HARBOUR GRACE, NL — The Masonic Lodge in Harbour Grace recently celebrated its 150th anniversary.
The sesquicentennial ceremony saw lodge members from across the province come together in honour of the Harbour Grace lodge’s celebration, which included song, ceremonies, speeches, and a detailed history of the lodge’s presence in the small community by lodge member Karl Janes.
Vehicles lined both sides of Victoria Street in Harbour Grace Saturday afternoon, Oct. 7, with members of the lodge, alongside friends and family members, got together to take part in the celebrations.
The lodge was chartered in November of 1867, and consecrated three months later, in February of 1868 has served the town of Harbour Grace every year since, remaining ardently through major worldwide events such as both world wars, the great depression, and other such events that occurred over the past 150 years.
“Lodge Harbour Grace has withstood the test of time and has retained its values, traditions, and sense of community, and has earned its prominent place in this town,” said Edward Diamond, master of the Harbour Grace lodge. “This year, we’re pleased to celebrate this wonderful legacy with enthusiasm and pride.”
Diamond sat at his seat in the lodge’s main hall at the beginning of the ceremony, where they gave other members a proper welcome. Among them, was district grand master Scott Bartlett of the District Grand Lodge of Newfoundland and Labrador.
“A history of 150 years is a significant milestone for any organization,” said Bartlett, commending the lengthy history of lodge Harbour Grace. “When lodge Harbour Grace was formed, I want to point out that it was an era when Canada had just come into being. The US civil war had just ended, and the first trans Atlantic Telegraph was landed only a couple of years before, in Heart’s Content.”
Lodge Harbour Grace predates the District Grand Lodge of Newfoundland and Labrador by a year, with the Grand Lodge having been formed in 1868, and will celebrate its sesquicentennial anniversary in 2018. The Masonic Lode in Harbour Grace was also the second in the province to be formed under the banner of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, which boasts a lengthy lifespan of 281 years.
Karl Janes spoke with The Compass after the ceremonies, detailing the lodge’s history and prominence in Harbour Grace.
“Since the Grand Lodge of Newfoundland and Labrador came into the province, there’s been a number of lodges come up across the province. There’s one in Carbonear, Bay Roberts, Grand Falls, everywhere. I think now there’s eleven of us,” said Janes. “150 years is a long, long time, and we’ve got a lot to be proud of here at the lodge. Lots of history in these walls, and we’re very lucky to be celebrating 150 years today.”
Janes went on to speak on the pride he has to be a member of the lodge, noting that his own father was also a member of the Harbour Grace lodge.
“There’s a lot to be said about Scottish and English freemasonry, and I thnk, if anyone has the chance, they should look into becoming a part of the brotherhood, because there really is nothing else like it,” said Janes.