AD ASTRA LODGE NO.130 - HISTORY
The formation of Ad Astra Lodge was merely a thought in the minds of several Masons in, of, the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Halifax, NS area during the early Autumn of 1959, most of whom were not members of lodges of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia. Many had been away from their mother lodges for some time, and had not attended strange lodges during their travels and their ritual work had deteriorated. They felt that the formation of a new lodge which would serve members of the RCAF and which could be regarded as their own Masonic 'home' while serving in the Halifax area would bring into active participation those brothers who were in danger of slipping away from the Masonic Fraternity.
Original discussions were held by informal groups in the various Air Force messes and lounges and from these meetings the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia was contacted regarding information on forming a new lodge, the procedures to be followed and the difficulties likely to be encountered.
Following the advice, interest and encouragement received, steps were taken to find sponsoring lodges.
Athole Lodge No.15,University Lodge No.110 and White Ensign Lodge No.129 (Navy Lodge) all readily agreed to sponsorship and W. Bro. Francis G. Johnson of Athole Lodge No.15, although heavily committed, agreed to act as Worshipful Master, there being no member of the founding group who had reached the rank of Installed Master.
Following the petition for a new lodge being presented to Grand Lodge, a preliminary meeting was held on March 13, 1959 in the Banquet Room of the Masonic Hall, 1533 Barrington Street, Halifax. It was agreed that all provisional officers be serving members of the RCAF, and that the name of the new lodge be Ad Astra, derived from the motto on the RCAF crest (Per Ardua Ad Astra - Through Adversity to the Stars). Dates were set for monthly meetings and dues at $10.00 per annum.
The first regular communication was attended by the Grand Master and many present and past Grand Lodge Officers, a large representation from the sponsoring lodges and many other visitors. The Warrant of Dispensation was presented by the Grand Master thus enabling Ad Astra Lodge No.130 to conduct business. Several local lodges presented collars, jewels, a Masonic Bible, and other lodge furniture. The Grand Secretary presented an RCAF Ensign which has been proudly flown at every communication since. During the second visit of the Grand Master at the November 1959 meeting Ad Astra received it's Charter and was duly constituted and consecrated in accordance with the Ancient Usages and the provisional officers were installed in the various stations and places by the Grand Master.