It has been my honour to be your Grand Master during this 150 th Anniversary of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia. My theme for the year has been ‘ Honouring those brothers who have gone before us by ensuring our beloved fraternity is on a firm foundation for all those Master Masons who follow in our footsteps’.
As my year in office draws to a close I can look back over a very rewarding year. Some of the most memorable activities were as follows:-
a) On June 8 th I attended the Grand Lodge of Vermont Annual Communication which proved very educational for me since their jurisdiction is similar in size to ours.
b) On June 12 th I attended the Grand Lodge of Prince Edward Island Annual Communication. Their jurisdiction, although small, is very active.
c) June 24 th marked the 200 th Anniversary of Royal Standard Lodge No. 398 at which I represented the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia. This is the only lodge under the Grand Lodge of England in Nova Scotia.
d) On July 15 th I attended the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario where I enjoyed meeting many new masonic friends.
e) On July 25 th I attended our first masonic parade in Guysborough. This was the first of nine major parades in which we participated. These parades are part of our programme to increase public awareness.
f) On August 15 th our annual Quarry Degree was held in Nictaux where seven brothers from seven different lodges were raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason. Each received a stone taken from the quarry and bearing a plaque engraved with their name and date of raising. 116 brothers were in attendance representing 32 lodges from as far away as British Columbia.
g) On September 5 th I attended the District Grand Lodge of Newfoundland and Labrador under the Grand Lodge of Scotland where Brother Walter Scott Bartlett was installed as the 18 th District Grand Master by the Grand Master Mason of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. I was very pleased to be invited as this ceremony only takes place every 5 years.
h) The second Inter-Provincial Day was celebrated on September 26 th in Amherst, Nova Scotia and hosted by Alexandra Lodge # 87 where over a hundred masons from New Brunswick , Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia held a joint meeting where one province opens the lodge, one province provides education and the third province closes the lodge. Grand Masters from all three provinces were present.
i) On October 16 th I was pleased to attend the Grand Lodge of Newfoundland and Labrador where I was very well received.
j) On December 27 th I attended The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts where I was honoured to speak on behalf of visiting jurisdictions. I was also the only visitor from Canada.
k) Our Annual Curling Tournament was held on February 19 th where teams from throughout the province enjoyed two days of friendly competition and fellowship. Several teams included non- masons, some of whom are petitioning to become members.
l) On April 17 th the Grand Master’s Levee was held in Halifax where are newest members were the honored guests. A large number of guests attended for a very memorable day.
During the remainder of my term as Grand Master I will be attending the Grand Lodge of Maine , Grand Lodge of New Brunswick , Grand Lodge of New Hampshire and Grand Lodge of Rhode Island.
Throughout the year many lodges have held Ladies Nights and Award Nights which myself or one of my line officers have attended. All requests to attend Installations, District Meetings and District Church Services were honoured. Support from the brethren has been outstanding . Many Jewel presentations were made during the year and I received my own 50 year jewel.
We presently have 86 active lodges, having seen two lodges go into darkness.
In closing I would like to say it has been an honour and a pleasure to be able to serve as your Grand Master.
Sincerely and Fraternally,
Peter J. Ponsford