In 1899, fourteen 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 fourteen applicants to meet as a new Lodge and the first regular meeting of Temple Lodge, U.D. [note: U.D. means “Under Dispensation” of the Grand Lodge of B.C. Temple Lodge U.D. became Temple Lodge, No.33 during the Grand Lodge of B.C. Annual Communication in June 1900] was held in Duncan’s on 16 December, 1899.

Here are the minutes of that first meeting of what is now 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. HandsManito 90 G.R.C.
  3. William GidleyVerulam 268 G.R.C.
  4. Louis H. TruesdaleHarmony 87 G.R.C. [note: our Lodge records say, Harmony 87. This may be wrong and perhaps it should be Harmony Lodge, No. 57]
  5. Samuel RobinsonAshlar 3 G.R.- B.C.
  6. J.M. MutterSt. Mark 102 Scotland
  7. John FrameAshlar 3 B.C.
  8. James S. GibsonCalifornia 1 California
  9. Samuel Erb – Ashlar 3 B.C.
  10. James W. Richardson – do 3 do.
  11. A.J. Thurstondo 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. (note: Senior Deacon)

Bro. Mutter, J.D. (note: Junior Deacon)

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.

Motions:

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) 

Harry Smith, Worshipful Master of Temple Lodge, No.33 in 1901
Harry Smith, Charter Member, Worshipful Master of Temple Lodge, No.33 in 1901
Samuel Robinson, Worshipful Master of Temple Lodge, No.33 in 1902
Samuel Robinson (1856-1928), Worshipful Master of Temple Lodge, No.33 in 1902, (photo copyright Temple Lodge, No.33)

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