Colombo Lodge, Trail B.C.
First Colombo President- Giovanni Ciuffatelli.
Bruno LeRose and Family
1905 Colombo Lodge
Santa Maria


History of the Colombo Lodge

In 1905, a group of Italian-Canadians held a meeting and the idea of a fraternal lodge was formed. There were 32 men in the initial group. The president was Giovanni Ciuffatelli.

The name chosen by the Lodge was Societa Cristoforo Colombo di Mutuo Soccorso Italiana, Loggia #1, with Christopher Columbus chosen as their patron.

The Lodge followed the concept of "mutuo soccorso" or "mutual help". Although the membership was restricted to Italian families, there was never any intention to close ranks on the rest of the community. Many of its members became active and prominent in all aspects of community life. But the help they offered was directed toward its members and their families when they needed it. The disabled, those who couldn’t speak enough English to get by – these were the people who were willingly helped by the Lodge.

The membership grew rapidly. Their hall, which still stands today as a reminder of those formative years, was quickly becoming inadequate for the Lodge meetings and social gatherings which took place. In 1926, the Lodge decided it needed a new home. The main problem was money: the Lodge had never been a profit making organization. Shares worth $ 200 were printed, and the entire community went to work on the new project. In November 1927 the Colombo Hall was officially opened.

It was around this time that the many problems that led to the Lodge’s formation began to disappear. A large part of the Italian community had now become well established in the English-speaking society and at the same time there were many improvements in the working conditions and fringe benefits for the working man on “The Hill”. Even the misery of the depression years was felt much less in the Trail area than in other parts of the country.

By the mid-1930’s, the Lodge membership was beginning to look at the community at large in terms of its programs and projects. Bruno LeRose, mayor of Trail, and a very active member and past-president of the Lodge, helped steer the members into community projects. The famous Lodge band, featured in many cultural events, not only in Trail but in many communities throughout the Kootenays. The Lodge built a replica of the “Santa Maria”, Columbus’s sailing ship, and entered it in parades.

As the need for benevolent activity decreased in the community, the Lodge turned its attention to other areas. It was disturbing to the older generations that many of these young men were growing up without a true understanding of the traditions, the heritage, the culture and even the language of the ancestral land. Gradually, the Lodge started moving toward becoming primarily a centre for Italian tradition.

An Italian language drama club was very active, and a highlight was a full scale production of “Othello” which played to an appreciative audience of 500 in the hall. Many prominent Canadians were invited to come in and speak to the membership. Fiestas took place and the choirs and bands kept busy. The non-Italian citizens of the community were often afforded the opportunity of tasting the traditional Italian cuisine and culture.

Today the Colombo Lodge is thriving. The big hall upstairs is the scene of 80 to 85 major functions a year, while the small hall has been transformed into a museum and archives. The Lodge itself is open to its members every day and there are regular meetings.

Because the membership is now third and even fourth generation Canadians, meetings are mainly in English, and the accent today is on youth. The Lodge does not accept members under 18 years of age, but it tries to make its programs and activities interesting to the young members of the community.

With such an attitude toward the future, and a tradition of service to its members and to the wider community of a long and bright future.


2022 Presidente Message - Alex Coutts


2022 Presidentessa Message - Elizabeth Burke


Happy New Year to you all and we have much to look forward to in 2020. I want to thank our Past Presidente of three years, Joe Parrilla for his many hours of work for the Lodge and membership. I know Joe will be there to help me in my first year as Presidente.

Leaving the Executive are Sergio Peloso and Tony Morelli. Both are long time executive members who have given many years of selfless commitment and service to the lodge. They will be missed at the executive table and it will be an opportunity for others to fill their shoes. On behalf of all the membership, a big thank you to both of you for all your hard work and dedication to the Lodge. We have a full executive except for the Vice Presidente position. Mauro Corazza is the new elected member to the Executive and we welcome him and his ideas. Outgoing Grand Marshal, Pat Zanier will be staying on the Executive as a Counsellor. His continued service, direction and expertise is much appreciated. I want to welcome back all the returning Executive members and I look forward to working with all of you.

This past year was another busy year with meetings, social activities, banquets, weddings and the continued upkeep of our beautiful lodge. A big thank you to the catering team who have provided amazing food for the many functions at the lodge. What is Italian culture without great food. Also, I want to thank all the members who helped us throughout last year.

Thanks to the thoughtful work of Fred Romano and Roland Perri, the Colombo Lodge successfully applied for two heritage grants through Heritage BC (Columbia Basin Trust) for the upkeep of our lodge. With these grants we completed, Heritage Conservation Plan document, rerouted the roof drain and piping in the Sorelle washroom, replaced 3 subsections of roof associated with the main Colombo Lodge building, and replaced furnaces in the Games Room, Main Hallway, Washrooms & Kitchen, and Basement. Air Conditioning was also in installed in the Games Room. The remaining grant projects will be completed this year.

The Sorelle are providing significant funds to refresh our main hall and washrooms and it is an opportunity for us to work together and build on our partnership in this coming year.

Our focus for 2020 is to engage the membership more in the Lodge`s activities and operations, complete the heritage projects and update the main hall and washrooms. Assisting and working on a project or function is a great way to meet and get to know other members and build our lodge community while having fun. Let’s all get more involved this year.

I am looking forward to my first year as Presidente, getting to know more of you, hearing your suggestions, working together for the betterment of the lodge, promoting the Italian culture heritage, and having fun.

Alex Coutts

Presidente

Welcome to a new year for the Sorelle! I’d first like to thank the executive and membership for all their support and encouragement last year as I transitioned into the role of Presidentessa. I’m looking forward to the great things we will accomplish in 2020 and the fun events planned. The Colombo Lodge has been a part of my life since I was a child and it is important to me that our Italian heritage and traditions continue on. This year I hope to see more of you out supporting our club and I wish you all a happy and healthy 2020!

Liz Burke

Presidentessa


New and Old and Past Presidents

Front (l:r) - Oreste Unti, Joe Parrilla, Pat Zanier, Alex Coutts (Presidente), Bruce LeRose, Brian LeRose
Middle: (l:r) - Winston Fayant, Tony Morelli, Sergio Peloso, Larry Martin, Sergio Bedin, Denis Merlo, Dennis Bedin, Mario Berno, Ron Parisotto, Mike Mondin, Terry Hanik, Mauro Corraza,
Back (l:r) - John Lattanzio , Pat Zinio, Grant Lenarduzzi, Trevor Alllegretto, Eric Dalla Lana, Ken LeRose, Fred Romano, Steven Unti

Past Presidents


Front (l:r) - Joe Parrilla, Pat Zanier, Alex Coutts, Bruce LeRose, Brian Volpatti
Back (l:r) - Grant Lenarduzzi, Larry Martin, Denis Merlo, Dennis Bedin, Mario Berno, Eric Della Lana, Ron Parisotto, Mike Mondin