Mount Lebanon Lodge
A.F. & A.M., No 72, B.C.& Y.R.
Instituted May 30th, 1913
Constituted June 25th, 1914
At the outset, there were several jurisdictions that flourished under various Grand Lodges in British Columbia. The major ones being the Grand Lodge of Scotland and the Grand Lodge of England.
On December 26th, 1871 these two jurisdictions within British Columbia amalgamated to form the Grand Lodge of British Columbia. This comprised some 295 Masons divided amongst 8 Masonic Lodges.
The Lodge that is part of our history is Mount Hermon #491 on the registry of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. After the Grand Lodge of British Columbia came into being, it became known as Mount Hermon #7 British Columbia Registry. Mount Hermon practiced what was called the “American” ritual, later to become known as “Ancient American” and finally became referred to as “Ancient” ritual.
A number of members saw the need for a Lodge in the Mount Pleasant area of Vancouver (around 7th and Main Street) which was a rural area at the time. In July of 1894 Acacia Lodge #22 was formed by members of Mount Hermon #7 and met in the I.O.O.F. Hall at 2214 Main Street.
W. Bro. M. R. Wells and a number of brethren from Acacia Lodge #22 who were resident in the Eburne and Point Grey areas, then suburbs of Vancouver, saw a need for a Lodge in the Eburne – South Vancouver area. The Eburne postal area included what is now Marpole and the North East area of Sea Island (The name Marpole did not yet exist).
They met in the early fall of 1912 to consider the formation of a Masonic Lodge in that district. Their unanimous decision was that a Lodge should be formed and on December 26th, 1912, a petition for dispensation to form a Lodge was presented to Most Worshipful Master John M. Rudd, Grand Master.
The Brethren were advised to work for a period as a Lodge of Instruction. This advice was gladly accepted. The Grand Master accordingly granted his permission and a commission was issued to Most Worshipful Brother F. Bowser, P.G.M. to act as supervisor.
The first meeting, as a Lodge of Instruction, was held in the I.O.O.F. Hall in Eburne, B.C. on February 27th, 1913. Most Worshipful Brother F. Bowser, P.G.M. presiding. The following were appointed and other preliminary matters considered:
Worshipful Master -- Worshipful Brother M. R. Wells
Senior Warden -- Worshipful Brother John Gavin
Junior Warden -- Brother L. J. M. Darcy
At the meeting held on May 15th, 1913, the Worshipful Master designate reported having submitted a petition for dispensation to form a Lodge to the Most Worshipful Grand Master. The petition was recommended by Most Worshipful Brother F. Bowser, P.G.M. was signed by 34 Brethren.
The Grand Master favourably considered the petition and on May 26th, 1913, he issued a dispensation to form the Lodge to be known as Mount Lebanon Lodge U.D. On May 30th, 1913, the work was exemplified to the satisfaction of the D.D.G.M., Right Worshipful Brother W. C. Ditmars, who then, ably assisted by Most Worshipful Brother F. J. Burd, I.P.G.M., invested the officers.
On May 30th, 1914, a petition for a Warrant of Constitution was submitted to Grand Lodge. The Warrant of Constitution was duly granted at the ensuing annual communication, and the Lodge was given the number 72 on the Register of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia.
On June 25th, 1914, by command of Most Worshipful Brother James Stark, Grand Master, a Regular Communication was held for the purpose of Constituting the Lodge and installing its officers, namely:
· Worshipful Master --- Worshipful Brother M. R. Wells
· Senior Warden --- Worshipful Brother John Gavin
· Junior Warden --- Brother L. J. M. Darcy
· Treasurer --- Brother R. Robinson
· Secretary --- Brother R. J. Roche
· Chaplain --- Brother G. H. Goehler
· Senior Deacon --- Brother J. Murdoch
· Junior Deacon --- Brother H. Birnie
· Director of Ceremonies --- Brother A. Macduff
· Organist --- Brother A. Sellar
· Steward --- Brother F. Lawrence
· Steward --- Brother G. H. Lawrence
· Inner Guard --- Brother S. G. Churchill
· Tyler --- Brother A McRae
They met in the I.O.O.F. Hall in Eburne, just east of what is now the Metro Theatre.
The first candidate initiated was Brother Samuel G. Churchill. The degree was conferred by Most Worshipful Brother F. Bowser, P.G.M.
Worshipful Brother M. R. Wells, the first Worshipful Master, died February 12th, 1923.
Worshipful Brother John Gavin, the first Senior Warden, died June 1st, 1924.
Brother L. J. M. Darcy, the first Junior Warden, demitted on November 28th, 1918.
Most Worshipful Brother Francis Bowser, P.G.M., died September 25th, 1929.
The untiring efforts of these Brethren, who so securely laid the foundation of the Lodge, will long be remembered by the members.
Over the years, Mount Lebanon has been the Mother Lodge of at least 5 Daughter Lodges:
1. Mount Moriah #102 June 21, 1923
2. Zenith #104 June 21 1923
3. Emerald #134 June 17, 1948
4. Richmond #142 July 18, 1951
5. Mosaic #162 June 23, 1955
Mosaic Lodge #162 amalgamated with Crown Lodge to become Mosaic & Crown and has since amalgamated with Emerald Lodge #134 to become Pythagoras Lodge #194.
Emerald Lodge #134 had a Daughter Lodge, Crossroads Lodge #177 which amalgamated with Mount Lebanon in September 1993. The first Worshipful Master of this newly amalgamated Mount Lebanon Lodge #72 was R.W. Bro. Iain M.H. Macdonald.
The Lodge from its institution met in the I.O.O.F. Hall, Marpole, B.C., until September 1956, when it moved to the new Masonic Hall at 8486 Granville Street. This was a memorable event, as many attempts had been made to find more suitable premises.
This new Masonic Hall was built through the efforts and energy of a group of dedicated Freemasons under the leadership of R. W. Bro. J.G.C. Hogg. The Hall is owned and managed by the Marpole Masonic Society.
In May of 2013, the Marpole Masonic Lodge Hall was sold and in September of 2013 Mount Lebanon Lodge moved to the Park Masonic Hall at 4474 Rupert Street in Vancouver
The Grand Lodge History Book has Mount Lebanon moving from Richmond (Eburne on Sea Island) to Marpole in 1918. Mount Lebanon did not in fact move, it still met in the same I.O.O.F. Hall. The Vancouver side of Eburne was renamed Marpole and Mount Lebanon remained where it was.
The history of Mount Lebanon Lodge would not be complete without reference to the late Most Worshipful Brothers F. J. Burd, W. R. Simpson, and A. McC. Creery, on whose advice and direction the Lodge relied since its early days, and each of whom kindly consented to being made honourary members. The assistance and guidance given by these three Brethren has been a tower of strength to the Lodge.