Lord Strathcona Loyal Orange Lodge No. 1654
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Lord Strathcona Loyal Orange Lodge No. 1654 received its warrant in 1895.
With Loyal Orange Lodge No. 1654 in place in South Edmonton, meetings began to be held in private residences. Among the members was Robert McKernan, later owner of the Dominion Hotel and the Princess Theatre, who became the first elected Worshipful Master of the Lodge. Another early member was R.W. Pettipiece, the editor of the South Edmonton News who was the first Recording Secretary. The big event of each year was the traditional 12th of July march down Whyte Avenue, accompanied by a fife and drum band, to celebrate the Victory of King William III over the deposed King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland in 1690. By 1904, an impressive number of 2,500 people were on hand from all over Alberta to take part in the celebration.
In 1903, the Orangemen of Strathcona were able to acquire a lot from August Nanton in the heart of downtown for $150 and constructed their own hall with volunteer labour. Like many Orange halls across the country, including the one in Edmonton, it was a wood frame structure, with a plane exterior, possibly reflecting the religious preference for the austere, preferred by many Orangemen of the time. A basement was dug, and a porch added in 1924.
Otherwise, the building remains essentially the same as it was in 1903. In addition to Orange activities, the building was used as a meeting hall for other organizations, which may have been a factor in its survival, as meeting space was much sought after in the heart of Starthcona in later years. In 1994, the Hall was designated a Registered Historic Resource.
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