Mizpah Lodge No. 17
In November 1917 a Committee was appointed “to see about locating sight (sic) for a new Hall.” Negotiations were held with Bro. A,D. Ross whose store at the southwest corner of the Eldon Intersection was available for rent. Bro. Ross accepted an offer to lease for ten years at $100 per year and “to seat, heat and light the Lodge Room.” (Minutes, August 27, 1918)
The Lodge Room was dedicated at a Special Communication of the Grand Lodge of Prince Edward Island on March 31, 1919. M.W.Bro. L. M. MacKinnon conducted the ceremony. The Grand Lodge held its Regular Visitation following the Dedication.
The solemn purposes and noble deeds were not adequate to ensure longevity for the Brethren in the new quarters. The Lodge records did not contain the causes of dissatisfaction but within a few months of the Dedication the Brethren were holding discussions on locating a new Lodge Room..
In October 1919 approval was given for a ten-year lease agreement with James St. Clair Moore to rent space above his Store in Eldon at $75 yearly. The first floor of the Store was shared by the Royal Bank and the Public Library. The Store was on the north side of the Garfield Road across from the Public Hall. (The Moore residence on the same property is presently occupied by Mrs. Ellen Hering.)
The Lodge added some new furnishings and amenities for the Brethren. M.W.Bro. L. M. MacKinnon PGM donated a set of Columns which had been painted by Bro. Malcolm MacPherson. (Minutes, May 17, 1920) Chandler and Bell of Charlottetown supplied two Ashlars as a gift to the Lodge. (Minutes, April 18, 1921) Tables, brush, comb, wash basin and towels were requested in April 1921. The Master’s Chair was purchased in 1921. Bro. E. MacKay presented the Lodge with a Sword. (Minutes, May 16, 1921) On May 11, 1922 the Lodge voted to have a new platform located at the Hall Door with the Royal Bank to pay half the costs.
On May 16, 1921 a motion was adopted “that this Lodge take up the matter of obtaining a Charter for a branch of the Eastern Star Lodge.” Bethel Chapter No. 3 was instituted on June 30, 1921. W.Bro. J.J. Larabee P.M. was the first Worthy Patron of the Chapter. The Chapter also used the Lodge Room in Mr. Moore’s Store for its meetings. The Charter was lifted in 1934.
Installation on St. John’s Night was first recorded in 1916. Bro. Neil MacDonald was installed as Master by W.Bro. J.F. Martin PM. The first reference to entertainment was in 1921 when a committee was appointed to arrange same. The tradition of a supper and entertainment on St. John’s Night continued until 1937 when the activity was scheduled for December 2. The change may have been prompted by the fact that the event had to be cancelled in each of the previous four years due to adverse weather. Installation on St. John’s Night continued until 1941. The suppers and entertainment were normally held in the Lodge Room although the Public Hall was rented on occasion.