GIZEH (VICTORIA) 1902 - 1942
In 1871 with Victoria the hub of Masonic activity in British Columbia and with nine large Masonic Lodges established there, it was only natural for the Freemasons to hear from their American Counterparts about a new organization called the Shrine. At the same time some Canadian Shriners appeared from the east. It was Afifi Shriners of Tacoma, WA, which mothered the proposed new Shrine in Victoria in 1902. Among those who took part in the preliminary talks to form a Shrine Organization in Victoria was Robert E Brett who took the opportunity on a earlier visit to Toronto to become a Shriner. By being a Shriner he qualified himself to become a charter member of the new Shrine in Victoria and became Gizeh’s first Potentate. Another charter member who was to be the prime mover in nearly everything about Gizeh for the next 33 years was Edward E. Leason. He took on the responsibility of Recorder, a position he held until his death on April 13, 1935.
Ed Leason was the owner and manager of the Victoria Hotel, which was located at the corner of Johnson and Government Streets. The first banquet of Gizeh was held in the hotel’s second floor dining room on December 11, 1902. Besides his many duties he also found time to serve in the Gizeh Shrine Band as its first drum major. It is safe to say that few Nobles anywhere in Shrinedom served so long or so devotedly as Edward E. Leason. He left behind an historical sketch of the following:
"Gizeh Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S. was founded June 11, 1902, instituted under dispensation August 16, 1902 by Illustrious Noble John C. Campbell, Potentate of Afifi Temple, Tacoma, Washington, and constituted under charter granted to Nobles Robert E. Brett, Edward E. Leason, George M. perdue, Andrew F. Forbes, Charles G. Mills, Harry M. Grahame, Fred C. Davidge and George R. Moore, by Illustrious Noble G. W. Hazen of Al Kader Temple on August 15, 1903."
Accordingly the Code of the Imperial Council of the Shrine, the governing body of the Shrine of North America states that "every Shrine Chapter shall select an Arabic or Egyptian name" and to Ed Leason fell the honour of complying with this edict. He chose the name "Gizeh" after one of the most ancient and remarkable of all the pyramids of Egypt, Gizeh Pyramid.
*It should be noted that at the time of this writing September 17, 2015 that the Granddaughter of Edward E. Leason, Rosemary Gibson is a member of the Daughters of the Nile, Victoria and a Badoura Club Member in the Cowichan Valley. Her Husband Jack Gibson is a Gizeh Member and a member of the Cowichan Valley Shrine Club.
For years Gizeh held it’s meetings at the Victoria Masonic Temple at Fisgard and Government Streets and in 1929 the members of Gizeh decided to erect their own building and purchased property on 1037 View Street but after 12 years of operation the financial burdens and the depression era proved too much on the membership. Gizeh could no longer maintain the building and it was sold to the city of Victoria in 1941. The building later became the Sorocco Club.
At the international Shrine Convention held in Chicago on June 29, 1942, the plight of Gizeh’s membership was considered and as a result, Gizeh was moved from Victoria to Vancouver. It started meeting in the Freemason's Hall at Georgia and Seymour Streets and by the end of 1943 there was a 20% increase in membership.
Some of this brief history was taken from the "G" forGizeh Book published in 1975.
Terrance R. Landry, Secretary of the CVSC.
September 19, 2015
GIZEH (VICTORIA) POTENTATES 1902 - 1942
Robert E. Brett 1902-1903, George M. Perdue 1904, Andrew F. Forbes 1905, Charles G. Mills 1906, Thomas J. Armstrong 1907, Angus McKeown 1908, Robert F. Green 1910, Charles A. Welsh 1911, William W. Burke 1912, Steven Jones 1913, William H. Handley 1914, William H.F. Richdale 1915, Thomas Taylor 1916, John B. Jardine 1917, Earl E. Robinson 1918, Duncan E. Mackenzie 1919, Gilbert D. Christie 1920, Frank S. McKee 1921, Henry E. Young 1922, George Kirkendale 1923, Nelson Nelson 1925, James W. Hudson 1926, James R. Agar 1927, David D. Munro 1928, Walter Lunney 1929, William O. Wallace 1930, Emery C. Jones 1931, David McKenzie 1932, Donald B. Martyn 1933, Arthur W. Dawe 1934, Frank M. Byant 1935, W. Cecil Grieve 1936, John W. Patterson 1937, Donald McCugan 1938, William Ross 1939, Norman S. Fraser 1940, W.J. Ridley 1941 and L.H. Rawlings 1942
Gizeh Temple drawing
Architects drawing of Victoria Shrine Temple built on View Street, Victoria in 1930. Later became the Sirocco Club
Gizeh Temple Band Mill Bay 1938
Members of Gizeh Temple Band acting as clowns, escort Polack Bros. Circus to the Queen Alexandra Solarium at Mill Bay to entertain the crippled children, April 221938. Noble with fez is late James M Beattey, above is Fred Francis and right George R. Ford
Gizeh Cornerstone Alexandra Solarium 1930
Emergent meeting of the grand Lodge of BC, held at Malahat Beach, Mill Bay, May 14, 1930 to lay cornerstone of new unit of the Queen Alexandra Solarium sponsored by Gizeh Temple. Fm left, J.W. Hudson, Potentate W. Wallace, Dr. H. Young, Robert Baird, Mrs Curtis Sampson, Ed Leason, W. Lanigan D. Munro
Gizeh Auto Club 1913
Gizeh Temple Auto Club, 1913. Recorder Edward Leason at extreme left. Potentate Stephen Jones with white cuffs showing.
Gizeh 1st Ceremonial 12-1902
Cover of the notice of the first ceremonial to be held by Gizeh Temple, on December 11, 1902
Gizeh's first Potentate R Brett 1902
Gizeh Ed Leason 1902
Old Gizeh Temple Building
Old Gizeh Temple Building
Gizeh Victoria Laying cornerstone
Ceremony for the laying of the cornerstone for the Victoria Shrine Temple at 1037 View Street Victoria.
The Victoria Hotelat Johnson and Government Streets, Victoria where the banquet was held afteer the first ceremonial of Gizeh Temple on Dec 11, 1902
Gizeh -Laying cornerstone
Laying of the Cornerstone on the building of Gizeh Temple on View Street.
Gizeh Victoria Band
Gizeh Band playing at the ceremony of the laying of the cornerstone for Gizeh Temple Victoria
Gizeh Victoria cornerstone
Laying the Gizeh Temple Cornerston in 1929
Old Gizeh Temple Building
This is a picture of the old Gizeh Temple building that was bought and turned into Club Sirocco. The Sirocco Supper Club was located at 1037 View Street. Unsure when it opened but there are pictures and references to this club in the 1940's. (1948) It became the Scope in 1965 and then the Club Tango from 1966 to 1974 when the name changed to the Stardust Ballroom. It lasted until January 2, 1977. It was demolished in 1977 and replaced by an apartment block.