Malpeque Hall
Submitted by Garnett Turner

When the first part of this building was built in 1851, it was called “Mechanics Institute.” Mechanics Institute was an International organization founded in Scotland in 1821. It was founded by clergymen who were the leaders in the communities, and sponsors of education. The Mechanics Institute was designed for adult education in the arts, sciences and related subjects. Rev. John Keir was responsible for the Malpeque establishment of the “Mechanics Institute” because he had a keen in the accessibility of education. Colleges and Universities became more affordable, which gradually enlarged opportunities for education. Consequently, the Mechanic Institute was no longer needed, but as late as 1880, the building was still referred to by this name. The management of the building came under the control of an elected Board of Trustees and later renamed “Malpeque Hall.” In 1903, the Masons met to consider forming a new lodge in Malpeque Hall. The request was granted. In 1907, extra land surrounding the building was purchased and in 1918 a 30-foot extension was added on the west end. In 1917, the Malpeque Women’s Institute took over the management of the hall, but the Masons continued to meet there. With the purchase of a piano, much entertainment was enjoyed by the community such as, minstrel shows, concerts, moving pictures, box socials, suppers, etc. In 1998, taking advantage of a government program, the exterior of the building was covered with siding, and new windows were installed. Following these and other renovations, a new sign was erected with the new name—Malpeque Community Centre. This building, not unlike other Island community centres, has housed numerous activities and service groups that enhance the lives of Islanders.

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