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Society of United Fishermen SUF Lodge #9

Bonavista, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0C, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1994/09/17

Exterior view of front and side facade, Society of United Fishermen Hall #9 (Bonavista, NL); 1998 Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador
Society of United Fishermen Hall #9, Bonavista, NL
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1874/01/01 to 1875/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/01/10

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Society of United Fishermen Lodge #9, a Gothic inspired building constructed in 1875, is located in Bonavista, NL. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Society of United Fishermen Logde #9 has been designated as a heritage structure because of its historical associations, cultural value and aesthetic value.

The building is historically important because of its association with the Society of United Fishermen in the region. In 1862 Rev. George Gardner, a Church of England minister, formed a support group called Heart's Content Fisherman's Society. The society later began to expand its membership into other outports and became known as the Society of United Fishermen (SUF). The fraternal organisation provided fellowship and established a mutual support system for its members at a time when few services were available to fishermen and their families. The SUF Hall in Bonavista was constructed in 1875, a year after the organisation established itself in the community, and continues to be a gathering place for the SUF.

The building has cultural value considering the use of SUF symbolism on its exterior. A triangle surrounding a Maltese Cross was chosen as the symbol of the SUF. The triangle represents Newfoundland's approximate shape, with Cape Bauld, Cape Race and Cape Ray being the points of the triangle. The Maltese Cross represents the eight Beatitudes that members are taught to learn and observe. The mass of the building establishes its place in community life and speaks to a tradition of institutional use of the structure.

Aesthetically, the building is of value as it is a good example of an early fraternal gathering hall in an outport context. Unique design elements on the exterior of the building permit creativity in an otherwise formal, uniform structure.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property designation file A-017-017, Bonavista - Society of United Fishermen Lodge #9

Character-Defining Elements

All those architectural features which speak to the design, age, construction and use of the building as an outport Newfoundland fraternal hall, including:
-steep gable roof;
-number of storeys;
-corner boards;
-decorative use of clapboard on the bias;
-narrow clapboard;
-triangular window with Maltese cross motif;
-pointed arch windows;
-window size, style, trim and placement;
-size, style, trim and placement of exterior doors;
-stone pile foundation;
-dimension, location and orientation of building.



Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Authority

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Statute

Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Registered Heritage Structure

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Community Organizations

Function - Category and Type



Social, Benevolent or Fraternal Club

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador 1 Springdale Street St. John's, Newfoundland A1C 5V5

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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