Drumheller’s Symbol Lodge turns 100
One of the Drumheller’s longest standing fraternities is celebrating 100 years in the valley.
On July 23, the Symbol Lodge No. 93 will be marking its centennial. It has a full day planned including a banquet with a number of distinguished guests.
According to the Hills of Home, the Symbol Lodge’s early history was pieced together from Lodge records and the private papers of the late E.A. Toshach. Early discussion of forming a lodge began in 1914, which led to a banquet at the Whitehouse hotel in April of 1914. As a result of the banquet, a committee was appointed to do the preparatory work of making a lodge possible in Drumheller. The efforts resulted in a dispensation for opening a new Masonic Lodge in Drumheller. On July 29, 1914, the Grand Master of Alberta appointed the first officers.
While this first dispensation was more than 100 years ago, in 1916, the Lodge and all regalia burned, including furniture and records. This made it necessary for a new dispensation. Some of the founding officers included well know local names including McMullen, Holden and Toshach.
By 1919, the Symbol Lodge had outgrown the room where it was meeting and it acquired the Brodigan Building, which it used until 1922. At the time, the former Post Office building was pur- chased.
By 1925, the membership of the lodge had grown to 221. In 1998, they completed the current Lodge on 3rd Avenue in Downtown Drumheller. Currently there are 42 members.
Doug Wade explains that the Lodge acts more as a fraternity than service club, although they are the second largest distributor of post secondary scholarships in Alberta. He has completed 41 of the 43 lectures in their ritual, ranging from 2 minutes to 25 minutes.
“These given word by word and there is lots of memorizing. I get a lot out of this and I get a lot out of the fellowship,” he said. “It is world wide and one of the nicest things that has happened to me is that I went to the Grand Lodge of England.”
On Saturday, July 23, there will be a rededication of the lodge, and attendees to the banquet will include 1975 Worship Master Don Farmer and wife Jean from Victoria, Past Master Rob Saunders of Ontario, Grand master James Ratchford Past Master Lorne Wilson and wife May and Past Grand Master Cal Shaver.
Wade also explains they will see the return of their travelling lantern. This artifact made of brass and ash, was sent out 25 years ago, and in that time has travelled all over Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the US.
It is world wide and one of the nicest things that has happened to me is that I went to the Grand Lodge of England.”
Drumheller Symbol Lodge No. 93 member Blake Vickers received his 70 year bar at a celebration last week at Symbol Lodge. On July 23 ,the Lodge will be celebrating its 100th anniversary.