Saint Andrew’s and St. George’s Lodge No. 4
Although membership increased steadily during the first four decades, Saint Andrew’s experienced a similar decline in numbers during the Great Depression and WWII as did most other Lodges in the Jurisdiction. In his Annual Report to the Lodge for 1932, the Secretary wrote that “there was a falling off in work on account of prevailing conditions that was anticipated.” (Minutes, January 2, 1933) Outstanding dues on December 31, 1932 totalled $215. Total membership was one hundred and twenty-three in 1931 but dropped to eighty-eight in 1947 before an era of recovery began. The Lodge then grew steadily and recorded its highest membership in 1967 at one hundred and forty-one.
Several initiatives were taken in the early 1930’s to stimulate greater interest in the Lodge. A ‘Question Box’ was introduced to promote Masonic Education, several instructive addresses were presented, new carpet was installed in 1932 and several of the Brethren volunteered to present aspects of Masonry through plays and drama. A major production, ‘Brothers in Arms’ was presented at the Fifty-Seventh Annual Communication of Grand Lodge in Charlottetown in June 1932. During the Grand Lodge Visitation in 1933 the Brethren presented the playlet, ‘Blue Sky’.
‘Brothers In Arms’ was written by the Grand Historian of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, V.W.Bro. Reginald V. Harris. Two Masons from Halifax W.Bro W.B. MacKay and W.Bro C.B. Lowe assisted as Director and Costumer respectively. The play in two acts depicted the circumstances surrounding the establishment in 1781 of St. George’s Lodge, the first Masonic Lodge on this Island. The cast of ten from Saint Andrew’s included the following Brethren: R.K. Clements, C.C. MacLure, H.C. Johnstone, G.W. MacDonald, C.E. Armstrong, M.C. Reynolds, W.H. Poole, L.A. Johnston, L.E. Burden and L.M. MacKinnon. A picture of the cast in costume and the three Brethren from Nova Scotia hangs in the Lodge Room and in the Prince Edward Island Masonic Library and Museum. Bro. Harris gave the copyright for the play to Saint Andrew’s as a gift.
M.W.Bro. L.M. MacKinnon PGM later met Bro. MacKay during a visit to Halifax. Bro. MacKay presented him with two gifts for the Lodge : a picture of Masonic interest and an Arabian Dagger with sheath and attachments. He later provided a history of the Dagger. Both gifts were destroyed in the fire of 1950 but the blade of the dagger was recovered and R.W.Bro. Douglas MacLaren reconstructed the handle. It is still used during the Entered Apprentice Degree.