Freemason Nick Jordan shows photograpjs of the original Miriam Masonic Lodge No. 20. The lodge celebrates its 125th anniversary July 28. (Parker Crook/Morning Star)

Vernon Freemasons celebrate 125 years

Anniversary celebrations planned for July 28

History, tradition, brotherhood.

Those are some of the key principles of Freemasonry embodied by Vernon’s Miriam Lodge A.F. and A.M., which is celebrating its 125th anniversary July 28.

“It’s the oldest fraternity in the world,” said secretary brother Nick Jordan. “We actually don’t know when it started.”

Vernon’s Masonic Lodge, however, has its roots in 1892 when eight or 10 Freemasons met in a hardware store and formed what would become the 20th oldest Lodge in the province.

Now 73 members strong, Vernon brothers meet in the lodge home built in 1932 following a member’s generous donation.

“It was probably one of the most imposing buildings downtown,” Jordan said as he flipped through old photographs of the construction and the building’s early years.

Extensions to accommodate growth have been added to the building since with portions of the land rented out to businesses and offices. But, inside the Lodge’s door that lays back from the sidewalk is a building and lodge steeped in history, both of Miriam Lodge No. 20 and Kalamalka Lodge No. 160 who also call the building home.

Since it’s formation, Jordan said 16 Miriam Lodge brothers have held the role of Vernon Mayor. Of those 16, four were also Worshipful Masters.

Jordan, who was Worshipful Master in 2015 and again in 2016 and who currently holds that honour in the Spallumcheen Lodge No. 13, said Freemasons are treated as brothers wherever they go both in Canada and overseas.

Freemasons prefer to avoid the limelight, but contrary to what some believe, they are not a secret society. Furthermore, Jordan said they are committed to community support.

Last year, the Grand Lodge of British Columbia donated $45,000 to support therapy dogs in the province. Jordan also said the Miriam Lodge provides scholarships to local students.

“We’re not building stuff. We’re building human beings,” Jordan said, adding that the key purpose of Masonry is to help each member become a better person through character strengthening and improving morality and spirituality.

“There is one basic tenet: if you want to be a Freemason, you have to have belief in a supreme being. It doesn’t have to be God with a capital G or Allah,” Jordan said, adding that all prospective members have to do is believe.

However, Jordan, who has been a Freemason since 2009, stressed that it is not a religion.

“Freemasonry is different things to different people. If you’re a person of good character who is committed to working for the community and the lodge, we will welcome you with open arms,” Jordan said.

New members are always welcome, Jordan said, and should get in touch with current brothers to begin the process.

“I want the fraternity to keep going. To me, it’s all about being social,” Jordan said. “I’m hanging out with guys I consider to be my best friends now.”

Vernon’s Masonic Lodge will celebrate its 125th anniversary July 28 and will hold an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the general public. Anyone interested in joining the Freemasons or who are curious about the fraternity or the building is encouraged welcome to participate. The Lodge will hold a private re-dedication ceremony at 3 p.m. and an invite-only banquet at 6 p.m.

“It will be a full day,” Jordan smiled. “But the 125th doesn’t happen often.”

Related: Vernon’s Masonic Lodge will open its doors to the public for 125th anniversary


@VernonNews
parker.crook@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Revelstoke’s draft budget would mean a 4.9 per cent property tax increase

Revelstoke city council will present their draft budget for public feedback in… Continue reading

Revelstoke’s Project Prom continues with new volunteer

Amber Hart has taken over the project from her mom

Expect delays on Highway 1 west of Golden due to vehicle fire

Expect delays while driving Highway 1 between Golden and Revelstoke. Drive BC… Continue reading

Source of Turtle Creek contamination identified

Revelstoke Mountain Resort made the repairs immediately

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Drive BC warning slippery conditions for Okanagan main highways

The region is forecasted to see flurries and snow for the first half of the weekend

Man and woman shot in targeted incident in Kamloops

The shooting happened yesterday afternoon

Most Read