Victoria Lodge No. 2
Joint committees of the City Lodges were formed following the War to plan appropriate recognition of the Brethren who had served. A Banquet and Reception was held on March 30, 1920 and was described in theMinutes as “without doubt one of the most successful affairs of its kind ever held by the fraternity.” Victoria Lodge unveiled a Bronze Memorial Tablet at a Special Communication on November 14, 1921. The Junior Warden, Bro. H. M. VanBuskirk unveiled the Tablet and read the names of the twenty-three Brethren of the Lodge who had served in the War. Bro. Waldron Brewer VanIderstine was the lone casualty among the honoured Brethren. Serjeant Charles Hines played “The Last Post’ after Bro. VanIderstine’s name was read. Fifty-eight Brethren and guests attended the ceremony including M.W.Bro. John MacNevin, Grand Master. The Worshipful Master was W.Bro. E.A. Foster. The Bronze Tablet was purchased from Birks Ltd. in Halifax and was displayed in the Lodge Room under “The Double Lights’. Some of the Brethren in attendance had not received their Master Mason Degree before going overseas.
In 1937 the Lodge began setting aside a Memorial Page in the Minute Book. The Page included a profile of the deceased Brother’s Masonic Career. In September 1983 R.W.Bro. Garland Brooks, Grand Chaplain Emeritus, donated a Book of Remembrance which would be administered by a Standing Committee. The Brethren have frequently considered appropriate ways to honour the deceased members but in the meantime have been reminded that “the Blank Page in the Minute Book speaks volumes to the character of the masonic man.” (Minutes, September 11, 2000)
The failure of the Lodge to erect a Memorial Tablet for the members from the Lodge who served in WWII continues to trouble the Brethren. As recently as September 2000 the members discussed the idea of erecting a Plaque in the Temple to record the names of the veterans of the Second World War. The earliest reference to a formal recognition of the servicemen following the War was on February 6, 1950 when a Report of the Lodge finances recommended increasing the annual dues to meet capital expenditures including new lighting, redecorating, repairs and “a memorial plaque for members in the last War.” In May 1952 the Worshipful Master and the two Wardens were named to a Committee “to inquire into a Memorial Plaque for Victoria Lodge Brethren members of the Forces in World War II.” (Minutes, May 5, 1952) In 1980 the Senior Warden was requested to contact veterans from Victoria Lodge with a view to having their names put on a plaque in the Ante Room. (Minutes, February 4, 1980) The passage of time has rendered the task of determining a complete list of servicemen near impossible.