. The path had some bumps and turns, but in the end, it all worked out.
In 1995 a delegation from our District went to England to make a case for a Grand Lodge but did not get a positive reply from England. At that time, The Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario became aware of our intentions and offered to sponsor a Grand Lodge of Newfoundland & Labrador. Another Grand Lodge that was ready to help, The Grand Lodge of New York, was in support as well.
On November 1, 1997, at the Hotel Newfoundland, we became the last Grand Lodge to be consecrated in North America.
So, brethren, on this 25th Anniversary Year, let’s take time in our lodges to mark and celebrate this great occasion and to recognize the present and past members that helped make this important event become a reality.
Brethren, we would like all lodges to include the 25th Anniversary logo in their notice papers for this Anniversary year and to take the opportunity to promote this important event in your communities.