Lodge 203

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Training Courses


Lodge 203 is located in Holyrood, Newfoundland. Lodge 203 was chartered on July 7, 1969 and has a membership of 450 members who are qualified in:

  • Boilermaking
  • Fabrication
  • Welding
  • Non-destructive Testing


Lodge 203 received its charter in 1969 but the labour movement dates from the early 1800’s. The Seal Skinners had a violent strike at Harbour Grace in 1832, but none of the craft unions were large enough at the time to form their own organization so a general group, known as the Mechanic’s Society, served the purpose of representation for various workers in 1827-1850. By the mid 1800’s, the craft union broke off onto their own, which led to many strikes for recognition, wages, work safety conditions, etc. By 1897, the first Labour Day parade took place in St. John’s. The Boilermakers float had a fire pot heating rivets which were driven into the boilerplate as the procession passed along with other trades showing off their craft also to the general public making them aware the Unions were alive and well in Newfoundland.

By the early 1900’s, the railroads were in operation on the island. To keep the unions in check, there was a piece of Legislation called the Employer’s Liability Act. One of the provisions of the act allowed the employer to force employees to sign away their rights as a condition of employment and it took many years to turn this around. In 1917, the Boilermakers along with other trades formed the Newfoundland Industrial Workers Association (NIWA) and in the following year, went on strike. The employers hired strike breakers and after a few weeks other unions joined the battle. The employer at the end agreed to recognize the union, wage increases and a grievance procedure.

As the post World War One Depression and the Great Depression hit Newfoundland, the unions started to disappear on the island. During this time, the Prime Minster signed away the responsibility for running Newfoundland’s affairs to Britain. The commission who ran Newfoundland’s affairs refused to recognize the unions. It took the International Vice-President for the Boilermakers to use the clout he had to get a debate started in the House of Commons in London to change that around. In 1943, the International granted a charter to Lodge 717 as a Railroad Lodge (later became a Marine lodge) in St. John’s. By 1947, a national Tank Agreement in Canada included Newfoundland giving Lodge 271 out of Montreal the Jurisdiction. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, Newfoundland had major construction projects in progress – a Phosphorous Plant, Kraft Line board, Oil Refinery and Hydro-electric projects. It was the work picture which inspired the chartering of a construction lodge in Newfoundland in 1969.

In the 1970’s, construction was widespread with Hydro-electric plants in Labrador, a palletizing plant in Labrador City, Oil Refineries on the Island with giant tank farms. During the 1980’s and 90’s, the members of Lodge 203 spent most of their time travel carding around North America to make ends meet. In 1996, Lodge 717’s charter lapsed because a lack of work.


  • Holyrood Generating Station
  • NARL Refinery
  • Grand Falls Mill
  • Corner Brook Pup & Paper
  • Iron Ore Company of Canada, Labrador City

Training Courses

  • Red Seal
  • Safety Training
  • Rigging upgrading
  • Welding, upgrading, and Certification to Provincial Qualifications


PO Box 250
Holyrood, NL AOA 2R0

Tel: (709) 229-7355
Fax: (709) 229-7300