History of Mount Lebanon

Formation of the Lodge

Meeting called by Bro. R.C. Bruce PDDGM and Rev. Bro. Ray on May 10, 1910, held in Bro. Aylesworth’s Drug store in East Calgary for the purpose of discussing the advisability of forming a Lodge of Masons in East Calgary. This is essentially the first entry (altered) into the Record of Mount Lebanon Lodge.

There were twenty six Masonic Brethren present at this formation meeting.

The first order of business was attended to voting a Brother into the chair and one acting as Secretary. The chair was occupied by Bro. R.C. Bruce, PDDGM and the acting Secretary Rev. Bro. G.A. Ray.

Matters discussed were (1) cost of the charter, (2) rent of a hall and (3) equipment costs. It was discussed as to who would be able to provide a hall and two names were recorded. The first was a Dr. Blow who was building and would build a hall 60 feet or thereabouts. Dr. Blow was a physician; an ear, nose, eyes and throat specialist who practiced in the area for forty years. The second was a Mr. Seablom (later spelled Seabloom) who was also building a building and would provide a hall 31.5 feet by 45 feet for a cost to the lodge of $45 to $50 per month. Mr. Seablom built two buildings in the area that still stand in 2011. Once called the Seablom block and the other with a partner, the Fraser and Seabloom block. Notice the difference in spelling of the same “Seablom” on the two buildings. Committees were formed to proceed and meeting adjourned.

alexander-corner-calgary
Alexander Corner, Calgary

At this point in the there were four other Lodges in Calgary and at least three met in the Alexander Corner in Calgary (a sandstone structure), at the corner of eight Ave. and first street west. Alberta had only been a province for five years and Calgary was a town only 32 years old. The model T ford had been out for two years, Calgary had begun the construction of an electric Railway but the main method of personal travel was saddle horse, horse and buggy, bicycle, train and walking. The distance alone from East Calgary to the Alexander Corner probably was enough for people of East Calgary to want their own lodge close to their work and home.

The second meeting was held May 16, 1910 in the Western Milling Co. Ltd, East Calgary. Eight Bros. present.

A progress report was given. Finances were discussed as well as to how many brothers could be expected to join which would give them the funds to proceed with renting a Hall. They proceeded to rent a hall.

The third meeting was held May 27, 1910 in the Western Milling Co. Ltd, East Calgary. Sixteen Brows. were present.

At this meeting the Hall committee was given the power to ratify the lease of the Hall from Mr. Seablom. Lodge work proceeded and the filling of the chairs was done. Further it was moved at this meeting to name the Lodge “Acacia”.

Seablom Block, Calgary
Seablom Block, Calgary

Acacia was also used by a South Edmonton Lodge and its charter was granted before this lodge so Acacia could not be used as this Lodge’s name. Actually this part of Edmonton was at this time not in the city of Edmonton, but was a small town name Strathcona situated on the south bank of the South Saskatchewan River.

The next meeting was held June 28, 1910 in the office of the Western Milling Co. Ltd of East Calgary.

Members present signed the application for Dispensation.

The next meeting held July 19, 1910 in the Office of the Western Milling Co. Ltd, East Calgary. A committee struck to oversee the “completion of the Hall”. The author defined this as receiving a hall with no furnishings and light fixtures and needing additional investment to make it a Masonic Hall with “Masonic furniture”.

The next meeting held August 12, 1910 in Seablom Hall. A regular meeting where the York Rite was adopted.

Further discussion was had regarding the finishing of the Lodge Hall. The author interpreted this as to mean the furnishing as to the Masonic furnishing were discussed and decided. This included a sign outside the hall.

Meeting held August 30, 1910 in the Seablom Block East Calgary. Discussion of borrowing to make the Lodge operational and the Bank chosen was the Imperial Bank. It was announced that as soon as the Dispensation was received the Grand Lodge Secretary would supply a complete set of books. The meeting the second Tuesday of the month was mentioned as a regular meeting night, which had been adopted and is the same night of the week each month today in 2011.

Meeting held September 9, 1910, in the Seablom Block. Regular business was discussed. It was moved that “Bro. Bruce insert in the three Calgary Newspapers an advertistement advising all Masons in Calgary of the Instituting of Mount Lebanon Lodge on Tuesday September 13, 1910, and giving a general invitation to all.” This is the first mention of the official name given to the Lodge in the Historical record of Mount Lebanon.

September 13, 1910. Institution of a New Lodge in East Calgary.

In the Historical Record discusses the ritual of granting the dispensation to Mount Lebanon to function as a Lodge.

GM RW Bro. Ranking performed the open ceremony and welcomed Bro. Bruce to the WM’s Chair of Mount Lebanon Lodge UD. The Standard code of the by Laws of the Grand Lodge of Alberta were adopted for the Lodge.

The night concluded with speeches from visiting Brethren given and Mount Lebanon Brethren given to the new Lodge with much advice. The Lodge started with 25 affiliated members.

The next regular communication of Mount Lebanon Lodge UD was held Oct. 11, 1910 Ad, AL 5910. This communication was remarkable for the Lodge received 32 committee reports all favorable. Emergent communications were then held for Mount Lebanon Lodge UD on Oct. 18th, 21st, 25th, 28th, 31st and Nov 1st, when 30 candidates were given the EA degree.

Regular communications and Embergent communication then are reported with the record for many months with petitioners names, degrees to initiates and Bros. advancing to further degrees. On Dec 13, 1910, AL 5910 a regular communication was held and again petitions accepted to affiliation and initiation. The officers installed on the night of Insitution of the Lodge were kept in the chair for the rest of 1910 and the whole year of 1911.

The regular communication of Mount Lebanon UD was held on Tuesday evening May 9th, Ad 1911,k AL 5911, where it was announced that this evening with the petitions of three new members for initiation, the Lodge had reached 90 members.

The Lodge proceeded with regular and emergent communication and the procedural work through much of 1911. On the regular communication of Mount Lebanon Lodge UD, held Tuesday evening October 10, 1911 Ad Al 5911 a letter from The Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Alberta notifying that the Grand Master together with the officers of the Grand Lodge would constitute the two new Lodges of Mount Lebanon and King George and install officers in the Perfection Lodge room on Wednesday 25 Oct 1911. The Perfection Lodge room was in the Alexander Corner owned by Mr. James Lougheed who became a Canadian senator during his career. The Alexander Corner was located at Eight Ave. and first street south west in Calgary and was a beautiful sandstone structure.

“A joint emergent communication of Mount Lebanon Lodge # 54 and King George Lodge # 59 was held in the Masonic Temple, Alexander Corner, on Wednesday evening the 25th Oct. 11, AL 5911.”

The Lodge was opened by the Worshipful Master and officers of Mount Lebanon # 54. The Most Worshipful the Grand Master and the Grand Lodge officers then proceeded with the ceremonies of granting Charters to the two Lodges. Lodge was closed at 10:30pm; the closing ceremonies being performed by Worshipful Master and the officers of King George Lodge # 59.

As recorded “A banguet at Paget’s Hall brought the auspicious evening to a final close”. The final communications for the year were used for regular meetings and emergent meetings in December new Officers were elected and installed in an emergent meeting December 27, 1911.

Bibliography

  1. Historical Register of Mount Lebanon Lodge # 54. Years 1910-1961.
  2. City of Calgary, Inglewood historical walking tours.


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