On January 21st, 1782, a number of Brethren belonging to Major Anthony Farrington’s company of the 4th Battalion, Royal Artillery, which was stationed in Halifax from 1781 to 1784, petitioned, at a Lodge of Quarterly Communication, for a dispensation to establish a new Lodge to be known as ‘THE VIRGIN LODGE”.
This dispensation was granted on February 18th, 1782 by the three warranted Lodges working at that time in the town, St. Andrews No. 155 (now No. 1), St. Johns No. 211 (now No. 2), on the Registry of England (Antients) and Union Lodge No. 1, (which ceased to exist in 1838); the first Provincial Grand Lodge warranted No. 65 by the Antients in 1787 having ceased working in 1776, these three Lodges met quarterly as a District Grand Lodge.
The first meeting of THE VIRGIN LODGE was held in Halifax on the 25th February, 1782. The Lodge continued to work under this dispensation until its meeting on 24th September, 1784 when it approved a memorial to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia which had been established in September, 1784 under the Registry of England (Antients), requesting a warrant under the title of Artillery Lodge, No. 2. The warrant as Artillery Lodge No. 2 was granted and the Lodge held its first meeting as such on October 25th, 1784.
Artillery Lodge continued working under this name for the next sixteen years until 22nd September, 1800 when permission was granted by the Provincial Grand Lodge for the Lodge to resume its original name of Virgin Lodge No. 2 on the Registry of Nova Scotia.
After the union in 1813 of the ‘Antients’ and ‘Moderns’, the first Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, M.W. Bro., H.R.H. The Duke of Sussex, (in 1828) called in all outstanding warrants and issued new ones under the new registry of England. The new warrant granted to Virgin Lodge in October 1829 was numbered 829 R.E.; in October 1833 the number was changed to 558 and changed again to 396 in July, 1863.
All the Lodges (with one exception) working in the province under the Grand Lodges of England, Scotland and Nova Scotia united in the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia in 1869 and on 24th June, 1869 a new warrant was issued to Virgin Lodge as No. 3 on the Registry of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia.
In 1784 a Mark Lodge was held under the warrant of The Virgin Lodge and Virgin-Artillery Mark Lodge meetings continued until 1849 when the Union Mark Lodge was formed. Thus the records of Virgin-Artillery Lodge are the oldest Mark Lodge records in Canada.
The Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, as adopted in 1869-1870, permits the Lodge to continue to use the ritual of the Emulation Lodge of Improvement (English Constitution) and in 1932 a dispensation was granted to allow the Lodge to transact all business on the First Degree. The 1869-1870 Constitution also permits the Lodge to continue to wear distinctive regalia, ie. white and silver on aprons, regalia and ornaments instead of the blue and gold of other Lodges on the Register of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia.
The members of Virgin Lodge are entitled to wear a special “Centenary” Jewel to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Lodge in 1882, and also a special “Bicentennial Medallion” (in the centre of the apron) to commemorate the 200th Anniversary in 1982.
The Lodge will be celebrating the 230th year of continuous and uninterrupted existence in 2012.