Passersby may be wondering what the meaning is behind the colourful revitalization of an historic building facing the main drag of Trail at 815 Victoria Street.
The Masonic Temple has stood proud at that downtown locale for 84 years and counting. The last several decades, however, the structure has been wrapped in a quiet shade of beige so all its ornate details and visual appeal has obscurely faded into the background.
Why the bold change of colour now?
Turns out, restoring the classical architecture to the symbolic Masonic colour — blue — recognizes the quasquicentennial year of Freemasonry in Trail-Rossland as it still goes strong in the city today.
Points of interest:
– The Masonic Temple was built on Victoria Street in 1937 for Fidelity Lodge #32 by Moncrief-Vistaunet Contractors. Masonic halls are classical in design and architect William Fredrick Williams of Nelson stayed with this convention when he designed the Trail lodge.
– Trail at one point had three Masonic lodges; Fidelity #32, Emulation #125 and Friendship #144.
– The three Trail lodges consolidated with Corinthian Lodge #27 on Dec. 16, 2004. Corinthian Lodge #27 originally constituted in Rossland 125 years ago, on Jan. 26, 1896.
– The Masonic building in Trail was sold to Hall Printing in 1994. Ten years later, in early 2004, Fidelity Lodge purchased it back.
– Besides the 125th anniversary of Freemasonry in Trail-Rossland, this year also marks the 150th anniversary of Freemasonry in B.C.
The Trail lodge was planning an open house for 2021. Due to the COVID pandemic, the event has been rescheduled to next year.
Freemasonry or Masonry refers to fraternal organizations that trace their origins to the local guilds of stonemasons that, from the end of the 13th century, regulated the qualifications of stonemasons and their interaction with authorities and clients.
Today, Freemasons are a social and philanthropic organization meant to lead members to more virtuous and socially-oriented lives.