Haida Background History

Haida Lodge A.F. & A.M. No. 166, B.C.R., of Victoria, B.C., came into being from an idea conceived by R.W. Bro. Stanley H. Okell assisted by W. Bro. B. Gough and W. Bro. E.A. Bleathman, all of Camosun Lodge, No. 60. The idea was to form a small, daughter lodge, the charter members of which would be drawn wholly from the mother lodge, Camosun No. 60.

It was felt that Freemasonry could be better served by Lodges with not too large a membership and some 30 members of Camosun Lodge quickly agreed, and were anxious to participate in the formation of a small, daughter lodge from within their Mother Lodge. Camosun. No. 60. This action took place in May and June of the year 1955.

The name “Haida” was adopted for the proposed new Lodge. This chosen name had been suggested to the charter members, by Bro. D. B. Turner in an article dealing with the important historical Haida First Nations of British Columbia and with the suggested significance of the “Haida” concept to Masonic principles.

To assist the new Haida Lodge, Camosun Lodge No. 60 first wanted and offered to give one thousand dollars towards getting Haida on its financial feet. The charter members, however, with warm thanks to Camosun, did not take advantage of this most generous offer.

Our Mother Lodge was determined to help us get started in someway however, and presented “Haida” with the Lodge Regalia. As Wor. Bro. W. Craigmyle, Secretary of Camosun at the time, remarked, “That’s what mothers are for, you know!”

J.B. McCallum, Worshipful Master Sept. 19, 1973
Haida Lodge A.F. & A.M. No. 166 G.R.B.C.

Dear Sir & Worshipful Brother:

Allow me to paraphrase an oft-repeated query usually employed at the closing of the Lodge, … “I have something to offer Haida Lodge in general and the office of ‘Director of Ceremonies’ in particular.”

Ages ago in the Lodges of the tribe whence this Lodge took its name it was customary for the Chief or councilor or speaker, when addressing an assembly, to take in hand a staff or Talking Stick. There being no written language, all communication of course was by word-of-mouth. In this way the Haida leaders passed on the ancient stories, myths, legends and gave advice and instruction to the tribe.

The Haida’s loved to talk and held forth at great length, some of them being great orators. When the speaker had the Stick in hand he “had the floor” as it were.  Now, we are very fortunate in Haida Lodge to have among our officers one, who by his gracious manner, good instruction, and assiduous attention to ritual and deportment, has a good claim on emulating those orators of long ago. (W. Bro. J.H.M. Bremner, Director of Ceremonies).

So it is fondly hoped that when the Director of Ceremonies takes in hand the Talking Stick of Haida Lodge, the assembled Braves will Waken up, Sit up, Shut up, and take note and inwardly digest that which is good for them.

One request, Worshipful Sir, or rather suggestion, I’d like to make, is the following. If the Master sees fit on nights of Installation of Officers the Worthy Brother designated to give that inspiring “Address to the Brethren” takes in hand the Talking Stick, just as the Haidas did in their assemblies of long ago, and that this procedure become an established custom and tradition in Haida Lodge in many happy and prosperous years to come.

Sincerely and Fraternally

F.S. (TED) Gilbert