Thanks to the Wetaskiwin Masonic Lodge #15, the Wetaskiwin Health Foundation is $4999.00 closer to funding the Long Term Care Family Room. As stated by Mason, Stuart LaVoguer, “Donating to the Hospital is always positive but one of the main reasons we chose the Wetaskiwin Hospital was the recommendation of one of our members, Dr. Drolet”.
Dr. Drolet, a member of the Wetaskiwin Masonic Lodge and also served in the prestigious position of Grand Master in 2003. The Grand Master is the leader of all Freemasons for the entire province of Alberta and part of the Northwest Territories. The Wetaskiwin Lodge has a second Grand Master in its history, Mr. Morley Merner who served in 1961.
Freemasonary is a worldwide fraternal organization that has been around for more than 300 years. Wetaskiwin Lodge #15 was instituted in October of 1902 and Chartered in June of 1903 under the Grand Lodge of Manitoba as this was prior to Alberta becoming a province. The Grand Lodge of Alberta, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons was constituted and consecrated on October 12, 1905, and confirmed under an Act of the Province of Alberta in 1908. The first Worshipful Master was Mr. A. R. Dickson who was also the first Mayor of Wetaskiwin.
“Freemasonry is not a secret society as many surmise. It is a voluntary association wherein the interested one comes of his own free will and accord. It is a way of life. It is fraternal in organization, religious in character, based on the belief in a Supreme Being, brotherhood of man and immortality of the soul. Freemasonry is not a religion as many claim it to be.
Freemasonry is a band of men bound together in the bonds of brotherly love and affection that extends throughout the world. Freemasonry, in its every effort and purpose, strives to do charitable work within its membership and for society. Through its teachings, seeks to make good men better men. The lessons conveyed by our ritual are based on the Golden Rule.”
The Masons do not solicit membership. They believe in religious tolerance, and each member must believe in a Supreme Being. They quietly assist many causes within the community but prefer to remain humble about it. Mr. Paul Sweet, former music teacher at the Wetaskiwin Composite High School described it best a few years ago when the Masons funded much needed recording equipment by stating, “The Masons work under the radar”.
Last year the Masons in Alberta provided 100 X $2500 bursaries from the Masonic Higher Education Bursary Fund to students who might otherwise have not been able to afford further education. Over the years, many students from Wetaskiwin and region have benefited from this funding.
A second provincial fund, the Masonic Foundation, helps local lodges by matching the amount of money raised locally for the cause or event. Both provincial funds are funded primarily by donations made by Masons.