True Brothers Lodge No. 8
In 1877 a number of members of True Brothers Lodge petitioned Grand Lodge for a Charter to establish a Lodge in Victoria. Westmoreland Lodge No. 10 was chartered on May 16, 1877. The petitioners included W.Bro. T.W. Johnston, W.Bro. George Howatt and W.Bro. J.W. Needham. The new Lodge did not submit any Annual Returns to Grand Lodge and disappeared from the list of Craft Lodges in 1883.
Holding a goose supper on December 27 to help celebrate the Festival of St. John the Evangelist was a regular but often controversial custom in True Brothers Lodge. In 1869 the issue caused much debate and resulted in two motions viz. that a subscription list be used to defray cost of the supper at Crawford’s Hotel and that the supper be held on strict temperance principles. In 1872 $10 was advanced to Mrs. Crawford to enable her to make preparations for the supper with the full amount to be refunded to the Lodge at the meal. The ladies were first included in the St. John’s Day celebrations in 1875. Between 1875 and 1925 the goose suppers at local hotels or homes were sometimes replaced by lunches and entertainment in the Lodge Room. Cost may have been a factor in the annual decisions. The cost of the goose supper at Herbert Profitt’s Hotel in Victoria was $1 per couple in 1912. In 1921 the goose supper was held at Bro. Thomas Cobb’s. A deficit of $13 was reported and members who did not attend the supper offered to pay $1 each to cover the shortfall. The price had increased to $1.75 by 1925 prompting some concern that the money might be better spent at the Lodge for a new stove, shingles for the roof, paint and general renovations. A vote was taken on the issue with a large majority favouring the goose supper. Records show that many of the repairs in question were completed during the following summer. In 1939 the quoted price from the caterer of $1.50 was deemed too high so the Lodge bought some geese and the members prepared their own supper. The Brethren of Mount Moriah Lodge were often invited to share in the supper. Likewise True Brothers Lodge was often the guest of Mount Moriah Lodge on St.John’s Night. The last goose supper was in 1986 at the Crapaud Curling Club. In subsequent years the event was changed to a Ladies Night Dinner held in November with roast beef as the usual fare.
The Installation of Officers also occurred on St. John’s Day (December 27) usually in the afternoon before the goose supper. The holding of an Open Installation dates as early as 1910 when the Lodge Secretary, W.Bro. D.S. MacQuarrie, moved that each member be permitted one guest and that the Lodge open at 7:00 p.m.. Lunch and an assortment of games followed. In 1919 the Open Installation was attended by “upwards of 100 guests.” Installation was changed to November beginning in 1944.