Short History of Loge La France, A.F.&
138 on the Register of the Grand
Lodge of Nova Scotia
Dispensation Granted on March
Instituted as Lodge U.D. on January 21, 1998
by Grand Lodge on June 5th, 1999
Constituted and Consecrated on
November 12, 1999
Jurisdiction which has the distinction of counting among it's active
Lodges the Oldest Lodge in Canada (St. Andrew's No. 1) –
Constituted in 1750 – it seems a little bit pretentious to publish
the 'History' of a Lodge on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of
it's constitution. But Loge La France too, looks back with pride on
the accomplishments and events of its first years.
On November 21,
1999, over 200
Masons met at the
Conference Centre of the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in the
AgriTech Park at Bible Hill for the Ceremonies of Constituting and
Consecrating a new Lodge.
For the 26
Brothers who had signed the
petition to Grand Lodge with the prayer of being granted a Charter
for their new Lodge, this was the culmination of five year's work.
Lodge with a Mission
Early in 1994,
V.Bro. Gerald Behuret, a
member of Nova Scotia Lodge No. 502 on the Register of the Grande
Loge Nationale Française (GLNF), approached our Grand Lodge through
the offices of the GLNF with a plea for assistance with the ritual work
and practice of the York Rite of Nova Scotia which, at that time, was
used by some twenty Lodges in their jurisdiction.
The MWGM passed
the request to his
Grand Lecturer, Rt.W.Bro. Robert Amon who applied himself with zeal
to this opportunity and gathered a number of past and present Grand
Lodge Officers to assist him. In April 1994, he and Rt.W.Bro. Cyril
Collicott travelled to France where they presented lectures and
exemplifications of our ritual to the French Brothers.
On their return
from France they saw an
opportunity to strengthen the fraternal ties with our French Brothers
by forming a new Lodge dedicated to maintaining the contact and
reciprocate their forming of another York-Rite Lodge – Loge Acadie
(which became No. 1033 GLNF). On the first day of March, 1995, eight
Brothers petitioned the Most Worshipful Grand Master for a
Dispensation to meet as a regularly tyled Lodge:
the Most Worshipful Grand Master of
Masons in Nova Scotial
Most Worshipful Brother David Wesley Hatt.
the undersigned, all regular Master
Masons, and members of Lodges within the jurisdiction of the Grand
Lodge of Ancient, Freee and Accepted Masons of Nova Scotia; pray that
a dispensation be granted to form a Lodge in the City of Halifax, and
Province of Nova Scotia to be known as
Robert Deane Amon, Worshipful
Bro. Cyril John Collicott Senior Warden
John Russell Junior Warden
serve for the ensuing twleve months,
or until their successors have been appointed in their stead.
Lodge to meet as a regularly tyled
lodge under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia for
the purpose of enhancing fraternal relations between this Grand Lodge
and the Grande Loge Nationale Francaise at Craft level.
Lodge to remain Under Dispensation
from year to year, the creature of the presiding Grand Master.
Lodge shall hold regular meetings
in the months of April, May, September and October, each and every
year. The dates, times and places at the discretion of the Master and
Wardens. The Lodge to meet at various locations within the
jurisdiction for the purpose of promoting fraternal relations.
Lodge is to meet in the month of
November, each and every year at the Freemason's Hall, 1533
|Barrington Street. Halifax, Nova Scotia for the purpose of
installing the appointed officers to their respective stations and
places in the Lodge.
affiliating with Loge La
France must retain their membership in a regular Craft Lodge.
under our hands this first day of
March, 1995, and Light 5995.
of the petitioners in full and
the name and number of their Lodges.
Richard Kurt Weiland Hillcrest
Lodge No. 93
David John Cunningham Waterbury Kentville No. 58
Scott Robb Valley No. 90
Kenneth Cameron Argus No.
Douglas John Russell Laurie Lodge No. 70
Collicott Fellowship No. 112
Robert Deane Amon Corinthian
Gerald Gordon Vickers Grand Secretary
At the end of
the month, on March 27th,
1995, the MWGM, Bro. David Wesley Hatt granted his dispensation in
accordance with the petition submitted with the added clause:
Lodge to remain Under Dispensation
from year to year, the creature of the presiding Grand Master.
regular meeting of Loge La
France was held at Halifax on April 7, 1995 with seven members and
seven visitors present. That same year, Bros. Gerald Behuret and
Michel Geault came to our Annual Communication in Bridgewater on June
2nd & 3rd, as representatives of the Grande Loge Nationale
The Brethren of
Loge La France, in
close collaboration with our French Brethren, set to work on writing
a bilingual ritual for opening and closing the Lodge.
At the regular
meeting at Sackville of
October 4th, 1995 the Brethren of Loge La France had the pleasure of
welcoming a delegation of eight French Brothers, led by Rt.W.Bro.
Jean Wunen-Burger. The visitors were especially honoured with the
official visit by His Honour, James J. Kinley, Lieutenant Governor of
Nova Scotia, who inducted them into the 'Order of the Good Time.'
In the meantime
our French Brethren
made steady progress in forming their new Loge Acadie. The ceremony
of consecration was set for October 26th, 1996 at Neuilly-Sur-Seine.
A delegation of
nine of our members and
officers of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, including the Most
Worshipful Grand Master of Masons of Nova Scotia, M.W.Bro. Sam Karel,
travelled to Paris to attend this event. After the formal reception
of the M.W. Grand Master of the Grande Loge Nationale Francaise,
M.W.Bro. Claude Charbonniaud and our own M.W.G.M., Sam Karel, the
Consecration Ceremony was conducted in French and the Installation of
Officers in English.
were made Honorary
Members of Acadie Lodge: Robert Amon; Gordon Conrad, David Hatt; C.
Frank MacKay; Douglas Russell; Harald Weiland; James Cale; Cyril
Collicott; Sam Karel; Robert Meyer and Gerald Vickers.
stay in France, our
Nova Scotia Brethren not only had the opportunity to attend Lodges
other Rites, but above all experienced the unparalleled hospitality
of our French Brothers and their spouses.
unexpected passing of two of
the founding members of Loge La France, Rt.W.Bro. Robert Amon and
Rt.W.Bro. Douglas Russell, a core of its members rallied to complete
the work begun by them and decided to petition Grand Lodge to grant
them a Warrant.
In order to
conform with the
requirements of the Constitution, a new petition had to be submitted
and the M.W.G.M., Lawrin Armstrong regularly Instituted Loge La
France under his Dispensation on January 21th, 1998.
Proceedings of the one-hundred
and thirty-fourth Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge which was
held June 4th and 5th 1999 at Truro we can finally read:
Worshipful Bro. David Waterbury,
Chairman of the Jurisprudence Committee reported on the Committees'
findings regarding the petition for a warrant by them members of Loge
La France U.D.. Bro. Waterbury reported that all findings were
favourable and he moved that a warrant be granted, seconded by Bro.
Robert Meyer. The motion was CARRIED.
Secretary requested that he
be granted permission to have Bro. Robert Meyer presented to the
Altar. This being done, the Grand Secretary presented Bro. Meyer with
the books and records of Loge La France and congratulated him on
bringing a very long process to a successful conclusion.
installed M.W. Grand Master,
Lloyd Blagdon announced that he would call an emergent meeting of
Grand Lodge on November 12th, 1999 for the sole purpose of
Constituting and Consecrating Loge La France.
The next few
months were busy for the
members of Loge La France. A venue had to be found, The Lodge needed a
of Regalia, a banquet had to be organized, invitations sent out and
furniture to be set up.
We settled on
the Conference Centre of
the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in the AgriTech Park at Bible
Hill which offered both a large hall for the Consecration and a
dining hall for the banquet.
The Brothers of
Composite Lodge No. 105
and Keith Lodge No. 17 gave us the invaluable gift of a complete set
of regalia which we have been using ever since. The Volume of the
Sacred Law on our altar is a precious gift from our two sister Lodges
in France, “Acadie” No. 1033 and “Nova Scotia” No. 502. Being
a French edition of the Jerusalem Bible will always remind us of the
dear fraternal ties which unite us.
The Brothers of
Western Star Lodge No.
50, gave us the privilege of the use of their furniture and assisted
in setting up the 'Lodge Room.'
At 6 p.m. the
Junior Warden welcomed
ninety guests to the formal banquet. The Grand Piper led the Head
Table guests into the banquet room.
Worshipful Grand Master, M.W.
Bro. Lloyd Blagdon and the Worshipful Master of Loge la France,
W.Bro. Robert H. Meyer then retired to welcome His Honour, the
Lieutenant Governour of Nova Scotia, Rt.W.Bro. James J. Kinley and
the honour party returned to the banquet room led by the Grand Piper.
customary toasts the Junior
Warden, Bro. Gilles Gaudet, introduced the Head Table: V.W. Bro.
Elliott Campbell, Past Grand Tyler; Rt.W. Bro. James E. Cale, Senior
Warden of Loge la France; Rt.W. Bro. Daniel G. Campbell, Grand
Chaplain GLNS; Rt.W. Bro. Louis Hamard, representing M.W. Bro.
Douglas MacLean, G.M. of the Grand Lodge of Quebec; Rt.W. Bro. Gérald
Béhuret, representing the M.W. Bro. Claude Charbonniaud, G.M. of the
Grande Loge Nationale Française; Rt.W. Bro. Arthur S. Brown, Deputy
Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia; M.W. Bro. James Pike,
Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New Brunswick; M.W. Bro. Neil
Chapman, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Newfoundland; M.W. Bro.
D. Frank MacKay, PGM GLNS; M.W. Bro. Harald R.K. Weiland, PGM GLNS;
M.W. Bro. David Waterbury, PGM GLNS; W.Bro. Robert H. Meyer,
Worshipful Master of Loge la France; M.W. Bro. Lloyd Blagdon, Grand
Master of Masons in Nova Scotia; and His Honour, Rt.W. Bro. James J.
Kinley, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia.
The M.W.G.M., his
Officers, the M.W.G.Ms. of Newfoundland and New Brunswick, and
officers of Loge la France
After the Banquet, the Worshipful
Master opened Loge la France in French and welcomed the close to 200
Brethren who had travelled to Bible Hill from all parts of Nova
Scotia, the Maritimes, Quebec, the USA, and France. The Officers and
the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia entered the
Lodge in Grand Procession and were welcomed by the Master of Loge la
France who passed the gavel to the M.W.G.M.
Worshipful Grand Master of
Masons in Nova Scotia assumed the chair and the Master, Officers and
Members of Loge la France were formally introduced and after
confirming their intent were presented with the Warrant for their
Lodge which bears the Number 138 on the Register of the Grand Lodge
of Nova Scotia.
L.t.R.: Rt.W.Bro. Arthur S. Brown,
M.W.Bro. Lloyd Blagdon, G.M.; W.Bro. Robert H. Meyer,
Rt.W.Bro. James J. Kinley, His Honour the Lieutenant
Governor of Nova Scotia.
To all & every
our Right Worshipful, Worshipful and Loving Brethren.
We, the GRAND LODGE
of the Most Ancient & Honourable Fraternity of Free and
Masons of Nova Scotia Send Greeting.
Know Ye That We by
the authority and
under the sanction of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia vested in us for
that purpose, and at the humble petition of our Right trusty and well
R. Morrison Sr.
J. C. Waterbury
Do hereby constitute
the said Brethren into a lodge of free and accepted Masons Under the
Title or Denomination of Loge la France Number 138. The said Lodge
shall be domiciled at Truro, Nova Scotia but may, at the discretion
of the Worshipful Master and Wardens, if necessary to achieve their
stated objectives, hold meetings elsewhere about this Jurisdiction.
Loge la France shall not be attached to any regular district and
therefore the Deputy Grand Master shall be responsible for the
performance of those duties normally performed by the District Deputy
Grand Master. Regular meetings will be held in the months of March,
May, June, September and November empowering them in the same Lodge
when duly congregated to accept petitions for affiliation from Free
and Accepted Masons who are in good standing in an accredited Lodge,
but shall not be empowered to accept petitions for initiation and may
not perform degree work except for the purpose of instruction or
demonstration. All members of the said Loge la France shall maintain
their membership in good standing in another accredited Lodge. And
further, at their said petition and of the great trust and confidence
reposed in every of the above named Brethren We do hereby appoint the
said Robert H. Meyer to be the first Worshipful Master, the said
James E. Cale to be the first Senior Warden and the said Gilbert L.
Gaudet to be the first Junior Warden, for opening and holding the
said Lodge, and until such time as another Master shall be regularly
elected and installed, strictly charging that every Member who shall
be elected to preside over the said Lodge shall be installed in
ancient form according to the Laws of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia,
that he may be fully invested with the dignities and powers of his
office. And we do require you the said Robert Meyer to take special
care that all and every the said Brethren are or have been regularly
made Masons and that you and they and all other the Members of the
said Lodge do observe perform and keep the Laws Rules and Orders
contained in the Book of Constitutions and all others which may from
time to time be made by our Grand Lodge, or transmitted by us or our
Successors Grand Masters or by our Deputy Grand Master for the time
being, and we do enjoin you to make such By Laws for the government
of your Lodge as shall, to the majority of the Members, appear proper
and necessary, the same not being contrary to, or inconsistent with
the General Laws and Regulations of the Craft, a copy whereof you are
to transmit to us; And we do require you to cause all such By Laws
and Regulations and also an account of the proceedings in your Lodge
to be entered into a book to be kept for that purpose; And you are in
no wise to omit to send to us or to our Successors Grand Masters or
to our Deputy Grand Master for the time being, in form and manner
directed by the Book of Constitutions at least once in every year, a
list of the Members of your Lodge and the names and descriptions of
all Brethren who shall have joined the same, with the fees and monies
payable thereon. It being our will and intention that this our
Warrant of Constitution shall continue in force so long only as you
shall conform to the Laws and Regulations of our Grand Lodge; And you
the said Robert Meyer are further required as soon as conveniently
may be to send us an account in writing of what shall be done by
virtue of these presents.
Given under our
hands & the Seal of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia at Halifax,
Nova Scotia this Twelfth day of November, A. L. 5999 A .D. 1999.
Master and his Officers then
proceeded with the Consecration of the Lodge in accordance with the
ancient usages and customs of the Craft in a most dignified and
these Ceremonies, the Most
Worshipful Grand Master welcomed and honoured the visiting Grand
Masters from Newfoundland and New Brunswick. The representatives from
the Grande Loge Nationale Française and the Grand Lodge of Quebec
were also presented to Grand Lodge and recognized by the Grand
The Junior Grand
Warden, Senior Grand Warden and Deputy Grand Master bearing the Corn,
Wine, and Oil for the Consecration
The Most Worshipful Grand Master then
closed Grand Lodge in ample form and returned the gavel to the
Worshipful Master of Loge la France who, as the first act of his
newly consecrated Lodge conducted a Memorial Service honouring the
memory of four Brothers who had passed to the G.L.A. since Loge la
France was created in 1995: Robert Amon, Douglas Russel, Edwin
Fraser, and Arthur Smith.
Kirby Coolen places the last
on the Altar in memory of the four departed Brothers.
V.W. Bro. Ken
Peach, on behalf of the
Ruling Masters, welcomed Loge la France into the family of Craft
Lodges in the Jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia.
delegation of six
Brothers from the Grand Lodge of Quebec was welcomed and Bro. Gilles
Coupal presented Loge la France on behalf of the delegates with a
beautifully handmade bag for the Sunshine collection and a carrying
case for the V.S.L as well as a Gavel, a gift from the Loge ‘la
Belle Province’ No. 905, GLNF, at Paris France.
The Grande Loge
Loge la France’s sister Lodge ‘Acadie’ No.
1033 and the
Lodges ‘Nova Scotia’ No. 502‘ and General John J. Pershing’
No. 62 were represented by six Brothers who had travelled from France
to assist in the ceremonies.
Gérald Béhuret presented
the W.M. with the Certificate and Medal of Honour of the Grande Loge
Nationale Française. Rt.W. Bro. Philippe Hiolle presented the Medal
of Honour of the Grande Loge Provinciale de l'Île de France, home of
Loge ‘Acadie’, and W.Bro. Christian Lecomte the Medal of Honour
of the Grande Loge Provinciale des Marches de l'Est home of ‘Nova
Scotia’ Lodge. W.Bro. Fabrice Chavigny offered the 40-year
Commemorative Medal of John J. Pershing Lodge No. 62, GLNF.
from the visiting M.W.
Grand Masters, the M.W. Grand Master, his Officers and His Honour,
Rt.W.Bro. James J. Kinley retired and the Worshipful Master closed
his Lodge in Peace, Love, and Harmony. Many of the Brethren concluded
this memorable evening by enjoying the social time and refreshments
Members of Loge la France No. 138,
A.F.& A.M., GRNS. LtR: Brothers Roland Green, Kirby Coolen,
Elliott Campbell, Bill MacLennan, Bill Clark, Terence Read, Doc
Morrison, Jim Cale, Bill Bonner, Robert Meyer, Harald Wieland,
Gilbert Gaudet, Frank McKay, Bruce Fraser, David Waterbury. (Not on
picture: Kurt Jensen, Kristian Justesen, John Lilley, D.Frank MacKay,
Peter Maxwell, Michael Munday, Robert L. Redden, Charles Rutt.)
Warrant of Loge La France is unique
in this jurisdiction.
purpose of the Lodge is to
be a 'Lodge of Instruction' and the Warrant gives us the freedom to
hold our meetings anywhere within the Jurisdiction without the need
to request a Dispensation:
Lodge shall be domiciled at Truro,
Nova Scotia but may, at the discretion of the Worshipful Master and
Wardens, if necessary to achieve their stated objectives, hold
meetings elsewhere about this Jurisdiction.
The members of Loge
La France come from all parts of Nova Scotia and beyond. The warrant
provides for this by allowing us to … accept petitions for
affiliation from Free and Accepted Masons who are in good standing in
an accredited Lodge, but shall not be empowered to accept petitions
for initiation and may not perform degree work except for the purpose
of instruction or demonstration.
Since the Lodge
does not confer
Degrees, can meet throughout the Jurisdiction and draws its
membership by affiliation only, the Warrant places us under the
supervision of the Deputy Grand Master:
la France shall not be attached to
any regular district and therefore the Deputy Grand Master shall be
responsible for the performance of those duties normally performed by
the District Deputy Grand Master.
Over the years,
Loge La France has
taken advantage of being able to hold its meetings throughout the
jurisdiction and was hosted by Hillcrest Lodge No. 93, Welsford No
26, Stewiacke No. 98, Western Star No. 50, Laurie No. 70 to mention
just a few. And who could ever forget that memorable meeting at the
Fortress of Louisbourg?
For the last weekend
in June 2001, the Grande Loge Nationale Française invited all Lodges
with the name 'La France' to
a special celebration to Paris. Seven
Brothers from our Lodge (Jim Cale, Elliott Campbell, Doc Morrison,
Bruce Fraser, Bill MacLellan and Robert Meyer with their spouses and
Bill Bonner) made the trip which none of us will ever forget.
At a reception
and Gala Dinner (St.
John's Feast) sponsored by the GLNF we met Brothers from 'La France'
Lodges from four continents and our French Brethren from Acadie, Nova
Scotia and Pershing Lodges took us on tours of the Chartres
Cathedral, the Normandy Beaches, Courseulles (where our Elliott
Campell landed in 1944) and the Canadian War Cemetary at Beny-Sur-Mer
where we laid flowers in memory of our fallen Canadian Soldiers.
November 12th, 2009