Drumheller’s Sym­bol Lodge turns 100

The Drumheller Mail - - REAL ESTATE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail Doug Wade

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.

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