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Royal Arch Masons. Grand Chapter of Alberta fonds

1869, 1892-2014

Physical Description:
7.6 m of textual records. -- 22 photographs

Freemasonry is the teachings and practices of the secret fraternal order of Free and Accepted Masons, the world's largest secret society. It evolved from the guilds of stonemasons and cathedral builders of the middle ages. With the decline in cathedral building, some lodges of working masons began to accept outsiders as members. Modern symbolic freemasonry developed from a few of these lodges. It began with the practices and symbols of the old guilds but in the 17th and 18th centuries it began adopting rites from ancient chivalric and religious orders. Freemasonry's teachings promote morality, charity and obedience to the law of the state. Members must be adult males who profess belief in a Supreme Being and the immortal soul. Freemasons are generally divided into three major degrees: entered apprentice, fellow of the craft, and master mason. In the 1840s controversy over whether belief in a Supreme Being had to be the Christian God, a mid-range body of Masons, the Red Lodge, formed a separate Masonic chapter, the Royal Arch Masons. This new chapter kept its standing in the Masonic Order, however. Royal Arch Masons first appeared in Canada in the 1860s, and the Alberta Chapter in Calgary was instituted in 1892. In 1914 after a legal battle with the parent body, the Grand Chapter of Canada, the Grand Chapter of Alberta was formed with the power to create local chapters in the province. The Alberta Chapter was designated No.1, and the North Star Chapter in Edmonton No.2. S.Y. Taylor was the Grand Chapter of Alberta's first Grand Principal, and M.M. Dempsey its first Grand Secretary. Drawing members from diverse occupational groups, a number of chapters formed in Alberta including the following whose records are in this fonds: Alberta No.1 (Calgary), North Star No.2 (Edmonton), Assiniboia No.3 (Medicine Hat), Mount Horeb No.6 (Wetaskiwin), Bekah No.7 (Fort Macleod), Otuskwan No.9 (Calgary), Bow Valley No.10 (Gleichen), Keystone No.12 (Red Deer), Capital City No.13 (Edmonton), Hillvue No.15 (Hillcrest), Tau Cross No.16 (Claresholm), Coronation No.23, Strathcona No.25 (Edmonton), Harmony No.26 (Bassano), and Empress No.35. Records from a number of Lodges formed under the Grand Lodge of Alberta Ancient Free and Accepted Masons are also included here: Summit Lodge No.30 (Coleman), Gleichen Lodge No.36 and Standard Lodge No.152.

Scope and Content:
The fonds consists of bylaws and regulations, minutes, attendance registers, correspondence, membership applications, mark books, financial records, certificates, inventories and photographs of Royal Arch Masons events and personalities.

Source of Acquisition:
Gift of Royal Arch Masons of Alberta, 1983-2016, and Cameron Treleaven, 1997.

The material is in English.

No restrictions on access.

Finding Aids:
Inventory available. Please consult before requesting material.

View finding aid / scanned documents:

Call Numbers:
(M=manuscript; N&P=photos; R=sound recordings; S=slides; F=films)
M-6668, M-9759, PA-2618, PC-227, NA-4710

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