Masonry in Edmonton
The history of Masonry in the Edmonton area began with the institution of Saskatchewan Lodge #53 in 1882. It was chartered by the Grand Registry of Manitoba, who had the jurisdiction over Masonic activities in the Northwest Territories, in which Edmonton was positioned at that time. This Lodge, however, became inactive in 1893, due to a lack of membership.
1905 was the year that Alberta became a Province and also was the year that the Grand Lodge of Alberta took responsibility for all matters Masonic within its borders. One of its earliest functions was to present a Charter to the first active Masonic Lodge in Edmonton, known as Edmonton #7. The first Lodge chartered in the province was Bow Valley in Calgary in 1904.
The Beginning of Ivanhoe Lodge
In the spring of 1923, the history of Ivanhoe Lodge began to evolve. During a gathering of Officers and Past Officers of Grand Lodge of Alberta, held in Edmonton, these dedicated Masons searched for a way to re-create interest in active Freemasonry by those brethren who had relocated to Edmonton and, therefore, away from their mother Lodges. A suggestion that the creation of a new Lodge in Edmonton to house these unaffiliated businessmen and professionals was well received, and the next step was taken.
Bro. George Brown McLeod of Edmonton Lodge #7 took on the task of locating these brethren who, by the way, had continued to pay their dues to their Lodges, getting them together for some discussion, and to begin the required steps towards the institution of a new Masonic Lodge in Edmonton.
With the assistance of V.W.Bro. Marcus C. Wright of Patricia Lodge #91, they were successful in locating many of the brethren and in early 1924, they circulated a petition and obtained more than the required number of signatures to apply to Grand Lodge requesting that a warrant be raised.
The petition was sent to the Grand Secretary and contained the signatures of 18 unaffiliated Masons, as well as the signatures of 22 prominent Masons who would become the founding members of the new Lodge.
The First Meetings
At a luncheon held at the Hudsonia Restaurant in the original Hudson Bay Store on Jasper Avenue, March 20, 1925, all the above brethren were present. The business of selecting a name for the new Lodge, as well as a place and day for meetings, began.
The name of Ivanhoe was amongst many put forward and, although no record of who suggested the name remains, it was approved unanimously. The place of all meetings would be at the Patricia Lodge Room, 10130-116 Street, and would be held the first Thursday of each month. The dues were set at $10.00 per year, and format attire would be the order of the day for all meetings. By the way, the menu of that day stated that the price of the five-course meal served, which included prime rib, was 50 cents!
Edmonton became a City in 1904, having reached a population of 65,378. You may be interested in knowing that the city at that time contained 12 Masonic Lodges with a membership of 2046, and of the 13 mayors who served from 1904 to 1925 (some for more than one term), nine were Masons.
The institution of Ivanhoe, which was still under dispensation from Grand Lodge, took place on April 2, 1925, and the installation of its selected officers was led by District Deputy Grand Master of District #12, R.W.Bro. William Rea. It was noted in the minutes that a representative from every Lodge in the area was present, along with six Officers of Grand Lodge (all names are available).
Following the installation of the officers, 13 applications for affiliation were received with the first one containing the name of the Premier of the Province of Alberta, the Hon. Herbert Greenfield.
At a meeting of Grand Lodge held June 11, 1925, the continuation of the special dispensation for Ivanhoe Lodge was approved, thus allowing the Lodge to affiliate the 22 founding members and also approve the application of 10 candidates who would begin their Masonic journey. On June 18, 1925, the first five candidates were initiated, and it was noted that each of the new officers were in their chairs.
Ivanhoe Lodge #142 received its charter on June 18, 1926, from Grand Lodge, and the signatures are there for all to peruse. The first Master of the newly chartered Lodge was W.Bro. George Brown McLeod, and this was very fitting indeed, as it was this dedicated Mason who initiated the journey of Ivanhoe Lodge some three years earlier.
So, here we are, many years later, taking part in the continuing growth of Ivanhoe Lodge, because dedicated Masons maintain their enthusiasm for the craft.
J.A. (Bud) Cameron
Registrar, Ivanhoe Lodge #142
January 14, 1992