Tuesday, February 07, 2023
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Yukon Order of Pioneers

The Order was organized on December 1st, 1894 at 40 Mile, YT, Canada, before any law organization existed in the Yukon Valley and as a substitute the first Pioneers adopted this rule which became the Motto of the Order: "Do unto others as you would be done by". Over the years various Lodges existed on different places and died off again as miners moved to other discoveries.

At the present, two Lodges remain, Lodge #1 in Dawson City and Lodge #2 in Whitehorse.

The governing body of both is the "Yukon Order of Pioneers grand Lodge."

It is composed of the yearly elected Executive, all Past Grand Presidents, all Presidents and Past Presidents of the Subordinate Lodges and elected Delegates at the rate of one for every fifteen members. The annual general meeting of the Grand Lodge is held in April, alternating between Dawson City and Whitehorse. All questions which arise during the year within the Subordinate Lodges, such as amendments, alterations or addition to the constitution shall be put on the agenda for the AGM of the Grand Lodge to be decided by a two-thirds vote. Subordinate Lodges hold meetings ten times during the year. The months of July and August are considered summer recess. The Executive is elected at the December meeting and installed at the January meeting. Rules of Order are governed according to "Bourinot's Manual of Parliamentary Low" in all proceedings.

New applicants for Membership have to fill out an application which has to be signed by two recommending members and three investigating members. When it is presented at the next meeting and a short history of the applicant is given, a vote is held by secret ballot. If favourable, the applicant is invited to the next meeting for initiation. At this initiation ceremony the President points out to the applicant the laws, rules and purpose of the Order, establishing a bond of friendship in brotherhood and remembrance of those who blazed the trail of early days. After signing the Roll Book and being invested with the Regalia the new member is introduced to the Lodge and made welcome. There is a provision to become a Life Member, with the stipulation to be a member in good standing for ten years and sixty-five years of age or older. Since receiving the yearly dues from the regular members is the only source of income, having yearly raffles by the Lodges is a way to generate some extra funds to be able to sponsor some special events. The Dawson Lodge has the Gold Poke Draw. Tickets are sold and the draw is for three Prizes of Gold Wavers of different weights. The Whitehorse Lodge gives two $ 1,000.00 bursaries to two graduate students for further studies and sponsors Mr. & Mrs. Yukon for their scheduled travels. When a Brother Pioneer passes away, it is the decision of the family to choose the funeral arrangements. If they purchased a plot in the Pioneer Section of the graveyard it will be most likely a Pioneer Funeral, consisting of church service and internment. As many members as possible shall attend, wearing the regalia, sitting together as a group in church and going to the grave side afterwards. Little cards are passed to the members to write their name on. The President and the Chaplain address the congregation, the Warden collects the signed cards from the members which are placed on the coffin as it is lowered in the grave. After wishing the departed Brother a peaceful rest, a well meant reminder for the living with our Motto: "Do unto others as you would be done by".

By Jo Lehmann
Past Grand President