George Warren

Reprinted from the Canadian Orange Historical website


GWarrenGeorge Warren was born on Gooseberry Island, Bonavista Bay, Newfoundland, October 16, 1921. He graduated from Memorial University and was an accountant before becoming interested in politics. He was the assistant Deputy Minister of Public Works in Newfoundland, 1959 – 1963 and was appointed Deputy Minister in 1963. Warren was the Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Canada, 1962 – 1965.


In addition to being the oldest settled part of North America, Newfoundland lays claim to another distinction – the corner stone of Empire. The beginning of Britain overseas. It is only natural to expect a land with such a distinction to be loyal to the Motherland and to welcome any organization, that advocated patriotism, and such civil and religious liberties, as those practiced in England. The Orange Association was such an organization. This is the centennial year of Orangeism, in this part of Canada. In 1863, Dr. Thomas Leeming, a doctor, with the Royal Navy, and native of Prince Edward Island, was visiting here on a tour of duty. He succeeded in getting a few men interested in forming an Orange Association. They formed the lodge, and named it Royal Oak, and I am happy to say, it is represented here today. Another lodge was later formed in the city, and named “Leeming”, in honour of the man who introduced Orangeism to this part of the World. One of the founders of “Royal Oak” was David Smallwood, grandfather of Newfoundland’s present Premier, Joseph R. Smallwood, the father of Confederation of Newfoundland with Canada. The Premier, and his two sons, still retain their membership, in the mother lodge.

Following the formation of the first lodge, the Order grew rapidly. It became the common practice, for fishermen, when they made their fall trip to St. John’s, to complete their year’s fishing transactions, to “join the Orange society”. They would go home and talk about “the Society”, and about the “lodge in St. John’s”. This could not fail to arouse interest among those who did not go to St. John’s, and therefore could “not belong”. This situation was soon remedied by the formation of a “local” lodge. Thus the Order grew. Today, there are upwards of two hundred and fifty such lodges. In addition, there are well over a hundred Black Preceptories, one hundred and fifty L.O.B.A. lodges, together with an ever increasing number of Juvenile and Orange Young Briton Lodges.

Time and space will not allow me to elaborate on the influence of the Orange Association on Newfoundland life, during the last one hundred years. It has helped to maintain a way of life that is held dear by the inhabitants. The lodge hall, has been the hub of community activity. Church socials, lodge socials, public meetings, rallying points in times of disaster – all have centred around the lodge. It would be sufficient evidence to testify to the Association’s influence if only it were said, a roll call of the leaders of Newfoundland, in the past one hundred years, would parallel very closely the leaders of the Orange Association.”

The above item is taken from the Address of the Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Canada, George Warren, made at the 133rd Annual Session of the Grand Orange Lodge of British America which occurred in St. John’s, Newfoundland on June 19 – 21, 1963.


Reprinted from The Telegram, June 8, 1988 – provided by Edith Norris

House pays tribute to late George Warren

The House of Assembly paid tribute Wednesday to the late George Warren, a former deputy minister and minister of Public Works, retired businessman, and a former Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of British America.

Mr. Warren passed way suddenly at the Health Sciences Centre Monday in his 67th year.

Opposition Leader Clyde Wells said Mr. Warren served the province “faithfully and well,” particularly in the Public Works department at a time when a great amount of building was necessary. He was personally largely responsible for overseeing a great amount of that work, the Liberal leader said.

Deputy Premier John Collins also praised Mr. Warren and said it was a “sad thing to lose such an eminent servant to the people.”

The House will send a letter of condolence to the family.

A native of Gooseberry Island in Bonavista Bay, Mr. Warren received his education in Corner Brook and at Memorial University.

He worked at various times as a fisherman, logger and carpenter as well as accountant, auditor and office manager. He served as a member of town council of Corner Brook West, which later became part of the City of Corner Brook.

In 1959 he was appointed by Premier J.R. Smallwood to the position of assistant deputy minister of Public Works, and promoted to deputy minister four later.

In July 1971, Mr. Smallwood made him minister of the department but he resigned following his loss in Humber East to Conservative Dr. Tom Farrell in October 1971 general election.

Mr. Warren then went to work with Lundrigan’s Ltd. as business director.

He became provincial Grand Master of the Orange Lodge before rising to the position of Grand Master of British America, the highest position within the organization in Canada.

He was founding president of the Loyal Orange Association Hostel Corporation, which built a hostel for cancer patients adjacent to the former St. John’s General Hospital on Forest Road.

Mr. Warrant was an active member of the United Church of Canada.

He served as president of the St. John’s Board of Trade, Newfoundland Ocean Industries Associations, North West Rotary Club, and the Newfoundland Division of the Canadian Cancer Society.

He leave to mourn his wife Mary, daughter Elaine, and sons Wilfred and Sean and their families; also a brother, Augustus, and sister, Blanche, and their families.

The remains are resting at Carnell Memorial Chapel.

Funeral service from St. James’ Unite Church at 2:30 p.m. today.


The Telegram Clipping


Transcribed by Wanda Garrett, October 2015

These transcriptions may contain human errors. As always, confirm these as you would any other source material.