Norwood Lodge, No. 135 of G.L.N.S. is located at 4860 Highway 12 in the center of the village of New Ross. It was instituted on May 29, 1964 and constituted on November 19, 1965. Lodge meetings are held on the third Friday of each month except July and August.
The concept and creation of a Masonic Lodge in New Ross was discussed frequently by the Brethren of the area who were members of either Clarke Lodge #61 in Chester or Hillcrest Lodge #93 in New Germany. Early in January 1964, it was learned that the building known as the “Cross Theatre” could be purchased for $1,000.00. A number of meetings were held to discuss matters such as feasibility and financing. It was decided that a committee should meet with members of Uniacke Lodge, which had been recently formed, since Mount Uniacke was also a rural community comparable in population to New Ross.
At a subsequent meeting, Most Worshipful Brother Judge R. Clifford Levy, Grand Master and the Grand Secretary, Right Worshipful Brother Harold F. Sipprell, were in attendance. The officers of Grand Lodge were convinced that the future members of the proposed lodge were enthusiastic and sincere in their efforts and offered their assistance and co-operation.
As a result of the various discussions and meetings, it was unanimously agreed to purchase the property. A finance committee was formed and empowered to borrow the necessary funds for the purchase of the building and ensuing renovations. A petition was signed by 13 Charter Members and presented to Clarke Lodge, the sponsoring lodge.
The Charter Officers of Norwood Lodge were:
- Worshipful Master, Earle Young
- Senior Warden, Hencie Hiltz
- Junior Warden, R. T. Barkhouse
- Secretary, P. Clifton Burgoyne, PM
- Treasurer, C. P. Larder
- Senior Deacon, Gordon Keddy
- Junior Deacon, Ray Burgoyne
- Chaplain, George Keddy, PM
- Marshall, Edward Turner
- Organist, P. Clifton Burgoyne, PM
- Senior Steward, E. M. Russell
- Junior Steward, Douglas Keddy
- Historian, Charles Kaulback
- Tyler, Lloyd Keddy, PM
The Lodge was named after the Norwood family. The Rev. Joseph Norwood was Rector of the Parish of New Ross from 1872 to 1878. He was born in Boston in 1843 and , at the age of eight years, stowed away on the ship “Racehorse”. He became a second mate at the age of 18. He later studied for the ministry and came to Nova Scotia assuming charge of the Parish of New Ross. He affiliated with Clarke Lodge #61 in Chester in 1873, from Royal Sussex #479. he died in 1902 and is buried at Hubbards, NS. Rev. Joseph Norwood had three sons, Rev. Dr. Robert Norwood, Rev. Joseph R. Norwood and Dr. Edmund B. Norwood. All were born at New Ross and became members of Clarke Lodge #61.
Norwood Lodge became well known across the Jurisdiction very early in its life. It has a reputation of being a hard working lodge with a hospitable and jovial atmosphere combined with Brethren who are dedicated and proficient in their degree work. This is evidenced by the fact that, during the period 1969-1982, Norwood Lodge won the Past Grand Masters’ Achievement Trophy, 13 out of 15 years. The Past Grand Masters’ Achievement Trophy is awarded annually to the lodge which accumulates the most points. Points are awarded for percentage of members and number of officers present at regular meeting, numbers of Official Visits, number of members attending Grand Lodge Communbication and District Meetings and so on.
One of the most outstanding brothers of Norwood Lodge was Right Worshipful Brother P. Clifton Burgoyne. Bro. Burgoyne served as the Lodge’s Secretary for the first 30 years of its existence. He also served as District Deputy Grand Master for Lunenburg-Queens, Junior Grand Warden and Senior Grand Warden as well as a member of various Grand Lodge committees. Bro. Burgoyne was the first recipient of a Meritorious Service Medal awarded by Norwood Lodge. The scroll accompanying the medal described Bro. Burgoyne as a “Mason’s Mason” and the ‘backbone of Norwood Lodge’.
Over the years, Norwood Lodge has enjoyed a host of triumphant moments and joyous occasions.