Prince Edward Lodge No. 14
The revival of the Lodge which began after the first decade of the Twentieth Century was quite remarkable. The membership almost doubled in fifteen years – a fact that is more significant because many of the other Lodges suffered losses in the war years. Prince Edward Lodge had a membership of fifty-seven in 1925. (Proceedings, 1926)
Prince Edward Lodge has had one of the most consistent memberships in the Jurisdiction for the past seventy years. In 1926 the Lodge lost thirteen members through demits when Prince of Wales Lodge No. 18 was instituted. During the Great Depression when many Lodges saw the membership drop by approximately 20%, Prince Edward was one of a few Lodges that maintained a consistent level. Since WWII the Lodge has maintained a membership of approximately sixty with 1955 being the peak year when sixty-five were recorded. The Lodge presently has a membership of fifty-two including fourteen Life Members.
On May 9, 1930 the Brethren assembled to honour W.Bro. Norman Nicholson PM, one of its Charter Members who had been quite instrumental in the revival of the Lodge after 1910. The Lodge arranged a supper and a large number of the Brethren and their ladies were in attendance. W.Bro. J.H. Simpson delivered an Address and Bro. A.E. Fyfe presented a Past Master’s Jewel to Bro. Nicholson. Bro. Nicholson served four terms as Worshipful Master. He was made an Associate Life Member in April1936. (Bro. Nicholson’s Jewel was presented to the Lodge following his death in 1942 and was displayed under glass in the Lodge Room)
At the Regular Communication on January 6, 1926 the Lodge heard a Petition of ten Brethren within the membership who wished to establish a Lodge in Hunter River. A motion was adopted giving assent to the Petition and to the resolution therein requesting that the Grand Master grant a Dispensation for the new Lodge. The Petition was returned later by Grand Lodge because the signatures of the petitioners were not included and the Petition did not bear the Seal of Prince Edward Lodge. Prince of Wales Lodge was instituted in Hunter River on October 26, 1926. Freemasons from the Hunter River area had been associated with Prince Edward Lodge since 1887 when Bro. John H. Bagnall was raised but none had ever been elected Worshipful Master.
An extensive File of handwritten documents in the Library of Prince of Wales Lodge No. 18 indicates that the Brethren of Hunter River had tried unsuccessfully to establish a Lodge in 1923. A copy of a Petition that was apparently presented at Prince Edward Lodge in January 1923 as well as correspondence with the Grand Secretary and Grand Master seem to support the claim that an earlier effort had been made. The Minutes of Prince Edward Lodge are silent on any transactions related to a 1923 Petition from the Brethren of Hunter River. Likewise in 1926 the Minutes reflected little interest in the new Lodge which was regularly referenced as “Prince Wales”.