Hiram Lodge No.14 A.F. & A.M.
Our Lodge
1890 - 1891
Inception
Dispensation to form Hiram Lodge,U.D. was granted October,1890 on application supported by Ashlar Lodge No.3 for 11 Brethren.

Consecration of Hiram Lodge No.14 took place on July 22, 1891 in the Masonic Hall, Comox.

Over the next 33 years, Hiram Lodge grew to 128 members.
1923 - 2020
Relocation
April 19, 1923 Dedication of the 'initial' Masonic Hall on 5th Street, Courtenay.
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2021 - Future
Reflections
What has history taught us in Hiram Lodge No.14 over the past 131 years?

Lodges have been created when there is increased public interest in what Masonry represents and has to offer; where locations or differences require more attention; when membership significantly increases or declines -- and warrants a need to adapt "without" compromise for the membership.
A Backgrounder Summary
A short 3 minute backgrounder [as presented by RW Bro. Dan McCoy] for newer members of the Lodge, as to where we met, where we meet, and how we got here.

Hiram’s first meetings, starting in 1890, were in rented space from the Knights of Pythias, since burnt down. (Incidentally, from those minutes, dues were $1.00 per month, or $12/year which inflates to $378 in 2021, so your dues are not so bad today). At the end of 1890 a lease was signed with Mr. Lewis to rent a two story building about where Lewis Park is currently located, and we were to remain there for many years. A picture of this building hangs in our ante-room and the old 5th Street bridge can be clearly seen in the background.

In 1910, motion was made to form a Joint Stock Company to raise funds for a new Lodge building. It was “laid on the table” and appear to never have been actioned. After some discussions with their landlords regarding rent, in 1924 the Lodge finally bought a lot on which to build a new Temple and organization got under way. All of this organizing came to a quick halt in 1914 with the start of the First World War. All monies raised were returned and plans put in abeyance. Things remained in this state until 1921 when a “Ways and Means” committee was formed to build on the lot that Hiram had purchased before the war.

..continued
Tenders were submitted, a contractor selected and construction started in 1922. Shortly thereafter it became apparent that the contractor could not finish the job on budget, and he absconded with all payments to date, leaving the Lodge with $3000 ($49,000 in today’s dollars) of uncompleted work and no contractor. The trustees got busy, raised the money and the finished building was dedicated on April 19th 1923. This is the building we are in today, but really only the front half. What is currently our dining room was the Lodge Room, and where the door to the current Lodge Room sits was the rear wall of the building.

Of interest the two shops on the street level, which were much smaller than today, rented for a total of $65 (today $1058). Hiram Lodge paid $25 per month rent ($407). The trustees who preceded today’s Temple Board, were thus generating about $1500 per month in rent to operate the building.

In 1947, Hiram had grown to a point where it was evident that more space was needed. Debate went on for several years as to whether to expand or build larger elsewhere. Leaving out all the machinations, eventually it was decided to expand the existing facility, resulting in the lovely building you are currently sitting in. Along the way, other lots were bought and sold, portions given to the city to widen 5th Street, sidewalks installed for free in compensation and a few other interesting tidbits if you care to read Hiram’s History Book.

..continued
In 1955 the decision to expand was taken, plans were drawn and approved, monies were raised and construction started. In December 1956 Hiram met in its new, although incomplete, Temple and by January 1957 all was finished with the exception of carpeting.

The story of the carpet is interesting in itself. It was considered a major expense. However one of the brothers recollected that Discovery Lodge had received a carpet as a gift, made from the worn-out woolen belts used to drive machines in the paper mills. WB McKenzie approached the same supplier and managed to receive enough material to produce 150 yards of carpet, the Lodge paying only for roving and dying.

We sit today in a lovely Temple, and it should be a great source of pride and inspiration for the current members of Hiram to think back to not only the adversities and difficulties faced by our predecessors, but to recognize the skills, labour and comradeship with which all leaned forward for the good of Masonry. The legacy they left us is not only a building made with hands, but in addition, a building made without hands, one that exemplifys those Masons who put forth their best for the good of all.
by RW Bro.Dan McCoy