GORE BAY—Gore Bay Masonic Lodge #472 recognized Loyalle McDougall last week for his 50 years of service to the craft.
“Yes, it has been interesting being in the Lodge over the years,” Mr. McDougall told The Recorder this past weekend, having received his 50-year-long service pin award from the Masons as part of a special service the members held during their regular meeting.
“I joined the local Masonic Lodge in January 1968,” Mr. McDougall told The Recorder. He explained his father Neil and uncle Laughlan had both inspired and encouraged him to join the local Order. “My uncle became district deputy of the Masons at one time.”
Mr. McDougall told The Recorder “I went through all the chairs and was Master (of the local Masons) in 1974. Over the years I made a few trips to Grand Lodge events in Toronto and to Lodge events in Elliot Lake, Blind River and to Little Current a few times.”
“We (Masons) have been involved in several things over the years,” said Mr. McDougall. “We are losing members every year; a lot of our older members are passing on as the years go by.”
He noted, “I found myself that I was missing a few meetings, but then Scott got involved in the Lodge and I got a bit more interested again. He is past Master (of the club). When Scott joined it was one of the best moments I can remember as a member of the Masons,” noting that several other relatives are in the club including Peter Gordon and Bill Clark.
“When Laughlan was district deputy there were 17 Masonic Lodges between Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury,” said Mr. McDougall. “Now we are down to about seven lodges in the Sudbury district. Elliot Lake and Blind River used to be part of our district, but this was all cut in half somewhere down the line.”
Mr. McDougall noted that to help with the decrease in members of the Lodge, “just lately, in the last five years or so the regulations on what is required to be a Mason have been eased up, which has helped out a bit in getting more members in the Masons. More people are being allowed to join which I think is a good thing.”
“I’ve enjoyed being a member of the Masons for all these years,” added Mr. McDougall.