Founding of the Lodge
Post date: May 10, 2012 1:58:54 PM
Elenco Dei Soci Fondatori - Societa M.S. Cristoforo Colombo, Trail, B.C. Canada.
Founding of the Colombo Lodge 1905. Trail.
Although the Colombo Lodge was not officially known as such until it's founding in 1905. Many newcomers of Italian origin arrived in the Kootenays in the early 1890's. They met informally, often socializing and keeping up with news from 'home.' The first meeting place was in Trail was a converted house with a 'false' store front in 'Dublin Gulch', not far from the site of the present day lodge. Card playing was very popular, the front area accommodated impromptu musical evenings, and involvement was not limited to 'Italians'.
There were already many early immigrants from Europe living in Trail and Rossland.
The Supreme Lodge of the 'Knights of Pythias granted a charter to a group in Trail in 1897. Noble Binns was the first Chancellor Commander of Lodge No 23, they met above a building on the corner of Bay Avenue and Helena Street.
The middle-class professionals and merchants had by 1899 established 'Fidelity Lodge No 32, a 'Masonic Lodge.'
18 members of the Croation community formed the Fraternal Lodge 282, a benevolent and social society in 1904.
There were many other early minority groups such as the Chinese and Jewish merchants that operated informal benevolent societies.
But it would be the workers and families of Italian origin that were most in need of a mutual benevolent society.
Apart from the language difficulties, the loneliness, dangerous working conditions, and poor pay, there was the 'mine-field' of cultural, class and political barriers to face on a day-to-day basis.
Among the first 'Italian' residents of 'The Gulch' were a group of enlightened and industrious entrepreneurial merchants and workers, many of whom had experienced first-hand the hardship and pitfalls of trying to make a living in many parts of the new-world.
And although back in their homeland regions of Italy, they may have previously been divided by language, geography and political loyalties, they were now united by a common need to survive.
It was from this group that the following gentlemen became the founding members - the charter members of Societa M.S. Cristoforo Colombo, The Colombo Lodge, Trail, B.C. Canada.
Giovanni Ciuffatelli - First President.
Luca di Bartolomeo
Antonio de Camillo
Allesandro de Camillo