Loyal Orange Lodge #4, built by Ronald Strathie in 1907, is a three-and-a-half storey gable and hipped roofed structure with a 4 storey domed roof tower. Located in Bonavista, the Lodge is a landmark in the town and has served as an orange lodgel for a century. This designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Registered Heritage Structure
Loyal Orange Lodge LOL #4 was designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1997 due to its historic, aesthetic and cultural value.
LOL #4 was built by the Loyal Orange Order, a Protestant fraternal organization that flourished in Newfoundland during the early 20th century. LOL #4 is the largest in Newfoundland and during the early 20th century, at 475 members, it had the largest membership of any Orange Lodge in North America. Indeed, Newfoundland’s Orange membership rivalled that of counties in Ulster, Ireland. The popularity of the Order in Newfoundland remained strong longer than any other in part of North America until a rapid decline in the 1960s. Notable Newfoundlanders such as Prime Minister Richard Squires, William F. Coaker, and Premier Joseph R. Smallwood were Orangemen.
LOL #4 was the site of the 1912 annual meeting of the Fishermen’s Protective Union where the “Bonavista Platform” was presented by William Coaker. The document served as the Union’s political, economic, and social manifesto demanding changes in the structure of the fishery, government and outport society.
LOL #4 was built by Ronald (Rance) Strathie who was the most prominent member of the Strathie family architectural dynasty which built a number of other structures in the Bonavista.
LOL #4 is believed to be the largest gathering hall constructed of wood in Canada. When Bonavista had the largest inshore fishery in Newfoundland, fishermen of the community would use the imposing building to guide their boats back into the harbour. The Lodge is a three-and-a-half storey building with a four storey domed roof tower with a steep gabled roof that intersects with a hipped roof at the rear of the building. The intricate interior woodwork was crafted by Strathie himself. The large fraternal meeting hall is located on the top floor.
Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “Bonavista – Loyal Orange Lodge LOL #4 – FPT 175”
Character Defining Elements
All those exterior elements that define the architectural style of the lodge, including:
-number of storeys;
-gable and hip roof lines;
-wood shingled roof;
-four-storey tower with domed roof;
-exterior white-painted wooden clapboard;
-wooden corner boards;
-pairs of quarter-round wooden windows in tower;
-horizontal wooden windows with diamond pattern;
-2/2 wooden window shape, style, trim and position on facade;
-size, style, trim and placement of exterior wooden doors;
-wooden doors and pediment over main entrance, and;
-size, location and context of building within Bonavista;
All interior woodwork that is reflective of the craftsmanship of Ronald Strathie, including;
-second floor stage and balcony, and;
The origins of the Loyal Orange Order reach back to Protestant-Catholic tensions of the 17th century. King James II (of England, Wales, and Ireland) & VII (of Scotland), who had developed close ties with the Catholic monarchy of France, began to remove Protestants from government offices, replacing them with Catholics. This was in direct violation of The Test Act of 1673, which prevented Catholics from serving in public office. While this alone made the Anglican-majority population unhappy, nobles felt reassured that King James’s two daughters, who were the direct heirs to the throne, were Protestant, and would eventually inherit rule and return government to its lawful order. However, in 1688, King James had seven bishops, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, arrested for seditious libel, simply for petitioning the crown. Soon after this, his wife gave birth to a Catholic son, making him first in line for the throne. This crossed a line for the nobility, and so they sent an invitation to William, the Dutch Prince of Orange, to defend Protestantism in England. Upon William’s arrival in England, James fled and English Parliament determined that James had effectively abdicated the throne. William’s wife Mary, who happened to be James’ eldest daughter, was next in line, and she and William of Orange became co-monarchs. Under their rule they implemented the Bill of Rights 1689 and the Act of Settlement 1701. This led to the formation of the first constitutional monarchy, which still exists today in the United Kingdom and its Commonwealth. The Orange Order existed in some form or another for about a century after William ousted King James, being officially founded in 1795 in response to Protestant-Catholic aggressions in Ireland. The Order was made to commemorate the victories of William of Orange and the privileges he granted to Protestants. Orangeism reached Newfoundland in the 1860s and for a century had a strong footing in social and political life.
Location and History
Town of Bonavista
012-014 Sweetland's Hill
1907 - 1907