Quest in Roots:
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UNION LODGE NUMBER 108
This is a brief history of the formation of a Masonic Lodge, later to be known as Union Lodge Number 108.
In the Brookdale district prior to 1907, two members of the community: H.C. Smith, station agent, and RB.C. Thomson M.D., being Masons themselves and there being no lodges closer than Neepawa and Carberry, decided to canvass not only the Brookdale district but the surrounding districts, Moore Park, Justice, Oberon and Wellwood, to find enough interested people to fo.rm a Masonic Lodge. This was done and the followmg persons besides the original two, expressed th~ desire to join: Mr. Beeman, Mr. Hughes, Mr. Phil McRae, Mr. H. Leslie, Mr. T. Ballantyne and Mr. H.
Their application to the Grand Lodge of Manitoba was approved and the D.D.G.M. of District Number 2, a Mr. McIntosh, was instructed by the Grand Master of Manitoba to institute a lodge on July 26, 1907, to be known as Union Lodge Number 108. The name ''Union'', was quite appropriate then and still is today as several districts are represented in the membership.
At the first meeting on July 26, 1907, a total of four petitions for initiation were received, besides the eight founding members. Before the end of the following year, 14 more petitions for initiation were accepted.
The first year was a very successful one with Grand Lodge approving the work done and the progress made. Accordingly on June 10, 1908, a charter was granted and the lodge officially designated as Union Lodge Number 108 A.F. and A.M.
The lodge on the authority of the Grand Master M.W. Brother H.J. Pugh, instructed the district deputy, R W. Brother Wm. Dickie of District Number 2, to officiate at the constitution on the above date, of Union Lodge Number 108.
The lodge, not having a permanent building, held its meetings in the upper classroom in the school, from 1907 until 1916. .
In 1916, the present building became available and was acquired for the sum of $470, which included some repairs. The upper part was used as a lodge room with an outside entrance, and the ground floor was rented out, providing a small source of income.
In 1928, the lower floor was taken over for a lunch room and recreational purposes. It was also made available to the community or groups such as the Red Cross and 4-H, free of charge. The "no charge" rule was imposed by the municipality, and in return the hall was not liable for property taxes.
This policy ended several years ago.
The Order of the Eastern Star has had the facilities made available to its members since its founding in 1953.
From the year of its establishment in 1907, the lodge has had a steady growth in membership, due in part to the fact that it was the closest lodge available for several districts.
Membership has remained fairly constant over the years, with enough new members coming in to compensate for those moving away or passing away.
It should be mentioned here, that the lodge has appreciated the fact that the majority of the members who have moved away, have maintained their membership in their Mother Lodge.
In all jurisdictions, the smaller lodges, including ''Union'', are having problems in keeping their lodges going due to the high cost for taxes, heat and light.
There are more demands too, on the members'' time and money in the community. Union Lodge, we hope, will be able to cope with these many problems. We survived our 50th, our 75th, and hopefully look forward to our 100th anniversary.
We are indebted to many members down through the years who have contributed to the lodge''s well-being.
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