Hiram Lodge No. 14 celebrated 125 years of Freemasonry on July 22.
Its charter was issued in 1891. Back then, members met in a building on the Old Comox Road across from the Courtenay Hotel. The lodge moved to its present location on Fifth Street in 1923.
Though not a service club, charity is among the Freemasonry principles. Technically, it’s a fraternity, but Masonic concordant bodies are available for wives, children and grandchildren.
Hiram Lodge is non-denominational. As far as religion is concerned, its only requirement for members is to believe in a supreme being.
“Most of the men here are affiliated with various churches in the Valley, and work diligently for them,” said Richard Armitage, past district deputy grand master for District 22.
The history of Freemasonry dates back several centuries. The oldest document referring to Freemasons is from the 1300s, and claims to quote earlier documents.
“After 1717, when the Grand Lodge of England was formed, Freemasons came out of the woodwork,” Armitage said. “They were meeting in private before that.”
Masonic lodges have existed in B.C. since 1861, authorized by the grand lodges of England, Ireland and Scotland. By 1871, the Grand Lodge of B.C. formed in Victoria.
Following the creation of Hiram Lodge, other Island lodges formed in Cumberland (1895), Parksville (1915), Campbell River (1952) and Qualicum (last year).