Warrant No. 24, December 11th. 1868
the first charter to be granted to a lodge in Pictou County, by the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia
In 1869, the number of Western Star Lodge was changed from 24 to 50.
Brief History of Western Star Lodge, A.F. & A.M. No. 50 on the Register of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia The first settlers arrived in what was then called Acadia Village. Coal was discovered here in 1865 and by 1868 three coal companies produced and shipped coal from their collieries. At a public meeting the name Westville was chosen for the community. Another quarter century would pass before the town incorporated but in that same year, 1868, eighteen men gathered to found a Masonic Lodge and petitioned the Grand Lodge for a dispensation. In October 1868 the Grand Master. M.W.Bro. S.R. Sircom and Grand Secretary Charles J. MacDonald granted the dispensation. The Brethren of Western Star Lodge held their first meeting on October 22nd and James Roy was elected as first Worshipful Master of the Lodge. In December 1868, Grand Master Sircom and Grand Secretary MacDonald traveled to Westville and constituted and consecrated the Lodge. The following constituted the first slate of officers: Worshipful Master: James Roy; Senior Warden: James Johnstone; Junior Warden: James White: Treasurer: Dr. Josiah E. Johnes; Secretary: Thomas Johnstone, Sr.; Senior Deacon: Neil Morrison; Junior Deacon: William Henderson; Senior Steward: Robert Wilson; Junior Steward: James Patterson; Inner Guard: Robert Gray; Chaplain: Wm. Lorrimer; Marshall: James Wilson; and Tyler: Robert White. In addition there were five other charter members: Norman MacDonald, Alex Lorrimer, Murdock MacKenzie, Benjamin Barret and John Roy. The Lodge was created at the same time as the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia was being formed and was given the number 24 in June 1869. When other Lodges from the county came into the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, the Lodges in the jurisdiction were renumbered and Western Star was given the No. 50, which it still retains. For the first year the Lodge met in the upstairs of John F. Oliver’s store which was later occupied by Mrs. George E. MacLeod. In November 1869, on the completion of the first Chelsea School, they were given the use of one of the upper rooms and held their meetings there for a year or two. The Lodge then moved to Dan Munro’s Hall, next to the old Westville House hotel. A few years later, they moved to the upper part of John McDougall’s store, where the late H.A. McQuarrie had his store. On February 9th, 1886, it was decided that a new hall be built for the contract price of $3,600, and to be completed by July 1st. The cornerstone was laid on June 8th, 1886, and on August 24th, 1886, the first meeting was held in the new building. Records show that on July 11th, 1893, a committee was formed to look into costs of wiring and in August 1893 they reported an estimate of about $50 and the light bill would be about one cent per light per hour. The Scot blood seemed to be prevalent, as the committee was then instructed to see if it couldn’t have done it at little cheaper, so it wasn’t until April 1894 that the first light bill appeared. Water was installed in September 1895. The Lower Hall was used for a short time for concerts and dances and for a number of years was rented as a shoe store by Murdock MacKay. It was also rented for a few years to the Salvation Army, and in 1925 to the St. Andrew’s Presbyterian congregation. In 1930 the Lodge rented the Lower Hall to the Nova Scotia Liquor Commission and they occupied it until 1983. As the first Temple was approaching a hundred years, maintenance and heating became so onerous that the Brethren of Western Star decided in 1986 to raise a new building. Built almost entirely with the volunteer labour of its members and friends, it was completed in September of 1987. On October 17th, 1987 the Grand Master, M.W.Bro. J. Roy Hale, a member of Western Star Lodge, and the officers of Grand Lodge consecrated the new hall. Members of our Lodge have served the town as mayors and several of them have served on the town council and as town clerks. A number were elected to the provincial Legislature: Brothers R.H. MacKay, H.A. McQuarrie, Robert Douglas and James Maddin. Brother Russell MacEwan was a representative in the House of Commons. Members of Western Star Lodge laid the cornerstones of two of the town’s churches; the first for St. Philip’s Church in 1870, and the other for St. Bees’ Church Scots have settled the town and Scottish traditions are honoured and respected to this day. For over one hundred continuous years Robert Burns’ birthday is celebrated with a public ceremony on the Friday closest to his birthday. The format has remained unchanged for as long as anybody can remember: Musical and dance presentations by local talent, a lunch (with Haggis) and a dance. It still packs the auditorium year after year. Twenty years ago the Past Masters founded the Western Star Drama Team and put together a set of historical costumes. This team not only enhances our own ceremonies but has also assisted in the raising of hundreds of new Master Masons across the jurisdiction. The most singular distinction of Western Star Lodge is that, after 150 years, no Master has served in that capacity twice and we are confident that this tradition will continue.
- Meeting Night: Second Tuesday except July & August
- Meeting Time: 7:30pm
- Installations Time:
- Installations Location: Masonic Hall, 2187 South Main St, Westville
- Lodge Number: 50
- Street Address: Masonic Hall, 2187 South Main St
- Town/City: Westville, NS
- Map for Western Star No. 50 – Westville
- Secretaries: Frank A. Gammell, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org