Victoria Lodge No. 2
During WWII the Lodge Minutes contain several references to non-residents at the Royal Air Force Station in Charlottetown but little mention of members of the Lodge who were serving in the Forces. The Lodge received seven Petitions from personnel at the Station whose place of residence was England. Masons at the Station regularly visited the Lodge during the War. The only petitioners from within the Jurisdiction who were listed in the Minutes as members of the military were Bro. John William Kirby ((December 2, 1940), Bro. Elwyn Earle Thomson (April 3, 1944) and Bro. Floyd Drake (August 1944). On February 2, 1942 the Lodge voted “that the dues of all members on active service be remitted during the war.” That number was six in 1943, eight in 1944 and twenty in 1945. (Proceedings, selected years)
The Special Communication on November 27, 1944 was indeed special. It was convened as a Past Masters’ Night. The Worshipful Master, Bro. C. W. Rowe passed the Gavel to W.Bro. H.E. Ward PM who presided for the Opening and Closing. The Master Mason Degree was conferred for Bro. Arthur Woodford Wellner, Bro. Lloyd Ernest Ward and Bro. Floyd Drake. Each candidate was raised by his father namely W.Bro. L.E. Wellner PM, M.W.Bro. H.E. Ward PGM and M.W.Bro. William J. Drake PGM. Seventy-seven Brethren including the Grand Master were in attendance. A banquet was held in the newly redecorated Recreation Room. Appreciation was extended to Col. Andrew and Col. Fielding who arranged leave for Bro. Drake to receive his Degree.
In the early morning hours of December 14, 1955 the Temple on Grafton Street was destroyed by fire. Victoria Lodge suffered immense losses including its original Charter, new Regalia and numerous gifts and portraits. Fortunately the Minute Books and records were stored in a safe and were not damaged. In his Annual Report to Grand Lodge in June 1956 the Grand Secretary credited the efforts of the Fire Department in battling the blaze and the special role of Bro. James Walker, Bro. Leslie Gillespie and Bro. George Rogers in keeping a supply of water on the safe and filing cabinet thereby ensuring that the Records were preserved. The contents of the Corner Stone at the northeast corner were discovered by workmen who were engaged in clearing the rubble in October 1956. Among the contents were copies of the Bye Laws of Victoria Lodge and St. John’s Lodge. (Guardian, October 10, 1956)
The last Regular Communication of Victoria Lodge in the Grafton Street Temple was held on December 5, 1955. The Worshipful Master was W.Bro. Lloyd Hawkes. Forty-four Brethren attended and Petitions were received from Lorne Roy MacDonald, Willard Lester Murray Coffin and John Andrew Fraser. The annual election of Officers was held and Bro. E.L. Johnston was elected as Worshipful Master for 1956. Plans were made to hold the St. John’s Night Banquet in the Recreation Room. The last Degrees were conferred on June 11, 1955 when seven candidates were made Master Masons by a Team from Acacia Lodge No. 8 in Amherst, Nova Scotia. The candidates included James I. MacKay, G.R. Bowness, Lloyd E.Wellner Jr., John Meredith, Sidney Campbell, Lloyd G. MacNevin and Robert Watson.