Mizpah Lodge No. 17
Three members of Mizpah Lodge have been elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Prince Edward Island.
M.W.Bro. John F. Martin (1925-26) appointed a Committee of three to enquire into the constitution of the Order of De Molay and to report on its possible role and place in this Jurisdiction.
M.W.Bro. Sinclair MacTavish (1983-84) as a faithful Lodge Secretary for ten years appropriately honoured long-serving Lodge Secretaries in the Jurisdiction. The Honorary Rank ‘Very Worshipful’ was awarded to W.Bro. Spurgeon Walker (St. George’s), W.Bro. Lorne Seaman (True Brothers), W.Bro. Charles Dutney (Saint Andrew’s), W.Bro. Clarence Leary (Mount Moriah) and W.Bro. Arthur Owen (King Edward).
M.W.Bro. Donald Judson (1999-00) was honoured to serve during the One Hundred and Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Year. M.W.Bro. Judson identified and promoted four special projects to mark the milestone. (See Grand Lodge Anniversaries.)
M.W.Bro. Finlay Smith entered Grand Lodge in 1983-84 as an Additional Steward. He steadily advanced in the ranks and was elected Junior Grand Warden in 1994-95. Failing health in 1995 forced Bro. Smith to not re-offer his name for Office. At the Annual Communication on June 10, 1995 the Grand Master conferred the Honorary Rank, Most Worshipful, on R.W.Bro. Smith in a ceremony at the Altar. The Brethren of Mizpah Lodge honoured Bro. Smith on September 25, 1995 with a Plaque of Appreciation “for his long and faithful service to the programs of the Lodge and the maintenance of the property.”
In 1999 the Brethren of Mizpah Lodge voted to provide space on the lot for a Cairn to help commemorate the One Hundred and Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Grand Lodge of Prince Edward Island in 2000. The Masonic Family Cairn was dedicated on June 9, 2000 prior to the Grand Lodge Annual Divine Service in Eldon.
The pattern of changes in total membership in the Lodge appears to follow a cycle of thirty years of peaks and valleys. In 1912 the Lodge recorded fourteen members. In 1928 it peaked at seventy-three. During the Great Depression and the early years of WWII the total dropped to fifty-six in 1943. Fifteen years later membership reached an all-time high of seventy-six in 1958. Another thirty-year cycle followed with a mid-point low of fifty-six in 1973 and recovery to sixty-nine in 1988. Currently the Lodge has a total membership of fifty-two including fifteen Life Members
The record of Mizpah Lodge reveals the wisdom of the Grand Masters nine decades ago who saw the need for a Lodge in the Belfast area. One hundred and eighty-one Master Mason Degrees have been conferred in the Lodge since 1911. The Brethren operated for over thirty years without clear title to their Lodge Room and have displayed their Charter in four separate Lodge Rooms at five different sites in Eldon. The challenge of finding and maintaining a functional and comfortable Lodge Room has not deterred the Brethren from fulfilling their obligation to the Landmarks of the Order. The Brethren are proud of their uniqueness in holding Communications according to the full moon and equally proud of a shared heritage in Freemasonry.