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Society of United Fishermen Lodge SUF #1

Heart's Content, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1993/09/25

SUF Lodge #1, front and side facade, Heart's Content, November 2004; Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, 2005
Society for United Fishermen (SUF) Lodge #1
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1868/01/01 to 1869/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/01/26

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Society of United Fishermen (SUF) Lodge #1 is a one storey, mansard roof, lodge building prominently located in Heart’s Content. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The SUF Lodge #1 was designated a registered heritage structure because it has aesthetic, social and historic values.

The SUF Lodge #1 has aesthetic value because it is a good example of an early lodge building in outport Newfoundland. Founded in 1873 this mutual benefit society and fraternal order building was constructed as a meeting hall for members. The one storey structure has a mansard roof and an unadorned appearance. The simplicity of the building is broken by arched gothic windows and a triangular gable end window high above the wood plank main door. Directly above the main door is an arched sign with the organization’s triangular shaped logo and motto. The triangular shape was chosen to represent Newfoundland’s approximate shape. Within the triangle appears the Maltese Cross, symbolically representing the eight Beatitudes, which members are taught to learn and observe. The motto adopted for the society was Love, Purity and Fidelity represented by the colors red, white and blue, respectively. These colors are reflected on the exterior trim with white being the predominant color.

The SUF #1 is socially valuable because it provided fellowship and established a mutual support system for its members at a time when there were few services available to fishermen and their families. The building was designed by the SUF founder, Rev. George Gardner, and was constructed by members offering free labour and materials. The duties of the officers involved providing community aid in the forms of attending to the sick and bringing water and wood to those who needed it. They provided money and support for funerals to deceased members and their families which were made available through the collection of annual fees. The SUF also involved itself in projects to benefit individual communities through fundraising and charity work.

The SUF Lodge #1 has historic value because it is the founding lodge for the society that, at its peak, included 79 chapters in Newfoundland and 3 in Nova Scotia. The SUF is the only fraternal organization of its kind to have its roots in Newfoundland.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, unnumbered property designation file, "Heart's Content - S.U.F. #1"

Character-Defining Elements

All elements that define the building's lodge design including:
-mansard roof;
-wooden shingles;
-narrow wooden clapboard;
-gothic windows;
-triangular window;
-signage with emblem and logo;
-simple, unadorned 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



Reverend George Gardner

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, 1 Springdale Street, St. John's, NL

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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