L. Willard Nicholson, PGM
Most Worshipful Brother
L. Willard Nicholson, PGM
Grand Lodge of
Prince Edward Island, A.F. & A.M.
Grand Master 1989-1990
Most Worshipful Bro. Nicholson was born in Pleasant Valley, P.E.I., on May 14, 1949 to Lorne and Florence (MacNevin) Nicholson. He received his early education at Pleasant Valley elementary school, then Central Queens Regional High School and the University of Prince Edward Island. In his home community he was a member of the Pleasant Valley 4-H club.
In 1973 he married Helen Pierce of Brackley and they established their home in New Dominion. They raised a daughter, Kathy, and a son, Andrew. There, the family attended New Dominion United Church.
In 1973 also, Willard joined Bagnall’s Mills Limited, initially as a salesman-buyer, and remained with that company for some 20 years.
In 1970, Bro. Nicholson was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason in Prince of Wales Lodge No. 18 in Hunter River, where his father had also long been a member. He served as Master of that lodge in 1978, and was then appointed to the first in a series of Grand Lodge appointive and elective offices until completing his journey to the Grand East in 1989.
Beyond the Craft Rite, Willard and his wife, Helen, became members of Crystal Chapter No. 1, Order of the Eastern Star, in Charlottetown, where Willard served as Worthy Patron in 1979-80 and Helen as Worthy Matron in 1983-84. Willard also became a Shriner with Philae Temple, and a member of Northumbria Tabernacle No. 111 of the Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests.
Within the York Rite, he was exalted in Alexandra Chapter No. 11 of Royal Arch Masons, serving as its High Priest in 1979; joined Garden of the Gulf Council No. 9 of Royal & Select Masters, serving as Thrice Illustrious Master in 1980, as Recorder from 1982-1987, and as Grand Conductor of Council of the Eastern Jurisdiction of Canada in 1983-84; and advanced to Prince Edward Preceptory No. 35 of Knights Templar, serving as Preceptor in 1981, Registrar in 1982, and General Chairman of Sovereign Great Priory when the national meeting was held in Charlottetown in 1986.
As a result of all these services to the York Rite of Freemasonry, Willard was greeted in Eastern Canada Priory No. 19 Knights of the York Cross of Honour in 1984.
During his term as Grand Master, M.W.Bro. Nicholson distinguished himself by travelling to attend Grand Lodge functions in several other jurisdictions, as well as regional and national conferences, and the special occasions of several Concordant and Related bodies as well as those of the Lodges under his leadership.