Creston Lodge No. 54 – The Building
In 1908, Freemasons in the Creston area obtained a dispensation to establish its own lodge, and ultimately received its official Charter in 1909. The Lodge membership included, loggers, ranchers, merchants, railroad and ferry workers, miners, horticulturists, and veterans. Several Lodge members served during WW1, and numerous returning veterans joined the Lodge in subsequent years. The Lodge proudly included over 30 WW1 veterans ranging from Privates to the Commanding Officer of the 230th Forestry Battalion.
Today, we proudly occupy this historic building located at the intersection of Vancouver Street and Tenth Avenue, which was constructed in 1938 as a dedicated Lodge hall. The property and construction expenses were estimated to be no more than $4,100. However, these costs did not include labour, prompting the Worshipful Master to request each brother present to state their willing contribution towards this aspect of the construction. The response was overwhelmingly positive.
Over the course of its history, the building has undergone multiple transformations and renovations, adapting to the changing times while preserving its functionality. In preparation for Creston Lodge’s centennial celebration in 2009, a comprehensive makeover was undertaken, encompassing the walls, floor, and ceiling.
Currently, the building is shared by Creston lodge and Creston Valley Shrine Club. In the past, it housed esteemed organizations such as Daughters of the Nile, Eastern Star, and Cascade Council. The Masonic Hall Association oversees the maintenance of the building, rents out spaces to various organizations, including the Lions Club and Rotary, and ensuring its continuous utilization by the community.
303 10th Avenue North, Creston, British Columbia V0B 1G4, Canada
Creston Lodge No.54 History
During the summer of 1908, Freemasons residing in the Creston Valley convened for informal meetings to explore the establishment of a Lodge in Creston. After several gatherings, they applied for a Dispensation from Grand Lodge. On November 3rd, 1908, their application was granted, and they commenced their operations under the Dispensation until Grand Lodge convened in June 1909.
Creston still needed to secure consent from the nearest Lodge, Ymir Lodge as the crow flies, before Grand Lodge would issue a Charter. Brothers Cook, Mallandaine, and Rose, undertook a special journey to Ymir to seek their consent, which was happily granted. Their trip to Ymir held several unique challenges, as automobiles were scare during that era. Upon their return from Ymir, the brethren traveled by handcar along the tracks to make their way back to Nelson.
During the Dispensation period, there were 14 local brethren, but only one among them, Worshipful Brother James Cook, was qualified to preside in the East. He possessed a thorough knowledge of the York Rite, which was adopted as the Lodge’s ritual work until 1966, when the new British Columbia Ancient Work Ritual became available.
The installation of Lodge Officers took place on January 7th 1909. The Lodge was scheduled to open at 08:30 pm, but due to a severe stormy night, the train carrying the installing officers didn’t arrive until midnight. As a result, the Lodge remained open until the next morning, finally closing at 4:00 am.
Initially, the brethren held their meetings in various buildings around town, and eventually occupied an unfinished building on Canyon Street, which also served as a store and a barber shop on the ground floor. Prior to each meeting, a designated brother was responsible for stoking the fire stove upstairs to warm up the room. Today, we proudly occupy the historic building located at the intersection of Vancouver Street and Tenth Avenue, which was originally constructed in 1938 as a dedicated Lodge hall.
International events hold great significance for the Lodge and visiting brethren. The inaugural International event took place in 1934. The subsequent year witnessed another successful gathering known as International Night. During the 1950s and 1960s, International Night evolved into a regular affair, with three captivating events occurring each year. Participating lodges included Creston Lodge, and Lodges of Lakeside in Sandpoint and Bonners Ferry Lodge, both located in Idaho. These lodges took turns hosting the events until the advent of the 2019 Pandemic which disrupted the harmonious flow of travel. Once travel restrictions were lifted, brethren resumed their cross-border travels. In May 2023, Creston Lodge successfully hosted an International luncheon, between the Grand Lodges of Idaho and BC. The evening attracted distinguished guests including the entire Grand Line of Idaho and our esteemed Deputy Grand Master, with over 60 brethren in attendance.
The members of Creston Lodge have been supporting two graduating students from Kootenay River Secondary School each year, with a generous $500 bursary to each student.