The History of Lodge #1043 Carbonear


In the beginning…

In 1717 the Grand Lodge of England was formed; during 1736 the Grand Lodge of Scotland was constituted.  In 1866 in Newfoundland, Lodge Tasker #454 became the first Lodge formed under the Scottish Constitution. In 1867 Lodge Hr. Grace #476 was the second formed.


On 7 March 1908, various citizens met at the Magistrate’s Room in the Court House in Carbonear to consider the possibility of forming a Masonic Lodge. Those present included Messrs. Alfred Penney, J.P.; Robert Duff; Sgt. A.S. Newhook; Const. J. R. Wells; J. R. Goodison and Dr. A. D. Boyle. These gentlemen formed a committee and, after holding three meetings, decided that a petition would be forwarded under the Scottish Constitution of Freemasonry to the District Grand Lodge of Newfoundland.

This group received a cable message on 8 May 1908 which notified those involved that their petition was accepted. The Official Charter of “Lodge Carbonear # 1043”, which was issued in Scotland, was sent to Newfoundland by service mail.  The Charter arrived in Carbonear in late December of 1908.

On 6 January 1909, our Lodge was officially chartered.  Our inaugural meeting (held on a Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.) was conducted in the Orange Lodge. The District Grand Secretary at this time was Brother Tessier, the first to officially read the Charter of Lodge #1043.  District Grand Director of Ceremonies -- Brother F. J. Cross -- then proclaimed the lodge.

Our first meeting…Presiding at our first meeting was the Right Worshipful District Grand Master Brother J. Cowan.  Those attending included 57 visiting brethren (mostly from St. John’s), with representation from the United District Grand Lodge of England, Harbour Grace, and others. The next seven meetings also occurred at the Orange Lodge.

Other charter members of Lodge Carbonear included: Brother W.F. Penney, WSW; Brother Albert S. Newhook, WJW; Brother John R. Goodison, Secretary; Brother Alfred Penney, Treasurer; Brother Robert Duff, SD;  Brother G. L. Stanaford, JD; Brother Josiah H. Penney, IG; and Brother Constable Robert. J. Wells Tyler. Additional members of the Masonic order residing in Carbonear who attended the opening, and who had signified their intention of joining the new Lodge, were Brothers John Duff, George Smith, George Nicholl, William Duff, James Pike, George Gent, and Orestes Foote.

The first Master of Lodge Carbonear was Dr. Albert Desbrassay Boyle. He was born in Charlottetown P.E.I. in 1855. Shortly after graduating from McGill University Medical School in 1877, he moved to Carbonear and established a medical practice. In 1881 he married Sophie Maddock, the daughter of Robert and Amelia (Guy) Maddock, a prominent Carbonear merchant family.

Dr. Boyle became a Master in the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1889 at Lodge Harbour Grace # 476. He retired in 1921 and moved to the United States. On 9 November 1922, he was made an honorary life member of our Lodge.

Establishing a permanent home…After holding several meetings at the Orange Lodge, the Brethren decided that it was time to look for a permanent home. Coincidentally, it was around this time that the trustees of the Methodist Church decided to sell the Old Day School.  Mr. William Udell was appointed to auction it off. The school was a two storey building with classrooms for the boys on the lower level and those for the girls on the top floor. Previously, the school had been utilized by the Sons of Temperance Society. Eventually, this building was closed when a new school was built in 1908- our members considered it an excellent location for our new Masonic home.

On 28 January 1908, the newly formed Lodge discussed acquiring the building and, on 11 February 1908, the green light was given to Brothers J. Duff and A.S. Newhook to go ahead and buy it- their spending limit was $500. On 18 Feb 1908, they officially purchased the building from the Methodist Church for $400. After some extensive renovations (not to exceed $200), the first meeting was held in the Temple on 8 April 1909. On 11 March 1909, the building was insured for $1000. Monthly membership dues of 20 cents were announced. The Ceremony of Dedication and Consecration of the present Masonic Temple followed on 5 January 1910.  This ceremony was presided over by Brother John Cowan RWDGM of Newfoundland, under the Grand Lodge of Scotland.

The first petition for membership in the new hall, accompanied by the usual fee, was from George Winsor, Nicolas Powell, Donald Cameron and F. W. Lawdon.  During the first meeting, there were a number of presentations: Brother John Duff presented the Lodge with an organ; Brother Stanaford presented a desk for the secretary; Brother R. Duff presented the mahogany for the pedestals (Brother A. Penney fashioned the pedestals);

 Brother John Tapp presented a pair of door knockers; and Mr. & Mrs. Duff made the cushions which adorn the long benches.

During this time period, the only access to the New Lodge was through Cemetery Lane, which was also referred to as Meeting House Lane. In 1911, the secretary wrote our government representative requesting that a new road to the Lodge be constructed – this street is now called Masonic Avenue.

Through the yearsCarbonear Lodge grew steadily and, on 21 September 1921, it sponsored a sister Lodge in Heart’s Content. Up to that date there were a number of men from Heart’s Content in Lodge Carbonear.

On 13 Dec 1923, a committee was formed to procure a radio for Lodge Carbonear.  Evidently, members believed that a radio would "lead to many pleasant hours spent by brethren". According to some of our older members, brethren could come to Lodge Carbonear on certain nights and, for a small fee, listen to the radio. This radio can still be seen behind our bar in the club room.

Throughout the years we have had the fortune to have many capable and dedicated Masters; however, on 14 May 1936, we made Masonic History. The Right Worshipful Master, Brother Frank P. Pike, was installed as Master of Carbonear Lodge for the fourth year in succession. This was the first time since the Institution of the District Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1843 that a RWM was elected and installed for so many consecutive years. Indeed, Brother Pike’s re-election was quite an honor- it demonstrates the esteem and affection in which he was held.

Over the years, various brethren have gathered various memorabilia for Lodge Carbonear; for instance, on 31 May 1939, the District Grand Master Right Worshipful Brother D .M. Macfarlane presented our RW Master Brother Frank Davis with a gavel given to him by his brother and made out of the same quality of stone which was used in the building of King Solomon's Temple. On 8 January 1948, the Reverend Brother Canon Rusted presented an oak chair on behalf of The Right Worshipful District Grand Master, George R. Williams Esq. M.B.E. This chair was to be used by the Right Worshipful Master. The following derives from the minutes:

I am presenting this chair for the Right Worshipful Masters use to Lodge Carbonear, as a token of appreciation of the happy days my father, the late Walter Banks Williams spent in Carbonear about the year 1874, when he was an employee of the fine old pioneer firm of John Rorke and Son, and of the friendship and fellowship he enjoyed with the late John Rorke esq. father of the present John Rorke of the same firm. The late Mr. John Rorke and my father slept in the same bed in the old stone house, when his family lived over the shop. Mr. John Rorke and my father were great friends in their youth and he always held the firm highly in his estimation for their business integrity and efficiency. (The late Walter Banks Williams was the Past Master of Avalon Lodge.)

Certainly, quite a few items have been presented to Lodge Carbonear over the years. Some of these items include: -the apron belonging to the late Brother Harold Fraize (10 February1966) presented by Brother James Burges on behalf of Mrs. Fraize. The apron was slated to remain at Lodge Carbonear, to be used by visiting brethren.

·        The apron of the late Brother Mose Parsons (12 October 1967) was presented for the same reason.

·        The apron and jewel of the late Brother Graham Moores was presented (9 May 1968-given by his wife). It was placed on the wall in the East in his memory.

·        a Past Masters jewel belonging to Brother Fredrick Garland of Lower Island Cove (10 May1979)

·        PM J.C. Penney presented RWM Ronald Garland with a ballot box stand for Lodge Carbonear (8 January 1981)

·        the family of the late William Duff presented by mail his MM apron to Lodge Carbonear (13 September 1984)

·        Brother Gary Earle was presented to the floor of Lodge Carbonear where he presented his father's Past Masters jewels. Brother Gary Earle was the son of the late PM Ronald W. Earle (23 May 1986)

·        PM Brother Clifford L. F. Pike presented the PM Jewels of his father, PM Brother W.J.M. Pike, and his uncle PM Brother Frank Moores (9 October 1986)

·        PM Brother Art Thomas presented to the RWM the apron and jewels of the late PM William E. Udell (October 1986)

·        Most recently, the jewels and apron of the late PM Ben Davis were presented by his son Frank. The items mentioned represent a fraction

In 1984, the late Brother Eric Taylor spearheaded a committee to plan our 75th anniversary celebrations.  The committee was comprised of the following members: Brothers Ben Davis, John C. Penney, Fred Martin, Charles Burgess, Milton Peach, Clarence Delaney and Cyril Legrow. The celebration events were scheduled for 22 September 1984, with a Lodge Carbonear meeting at 3:00pm-  

A dinner and dance followed at the Carbonear Lions Den. On Sunday we attended a service at the Church of England, which coincided with the church’s 120th anniversary.  

Our activities… Although Masonic ritual varies between jurisdictions, a consistent message conveyed to every candidate is that charity is an essential part of Freemasonry. From this philosophy comes much of a 'Mason's work', given freely and willingly. We remain unchallenged as "the world's greatest philanthropy!"

No one could completely list all of the charitable work done by this Lodge or Freemasons in general. There is much that is local and private. In fact, a lot of Masonic charity occurs in this quiet way. However we will name a few of the organizations we support to give a feel of what we do. We support the Heart & Stroke Association, the Kiwanis Music Festival, Epilepsy Newfoundland & Labrador, the T. C.  Foundation, The Carbonear Volunteer Fire Department, the Shriners Sick Children Hospitals and many more. As you can see we are a very active organization.

The future… From a battery operated radio offering a source for news of the day, we have progressed with the times and are now connected to the wider world via the Internet. Indeed, the past 100 years have brought much change to Lodge Carbonear.  Through it all, we stand strong and proud. From our first candidate back in 9 January 1909, to our newest member welcomed on 9 Jan 2009, Lodge Carbonear continues to positively influence the morals and values of its members.

Our Immediate Past Master, Brother Craig Penney, embodies the characteristics of our brotherhood, an organization rooted in tradition and committed to community involvement. He is a fourth generation Mason. His great Grandfather, Brother John Butt, Grand Father Brother Ronald Earle PM, and father Brother James Penney PM were all members of Lodge Carbonear- this is only one example of members continuing family involvement.

Carbonear Lodge has continued to prosper. We continue to welcome new members and to share in the mysteries of Freemasonary. With PM Brother Joseph Thoms chairing, we now celebrate our centenary.


The next 100 years will present different challenges for Carbonear Lodge and Freemasonry everywhere, but we can be assured that our wonderful organization and its thoughtful members will rise to meet each and every challenge as we forge ahead.

You can learn more facts about us online by visiting the District Grand Lodge website at:

Once there click on the Lodges link in the top right corner to see our webpage.

Thank you,

Bro. Keith C. Thomas MM



Copyright © 2004

Lodge Carbonear #1043, Antient Free and

Accepted Masons of Scotland
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