About Haida Lodge 166

The advent of Haida Lodge was from a group of Masons of Camosun Lodge No. 60 GLBC&Y.

The Great Haida Altar

In the early 1950s, its membership was upwards of 300 members. New and younger Masons entering Freemasonry at the time could clearly see it would be a long time before there was opportunity to serve the lodge as an officer. More senior members of Camosun noted the limitation of building membership with number reaching well above 300 in the future. The time had come for the consideration of another lodge to be born in Victoria. Past District Deputy Grand Master Rt. Wor. Bro. Stan O’Kell (Retired Army Officer – former Victoria Alderman), with Wor. Bro. E. Bleathman,  (owned the gas station on West Saanich Road at Royal Oak), and Wor. Bro. Bunny Gough,  (a Pharmacist – operated the drug store at Shelbourne and Hillside), began the work in forming a new lodge. Within a few weeks there were 30 members of Camosun Lodge willing to be charter members for Haida Lodge. Bro. David B. Turner suggested that name; David became the first historian of the lodge. Incidentally he was the first to be installed in the office of Lodge Historian in the Province.

In 1955 the members applied to the DDGM, Rt. Wor. Bro. N. H. McMillan, to start the lodge. It was approved at Grand Lodge in summer of 1956. GL ordered a warrant of Constitution for Haida on 21st June, 1956, having been given its dispensation on 8th January, 1956 in Victoria. All Charter members were from Camosun Lodge, the only time this has occurred in the history of the jurisdiction. The founders at the time, felt that many lodges were enlarging too quickly; many were too large for the membership to know each other which would deteriorate masonic fellowship. Forming smaller lodges in membership was more productive in involvement in the lodge life. On 15th August, 1956 in the Knights of Pythias Hall on Cormorant Street, just a block away from the Masonic Temple on Fisgard, the Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother D. A. Stewart constituted the lodge.

The membership of the lodge has maintained its ‘smallness’ never rising above 85. Haida’s aim at its inception was printed in the preface of its by-laws and remains our focus even today.

The system a Lodge forms for the conduct of its work, and hence for the conduct of the members, is an expression of the philosophy of the Lodge. In Haida Lodge the philosophy is revealed quickly and unmistakably by a study of the origins of the Lodge and the aims that lay at the root of its foundation. The Origins and Aims of Haida are briefly set forth here as a constant reminder to all members:- 

that our lodge was founded on a sound and wise philosophy of Study, Fellowship and the Pursuit of Wisdom.