Mizpah Lodge No. 17
The reason for the selection of Mizpah as the name for the Lodge is a matter of speculation. The petitioners may have drawn a parallel with the covenant between Jacob and Laban at Mizpah as recorded in Genesis 31 and the amiable outcome of their own struggle to achieve independence as a Masonic Body. Certainly the Mizpah Benediction which originated in that Old Testament story is an integral part of each Closing at Mizpah Lodge.
A large volume of Degree work was recorded in the first year of operation. The first application for the mysteries of Masonry was received on December 18, 1911 from Arthur C. Hubley. On June 17, 1912 Bro. Hubley and Bro. David L. Morrison became the first Master Masons raised in the Lodge. The fee was $6. In the first five months the Lodge conferred fourteen Degrees including two Master Mason Degrees.
The Charter for Mizpah Lodge was approved at the Annual Communication in Alberton on June 26, 1912. It was signed by M.W.Bro. John Thomas Profit who was elected Grand Master on that occasion. The Charter was presented on November 18, 1912 when the Grand Master and Grand Secretary visited. A map of the Jurisdiction of the Lodge was also presented and currently is displayed in the Lodge Room. The Grand Secretary later provided the Lodge with a framed portrait of himself (Minutes, May 19, 1913)
The Charter listed eleven of the twelve petitioners as Charter Members viz. James F. Halliday, Alexander D. Ross, Rupert H. Hubley, Roderick A.D. Mackenzie, John J. Larabee, Charles N. Morrison, Alexander MacDonald, John F. Martin, John R. MacRae, Neil MacDonald and Finlay J.G. MacDougall. Bro. Malcolm G. MacPherson signed the Petition but he did not request a Demit from Saint Andrew’s and remained as a member of that Lodge until 1933 when he was removed from the Roll.
In February 1996 the Master’s Hat, brush, white gloves and Pillar Certificate belonging to the Late W.Bro. Alexander D. Ross were presented to the Lodge by his family. The Master Mason’s Apron worn by Bro. Roderick MacKenzie was also presented to the Lodge and was thoughtfully displayed in a case under glass by W.Bro. John Wilson PM.
Mizpah Lodge first met in the Public Hall in Eldon. It was located on the south side of the Garfield Road. Mizpah Lodge shared the space with the Orange Lodge. The Brethren provided basic furnishings and arranged for repair work before occupying their new quarters. When the Lodge was instituted Bro. Alexander MacDonald loaned $175 to the Lodge at 6% to enable the Brethren to repair and furnish the Lodge Room.. At the second Communication several accounts were approved for payment. Bro. J.J. Larabee received $1.87 for chairs and $5 for a Masonic Flag. Bro. Alex MacDonald was paid $7.02 for an Altar. Bro. A.D. Ross was paid $29.73 for materials to repair the Lodge Room and Mr. John D. Martin’s account for carpenter work was $12. Mr. John MacLellan received $9.55 for his work in plastering and repairing. (Minutes, December 18, 1911) Regalia was purchased for $65 and was first worn in January 1912.