Irricana Masonic Lodge – Past Masters

Hans Nicholson was the driving force at the formation of Irricana Lodge. Prior to 1930 he farmed one mile west of the hamlet of Kathyrn; it is now known as Bert Brown’s farm. He was a member of Strathmore Lodge #53 before he became a charter member of Irricana Lodge #137. The first meetings of Irricana Lodge were held at the community hall on Main Street. When this building burned the meetings were held at Keoma Hall until the present Masonic Hall was built in 1928. Hans was a strict ritualist; all officers had to learn their work. He served as DDGM of district 15 in 1930-31. About this time he sold the farm at Kathyrn and bought the Irricana Hotel, which he operated until the 1950’s or 60’s. He was presented with a 50 Year Jewel by the Lodge. He passed away in 1973.

Percy Hallam was another stalwart charter member. He was originally a member of Acme Lodge #60. He was originally a blacksmith; our entrance gate is one of his works. Later he farmed a short distance northwest of the town of Irricana. When Irricana Lodge was formed he served as the first Senior Warden. He also served as DDGM of district 15 in the 1930’s. He was also presented with a 50 Year Jewel by the Lodge.

Fred Davis was a member of Irricana Lodge but was not a Past Master. I am including him because he served as a Member of Parliament. He was a member of Prime Minister Arthur Meighen’s government for a short term in 1926. He had been an Alberta MLA prior to 1920. He owned a farm northwest of Irricana.

A. P. Henry was a bank manager stationed at Beiseker.

W. J. Hare was not a charter member but affiliated with Irricana Lodge shortly after its institution. He was a ditch rider for the CPR irrigation system, stationed at Kathyrn. Later he moved to Calgary and was involved in selling trees and nursery stock. He remained a member of Irricana Lodge until his death in 1953 or 54.

Ernest Corbelt was initiated in Irricana Lodge. He was water master for CPR irrigation, stationed at Kathyrn. He moved to Calgary in 1930 and worked for CPR, Department of Natural Resources. He remained a member of Irricana Lodge for many years; he was present for our 50 Year Celebration in 1974.

J. H. May was also a CPR ditch rider stationed west of the town of Irricana. He passed away in the 1940’s.

LeRoy Bond was one of the best known Irricana Past Masters. He was a partner in the Wright and Bond Hereford Ranch west of the town of Irricana. A genial personality – very likable – great at public relations. He was a keen Mason – a student of freemasonry. He was DDGM of district 15 in 1937. Elected Junior Grand Warden in 1947, Senior Grand Warden in 1948, Deputy Grand Master in 1949 and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Alberta in 1950. He moved to the city of Calgary about this time. He remained active in masonry until the late 1950’s when he became ill with leukemia. He passed away in 1963.

C. E. L. Baker was the CPR station agent at Irricana. He was Master of the Lodge and also served as Secretary. Later he moved to Killam, Alberta.

R. J. McKay (Bob McKay) was a keen mason. He farmed in the Keoma district. He was a great supporter of Irricana Lodge. He was an excellent ritualist; he did work in all of the degrees.

C. J. Lohrke was Postmaster and Justice of the Peace from Beiseker. He was a great promoter of masonry – a distinguished and well-respected mason. He was active in all community events. He served as DDGM in 1942.

F. J. Pearce was LeRoy Bond’s right hand man. He was practically a member of the Bond family. He was one of the leaders of the Irricana Cadet Corps. He served as the Grand Tyler for a number of years. He was installed as Grand Tyler when LeRoy Bond was installed as Grand Master.

William Sheochan worked as a maintenance man on the CNR – stationed at Irricana. Later he moved to Calgary. He was a prisoner of war in World War I. He always attended lodge for special events. He received a 50 Year Jewel at the 50th Anniversary of Irricana Lodge.

Fred A. Reasbeck celebrated his 100th birthday a year ago. He was initiated in Irricana Lodge in 1926. He was a farmer at Lyalta. Now he resides at the Seniors Lodge at Strathmore. He rode a horse to attend lodge in the early days. He has received a 50 Year Jewel, a 60 Year Bar and a 70 Year Bar.

A. J. Willdig farmed in the Keoma district. The farm is now operated by his son, Gordon and his grandson, Ian. He was a keen mason; he rarely missed a meeting. He served as Treasurer for many years.

J. H. Coldwell was the station agent at Kathyrn on the CPR. He served as Lodge Secretary for many years. He was an active community worker. He ran for parliament on several occasions.

S. D. Hutchings farmed in the East Airdrie district. He served as councilor for the municipal district. He later moved to Airdrie and joined Crossfield Lodge #48.

C. J. Mallett was a grain buyer at Keoma. He was an excellent ritualist in the Masonic Lodge. He served as Worshipful Master for nearly three years; he filled in when Ralph Wright was incapacitated and also when Alex Reid moved away from Beiseker. He served as DDGM in 1945-47. Later he retired to Ontario.

R. W. Wright was a partner in the Wright and Bond Ranch with LeRoy Bond. He was the sponsor of the Irricana Cadet Corps during World War II. He is the father of W. Bro. Bob Wright.

C. E. Bond is a brother of LeRoy Bond and the father of W. Bro. Carlos Bond. Both Clarence and LeRoy Bond were the sons of Carlos Bond Sr.; a charter member of Irricana Lodge.

Alex Reid was a bank manager at Beiseker. Later he moved to Morinville and Edmonton when he retired. He always attended special meetings; he was present for our 50th Anniversary in 1974. He received a 50 Year Jewel in 1988.

Henry Loftsgaarden was a mason from the USA. He farmed in the Keoma district. His two daughters are well known in the area. Lucille Kirkwold and Katherine Henricks-Galloway.

A. W. Longson originally worked for CPR irrigation and later farmed at Kathyrn. He was an enthusiastic mason. He had seven sons; most of whom are in the craft. He served as Lodge Secretary. He was DDGM of district 15 in 1954.

A. L. “Pat” Patterson was an implement dealer and garage owner in Irricana. He was a booster for the town and the lodge. He received a 50 Year Jewel. He served as mayor of the town of Irricana.

Byron C. Henricks farmed on the outskirts of the town of Irricana. He served as Justice of the Peace. Contested an election for the Alberta Legislature. Served as Lodge Secretary.

W. R. Rempel operated a store in the town of Beiseker with his father-in-law, Charles Weisgerber, who was also a keen Irricana Lodge member. Later he moved to Red Deer.