Unlocking North Vancouver History

Moodyville: Legend and Legacy

Freemason Apron

The Freemasons, an international fraternity for mutual help and fellowship with elaborate secret rituals, were active throughout North America in the late 1800s and arrived early at Moodyville. Given the difficulty of travelling in the undeveloped region, the town’s most prominent men decided to create their own Freemason lodge rather than make rare forays to New Westminster. The name chosen was the Mount Hermon Lodge, which exists to this day in Vancouver. Josiah Hughes was the first worshipful master, Coote Chambers the first secretary, and mill owner Sewell Moody (1834-1875) was satisfied with the minor office of inner guard. Since almost all prospective members were connected with the mill, the lodge was built directly north of it. It was inaugurated with 17 members. The building also functioned as a community hall, containing the Mechanics’ Institute with a library as well as a cabinet of curiosities. Christian church services were also held there.

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This turn-of-the-last-century apron was part of the secret regalia and rites of Freemasons active at Moodyville.

Started in Moodyville, the Mount Hermon Lodge moved to Vancouver in 1886, becoming one of the premier lodges in British Columbia.

The provincial grand master consecrated the lodge and installed its officers in January of 1869.

This apron was worn by an undisclosed member of the Mount Hermon Lodge. Often members chose to be buried with their regalia.

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