St. George’s Lodge No. 4
St. George’s originally met on the first Thursday of the month. That was changed in 1884 to the first Saturday. The practice of meeting on the first Tuesday began in 1906. The Lodge used the Bye-Laws of St. John’s Lodge in the beginning but adopted their own set in 1864. The Committee that worked on the Bye-Laws originally recommended that the Bye-Laws of Victoria Lodge be approved but that request was rejected. A new set was approved in 1884. A further revision occurred in 1912 and the new Code of Bye-Laws was inscribed in the Minute Book in 1912. The Lodge has continued the practice of holding the election of new Officers at the Regular Communication in December. Originally only the Worshipful Master, Treasurer and Tyler were elected. The Master Elect appointed all of the remaining Officers. That practice ended in 1881. Installation usually occurred on St. John’s Night with refreshments and entertainment following. Few details of the celebrations were provided in the Minutes in the earliest years. V.W.Bro. Spurgeon Walker PM has possession of a ticket that advertized a Masonic Ball at Georgetown on December 31, 1879. The tradition of holding a goose supper with scalloped potatoes, a crock of beans and ‘all the fixings’ began in 1954. Fine music by the Websters and a film were part of that special evening. Ladies were invited for the first time in 1997.
A notable event in the early history of the Lodge was the laying of the Corner Stone for the new Georgetown Academy on June 24, 1862. W.Bro. Charles Bell PM from St. John’s Lodge presided as Deputy Grand Master and several Brethren from Charlottetown attended. After the Lodge was opened the Brethren proceeded to Holy Trinity Anglican Church where the sermon was delivered by W.Bro Robert T. Roach, the new Worshipful Master of St. George’s. The Brethren then went by Grand Procession to the Academy which was located immediately west of the Anglican Church on Grafton Street. The Procession was led by a Brass Band from Charlottetown. The order of the participants in the March was fully detailed in the Minutes of the Lodge. Following the ceremony the Brethren returned to close the Lodge and to proceed to dinner at the Aitken Hotel.
While the event was a source of satisfaction and pride for the Lodge, the subsequent expense account for the ceremony provoked debate for several months. Total expenses including dinner, ten gallons of ale, two dozen porter, lodging for the Band and sundry items was £23 / 19s / 7p. (approximately $77) The sale of tickets for the dinner at 7/6 each brought receipts to £10 / 2 / 6 / (approximately $33) leaving the Lodge with a significant deficit. ( MacQuarrie p.3) During the debate of the issue it was decided to charge the Charlottetown Lodges for the cost of the band. This request was denied. At the Regular Communication in October lengthy discussion was held on the issue of the account for the beverages. The Brethren were concerned about using Lodge funds for such an expense. The Brethren discussed the “effects upon Masons morally, pecuniarly and physically.” The issue was finally resolved when it was decided to pay all expenses but “to tax all Masons” to make up the balance for the beverages. (The building that served as the Georgetown Academy still stands. It has been relocated on Victoria Street and is presently used as a workshop by Mr. Francis Hebert)