AMHERST, N.S. – Acacia Lodge #8 has served as the home for Masons in Amherst for almost 200 years, and Don Ripley has served as a Mason at the lodge for more than a quarter of that time.
Ripley received the 50-year Member Jewel, recognizing half a century of service during an awards dinner at the lodge, which was attended by 73 people on March 7.
Also receiving awards at the dinner was Charlie McWhirter and Allan Chapman, both of who received the Meritorious Service Award, which is an exceptional service award given to Masons who go above and beyond their duties in their dedication to the Masons.
In 2025, the Acacia Lodge #8 will celebrate their 200th anniversary in Amherst.
Opened in 1825, the lodge has not missed a single monthly meeting in its 200-year history.
“Even if there’s a really bad storm, we’ll still have five or six people go down to open up and close, but we’ve never not opened in 200 years,” said Darrah Reid, the Worshipful Brother at Acacia Lodge #8.
This year, the lodge will celebrate Canada Day with an open house at the lodge.
“We’ll have a barbecue and serve hotdogs and hamburgers and give people tours of the building,” said Reid.
The lodge is accepting new members.
“If anybody is interested in joining the Masons it’s just a matter of talking to a member,” said Reid.
Acacia Lodge #8 is located at 20 Lawrence Street in Amherst.