Saint Andrew’s and St. George’s Lodge No. 4
On October 30, 1995 St. George’s Lodge honoured one of its stalwarts of the last half-century. V.W.Bro. Spurgeon Walker was presented with a Plaque by the Brethren “for distinguished and unselfish service” as Lodge Secretary. He was first elected Secretary in 1950. He received a Secretary’s Jewel on Nov 7, 1989 during the Grand Lodge Visitation. The presentation was made by W.Bro. Blair Myers, Worshipful Master. V.W.Bro. Walker concluded his duties as Secretary on September 30, 1996 after 41 years of service. V.W.Bro. Walker received his Honorary Rank in 1984 from the Grand Master, M.W.Bro. Sinclair MacTavish. The current Ledger and Bible Markers were gifts to the Lodge from Bro. Walker and his son Bro Kenneth Walker in 1973.
The Aitken name has been associated with St. George’s Lodge throughout its history. W.Bro. Kenneth Aitken PM, the current Secretary of the Lodge, is the great, great, grand nephew of the first Worshipful Master of St. George’s Lodge, W.Bro. William Bearisto Aitken. The Past Master’s Jewel of W.Bro. William B. Aitken is safely encased in the Lodge Room. A Beaver Hat was presented by W.Bro. G.A. Aitken PM on February 7, 1928. W.Bro. George A. Aitken apparently carried out some of the renovation work in 1863 after the Lodge acquired the old Hall. An account dated 1863 with interest charges was presented to the Lodge in 1876 by Bro. Aitken for £15 / 12 – / “for building and finishing this Lodge.”
One of the best known family names in the history of St. George’s Lodge is the Lavers Family. W.Bro. Andrew J.F. Lavers PM was raised in 1902 and immediately installed as Junior Warden. He was Worshipful Master in 1905 when the Brethren decided to move the Lodge from the outskirts to the centre of Town. His five sons also became members of the Lodge – M.W.Bro. Albert E., W.Bro. A. Earl, W.Bro. F. Raymond, W.Bro. Harry G. and W.Bro. David R. On September 21, 1951 W.Bro. Andrew Lavers received his Fifty Year Pin from M.W.Bro. J. Archibald Thomson, Grand Master, during the Grand Lodge Visitation. His five sons were present and a picture of the special occasion was prepared by W.Bro. R.K. Clements PM of Saint Andrew’s Lodge and later presented to Bro. Lavers. The picture hangs in the St. George’s Lodge Collection in the Temple in Montague. W.Bro. Andrew Lavers’ Master Mason’s Apron was presented to his grandson, W.Bro. Gordon Lavers ( Victoria No. 2) in a ceremony on November 4, 1980. Another grandson, W.Bro. William Lavers, was honoured to receive the Masonic Ring worn by his grandfather. The ring had been lost in the family garden for two years. M.W.Bro. A.E. Lavers, one of the five sons, was elected as Grand Master in 1963. He was made an Honorary Member of Victoria Lodge No. 2. In March 1987 Bro. Lavers’ Family presented a Memorial donation to the Building Fund in his memory. Part of the donation was used to purchase the Letter G which hangs above the Master’s Chair.
These families and many others have contributed to the rich heritage that is St. George’s. Wonderful traditions are continued and the total number of members has changed very little in the past seventy-five years. It is unfortunate that the Brethren do not own their own Lodge Room where the many beautiful and unique gifts and furnishings that have been acquired and preserved over 139 years could be displayed.
St. George’s Lodge No. 4 amalgamated with Saint Andrew’s Lodge No. 13 on December 7, 2019 in Montague, PEI.
A History of St. Andrew’s Lodge No. 13 – Est. 1884
This article is reprinted from The Pattern Set For Us: A History of the Concordant and Related Bodies of Freemasonry Past and Present on Prince Edward Island with the kind permission of the author, RW Bro. George Doughart, Grand Historian.
Insurance Plan of Montague Maps, 1888 and 1922 prepared by Underwriters Survey Bureau Ltd. – PARO, Acc. # 4458
Lodge Minutes (Minutes of 1894-1906 are missing)
Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Prince Edward Island, A.F. & A.M.
The History of Saint Andrew’s Lodge # 13 AF & AM Montague, P.E.I. 1883-1983, compiled by M.W. Bro. Douglas D. MacLaren PGM and W.Bro. Edward R. MacLaren PM
At the Regular Communication of St. Georges Lodge No. 4 on January 12, 1883 a motion was adopted, “that this Lodge waive as much of its territorial jurisdiction as will be necessary for the organization of a new Lodge at Montague Bridge, to be called St. Andrew’s Lodge.” St. Georges Lodge had a membership of forty-six in 1882. Eleven Demits were granted in 1883 to Brethren from the Montague area who had petitioned for the establishment of Saint Andrew’s Lodge.
The Dispensation to establish the Lodge at Montague was issued in October 1883 by M.W.Bro. John Yeo, Grand Master. The petitioners were Angus MacPhail, Duncan MacDonald, Nathaniel MacLaren, Charles D. Poole, Matthew Brehaut, James Robertson, James MacKenzie, James MacLeod, Edmund MacLeod, Matthew Wickwire and Duncan Crawford. The Lodge operated ‘Under Dispensation’ until June 25, 1884 when Grand Lodge approved a Charter for Saint Andrew’s No. 13.
The First Communication ‘Under Dispensation’ was on November 5, 1883. The first Officers of the Lodge were in their Stations but the Minutes do not contain an account of any business transacted. At the second Communications three applications for membership were accepted. The petitioners were John D. Bell, Lauchlan McLean and John McLean. On March 31, 1884 those three candidates became the first Brethren raised in Saint Andrew’s Lodge. (MacLaren, p. 84) W.Bro. Neill Campbell of Victoria Lodge No. 2 acted as Worshipful Master on that occasion. At the same Communication the Entered Apprentice Degree was conferred on Daniel F. MacDonald who in 1908 became the first member from the Lodge to be elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Prince Edward Island.
On April 7, 1884 an offer of $20 for the Jewels, Aprons and Collars of King Solomon Lodge No. 9 in Charlottetown was accepted by W.Bro. William Aitken, a Charter Member of that Lodge which had gone into darkness in 1883. One of the original Collars which has survived two fires is beautifully displayed in a case under glass in the Ante Room at Saint Andrew’s. The display was a gift from Bro. John Buchanan.
The Lodge was particularly active in the first months of its existence. The Grand Secretary reported that he had received the Minute Book from the Lodge and that between October 1883 and April 30,1884 twenty-one Communications were held and twenty-three Degrees including five Master Mason Degrees were conferred. The Lodge reported fifteen Master Masons on the Roll in its first Annual Return. (Proceedings, 1884, pp. 9-12) Thirty-one Degrees were conferred in the following year and the membership increased to twenty-three.
The Official Visitation by representatives of Grand Lodge on July 7, 1884 was an historic occasion for the Lodge. The Charter was presented and the first slate of Officers were installed. R.W.Bro. George W. Wakeford DGM, M.W.Bro. Adam Murray, PDGM and V.W.Bro. Simon Crabbe PJGW were present. The principal Officers installed were
|Worshipful Master||Bro. Angus MacPhail|
|Senior Warden||Bro. Nathaniel MacLaren|
|Junior Warden||Bro. Duncan MacDonald|
Bro. MacPhail later moved to Duluth, Minnesota. He returned to Montague in 1914 and the Brethren honoured him as their first Worshipful Master by presenting a Past Master’s Jewel and an Address of welcome. (Minutes, November 2, 1914) Bro. MacLaren served as Worshipful Master in 1886 and was presented with a Past Master’s Jewel in 1912. The Jewel was donated to the Lodge in 1964 by M.W. Bro. Douglas D. MacLaren PGM and the Secretary was instructed to have it framed and displayed in the Lodge Room. (Minutes, March 2, 1964)
The first Lodge Room for the Brethren was located in a building on Main Street owned by C.D. Bell, a tinsmith. (MacLaren p. 2) Kings Auto Parts Ltd.( # 36 Main Street) is presently located on the site. The building was a two-storey, wood-frame structure located near the street. (PARO, Acc. 4538, Insurance Plan of Montague Map, 1888, prepared by Underwriters Survey Bureau Ltd.) C.D. Bell’s name does not appear in the records of the Lodge as a member but John D. Bell, a Montague tinsmith, was one of the first candidates to be raised in the Lodge and was listed in 1889-90 in Frederick’s Directory (p. 449) as the proprietor of Montague Tin and Stove Store.
Mr. Bell built the first stove for the Lodge Room. The total cost of the stove, fittings and one year’s rent was $68.62 (Minutes, April 7, 1884). Initially the annual rent was $40 but negotiations led to a reduction to $30 in subsequent years. In 1887 when negotiations were held to arrange a five-year lease, the Minutes state that Bro. Bell was present and agreed to accept $30 as annual rent for each of five years. (Minutes, November 7, 1887) The five-year lease agreement was renewed in 1892.
Because the Minutes for the period 1894-1906 are missing, it is difficult to know when the Lodge Room moved across Main Street to the MacLean Building. Bro. John D. Bell deceased in 1908. at the age of fifty-five The Minutesof 1910 indicate that rent was being paid to Bro. Daniel MacLean. He was a merchant whose store was on the lot where Alfred Fraser’s Law Office is presently located. Bro. MacLean also owned the adjacent two-storey building that still stands at # 11-17 Main Street. The building originally housed a ‘Sample Room’ in the lower level. Saint Andrew’s Lodge rented the second level. (PARO, Acc. 4458, Insurance Plan of Montague Map, 1922, prepared by Underwriters Survey Bureau Ltd.) The building presently houses Campbell’s Gifts and Novelties on the lower level and two apartments on the second level.