In the beginning . . .
At the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia in 1954, the Grand Master issued a dispensation to a group of Brethren who wished to form a new Lodge in North Vancouver. The Lodge was to be called Capilano Lodge and it wished to practice what was then called the “American” ritual. The ceremony of Institution was performed by RWB Charles Brotherton on January 12, 1955.
At the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia on Jun 23, 1955, following a “glowing” report from the DDGM, Grand Lodge ordered the Warrant of Constitution for Capilano Lodge No. 164 at North Vancouver. On September 22, 1955, in the Hollyburn Masonic Temple at West Vancouver, the Grand Master Constituted the Lodge. This Lodge adopted the “American” work for its ritual and took its name after the area “Capilano,” which means “people of the Kiap” and was the hereditary name of the Chief of the North Vancouver Indians.
How does a new Lodge get started? Usually a group of Freemasons with similar interests meet informally to see if there is enough interest and if there are enough Past Masters to meet the Grand Lodge criteria for forming a new Lodge.
For many years there were three Lodges in North Vancouver practicing the Canadian ritual, Burrard Lodge, Duke of Connaught Lodge, and Lynn Valley Lodge. The “American” ritual had not been practiced in North Vancouver since Mount Hermon Lodge moved from Moodyville to Vancouver in 1887.
About 1952 or 1953, several business men in Lower Lonsdale area began to discuss the idea of a new Lodge to practice the “American” ritual. Their business addresses were:
#56 – New Method Cleaners, John Petcoff – Proprietor. Member of Burrard Lodge.
#57 – Keystone Barbers, John Nicoll – Proprietor. Past Master of Keystorne Lodge.
#58 – Vinick’s Furniture, Maury Vinick – Proprietor. Member of Vancouver Lodge.
These Brethren along with D.W. Mills of Mills Motors met at the New Method Cleaners after close of business. Both John Nicoll and Maury Vinick were from Lodges which practiced the “American” ritual. Discussions were aided by the pure sparkling water which was available from the original brass faucet which now graces the Secretary’s desk.
RWB George Small of Mount Hermon Lodge and WB John Bennet of Hollyburn Lodge lent there support. WB George Kelso and several retired Brethren from the prairies added to the list of Brethren who signed the Petition to Grand Lodge in 1954.
The large group photo (members section only) shows the Charter Members of the Lodge. Their occupations were many and varied. The last surviving Member of that group, WB George Norris, passed away recently.
WB John Nicoll presided at the Initiation of RWB Ronald Clough, who was the first formal initiate into Capilano Lodge No. 164