Mizpah Lodge No. 17
On December 5, 1911 the Grand Master accompanied by the Grand Secretary and Senior Grand Deacon assembled at the Public Hall in Eldon to institute Mizpah Lodge ‘Under Dispensation’. The Dispensation was dated December 1, 1911. The Grand Secretary, M.W.Bro. W.P. Doull, had permission from Victoria Lodge to borrow the Regalia for the ceremony. The Grand Master installed the first slate of Officers. The three principal Officers were:
|Worshipful Master||Bro. Alexander D. Ross|
|Senior Warden||Bro. Rupert H. Hubley|
|Junior Warden||Bro. John J. Larabee|
The Dispensation also decreed that the Bye-Laws of Saint Andrew’s Lodge, as modified by Grand Lodge to suit the requirements of the Brethren, would be used to govern Mizpah Lodge until a new Code was prepared and approved by Grand Lodge. A new Code containing several revisions was adopted on June 16, 1913. Annual dues were set at $3 for Brethren within ten miles of the Lodge Room and $2 for those beyond ten miles. Regular Communications were to be held on the third Monday of each month with a 7:00 p.m. start time from October to April and 8:00 p.m. for the other months. The dues were amended in 1917 to provide a reduction to $2 and $1.50 respectively. On May 16, 1921 a motion to raise the dues to $3 was approved. Dues currently stand at $35 with the latest increase occurring in 1998.
A significant amendment was adopted on May 16, 1921 when the Brethren agreed to hold Regular Communications “on the Thursday on or before the full moon.” Grand Lodge interpreted the resolution wrongly and printed the amendment as “ the Thursday nearest the full moon” (Proceedings, 1921 p.80) The error was not corrected until 1924. The first Communication under the new amendment was held on July 14, 1921.
Several amendments to the Bye-Laws were adopted in 1940. Approval of the changes to Sections Six and Seven was given in 1942. Election of Officers was moved from December to October with Installation at the next Regular Communication rather than on St. John’s Night. The Worshipful Master was given power to appoint Officers below the Office of Deacon. The last Installation on St. John’s Night occurred in 1941. W.Bro. D.J. Riley PM was installed as Worshipful Master for 1942. The Minutes showed that Bro. Riley was also the Installing Officer for the ceremony.
The matter of closing for July and August has been considered in the Lodge on a few occasions. The first reference was in 1973 when the Brethren decided to close “due to insufficient numbers attending the last few years.” (Minutes, June 14, 1973) There wasn’t any stated reason for discontinuing the summer recess after only one year. The Bye-Laws had not been amended to authorize the closure and the Lodge may have been reminded of the oversight. Most recently in May 2000 the Lodge voted against a resolution to close for the months of July and August.