Independent Order of Odd Fellows Lodge

4873 Delta Street
Delta, BC

Built: 1904
 

This is probably the most striking of the original buildings in Ladner village and certianly one of the oldest in the business section.

Status: Still Standing

Independent Order of Odd Fellows Lodge
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The Oddfellows Lodge, organized in 1892, had this building constructed in 1904. the upstairs was used for the lodge meetings and other functions, and was also rented out as a hall for community events. The major occupant of the ground floor for many many years was the Ladner branch of the Royal Bank of Canada.

The Royal Bank set up shop in Ladner in 1904, taking up temporary quarters elsewhere on this street. After renting the building from the Lodge for some years, the bank purchased it in 1920, prior to the big bank heist and not, as some would have us believe, as a result of the robbery (although the latter version certainly makes for a better story).

Briefly, the bank robbery took place on March 30, 1922. Burglars broke through the 18-inch brick wall into the vault where the safety deposit boxes were and made off with bonds and securities worth up to $100,000. It is believed that professional safecrackers were the culprits, as they took the precaution of cutting the cable providing phone service to Delta. See the Delta Optimist's article for more information on the heist.

this episode provided enough excitement for Delta folks for years to come. However, bondholders were more seriously affected, as the bulk of the securities stolen were not recovered until 1942. One Ladner man, David Leary, is known to have lost $13,000 in bonds.

The Royal Bank sold the building to the Ancient Light Lodge No. 88 of the Masonic order, when it moved into new quarters at the corner of Delta Street and 48th Avenue (called Westham Street back then) in 1965. At the same time the Odd Fellows were making their move to the hall on Ladner Trunk Road, the former Delta Manor Community Hall.

The Masons originally planned to develop the ground floor into a banquet room with proper facilities, but for a long time bow the ground floor has been occupied by various businesses. Interestingly, this is a return to the past. For most of its life, the building housed several tenants on the ground floor, including a jeweler and from time to time, a funeral parlour, a photography studio, and a barber shop. Not until 1947 was the entire first floor taken over by the bank, at which time a new vault was installed.

The building is currently home to the Delta Law Office.