Concord Masonic Temple
Since its inception, Concord Lodge used a building owned by the Nanoose Lumber Company. In 1919, Concord Lodge purchased the building for $900. That building was situated on the parking lot directly behind the present building. The present building was completed in 1947. On August 30, 1947, the 215th Emergent Communication was held for the purpose of opening the new Masonic Temple. Right Worshipful Brother McGugan, Grand Senior Warden, laid the plaque at the Northeast Corner. That plaque is still there today.
Concord Masonic Temple Association owns the building and the parking lot to the south of the building. The lower floor of the building is leased to businesses.
The upper floor of the building houses the lodge and banquet rooms, as well as storage room and kitchen.
Besides Concord Lodge, Qualicum Lodge No. 197 meets in the morning of the last Saturday of each month except December and January.
Other Concordant bodies that meet in the Concord Masonic Temple include Order of Eastern Star, Royal Arch Masons, Red Cross of Constantine, Arbutus Conclave and Bethlehem Preceptory.
136 Memorial Avenue, Parksville, British Columbia V9P 1K3, Canada
One of the more recent Lodges to be constituted by the Grand Lodge of B.C. & Yukon, Qualicum Lodge No. 197 can boast having three Grand Masters in its list of Charter Members.
Many Freemasons, drawn to this community by the temperate weather and beautiful scenery had practised Canadian ritual in their Mother Lodges. As the closest “Canadian” lodges were in Nanaimo, Comox, and Port Alberni, a group of local Masons, led by Most Worshipful Brother Murray Webster, at the time, Immediate Past Grand Master of the G.L.B.C.&Y., and Worshipful Brother Gordon Hebden, a past master from Doric Lodge in Nanaimo, met on July 12, 2013, at the Cockney Pride Restaurant in Qualicum Beach, to develop a plan to reach out to other experienced brethren in the area, and to discuss the feasibility of forming a new Lodge.
With a little “positive press” and announcements in local papers, word spread, and a gathering of local Masons was held at the Rotary House, Qualicum Beach, on September 18, 2013. Although there was generally strong support for the formation of a new Lodge, there were a few dissenters as well. But the interest generated by the local news resulted in twenty-four Freemasons attending the first “exploratory” meeting. Over the next year, brethren attended eleven more planning meetings, with the following motions being confirmed.
The new lodge would follow the Canadian ritual, meet on Saturday mornings, be “unique, special, and different”, have a significant social program to include the wives and partners of the brethren, and emphasize fellowship. Most importantly, it was agreed that Masonic education would be front and centre as a pillar of the lodge.
A steering committee was created and charged with taking the necessary steps to form a new lodge. Several social gatherings were held over the next few months, with further planning meetings, where-in the Brethren selected “Qualicum Lodge” as the name for their new home. On July 18, 2014, the first slate of Principal Officers was elected, with Right Worshipful Brother Andy Wood elected as the first Worshipful Master.
The new Qualicum Lodge received immeasurable support from Concord Lodge No. 79, which submitted a letter of support and provided use of its lodge room to practice the necessary rituals. Henderson Lodge on the south island had recently moved from its original home to the Fisgard Masonic Building, and donated its lodge furniture to Qualicum. And there was an offer from Prospect Lodge in North Vancouver, soon to turn in its charter, to give their regalia to Qualicum Lodge.
On July 22, 2014, forty-four Brethren submitted the necessary paperwork requesting Institution of a new Lodge in the town of Qualicum Beach, and on August 5, 2014, the Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother Philip Durell, granted dispensation for the formation of the Lodge. The Institution of Qualicum Lodge No. 197 took place on September 5, 2014.
Included in the roll of Charter Members, were Most Worshipful Brothers Murray Webster (2012/13), Alan Cross (2010/11), and Ron Yates (2017/18), as well as many other notable brethren from the area. Qualicum Lodge brethren participate annually in The Salvation Army Christmas Kettle program, and are involved in other community events and activities.
The early history of Concord Lodge started about 1911 to 1912, when the population of Parksville was about 150 people. The railway station master, Brother William Lorne Dunn arrived in 1911. He soon became acquainted with a few Freemasons in the area, who then started to meet and began discussing the formation of a Freemasons Lodge here. Brother Dunn was selected to write to Grand Lodge of British Columbia to determine the procedure to having a Lodge formed. Unfortunately, Brother Dunn was transferred to Duncan and was not able to be further involved due to the transportation, or lack of it, at the time. As a matter of interest, he later became a founding member of Nanaimo Lode No. 110, a Master of that lodge, and a District Deputy Grand Master of District #5. He was honoured by Concord Lodge in 1964 with an Honorary Life membership. After Brother Dunn’s departure Brother H.E. Church became the secretary of the group.
On May 19, 1914, Most Worshipful Brother Henderson, Grand Master, and Most Worshipful Brother DeWolf-Smith, Grand Secretary, granted a Dispensation for the Lodge to meet. Eighteen brothers had applied for the dispensation. One week later, the first regular communication under dispensation was held with Worshipful Brother William Lewis as the Worshipful Master while under dispensation. Worshipful Brother Lewis died at the age of 104 in March, 1968 as the last founding member of Concord Lodge. The first two Petitions for Initiation were received from Mr. Douglas Shaw, son of a founding member, and Mr. James Howarth. Their petitions were approved on July 2, 1914 and they were initiated one week later on July 9.
At the regular meeting held on June 4, 1914, “Concord” was chosen as the Lodge name as suggested by the Grand Secretary, Most Worshipful Brother DeWolf-Smith. Meetings were held in the upper floor of the Nanoose Lumber Co., owned by Brother Charles Hardy, the Senior Warden. That building was situated on the parking lot behind our present building.
On July 5, 1915, the Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother William C. Ditmars, held an emergent communication of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of British Columbia, to constitute Concord Lodge and install the officers.
In April 1919, it was decided to purchase the building from the Nanoose Lumber Co. For $900. Almost 20 years later, the lodge decided to have a building fund, and six years later discussed building a new Temple. On August 30, 1947, the 215th Emergent Communication was held for the purpose of opening the new Masonic Temple. Right Worshipful Brother McGugan, Grand Senior Warden, laid the plaque at the North East Corner. That plaque is still there today.
During our 100 plus years, Concord Lodge has been pleased to have received requests for the formations of two lodges, a lodge in Port Alberni in 1919, and for Qualicum Lodge in 2014.
Original meetings were held according to full moon. Concord Lodge No. 79 now meets the first Thursday of each month, except July and August. Installation of Officers is held in October of each year.
Contact us at https://concordlodge79.com/contact/