Two local members of the Fraternal Order of the Knights of Pythias have been elected to the order’s highest positions in the province in recent elections at Harrison Hot Springs.
Dan Stubbs was elected to the position of Grand Secretary and 40-year veteran of the organization, Ivan Johnston, was elected as Grand Treasurer.
“I’m honoured that I have the trust of the people in the domain of B.C. to do this,” said Stubbs. “But it’s a giving order, not self-serving. Friendship, charity, and benevolence, that’s what we stand for, that’s our foundation.”
The fraternal order has a long history in Trail, in fact, according to Johnston, even longer than the city itself.
“The local order is one year older than the City of Trail,” he said. “It was founded in 1897 by Noble Binns.”
As well as maintaining a 117-year history of charity work in the community the Pythians have also contributed to the social life of Trail in the venerable KP Hall above Shoppers Drug Mart in downtown Trail, hosting dances, socials, weddings, and parties in the hall over the course of its history.
“The hall was built as two separate buildings, from 1923 to ‘26 and 1926 to ‘29,” said Johnston. “It has the original spring-loaded dance floor and the only indoor band shell left in the Kootenays.”
The fraternity, and its female counterpart, the Pythian Sisters, have contributed to charities throughout its history in the community including; the Kootenay Regional Hospital (KBRH) Foundation, the Renal Unit at KBRH, the Drug and Alcohol Resistance and Education (DARE) program, and the Miss Trail Pageant.
As part of bringing the top B.C. position of the order to Trail with Stubbs’ election the provincial office will also be coming to town to be housed in Stubbs’ home office.
Both Stubbs and Johnston have also earned the Honours of Past Grand Chancellors for prior service to the order, an accomplishment they share with other Trail residents, Noble Binns, in 1902, J.A. MacKinnon, in 1929, John Balfour, in 1939, H. Simpson, in 1950, Gordon (Scotty) Balfour, in 1958, Jack Balfour, in 1980 (making three generations of the Balfour family) Michael Yakimchuk, in 1987, Ian Johnston, in 2008, Dan Stubbs, in 2010, and Philip Stubbs, in 2013.
The election of the two members from the same city to these high provincial offices is a first and comes as a result of years of dedication and volunteer work by Stubbs and Johnston.
“You don’t do this for any accolade,” said Johnston. “You do it because you want to.”