The history of Dunbar Lodge #118 is not only unusual, but also a powerful real life
representation of the basic Masonic principles of initiative, co-operation and acceptance.
To appreciate the more than 180 years of leadership and vision that have culminated
in the outstanding workmanship and camaraderie demonstrated today by Dunbar Lodge
#118, we should take a quick journey back to the predecessors of the lodge: Adoniram
Lodge # 118, Dunbar Lodge #145 and Evergreen Lodge #148
The oldest lodge which has become an integral part of what is now Dunbar Lodge #118
was Adoniram Lodge #118. By its numerical designation, we can see that this lodge
was created quite some time ago in the British Columbia/Yukon district.
On February 14, 1929 at 8:15 PM, some 121 masons met to discuss the formation of
a new Lodge in District 16 under the Grand Lodge of British Columbia / Yukon. Many
of these Masons were lawyers and accountants and were looking to create a lodge central
to their neighbourhoods and share their common avocations. Dispensation was awarded
by Grand Lodge on June 13, 1929. The Consecration and Constitution of Adoniram Lodge#
118 was performed on Thursday July 11, 1929.
It was agreed upon, after visiting a number of other lodges, to adopt the ‘emulation’
style of Masonic ceremonies and ‘work’. Adoniram Lodge was, among other things, one
of the first lodges to promote the idea of creating an open Masonic Library in Vancouver.
Also unique to this Lodge , and universally well received, were the ‘Adoniram Players’,
a group of creative and disciplined Masons in the Lodge, who presented Masonic history
and education through the vehicle of stage plays, performed in 18th century costumes.
They travelled extensively performing and supporting numerous community services.
On Monday November 26th 1951, as Adoniram Worshipful Master E.S.Smith was involved
in final plans for the year, a group of 22 Masons across town were engaged in a matter
of celebratory importance.
Dunbar Lodge Lodge 145 was in the process of being instituted as a new Lodge. By
July 22 1952 the new Lodge had been constituted and the members adopted their by-laws
on September 10 1952, their first Worshipful Bro. W.A.Bain presiding.
Proponents of the ‘Canadian work’, the excellent ceremonial work, and strong sense
of the Craft made Dunbar 145 deeply respected in the district as “men of vision”
(Dunbar 145 celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2002).
Nearly three months later, on February 21 1952 , Bro. Fred Doull, acting as interim
secretary, submitted a petition from 65 masons for dispensation to form yet another
new Lodge in the district, to be called ‘Evergreen Lodge ‘. This dispensation was
favourably received by Grand Master Bro. J. Murray Mitchell on March 6 1952. It
was personally delivered at the Institution Ceremony on March 28th 1952 at 8 PM at
the Kerrisdale Masonic Hall, (the present Hall used by Dunbar Lodge# 118).
Evergreen Lodge #148 was constituted June 28 1953 with Bro. Sholto Walmsley installed
as the first Worshipful Master.
As early as 1998, lodges in British Columbia were impacted by the universal economic
and changing social demographic factors of the era. It was evidenced by falling memberships,
fewer active and new members. Having tracked these statistics in their own Lodge,
Adoniram Lodge #118 applied to amalgamate with Dunbar Lodge #145, to secure a greater
overall membership, streamlining both lodges’ expenses and gaining from the overall
experiences of both Lodges within the Craft.
The uniqueness of this arrangement was not lost to either Lodge. It was to be an
amalgamation of two different working styles, membership dynamics, expectations and
visions combining the leadership and knowledge of some 120 Past Worshipful Masters.
The present Dunbar Lodge #118 was formed on June 14th 2001, assuming the name of
Dunbar and the number of Adoniram # 118. The first Worshipful Master was Worshipful
Bro. Louis Pardalis. The agreement included recognition of assets from both Lodges,
and the expectation to blend certain aspects of both ‘works’ in the ceremonies and
Lodge proceedings of the new Dunbar #118. The amalgamation itself is an excellent
example of Masonic principles in action. But there was more to be added to this new
On September 26 2002, Evergreen Lodge #148 opted to return their own Charter and
join the new Dunbar #118 as well. Adding their own well respected wisdom and Masonic
clarity to the strong presence of the new Lodge, Dunbar # 118 was strongly motivated
to accept their offer.
The present Dunbar Lodge #118 owes its direction and diligence to many factors beyond
the predecessor cumulative Lodges. The Masons in this Lodge range from 21 years of
age to those in their nineties, coming from divergent backgrounds, countries, training
and private objectives. As Masons, the brethren exemplify the traditions of respect,
support, effort and concern that define being a Mason. With an open mind, a drive
for knowledge, a deep concern for others and the mentoring of members from three
excellent Lodges with a history spanning 180 years, Dunbar #118 enjoys a unique position
in the lengthy roster of Masonic Lodges.