Kalamalka Lodge No. 160
On Wednesday, March 12, 1953, Miriam Lodge held a Regular Communication in which the following Notice of Motion was acted upon;
“Whereas Miriam Lodge is now approaching a membership of 180 and whereas there are living in this Local Jurisdiction many unaffiliated members of the Craft and whereas with the lodge facilities available for Masonic Purposes in Vernon, it can reasonably be anticipated that there will be many applications by initiation during the ensuing years;
Therefore it be resolved that Worshipful Brothers Wm. Nichol, C. Griffin and E. Surtees, well known and qualified Past Masters, be, and are hereby granted permission to hold a Lodge of Instruction in Miriam Lodge No. 20, under the Charter of Miriam Lodge No. 20, at any date during the current year, provided these meetings do not conflict with the other meetings in this Lodge Room and permission be obtained from the Miriam Masonic Holding Co. Ltd.”
Thus, the groundwork for Kalamalka Lodge was laid and a dispensation for a second Lodge in Vernon was issued by the Grand Master. On October 27, 1954, the District Deputy Grand Master for District 9 Okanagan-Revelstoke, presided at the institution ceremony before a “very large turnout of Brethren” and reported very favourably on his official visit to the Lodge. On June 23, 1955, Grand Lodge ordered the Warrant of Constitution for Kalamalka Lodge No. 160 at Vernon. The Grand Master, on September 16, 1955, constituted the Lodge. The Lodge adopted the American work for its ritual. The Lodge adopted the name ‘Kalamalka’ in honour of the local First Nation’s name for the lake, just south of Vernon, which is probably one of the most beautiful lakes in all British Columbia.
From its inception, Kalamalka Lodge grew steadily from 50 Members to approx. 80 members during its first 25 years. Regular Ancient Masonic work was conducted and the Lodge had a steady stream of Degree work, in all degrees, to keep the lodge Membership stable. Many Masonic lectures were given, such as “Making Freemasons”, “The Measure of a Man” and “the Calvary of Ceremonies” which had The King James Bible as the source of much of the “Ancient Work” for the enlightenment of their Members.
Kalamalka Lodge has participated in many Community Ventures from Masonic Balls, Church Parades and Pancake Breakfasts to Golf Tournaments, Picnics and the yearly Vernon Winter Carnival parade. In addition, Kalamalka Lodge annually supports the Vernon Women’s Transition House with a grant and non-perishable foodstuffs. Kalamalka Lodge No. 160 presently resides in the Vernon Masonic Lodge Building.
Miriam Lodge No. 20
In the 1890’s, the town of Vernon had been called “Priest’s Valley”, owing to the fact that the Fathers from the mission near the present City of Kelowna, had built a rest house there as a convenient day’s journey from the mission. In 1887 the valley took its new name from the Hon. Forbes George Vernon, the then owner of the Coldstream ranch, who was at the time the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works in the provincial government. Vernon was incorporated as a city in 1892.
Freemasons already living in Vernon wanted to form a Masonic Lodge of their own. The first organization meeting was held in October 1892, and was attended by all the Freemasons in the settlement.
Miriam Lodge A.F. & A.M. received a warrant from Grand Master M.W. Bro. Sibree Clarke dated July 3, 1893. Miriam Lodge was given the No. 20 on the register of the Grand Lodge of B.C. Miriam Lodge No. 20 would work the Canadian Ritual.
Until the erection of the Masonic Temple in 1932, Miriam Lodge had no building of its own. From its inception until it was able to move in to its present accommodations, the Lodge held its meetings in the Oddfellows’ Hall.
Brother Charles J.S. Speakman, at his death in 1921, bequeathed the residue of his estate to Miriam Lodge, to form the nucleus of a building fund for the purpose of erecting a Masonic Temple in Vernon. The amount of this bequest was nearly six thousand dollars. It provided the stimulus, as well as the financial assistance that enabled the Lodge to embark on the project of building and furnishing the home we now enjoy.
By 1954 the membership of Miriam Lodge stood at 172 and a decision was made to form a second lodge in Vernon. The second lodge would be called Kalamalka Lodge No. 160. Kalamalka Lodge was constituted on September 16, 1955 and works the Ancient Ritual.
In 1966, The Lodge building saw a massive renovation with the addition of a rental business accommodation, expansion to the Lodge hall and the addition of a lounge and a kitchen to the social room on the first floor.
Miriam Lodge celebrated her 75th Anniversary in 1968, her 100th in 1992 and her 125th in 2017, all attended by Grand Lodge.
Miriam Lodge Membership is representative of the wide diversity of business in the Vernon area, in addition to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Armed Forces. Seventeen of Vernon Mayors have been Freemasons.
Miriam Lodge, until the change to the Cancer Car Program, fully supported that initiative. Currently, Miriam Lodge offers scholarships to High School Students in several of the area’s Secondary Schools.
The Lodge building is now the home to Miriam Lodge No. 20, Kalamalka Lodge No. 160 and Scottish Rite Freemasonry. It has also served as the home for York Rite Freemasonry, Eastern Star and Job’s Daughters.