THE COLONIAL OPERA HOUSE
The Colonial Opera House Threatre also in view the Lodge Building
In early 1900’s a group of young brothers had a grand vision that one day they would have their own Lodge Home they were brothers of the Loyal Flower of the Day Lodge #6347. It would be a mammoth task, but with determination they formulated plans to erect a building that would stand as a legacy until the end of time. During the era of racism it was not easy to achieve that goal. Five Black Brothers, made up their minds this was going to become a reality. After many meetings with their brother Lodge permission was granted to purchase the land and proceed with the plans.
Brother Clarence Orister Darrell a business man of note who held some clout with the white establishment interceded and the land was purchased on Victoria Street. When the white businessmen found out that Brother Darrell had purchased the land not for himself but the Lodge Order they were furious but the deal was done. They stated “Had we known this is what you wanted the land for we would never have agreed to the sale’ racism as obvious as the nose on ones face. The brothers involved in the building were Brother William ‘Syke’ Smith Master Designer, Brothers William ‘Willie” Stowe, Adolphus D Dickinson, Henry Heard, William Francis Wilson 2nd. known to some as ( W.F ), the youngest of the group and lead Mason, the work began. Once completed people looked in awe at such a magnificent structure with it’s Gothic Style. It became known as The Colonial Opera House Theatre adjacent it housed a Minerial Water Factory operated by William F. Wilson 2nd. and Seth O Hinson and in later years W,F, Sons and brothers -in-laws. The Manchester Unity Lodge Room was on the upper floor situated on the corner of Union Square which in its self has a story to tell and Victoria Street was built. Unfortunately the theatre after being rented out as a church was destroyed by fire in 1976 and was never rebuilt the lodge room still stands and on many occasions used for cultural activities as well as their meetings.
See full store of the Opera House Theatre “A legacy Destroyed ‘ in the book Bermuda’s Forgotten Heroes’ Our Greatest Legacy’ by Joy Wilson-Tucker