The old Masonic Hall in Bonavista may not be used by the Masons in the future, however, the Town of Bonavista is going to ensure the building will have a use going forward.
The Masons gave the structure to the Townscape Foundation, and the town organization will manage the building which stands in a popular location on Church Street.
Mayor John Norman told The Packet the town has already had inquiries about occupation of the building — including some varied proposals from businesses, not-for-profits, and public use.
“It’s something we’re carefully reviewing,” said Norman.
At a September council meeting, the council discussed these possibilities for the structure.
“In the immediate future, we’re going to do some exterior work on it,” said Norman. “The town is going to be doing some general repair and painting of the full exterior. And then, probably by next year, we will have some handle on a tenant or some future use of the building.”
Both the Masons and Shriners have used the Masonic Hall in Bonavista in the past.
“Because the numbers are so few (in these organizations) from Bonavista to Clarenville, they were going back-and-forth to different clubs. So the idea was to let go certain (buildings) and just have a central meeting place, or if they do have a meeting (or special event) in the area, they just wouldn’t be meeting at that location,” he said.
Norman calls the building a fantastic heritage asset in the same vein as many other buildings managed by Townscape, like the Garrick Theatre, Bridge House and post office.
“The town, generally, is quite receptive to accepting these types of heritage resources and to repurpose them in other ways.”