Mizpah Lodge No. 17
Many of the enhancements within the Lodge Room were gifts from the Brethren. The woodcraft skills and generosity of W.Bro. Benjamin Bears were evidenced in the stands for new Staffs (March 1979), candle holders for Lesser Lights (May 1984) and the cabinet for the Lodge Library (August 1985). W.Bro. Duncan Wilson PM contributed a three-volume Encyclopaedia as the first items for the Library. One of the principal benefactors of the Lodge is M.W.Bro. Finlay Smith who donated the Staffs (1979) the Altar covering (1980). M.W.Bro. Smith and Bro. Wilson donated the Masonic Clock (December 1985). The new Flags were donated by W.Bro. Roy Herman (July, 1979). W.Bro. Donald B. Judson presented the portrait of Prince Philip (July 1979), two Pillars (August 1980) and the cathedral light above the Altar ( April 1988). W.Bro. Dennis Munroe PM provided one of the most meaningful additions to the Lodge Room in 1994 in the form of a Past Masters’ Plaque listing the Worshipful Masters since 1912 on individual plates. Bro. Monroe also donated the ceiling fan (1988).
In 1986 a Fund was started to finance the replacement of Lodge Regalia. New Collars and Jewels were purchased in January 1987. Bro. Garth Ferguson of Saint Andrew’s Lodge donated twelve pairs of White Gloves (1988).
The various maintenance projects at that time added to the appearance and convenience of the building. Mr. Melvin Drake of Vernon received $300 in July 1978 for painting the building. New carpet was installed in September 1979 at a total cost of approximately $750. A solution to the long-standing heating problem was reached in 1982 when a used furnace was installed. The total cost of the project was $949.56. (Minutes, October 28, 1982) The Brethren extended a vote of thanks to Bro. Lawrence MacWilliams for “donated materials, furnace installation, know-how and the many hours involved in putting in our new heating system.” (Minutes, Feb. 25, 1983) A Building Committee was appointed in February 1984 to assess the structure of the building and recommend needed repairs. The members were Bro. Irwin Judson (chairman), Bro. Darrell Jenkins and W.Bro. Finlay Smith PM. In August 1984 a decision was made to raise the building and to install a four-foot, concrete foundation. A Finance Committee consisting of W.Bro. Donald Judson PM, Bro. Winston Smith and W.Bro. Ben Bears PM was appointed. (Minutes, August 9, 1984) Mr. George Whiteway, the contractor, completed the work in the autumn of 1984 at a cost of $6497.76. A subscription list was opened and members contributed approximately $4000. The Lodge was successful in its application for a Canada Works Grant in 1984. Work completed under the project between February and April, 1985 included moving the entrance to the south side, insulating the ceiling, shingling the east end, stripping and refinishing the Lodge Room furniture, repainting window frames and refitting the Murchison Memorial window. (Minutes, April 4, 1985) The Window in the east is a memorial to Mr. Neil Murchison, uncle of R.W.Bro. John Rogers, Deputy Grand Master.