Freemasonry in Alberta

 

Following the arrival of the first Englishman into the area of what was to become Alberta in 1754, the fur traders began to flow, and the future province began to flourish. Financial giants such as the Hudson Bay Company and the North West Company began to exploit the northern area, but it wasn't until after 1870 when the Canadian Government purchased this area of 'Rupert's Land' did it get its first district Government.

Fort Edmonton was doing very well at this time, and after the charter members petitioned to the Grand Lodge of Canada ( A.F. & A.M. ) in 1880, they received their dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Manitoba a year later, and Saskatchewan No.17 on the Grand Registry of Manitoba came into being. The first Masonic Lodge, in the soon to be named Alberta. Unfortunately the success was short lived however, and because of the transient nature of the population of Fort Edmonton at this time, the Lodge only managed to sustain itself for seven years, and then surrendered their Charter in 1888.

During the early years of the same decade the south of the Province was beginning to populate as well, but things were moving slowly. In May 1883 notices were posted around Fort Calgary requesting any Freemasons within the area to commune at George Murdoch's Store, so that it could be judged whether a Freemasons Lodge was viable, and unfortunately at the time the lack of numbers prevented this. Two months later C.P.R. rolled into town, and this changed everything, not only did the population expand, but so did the number of Freemasons, and a second attempt at a meeting resulted in much more success, and it was decided to petition for a charter the same year.

Initially the Brethren petitioned to the Grand Lodge of British Columbia, but received no reply, so they then applied the Grand Lodge of Manitoba, and as luck would have it they received replies from both of the Grand Lodges offering dispensations at the same time. They put this decision to the vote, and on 1st January 1884 a dispensation was received from Grand Lodge of Manitoba to erect Bow River Lodge No. 28 on the G.R.M. The first meeting took place on 6th January 1884, and Dr. N.J. Lindsay was the first Worshipful Master, he also attended the Annual Communication in February of the same year, and was presented with the Charter for the lodge. This then established Bow River No.28 as the first Masonic Lodge in Alberta, when the Province was created on 1st September 1905.

By the same time in 1905 there were eighteen functioning Masonic Lodges in Alberta, six of which operated the Canadian Rite, and the remaining twelve, the York Rite. They had been in discussions for nearly a year now about creating their own central authority for Masonic affairs, and by the time the Province was created, the Freemasons weren't too far behind, and on 12th October 1905 they held the first meeting of the Grand Lodge of Alberta. This then resulted in the first Annual Communication on 20th February 1906, and the eighteen member lodges were renumbered with Bow River being given the No. 1 title.

 

 

 

 

 

Alberta then flourished throughout the next fifty years with Masonic Lodges being constituted in as many towns and cities as the population necessitated, Lodges like Bow River would sponsor the opening of many more Lodges, who then would sponsor others, and the process continued until nearly every man within the Province was within the reach of a Masonic Lodge, under the guidance of the Grand Lodge of Alberta.

 

 

Symbol Lodge #93

Drumheller Lodge #146

Eheyeh Chapter #27

GM Outdoor Roaming Lodge

A.F.M.C.T.

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