It is said that every history must have a beginning. Before the formation of a Grand Chapter, all subordinate chapters are under direct control of General Grand Chapter. Thus the institution and constitution of each new Chapter meant that the M.W.G.M. and M.W.G.P. or their appointed representatives had to travel to Quebec.
The beginning of this Grand Chapter goes back to 1908 when the first subordinate chapter in Quebec was chartered at Coaticook (King Edward No. 1) October 30th. Then followed Maple Leaf No. 2 (Frelighsburg) 1909, Unity No. 3 (Cookshire) 1911, Connaught No. 4 (Richmond) 1913, Queen Mary No. 5 (Sherbrooke) 1917.
This gave the five necessary chapters to petition for a Grand Chapter. There were also two U.D. chapters, Harmony at Magog and Beaver at Waterloo.
A petition was made to General Grand Chapter at the Assembly in 1919 but was not granted, because quoting from the M.W.G.P. "while the five chapters in Quebec are sufficient to constitutionally organize a Grand Chapter, I deemed it advisable under existing circumstances to wait until such time as one or two more chapters were organized or until these chapters were firmly grounded."
Apparently satisfactory progress was made so that by 1922, General Grand Chapter was satisfied that Quebec was ready to start a Grand Chapter. Much of the groundwork was done at a preliminary meeting held at Sherbrooke, April 5, 1921. At this meeting representatives from the first seven chapters met. Communications were read from Grand Chapters of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario regarding the organization of their Grand Chapters and advising that the formation of Grand Chapter of Quebec would surely be a benefit to the Order. A committee was appointed to study the by-laws, to make decisions and to continue to work for the formation of a Grand Chapter.
In response to a call from the M.W.G.P., Dr. Alfred C. McDaniel, fifty-two representatives from the subordinate chapters (which by this time numbered 15) met to formulate plans to organize a Grand Chapter in Quebec.
The first board of officers elected were:
Worthy Grand Matron Sister Blanche Shepard
Worthy Grand Patron Brother Duncan MacLeod
Associate Grand Matron Sister Olla C. McCurdy
Associate Grand Patron Brother William J. Edwards
Grand Secretary Sister Mina J. Findlay
Grand Treasurer Sister Edith Oliver
Grand Conductress Sister Ethel Blake
Associate Grand Conductress Sister Evelyn Hopkins
Grand Instructor (3 years) Sister Lily Cross
Grand Instructor (2 years) Sister Rose C. Smith
Grand Instructor (1 year) Sister Mary Morrison
Grand Trustee (3 years) Sister Georgiana MacRae
Grand Trustee (2 years) Brother C.L. Gremmels
Grand Trustee (1 year) Brother Dennis C. Draper
The Worthy Grand Matron then made the following appointments:
Grand Chaplain Sister Margaret Moore
Grand Marshal Sister Blanche Dunbar
Grand Organist Sister Mary Taylor
Grand Adah Sister Mina Hardy
Grand Ruth Sister Mary Astell
Grand Esther Sister Susie Bleackly
Grand Martha Sister Agnes Bell
Grand Electa Sister Candace Robb
Grand Warder Sister Mollie Smith
Grand Sentinel Brother John G. Wales
The first chapters in Quebec were inspired by dedicated members from across the Border and were encouraged and assisted by chapters close to the Border in Vermont, New Hampshire and New York. To the present day, there has always been a very close association between Quebec members and the members in these States with reciprocal courtesies such as flag ceremonies at Grand Chapter sessions and Fraternal social events - "Friendship" nights, "Hands Across the Border" nights with visits back and forth.
The number of chapters and membership showed steady growth until the depression of the 1930's, when membership started to decline, due, no doubt to financial circumstances. Again in the 1940's and 1950's, the membership showed an increase. With the unsettled conditions in our province and decline of English population, we regret that for the past several years, there has been a large loss of members, (and Chapters demising or amalgamating.)
The highest reported membership was in 1959 at 3,642. The total membership as of October 31st, 2004 was 579.
This information was extracted from the 75th Anniversary booklet. The 75th Anniversary Committee comprised of the following members:
* Anna D. Hill, P.G.M., #45
* Hazel Alexander, P.G.M. #9
* Fred Burns, P.G.P. #46
Mary Lou Burns, P.G.M. #46
Marjorie Newell, P.G.M. #35
Louise Wilkinson, P.G.M. #55
* W. Webster Palmer, P.G.P. #50
* Bernice Palmer, P.G.M. #50
Marion (Melnechuk) Loffelmann, P.G.M.
This extract was written by Anita Young, P.G.M.
November 1, 2000 and updated October 16, 2012.