A Masonic lodge in Maple Ridge just celebrated 75 years in the community.
Members of Landmark Lodge, who meet at the local Freemasons’ hall on 116 Avenue, just off the Haney Bypass, gathered on Saturday, March 25 to mark the anniversary.
There were 52 attendees for the special dinner which included award presentations for long-time service to the organization.
Guitarists Chris Rolin and Simon Jarrett provided live entertainment.
It was the first Masonic lodge following the Second World War in the province and was founded in Vancouver in 1946, as part of a resurgence in interest in the fraternal organization, the Freemasons.
Within a decade, more than 5,000 men had joined the fraternity as a whole, boosting membership to almost 20,000, noted member Robert Prince, who received a long service award at the banquet for his more than 30 years with the lodge.
The 56 founders of Landmark Lodge quickly started initiating other men into the order and their group grew to more than 100.
“The name of the new lodge was a reference to the “Landmark” cairn located on North West Marine Drive near Jericho Beach, the site of a 1792 rendez-vous between the English explorer Captain George Vancouver, and the Spanish explorers Captains Dionisio Alcalas Galiano and Cayetano Valdes y Flores,” explained Prince, adding that the three captains then pooled their information and explored the Strait of Georgia for about three weeks before going their separate ways.
“The name was chosen as the cairn was near the hall being used by the new lodge, but it also symbolized the cooperation that could manifest between men from different lands – even those of competing countries,” he noted, as international cooperation is one of the hallmarks of Freemasonry.
In the 1980’s the lodge was eventually moved to Maple Ridge because many of its members were living in the eastern end of the Greater Vancouver region and it was thought growth potential was greater in that area.
Landmark Lodge actually turned 77 years this year, but the COVID-19 pandemic postponed the 75th anniversary banquet until this year.
The members, said Prince, are still interested in the camaraderie their earlier brethren sought, and men interested in joining the world’s oldest and largest fraternity are always welcome to make inquiries.
“We welcome all good men with the hope of helping them become better people in society through brotherly love, relief and truth,” he said.
Currently the organization has 24 members.
Those interested in joining can call email: email@example.com.
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