The original Lodge was founded “at the terminus of the Spences Bridge-Nicola branch of the Canadian Pacific Railway, 47 miles from Spences Bridge and the centre of the cattle ranching district, in the little village on Nicola Lake called 'Nicola" after "N'kua-la", the great chief of the local Indian tribe about a century before.”
The District Deputy Grand Master visited Nicola on August 6, 1908 and instituted the Lodge, and on July 26, 1909 the Lodge was duly constituted. As the chief promoter (M. L. Grimmett) hailed from the Kootenay mining areas, Nicola Lodge adopted the American “ritual” of his former Lodge.
The Lodge was moved to Merritt, where the first meeting of the Lodge in Merritt was held on March 13, 1911 and where it still prospers in the same building today.
Nicola Lodge supports various organizations including the Nicola Food Bank with an annual donation each year, a one time donation of $5,000.00 was made to Nicola Hospital to help build the new Emergency Ward. As well, the Lodge and Temple Association provide two $1,000.00 bursary awards to two students at the Merritt High School each year.
In 2009 Nicola Lodge celebrated its 100th year as a Lodge in the Nicola Valley. In 2015 a fire destroyed most of the building, but thankfully, it was insured and was rebuilt a year later.
2067 Quilchena Avenue, Merritt, British Columbia V0K1Y0, Canada
In a regular meeting of Kamloops Lodge on June 9, 1908, a petition for Dispensation to form a new Masonic Lodge at Nicola, containing the names of several Brethren from the Nicola area, was received from A. R. Carrington, Secretary “pro tem”.
It was regularly moved and seconded that the petition be received and a committee of three was appointed to examine the credentials of the Brethren named on the petition, and bring in a report to the meeting. If the petition be correct it would be recommended by Kamloops Lodge, and a note made of the fact that the Worshipful Master and Wardens elect have yet to meet the requirement of appearing before Kamloops Lodge for examination. The Worshipful Master appointed Brothers Skey, Clarke and McGregor as the committee of investigation.
The District Deputy Grand Master of District 3, reported for the Grand Lodge Proceedings for 1909, that “On the 22n, July 1908, I visited Nicola, in order to examine the officers and report to the Most Worshipful Grand Master before a dispensation was granted. I found the brethren to be well up in their work and had the pleasure in recommending that a Dispensation be granted.”
The District Deputy Grand Master further reported that, “Accordingly, on the 26th August 1908, at the Grand Master’s command, I again visited Nicola and regularly Instituted the Lodge. After the ceremony we adjourned to the hotel, where we were entertained at a very enjoyable banquet. I visited Nicola Lodge again on 28th April 1909, when I examined the books and found them well kept and the finances in a good healthy condition. The work in the third degree was exemplified and reflected great credit upon Worshipful Master Grimmett and other officers.”
The Original Lodge was founded “at the terminus of the Spences Bridge-Nicola branch of the Canadian Pacific Railway, 47 miles from Spences Bridge and the centre of the cattle ranching district, in the little village on Nicola Lake called 'Nicola". The village was named for the great chief "N'kua-la"of the local Indian tribe about a century before.” He was, indeed, considered a very great chieftain and a bold man, for he was reported to have had 17 wives.
In 1911, Nicola Lodge was moved to Merritt, and its present location. In 2009, Nicola Lodge celebrated its 100th year as a Lodge in the Nicola Valley in Merritt, B.C. In 2015, fire spread to the Lodge when the building next door caught fire. Although damage was significant, the Lodge was insured and was rebuilt within a year.