Prince Albert Daily Herald - Sask.
Fraternal group growing in popularity
Freemasons are an interesting people, clouded in perceived mystery; a mystery that is being unearthed by an increasing number of people in Prince Albert.
November 4, 2012
Topics : Prince Albert , Eastern Star , Saskatchewan , Canada , 19th Street
Prince Albert’s Kinistino Lodge #1 Freemasonry group has accepted about 10 new members lately, bumping its membership up to more than 90.
“I don’t know what’s bringing them back, now,” 38-year member Lou Lintick said, noting that these memberships are significant, because they’re between the ages of 19 and 30.
Although the organization is recognized as being clouded in mystery, Lintick speaks freely about the organization. Most things, anyway.
“It’s not a secret organization, it’s an organization of secrets,” he clarified.
Prince Albert’s chapter is the oldest in Saskatchewan. Formed in 1879, when Prince Albert was just a village, a decision by the Grand Lodge of Canada granted permission to organize a chapter on May 22, 1879.
The organization went through various locations and name changes, until Sept. 7, 1906, when it was renamed Kinistino Lodge #1, under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan.
A building was erected on 19th Street between Central and First Avenue West in 1910, at its peak accommodating about 200 members, which included past prime minister John Diefenbaker.
“It was a four-storey brick building,” Lintick recalls.
The group moved to a new masonic temple in 1985, at 292 15th Ave. E., where they remain today.
The Prince Albert Chapter #16 Order of the Eastern Star invited the public into the building for their fall tea on Saturday.
The Eastern Star is the woman’s masonry organization, which meets at the masonry temple once per month.
“In order to join our Eastern Star, you have to have a relationship with a master mason,” 68-year member Cora Gael explained.
“It’s a fraternal organization … and we do different things in the community.
“It’s an organization that I really enjoy, and that’s why I carry on with it … I like the social part of it and the things we do, the donations that we like to do.”
The men’s Kinistino Lodge #1 is also considered more of a fraternal organization than a service club, Lintick said. Although they do a number of things for the community, they’re more individual efforts than group efforts.
Shriners are the most noted for their charitable contributions, although all Shriners are masons, not all masons are Shriners.
Their focus is comradeship and personal development, with members from all walks of life treated equally.
“It’s usually a good man that comes in,” Lintick said of its membership. “It’s a good man that we make better.”
Although masons can’t solicit people to become members, should someone inquire about membership with a mason, they’re typically happy to talk.