St. George’s Lodge No. 4
St. George’s Lodge saw its Jurisdiction greatly reduced with the creation of two new Masonic Lodges in Kings County within a period of six years. Orient No. 11 in Souris (1877) and Saint Andrew’s No. 13 in Montague (1884) received Charters under the Grand Lodge of Prince Edward Island leaving St. George’s with a much reduced jurisdiction. Both Petitions were supported unanimously by the Brethren of St. George’s. Only six Freemasons were present on June 2, 1883 when the Petition from the Brethren at Montague Bridge was received. With eleven Demits granted to Montague Brethren and five Suspensions in 1883 the Lodge was left with only thirty members.
The decision to move the Masonic Hall closer to the Town’s business section was made on November 7, 1905. A site on Kent Street south of the Kings County Court House was purchased from the Board of Education. The Worshipful Master in 1905 was W.Bro. Andrew J.F. Lavers. The Committee appointed on October 3, 1905 to arrange the move of the Hall to a more suitable site was W.Bro Wallace W. Jenkins PM, W.Bro. Nelson Fairchild PM and Bro. James D. Stewart. (A portrait of Bro. Jenkins is in the Georgetown Collection at the Temple in Montague.) Bro. Stewart became Grand Master in 1915.
The Brethren had considered a move much earlier. On August 2, 1884 part of a Town lot was bought from Richard Jenkins for $26.39 but it was sold back later in the same year. M.W.Bro. Donald Darrach, Grand Master, wrote following his visit to the Lodge on March 8, 1892 “It is to be regretted that the Brethren are unable to meet but seldom, and then only a few of them. They own their own Hall but have no legal title to it. This should not be.” (Proceedings, 1892) In November 1892 W.Bro. David Kaye PM, who resided adjacent to the Hall on Glenelg Street, donated the land on which the Hall was located. A Committee was appointed to secure a deed for the site. Bro. Kaye died in June 1893.
The move downtown seemed to prompt immediate growth in membership. In the five-year period (1906-10) twenty-nine candidates were raised. Nine candidates were raised in 1906. The Lodge reached its peak membership in 1913 at seventy-five. The Worshipful Masters during that revival were: W.Bro. John W. MacLeod (1906), W.Bro. James D. Stewart (1907-08), W.Bro. Russell R. MacLean (1909-10), W.Bro. Robert Dewar (1911-12), W.Bro. Duncan D. MacDonald (1913). In his Address at the Annual Communication in 1907 M.W. Bro W.K. Rogers, Grand Master, noted that St. George’s Lodge had moved from the Outskirts of Town “to a splendid and convenient location.” He also noted that the expense of the move had used up all of the Lodge funds plus a liability of $300. In 1912 the Grand Master noted that attendance in the Lodge had increased 50% over the previous year. Considerable renovation work was carried out in 1913. A new stove was purchased. Carpet was installed in the Preparation Room in 1916 and electric lights were installed in 1917. An iron-railing fence was erected at the front. (A picture of the Old Hall is displayed in the Church Hall at Georgetown). M.W. Bro. James Stewart, the Grand Master in 1915-16, was no doubt proud to make an Official Visitation to his own rejuvenated Lodge on April 4, 1916. On that occasion R.W. Bro. A.S. MacKay, Deputy Grand Master, presented a picture of His Majesty King George V.