Mount Zion Lodge No. 12
The Lodge celebrated its Fifty-fifth Anniversary on April 5, 1934 (one year late). The Minutes reported that “this being the 55th Anniversary Bro. R.S. Douglas gave very a very interesting and impressive talk.” Supper was served in the Banquet Hall after which more talks on the History of Mount Zion Lodge were given by M.W.Bro. Pidgeon PGM and W.Bro. W.S. Loring PM.
The Sixtieth Anniversary was marked by a special ceremony on March 22, 1938. Twenty-nine Brethren. assembled. Lodge was opened on the Entered Apprentice Degree to accommodate a newly-admitted Brother. A re-enactment of the first three Communications of the Lodge in 1878 proved both informative and entertaining. Solos were offered by M.W.Bro. Roscoe Walker PGM and W.Bro. Garnet Profitt PM. A recitation was given by M.W.Bro. W.H. Darrach PGM. Refreshments followed.
Mount Zion Lodge has continued a fine tradition of honouring the Clergy by presenting a Masonic ring when the member transfers outside the Jurisdiction of the Lodge. Recipients have included Rev. H.S. Loring, Rev. W. MacGowan, Rev. J.A. Winfield, Rev. K.G. MacDonald, Rev. T.B. Reagh, Rev. W. Eric Ingraham and Rev. Waldo Elliott. Clergy were declared exempt from Lodge dues in 1883 but that decision was repealed in 1942 when non- resident clergy were expected to pay partial dues of $1.50. When Bro. Winfield was honoured in 1904 he responded by presenting the Lodge with an oil painting of ‘The Setting Sun’ which is still in the Lodge Room.
The Brethren have not neglected the social side of Masonic life. Suppers, parties, sing songs, picnics, barbecues have served to bring the Masonic families together through the years. The June lobster supper with the ladies is a tradition that started in the 1970’s. Social activity was commonplace in the early years. In addition to the St. John’s Night feast the Brethren planned other suppers. An oyster supper at Bro. Simms’ residence in 1881 required a minimum of twenty persons at 50¢ each. The Lodge was often invited to join neighbouring Lodges for social activities. In 1878 certificates for some newly raised Brethren were promptly requested from Grand Lodge in order that the Brethren might secure single fare rates on the train to Hunter River for a Masonic Picnic hosted by the three Charlottetown Lodges. In 1882 Mount Zion joined the Brethren from Summerside for an excursion. The Brethren inquired if a special train could be gotten to enable them to return on the same evening before accepting an invitation in 1884 to attend St. John’s Night entertainment in Summerside. In 1885 the Brethren joined their ‘lady friends’ downstairs at the ‘festive board’ following their Regular Communication in March. After the meal the group went to the Lodge Room for speeches, music and song and.“near twelve all dispersed.” In 1887 a five-member Entertainment Committee tried to rent Ruben Tuplin’s Hall to enable dancing at the planned social in March. They were unsuccessful so it was held in the Civic Hall and Lodge Room. Catering could not be arranged for less than $1 per couple so the families prepared their own meal of ham, tongues and all the fixings. Dishes, cutlery and cloths were brought from home. The fee was 25¢ per person. Invitations were sent to all neighbouring Lodges. The final report on the event submitted in April 1887 showed a profit of $1.61. The Brethren approved sharing the profit among the Committee members “as they shall agree” since the Committee had promised to cover any shortfall had that occurred.