Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Alberta
Rt. Ex. Comp. George Tapley
THE HISTORICAL MATERIAL
Sometime before 1956, an unknown author wrote a 10-page history of Royal Arch Masonry in Alberta from 1892 to 1945. This formed the first chapter of Volume II in what became the four-volume A History of Royal Arch Masonry commissioned by General Grand Chapter, with the first three volumes published in 1956. MExComp Metro Gushaty later undertook to write a similar year-by-year summary, “The Grand Chapter of Alberta – the Last Forty Years (1955-1995)” for inclusion in Volume IV of A History of Royal Arch Masonry, published in 1996. He subsequently revised this to “… the Last 50 years (1945-1995)” and finally expanded the summaries to the year 2001. The General Grand Chapter’s History has been widely circulated to jurisdictions around the world. The Alberta section of Volume II has therefore been used as the first part of this history, with MExComp Gushaty’s longer document, brought up to date, forming the second part.
The Annual Proceedings of the Grand Chapter of Alberta covered everything that was happening about its formation, in great detail, from 1913 to at least 1917. Indeed, to make sure that every member in Alberta was aware of the strong sentiments being expressed by both sides a series of pamphlets were written and published in the Proceedings, distributed to the members, or both. These are all included as background.
A separate 16-page document was distributed covering the 1914 meetings (the 1913 and 1914 meetings were also included in the 1915 Proceedings)
Another 16 page document, Concerning Capitular Masonry in the Province of Alberta and the Issues Between the Grand Chapters of Canada and Alberta – A statement and Discussion of the Facts and Masonic Jurisprudence by “A Workman From the Quarries” – Concurred in and endorsed by His Honor Judge H.C. Taylor Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Alberta, Past Grand Superintendent of the Grand Chapter of Canada, dated February 1916, was published in the Proceedings and distributed. It covers in detail everything that had happened (on both sides) in the preceding years, including misinformation, lack of communication and large doses of stubbornness. Its author was never formally identified.
A Statement Concerning Royal Arch Masonry in the Province of Alberta, dated January 31, 1916, and written by T.F.English covers some of the same material. It was distributed, but not published in the Proceedings.
The reports of the Grand District Superintendents during these years show some of the divided loyalties among the Chapters and Companions and the 1914 and 1915 reports are included. Interestingly, few Grand Chapter issues or outcomes of substance were discussed at the Annual Convocations in the following years. Some years had only visitations to report; many issues were dealt with completely within the Executive Committee Meeting.
The formation of the Grand Chapter of Alberta was also covered in the Grand Chapter of Canada’s 75th Anniversary book in 1932, although only in very general terms. However, Alberta did have a separate chapter in the GCC’s 100th Anniversary book. These books paint a very different, a much calmer picture of the “divorce” proceedings. The 100th Anniversary material, in particular, provides many more details about the sudden resolution of the unfortunate situation. The reports of the Grand Chapter of Canada’s Grand Superintendents in Alberta for the years 1913, 1914 and 1915 show that it was “business as usual” as far as they were concerned.
Consolidated History 1892-2013
Report on 1914 meetings (large file takes time to load)
Concerning Capitular Masonry
Statement concerning Royal Arch Masonry
Alberta GDS reports for 1914
Alberta GDS reports for 1915
Grand Chapter of Canada 75th Anniversary excerpt
Grand Chapter of Canada 100th Anniversary excerpt
GCC Grand Superintendent Reports for 1913
GCC Grand Superintendent Reports for 1914
GCC Grand Superintendent Reports for 1915