Victoria Lodge No. 2
Victoria Lodge held its first Communication in the new Temple on October 2, 1893. The Worshipful Master was Bro. C.H. Dingwell. The Lodge Trustee was requested to arrange for the lease of three rooms in the Temple. Annual rent was $125 in 1894 and remained unchanged until 1905 when improvements to the water and sewer service resulted in an increase to $140. In 1892 the Lodge paid $90 as rent for the old Lodge Room on Water Street. The Lodges paid $685.86 to furnish the new Lodge Room. (Minutes, October 2, 1893
The Recreation Room adjacent to the Lodge Room was a popular place for the Brethren. Lodge suppers and socials were held there. A Joint Committee of the two Lodges was formed in 1905 to decide when the Room would be open for “The Fourth Degree’. The Worshipful Master was given power to decide when refreshments would be served. In 1909 the Recreation Room was converted into Scottish Rite Apartments for the exclusive use of the Scottish Rite Bodies. The rental was $80 and included heat and lights. (Minutes, January, 1909)
As Victoria Lodge continued to expand, the lack of adequate space was an issue. By 1910 membership in the Lodge had increased 50% since the Temple was opened in 1893. The Brethren also missed the social activity offered through the Recreation Room. An inquiry was made with officials of the new bank adjacent to the Temple but available space did not exceed what the Lodge already had. Part of the Grand Secretary’s Office below the Lodge Room was available but was deemed too small. A joint effort by the Craft Lodges to have the Scottish Rite Bodies vacate the Recreation Room was abandoned in 1920. When Albert Edward Lodge of Perfection moved its Charter to Summerside in 1926, a Joint Committee immediately began planning to convert the vacant Room into a Library and Recreation Room. The committee recommended removing the stage and partition to create more floor space and arrangements were made to keep the Room clean and in order “by having a woman come in for a portion of the day.” (Minutes, May, 1926)
The Brethren were clearly enthusiastic about their new Recreation Room. In March 1930 the Brethren gathered after the Regular Communication for “a good old fashioned bean supper.” In April the fare was oysters. In April 1931 the Worshipful Master was instructed to confer with the Worshipful Master of St. John’s Lodge to select a suitable night once a month for a social evening.
In November 1932 the Lodges authorized a plan by the Trustees to build and equip a kitchen below the Recreation Room with a connecting, enclosed stairway. The project cost $500 and enabled the Freemasons to hold banquets. In January 1939 the Trustees presented a Report on a plan to employ a lady to clean the Temple. The duties involved dusting before each meeting, vacuuming twice monthly, sweeping and dusting the front stairs twice monthly, scrubbing the Ante Room, stairs, lavatory and front hall four times yearly and scrubbing the kitchen, Recreation Room and back stairs twice yearly. The Trustees determined that the Temple was used for sixty meetings yearly and estimated that sweeping and dusting before each meeting would require two hours and “should be worth at least 75¢ per meeting.” They recommended $15 for the scrubbing thereby bringing the total yearly cost of the service to $60. Victoria Lodge approved the plan and authorized the Trustees “to procure a janitress.”