W. Vernon Simpson, PGM
Most Worshipful Brother
W. Vernon Simpson
Grand Lodge of Prince Edward Island A.F & A.M.
Grand Master 2006 – 2007
Most Worshipful Brother W. Vernon Simpson was installed as Grand Master of Masons in Prince Edward Island at the Annual Convocation of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free & Accepted Masons held at North Winds Motel on June 10, 2006. More than 120 members attended including visitors from as far afield as Arizona.
Born December 14, 1933 at Bay View PEI, son of Cecil M. and Leona (MacLure) Simpson, Vernon was educated at Hope River School followed by a commercial course at Union Commercial College in Charlottetown, graduating with honours in 1950.
On June 1, 1950 he started his banking career at the Bank of Nova Scotia on Grafton St. Charlottetown, and two years later was transferred to Dartmouth, NS where he advanced to assistant accountant. In 1955 he was lured back to PEI to assume management of a general store owned by a family partnership. Several years later, now married with one child, he took the opportunity to resume his banking career by rejoining ScotiaBank at Kensington, PEI. Over the next few years he worked as Accountant at a Halifax Branch, had management training at Halifax Regional Office, and in 1965 assumed his first management position at Tatamagouche, NS. He then served as Manager at New Minas and Dartmouth before being transferred to the Head Office of ScotiaBank in Halifax in 1973, where he held positions as Credit Assistant, Senior Loan Auditor and Administrator of Credit. On October 1, 1989 Vernon retired from ScotiaBank after serving for 36 years.
In September 1957 he married Rebecca Joan MacRae and they raised a family of three: Wade is a Pharmacist at Bathurst NB Hospital; Lori Simpson-Coulson lives at Margate and is a Pharmacist/Owner of Shoppers Drug Mart in Summerside; and Mark, whose trade is computerized drafting (CAD Operator), lives in Miscouche. All three are married, and have provided Vernon and Joan with six grandchildren.
M.W.Bro. Simpson was raised as a Master Mason in August 1958 at Prince Edward Lodge No. 14 then located at Stanley Bridge, PEI. While during his banking years he was not able to become as involved in Freemasonry to the extent he would have liked, it was always his desire to pursue it further, and following his retirement in 1989 he became an active member of Prince Edward Lodge, advancing to serve as its Master in 1993, and served as Treasurer of that Lodge from 1995 onwards.
In 1998 he was appointed a Grand Lodge officer, and advanced through various appointive and elected offices until installed as Grand Master for the 2006/7 year.
In community service, a life-long interest in Lions Clubs International developed initially in Kensington in 1959, and progressed through four other clubs, the last being with the Summerside Lions Club for the past 17 years. In 2001 Vernon was presented with the prestigious award of “Melvin Jones Fellow” and in 2004 he received the Service Person of the year award for Summerside. Further, as a member of Trinity United Church in Summerside Vernon is involved with ushering and collection counting.
He has also been active in sports all through his life. He and his wife Joan are members of the Summerside Golf Club and the Silver Fox Curling Club. In the summer months Vernon and Joan enjoy family time at a cottage in French River, where they have frequent visits from their siblings and grandkids.