Victoria Lodge No. 2
Victoria Lodge has used several sites for its Lodge Room. The Brethren initially met in Bro, John Morrison’s Residence which was at 3 Grafton Street where the Tidmarsh Foundation is presently located. The residence was later re-located and expanded into a multi-unit apartment house at 36 Rochford Street. (Rogers, p.267) Bro. Morrison worked in the Colonial Building as a road correspondent. (Hutchison’s Directory, 1864) The Brethren held only one meeting in his residence.
The next few Communications including the Institution of the Lodge on November 30, 1857 were held in the Masonic Hall on the north side of Queens Square at 111 Grafton Street. The Lodge Room was also used by St. John’s Lodge. The Phillips Building was erected on the site in the early 1930’s and presently houses Island Beach Company.
On December 28, 1857 fifty-four Brethren of Victoria Lodge and St. John’s Lodge celebrated the Festival of St. John the Evangelist together in the Masonic Hall before proceeding at 3:00 p.m. through the streets of the City to the new meeting quarters in the Connell Building on Lower Water Street. The new Lodge Room was dedicated by the Deputy Grand Master, Bro. William T. Paw. At eight o’clock the Brethren sat down to “a sumptuous Banquet prepared by the proprietor of the Hall.” (Monitor, December 31, 1857)
The Connell Building was owned by Bro. James Connell who was raised in St. John’s Lodge in 1854. The building was at the corner of Great George Street and Lower Water Street where Peakes Mercantile is presently located. Victoria Lodge paid rent to St. John’s Lodge until 1867 when the latter moved to Large’s Hall on Queen Street.
On December 22, 1868 the Connell Building was heavily damaged by a fire which began in a lower room occupied by Francis McKenna of Queen Street. Victoria Lodge had held a Regular Communication earlier on the same evening. The Islander reported that the alarm was sounded at 10:00 p.m. but it was 11:30 p.m. before water was applied because the steam engine was not working well.. The Lodge met on December 31 and the twenty-two Brethren present opted to cancel the lease with Bro. Connell and to raise a sum of money for him as a token of their respect. The newspaper report and the Lodge Minutes are silent on any losses suffered by the Masons. Victoria Lodge met temporarily in the St. John’s Lodge Room before arranging a nine-month lease for £10 with W.Bro. C. A. Hyndman for one of his buildings. In September 1869 the Brethren returned to the Masonic Hall on Water Street which had been rebuilt under a new owner, Bro. Archibald Kennedy, who was a sailmaker and resided on Queen Street near Water Street. (Hutchinson’s Directory, 1864)
Photo reprinted with permission
from the Prince Edward Island Provincial Archives Collection
Lower Water Street, Charlottetown