History of Freemasonry in Newfoundland and Labrador

The History of Freemasonry in Newfoundland & Labrador

The first known Masonic Lodge to be held in St. John's, NL was in 1743. It owed its origin to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Boston. It was followed by a second lodge which operated here under that same authority and was formed in 1766. It is worthy of note that neither of these lodges were registered in the book of the United Grand Lodge of England. They were both properly constituted and warranted by and under the authority of the Provincial Grand Master of Boston.

St. John's Lodge No. 186 was constituted in St. John's in 1774 with a warrant dated March 24, 1774. It was issued by the Grand Lodge of the Antients (Atholl) and given No. 186. It held its meetings in the London Tavern. The first Worshipful Master was Bro. Thomas Todridge, the Senior Warden was Bro. Thomas Murphy and the Junior Warden was Bro. Peter Snyder. In 1810 its membership was composed mostly of Royal Artillery Men. The Lodge became dormant in 1832 when a fire destroyed its meeting place, regalia, and records. It was erased from the books of the United Grand Lodge of England in 1859.

The next lodge to meet here, though only for a short time, was the Lodge of the Fourth Battalion Regiment of Royal Artillery which was constituted on October 18, 1781 in New York. Upon retiring from New York in 1783, the battalion, and thus the Lodge, came to St. John's. It then moved to Woolwich, England, and finally to Quebec. It received a warrant of renewal as a civil Lodge on January 27, 1829 and on December 27, 1869, it became Albion Lodge No. 2 on the Registry of the Grand Lodge of Quebec.

Lodge of Placentia No. 456 and was warranted in 1784. Harbour Grace Lodge No. 470, held at Harbour Grace, was warranted April 30, 1785 and erased in 1813 by the United Grand Lodge of England. Benevolent Lodge No. 247 in St. John's was warranted in March 1788 by the Grand Lodge of the Ancients (Atholl) and was erased in 1852 by the United Grand Lodge of England. Town or Garrison of St. John's Lodge No. 249 was warranted March 31, 1782 by the Grand Lodge of the Ancients (Atholl) and lapsed in 1804.

The Lodge of Harmony, Placentia No. 250 was warranted May 2, 1788 and erased in 1815 by the United Grand Lodge of England. Union Lodge No. 698 was warranted in 1817 and held its meetings in Trinity, NL. It was erased in 1859. The jewels of this Lodge are now in the possession of the Scottish Constituted, Lodge Tasker No. 454.

It is of interest that of the eleven Lodges established in Newfoundland up to 1824, ten of them worked for short periods of time. One Lodge, St. John's Lodge No. 186, survived the longest until it became inoperable in 1832 when it was destroyed by fire.

It has been presumed that some of those early Masonic Brethren, talking among themselves, spoke of how nice it would be to have a Masonic Lodge re-established here. Members from other Lodges were also interested. One member wrote to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia asking what steps were necessary to re-establish a Lodge here. A reply was received. An advertisement appeared in The Morning Post on October 3, 1848 reading as follows:

"A communication having been received from the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia relating to the re-establishment of a Masonic Lodge in this place. Such MASTER MASONS as are favourable to the proposition will please meet at Avalon Terrace on Saturday evening next, at seven o'clock, for the purpose of preparing an answer, to be sent by the next mail."

The brethren of St. John's met on October 7, 1848 and sent a reply by the next mail. A reply was received before the end of the month. On October 31, 1848 another notice appeared in The Morning Post, reading as follows:

" A communication having been received from the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, accompanied by a Dispensation for the re-establishment of a Masonic Lodge in this place, such Master Masons as are favourable thereto will please meet at the Golden Lion Inn, tomorrow (Wednesday) evening at seven o'clock."

At this meeting arrangements were completed and on November 29, 1848, the Lodge was consecrated and dedicated at the Albert Terrace under the authority of the dispensation from Right Worshipful Bro., the Hon. Alexander Keith, Provincial Grand Master under the United Grand Lodge of England. The first officers were:

Bro. Samuel Archibald - Worshipful Master

Bro. William Jenkins - Senior Warden

Bro. John Stuart - Junior Warden

Bro. D. J. Henderson - Treasurer

Bro. William J. Ward - Secretary

Bro. Alexander Fraser - Senior Deacon

Bro. Thomas Johns - Junior Deacon

It appears that the officers acted in their office for a short time only, for on December 27, 1848 (St. John Day), Bro. Oliver Goldsmith was installed as Worshipful Master. While Bro. Samuel Archibald was the first Worshipful Master of Saint John's Lodge, he was not its first Past Master, as he did not fulfil the requirements of the constitution.

The first candidates were initiated on February 2, 1849. They were William L. Solomon, Patrick Tasker, Thomas H. Newman, and John C. Toussaint. The meeting place of the Lodge was at Hotel Paris, where it met until 1856 when the Lodge moved to new quarters in the upper story of the British Society Hall on British Square. It should be noted that Bro. William L. Solomon was the son of Simon Solomon who was Worshipful Master of St. John's Lodge No. 186 in 1798. We have in our Archives a certificate issued by St. John's Lodge No. 186 signed by Simon Solomon as Worshipful Master.

The Membership of Saint John's Lodge met regularly in 1849 doing Masonic work and holding a lodge of instruction. It is worthy of note that the first year was a busy one adding twenty-one brethren to its membership bringing it from eleven to thirty-two brethren. In 1850 Bro. William Jenkins, Alexander Fraser, Robert Prouse, William J. Ward, Oliver Goldsmith, Robert Law, C.F. Tyler, Geo. P. Brown, Edward H.K. Belecher, and John Musson petitioned the United Grand Lodge of England praying that a charter be granted. The prayer of the petition was graciously accorded to with the Charter being dated June 5, 1850 and being numbered 844. Although the Lodge had been working, no record regarding its existence was either on the books of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia or the United Grand Lodge of England. Incorporated in the charter is an endorsement of the fact that the Lodge did exist. This endorsement read as follows:

“A dispensation for holding the Saint John's Lodge having been granted by the Provincial Grand Master bearing date the ______ the proceedings of the said Lodge from that date are accordingly ratified”.

By Command of the Most Worshipful Grand Master

William H. White, Grand Secretary

With the arrival of the charter the Brethren were pleased to have it and to be working with it on display in the Lodge. The Lodge did not neglect its social side when on January 21, 1852 it held its first Masonic Ball. Nor was the charitable side neglected. Part of the dues paid by the Brethren were placed in the benevolent fund. This charity was different from that of today.

On June 24, 1858 Worshipful Bro. Patrick Tasker who had been Worshipful Master for three years announced that Right Worshipful Bro., the Honorable Alexander Keith, the Provincial Grandmaster for Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland had appointed him as Deputy Provincial Grandmaster for Newfoundland. He was installed in office on August 6, 1858.

Several Brethren felt that a second Lodge was required in St. John's to meet the needs of prospective candidates who, due to other commitments, could not attend meetings on the first Friday of the month. In October 1858 they received a dispensation to form Avalon Lodge from the Provincial Grandmaster Right Worshipful Bro., the Honourable Alexander Keith. Worshipful Bro. Patrick Tasker, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, assisted by Past Masters of Saint John's Lodge, consecrated and dedicated Avalon Lodge. They installed Bro. William Vallance Whiteway as Worshipful Master and he in turn proceeded to invest his officers.

In 1860, His Royal Highness Prince Edward, Prince of Wales visited St. John's (the Prince of Wales was not a member of the craft at that time.) Worshipful Bro. Patrick Tasker presented an address of welcome, on behalf of the Brethren of Saint John's Lodge and Avalon Lodge, who attended and took part in the welcome. On November 2, 1860 the craft was saddened with the news of the passing of our distinguished Brother, Worshipful Bro. Patrick Tasker. His funeral was well attended by the brethren of both Lodges. He was laid to rest in the Riverhead Cemetery, Waterford Bridge Road, St. John's, NL.

On February 21, 1861 a meeting of both Lodges was convened to elect a Worshipful Brother to replace Worshipful Bro. Tasker as Deputy Provincial Grand Master. Worshipful Bro. James Shannon Clift was elected. His name was submitted by both Lodges to the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master who appointed him to the office of Deputy Provincial Grandmaster for Newfoundland. At a special meeting of Avalon Lodge, called for that purpose on June 2, 1861, he was Installed in office by Worshipful Bro. William Vallance Whiteway.

The year 1861 is significant for the establishment of the most outstanding Masonic benevolent organization in Newfoundland and Labrador; the Tasker Educational Fund (now called the Patrick Tasker Masonic Educational Fund). That year Bro. J. S. Rutherford gave notice of motion that "A fund be formed for the purpose of educating the children of deceased Brethren who had been in full communion with the Lodge." In July Bro. Rutherford gave notice of motion for the next meeting "That the sum of twenty-five pounds per annum be appropriated from the funds of the Lodge toward educating children of Brother Masons who may have died while members of the Lodge." The motion was duly passed at the regular meeting in August 1861. At the September meeting a committee was appointed to start the fund. Later, Avalon Lodge joined the fund. It was eventually passed over to a committee made up of members of all Lodges in Newfoundland and Labrador who contributed to the fund and remains in existence today.

In 1863, the United Grand Lodge of England renumbered its Lodges. Saint John's Lodge became No. 579 and Avalon Lodge No. 776. In 1864, Saint John's Lodge gave permission for a chapter of Royal Arch Masons to be attached to the Lodge. Dispensation was received from the Provincial Grand Superintendent, Right Excellent Companion, the Honorable Alexander Keith on August 4, 1864. However, there was one problem. There was no Excellent Companion here to install the officers. Comp. N. S. Stabb went to Halifax on business and while there he went to see Right Ex. Comp. the Honorable Alexander Keith who installed him as Third Principal. He gave him a dispensation to install the officers of the chapter, which he did on September 5, 1865 with Ex. Comp. J. S. Clift as First Principal and Companion C. Wright as Second Principal.

On May 6, 1866 the Grand Lodge of Scotland issued a warrant to form Lodge Tasker No. 454, so named after Worshipful Bro. Patrick Tasker. It was erected and consecrated on November 22, 1866 by Worshipful Bro. James S. Clift, assisted by Worshipful Bro. N. S. Stabb. They installed Bro. W. T. Parsons as Right Worshipful Master and invested his officers.

The first Lodge outside the city of St. John's, NL still in operation is Lodge Harbour Grace No. 476 of the Scottish Constitution. Its charter was dated November 4, 1867 and it was erected and consecrated in 1868 by Bro. A. M. McKay, who had been appointed Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master by the Grand Lodge of Scotland in the same year. He also installed and invested the officers of Lodge Harbour Grace. At this time, he also laid the cornerstone for their temple. On this occasion a contingent from the Lodges in St. John’s travelled to Harbour Grace and presented Bro. McKay with a silver trowel, which is still on display within the entrance way of Lodge Harbour Grace.

On Monday, November 15, 1869 a unique ceremony took place in Saint John's Lodge No. 579, when Hiram Lodge No. 1281 was consecrated and dedicated by Worshipful Bro. James S. Clift, Deputy Provincial Grandmaster assisted by Past Masters of Saint John's Lodge. The Worshipful Master Bro. George Bishop was installed, and his officers invested. Due to poor methods of transportation to the Burin Peninsula area at that time, it was decided that the officers to be invested in Hiram Lodge should come to St. John's, rather than have the Deputy Provincial Grandmaster and some Past Masters go to Burin.

In 1869 with the formation of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, Right Worshipful Bro. the Honorable Alexander Keith was elected and installed as Most Worshipful Grand Master. As a result, the Lodges under the English constitution in Newfoundland found themselves without a Masonic leader. A request was sent to the Grand Master in London from the Lodges and the Most Worshipful Grand Master, the Earl of De Grey and Ripon K.G. adhered to their request; appointing Worshipful James Shannon Clift as District Grand Master. His patent of appointment was read on St. John’s Day December 27, 1870. Bro. C.S. Pinsent was to be installed as Worshipful Master of the Lodge. Prior to his installation, Bro. Pinsent was elected as the first District Grand Treasurer.

In May 1871 the District Grand Lodge was formed. Worshipful Bro. William V. Whiteway was installed as Deputy District Grand Master and District Grand Lodge officers were invested. Worshipful Bro. N. S. Stabb was invested as District Senior Grand Warden, Bro. J.F. Chisholm as District Junior Grand Warden, Worshipful Bro C. S. Pinsent as District Grand Treasurer and Worshipful Bro. H. J. B. Woods as District Grand Secretary.

District Grand Lodge was but one month old when it was called to consecrate a new Lodge. It was Victoria Lodge No. 1378 of Fortune, NL. For the second time, the ceremony was held in St. John's, NL. An emergency communication of District Grand Lodge was held on July 17, 1871 with Worshipful Bro. William V. Whiteway, Deputy District Grand Master presiding, assisted by District Grand Lodge officers. He consecrated and dedicated Victoria Lodge and installed Bro. J. P. Snook as Worshipful Master and invested his officers.

A proposition for a Lodge in Grand Bank, NL, to be known as Fidelity Lodge No. 1659, was received by District Grand Lodge and forwarded to London for its warrant from Grand Lodge. A dispensation was issued on November 17, 1875 by Right Worshipful Bro. James S. Clift for Fidelity Lodge to be formed. No applications were to be received or degree coffered until their warrant of constitution was received. The warrant was issued on December 13, 1876 and given No. 1659. On January 2, 1878 Worshipful Bro. J.P. Snook, assisted by some Past Masters and with a special commission, consecrated and dedicated Fidelity Lodge. They installed Bro. George R. Forsey as Worshipful Master and invested his officers.

On January 14, 1876 Worshipful Bro. A. J. W. McNeily gave notice of motion at District Grand Lodge that at the next communication, of the District Grand Lodge, he would move or cause to be moved for the appointment of a committee to confer with a committee of the District Grand Lodge of Scotland and report to their respective District Grand Lodges as to the feasibility and expediency of a Masonic union under an independent Grand Lodge of Newfoundland. At the next communication held on March 31, 1871 the motion was moved by Worshipful Bro. Moses Monroe, seconded by Worshipful Bro. A. Pearce. A committee was appointed.

Right Worshipful Bro. James S. Clift died on July 16, 1877. He was laid to rest in the Anglican Cemetery, Forest Road. His funeral was well attended by members of the craft.

The matter of a Grand Lodge of Newfoundland again came before the District Grand Lodge on December 26, 1877 and lead to quite a lively debate. Worshipful Bro. William V. Whiteway was appointed District Grand Master by the Grand Master. He was installed on June 12, 1878. by Worshipful Bro. Phelps, Master of Saint John's Lodge No. 579 and Worshipful Bro. Chisholm, a Past Master of Avalon Lodge. The matter of the formation of a Grand Lodge in Newfoundland came up once more and all Lodges of both jurisdictions voted favourably for it. Right Worshipful Bro. William V. Whiteway was delegated to lay the matter before the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England which he did, and in the opinion of that body the time was inappropriate and the District too weak to be able to run alone. The matter was then discarded.

On August 3, 1876 The Saint John's Chapter Lodge changed its name and jurisdiction. It became Shannon Chapter No. 9 under the Grand Chapter of Nova Scotia. The officers were installed by Excellent Companion J. S. Clift. Excellent Companion Moses Monroe was installed as Most Excellent High Priest.

In 1880 the Masonic Life Mutual Insurance was formed with Worshipful Bro. Moses Monroe being its first president.

Masonry expanded to the north when Notre Dame Lodge No. 1907 worked under a dispensation in Little Bay. The Lodge was consecrated and dedicated, and its Worshipful Master Bro. William B. Payne was installed. Its Warrant was issued on April 22, 1881. It became lost and a new one issued on November 26, 1903.

After several attempts to agree on the building of a Masonic Hall, The Masonic Hall Joint Stock Company was formed and on June 11, 1885 a site was agreed on and construction commenced. The cornerstone was laid by Right Worshipful Bro. William V. Whiteway in due Masonic form on Long’s Hill. The building was of wooden construction. The Temple was dedicated on December 29, 1885 at noon. That evening Bro. John Pye was installed as Worshipful Master of Saint John's Lodge. It became the home of Masonry for the next seven years up until it was destroyed by the Great Fire on July 8, 1892.

Masonry spread northward to Twillingate in 1890 when on October 21, 1890 at the courthouse in Twillingate Worshipful Bro. R. T. Rankin, Past Master of Saint John’s Lodge and Worshipful Bro. John R. McCowan of Avalon Lodge consecrated and dedicated the Lodge. Bro. Andrew Grey was installed as Worshipful Master and his officers invested. The warrant of the Lodge is dated May 1, 1890.

The Brethren of the day decided to build a Temple to replace the recently destroyed Masonic Hall; this one to be more beautiful than the Structure which had been burned in the Great fire of July 1892. A new site was chosen, and on August 23, 1894 the cornerstone was laid with customary ceremony by the District Grand Master Right Worshipful Bro. William V. Whiteway, assisted by Bro. A. McKay, Right Worshipful District Grand Master, Scottish Constitution, before a large gathering of Masons from both jurisdictions and the general public.

The first meeting in the newly constructed "Masonic Temple" was held by St. John's Lodge No. 579 on November 1, 1895. On April 23, 1897, St. George's Day, the Masonic Temple was formally dedicated to Freemasonry by the two District Grand Masters, District Grand Lodge Officers and a large turn out of Brethren.

It was with a sense of loss that the brethren learned of the passing of Worshipful Bro. the Honourable Moses Monroe, whose zeal and work for all Masonic Institutions made him an outstanding craftsman. He was buried with full Masonic Honors on May 21, 1895 in the General Protestant Cemetery. A monument was erected in his memory by the citizens of St. John's, NL in Victoria Park, St. John's, NL where it stands to this very day.

In 1897, being the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, a joint committee was formed. In May, Brethren from both jurisdictions took a full share in the festivities.

Right Worshipful Bro. Sir William V. Whiteway celebrated fifty years in Masonry in November 1900. To mark the occasion, he was presented with a gold cup by the City Lodges.

In 1903 the District Deputy Grand Masters Association of Massachusetts paid a fraternal visit to St. John's. They were received at a joint meeting of all city Lodges. On their return to Massachusetts they presented a silver cup to their host. It is among the treasures of the Temple. The inscription on the cup reads as follows:

"To the Masonic Fraternal Courtesies, September 1 to 3, 1903. From members of the District Deputy Grand Masters Association of Massachusetts."

On August 22, 1904, Mrs. Moses Monroe presented to the Lodge a portrait of the late Worshipful Bro. Moses Monroe dressed in District Grand Lodge regalia which is still hung on the wall of the Lodge Room of the Masonic Temple.

On June 24, 1908 Right Worshipful Bro. William V. Whiteway laid down his working tools and passed to the Grand Lodge above. He was initiated on May 21, 1850 in St. John's Lodge. He had presided over the destinies of English Masonry in Newfoundland for thirty years. He was laid to rest with Masonic Honors in the Anglican Cemetery, Forest Road, St. John's, NL.

In April 1909, the Grand Master appointed Worshipful Bro. James Augustus Clift as District Grand Master. He was installed on May 17, 1909. The same year, a committee investigated the cost of purchasing some plots in the two cemeteries as a means of providing a fitting burial for brethren who, for one cause or another, have no place for their interment. These occupied Plots and two unoccupied Plots are still maintained by the Cemetery Plots Committee of which every Lodge in this District appoints a member representative to serve on an annual basis.

Lodge Carbonear was erected and consecrated on January 6, 1909 in Carbonear by Bro. John Cowan, Right Worshipful District Grand Master under the Scottish Constitution, assisted by Worshipful Bro. C. S. Pinsent, Deputy District Grand Master under the English Constitution. Bro. Dr. Boyle was installed as Right Worshipful Master and his officers invested.

Masonry continued to grow. Two Lodges under the Grand Lodge of England came into being in the same year. Their warrants were issued on the same date, June 16, 1911. These Lodges are Whiteway Lodge, No. 3541, so named in honour of Right Worshipful Bro. Sir William Vallance Whiteway and his contributions to the Craft in Newfoundland, and Botwood Lodge, No. 3542. Botwood Lodge was consecrated and dedicated on September 18, 1911 by Right Worshipful Bro. J. Augustus Clift, District Grand Master, assisted by District Grand Lodge officers. Bro Norman Grey was installed as Worshipful Master and his officers invested.

On September 6, 1911, Lodge Northclift, No. 1086 was erected and consecrated in Grand Falls by Bro. John Cowan, Right Worshipful District Grand Master, Scottish Constitution, assisted by District Grand Lodge officers. Bro. Nathaniel Pike was installed as Right Worshipful Master and invested his officers.

On January 21, 1912, a ceremony took place in the Lodge room of the Temple in St. John's with the gathering of brethren and their ladies. Right Worshipful Bro. J. A. Clift, District Grand Master addressed the gathering with Bro. C. R. Duder, Right Worshipful District Grand Master and his District Grand Lodge officers being present together with Lady Whiteway. Mrs. J. A. Clift unveiled the memorial erected in memory of Right Worshipful Bro. William V. Whiteway, located in the East of the Lodge room, just behind the Master’s chair.

On January 22, 1912 Whiteway Lodge No. 3541 was consecrated and dedicated by Right Worshipful Bro. J. A. Clift, District Grand Master, assisted by District Grand Lodge officers. Bro. Dr. Herbert Rendell was installed as Worshipful Master and his officers invested.

Masonry under the English constitution continued to grow in Newfoundland when a warrant was issued by Grand Lodge on October 21, 1913 for another daughter Lodge of Saint John's Lodge, Clift Lodge No. 3694 to be located on Bell Island. The Lodge was consecrated and dedicated on December 10, 1913 by Right Worshipful Bro. J. A. Clift, District Grand Master, assisted by District Grand Lodge officers. Bro. John J. McKenzie was installed as Worshipful Master and his officers invested. Right Worshipful Bro. J. A. Clift was a founding member of Clift Lodge.

In 1914 there were two tragedies: the loss of the Newfoundland and the Southern Cross. The Lodge was called upon to assist those in distress. So serious was the impact that the Grand Lodge of England contributed 300 guineas to the general fund which was raised. In July 1914 the Masonic Fraternity was excited with a visit from Most Worshipful Bro. the Duke of Connaugh and Sterthern K. G. The Most Worshipful Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England attended a special meeting on July 15, 1914 with an attendance of over 500 brethren. At this meeting an Address of Welcome was presented along with a sliver casket adorned by a caribou on the cover and surrounded by a Newfoundland dog at each leg. This was presented by both District Grand Lodges. This was the first visit from a reigning Grand Master. He also visited the Botwood Lodge during his stay.

On July 8, 1914 Lodge McKay No. 1129 was erected and consecrated in Bay Roberts by Bro. C. R. Duder, Right Worshipful District Grand Master, assisted by District Grand officers. Bro. T. C. McLeod was installed as Right Worshipful Master and his officers invested.

The brethren were hardly over the Grand Master’s visit when war was declared. A gathering took place in the Temple in St. John's on September 30, 1914 to bid farewell to the brethren going in the First Contingent to England. A similar event took place in 1915 when the brethren were presented with a special form of prayer to be used during the war. The brethren of all Lodges in Newfoundland contributed to the establishment of the "Newfoundland Freemasons Ward" of ten cots in a hospital in Southern England. The first to fall on the field of honour was a Brother of Saint John's Lodge No. 579.

On January 25, 1915 Bro C. R. Duder, Right Worshipful District Grand Master, Scottish Constitution, assisted by District Grand officers, erected and consecrated Lodge St. Andrew No. 1139 and installed Bro. H. E. Cowan as Right Worshipful Master and invested his officers.

In 1915 the city Lodges joined together in paying for the removal and installation of the pipe organ which was purchased from Mrs. John Ayre by the Masonic Hall Joint Stock Company. The dedication of the organ took place on Friday April 19, 1916 followed by an organ recital and concert.

The Grand Lodge of England celebrated its bi-centennial on June 24, 1917. The occasion was marked by a special Masonic service held in the Cathedral at 3:15 P.M. The sermon was preached by Worshipful Bro. Rev. Cannon Bolt, District Grand Chaplain. A special meeting was held on Monday June 25, 1917 in the Temple, presided over by District Grand Master Right Worshipful Bro. J. Augustus Clift. The meeting was attended by both District Grand Lodges and an address on the history of the United Grand Lodge of England was given by District Grand Secretary Worshipful Bro. W. J. Edgar.

On September 21, 1921 Lodge Hearts Content, No. 1275 was erected and consecrated by Bro. C. R. Duder, Right Worshipful District Grand Master, assisted by District Grand officers. Bro. A. R. Anderson was installed as Right Worshipful Master and his officers invested. In November of 2005 the original hand written/painted warrant for this Lodge was found, presumably forgotten, laying on the floor of Avalon Lodge's storage locker. The Warrant was restored by the Grand Lodge Historian, and was presented to Lodge Hearts Content during their 2006 Installation Ceremonies.

With the death of Bro. C.R. Duder, Right Worshipful District Grand Master, Scottish Constitution, in the fall of 1922 and our own District Grand Master Right Worshipful Bro. J. A. Clift in early 1923 both English and Scottish Lodges were left without a District Grand Master.

The Most Worshipful Grand Master of England appointed Worshipful Bro. John R. Bennett as District Grand Master. His installation marked the first time that Grand Lodge officers came out from England. The Program Master, Most Worshipful Bro. Lord Ampthilla, accompanied by several Grand Lodge officers came to St. John's from England to install the District Grand Master which they did on July 10, 1923 at the Methodist College Hall. The Grand Master of Nova Scotia Most Worshipful Bro. J. A. Winfield accompanied by his Grand Secretary Right Worshipful Bro. J. C. Janes were in attendance.

At the regular meeting of Saint John’s Lodge No. 579 February 5, 1926 a petition was presented from the Brethren in Corner Brook for the formation of a Lodge there. The Lodge was established on October 4, 1926 as Corner Brook Lodge No. 4832. It was consecrated and dedicated by Right Worshipful Bro. J. R. Bennett, District Grand Master, assisted by District Lodge officers. Bro. Kenneth M. McDonald was installed as Worshipful Master and his officers were invested. Saint John's Lodge No. 579 presented the Lodge with the Ashlars for their brethren to test themselves upon. A delegation from Saint John's Lodge No. 579 attended the ceremonies of that consecration.

In September 1933 Worshipful Bro. W. J. Edgar, the District Grand Secretary attended in England the Peace Memorial Celebrations of The United Grand Lodge of England. He also attended a meeting of the Lodge of Amity in Poole, Dorset. There he displayed the jewels which belonged to Union Lodge of Trinity. These jewels are now owned by Lodge Tasker No. 454, in St. John's, NL. In September 1935 the Craft mourned the passing of Worshipful Bro. W. J. Edgar, who was District Grand Secretary for twenty-five years, and whose labour for the craft was outstanding.

In June 1939 their Majesties King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited Newfoundland. They landed at Holyrood and drove to St. John's. The members of both jurisdictions had an Arch of Welcome erected at the junction of Topsail and Kenmount Roads, where several brethren in regalia showed their welcome.

In September 1939 war was once again declared. On April 10, 1940 a joint meeting and concert was held by all the Lodges at which presentations were made to all the Brethren who had volunteered for service in the armed forces. In Newfoundland, war service committees were formed to see that certain comforts (i.e. cigarettes, reading materials, etc...) were supplied to the Brethren serving overseas.

On October 23, 1941 the District Grand Master, Right Worshipful Bro. John R. Bennett passed to the Grand Lodge above. His body lay in state in the Temple until the funeral service in the Anglican Cathedral on October 25, 1941 after which he was laid to rest in the Anglican Cemetery, Forest Road.

On October 14, 1942 Worshipful Bro. George R. Williams was appointed District Grand Master by the Most Worshipful Grand Master. Due to the war, no Grand Lodge officer could come to St. John's for the installation. The Grand Master of Nova Scotia, Most Worshipful Bro. Geoffery Stevens presided over the installation.

In 1945, English Masonry grew in Newfoundland with the formation of two new Lodges. Firstly, Landfall Lodge No. 6122 in Bonavista. It was consecrated and dedicated by the District Grand Master Right Worshipful Bro. George R. Williams, assisted by District Lodge officers. Worshipful Bro. R. W. Moyst was installed as Worshipful Master and his officers invested. On September 14 the second Lodge, Cabot Lodge at Channel Port Aux Basques, was consecrated and dedicated by the District Grand Master Right Worshipful Bro. George R. Williams, assisted by District Grand officers. Worshipful Bro. F. B. Hawkins was installed as Worshipful Master and his officers invested.

On May 30, 1945 Cryptic Rite, Royal and Select Masters came to St. John’s. Degrees were conferred by a team from Nova Scotia under Right Illustrious Companion Dr. P. S. Cochrane, assisted by Grand Council officers. A council named Eastern Council under dispensation was erected and Companion Claude Noonan was installed as Thrice Illustrious Master and his officers invested.

In 1946 Royal Arch Masonry spread West when on January 24 in Corner Brook Shannon Chapter met and under the guidance of its Most Excellent High Priest conferred the Capitular degrees on a large class of candidates. Right Ex. Comp. Claude Noonan, Grand King, assisted by Past High Priest of Shannon Chapter instituted Milley Chapter, No. 23 of the Grand Chapter of Nova Scotia and installed Comp. William R. Kent as Most Excellent High Priest and invested his officers.

In 1947, Scottish Masonry expanded to Corner Brook when the Right Worshipful District Grand Master Bro. David M. McFarlane, assisted by District Grand officers, erected and consecrated Lodge Lomond No. 1421. Bro. William R. Kent was installed as Right Worshipful Master and his officers invested.

On September 5, 1947 Chivaldric Masonry came to St. John's when Right Eminent Knight, Dr. Perry Cochrane, assisted by some Eminent Knights from Nova Scotia, instituted Beothic Preceptory No. 71 K. T. and Sir. Kt. Claude Noonan was installed as Presiding Preceptor and his officers invested.

1948 marks the completion of fifty years of Masonic labour of both District Grand Masters Right Worshipful Bro. George R. Williams and Bro. David M. McFarlane, a record of service which will be difficult to equal.

On May 24, 1948 at Lewisporte the District Grand Master Right Worshipful Bro. George R. Williams, assisted by District Grand officers consecrated and dedicated Lewisporte Lodge No. 6670 and Bro. Rev. William B. Perry was installed as Worshipful Master and his officer invested.

On January 19, 1949 English Masonry expanded in St. John's when St. George's Lodge No. 6739 was consecrated and dedicated by Right Worshipful Bro. George R. Williams, District Grand Master assisted by District Grand Lodge officers and Worshipful Bro. George Giannou was installed as Worshipful Master and his officers were invested. This was Avalon Lodge's first daughter Lodge.

In 1949 Royal Arch Masonry expanded here in Newfoundland when on May 13, 1949 a Royal Arch chapter was instituted in Botwood by the Grand King Right Ex. Comp. Claude Noonan, assisted by Past Grand Officers. The chapter was named Arklie Chapter, No. 26. Comp. James Arklie was installed as Most Ex. High Priest and his officers invested.

On May 23, 1949 English Masonry expanded with the consecration and dedication of Gander Lodge No. 6860 at Gander by Right Worshipful Bro. George R. Williams, District Grand Master, assisted by District Grand Lodge officers. Bro. Fred G. Chafe was installed as Worshipful Master and his officers invested.

On April 24, 1951 an impressive ceremony was held, the unveiling and dedication of the Masonic War Memorial in the Masonic Temple in St. John's. St. George's Lodge was opened, and both District Grand Lodges were received. It was announced that the unveiling of the Memorial would now be proceeded with. The representatives of ex-service men were lined up. The District Grand Masters and Worshipful District Grand Chaplain took part. A hymn was sung, after which the brethren proceeded to the Memorial. The bugler sounded Worshipful Bro. Lt. Col. Dr. Cluny MacPherson, C.M.G., M.D. addressed the gathering and unveiled the memorial. The District Grand Master, Right Worshipful Bro. George R. Williams called for Grand Honours which were then given. The bugler sounded the Last Post and Revelry. The brethren then returned to the Lodge room. The Right Worshipful District Grand Master, Bro. D. M. McFarlane addressed the brethren concerning the Memorial.

In 1951, English Masonry expanded in Corner Brook with the consecration and dedication of West Gate Lodge No. 7805. The ceremony was conducted by the District Grand Master, Right Worshipful Bro. George R. Williams, assisted by District Grand Lodge officers on October 26. Worshipful Bro. H. M. Batten was installed as Worshipful Master and his officers invested.

The Craft was saddened with the news of the passing of His Majesty George VI in February, 1952. The Craft was in mourning for a space of time.

English Masonry expanded on September 23, 1952 with the consecration and dedication of Canam Lodge No. 7219 in Stephenville by the District Grand Master, Right Worshipful Bro. George R. Williams, assisted by District Grand Lodge Officers. Worshipful Bro. Frederick J. E. Colbourne was installed as Worshipful Master and his officers invested. This Lodge’s name was derived from “Can” of Canada and “Am” of America.

At a meeting in 1954 Right Worshipful Bro. George R. Williams, District Grand Master, installed Worshipful Bro. F. Ronald Clarke as the first Assistant District Grand Master.

In 1954 Royal Arch Masonry expanded to the Burin Peninsula and on September 2 Atlantic Chapter was instituted under dispensation. The institution was performed by Right Ex. Comp. Mark B. Davis, Grand King, ably assisted by Grand and Past Grand officers. Comp. George Foot was installed as M. Ex. High Priest and his officers invested.

On October 7, 1958 Bro. Louis John Harnum was installed as Right Worshipful District Grand Master of District Grand Lodge of Newfoundland under the Grand Lodge of Scotland. He was installed by Bro. the Right Hon. Earl Elgin and Kincardine.

On June 3, 1964 Bro. E. John A. Harnum was installed as Right Worshipful District Grand Master of the District Lodge of Newfoundland of the Scottish Constitution by Bro. Lord Bruce Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason of the Grand Lodge of Scotland in the little theatre of Memorial University. In December Right Worshipful Bro. George R. Williams resigned as District Grand Master due to poor health.

On May 6, 1965 English Masonry moved North to Wabush, Labrador when Northern Lights No. 8022 was consecrated and dedicated by Deputy District Grand Master, in charge, Worshipful Bro. H. D. Macgillivray, M.B.E., assisted by District Grand Lodge officers. Worshipful Bro. Frank Robbins was installed as Worshipful Master and his officers invested.

On June 25, 1965 Worshipful Bro. Darrroch Macgillivray, M.B.E., was installed as District Grand Master by Most Worshipful Bro. the Right Hon. the Earl of Scarborough, K.G., Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, accompanied by some Grand Lodge Officers at the gymnasium of Memorial University.

Freemasons throughout Newfoundland and Labrador were saddened by the passing of Right Worshipful Bro. George R. Williams on August 8, 1965. He was laid to rest in the Forest Road Cemetery, St. John's, NL where the Lodge membership paid him our last respects.

The Lodge was saddened with the death of our District Grand Master, Right Worshipful Bro. Darroch Macgillivray. On September 5, 1967 he was laid to rest in the General Protestant Cemetery.

The Scottish Rite became active in Newfoundland when, on October 28, 1967, Centennial Lodge of Perfection was instituted under dispensation by Ill. Bro. Harvey R. Doane who installed Bro. Joseph R. Smallwood as Pursuivant Grand Master and invested his officers.

On July 3, 1968, the installation of Worshipful Bro. James Arklie as District Grand Master was held at the auditorium of Prince of Wales Collegiate. He was installed by the Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master, Right Worshipful Bro. the Right Hon. Earl Cadagon, M.C., D.C., assisted by Grand officers. The installation was followed by a banquet at the dining hall of Memorial University.

Scottish Masonry moved West when on September 7, 1968, Bro. E. John A. Harnum, Right Worshipful District Grand Master assisted by District Grand officers, erected and consecrated Lodge Cormack No. 1645 at Milltown, Bay D'Espoir. Bro. John MacKay was installed as the Right Worshipful Master and his officers invested. 1968 was the centenary of the District Grand Lodge of Newfoundland of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. A celebration meeting was held in Bay Roberts.

On May, 29 1969 Bro. Hedley B. Snelgrove was installed as Right Worshipful District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of Newfoundland under the Grand Lodge of Scotland by Bro. Sir Ronald Orr Ewing, Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason, assisted by Grand Lodge officers, at the Little Theatre of Memorial University.

On November 28, 1969 Macgillivary Chapter of Rose Croix was formed under dispensation. Bro. Michael E. Power was installed as its Most Wise Sovereign.

Right Worshipful Bro. James Arklie resigned as District Grand Master effective October 31, 1970. Worshipful Bro. Arthur G. Dewling, was appointed to the office of District Grand Master. On November 16, 1970 he was installed in office by Most Worshipful Bro. Right Hon. Earl Cadagon M.C., D.C. Pro Grand Master, assisted by Grand Lodge officers in the Cathedral Parish Hall. The installation was held under the banner of West Gate Lodge No. 7085, it being the centenary of District Grand Lodge. The Grand Masters of some nearby Grand Lodges were present for this occasion. The installation was followed by a banquet at the dining hall of Memorial University. A reception was held on November 17, 1970 in the afternoon at the Old Colony Club for brethren and their ladies.

The District Grand Master Right Worshipful Bro. Arthur G. Dewling led a delegation of brethren and their ladies to London, England. The District Grand Master took with him the warrant of Saint John's Lodge. He left in its place a dispensation so that the Lodge could meet and do Masonic work. On May 7, 1971 Worshipful Bro. Cyril V. LeMessurier opened Saint John's Lodge No. 579 in a Lodge room in Freemasons Hall in London, England. Several Grand Lodge officers attended the meeting. Right Worshipful Bro. Arthur Dewling occupied the Worshipful Master's Chair for this historic meeting.

The craft was shocked when on January 17, 1972 Right Worshipful Bro. A. Dewling died of a heart attack. He was laid in state in the Blue Lodge Room of the Temple. A remembrance service was held on January 19, 1972 in his honour. Both Lodge and Chapter rooms were used to accommodate the large number of brethren and visitors present. His funeral was held on January 20, 1972 from St. Thomas’ United Church, St. John's, NL. The Masters of all the Lodges in St. John's acted as the pall bearers. He was laid to rest in the Anglican Cemetery on Kenmount Road, St. John's, NL.

The Most Worshipful Grand Master appointed Worshipful Bro. J. Gordon Barnes as District Grand Master. He was installed on September 9, 1972 by Right Worshipful Bro. James Arklie, Past District Grand Master, assisted by District Grand officers, in the Cathedral Parish Hall. A banquet was held at Cannon Sterling Auditorium, located in St. Mary's Anglican Church, on Craigmiller Avenue, St. John's, in honour of this event.

On December 13, 1972 a special ceremony took place in the Lodge room of the Masonic the Temple. The Brethren accompanied by their Ladies, were welcomed by the Worshipful Master, Worshipful Bro. R.C. Stead. He especially welcomed Mrs. Arthur Dewling. The ceremony began with prayers by Bro. Rev. L. A. Ludlow, Worshipful District Grand Chaplain, S.C., followed by a hymn. Right Worshipful Bro. J. Gordon Barnes, District Grand (English) Master and Bro. Hedley Snelgrove Right Worshipful District Grand (Scottish) Master. Both District Grand Masters spoke of the friendship of Right Worshipful Bro. Arthur G. Dewling. The Worshipful Master then paid tribute to Right Worshipful Bro. Dewling. He then requested Mrs. A. Dewling to unveil the painting of Right Worshipful Bro. Dewling, which she did. A Masonic Ode was sung, followed by prayers by Worshipful Bro. George Gruchy District Grand Chaplin, E.C.

1973 was a busy year with expansion in Masonry. On March 3rd the District Grand Master, Right Worshipful Bro. J. Gordon Barnes, assisted by District Grand officers, consecrated and dedicated Neptune Lodge No. 8465 and installed Worshipful Bro. Eli W. Rogers as its Worshipful Master and invested his officers in the Anglican Cathedral's Parish Hall, St. John's, NL.

May 12, 1973 the District Grand Master, Right Worshipful Bro. J. Gordon Barnes, assisted by District Grand officers, consecrated and dedicated Clarenville Lodge No. 8498 and installed Worshipful Bro. R. M. Hellier as Worshipful Master and invested his officers.

October 23, 1973 Bro. Hedley Snelgrove, Right Worshipful District Grand Master, S.C., erected and consecrated Lodge Conception No. 1698 assisted by District Grand Lodge officers at the Foxtrap Regional High School. Bro. David Metcalf was installed as Right Worshipful Master and his officers invested.

The Order of the Red Cross of Constantine came to St. John's, NL on August 9, 1974. J. Charles Moore Conclave was instituted by Right Em. Kt. F. C. Morrison. Em. Kt. William B. Titford was installed as Most Pursuivant Sovereign and his officers invested.

January 25, 1975 Bro. Hedley B. Snelgrove, Right Worshipful District Grand Master, assisted by District Grand Lodge officers, erected and consecrated Lodge Westmoorland No. 1689, Grand Lodge of Scotland, in the Masonic Temple St. John's. Bro. Malcolm N. Butt was installed as Right Worshipful Master and his officers invested.

October 20, 1975 Bro. Alexander O. Knight was installed as Right Worshipful District Grand Master by Bro. Captain Robert Woolridge Gordon of Esselmont, Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason of Scotland, at the Little Theatre, Memorial University.

October 21, 1975 Bro. Alexander O. Knight, Right Worshipful District Grand Master, assisted by District Grand Lodge Officers, erected and consecrated Lodge Mic-Mac No. 1704 at Baie Verte. Bro. O. Michael Parry was installed as Right Worshipful Master and his officers invested.

January 23, 1976 Bro. A. O. Knight, Right Worshipful District Grand Master, assisted by District Grand Lodge officers, erected and consecrated Lodge Anik No. 1707 in Labrador City. Bro. Duncan R. Bell was installed as Right Worshipful Master and his officers invested.

May 21, 1977 Right Worshipful Bro. J. Gordon Barnes, District Grand Master, assisted by District Grand Lodge officers, consecrated and dedicated Airway Lodge No. 8777 at Gander. Worshipful Bro. Daniel Bursey was installed as Worshipful Master and his officers invested.

Newfoundland & Labrador Consistory was instituted on May 5, 1979 at St. John's when Bro. Gerald Greenslade was installed as its first Commander in Chief.

A Lodge of Perfection was formed in Bay Robert's named "Whitecoat". The writer is sorry to say he could not obtain its date of institution and the name of the first Pursuivant Grand Master.

The construction of Masonic Park Senior Citizens Complex was begun in 1980 and many Masons looked forward to its completion.

October 18, 1980 Bro. Alexander O. Knight was installed as Right Worshipful District Grand Master Mason of the Grand Lodge of Scotland by Bro. Sir James MacKay, Grand Master Mason, assisted by Grand Lodge officers at the Cannon Sterling Auditorium.

May 2, 1982 in Trinity, Right Worshipful Bro. J. Gordon Barnes, District Grand Master, assisted by District Grand Lodge officers, consecrated and dedicated Union Lodge No. 9039 and installed Worshipful Bro. J. W. Longherst as Worshipful Master and invested his officers.

December 3, 1983 Right Worshipful Bro. J. Gordon Barnes, District Grand Master, assisted by District Grand Lodge officers, consecrated and dedicated First Colony Lodge of Installed Masters No. 9099 and installed Worshipful Bro. Donald Newell as Worshipful Master and invested his officers at Masonic Temple in St. John's. This was the first Lodge of its kind in Newfoundland.

February 2, 1985 Right Worshipful Bro. J. Gordon Barnes, District Grand Master, assisted by District Grand Lodge officers, consecrated and dedicated Pillars Lodge of Installed Masters No. 9131 at Corner Brook and installed Worshipful Bro. F. L. Mitchell as Worshipful Master and invested his officers.

May 5, 1985 Right Worshipful Bro. J. Gordon Barnes, District Grand Master, assisted by District Grand Lodge officers, consecrated and dedicated Unity Lodge of Installed Masters No. 9145 at Gander and installed Worshipful Bro. W. J. S. Strong as Worshipful Master and invested his officers.

September 21, 1985 Bro. Harold G. Ryan was installed as Right Worshipful District Grand Master of District Grand Lodge of Newfoundland under the Grand Lodge of Scotland by Bro. J. Marcus Humphery of Dinnet, Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason, assisted by Grand Lodge officers of the Grand Lodge of Scotland.

The District Grand Lodge of Newfoundland of the Grand Lodge of Scotland made history when on September 8, 1990 Bro. Lloyd V. Hussey was installed as Right Worshipful District Grand Master by Bro. Sir Gregor MacGregor, of MacGregor, Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason, assisted by Grand Lodge officers at Ascension Collegiate School Auditorium in Bay Roberts. This was the first time a District Grand Master was not from a St. John's area Lodge and the first to be installed outside of the city of St. John's.

After much discussion and many ballots, finally on March 12, 1994 on a stormy day in Gander, a casual Chapter was opened in the Masonic Temple with Right Ex. Comp. Oliver White as M. Ex. High Priest, Right Ex. Comp. Wallace Noel as Ex. King and Right Ex. Comp. Gerald Hewitt as Ex. Scribe with about fifty companion being present. M. Ex. Comp. L. C. Armstrong, Grand Secretary and M. Ex. Comp. Fred C. Morrison P.G.H.P. of the Grand Chapter Nova Scotia were also present. The M.E.H.P. explained this convocation. It was moved by Right Ex. Comp. Noel, seconded by several companions that a Sovereign Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Newfoundland be formed. This was carried. The election of a M. Ex. Grand High Priest, Right Ex. Grand King and Grand Scribe took place, resulting as follows:

M. Ex. Comp. W. Job Parson M.E.G. High Priest

M. Ex. Comp. Robert M. Hellier Right Ex. Grand King

V. Ex. Comp. William J. Baldwin Right Ex. Grand Scribe

They were obligated and placed in their respective offices. The M.E.G.H.P. then appointed V. Ex. Comp. Colin A. Forward as Grand Secretary and Ex. Comp. Ross Ashbourne as Grand Treasurer. Several housekeeping motions were passed. The Honorary rank of Past Grand King was conferred on Right Ex. Comp. Wallace R. Noel, Right Ex. Comp. Ralph White, Right Ex. Comp. Reginald Hopkins, Right Ex. Comp. Fred Hollet and Right Ex. Comp. P. Michael Parry. The chapter was closed.

May 28, 1994 the Grand Chapter of Nova Scotia held its annual convocation in Newfoundland for the last time at Gander with the installation of Grand officers. The officers of both Grand Chapters were installed at the same time. The Grand Chapter of Newfoundland met after the installation with some housekeeping business being performed and thanks expressed to many visiting dignitaries.

In 1994 Right Worshipful Bro. J. Gordon Barnes retired as District Grand Master after twenty-two years of active service in the office. Worshipful Bro. R. T. Abbott became Deputy District Grand Master in charge. In September, Right Worshipful Bro. Commander M. B.S. Higham, R.N., P.J.G.W., Grand Secretary visited Newfoundland and had informal meetings in St. John's, Gander, and Corner Brook with the brethren.

Avalon Lodge obtained a dispensation and set up a committee of investigation into the formation of a Grand Lodge of Newfoundland. This committee had a meeting with both District Grand Lodges and presented their findings.

On the evening of March 28, 1995 the brethren came to the Masonic Temple in St. John's to meet and greet the Most Worshipful Pro Grand Master Most Worshipful Bro. the Hon. Lord Farnham, Right Worshipful Bro. M. Higham, Grand Secretary, and Right Worshipful Bro. G. R. Gavin Purser. Saint John's Lodge was honoured to be the Lodge that opened and received District Grand Lodge who received the District Grand Master of the Scottish Constitution and his officers. The Most Worshipful Pro Grand Master and his officers were received and saluted. The Most Worshipful Pro Grand Master assumed the throne. Worshipful Bro. Herman W. Starkes was escorted into the Lodge by seven Masters and Past Masters. He was installed as Right Worshipful District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of Newfoundland A.F.A.M. of the United Grand Lodge of England by the Most Worshipful Pro Grand Master. The Right Worshipful District Grand Master then invested his Deputy and his Assistant District Grand Masters. The District Grand officers were confirmed in office and District Grand Lodge closed. A banquet was held in the Delta Hotel banquet room which was well attended by brethren and their ladies.

Avalon Lodge committee of investigations for a Grand Lodge of Newfoundland visited Saint John's Lodge and gave a report on what they had discovered if a Grand Lodge were to be formed, in Newfoundland and Labrador. The committee answered questions and a vote was taken with a majority being in favor of forming a Grand Lodge of Newfoundland and Labrador.

September 9, 1995 Bro. Robert. D. C. Taylor was installed as Right Worshipful District Grand Master of District Grand Lodge of Newfoundland of the Grand Lodge of Scotland by Bro. the Right Hon. Lord Burlon, Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason, assisted by Grand Lodge officers at Holiday Inn, St. John's.

A meeting of District Grand Lodge was held in Corner Brook on April 26, 1997. The District Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother Herman W. Starkes stated in his address that a vote on a sovereign Grand Lodge would be held later this year.

In St. George's Lodge on April 7, 1997 a ceremony was held for the unveiling of the portrait of the late Right Worshipful District Grand Master, Right Worshipful Bro. J. Gordon Barnes.

A communication was received from London informing the District Grand Lodge that the United Grand Lodge of England will be recognizing the Grand Lodge of Newfoundland and that the Pro Grand Master would, with other Grand Lodge officers, be coming to St. John's for the consecration, dedication and constitution of the New Grand Lodge.

On May 23, 1997 a new branch of Freemasonry was formed here when Terra Neuve York Rite College was instituted by Right Em. Kt. G. E. Decker assisted by Em. Kt.'s from Nova Scotia. They installed Kt. Gerald W. Budden as its first governor and his officers invested.

After many years of Masons discussing whether there should be a sovereign Grand Lodge here in the province, Avalon Lodge No. 776 of the District Grand Lodge of Newfoundland under the United Grand Lodge of England, requested a dispensation to investigate the matter. The dispensation was granted, and an investigative committee was formed consisting of the following worshipful brethren: Chairman Melvin A. Miller; Secretary Jeffery C. King; Treasurer C. Frank Rogers; members, Donald E. J. Kelland, Vincent J. Pike, Alfred P. Wilson, and David L. Snow.

This committee held meetings on a regular basis and gathered information on the matter. A detailed summary of all aspects of forming a Grand Lodge was prepared for presentation on each of the mandatory visits to all the Lodges in the jurisdiction. All things having been done, the final vote resulted in the twenty-seven Lodges under the United Grand Lodge of England in the province agreeing to form the new Grand Lodge. As well, three Lodges from the District operating under the Grand Lodge of Scotland in this province also voted to become founding member Lodges.

Saturday, November 1, 1997 was designated the historic day for the consecration of the Grand Lodge of Newfoundland & Labrador and the ceremony and subsequent festivities were held at the Hotel Newfoundland, in St. John's. As the Grand Master of a Canadian Lodge said in his address "Today we complete the Family of Canadian Grand Lodges." Almost 600 Masons of all ranks were present and included representation of Grand Lodges and other related and concordant bodies of Freemasonry throughout the world.

The inaugural meeting and installation ceremony commenced with a Lodge consisting of Past Masters of Saint John's Lodge No. 579 Registry of England officiating, viz., Worshipful Bro.'s B. J. Barrett, WM; A. G. Noftall, SW: C. E. Templeman, JW; D. B. Jeans IPM; W. R. Moores, D of C; G. R. Vokey, SD; M. G. S. Bradbury, JD; G. R. Smith, AD of C; W. R. Noel, IG; A. Grandy, Tyler. H. R. LeGrow, PM Neptune Lodge, 8465 RE, Organist. The VW Grand Director of Ceremonies, P. G. Lowndes, UGLE, was admitted and called on the escort consisting of Worshipful Bro.'s D. E. J. Kelland PAGDC (Eng.); D. A. Strong, PAGDC (Eng.), both of Avalon Lodge Registry of England; R. C. Stead PDJGW; E. Snelgrove, PDJGW, both of Saint John's Lodge, Registry of England, to attend the admission of Bro. the Right Honorable Lord Burton, Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason of the Grand Lodge of Scotland and his Deputation who were welcomed and saluted.

The special escort consisting of Bro. Brian H. Strickland, Lodge Cormack, SC; Donald Penney and Robert Barnes, Lodge Westmoorland, SC; Kenneth Forward, Lodge Mic-Mac, SC, attended to the admission and reception of Most Worshipful Bro. the Right Honorable Lord Farnham, Pro Grand Master, United Grand Lodge of England, and his Deputation. The usual Grand Honors were accorded the Pro Grand Master and his Deputation as well as the formal welcome to all and the acceptance of the gavel by Lord Farnham who was to be the consecrating officer. He assumed the chair and appointed the following brethren to assist him in the ceremony -- MW Bro. Rae Haldane-Wilson, Grand Master, Grand Lodge of Manitoba; as Senior Grand Warden MW Bro. Richard A. H. Brown, Master, Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan; as Junior Grand Warden VW Bro. the Rev. Canon W. F. Roan, Grand Chaplin, United Grand Lodge of England, RW Bro. Cdr. M. B. S. Higham, RN, PJGW, Grand Secretary, United Grand Lodge of England; VW Bro. R. W. Cayless, Grand Organist, United Grand Lodge of England; W. Bro. Lt-Cdr. N. J. Nuttall, RN, PJGD, Grand Tyler, United Grand Lodge of England.

The ceremony proceeded with the consecration, dedication, and constitution of the Grand Lodge of Newfoundland and Labrador. The consecrating officer then announced that Right Worshipful Bro. Herman W. Starkes, District Grand Master, District Grand Lodge of Newfoundland, United Grand Lodge of England, had been chosen as Grand Master. The brethren of the Grand Lodge of Newfoundland and Labrador confirmed their choice, which was followed by loud applause from all present. The VW Grand Director of Ceremonies formed a Deputation from the eleven senior Lodges to escort the Grand Master-Elect into the Grand Lodge. The Deputation consisted of the following Worshipful Bro.: B. John Barrett, Saint John's Lodge No. 579; Sydney Dyke, Avalon Lodge; Gordon Abbott, Hiram Lodge; Wayne Mayo, Victoria Lodge; Kevin Kelly, Fidelity Lodge; John E. Warren, Whiteway Lodge; David Roswell, Botwood Lodge; Richard M. Rees, Clift Lodge; Lloyd G. Piercey, Corner Brook Lodge. The MW Grand Master appointed several brethren to Past Grand Rank including those who had been so honored by the United Grand Lodge of England in the years prior to the formation of the new Grand Lodge in this province.

Following this, the RW Grand Secretary read the messages of Greetings and Felicitations received from numerous Grand Lodges and Concordant Bodies of which many had representatives in attendance. The week of activities was ended by a magnificent Grand Banquet for the brethren, ladies and guests. This provided the opportunity for all to gather together in a final round of good wishes and handshakes which signaled the launching of the newest Grand Lodge in the newest province of Canada and the newest in North America.


This short history of Freemasonry in Newfoundland and Labrador was prepared by WBro. Wallace R. Noel, PM, OMS and edited by VWBro. Cody C. G. Mercer.