Griesbach Lodge is named after one of Edmonton's best known brethren.
Born in Fort Qu'Appelle,Saskatchewan, January 3rd , 1878, Major-General Griesbach was educated at St. John's College, Winnipeg.
Although better known for his military fame, he joined the Craft in 1906 and was initiated in Jasper Lodge No 14, on the 28th May 1906; passed to 2nd Degree on the 23rd July; and raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason, on 17 September 1906. He remained a brother in good standing until his death in Edmonton, January 1945.
He was a pioneer, a barrister, became an alderman in 1906 and "boy" Mayor of Edmonton in 1907 at the age of 29. He was Canada's youngest Chief Magistrate.
His military career started when he served in the Canadian Mounted Rifles in the South African War, 1899-1901, being awarded the Queen's Medal with four clasps.
He was commissioned in the 19th Alberta Mounted Rifles (later the 19th Alberta
Dragoons) in 1906 rising to the rank of major. The 19th Alberta Dragoons more or less enlisted en bloc as the 1st Divisional Cavalry Squadron and, in August 1914, Griesbach accompanied the unit first to Valcartier and then to Britain as Second in Command.
Major Griesbach was no sooner in Britain than he was ordered to return to Canada.He had been selected to command the 49th Battalion C.E.F, one of three units to be raised concurrently in Edmonton. He was an obvious choice for such an appointment - a well-known resident with active service and militia experience, and a westerner with the common touch that transcends all other qualities in leadership.
He returned to France with the Battalion on 8th October 1915 and took part in operations at the Ypres Salient, the Somme, Vimy Ridge, and Passchendale, to name a few. On 12th February 1917 he was promoted to Brig-Gen and commanded the 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Division. In December 1917 he was elected Unionist member of Parliament for Edmonton. He was promoted to Major-General on his retirement, 16 Sep 1921. In September 1921 he was appointed to the Senate.
Major General Griesbach maintained his military interest and in 1933 in the AlbertaMilitary Institute Journal wrote an article detailing the weaknesses of Imperial defenses and the necessity of the Dominions taking some of the weight off the shoulders of Great Britain.
In March 1938, Senator Griesbach told the Upper Chamber that in a matter of months
the British Commonwealth and France might be facing the combined might of Germany, Italy and Japan. He advocated a three-fold expansion of the militia and that training measures should be introduced to avoid the scramble into uniform that had occurred in 1914
In July 1941 he was recalled to service and served as Inspector-General of Western Canadian Forces. On March 31st, 1944 he resigned from active service.
At the annual Regimental Dinner of the Loyal Edmonton Regiment on January 6th, 1945 he admitted to being a bit tired but gave no inkling of any serious deterioration of his health. He passed away on the evening of January 21.
Among his many decorations were: Companion of the Order of the Bath;
Companion of the Order of St, Michael and St, George; Distinguished Service
Order and Bar; Volunteer Decoration and Mentioned in Despatches (6 times)
On 11 September 2005, an equestrian memorial statue to Major-General Griesbach was unveiled by the Hon. Norman L. Kwong, Lt. Governor of Alberta, at
Griesbach Village in Edmonton. Shown in the picture are members of Griesbach Lodge No. 191 who attended the ceremony. The memorial can be accessed from 137 Avenue by turning north on 102 street into Griesbach Village.