A brief 50 year history
by RE Kt. R.A.P. Fleming and VE Kt. K.R. Smith
Instituted July 12th, 1954, Charter granted August 9th, 1955
Our story begins in 1953, when ME Kt. R.V. Harris, P.G.M. and RE Kt Dr. P.S. Cochrane, D.G.M., both members of Antiquity Preceptory No. 5 of Halifax, NS, investigated the possibility of forming a Preceptory on the south shore of Nova Scotia. The members of Antiquity No. 5 and Malta No. 27 were enthusiastic. Provincial Prior W.A. Jollimore was asked to forward a petition for Dispensation to Sovereign Great Priory early in 1954.
The Dispensation was granted and duly signed by the Supreme Grand Master ME Kt. F.G. Mann dated July 2nd,1954. The first assembly was scheduled for Saturday, July 12th, in the Masonic Temple in Bridgewater, NS. It was decided to name the new Preceptory “Mount Zion”.
The first assembly of Mount Zion Preceptory, U.D. was held on July 12th, 1954 and was preceded by a banquet with 40 present, most members were members of Antiquity No. 5 and Malta No. 27. At the request of ME Kt. R.V. Harris, representing the S.G.M., the Preceptory was opened by Em. Kt. Dr. R.A. Paul Fleming, Preceptor of Antiquity No. 5 from the previous year, with the following officers:
E. Kt. H.T. Stephens Constable
E. Kt. F.W. Simmons Marshal
RE Kt. W.A. Jollimore Chaplain
Sir Kt. R.R. Feindel Treasurer
Sir Kt. C.E. Haines Registrar
Sir Kt. F.H. Wentzell Sub-Marshal
VE Kt. F.M. Walker Capt. of the Guard
ME Kt. Harris then read the Dispensation authorizing the Assembly, following which the usual housekeeping resolutions for this new Preceptory were passed. The Provincial Prior Jollimore installed the new officers as follows:
Preceptor Em. Kt. Wilfred E. Cole
Constable Harry C. Frankum
Marshal Ray Burke
Treasurer Robert R. Feindel
Registrar C.E. Haines
Sub-Marshal Colin D. Ritcey
Capt. of the Guard George W. Clemen
Chaplain RE Kt. Norman R. MacLeod
Em. Kt. Cole then closed the Preceptory in due form.
The second assembly was held on August 9th, 1954. Three petitions were received. These all passed the ballot at the September 13th Assembly and all received the Order of the Red Cross at Antiquity Preceptory in Halifax on October 27th.
At the 5th Assembly on November 8th, 1954 a team from Antiquity consisting of R.V. Harris, F.W. Simmons, R.A.P. Fleming conferred the malta and Templar Orders on these Companions. This indeed was a promising start.
There was a full slate of officers present at the 6th Assembly on December 13, 1954, and a rehearsal was held on the Order of the Red Cross. A copy of a letter from R.V. Harris to the remaining members of Yarmouth Preceptory, which had surrendered its Charter, was read, requesting the loan of their regalia.
The first Red Cross Order was exemplified on April 11th, 1955 using the regalia from Yarmouth. The Provincial Grand Prior RE Kt. F.M. Walker of Antiquity Preceptory visited and congratulated the cas on their presentation of the order. He also presented a cheque for $150.00 from Antiquity for furniture and regalia. The D.G.M., RE Kt. Dr. P.S. Cochran of Wolfville also paid a visit and spoke words of encouragement.
There was an emergent Assembly on May 25th at which three Companions of the Red Cross were created. Antiquity Preceptory then conferred the Malta and Templar Orders.
At the 10th Assembly there were 4 candidates plus 1 affiliation elected. The Red Cross Order was then conferred by the Antiquity team. At the next Assembly the 4 were made Knights of Malta.
Charter Night: At the 12th Assembly of Mount Zion, U.D. on November 7th, 1955, S.G.M. ME Kt. Dr. P.S. Cochrane paid an official visit and presented their charter as Mount Zion Preceptory No. 73. P.P.G.P., F.M. Walker and team from Antiquity assisted in installing the officers, and conferred the Temple Orders of 5 Knights of Malta.
However, in spite of an auspicious beginning all was not well, for the interest of the 17 Sir Knights on the roll began to wane. There were only 2 Chapters to draw from and they were not doing very well. The meeting of May 24th, 1957 proved to be the last in Bridgewater, and the Preceptory was dormant for 2 years.