History of Eureka #10, G.R.A.
(Formerly No. 65. G.R.M.)
In November of 1895, a group of enthusiastic Masons met in Dr. H.J. Richardson’s office, to discuss the formation of a Masonic Lodge in the Town of Lacombe. The prime movers of this meeting were William Burris, George Streeter, H.B. Howell, D.G. Stewart, William Elliott, and F.H. Mowbley. A further meeting, on March 21, 1896, took place, at which the name “Eureka” was selected as the name for the lodge.
1900 - W. Bro. M.J. MacLeod was Master of the Lodge. He was the first Deputy Minister of the Province of Alberta in 1905.The Grand Lodge of Manitoba granted a dispensation and Eureka Lodge No.65 G.R.M. was instituted on September 16, 1896 and received its Charter on June 10, 1897. Dr. H.J. Richardson was the first Master. It was a small but enthusiastic group of Masons that formed this Lodge. It was the second Lodge to operate between Calgary and Edmonton.
They rented a small lodge room in the centre of the village. It was very close quarters for work in the Ancient York Rite but the price was right at $3.00 per month. Later this building became a Chinese Laundry and was demolished only a few years ago to make room for an urban renewal program.
At one point in its history Eureka suspended eleven members for non payment of dues. When some of the suspended Brethren applied for reinstatement their applications were refused.
Petitions for initiation were read at practically every meeting in the early days. It was also apparent that the ‘Old Boys’ were a bit particular about who they accepted, for there were quite a few rejections in those days.
One interesting custom was that of the Master elect, on the night of his election to that office, providing a box of cigars for the enjoyment of those members who smoked.
At an emergent meeting on February 18, 1897 Bro. W. F. Puffer was initiated and commenced an outstanding record of a family in Freemasonry that has continued down to the present. At this same meeting Candidates were passed and raised. It was Bro. Puffer who commenced the first Historical Register of Eureka Lodge and then ensued a space of thirty-two years in which there was no entry. Bro. Puffer took up the pen again and attempted to fill in the history of the missing years.
History of Eureka’s Lodge Rooms: The building housing Lacombe’s Masonic Hall burned to the ground in 1911. The Lodge furniture, and most of the Lodge records, were destroyed in the fire. It was quickly rebuilt by the owner, and for the next 51 years the Club Cafe was upstairs home for Lacombe Masons. A substantial advance in comfort and convenience was made in 1962 when the Lodge purchased the former Lacombe School Division building (on 49B Ave.), which, with renovations, is still Lacombe’s Masonic Temple.
Joint Installation With Kitchener. It was an annual occurrence for Eureka #10 to invite Kitchener#95 for a joint installation of officers. They invited the Rimbey Masons over for such a joint installation on December 27, 1938. Kitchener accepted, however due to extremely cold weather of 40 degrees below zero, they were unable to make it to the meeting in Lacombe. So, on January 3, 1939, seven members from Eureka, including W.Bro. Dr. W.A. Henry, as installing officer, made the trip to Rimbey. Joint Installations have continued annually up to the present time.
Brotherhood Builder Pin. Eureka Lodge, at an Open House on April 26, 1994, unveiled a new “Brotherhood Builder Pin”. The pin, invented and designed by Bro. Art Wigmore, of Eureka Lodge, was designed to recognize, in a visible and meaningful way, those who attend the regular meetings of the Lodge. It is awarded to those who have attended 70 percent of the meetings over a 5 year consecutive term.