Masonic Temple, Duncan, B.C. and Temple Lodge header
In 1899,14 Freemasons in the town of Duncan's (as the present day City of Duncan was known before the city was incorporated in 1912) applied to the Grand Lodge of British Columbia for the issuance of a Charter for a new Masonic Lodge, to be known as Temple Lodge. On 2 December 1899, Grand Lodge issued a Dispensation for the 14 applicants to meet as a new Lodge and the first regular meeting of Temple Lodge was held in Duncan's on 16 December, 1899. Here are the minutes of that first meeting of Temple Lodge, No. 33:

Temple Lodge, U.D.

Secretary's Minute Book

List of Charter Members

1. Harry Smith - Port Townsend No 6 Washington

2. Jonathan G. Hands - Manilo 90 G.R.C.

3. William Gidley - Verulam 268 G.R.C.

4. Louis H. Truesdale - Harmony 87 G.R.C.

5. Samuel Robinson - Ashlar 3 G.R.- B.C.

6. J.M. Mutter - St. Mark 102 Scotland

7. John Frame - Ashlar 3 B.C.

8. James S. Gibson - California 1 California

9. Samuel Erb - Ashlar 3 B.C.

10. James W. Richardson - do 3 do.

11. A.J. Thurston - do 3 do.

12. Edward Calder - Shell Lake 221 Wisconsin

13. James Evans - Michigan City 47 California

14. H.S. Hollings - Chatham 47 Canada


First Regular Communication, December 16th, 1899

The Lodge met at 7:30 PM

R.W. Bro. Stewart, D.D.G.M. took the Chair and announced that a dispensation had been granted by Grand Lodge of B.C.

Dispensation read by the Secretary.

M.W. Grand Lodge of A.F. & A.M. of British Columbia, R. Eden Walker, Grand Master. To all whom these presents shall come Greetings. Whereas application has been made to us by:

Harry Smith, Jonathan G. Hands, William Gidley, Louis Truesdale, H.S. Hollings, Samuel Robinson, J. Mutter, John Frame, James S. Gibson, Samuel Erb, James Evans, James W. Richardson, A.J. Thurston and Edward Calder, Master Masons residing in the town of Duncan’s in the District of Cowichan and known as the Masonic District No. 5 for a Warrant of Constitution empowering them to meet as a regular lodge of Free Masons at the town of Duncan’s to be known as Temple Lodge.

Now know ye, that by virtue of the power and authority in us vested, we do by these presents grant permission to the said Brethren to meet as a Lodge of Freemasons at Duncan’s B.C. On the Saturday, on or before the full moon, (until such time as a Warrant of Constitution shall be granted by Grand Lodge, or this Dispensation be revoked) to admit members by ballot, for the degrees recognized and practiced by Grand Lodge; or for affiliation: And we do hereby appoint:

                John Frame, P.M. Worshipful Master
                Harry Smith, M.M. Senior Warden
                Samuel Robinson, M.M. Junior Warden

Of the aforesaid Lodge, known as Temple Lodge, under dispensation, charging the said Brethren to exercise diligence and zeal in conducting the affairs of the lodge in accordance with the ancient landmarks and the powers herein conferred, and for so doing this dispensation, granted by power of us vested shall be full and sufficient authority.

Given under our hand, and seal of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of B.C., this 2nd day of December, A.L. 5899, D.L. 1899, R. Eden Walker, Grand Master, W.J. Quinlan, Grand Secretary.

The D.D.G.M. then delivered to the appointed officers the collars of office.

Bro. Gidley, Treasurer                                                   

Bro. Hands, Secretary

Bro. Evans, S.D. 

Bro. Mutter, J.D.

Bro. Truesdale, Inner Guard

Bro. Watson (St. John’s, Wellington) acted as Tyler

R.W. Bro. Stewart then opened Lodge in the 3rd degree and made the address on Inauguration.

Bro. Frame, W.M. then took the East. R.W. Bro. Stewart communicated to the brethren the best wishes of the Grand Master and Grand Secretary for the success of the new Lodge.

A petition for initiation was presented from Mr. Christopher Dobson, enclosing the usual fee. Recommended by Bro. Mutter and Bro. Truesdale and referred to a committee consisting of Bro. Gidley, Bro. Robinson and Bro. Hands.

A petition for initiation was presented from Mr. Charles Herbert Dickie, enclosing the usual fee. Recommended by Bro. Mutter and Bro. Truesdale and referred to a committee consisting of Bro. Gidley, Bro. Robinson and Bro. Hands.

A petition for initiation was presented from Mr. James H. Whittome, enclosing the usual fee. Recommended by Bro. Hands and Bro. Smith and referred to a committee consisting of Bro. Gidley, Bro. Truesdale and Bro. Evans.


Moved by Bro. Gidley. Seconded by Bro. Evans.
That the fee for the three degrees be $50.00 (fifty dollars) to be paid $10.00 on application, $20.00 before initiation, $10.00 before passing and $10.00 before raising. (Carried)

Robinson, Evans } That the dues of this Lodge be 50 cents per month / Carried.

The Lodge was then called from Labour to Refreshment.

On resuming Labour - an a/c was read from St. John's Lodge for furniture amounting to $56.50.

Moved by Bro. Robinson, Seconded by Bro. Evans.
That Bros. Smith, Mutter and Hands be appointed a committee to examine the furniture and settle the amount to be paid. (Carried)

Moved by Bro. Smith. Seconded by Bro. Truesdale.
That the fee for affiliation be $5.00. (Carried)

An address was given by W.M. Frame, replied to by all the Brethren in turn.

Thanks were voted without a formal motion to the D.D.G.M., the W.M., and the visiting Brethren, for their good will and valuable assistance, in helping and encouraging the opening of Temple Lodge. A special Vote of thanks was given to Bro. John Watson of St. John’s Lodge, Wellington, for his services as Tyler.

Suitable replies were made and the Lodge was closed in Harmony.

(signed) W. Master John Frame                (signed) J.G. Hands Secy

Source: Temple Lodge No. 33 records, Secretary's Minute Book


Mother Lodges of Our Charter Members

Edward Calder - Shell Lake Lodge, No. 221, Wisconsin, U.S.A.

Samuel Erb - Ashlar Lodge No. 3, Nanaimo, B.C.

James Evans - Michigan City Lodge, No. 47, California

John Frame - Ashlar Lodge No. 3, Nanaimo, B.C.

Jonathan G. Hands -Manilo Lodge, No. 90, G.R.C. (England)

Samuel Hollings - Chatham Lodge, No. 47, Canada (Ontario)

James Gibson - California Lodge, No. 1, California, U.S.A.

William Gidley - Verulam Lodge, No. G.R.C. (England)

James Mitchell Mutter -St. Mark Lodge, No.2, Scotland

James W. Richardson - Ashlar Lodge No. 3, Nanaimo, B.C.

Samuel Robinson - Ashlar Lodge No. 3, Nanaimo, B.C.

Harry Smith - Port Townsend Lodge, No. 6, Washington, U.S.A.

A.J. Thurston - Ashlar Lodge No. 3, Nanaimo, B.C.

Louis Truesdale - Harmony Lodge, No.87 G.R.C.

Here are some more interesting records from the first year of Temple Lodge, No. 33:

"..........Temple Lodge, U.D. - On the 16th of December [1899] I instituted temple Lodge, U.D. at Duncans. There is every indication of this lodge being a permanent one, being largely composed of farmers of the flourishing Valley of Cowichan, and residents of the Village of Duncans.

The present W.M. is that sterling old Mason, P.M. Bro. John Frame. On several occasions he has been ably assisted by brethren of Ashlar and St. John's Lodges. I visited the lodge on the 9th of June [1900] and saw the M.M. degree conferred, which on the whole was very good, more especially the first and third sections.

I have the greatest pleasure in recommending them to Grand Lodge for a charter.............

All of which is fraternally submitted,

W.M. Stewart, D.D.G.M., District No. 5

Nanaimo, 20th June, 1900

Source: Proceedings of the M.W. Grand Lodge of B.C., A.F. & A.M., 29th Annual Communication, 1900, pages 54-55

At the 29th Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of B.C., held in Vancouver, B.C., 21-23 June 1900, the following Resolution was passed on the afternoon of 23 June 1900:

"Resolved - That Warrants be granted to those Lodges now Under Dispensation, as recommended by the Committee on Petitions.

To Ymir Lodge..........Ymir, as No.31

To Fidelity Lodge..........Trail, as No.32

To Temple Lodge..........Duncans, as No.33

To Cranbrook Lodge..........Cranbrook, as No.34

And that the Grand Secretary procure fittings as specified in Constitution......"

Source: Proceedings of the M.W. Grand Lodge of B.C., A.F. & A.M., 29th Annual Communication, 1900, page 78


On 21 July 1900, Temple Lodge received its Charter from the Grand Lodge, A.F. & A.M., of British Columbia.

"On July 21st, 1900, by authority of the M.W. Grand Master, I constituted and consecrated into a regular Lodge, Temple Lodge, No. 33, Duncans, installed the officers and presented the Charter. This Lodge has bright prospects. I am advised it is making good progress.

On July 28th [1900] I attended a Masonic picnic at Duncans. The music was all that could be desired and we witnessed many well contested sports. The distribution of prizes to the successful contestants brought to a close a most delightful day. It is to be regretted the attendance was not larger. I would earnestly urge a continuation of these happy gatherings. They encourage a 'mutual interchange of fraternal feelings' and it is a pleasant and easy way 'to be happy ourselves and communicate that happiness to others'.........

Fraternally submitted,

F. McB. Young, Deputy Grand Master "

Source: Proceedings, Grand Lodge,A.F. & A.M., of B.C., 1901,Report of Deputy Grand Master, page 22


Agreeable to the resolution passed at our last Annual Communication I had the warrants and other fittings made out with dispatch in favor of Ymir, No. 31; Fidelity, No. 32; Temple, No. 33; and Cranbrook, No. 34. These were sent to the District Deputies interested, and I am pleased to note the prompt attention given to this important work by the said officers. The dates of work are:

July 21, 1900 - Temple. Constituted by R.W. Bro. Fred. McB. Young, D.G.M. (owing to absence of W.M. Bro. Bate in England).........

I am certain the Grand Lodge will note how promptly all this was done and feel thankful to the several officers for their zeal."

Source: Proceedings, Grand Lodge,A.F. & A.M., of B.C., 1901, page 28


Temple Lodge, No.33 Home Page


Worshipful Master's Message From The East


Lodge News And Upcoming Events


Temple Lodge Officers


Becoming A Freemason


Joining Temple Lodge


Visiting Temple Lodge


Temple Lodge History


Cowichan Valley Masonic Lodges


Vancouver Island Masonic History Project



Lest We Forget - Temple Lodge War Dead


Vancouver Island Masonic History Project


Formation of Temple Lodge, No. 33,

in Duncan's, B.C., 16 December 1899