Prince of Orange Loyal Orange Lodge No. 23
The Prince of Orange LOL #23 has cultural value because it has served as an important meeting place for the Orangemen of Kelligrews for more than 129 years. The community decided to construct the building when the benevolent society numbers grew large enough to justify a building of their own. During the 1870s residents would walk the shoreline path to Portugal Cove to attend meetings of the Loyal Orange association, Lodge Derry #8. Other interested individuals from Conception Bay rowed dories to the meetings. In 1875 the decision was made to build a new Loyal Orange Lodge in Middle Bight, however funds were scarce. The new lodge was built by the men who would use it, and they harvested and trimmed the lumber for the building themselves. The solidarity of the organization is a testament to the types of people who visualized a dream and made it a reality.
The Prince of Orange LOL #23 holds a very important sense of community because the building has been used by the community for a variety of purposes. Not just a benevolent society meeting place, this structure has been utilized for election rallies, polling stations, a dance hall, church services, a classroom, a recruiting station, for wedding receptions and for fund raising events. These types of events typify the close knit community of Kelligrews and Conception Bay South and the banding together of groups when needed.
The Prince of Orange LOL #23 has historical value because it was constructed in 1875 and the original structure remains essentially unchanged today. It is also historically valuable because when it was officially dedicated the Loyal Orange Warrant was presented by the Most Worshipful Grand Master and Sovereign of the Loyal Orange Association of Canada, Brother M. Bonnell to Brother Charles Haines, the first master. Direct descendants of Brother Haines continue to be members of the order today.
The Prince of Orange LOL #23 has aesthetic value because it is a good example of a wooden, vernacular meeting place. Built entirely of hand cut lumber, there are no joins in the framing of the roof. The building, constructed by the local members, typifies the simplicity of local lodge design. The LOL is a one-storey, gambrel roof building that lacks any decoration on the exterior, except for the lodge sign hung above the main door. Specific symbols of the Orange Order are usually incorporated into unique signs for each lodge. This sign is unique for this particular lodge, using the triumphal arch, star, moon, sun and Jacob’s ladder. The lack of ornamentation on the exterior is a quality that can be found on lodge buildings worldwide.