Money from City of Nanaimo helps spruce up historic mason temple

Ashlar Lodge Masonic Temple on Commercial Street will get a $30K makeover this year

Nanaimo Freemasons will freshen up the historic Ashlar Lodge Masonic Temple downtown in time for their anniversary this spring, with help from the city’s heritage facade grant.

For more than half of the masons’ 150-year history in the Harbour City, members have met in the brick temple, a 94-year-old Commercial Street building that’s landed on the city’s heritage register and the Canadian register of historic places. It’s now slated for a $30,000 makeover as the masons celebrate 150 years of being in Nanaimo.

The city will chip in half of the refurbishment cost.

Since 2003, 32 projects have received the grant. More than $300,000 has been put into the program by the city with $7 million in private money leveraged. Sholberg said it’s one of the few ways under the Local Government Act that the city can provide public assistance to private interests and a benefit is our collective history is maintained and conserved.

“We kind of see the exteriors of these heritage buildings as a public good and therefore warranting assistance where we can provide it to help the owners conserve and ensure that the building presents the best appearance possible,” he said.

The masons’ temple was built in 1923 in the footprint of its original building, which had been constructed in 1873.

Tim Findlay, worshipful master of the lodge, said they are looking to get the building spruced up for their 150th anniversary. The first meeting in Nanaimo was in May, 1867. Work will include window, door and brick repair, and paint.

“The building is gifted to us, the masons of today from generations of Freemasons that have gone before us. So it’s part of our responsibility both as a community as well as to our group to maintain … what we’ve been gifted from the past,” Findlay said.

Mark Anderson, lodge historian, said the grant is great.

“Given that it’s such a historic building in Nanaimo and such a prominent building in downtown Nanaimo, I think it’s really great that the city has contributed this grant to help us refurbish the exterior of the building and we really thank the City of Nanaimo for it,” he said.

To learn more about the building history and Ashlar Lodge No. 3, please visit www.ashlar3.com/.

Just Posted

Nanaimo actress wins two Joey Awards for young Canadian actors

Hannah Zirke, 13, won for her TV roles in ‘When Calls the Heart’ and ‘Sacred Lies’

Family-friendly production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ comes to Nanaimo

Local playwright describes adaptation as ‘less Alastair Sim, more Muppet’

Column: This holiday season, support a local artist

Many opportunities to attend craft markets in the Nanaimo area in the coming weeks

City declares house on Metral Drive a nuisance property

Nanaimo council votes to start charging for calls for service to the address

Nanaimo’s new council meets for first time in council chambers

Mayor Leonard Krog says council members came to first regular meeting prepared

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP look for tips about suspected poppy donation thief

Police have released images of a man suspected of stealing poppy donation cans

Regional District of Nanaimo to review water infrastructure

Region to make assessments of each of its water service areas

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

731,000 Canadians going into debt to buy prescription drugs: UBC

Millennials and those without private coverage were more likely to borrow money

Pot users, investors need to be vigilant at Canada-U.S. border

U.S. authorities say anyone who admits to having used pot before it became legal could be barred

Awards will recognize business excellence on Vancouver Island

Nomination period begins for Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards

ICBC warns shoppers of the high-accident season at mall parking lots

Over 150,000 accidents happened during the holiday season last year

Great Nanaimo Toy Drive begins its campaign leading up to Christmas

The 36th Great Nanaimo Toy Drive will make sure children have presents on Christmas morning

Most Read