Orange Lodge reopened after 20-year closure
Oshawa This Week
Apr 11, 2007
WHITBY -- A group of community volunteers have revived the Vimy Loyal Orange Lodge #2697 in time for the 90th anniversary of Vimy Ridge.
"We're looking for bright young men interested in being involved in their community," said Recording Secretary Dennis Glazier.
Formed in September 1917 by a group of young Protestant men, the lodge was established to honour the memory of 3,500 Orange brothers who gave their lives in the historic battle, which saw Canadian armed forces regain a German stronghold, resulting in a turning point in the First World War.
The lodge, located at the International Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) hall on Brock Street South, was active until the 1980s. Its closure likely had to do with dwindling membership as the lodge eventually amalgamated with other local counterparts, said Mr. Glazier.
A group of Whitby residents who currently attend Orange lodges in Toronto, Oshawa and Port Perry have reopened an arm of the Christian-based charitable organization locally.
Fifteen members took part in the inaugural meeting Saturday, March 31, with more initiations to come, said Mr. Glazier.
Members range in age. The lodge also hopes to attract young men to help form its future, he said.
The Canadian Orange Order was introduced to Canada by British soldiers during the War of 1812. It was officially established in 1830 based on the principles of rights and freedoms for all, patriotism and loyalty to the Queen of Canada and works of charity in the community.