A new interactive plaque was put up on the front steps of Prince David Masonic Hall on Saturday. (Special to The News)

A new interactive plaque was put up on the front steps of Prince David Masonic Hall on Saturday. (Special to The News)

High tech plaque unveiled at Freemason lodge in Maple Ridge

Celebrating 150th anniversary of Freemasons in B.C.

A new high-tech plaque was unveiled in Maple Ridge on Saturday, March 19, in honour of the 150th anniversary of the Freemasons in the province.

The cast bronze plaque is mounted on the front steps of Prince David Masonic Hall and features a QR code that can be scanned using a phone that will connect immediately to websites, photos, videos, and information about the hall’s history and its role in shaping the past 150 years of the Freemasons in the province.

By scanning the QR code, visitors will also be able to take a virtual tour of lodge halls throughout B.C. and the Yukon and learn about how they shaped the west coast of Canada before the formation of a provincial Grand Lodge in 1871.

This is the first of 45 dedications of plaques across the province and territory.

Most Worshipful Grand Master Don MacKenzie, head of Freemasonry in B.C. and Yukon, attends the hall in Maple Ridge. He was joined for the unveiling by Freemasons from across the jurisdiction and the officers of his Grand Line.

“Freemasonry has been an active but relatively quiet part of B.C. communities for 150 years,” MacKenzie explained.

“People see our buildings but don’t know what goes on inside. So, this an invitation to get to know us,” he said.

Maple Ridge was chosen for the first plaque unveiling because of MacKenzie’s connection to the city.

“Freemasonry stands on the threshold looking back on 150 years of success, and forward to the next 150 years of

fraternity, charity and community,” he said.

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Freemasonry is considered to be the oldest and the largest fraternal organization in the world whose mission is to improve themselves and the societies in which they live.

Prince David Lodge was the first lodge to call Maple Ridge home and dates back to 1922.

The building was originally on Lougheed Highway, but it was moved to its present location in 1980. The group meets the first and third Tuesdays of the month.

Also in the community is Landmark Lodge that was founded in Kerrisdale in 1946 and moved to Maple Ridge in the 1980’s. It, too, meets at the Prince David hall, but on the first and third Thursdays of the month.

Several million men of all backgrounds, religions, vocations and cultural groups call themselves Masons across the globe.

The unveiling took place at 11 a.m. at 22272 116 Ave., Prince David Masonic Hall. The event was planned out over the past year and marked the first time in more than two years – since the beginning of the pandemic – that lodges have come together in person.

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