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History

PROLOGUE

 

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.

 

ORGANIZATION

 

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.

 

GROWTH

 

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.

 

* deceased

 

This extract was written by Anita Young, P.G.M.

November 1, 2000 and updated October 16, 2012.