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Masonry in Picton is alive and well in its bicentennial year

Prince Edward Lodge A.F. & A.M. No. 18 G.R.C. marks its bicentennial year with many events

Prince Edward Lodge bicentennial button designed and created by Calvin Thomas.

“Lodges and fraternal societies played a very important part in early social life, especially after settlements had grown into thriving communities.”

Edwin C. Guillet, N.A., made this comment in his book “Early Life in Upper Canada.”

Prince Edward Masonic Lodge was instituted in February, 1811 in Hallowell, Upper Canada. This year, the lodge, still active in Picton (the name adopted when Hallowell became a Police Village in 1837) is celebrating its 200th anniversary.

Many commemorative events have been held and more are planned during the year, including a visit in June of the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge, A.F. & A.M. of Canada in the Province of Ontario, Most Worshipful Bro. Raymond S. J. Daniels, in June.

The Lodge was an important part of the community in early days, as it remains 200 years later. It was a place where friends and acquaintances met. Masons first met in a house near Hallowell Bridge, a short walk from any part of the village. The bridge itself was a poor structure of logs and timber built across a stream, which drained the marsh into the bay at its head. A few Masons, coming from a distance to the lodge meetings, would arrive on horseback travelling over rough roads, picking their way through the cedar and hemlock swamps.

Conditions were hard, in fact, primitive, but such conditions were normal to these people. Lodge became a focal point for many in the community.

The eminent men who joined the lodge were community leaders. They were proud of their membership in the lodge and were undoubtedly careful in their acceptance of applicants for membership.

In later years, and for over 100 years meeting in the same location, Prince Edward Masons met in a lodge room on the top floor of the Mary Street Public School. The school is now demolished and lodge members now meet in specially built building on Main Street.

Masonry in Picton is alive in well in its bi-centennial year. The strong membership of Prince Edward Lodge and its success in attracting new members shows that eminent and distinguished members of the community are still interested in joining this flourishing fraternity to learn something of what it has to teach.

Any organization that successfully exists for 200 years must (and does) have something valuable to offer.
The Lodge Master for Prince Edward’s bicentennial year is W.Bro. Dale Porter.

Prince Edward Lodge officers at the turn of the century

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