No one knows with certainty how or when the Masonic Fraternity was formed. A widely accepted theory among Masonic scholars is that it arose from the stonemasons’ guilds during the Middle Ages. The language and symbols used in the fraternity’s rituals come from this era. The oldest document that makes reference to Masons is the Regius Poem, printed about 1390, which was a copy of an earlier work. In 1717, four lodges in London formed the first Grand Lodge of England, and records from that point on are more complete. Within thirty years, the fraternity had spread throughout Europe and North America. Freemasonry became very popular in Canada and colonial America. Well known Masons in Canada include, Prime Ministers John A. McDonald, John J.C. Abbott, McKenzie Bowell, Robert Laird Borden, R.B. Bennett, John George Diefenbaker and Tim Horton. In The United States, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin served as the head of the fraternity in Pennsylvania, as did Paul Revere and Joseph Warren in Massachusetts. Other well-known Masons involved with the founding of America included John Hancock, John Sullivan, Lafayette, Baron Fredrick von Stuben, Nathanael Greene, and John Paul Jones. Another Mason, Chief Justice John Marshall, shaped the U.S. Supreme Court into its present form. Over the centuries, Freemasonry has developed into a worldwide fraternity emphasizing personal study, self-improvement, and social betterment via individual involvement and philanthropy. During the late 1700s it was one of the organizations most responsible for spreading the ideals of the Enlightenment: the dignity of man and the liberty of the individual, the right of all persons to worship as they choose the formation of democratic governments, and the importance of public education. Masons supported the first public schools in both Europe and America. During the 1800s and early 1900s, Freemasonry grew dramatically. At that time, the government had provided no social "safety net". The Masonic tradition of founding orphanages, homes for widows, and homes for the aged provided the only security many people knew. Today in North America, the Masonic Fraternity continues this tradition by giving almost $1.5 million each day to causes that range from operating children’s hospitals, providing treatment for childhood language disorders, treating eye diseases, funding medical research, contributing to local community service, and providing care to Masons and their families at Masonic Homes. The four million Masons worldwide continue to help men and women face the problems of the 21st century by building bridges of brotherhood and instilling in the hearts of men ideals for a better tomorrow. Source - Masonic Service Association of North America

Our Story

In 1959, people were watching "Rawhide", "Bonanza" and "The Twilight Zone", movies included "Some Like it Hot", "Ben Hur" and "North by Northwest". Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba after leading a revolution that led to the establishment of a Communist dictatorship. An American Airlines Boeing 707 made the first scheduled transcontinental U.S. flight, flying from California to New York. St Lawrence Seaway, a joint US / Canadian venture, is completed linking the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. And, on January 11th of that year a group of gentlemen gathered at the Masonic Temple in Calgary, Alberta, now known as Freemasons Hall, to decide if there was sufficient interest to warrant the petititioning of a new Canadian Rite Lodge.

That evening, sixty-one masons from many parts of Alberta, as well as Saskatchewan gathered and signed the register. After some preliminary formalities, the chairman of the evening, R.W. Bro. Ned Rivers asked the brethren present if it was their desire that a new Canadian Rite Lodge be organized and asked for a show of hands by all those in favour. The voting was practically unanimous. Next was the matter of the name. R.W. Bro. Rivers suggested that since Bow River Lodge #1 was willing to recommend or sponsor the Lodge, that it be a fitting tribute to call the new lodge Elbow River Lodge. Since that day 50 years ago, hundreds of upright and honourable men have affiliated and been raised through Elbow River Lodge.

Elbow River Lodge meets on the first Tuesday of every month except in July and August at Bowmont Masonic Hall, 7704 39 Avenue NW, Calgary, Alberta.

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