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Prince Edward Masonic Lodge celebrates 200 years

Past Grand Chaplain Rev. Douglas Mitchell, Past Grand Master, Custodian of the Work Donald H. Mumby, Historian Alan R. Capon, Dave Hickman, Past District Deputy Grand Master Ken Campbell, Worshipful Master Dale Porter, District Deputy Grand Master Grant Brummell and Immediate Past Master Stewart Westhead.

The oldest organization still in existence in Prince Edward County celebrated its 200th anniversary, Saturday, Feb. 19 with a ceremony of remembrance, rededication and recommitment.
The Prince Edward Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons is No. 18 on the Register of the Grand Lodge of Canada, in the Province of Ontario. It was established in February 1811, with charter members Ebenezer Washburn, Robert Claflin, William Blakely, John Ellis, Joshua Hayward, Cornelius Benson, Richard D. Clute, Russell Green and Stephan Conger.

Prince Edward Lodge Historian Alan R. Capon signs a copy of his book, Upon the Level, By the Square, for Past Grand Master Donald H. Mumby, of Ottawa.

Lodge historian Alan R. Capon, in his book Upon the Level by the Square – The History of Prince Edward Lodge A.F. & A.M. No 18 – stated “the brethren met on every Thursday preceding the full moon of each calendar month; and in winter from 6-9 p.m. Lodge met on the night of the full moon so that members, many of whom travelled miles to attend, had a clear, bright night so that they were able to see their way home.”
Today, the masons still meet on Thursday evenings. Freemasonry is the oldest fraternity in the world and continues to attract men who seek harmony and fellowship with their fellowmen – men “who live with love and care, upon the Level, by the Square.”

Saturday’s rededication ceremony was the first of many anniversary events planned by the Prince Edward Lodge Bicentennial Committee. The ceremony welcomed Grand Lodge Officers Donald H. Mumby, Past Grand Master; Rev. Douglas Mitchell, Past Grand Chaplain; Thomas W. Hogeboom, Grand Treasurer; J. Grant Brummell, District Deputy Grand Master Prince Edward District; Kenneth Campbell, Past District Deputy Grand Master Prince Edward District; Richard D. Burden, Past District Deputy Grand Master Prince Edward District and James King, Past Assistant Grand Chaplain.
Following the dedication, a banquet for lodge members and guests honoured Alan R. Capon for his long service and dedication to the lodge as its historian and as a past secretary. Tributes were given by David Hickman, (and on behalf of Bernie Gaw), Stewart Westhead, Ken Campbell and Dale Miller.
For more on the history of this historic lodge and its relationship to Prince Edward County, Capon’s book, Upon the Level, by the Square is available at Books and Co, Main Street, Picton or by telephoning David Hickman, 476-4200. Interested readers should also look for a special insert in this week’s County Weekly News, written by Capon and his wife, Margaret Haylock Capon, in honour of the lodge’s 200th.

Special events will continue throughout the year.
On Saturday, May 28th, Prince Edward Lodge will host Ontario’s Heritage Lodge which promotes the study of Masonry in general.
In June, the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Canada in the Province of Ontario will visit Picton. A reception will be held at the Prince Edward Community Centre.
Another major event will be held in October when the 18th Century degree team from Wellington District will visit to help Prince Edward Lodge celebrate its 200th birthday.
2011 Officers of Prince Edward Lodge
Dale Porter, Worshipful Master; Stewart Westhead, Immediate Past Master; James Vandenberg; Senior Warden; Ralph Douglas, Chaplain; Ken Campbell, Treasurer; John Carter, Secretary; James King, Assistant Secretary; Donald Harvey, Senior Deacon; Terrance Young, Junior Deacon; Dale Miller, Director of Ceremonies; Andrew Juffs, Inner Guard; John Zandarin, Senior Steward; John Deary, Junior Steward; David Mercer, Tyler; Alan R. Capon, Historian and Todd Taylor, Piper.

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