Masons celebrate a century in Powell River

Fraternal society has shown discretion in charitable work

As old as Powell River itself, the Freemasons, most commonly known as Masons, have been active in the community for 100 years and are planning a celebration.

“Our celebration is themed as a celebration of community,” said Darryl Craig, worshipful master of the Triune Lodge No. 81. “Over the last 100 years, certainly very important and vital people have been part of the Masonic community, and part of the Powell River community.”

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The history of masonry here begins with doctor Andrew Henderson, who was one of the founders of the Powell River Paper Company in 1909, instituted the first medical plan in BC, constructed the first house in Townsite, founded the first hospital, was instrumental in starting the first school, was the first Master of the Triune Lodge and, said Craig, personified Masonry in Powell River that has been carried on for the last 100 years.

The organization itself goes back 500 years to the Renaissance, the time of Da Vinci and Galileo. According to Craig, during that time of historic upheaval, there was reason for the Masons being secretive.

In 2009, author Dan Brown gave the same treatment to Masonry in his book The Lost Symbol as he did with the Catholic church in The Da Vinci Code, drawing attention to the myths and secrecy that has been fuel for conspiracy theorists. The most common of the conspiracies is that the Masons run the world.

According to Craig, he can’t dispel the myths because he can’t prove a negative.

“My response to that has always been have one of three choices,” said Craig. “The first one is, we’re trying to take over the world, and the world is in kind of a mess. We’re sorry about that, we’ll get it cleaned up as fast as we can. You can take the second option, which is we already are in control of the world and we’re sorry about the mess, and we can try to get it cleaned up. Or the third option is we’re just a bunch of guys who like to get together in a fellowship that teaches us moral and social lessons, and we try to become better citizens because of it.”

According to Craig, Masons have shown discretion rather than being secretive. Their charity work has been anonymous and they do not take credit for it or get an award for doing it.

For decades, according to Craig, the lodge has sponsored a bursary to graduating high-school students to support their further education. They also sponsor parents who cannot afford hockey gear for their children.

Triune Lodge No. 81 is having its 100th anniversary gala dinner and dance,  Saturday, May 28, at Dwight Hall. Tickets are $50. For more information, call Craig at 604.414.7164.

Copyright © Powell River Peak

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