From 1924 to 2016 - Celebrating 94 Years on July 16, 2016
The celebration of a ninety four year anniversary is an event that should be worthily inaugurated and recorded. Due to unfortunate loss by fire, of some of our records, a number of gaps exist. Some of the facts, which do emerge, were taken from a copy of the first By-laws. These By-laws were read and approved on Monday, November 17th, 1924.
On the 29th day of December, 1922, there was an "Assembly of Master Masons" held. Thus our Lodge was conceived four days after Christmas Day, ninety-two years ago.
The following 19th of February 1923, a " Lodge of Instruction" was formed, and on May 26th of that same year, the Lodge was permitted to meet "under dispensation".
The Lodge must have met for more than a year before it proved itself, and on June 19th, 1924, a Warrant was granted by the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, and numbered 107 on the register of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia.
The great day in our history was a month later on July 16th, 1924 when the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother Stephen Jones assisted by Officers of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, constituted Malahat Lodge No. 107 and installed our Charter Officers. W. Bro. G.W. Yates, our first Worshipful Master, must have been a very proud man on that historic occasion.
These same "ancient" By-laws tell us other facts. Fees for the Degrees were $100 and the annual dues were $9.00.
Another interesting fact emerging from these old By-laws reminds us that travel in those days was not as easy as nowadays because communications were held on " the first Monday on, or after the full moon" in each month. This was a common practice in the old days, the Lodges sometimes being called " Lunar Lodges." The first Lodge meetings were held at Shawnigan Lake, later moving to Mill Bay in the southern most end of the Cowichan Valley. This area was named "Me Iuhul", or "good place to secure bait for fishing" by the First Nations people of the area. Malahat is the English pronunciation.
The " Cowichan Leader" dated May 6th, 1937 gives the story of the fire which destroyed our Temple and many of our records. The building had been completed in 1935, and was jointly owned by Bro. G.E. Scollard and the Malahat Masonic Temple Association. It was completely destroyed in the early hours of May 1st, 1937.
On the 20th day of July, 1937, Bro. Scollard deeded the property "free of all emcumbrances" to the Malahat Masonic Temple Association.
According to "Articles of Agreement" in 1939, the late W. Bro. Robert M. Aitken contracted to finish and complete our present building. This contract did not include the ground floor, comprising the present Banquet room and facilities. These rooms were completed and finished by a number of our devoted Brethren in their spare time as money became available.
Our Lodge celebrated its Twenty-fifth Anniversary on Thursday, July 21st, 1949, its Fiftieth Anniversary on Saturday, July 20th, 1974, its Sixtieth Anniversary on Saturday, July 21st, 1984 and its Seventy-Fifth Anniversary on April 15th, 1999. Many Grand Lodge Officers and members as well as a goodly number of our own Brethren attended all of these meetings. Many happy memories were recalled on these occasions.
This year, 2019, is our ninety-fifth year in which we may all take honour and pride as we count down to our 100th anniversary which will take place in the year 2024.
Malahat Lodge has been honoured on eleven different occasions by having one of its members appointed District Deputy Grand Master. R.W Bro. Fred Tomlinson, 1948 - 1949; R.W. Bro. Alfred J. Mendum, 1954 - 1955; R.W. Bro. Albert H. Fox, 1959 - 1960; R.W. Bro. Wilbur C. Werthner, 1964 - 1965; R.W. Bro. C Monty Jasper, 1972 - 1973; R.W. Bro. Vernon H. Archer, 1980 - 1981; R.W. Bro. Jack S.H. Green, 1988 - 1989; R.W. Bro. J.E. Des Hutchinson, 1996 - 1997; R.W. Bro. Ron Henning, 2008 - 2009, R.W Bro. Phillip Archer, 2014-15 and R.W. Bro. Ken Christofferson, 2018-19. Four of these distinguished Brethren are still active in the affairs of the Lodge, and we are justly proud of them.
Besides these distinguished Brethren, we have a good number of Past Masters who never fail to come forward and fill in when one of our officers may be unavoidably absent and thus our meetings are always able to proceed with a full complement of the chairs being filled. They set a wonderful example to the younger members and make us feel that the Lodge will always continue to flourish.
Over the years, our membership has declined, as is true with most Masonic Lodges world wide. Even though we may be justly concerned about this unfortunate fact, we may also be comforted in knowing that we continue to attract a high quality of man to our Order, men who follow the teaching and symbolism of the Master Mason Degree, the search for truth and a sacred duty towards our Brethren.
From the oldest Past Master to the youngest Master Mason in Malahat Lodge, we are all proud of "Our Mother" who is ninety-five years old. As we step out into our countdown towards our hundredth year, let us all pledge ourselves to uphold the traditions handed on to us by those wonderful Masons who came before us and vow that to the best of our ability we will attend regular and emergent communications and assist in whatever capacity we can.
The Tradition of the Fraternity is alive and healthy
Fathers and Sons
The Archer Family
Over 90 Years of Fellowship
50th Anniversary July 16, 1974
Our legacy is created by our dedicated members.
1939 The rebuilt Lodge after fire.
Opening ot the Temple
June 24, 1939
Visiting Victoria Lodges in the day was an adventure!
THE HISTORY OF MALAHAT LODGE
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