Irricana Lodge – Seventy-five Years 1999

The village of Irricana was founded in 1909 with a population of approximately 100. In 1910 the C.P.R. came through, connecting Acme and Calgary. In 1916 the C.N.R. came through connecting Edmonton and Calgary. The name Irricana came from the words irrigation and canal. An irrigation system was being constructed when the area was settled.

The idea of forming a Masonic Lodge in Irricana was considered in 1912. Before anything was done the Great War broke out in 1914 and the idea was postponed. In 1921 and 1922 gatherings of the local Masons took place and it was decided to form a Lodge at Irricana. In 1924 Hans Nicholson and twelve local Masons petitioned Acme Lodge No. 60 to institute a Lodge at Irricana. September 23, 1924 was the beginning of Irricana Lodge. The meetings were held at the I.O.O.F. hall. In 1928 this hall burned down and for some time the meetings were held at Keoma Hall. The present Masonic hall was then built.

Irricana Lodge was in District 15, which consisted of Lodges from Irricana to Bashaw, all on the CN rail line. In the early days the D.D.G.M.s traveled by rail. Original dues were $10.00/yr and initiation fee was $75.00 which was later lowered to $50.00.

The 1930’s were difficult for all Lodges but Irricana carried on. In 1936 a Lodge of mourning was held for the late sovereign King George V. In 1937 on account of severe drought in parts of Alberta one carload of vegetables was shipped from the area.

In 1939 when the Second World War broke out the Lodge rescinded all dues of members in the armed forces. Irricana Cadet Corps was granted permission to use the Lodge basement. In 1944 the Lodge celebrated “Burning of the Mortgage”; all debts had been paid.

In 1945 Irricana Lodge celebrated “Twenty-one Years of Masonry”. In 1947 Bro. LeRoy Bond was elected J.G.W. This began an active period of Masonry for Irricana Lodge. In 1948 he was S.G.W.; in 1949 D.G.M. and in 1950 Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Alberta. Over the years Irricana has been well represented at Grand Lodge. Eleven brothers from Irricana have served as D.D.G.M. In addition five members have been appointed as officers of Grand Lodge. In 1959 Carbon Lodge and two Lodges for Drumheller were added to District 15 while Lodges at Mirror and Bashaw were dropped. In 1992 Irricana became a part of the new Dinosaur district. Membership rose at one time to 75. Lately it has been in the 45 to 50 range.

In 1952 Irricana Lodge, together with Crossfield Lodge No. 48 held a Lodge of mourning for King George VI.

Irricana Lodge No. 137 and Acme Lodge No. 60 have held a joint installation meeting since the 1950’s. There has always been a close bond between the Irricana and Acme Lodges. Irricana has held a joint social evening and ladies night with Crossfield Lodge No. 48 for many years. This has proven to be a huge success.

Over the years Irricana participated in the District 15 curling bonspiel. This activity was dropped a few years ago. It has been replaced by a District golf tournament. Irricana members have assisted at the annual Lions Sports Day breakfast for many years. The Lodge has supported the local school scholarships as well as the Grand Lodge bursaries. In 1999 Irricana had the highest per capita contribution to the bursary fund from Dinosaur District.

The local members have maintained attendance at the Masonic spring workshop. One year in the early 1970’s Irricana had the highest attendance in the province at this workshop. The members have always supported the Grand Lodge communication. Since the formation of the District Education Committee, Irricana has been active in this endeavour.

We hold a picnic every summer for our families. We extend an invitation to all our Masonic widows. For the past thirty years Bro. Cecil Anderson has entertained the Masons at an annual Christmas get together.

We were pleased to obtain the theatre-style Lodge chairs from the Crescent Lodge Hall in Calgary when that building was torn down for city expansion.

We celebrated our 50th Anniversary in 1974 and our 60th Anniversary in 1984.

We have been active over the years and continue to promote Masonry. We have suffered from a lack of initiations. We have obtained a good number of affiliations, mostly from the city of Calgary.

Our membership remains around 45. Our dues are $100.00 and our initiation fee is $220.00. The Past Masters have kept active and have filled the chairs on many occasions. This has been a better community with the presence of a Masonic Lodge.

Our Lodge Hall has been a burden since the Eastern Star disbanded some years ago. It is only used one night a month. The members take care of the building and grounds. Our taxes were reduced several years ago.

We were sorry to see the Lodges at Three Hills, Trochu and Delburne turn in their charters. These Lodges were in our original District and we were well acquainted with their members.

We have been fortunate to have many Grand Master’s visits over the years. These outstanding Masons have brought inspiring messages to our meetings. With a lack of degrees, Masonic education has kept a high Masonic spirit.

The Masonic Foundation has been supported by our Lodge. Irricana continues to be a Lodge of good fellowship. The social hour is an important part of our meetings. We now tyle at 7:30pm rather than 8:00pm.

At present time we have six life members. Our senior member is W. Bro. Fred Reasbeck at age 100.

We look forward to the next century. All of our members are enthused about Masonry the third Tuesday of every month.

On this our 75th Anniversary Irricana Lodge can be proud and with good reason. We look forward to a bright future. Our Past Masters and members are capable and will carry on in the best Masonic tradition.

(Prepared by RW Bro Walter Anderson and presented by VW Bro Cecil Anderson on the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of Irricana Lodge on Oct. 19, 1999)