Lodge Kenmuir No 570 on the Roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland

Lodge Kenmuir 570

Lodge Kenmuir No 570 on the Roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland

Lodge Kenmuir No 570 on the Roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland
         

 

 

FROM WORLD WAR 1 TO THE GOLDEN JUBILEE

 

INTRODUCTION

1918/19 marked a boom time for the Lodge with an incredible 281 candidates joining the Lodge—No wonder there were complaints about “the congested state of the meetings”! This boom-time however was not to last as Grand Lodge put a spanner in the works by limiting the number of candidates which could be initiated at Lodges----While this encouraged the formation of Lodges like Springburn No 1198 it certainly reduced the Candidates (and ultimately the attendances) at Lodge Kenmuir. In 1921 the overall attendances at Lodge Kenmuir were 6644 but by 1924 the overall attendances had plummeted to only 2923. There were certainly no more congested meetings in this era.

Other notable milestones in this era were

  • A consecration of an Altar to the Memory of all Members of 570 who fell in the Great War.
  • The purchase of a new Masters Chain and Lodge Regalia (including cases)

           
The Major milestone however was the Lodge reaching and celebrating its Golden Jubilee in 1925.
           

1918-1925

Although the war was now over and the Installation of Bro. John McAndrew took place on 27/11/1918,it was with sadness that the Lodge learned of the death of Bro. R Aitken in a POW camp on 4/11/1918—Only a week before the Armistice.

The Lodge then got back into its business as usual with a Mark Degree on 19/1/1919 with 63 Candidates, it also entered 2 teams in the golf. The main social event of the year was a dance in Springburn Public Hall on Friday 28th March at which Office-Bearers wore their Regalia.

Bro. Sam McField put forward an interesting problem for the Lodge to consider as he was concerned about “the congested state of the meetings”—A complaint basically meaning that the Lodge meetings were too well attended! The Lodge agreed to consider this. It is just a pity that Lodge don’t suffer from this problem today.

At the Meeting on 23/3/1919 Bro. Major Angus McPherson was welcomed back to the Lodge—The highest recorded Military Rank of any Lodge Member. At the following Meeting on 30/3/1919 the Mark was again conferred on 63 Candidates. At the same meeting Bro Peebles IPM was presented with a PM Jewel with diamond centre and a silver tea-service with a brooch for his wife.

The Lodge had an interesting visitor on 14/5/1919—Bro James Baxter of Lodge Kenmuir who was also a Past Master of Lodge St Andrew No1068 India. The Lodge at this time was thriving, as was demonstrated by the minutes of this meeting which contain 3 pages of Applications! This would also explain why the Lodge had to purchase cable tows, shoes and aprons at the meeting on 12/6/1919.

Once again the effects of the War were felt with news that Bro, J Dixon had been killed during the War.

For the third time that year the Mark was conferred on 9/10/1919—This time on only 62 Candidates!

The Nomination meeting was held on 22/10/1919 with2 Candidates standing for the Office of RWM—Bro. Mather and Bro. Anderson (who was successful). It was reported that this was a record year with 281 Initiates! A figure, which I am sure, will never be beaten.

The General Fund stood at £1129-4-1                 an increase of £79-6-1
The Benevoloent Fund stood at £641-15-3        an increase of £55-12-1

The Lodge had also won the Pearce Cup with a rink skipped by Bro, Andrew Campbell.

The attendances for the year were

                        21 Regular Meetings           Average         205     Total   4309
                        15 Special Meetings            Average         126     Total   1890
                                                                                                Grand Total   6199

The Lodge had conferred 21 First Degrees, 14 Second Degrees, 16 Third Degrees and 3 Mark Degrees. This meant that on average 13 candidates went through their First Degree at each meeting.

A Notice of Motion was put forward at this same meeting to raise Fees. The Initiation Fee would increase to £6-6-0, Life membership would increase to £3-3-0(from £1-10-0) and Test Fees would increase to 5/-(from 3/-). This Notice of Motion was carried was carried with a majority of 146 to 74 on 25/2/1920.

Grand Lodge intimated at the meeting on 26/11/1919 that “No Lodge shall initiate more than 7 Candidates in one day”. The purpose of this was threefold;

  • To ensure that Candidates were able to appreciate the Degrees better in a group of 7 rather than in groups 20+
  • To ensure Lodges only initiated 7 Candidates per day and not per meeting. In effect it forbade Lodges holding 2 or more meetings per day to initiate Candidates.
  • To encourage the formation of new Lodges and to prevent huge waiting lists building up for established Lodges. This certainly took effect as Lodge Springburn  No 1198 were formed following this period with Bro. R Watson (Past Master of Kenmuir) as Master.

 

This change in Grand Lodge Law would certainly affect Lodge Kenmuir in a big way.
 
Bro.Anderson was Installed at this same meeting and the bowling cup, which had been won again by 570, was passed round at the Harmony.

The Lodge received a letter from a proposed new Lodge, South Western, seeking the consent of 570, which was readily given. This would imply that 570 was indeed a sponsor Lodge of South Western.

8/9/1920 is another interesting date being the first mention of Lodge Springburn No 1198 when an invite to their Divine Service to be held on 17/9/1920 was read out. I was really surprised that Lodge Springburn were not mentioned previously in the Minutes and there is no mention of their formation or Consecration. Very strange-- Could it be there was some kind of rift? It is even stranger when you consider that the Master of Lodge Springburn No 1198 was Bro Robert Watson PM of Lodge Kenmuir. 1920 also saw Bro. Robert Watson PM become the Provincial Grand Senior Warden of Glasgow.

Once again eat the Nomination Meeting held on 27/10/1920 there were two Nominations for Master—Brother Mather and Brother Gilmour (who was successful).

The Secretary gave his Annual report at the meeting held on 10/11/1920;

                        21 Regular Meetings           Average         191     Total   4026
                        27 Special Meetings            Average           80      Total   2104
                                                                                                Grand Total   6130

The large number of Special Meetings was generated solely by the rule of Grand Lodge reducing the number of Candidates for Initiation at Meetings. This led to 27 Special Meetings being held (as opposed to 15 the previous year). The total number of Initiates for the year was 189.

The next year of the Lodge Minutes is really taken up extensively with recording Degree work as can be seen from this extract of the records.

            16/8/1921      2 Degrees held
            28/8/1921      2 Degrees held
            31/8/1921      2 Degrees held
            6/9/1921         2 Degrees held

A total of 8 Degrees held over a period of 21 days! Today in Lodge Kenmuir only 14 Degrees are conferred over the whole year!

Sadly other than Degree work little else is reported during this period.

The AGM was held on 26/10/1921 and the following reports were given.

                        The Lodge assets were £6297-14-9
                        Initiates for the year                     150

                        21 Regular Meetings           Average         173     Total   3627
                        31 Special Meetings            Average         100     Total   3017
                                                                                    Grand Total   6644

Bro. Mather was at last elected as Master—Third time lucky!

The Lodge proved again it was a family Lodge by agreeing that “The Lodge grant a sum of £50 for the purpose of entertaining the Children of our Members who are at present unemployed”.

It was with sadness that the Lodge recorded the death of Bro. David Coutts at the meeting on 25/1/1922—He had been Secretary of the Lodge for 21 years.

Again much of the Minutes of this period relate to Degree Work although the Lodge did hold an Annual Divine Service at Cowlairs Parish Church in October.

An interesting item was reported at the Lodge Meeting on 27/9/1922—“Bro. John Mather, Master, reported that all the present living Past masters of the Lodge along with himself had visited Adrossan on Saturday 16th September (1922) where they met Brother Law, the first RWM of the Lodge where a photograph of the group was taken of the party. Bro. Law has now entered his 91st year”.

This is most probably the photograph currently on display in the Lodge room—It was previously thought this was taken at a church service but there is no record in the Minutes of any photograph being taken at the Divine Service held on 1/10/1922.As most of the Brethren in the photograph are wearing PM jewels—it would seem more than likely this is the photograph taken at Ardrossan. This is probably the most important existing photograph in the History of Lodge Kenmuir.

The following reports were given at the 1922 AGM.

                        The Lodge assets were £6392-0-5 1/2
                        Initiates for the year             60( A decrease of 90 )
                        21 Regular Meetings           Average         158     Total   3317
                         7 Special Meetings             Average         125     Total     859
                                                                                    Grand Total   4176

This marked a decrease from 31 to only 7 special meetings for the year due to the sharp drop in Initiates. The attendance also dropped by over 30% for the year. The boom days were definitely over.

Bro. McGhee was elected and installed as Master on 22/11/1922.

At this point the Lodge was thinking about a suitable Commemorative for the Service of the Brethren in the War and at the meeting on 28/2/1923 the following Notice of Motion was put forward.“That the Lodge should do something to commemorate the Memory of the Brethren who fell in the Great War”.

This was followed up at the meeting on 23/5/1923 when Bro. Thomas Black moved that the Lodge dedicate an altar to commemorate the Brethren who fell in the Great War. This was seconded by Bro. William Hunter. It was also decided that that the cost be not restricted and a committee was appointed. —Bro. Thomas Black, Bro. William Hunter, Bro. G Carruth, Bro. J Crawford, Bro. J Scott, Bro. J Mather, Bro. J Peebles, Bro. R Anderson, and the Master and Secretary.

 

Bro. J McGhee , Master, reported at the meeting on 11/7/1923 that the Committee had selected a design submitted by Mr Archd Hamilton at a cost of £56-0-0. At the meeting on 12/9/1923 it was decided that the names of the Brethren who fell in the War be inscribed on a panel on the Altar.

Bro. Robert Aitken
Bro. William R Alexander
Bro. David Black
Bro. Andrew S Carruth
Bro. James Davies
Bro. James Dickie
Bro. John Dickson
Bro. John A S Forsyth
Bro Thomas Gilmour
Bro James Haldane
Bro. William Landell
Bro. Duncan C Leith
Bro. Robert Martin
Bro David McDonald
Bro. James F McKellar
Bro. James McKinney
Bro. Andrew McKinnon
Bro. George Parkin
Bro. James Smith
Bro. John D Stewart
Bro. Christopher Tibbert
Bro. Charles Wallace
Bro. James Wallace
Bro. Robert Wright
Bro. Alexander Yuille

On Sunday 7th October at 6.00PM a Memorial Service was held in the Lodge. It was opened in the First Degree, Passed to the Second Degree and raised to the Third Degree. Bro. AA Hagart Speirs led the PGL Deputation in.
The Brethren sang Hymns followed by a solo by Bro McGhee, Master, who sang “He wipes a tear from every eye”. A roll call was then read by Bro. Robertson, Secretary followed by the Last Post played on the bugle by Bro.Semple.
The Altar was then unveiled by Bro. AA Hagart Speirs, and a solo (“Flowers of the Forest”) was rendered by Bro. Norris.
The Altar was dedicated by Bro. Rev John Duncan and the Master laid a wreath at it. The lesson from 2nd Samuel Chapter 1 verse 17 to the end was read and the Service concluded with hymns at 7.30 PM. Bro.

The AGM was held on 14/11/1923 at which the following reports were given :

            The Lodge assets were £6609-9-9
            Initiates for the year             70( An increase of 10 on the previous year)
            21 Regular Meetings           Average         146     Total   3069
              8 Special Meetings            Average         125     Total     998
                                                                                    Grand Total   4067

            The following Degrees were conferred:

            1st                    17 times
            2nd                   11 times
            3rd                    13 times
            4th                      3 times

Bro. Kirby was elected as Master and Installed on 28/11/1923.

At the Meeting held on 23/1/1924 it was agreed that the next of kin of all the Brethren who fell in the Great War should receive a photograph of the Altar.

The Lodge had a distinguished visitor on 13/2/1924 when Bro. Harry A Thacker visited—He was a PM of Lodge Praetoria Celtic No770 and also the PGSW of the Transvaal. Another interesting visitor was received on 27/2/1924 when Bro. Robert Kinloch visited—He was not only a Member of 570 but also the Depute Master of Lodge Springburn No 1198.

On 14/5/1924 the Lodge received correspondence regarding a proposed new Lodge in Possilpark, and on the motion of Bro. Robert Anderson PM, seconded by Bro. J McGhee IPM “ it was agreed we give our assent to the proposed new Lodge”. Lodge Kenmuir had become a Sponsor Lodge of Lodge Possilpark No 1330 and I am very pleased to say that this connection is still very evident today.
At this same meeting it was agreed to celebrate the Lodges Jubilee and a Committee was formed to arrange this.

On 9/10/1924 the following Notice of Motion was put forward “That the Lodge provide a chain of Office for the RWM of the Lodge and the matter be left in the hands of the Jubilee Committee, and the Jubilee celebrations take place during the Month of August 1925”.

At the meeting on 24/9/1924 the Lodge agreed in principle to make a donation to the Freemasons Hospital Fund—The first donation the Lodge had made to this fund.

The AGM for 1924 was held on 22nd October and at that Meeting it was agreed to increase the Emoluments of Office –Bearers to the following amounts ;

            Secretary                               £31-10-0
            Treasurer                               £15-15-0
            Tyler                                       £12-12-0
            Organist                                 £ 6-0-0

The following reports were submitted ;

            The Lodge assets were £6627-10-0
            Initiates for the year             44(A decrease of 26 on the previous year)
            Affiliates                                   2
            21 Regular Meetings           Average         122     Total   2573
              2 Special Meetings            Average         177     Total     350
                                                                                    Grand Total   2923

This marked a further signicigant decrease in Lodge attendance (it had dropped by 1000 over the course of the year) and a large drop in candidates---It seems strange that emoluments increased when obviously the workload for the Office-Bearers had decreased.

Bro. Thomas Black was elected as RWM and duly Installed on 26/11/1924. Bro. John Law PM submitted apologies for non-attendance due to his failing health ( He was now 92).

A Notice of Motion was put forward at the meeting on 10/12/1924 that the Lodge purchase a PM Jewel and Apron (Still no case!) for the IPM---The sum for this £10!

A Meeting was held on Christmas Eve of 1924 at which Bro. William Henderson received a “hearty send off” as he was leaving for Africa. I wonder if our current Bro. William Henderson would do the same?!

A couple of interesting events occurred at the Provincial Grand Lodge Visitation on 11/2/1925 –The Master and Wardens were awarded a sum for attending the Grand Lodge Quarterly Communication---23/2. I assume this must have been the exact cost of the train fare and a meal. The other event was that  Bro. Rev. John Duncan was appointed as Chaplain---He was not elected as such and did not feature on Committee recommendations.

By the next Meeting on 25/2/1925 the events to celebrate the Jubilee were already being planned, however this was overshadowed by the death of the first Master Brother John Law PM (1875) who was 93. It was certainly sad that Bro. John did not live to see the Jubilee but no doubt he was a proud man to see how his Lodge had grown and prospered since 1875.

As part of the Jubilee celebrations the Lodge had arranged a children’s outing for the 13th June and a cruise for the 19th June. Also at this same Meeting the Lodge voted on changing some of its Byelaws---The 2 most contentious being

  • To change the “strict Temperance Principles” on which every 2nd

Meeting was conducted (the vote to change this was unsuccessful)

  • The change, which was successful, was to include PMs as Members of the General Committee. This Byelaw was only repealed in 1999 to exclude PMs from the General Committee so the could therefore be appointed as Auditors for the Lodge if required.

The Lodge had an interesting visitor at its Meeting on 25/3/1925—Bro Saunders, a Member of 570 who had attained the Chair of Lodge Melrose Abbey, Chicago  ( I am sure Chicago was a very interesting place in the 1920s !). At the same Meeting Bro. W Robertson tendered his resignation as Secretary due to ill health (and at the next Meeting 3 Nominations were put forward for Secretary!). A letter was also received from Lodge Springburn No 1198 asking for support for a concert in support of their Benevolent Fund.

It was with sadness that the Lodge recorded the death of Bro. John Scott PM(1915) at its Meeting on 8/4/1925.

The prudence of the Lodge was evident at the Meeting on 22/4/1925 when it was reported that £2600 had matured from Investments. Perhaps this had been planned to co-incide with the Jubilee in case the Lodge required finance. However the sum was reinvested.

At the Meeting held on 13/5/1925 a Notice of Motion was put forward that the Lodge Purchase new Regalia for the Office-Bearers. At the next Meeting when this was voted on it was also agreed to purchase cases—The first time this had ever occurred !

At the Meeting on 27/5/1925, Bro. J Carswell was Installed as Secretary and he was to be instrumental in organising the 50th Anniversary celebrations. A letter was also received from Lodge Rothesay St John No 292 reporting that a Mark Degree had been conferred on a Member of 570—Bro John Allan. This was the first contact with this Lodge who in later years Lodge Kenmuir would visit on a regular basis.

On 2nd August 1925—exactly 50 years to the day since the granting of the Charter—An Annual Divine Service was held in Cowlairs Church, which was very well attended, and the collection of that Service was donated to The Springburn and District Sick Nursing Home. It was reported at the Meeting on 8/7/1925 that the Childrens Outing and the Cruise had also been well attended—The numbers being 611 and 508 respectively---It does not bear thinking about having to look after that number of kids, although it must have been some size of ship for the cruise!

2 Distinguished Visitors attended the Lodge on 12/8/1925—Bro. Scott PM of Lodge Hiram No 120 Irish Constitution and Bro. Hanley PM of Lodge Empire, Winnipeg, Canada.

At the Meeting on 9/9/1925 A Lodge Jubilee Meeting and Dinner was announced for 30/9/1925 and a Jubilee Dance to be held in November 1925. A letter was also received from Bro. David Watson (who was now living in America) sending greetings to the Lodge and enclosing a framed photograph of Bro. Robert Gibson PM and it was agreed this would be put on display in a prominent position in the Lodge. Once again we do not know what became of this.

The Jubilee Meeting was held on 30/9/1925 at 6.00 PM with Dinner to follow at the Co-operative Halls at 7.00PM.This short Meeting was attended by PGL headed by the Provincial Grand Master Bro. AA Hagart Speirs. Other than celebrating the First 50 Years, the main function of this Meeting was to Invest Bro. Thomas Black, RWM, with the new Chain of Office, which was carried out by the Provincial Grand Master. The Meeting concluded at 6.45PM.
A commemorative programme was issued to celebrate this event which contained photographs of the Master (wearing the new Chain) and Wardens , a Toast List , Menu , a List of 1925 Office Bearers and a list of 1875 Office Bearers. It is interesting to note that the list of Office-Bearers from 1875, although being the first in office served for the shortest period of time as there were new Office-Bearers in place for year 1875/1876 !
The Meeting and Dinner was reported in “The Evening News” on 1/10/1925 giving a full account of the evening, which 208 attended.

SQUARE AND COMPASSES

The Jubilee of Lodge Kenmuir (570)—chartered in August 1875—was celebrated with all enthusiasm last night at Springburn. A Meeting was held in the hall of the Lodge property , Vulcan Street at which there was a large attendance—Bro. Thomas R Black, RWM, presiding. A Deputation of Provincial Grand Officers comprised Bro. AA Hagart Speirs , John M Grant, W Stevenson Cochrane, Rev T  Angus Morrison, D Belford Stevens, T W Larter,  and Jas Murray. Honorary Membership was conferred on Bro. Grant SPGM and Bro. John Crawford PM explained the desire of the PMs and Members to have for the RWM a suitable chain of Office. The present occasion , the entry into the second fifty years of the Lodge , was thought appropriate and he asked the Provincial Grand Master, Bro Hagart Speirs , to invest the RWM. The chain is a handsome specimen, and the links bear the names of each of the 24 PMs of the Lodge, and that of the present RWM. As a memento of the gathering Bro. Hagart Speirs was presented with a crystal vase.

The Brethren having adjourned to the Co-operative Hall, the celebrations were continued, and about 200 Brethren including the oldest Member Bro Archibald Campbell were accommodated, and partook of dinner. The programme had in its pages the portraits of the RWM, Bro. Black, the SW , Bro. Whyte and the JW ,Bro Steele, beside the names of the first officers in 1875, a list of the PMs and of the present Office Bearers. A photograph of the company was taken before dinner. The proceedings opened with the Loyal toast, “The King” proposed by Bro. Black RWM who occupied the chair. Bro George Carruth PM PGJ proposed the Grand Lodge , pointing out its Constitution and uses. Bro. Rev. David Young Junior Grand Chaplain responding said he had a message fro0m Bro John Blythswood who regretted exceedingly that he was unable to attend. Bro. Young spoke in complimentary terms of the Earl of Elgin PGM and the Earl of Stair , presently Grand Master.  

            Bro. Robert Kirkland PM proposed the Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow claiming it was the largest of the Provinces of Scotland. Bro. Hagart Speirs replying reminded the brethren that the PGL was composed of representatives from the Lodges. He understood that all the PMs of the Lodge, except three, were present and mentioned Bro. RS Watson PM who was in the States. Bro. Hagart Speirs afterwards proposed “The Lodge”, which he regarded as the toast of the evening. Bro. Black responding traced the history of the Lodge from 1875 taking it in decades. The first Master of the Lodge , Bro. John Law , who died recently at the age of 93 had hoped to be present at the Jubilee. He referred to Bro. Robt Gibson who had held the Office of RWM for nine years, and to other events , the building of the Lodge –room and the success which had attended its management. Bro. Black made a profound impression in his concluding remarks on the history of the Lodge. The toast to the Past Masters was given by Bro. A Findlay and responded to Bro, AHJ Briggs PM. During the evening songs were given by Bros. WA Ferguson, Robt Allan, a reading by Bro. J McKinlay and patter and song by Bro. RF Morrison, Bro. Carlton H Smyth PG Organist, officiated in the accompaniments. Bro. James F Carswell, Secretary , had the arrangements well in hand, and the function proved a great success.

                                                                                                            THE MALLET

There is no record in the Minutes giving the cost of the Chain or Regalia, However the balance sheet for 1925 records the Chain was made by FS Russell at a cost of £62-0-0 with engraving extra at £1-17-6 while the Office-Bearers Regalia cost £84-19-6.

 

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