Herring Neck Loyal Orange Lodge No. 116
Herring Neck, Newfoundland
Built in 1904, the Herring Neck Loyal Orange Association Lodge was, strangely enough, modeled after the Roman Catholic St. John the Baptist Basilica in St. John's. Thomas Blanford built the structure with the help of free labour provided by the local lodge members. While the interior remains largely unchanged, the Orangemen shortened the two spires on either side of the entrance in 1931. The flashing on the original high towers frequently cracked in gales of wind and the resulting leakage had caused damage to the floor.
Though it was built as a place for the local Orangemen to hold their meetings, the structure also served the needs of the larger community. It acted as a town hall for functions such as church meetings, socials, concerts, political and union meetings, wedding receptions and other community events. Fishermen also used the structure as an important landmark when trying to locate their fishing grounds.
The Herring Neck Lodge is perhaps best known as the birthplace of the Fisherman's Protective Union (FPU). In November 1908, William Coaker formed the FPU and launched a crusade that challenged Newfoundland's political, economic and social relationships. With the slogan of "To each their own," the FPU spread along the northeast coast, organising fishermen into an influential political force. In 1912 Coaker and the FPU produced its manifesto, the "Bonavista Platform", which was unveiled at the Loyal Orange Association hall in Bonavista. The movement made significant strides during the first two decades of the twentieth century as Coaker became one of the most prominent political leaders of the time. The movement lost momentum during the 1920s, but lasted for several more decades.
In recognition of its importance to the structural and political heritage of the province, the Loyal Orange Lodge in Herring Neck became a Registered Heritage Structure in February 1986.