When Bro. Gibson stood down, as Master for the last time in 1895 the Lodge was healthy in terms of finance and to lesser extent candidates. This growth in membership would continue apace and necessitate the need for larger premises while the growth in finance would enable the Lodge to fulfill its dream of their own Masonic Hall.
However it did take 3 or 4 Committees and eventually it all came together very quickly---The last of the Committees were appointed on 27/11/1907 and the new premises was to be constructed only 14 months later.
The Lodge did seem to suffer following the loss of Bro. Gibsons leadership—perhaps it was felt that a Master needed more than 3 years to make his mark!
Bro. D Millers term of Master spanned 3 years and the work of the Lodge was very hectic at this time. From 1896 to 1898 over 50 candidates joined each year. This necessitated an abundance of Degree work, which tended to reduce other information contained in the Minutes.
At the Provincial Visitation on 10/3/1897, Bro. Simons SPGM reported that the Lodge was “still progressing”. Following this the Deputation were all made Honorary Members of 570.
At this same time Bro. Tibbert WSW made a presentation to the Lodge of a coffin, an hourglass and a scythe and was duly thanked by Bro. D Miller, Master. I do not know if any of these are still in use. It is not stated if the emblems of Mortality were presented at this time—The skull has plaque attached, which has inscribed upon it
along with cross bones
Lodge Marie Stuart , No 541
by Bro. John Johnston
as First Substitute MasterPM No 449 R.A.M., K.R.C.J., K.T.
7th November 1873”
This Lodge, Lodge Marie Stuart No 541, is no longer active and I am unaware how this object came to rest in the vault in 570.
The Lodge reported on the outcome of a church service held in Cowlairs Parish Church with income from the collection being £5-2-9
Donation to the church £1-0-0
Balance to Benevolent Fund £4-2-9
The Lodge also purchased an organ for use in the Lodge –At a cost of £12-0-0! and agreed to transfer all its money to The Savings Bank.
Bro. Miller was re-installed as Master on 24/11/1897 by his Installing Master Bro. Munro Denholm Grand Junior Deacon. The Lodge also announced that its 14th (?) Annual Supper would be held on 11th February 1898 and its 2nd Annual Church Service would be held in June 1898.
The Lodge at this point still only uplifted one collection at its meetings-For Benevolence. One can only assume that the income from the Hall and the Fees payable from the numerous candidates supported the General Fund. It is also interesting to note that the Lodge did not restrict its Benevolence grants to its own Members; A Brother from a Lodge in Paisley received the sum of 2/6 at the meeting on 23/2/1898.
On 14/9/1898 the Lodge decided to send a deputation to witness the laying of a Foundation Stone of the Govan Town Hall—Alas a building no longer used.
The Meeting held on 26/10/1898 was an interesting one as the Lodge decided to carry out certain works---Erecting a signboard outside the premises and fitting a letterbox! On the Regalia side it was agreed to purchase a new Depute Masters apron, cuffs for the RWM and a bag to store working aprons in. The Lodge also wished to create a new Office in the Lodge ---Lodge Doctor and Grand Lodge were to approached about this. Guess what Grand Lodge’s answer was!
At this same meeting the Minister of Cowlairs Parish Church, (where both services had been held), Rev John G Duncan was initiated into the Craft—The Brethren had obviously spread the Gospel!
At the meeting on 2/11/1898 Bro. A Briggs, a Bank Agent for the Royal Bank of Scotland, was initiated. He was to be extremely important for the future of Lodge Kenmuir, especially for his financial acumen.
The ByeLaws were further reviewed on 23/11/1898 and at the same meeting the Treasures gave a financial report;
General Fund £106 18 8
Benevolent Fund £41 19 ½
Property £72 9 3
Liabilities £30 0 0
Credit £191 6 11 ½
An election was held for the Office of Master at this same meeting with Bro. Kirkland being (surprisingly) successful over Bro. D Miller, the Reigning Master. No voting score was recorded and Bro. Kirkland was duly installed as Master. Bro. Kirkland was the first Master of the Lodge to be a Justice of the Peace. He also owned a printing firm located at in Keppochhilll Road at which all the Lodge publications were printed at for many years to come!
The Lodge was continuing to grow at a rapid rate with a further 45 candidates joining in the next year which prompted the Lodge to order
“24 aprons at 36/- per dozen, and
12 aprons at 30/- per dozen”
The Lodge obviously got discount after the first 2 dozen!
The Lodge was still harbouring an idea of obtaining their own property and on 10/5/1899 Bro. D Miller IPM moved a Notice of Motion that “ The Office –Bearers of the Lodge consider what steps could be taken to build a Lodge room for Lodge Kenmore and report back in 6 months”. This was further reinforced at the next meeting on 24/5/1899 when the Lodge decided against the forming of a Co-operative Masonic Hall in Glasgow, and intimated this to Provincial Grand Lodge, albeit the margin was only 27-26.
The Lodge continued with its tradition of church services and held its last one of the 19th Century on 27/9/1899 with the income being; £11-5-9 ¾
Expenditure being £ 8-4-10
The balance of £3-0-11 ¾ going to the Benevolent fund. A special thank you was afforded to Bro. Briggs who paid for the Order of Service.
Bro. Kirkland continued as Master and at he meeting on 8/11/1899 it was decided that the “Master, and the Master alone, would be responsible for the press where the refreshments are stored.”---Perhaps some Brother had been too thirsty at the previous meeting! On the same night the Lodge also presented a Mark Stone, a Scarf Pin and a pipe on the occasion of Bro. George Frame leaving the district. The Lodge also congratulated Bro. John King on his re-election to the “Town Council of Glasgow”
At the meeting on 22/11/1899 the Treasurer presented a further glowing report on the finances of the Lodge;
General Fund £97 11 8
Benevolent Fund £47 6 11
Property £83 11 4
Liabilities £ 6 0 0
Creditors £222 9 11
The Lodge also made a grant of 5 Guineas to the relief fund of war reserve of men’s wives and families (Boer War)The first meeting of the 20th Century was held on 10/1/1900 and the First Degree was conferred on Bros. James Briggs and Hugh Mill, and the Second Degree was conferred on Bro. Alex Sharp. Both Degrees were conferred by Bro. R Kirkland, Master, who also installed Bro. Rev. John Duncan as Chaplain.
Bro. John Graham Provincial Grand Master headed the Provincial Grand Lodge Deputation on 14/3/1900, which mentioned a record number of Candidates (at that time) of 53.
It was with sadness that the Lodge recorded the death of Bro. W Clark and the wife of Bro. A Briggs. It was reported that the Annual Lodge Festival had made a loss of £1-16-6! This would never happen today with our social committee today!
It is interesting to note that a year had now elapsed since the Committee was set up to consider premises for the Lodge and yet still no report had been forthcoming.
It was with sadness that the Lodge recorded the death of Bro. John Turnbull who had been Lodge Secretary for a number of years, and the current Secretary Bro. John Coutts was instructed to write a letter of condolence. At the same meeting on 26/9/1900 a gentleman from the outside world (or “neutral world” as it was referred to), a Mr A Capaldi, was refused entry to the Lodge by 7 black balls! The earliest recorded “black-balling”
Bro. Kirkland continued as Master again and the Treasurer gave the following report;
General Fund £159 0 0
Benevolent Fund £52 5 1/2
Property £85 2 3
Liabilities £ 5 10 0
Creditors £290 17 4 ½
The Lodge continued to grow financially.
The Lodge recorded the following minute on 23/1/1901
“Bro. Robert Kirkland RWM referred to the death of the Queen and moved that as an expression of our sorrow at her death, and sympathy with the Royal Family as well as the earnest hope for the happiness and prosperity of the reign of King Edward the Seventh be recorded in our minutes”
As a further mark of respect no harmony was held that night.
The number of intrants for the Lodge was still very healthy --- 50 in 1901. The lodge also made a donation to the “Supplementary relief fund for the War” (Boer War again) and increased the life Membership Fee from £2-10-0 to £3-0-0 at the meeting on 27/02/1901. (The date today that I write this is 27/02/2001!)
On 10/04/1901 the Bro. Rev. John Duncan reported on his recent visit to Palestine and informed the Brethren of the state of Freemasonry there. He also presented the Lodge with a Mallet made from the wood from Mount Lebanon and was thanked by Bro. Kirkland Master----Could this be the mallet still in use today? The Lodge also made a presentation to Bro. A Powel SW of a “gold albert and appenditure” to mark the occasion of his marriage. At the meeting on 26/05/1901 the Lodge agreed to pay £5 to support the annual excursion—it seems the Lodge were starting to struggle to get support for social events.
However an annual event that was not suffering was the church service which produced the following:
Income £9 15 0
Expenditure £5 7 6
Profit to Benevolence £4 7 6
It seems that the Brethren would rather attend a church service than go to a dance or picnic!
The Mastership of Bro. Kirkland came to an end when Bro. John King was nominated as master on 13/11/1901. Bro. John King had not even been in Office the previous year so he certainly appeared to be a surprise choice as RWM. Strangely enough it was decided at this meeting that the Office-Bearers attendance be included on the balance sheet for the year as well as being read in open Lodge. Perhaps this was to reinforce (or even undermine) the election of Bro. John King. What certainly is clear, however, is the thriving financial position of the Lodge;
General Fund £187 15 7 ½
Benevolent Fund £ 67 12 3
Lodge Property £86 7 9
Creditors £337 15 7 ½
From this we can see that Liabilities have now been eliminated while creditors (most likely hall letting fees) had increased.
Bro. John King was duly elected as Master on 27/11/01 but not installed until Christmas Day 1901(he missed the meeting on 11/12/1901 due to illness). He was installed by Bro. Denholm Senior Grand Warden (and also an Honorary Member of 570), which is the highest ranking Grand Lodge Office-Bearer ever to work a degree at Lodge Kenmuir (as far as I am aware). This is the only recorded date that an installation was held on Christmas Day. At this same meeting which lasted from 7.10PM till 11.20PM a first Degree was also conferred. Happy Christmas Everybody?
The Master Bro. John King was absent from the meeting on 22/01/1902 but submitted apology .He was referred to as Bro. Baillie John King indicating the fact that he had been made a Justice of the Peace. A Bro. William Gilmour was initiated at this meeting ---one assumes it is not the current Depute Provincial Grand Master! Bro. King RWM was to miss numerous meetings during the year due to his Civic Duties.
At the meeting on 9/4/1902 the following minute was recorded
“On the Motion of Bro. R Kirkland IPM the Lodge record in our minutes an expression of our deep sympathy with the sufferers of the Ibrox Football Disaster,”20 people had been killed when part of the stand had collapsed at Ibrox. The Lodge also granted £1 to the disaster fund.
The question of a new hall raised its head again and it was decided on 11/6/1902 that at the next meeting that “ full consideration would be given”. At the next meeting on 25/6/1902 Bro. King Master was absent but sent a letter recommending that “we appoint a strong Committee”. The following Brethren were appointed Bro. J King
Bro. W Sharpe
Bro. R Gibson
Bro. G Gibbs
Bro. A Grant (Alastair!?)
Bro. A Sharpe
Bro. J Minn
Bro. R Kirkland
Bro. J Melville (Jimmy!?)
Bro. J Combe
Bro. J Reid
It was clear that there had been rumblings about the commitment of the Master, as the Lodge passed a resolution in their “ unabated confidence in the uprightness and integrity of our RWM” at the meeting on 13/8/1902. Sounds like the Board giving its backing to the Manager of a Football Club to me! At the same meeting the Secretary Bro. D Coutts returned from illness after 4 months and was duly welcomed back (not least of which by the “pro tem” Secretary Bro. Borthwick !)
It was also noted that Bro Robert Gibson PM had been elected as Provincial Grand Junior Warden—The highest Provincial Rank held by any Member of 570 at that time.
Bro. J King, Master was again nominated as Master (he was now ex-Baillie) and installed on 25/11/02 with the rest of the Office-Bearers. At this same meeting the Treasurer presented the financial report
General Fund £300 15 4 ½
Bro. John King, Master, made only 1 meeting before he tendered his resignation on 11/02/03, which was duly accepted. Although this occurred almost 100 years ago I think perhaps there is a lesson here for us all; a Master is crafted through an apprenticeship he does not just appear as the finished article. Bro. John King appears only once in the Roll of Past Masters despite the fact he was installed twice. The Lodge decided that a new election for Master would take place at the next Meeting which would co-incide with the Provincial Grand Lodge visit.
Benevolent Fund £ 71 0 4 ½
Lodge Property £87 13 9
Balance £459 9 8
There were three nominations for the Office of Master
Bro. R Gibson
Bro. A Briggs
Bro. W Williamson
Bro. A Briggs prevailed and was duly installed as Master on 25/02/1903. Bro. Briggs was also a JP and the third consecutive Master to hold this rank. A new Treasurer was installed that night Bro. A Powel and a new Chaplain Bro. Rev. John Dickie MA.
The Lodge had been fairly quiet on the social front for a while, although 2 “smoking concerts “ had raised the sum of £6-16-9. The Lodge had also held a “Lime Light Entertainment” on 27/05/1903, which raised the sum of £13-1-6, which was donated to the Provincial Grand Lodge bazaar Fund.
At the meeting on 30/05/1903 a James Breeze, occupation Engineer, joined the Lodge giving his address as The Tower, Springburn. A building, which still stands today.
The Lodge, still socially minded, arranged a sports competition for 20/06/1903 against Lodge St Andrew No 465 and donated a £1 for prizes—alas no results were reported. We probably got stuffed again! However the sports must have been well supported as the profit raised was £20-18-4 which was donated to the Provincial Grand Lodge Annuity fund.
The Lodge was unhappy about the lack of progress made by the Hall Committee and it decided to discharge them and form a new one on 14/10/1903 comprising
Bro. A Sharpe
Bro. A Grant (Alastair again?)
Bro. R Gibson
Bro. W Sharpe
Bro. R Kirkland
Bro. T Henry
The Committee was instructed to “see after a site for the hall and report back not later than January 1904.”
Bro. A Briggs ,Master, was a banker and on his business acumen it was decided to transfer £500 from savings and invest it in a Glasgow City Loan for 12 months. The lodge was certainly making money at this time, but Bro. Briggs, from his knowledge of finance, was to be a prudent financial advisor of the lodge for many years to come.The excessive workload of the Secretary and the Treasurer was certainly recognised at the meeting of 11/11/1903 when they were awarded increased emoluments of £5 and £2 respectively.
Bro. Briggs made reference to the “new Licensing Bill” and it was decided that “we adopt option 3 of Grand Lodge and allow some dealer in excisable liquor to sell for the Lodge at his own risk or profit and get a special licence for that purpose” ---- Alas this law is still with us today.
It is interesting to note that the 4 options for alcohol (or excisable liquor) as per Grand Lodge were;
“1. It may limit itself to refreshments absolutely excluding excisable liquor,
- It may meet in licensed premises where excisable liquor is sold but subject to a special licence being obtained if the meeting should be continued after the ordinary licencing hours.
- Allow some dealer in excisable liquor to sell for the Lodge at his own risk or profit and get a special licence for that purpose.
- It may arrange for its own excisable liquors being sold or supplied in its own premises. It is only in the last case that a Lodge is a club in terms of the Act.”
Grand Lodge ordered the Lodges to inscribe this in the Minutes (25/11/1903)---one assumes so that Lodges could not claim ignorance of the Act.
Once again the finances of the Lodge were healthy;
General Fund £433 12 11
Benevolent Fund £ 96 3 11
Lodge Property £73 6 9
Balance £603 3 3
At this it meeting Bro. Briggs was the only candidate for RWM and duly installed by Bro. Robert Gibson PM.
The Building Committee, which had been appointed on 14/10/1903, were given further guidance by the Lodge in terms of their goal; “to build a hall to hold about 350 and find a site for same.” This figure was based on the Secretary’s prediction on how the Lodge would grow over the next 10 years based on its growth in recent years,
The Hall Committee reported back on 9/12/1903 that they had found a suitable site in Mollinsburn Street and were instructed to secure that site. —However this did not materialise and the impetus for new premises fizzled out once again. At this same time Bro. Briggs RWM asked for Provincial Grand Lodge to advance funds for the construction of a new hall---This was refused. This would come back to haunt Provincial Grand Lodge when they were to ask the Lodge for funds to build a Hall in the future!
At this time Bro. R Gibson PM was also Provincial Grand Junior Warden and Bro. Carlton Smyth MM 570 Provincial Grand Director of Music—obviously this didn’t carry sufficient clout when looking for funds.
Provincial Grand Lodge visited the Lodge on 23/03/1904 and recorded the fact that the Lodge had initiated 75 candidates during the last year. At this meeting was also decided to challenge Lodge St Andrew No 465 to a return sports match on the same format as the previous year.
At the meeting on 10/08/1904 the Lodge decided to break from tradition by agreeing to donate the collection from its annual church service to the Springburn Sick Nursing Association.
However this caused friction between the Lodge and the Chaplain Bro. Rev. J Dickie of Springburn Parish who advised that any collection uplifted in the church would be for the church. The Lodge considered this but decided to stick to its guns and that the collection would go to the Springburn Sick Nursing Association.
Bro. Rev. J Dickie was very unhappy about this and resigned on the spot and left the Lodge refusing to salute the Chair. The Lodge immediately moved the service to Cowlairs Church where the Springburn Sick Nursing Association benefited by £8-12-4.
At the meeting on 23/11/1904 the death of Bro. John Graham PGM HM 570 was recorded with sadness and it was intimated that 1 months mourning would be observed. Bro. Briggs continued as Master and Bro. J Duncan stepped into the Office of Chaplain.Once again the Treasurer presented a glowing report.
General Fund £490 1 6
Benevolent Fund £127 12 ½
Lodge Property £74 0 6
Balance £611 14 ½
An interesting Notice of Motion was proposed by Bro. J Anderson at the meeting held on 11/01/1905 “ That on or after this date all Lodge meetings whether harmony or otherwise be conducted on strict Temperance principles. That no intemperate liquor be bought or sold or used in any way by the members.” The vote was taken at the meeting on 08/02/1905 and the results were:
The Byelaws were reviewed at the meeting on 26/04/1905 and an outing to Ayr was planned for the same month.
For the Motion 35
For the Amendment (Status Quo) 63
Lodge Kenmuir did not become a Temperance Lodge. Cheers!
The Annual Church Service was again held at Cowlairs Parish with the Benevolent Fund benefiting by £3-6-9 this time.
It was reported that Bro. S Dunwoody, a past Secretary of Lodge Kenmuir, had died in Chicago at an early age.
At the Nomination meeting on 8/11/1905 Bro. Briggs decided to step down as Master and there were 3 Nominations for the Office;
Bro. R Watson
Bro. A Grant
Bro. A Stanley
At the election meeting on 22/11/1905 Bro. R Watson was declared as Master.
The Treasurer presented the following statement
General Fund £510 2 1 ½
Benevolent Fund £148 6 8
Lodge Property £68 3 1
Balance £726 12 8 ½
The Secretary’s and Treasurers Emoluments were increased to 7 Guineas and 3 Guineas respectively.
An interesting meeting was held on 6/12/1905 at which the current Master, Bro. A Briggs was present but the Master-Elect Bro. R Watson chaired the meeting at which the 1st and 2nd Degrees were conferred. As far as I am aware this is the only instance of this occurring. The Installation was held the following week on 13/12/1905.
An unusual incident happened at the meeting on 27/12/1905 when the Lodge decided to appoint a Shooting Committee! Now there’s an idea!
An interesting change was made to the Byelaws in 10/01/1906 when it was decided to reduce the number of consecutive terms from 3 to 2 the Master must serve to become a Life Member. I can only assume that this would encourage the Master to step down after 2 years and thereby encourage more movement through progressive Offices to the Chair.
1905/06 was a relatively poor year for candidates as only 37 joined the Lodge as recorded at the Provincial Grand Lodge Visitation on 14/02/1906.One month later at the meeting on 14/03/1906 a presentation was made to Bro. Briggs IPM in the form of “a very valuable gold watch and diamond PM jewel and a complete edition of the works of Charles Dickens. A solid silver tea set, a rose bowl and a set of spoons was presented to Mrs Briggs, his wife”(Obviously Bro. Briggs had re-married).
Bro. Briggs had also written the minutes for this meeting as interim Secretary---He was an excellent Master for the Lodge but as a Secretary his writing was almost as good as mine!
At the meeting on 25/04/1906 another of Kenmuirs Brethren was leaving these shores—Bro. Huggan was bound for Canada and was presented with a Masonic Apron and travelling case. At the same meeting it was also agreed to purchase a piano as long as the cost did not exceed £20!
Great news (for me writing the history) occurred at the meeting on 24/10/1906 when Bro. Briggs stood down as interim Secretary and was thanked for his work. Bro. David Coutts (an extremely legible Brother!) resumed as Secretary.
The Treasurer presented the following financial report;
General Fund £520 7 ½
Benevolent Fund £188 10 8
Lodge Property £86 10 8
Balance £795 5 11½
Information like this is not always recorded in the minutes and I certainly feel that it is worth recording in the history of the Lodge as it gives a valuable snapshot of information, So what would this be worth in today’s values? Well there are probably many was of looking at it—but here are two for you to think about
METHOD 1: INITIATION FEE
The Initiation Fee in 1905 was £3—Today it is £158
The value of the Lodge in 1905 was 267 times the value of the initiation fee.
This would make the value of the Lodge today 267 x 158 =£42146.
METHOD 2: BUILDING COSTS
The Lodge would build a hall in Vulcan Street costing approx. £2500. This would be approx. 3 times the shown value of the Lodge
The same building today would cost approx. £1M to buy the land and construct
This would make the Lodge approx. worth £333,000 in today’s value.
The true value probably lies somewhere between these two calculations, however either way you look at it the Lodge was very wealthy
Another element of information that tends to be missing from the minutes is the attendance—the only exception being where there is a vote but that would obviously exclude abstentions. However at the meeting on 28/11/1906 part of theSecretarys report relating to attendance is contained in the minutes;
Regular Meetings 22
Special Meetings 13
Average Regular Meetings 81
Average Special Meetings 50
Average for year 2449
I would have expected higher attendance’s than this give the high number of candidates as from a percentage point of view these attendance’s are substantially lower than ours today—Last years(1999/2000) average was 50 from a Qualified Membership of just over 100.
Bro. Watson continued as Master and was installed by Bro. Robert Gibson on 12/12/1906.
At the meeting on 27/02/1907 the Provincial Grand Lodge Visitation took place and it was noted that the Lodge had an increase in candidates for the Year---48 in total. Bro. A A Hagart Speirs headed this deputation and was granted Honorary Membership at the completion of the Visitation.
In the summer period the Lodge again held its usual activities---A summer cruise (complete with band) and a church service which raised the sum of £2-9-9 ½ for the Benevolent Fund.
At the meeting on 25/09/1907 it was agreed to discharge the Hall Committee once again as no progress had been achieved.
At the Nomination meeting 2 Brethren were put forward as Master—Bro. A Grant and Bro. J Tibbert---with Bro. A Grant prevailing as Master at the election meeting on 22/11/1907.Thus ended the Mastership of Bro. R Watson, he would be Master again however in 1918 and 1919 with Lodge Springburn and become the only Brother ever to be Master of both 570 and 1198.
The Treasurer presented the following report at this same meeting
General Fund £639 8 8 ½
Benevolent Fund £219 12 2
Lodge Property £82 12 4
Balance £941 13 2½
Attendances were as follows
22 Regular Meetings Average 101
15 Special Meetings Average 19
Overall Attendances 2509
At the same meeting yet another Hall Committee was appointed comprising:
Bro. A Briggs
Bro. R Kirkland
Bro. W Robertson
Bro. R Gibson
Bro. A Grant
Bro. H Campbell
Bro. J Findlay
Bro. R Watson
Bro. W McConnell
Bro. D Coutts
Bro. W Milne
Bro. D Mc Parland
Bro. D Tennant
Bro. T Forsyth
This was to be a different Hall Committee from all previous Hall Committees---This one would produce a Hall for the Lodge.
Bro. A A Hagart Speirs returned to the Lodge on 12/2/1908 noting that 66 intrants had passed through the Lodge in the last year and “ He was glad to hear of the intention to build a new hall and it was very much required owing to the increase in numbers.”
At the following meeting on 26/02/1908 Bro. R Watson IPM was presented with a framed photograph of the Office-Bearers for that year – Unfortunately this no longer exists. This was also an extremely important meeting in respect of the new premises as the following Minute is recorded:
“The new Hall was then considered. Bro. A Grant RWM stated that the Committee had various sites in Springburn in view and wished the Brethren to state their views on the erection of a New Hall as it would depend on the financial support the Committee received to make the Hall a success. Bro Coutts (Secretary) gave a statement on the increases in Membership for the last ten years which showed that a New Hall was very much required as we had added about 300 to our own Test Fee Membership. The loans secured up to the present was £452 promised by 45 Members.Bro. Cotts moved the following motion which was recommended by the Committee. That the Committee approve the building of a New Hall and that they receive powers from the Lodge to provisionally secure a site for same and to engage an Architect to prepare plans of the Hall with probable cost. The same to be submitted to the Lodge before any further expense is incurred and Seconded by Bro. McFarlandl”
This Notice of Motion was passed at the next Meeting held on 11/03/908 by which time the Loan amount had increased to £674.
The Lodge was obviously quite willing to proceed with this venture and was extremely confident despite two minor problems;
- The Lodge did not have enough money to build the hall, and
- They did not even own the land on which the intended to build.
Despite this the Lodge were sure that these problems could be overcome.
At the meeting on 8/04/1908 a presentation was made to Bro. R Watson IPM in the form of a “PM Jewel with a diamond centre and a watch, and for Mrs Watson a gold ring set with diamonds.” An evening cruise was planned at this same meeting for later in the year and it was agreed to ask “Chapter Margaret” to assist. Of course the Margaret Chapter (OES) are still a tenant of Lodge Kenmuir after all these years.
At the meeting on 22/04/1908 the first Annuitant of Grand Lodge is recorded—Bro. A Wilson at £10 per Annum.
The Hall Committee had been very busy (which, to be honest, was very unusual for Hall Committees up till this date!) since the meeting in March of 1908 and by June they recommended that the Lodge purchase ground in Vulcan Street being 443 square yards and 6 square feet at 11/- per square yard. The Minutes seem to suggest that the seller of the land Neilson Estate (of railway fame) approached the Lodge to see if they wished to purchase this gap-site sandwiched between the Mission-Hall and the Library (both built 1904). In addition the site had high-level or “saloon “ backcourts at the rear. The Title deeds of the land are quite revealing---The title deeds gave permission for a structure to be built on the land but it was to be of a certain height and detailed other requirements-
“(The Lodge)…would be bound to erect within six months from the term of entry after specified and thereafter to keep in good order and repair in all time coming and when necessary to rebuild upon the said plot of ground a Masonic Hall and necessary Offices constructed therewith not exceeding fifty feet to the ridge of the roof in height above the level of Vulcan Street of the value of £1000 at least amd of a neat design and elevation. In the event of the said Hall and offices ceasing to be used as a Masonic Hall and Offices (The Lodge) shall be entitled to convert the same into or erect on the said plot of ground a tenement of dwelling houses or shops and dwelling houses not exceeding four storeys in height”
As it turned out this was a good deal for both the Lodge and Neilson
- The late Walter Mongomerie Neilson had acquired this land in 1859 to construct the Hyde Park Locomotive Works. As the Author John Thomas describes it:
”Neilson looked for a site of a new factory…he found it in Springburn .In the middle of that district of hills, half a mile North of St Rollox and a quarter of a mile East of Cowlairs was a pleasant meadow bounded on one side by the Sighthill branch of the Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway and with the Caledonian main line from Buchanan Street not far away….. Neilson took the name of the street his old works had been in –Hyde Park”. The factory finally opened in 1861.
This awkward gap-site which the Lodge purchased was the last remnant of this “pleasant meadow” which had lain unused for almost 50 years. Probably the Neilson Estate was quite glad to get shot of it and get some money in the process.
2.From the Lodges point of view If the project failed then they would be able to convert the property into accommodation and thereby saving
- the Lodge going bust over the project hence the reason for the exact specifications in the Title-Deeds
The Hall Committee also submitted 3 sets of plans for the Members to consider and offer their viewpoints---Unfortunately the 2 sets of plans which were not chosen no longer survive. By the meeting on 26/08/08 the land was purchased, the plan decided upon and the completion date set for 1st March 1909!
At the meeting on 09/09/1908 it was reported that the cruise had raised the sum of £1-19-0 which was donated to the Building Fund (It needed all the money it could get!)
At this same meeting the Office-Bearers recommended that a “Foundation Stone ceremony would be in order” and this was organised for 10/10/1908.It was also agreed that members be notified by circular asking for loans----There was still insufficient money to pay for the works.
One of the most frequently asked questions in Lodge Kenmuir is “Why is the Foundation Stone half-way up the wall?” I think the answer is this---The work on the Temple commenced in July or possibly August 1908 but the idea of the “Foundation Stone “ was not raised until September 1908 and the ceremony did not take place till October 1908.By this time 3 months work had elapsed on the project and work was obviously at 1st floor level---hence the location of the “Foundation Stone”.
The Lodge held a Regular meeting on 14/10/1908 at which Bro. A A Hagart Speirs PGM congratulated the Brethren on the success of the ceremony of the laying of the Foundation stone and enclosed a cheque for the sum of 5 Guineas for the Benevolent Fund. At this same meeting the Secretary Bro. D Coutts asked the Lodges permission to enter a full statement of the ceremony of the Foundation Stone to record this information for the future. This is the record entered in the Minute Book on 14th October 1908.
“Ceremony of laying the Foundation Stone of New Hall in Vulcan Street on Saturday 10th October 1908.
The PGL of Glasgow was opened in the Hall of Lodge Kenmuir, 27 Cowlairs Road at 2.45 PM.
Present------Bros. AA Speirs PGM ,Alexander Bruce DPGM ,W Munro Denholm SPGM , William Brownlie SPGW, James Duncan McEwan JPGW , J McNaught Campbell PG Sec ,Daniel Gilfillan PG Treasurer of Benevolence, James Murray PG Treasurer of Annuity Fund , the Rev T Angus Morrison PG Chaplain , John Fergusson SPGD , David McArthur JPGD , Alexander Duthie PGJ,John McKinnon PGBB , Carlton Hugh Smyth PGDOM ,Alfred James Lancashire PGO ,John Bisset Morrison PG Marshall , H J Humphreys PGIG , David Reid Grand Secretary , Baillie Archibald Campbell RWM No 87 , William Lauderdale PPGBB , George Mc Kenzie JW No 73 , Robert Jackson PM No 413 , William Falconer PM No 556 and Past PGSW , Alexander Grant RWM and Robert Gibson PPGJW AND Baillie McInnes Shaw PM 510.
Deputations from 55 Daughter Lodges to the number of about 700 assembled in Elmvale School , Hawthorn Street where they were marshalled by Bro. JB Morrison PG Marshall and Bro. G Henry Marshall No 570. The Company from Cowlairs Rd was conveyed to Elmvale School in Landaus and joined the procession which marched by way of Hawthorn Street , Springburn Road , Flemington Street , Ayr Street to Vulcan Street and formed open order and the PGL passed through the open ranks with the Office-Bearers of Lodge Kenmuir carrying the working tools , the privilege for which was granted by Glasgow St John No 3bis . Bros. A Briggs PM , R Kirkland PM , R Watson IPM carried the presentation tools. Bro. W Robertson the Plumb , Bro. Smith the Level , Bro. T Forsyth the Cornucopia , Bro. J McGill the Wine Vase , Bro. J Scott the Oil Vase , Bro. D Coutts the jar containing the current coins and other papers –a full description of which is affixed to first page of this (Minute) book.
After the National Anthem Bro. J Laird presented Bro. AA Speirs PGM with a Silver Trowel from the Architect , Measurers and Contractors. Bro. A Grant RWM of Lodge Kenmuir presented Bro. AA Speirs with a Mallet , Bro. Denholm a Square , Bro. Brownlie a Level , Bro. McEwan a Plumb made of wood from the Old Royal Infirmary as momentos of the Occasion. The jar having been inserted by Bros. McNaught Campbell and Gilfillan into the Stone and the Stone having been truly laid by Bro. AA Speirs PGM , Bro. A Grant RWM in the name of Lodge Kenmuir thanked Bro. AA Speirs and the Brethren of PGL for their attendance and the impressive manner in which the ceremony had been conducted. Bro. Speirs replied and congratulated the RWM and the Members of Lodge Kenmuir on the Building, which was to be the Home of the Lodge.
The PGL was closed in 27 Cowlairs Road and the Brethren proceeded to the Drill Hall in Keppochhill Road for refreshments where Bro. AA Speirs and Bro. A Grant addressed a few words to the Brethren and thanked them for their attendance and orderly conduct.
Apologies for absence were received from Lady Ann Speirs , Lord Provost Bilsland , Sir John McPherson Grant SGM, John Miller GM , Col Heys PGM Renfrewshire East , Col Henry Brock PGM Dumbartonshire , John King PM 570 , John Law PM 570, Mr Mrs Reid.
The inscription contained in the Minute book is as follows;
“Contents of jar placed in stone at laying of Memorial Stone of Hall for Lodge Kenmuir on 10th October 1908
Glasgow Herald and Daily Record of 10th October 1908
Glasgow News, Evening Citizen and Evening Times of 9th October 1908
St Rollox and Springburn Express of 10th September and 8th October 1908
Grand Lodge Laws, Annual Account and Financial statement for 1907
Bye-laws of Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow, Annual Report and Financial Statement for 1907
Rules of Masonic Bowling and Golf Matches
Constitution and Laws of Masters and Past Masters Association of the Province of Glasgow
Bye-laws of Lodge Kenmuir
Annual Report for 1907
Calendar and list of Members for 1908
Two circulars issued to Members re Hall
Three circulars to Members re Foundation Stone Ceremony
Invitation Card to Ceremony
Copy of Form of Ceremonial at Ceremony
Specimen Notes of the following Banks;
Royal Bank of Scotland £1 Note
National Bank of Scotland £1 Note
British Linen Bank £100, £20, £10, £5 and £1
Description of the Industries of Springburn by Bro. Briggs
Coins of the Realm of 1908 sovereign and half-Sovereign, half-crown, florin, shilling, sixpence, threepence, penny, halfpenny and farthing.
Corporation diary for 1907/1908.
City Coat of Arms
Kings Maundy Money
We certify that we deposited the above articles in the jar.
Alexander Grant RWM
David Coutts Secretary
The above jar and its contents was sealed by me on 10th October
Another account is given in the proceedings of Provincial Grand Lodge for 1908
“At a Special Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow, held in Kenmuir Lodge Room, 27 Cowlairs Road, Springburn, on Saturday 10th October, 1908, at Half-past Two o’clock p.m.
Present------Bros. A,A Speirs of Elderslie PGM in the Chair ,Alexander Bruce DPGM ,W Munro Denholm SPGM , William Brownlie SPGW, James Duncan McEwan JPGW , J McNaught Campbell PG Sec ,Daniel Gilfillan PG Treasurer of Benevolence, James Murray PG Treasurer of Annuity Fund , the Rev T Angus Morrison PG Chaplain , John Fergusson SPGD , David McArthur JPGD , Alexander Duthie PGJ,John McKinnon PGBB , Carlton Hugh Smyth PGDOM ,Alfred James Lancashire PGO ,John Bisset Morrison PG Marshall , H J Humphreys PGIG , David Reid Grand Secretary , Baillie Archibald Campbell RWM No 87 , William Lauderdale PM No 117 , George Mc Kenzie JW No 73 , Robert Jackson PM No 413 , William Falconer PM No 556 and Past PGSW , Alexander Grant RWM and Robert Gibson PM No 570 and the following PG Stewards Harry McInnes No 73 , Thomas Arnot No 465 , Donald Ross No 553 John Peebles No 570 and W M Collins No 772.
Apologies for absence were intimated from Bros. James McIntyre PG Treasurer, The Rev David Watson PG Chap, William Phillips jun PGJ, Robert Stobo Renfrew PGDOC, Major James Donaldson PGSB, and Matthew Hall Cadiz PGPOS.
Provincial Grand Lodge was opened in due and solemn form and in the First Degree.
The PGM having referred to the purpose, for which they had met, viz,to lay the Memorial Stone of New Halls for Lodge Kenmuir , No 570 , adjourned Provincial Grand Lodge for that purpose.
The Brethren having previously assembled at Elmvale School, Hawthorn Street Springburn under the direction of Bro. John Bisset Morrison PG Marshal assisted by Bro. George Henry, Marshal of No 570, were joined by the Office Bearers and others of Provincial Grand Lodge. The procession which was headed by the Springburn Temperance Band, comprised deputations from Lodges Nos. 3bis, 4,7,9,39,73,87,102,103,109,116,117,128,166,178,195,199,219,
226,254,256,272275,320,332,333,347,354,362,384,408,413,419,437,441,465,507,510,512,553, 556,579,581,607,609,683,729,753,772,817,823,873,1005 and No 407 EC. There was also a large number of the Office-Bearers and Members of Lodge Kenmuir No 570, about 700 in all being present.The procession proceeded by way of Hawthorn Street, Springburn Road, Flemington and Ayr Streets to the site in Vulcan Street when the Office Bearers of Provincial Grand Lodge were arranged for the ceremonial. Bro. John Laird, Architect, on behalf of the contractors for the building, presented the PGM, the SPGM and the PG Wardens with a Mallet, Square, Level and Plumb respectively made from wood from the Old Infirmary Building, which the PGM suitably acknowledged.
The PGM then, with the assistance of his Office- Bearers, laid the Stone according to ancient usage and custom. At the conclusion of the ceremony Bro. Alexander Grant RWM of Lodge Kenmuir No 570, thanked the PGM and Office-Bearers of PGL for performing the Ceremony, to which the PGM suitably replied.
The PGL the returned to the Lodge Room, when the PGM thanked the Office-Bearers for their support, and PGL was the closed in due and ancient form.
The Brethren afterwards assembled in the 2nd Royal Field Artillery Drill Hall, Keppochhill Road, and were entertained to cake and wine by the Office-Bearers of Lodge Kenmuir NO 570. The PGM thanked the Brethren for their attendance and support, to which the RWM replied.”
At the Nomination Meeting on 11/11/1908, Bro. Grant was nominated to continue as Master and Bro. Briggs nominated to the Office of Hall Treasurer.
The last AGM held in Cowlairs Rd was held on 25/11/1908 at which the following information was recorded
Intrants for the year 65
General Fund £937 17 6
Benevolent Fund £305 17 6
Expend Found Stone £20 12 11
Loans in Hand £784 0 0
Attendances were as follows
22 Regular Meetings Average 103
10 Special Meetings Average 28
Overall Attendances 2555
Bro. Grant was duly Installed as Master on 9/12/1908.
At the Meeting on 27/01/1909 The Lodge appointed Trustees being Right Worshipful Master, Immediate Past Master, Depute Master, Substitute Master, Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Secretary, Treasurer, and their successors in Office. Their task was to secure the feu duty charter from the Neilston Trustees. It is interesting to note that these Brethren still form the basis of the Halls and Finance Committee today.
On 10/02/1909 a Notice of Motion was proposed, which I am sure many thought would never occur ----“That Lodge Kenmuir No 570 remove from 27 Cowlairs Road to Masonic Hall, Vulcan Street in March 1909.” This was duly passed at the meeting on 24/02/1909 and it was also decided that the names of all present at the last meeting in Cowlairs Road would be recorded in the Minute book. This last meeting was held on 10/03/1909 when it was decided that the Consecration of the Hall would be by ticket only.
Bro. A Grant RWM said “This would be the last meeting in our present Hall after 24 years occupancy and the many happy memories connected with it during that time. We hope the Lodge will be as prosperous in our new Hall.”
Bro. R Gibson PM said that he was present at the first meeting in this hall and now he was at the last and trusted he would be present at the first meeting in our new hall.
At that meeting 5 candidates received their 1st Degree at the hands of Bro. A Grant RWM and 12 candidates received their 2nd Degree at the hands of Bro. R Kirkland PM
The names of 175 Brethren are recorded in the Minute Book---Almost like the credits at the end of a film---to mark the end of one era and to herald the beginning of a new one.