Victoria Lodge No. 2
In 1884 Victoria Lodge emerged from a decade of decline and internal problems and began a significant revival that was marked by growth in membership, strengthening of traditional relationships with St. John’s Lodge and the building of a new Temple. Eight Petitions for membership were received in 1884. Prior to the four Entered Apprentice Degrees conferred on March 26, a Degree had not been conferred in the Lodge since May 6, 1881. Twenty candidates were raised between 1884 and 1889. In 1884 the Lodge amended its Bye-Laws to establish the first Monday of each month as the regular meeting night.
In 1877, after an absence of ten years, St. John’s Lodge requested permission to share the Lodge Room on an equal basis with Victoria and King Solomon Lodges. The request was accepted and St. John’s Lodge, after paying $215 for a one-third share of furnishings, held its first Communication in the new quarters on June 11, 1878. The three Lodges held the first Joint Installation of Officers on St. John’s Night (December 27) in 1878. A social was planned to follow the Ceremony. W.Bro. Adam Murray PM of St. John’s Lodge was the Installing Officer. The Joint Installation of Officers on St. John’s Night remained a tradition for Victoria Lodge and St. John’s Lodge for one hundred and twenty years. In 1999 Victoria Lodge opted to hold its own Installation on December 8. W.Bro. Ian Saunders was installed by M.W.Bro. David P. MacLean PGM . St. John’s Lodge held their Installation on December 18.
The Festival of St. John the Evangelist was also an occasion for celebration In 1890 the Officers were installed by the first Grand Master from Victoria Lodge, M.W.Bro. J.W. Morrison. Following the Installation the Brethren enjoyed an oyster supper in the Lodge Room.. Fred E. Rowe received $20 for the supply of oysters. When the new Temple on Grafton Street was opened in the 1890’s the traditional St. John’s Night celebrations were held in the Recreation Room. After Crystal Chapter was established in 1921 the members of the Order catered to the St. John’s Night Banquet for several decades. The first record of an Open Installation was in 1901. The ladies and “gentlemen friends’ were invited to join the Brethren after the Opening of the Lodge to witness the Installation. The entertainment that followed included songs and readings by several of the ladies and an Address by M.W.Bro. Roderick MacNeill PGM. A light supper was provided during which Bro. W.H. Watts and his orchestra played “sweet music.” In 1965 the two Lodges opened jointly for business and Installation of Officers at 2:30 p.m.. The Worshipful Master, W.Bro. James I. MacKay, announced that the Banquet would be in the form of a Ladies’ Night at Montgomery Hall beginning with a reception at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m.. Tickets sold for $2.50 each. The Minutes indicate that “for the second time in history the Ladies were invited to share in our traditional celebrations.” In the 1980’s the Lodges opted to schedule the Banquet later in the winter. It continued as a Joint Masonic Banquet until 1996 when Victoria Lodge opted for a Ladies’ Night Banquet at Joseph’s Restaurant in November.