By Raymond Jess, Concordia University
Chapter 1 of "The Protestant Irish of Montreal and the birth of Canadian National Identity".
Immigrant Societies, the Orange Order
By 1879 the Orange County Master for Hochelaga David Grant believed that there were about 500 active members of the Orange Order in Montreal. But that if he accounted for ‘slow members’, i.e. those members who were not actively engaged in the Order, then the number in Montreal would be closer to 3,000.94 Reporting on a meeting of the Boyne Loyal Orange Lodge in Montreal in 1888, a local Orangemen noted that most of the membership was composed of young men between the ages of 18 and 25. By 1895, the Grand Orange Lodge of Québec was boasting of 4,470 members across the province. The main Orange Hall in Montreal was at 246 St. James Street. In 1894 no fewer than nine Orange Lodges met there at different times every month, including the Loyal Orange Lodges (L.O.L.) of Derry, Victoria, Boyne, Dominion, Prince of Wales and Duke of York, as well as Mount Royal True Blue Benevolent Lodge, Royal Scarlet Chapter and Hobah Royal Black Preceptory. The Hackett L.O.L. met at Chatham Street Hall while the Diamond L.O.L and the Hardiman Lady True Blue Lodge met at the Sons of England Hall on Craig Street. Finally, the Lorne L.O.L. and the Prentice Boys Association met every month at the Fraternity Hall in Point St. Charles. Although like the IPBS (Irish Protestant Benevolent Society), the Orange Order professed a certain national and religious identity, it certainly did not have any qualms in expressing its political and sectarian outlook.