The Masonic Hall
33219 First Avenue
Information in the Guide to Mission City, BC
This wood and stucco structure was built by A.B. Catherwood to replace the 1892 Masonic Temple (destroyed by fire) at a cost of about $10,000. Masonic lodges traditionally faced east and west, with the master's place in the east. The north-south orientation of the Mission Lodge (Pacific Lodge #76) went against tradition and caused the loss of a few members.
But for the most past, the lodge has been a place of peace and goodwill. The building has been well maintained, although time and weather have worn off most of the decoration woodwork on its front.
Article segments taken from the website of Pacific Lodge #16
The year 1890 saw several freemasons settled around the district of Mission. Many of these brethren were railway men. Plans for the formation of a Masonic lodge began early in 1891.
The first few meetings of the newly formed lodge were held at one of the offices of W.R. Dunn. Then the lodge meetings were held in a room in a nearby building. The Lodge then met for several years in the “Old Wo Chong” building on Horne Avenue which later burned down. As the membership of the lodge was largely made up of C.P.R. employees, it was nothing for members to come down from nearly 90 miles from North Bend to a meeting.
A great attraction was the pork and beans supper that followed the meetings in the wee hours of the morning.
As an illustration of the dedicated Masons who laid the foundation of Pacific Lodge, it was recorded that when the Grand Master visited the Lodge one wet September night, he noted that although some of the Brethren had to walk over five miles in the rain, there was a very fair attendance,
The year of the flood of 1894, or the “Ninety-four Water” as it was frequently called in the Fraser Valley, was a disaster to many of the Brethren and doubtless added to the difficulties that Pacific Lodge experienced in the following ten years.
Down through the ages as stated previously, peace and harmony has been one of the great and outstanding characteristics of Pacific Lodge. There has never been a serious division over any question, with one exception and this was concerned the site for the new building in 1922. When the decision was finally made for the building of the new Temple on the old site, there was some dissatisfaction resulting in one Past Master taking his demit because the Master’s station would not be in the East.
On February 22, 1992 the lodge celebrated its 100 year anniversary.
During the next 25 years, much time had been spent on the Lodge Building, keeping it in good condition and retaining some of the ancient and beautiful features. However as time went along and as membership started to decrease and with increasing costs of upkeep and operating expenses, it became a concern that the upkeep of the building along with operating cost would put a severe strain on lodge finances. There was an interest express by the neighbour, The Bank of Nova Scotia of possibly purchasing the building for their expansion, but that never materialized.
In 1998 a motion was passed to put the building on the market, subject to a favourable offer not less than $175,000. One offer was made for less and had many other conditions, it never proceeded.
By 2004 the Lodge was not doing well and meetings were held about finding ways to keeping the Lodge going and keeping the memories that could not be replaced. A year later a committee was formed to investigate possible amalgamation with another lodge. The Lodges finances were in serious condition and discussions were held on what other lodges that had experienced similar condition had done. Further discussions were held regarding selling or leasing out the building and on July 27, 2006 an agreement was signed with a local dance studio to lease the building for three years with option on another 3 years.
The furniture and Masonic paraphernalia were removed and put into storage.
In 2013 an offer to purchase the building in Mission was made by the tenant and was accepted by the Brethren of the Lodge, thus this sad but necessary event took place, ending the Lodge’s visible presence in Mission.
One outstanding feature for which Pacific Lodge has been known for throughout the region and which is of great pride amongst our members, is the quality of the ritual work and brotherhood.