King Edward Lodge No. 16
The pattern of steady growth in the first half-century of the Lodge was followed by a very difficult period from 1958-1964. Although attendance at Communications remained strong, a majority of Brethren were in arrears. In 1960 twenty-nine of fifty-four members were in arrears and the number with overdue accounts increased to thirty-five in the following year. Several Regular Communications were missed in 1961 and the traditional social events were cancelled. Several were suspended for nonpayment of dues in 1962 but the percentage in arrears remained at approximately 60%. To add to the problems the building was in poor repair and the heating system was inadequate. A new stove was acquired in 1962 but it proved to be unsatisfactory. The Brethren considered purchasing the local Manse as a Lodge Room but the price of $2000 was too much. On October 15, 1963 a Special Communication was called to consider the future of the Lodge. W.Bro. Leslie Harding presided at his first Communication as Worshipful Master. The Brethren considered surrendering their Charter and joining Mount Zion in Kensington. Another option was the building of a new Temple. In the end the Brethren decided that sixty years of Freemasonry in Malpeque could not be abandoned. The Brethren approved a number of resolutions viz. to seek the cooperation of the community in a renovation project, to seek title to the ‘outer room’ from the Women’s Institute and to hold a Masonic supper.
A Canada Winter Works Project was approved enabling the community to raise the Hall, install a new foundation, shingle the roof and repair the chimney. A new door was installed at the front of the Hall. On February 11, 1964 the Women’s Institute accepted $350 as payment from the Lodge for title to the ‘outer room’. That was a red-letter day for King Edward Lodge. W.Bro. Gerald Lockhart PM negotiated the agreement. The Lodge pledged funds to assist in renovations to the kitchen downstairs. Considerable volunteer labour was provided. For the long-term the parties agreed to fund interior repairs and operational costs for their own areas and to cost-share improvements to the exterior of the Hall and grounds.
A Masonic Supper was held on November 26, 1963 with M.W.Bro. James R. Murphy PGM as guest speaker. Each member was permitted to invite two couples as guests.
As a strong indicator of the renewal in the Lodge, the number of Brethren in arrears at the end of 1963 dropped to seventeen.
In 1966 the Lodge received a $500 loan at 4 % from Grand Lodge Benevolent Fund to help finance a redecorating project in the Lodge Room. Mr. Leo Condon was hired to repair plaster, apply three coats of paint, varnish furnishings, paint the floor and the exterior Lodge Sign. To complete the improvements the Lodge purchased thirty-nine seats at $5 each from Mr. Ken Pidgeon whose theatre in Kensington was closing. The seats are still used in the Lodge Room and Ante Room.