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 THE DIAMOND JUBILEE TO THE SECOND WORLD WAR

 

INTRODUCTION

The Lodge had declined since the euphoria of the Golden Jubilee and this intensified and would continue until the outbreak of World War Two. This era marked a period where Lodge finances suffered greatly due largely to the drop in attendances and the reduction in candidates. This necessitated some fairly drastic financial measures in the Lodge: Money from the Benevolent Fund was borrowed to support the General Fund, the Childrens Fund was closed and proceeds put to the General Fund and the Lodge had to have a whip-round to pay for a gift for the retiring RWM in 1936.
On a more positive note, however, a fund was set aside for repairs for the property. How much better this would have been for the Lodge had this repair fund had been set up as soon as the Hall had been built when the Lodge was booming.

1935-1939

The Lodge still appeared to be suffering from cash flow problems as a Notice of Motion was put forward that the balance of money from the “Childrens Fund “ be transferred to the General Fund—A sum of £16-15-3 ½.”

Bro. W Devine was nominated and elected as Master on 13/11/1935 and duly installed on 27/11/1935. The Secretary, Bro. J Morrison, delivered his Annual Report on 13/11/1935 which contained some interesting points regarding Lodge finance –“The General Fund spend had been contained and this will continue”(It makes spending sound like an outbreak of the Plague!) and “Money had been borrowed from the Benevolent Fund for the General Fund and this will be repaid”-This practice, of course, would not be allowed today and probably wasn’t even allowed in 1935!

The Secretary concluded with the following statistics

21 Regular Meetings           1333               63 Average
                          3 Special Meetings              163               54 Average
Total                           1496
 
The strength of the Lodge at this time was

                        Life Members                        1185
                        Test Fee Members                 107
                                    Total                           1292

This demonstrated a decrease of 300 in attendances and a decrease of 158 in Life Members. This does not necessarily imply that 158 Life Members passed away—Maybe a check was done on addresses and they had moved away(or they were just not declared as a cost saving exercise!)

Bro. J Morrison resigned as Secretary at this Meeting and this Office was taken by Bro. S Brown.

The first Visitation of 1936 was reported on 8/1/1936 when the Lodge visited Lodge Concord No 1341 to confer the First Degree.

The Meeting on 22/1/1936 opened on a sombre note with the Brethren standing in silence to mark the death of King George V.  At this same meeting the details of a Scottish Masonic Curling Club Bonspiel were given and it was agreed to “pass round sheets” for a presentation for the IPM—Previously this had always been done from the General Fund- Another sign of the austere times.

PGL notified Lodges that the mourning would carry on until 30/4/1936 and that all altars would be draped.

Socially the Lodge was very active with Office-Bearers visits arranged to The Daily Express, the Fire Station and a bus run.

Despite The financial problems of the Lodge a handsome donation of £10-10-0 was made to the Bi-Centenary Fund of PGL.

The Lodge suffered a double blow on 24/6/1936 when the deaths of Bro. J Martin  and Bro. A Martin JW were reported.

On 12/8/1936 the Lodge had a lively discussion on advertising. The Meetings appeared to have been advertised in both “The Evening News” and “The Evening Times” but after discussion it was agreed to advertise in each alternately, although special Meetings would be advertised in both. This appeared to be a cost cutting exercise.

On 23/9/1936 a letter was received from The Vancouver Masonic Service Bureau advising the Lodge that it had found employment for a Member of 570. The Lodge responded with a letter of thanks. Could you just imagine what the press would of a story like that today? Another Masonic Conspiracy!

The AGM for 1936 was held on 11th November at which the Secretary gave the following report.

            Initiates for the year 26        -           An increase of 11

 21 Regular Meetings          1438               68 Average
                          2 Special Meetings                91                45 Average
Total                           1496
 
The strength of the Lodge at this time was

                        Life Members                        1194
                        Test Fee Members                   81
                                    Total                           1275

On a positive note the Secretary reported that the Lodge had “a better balance sheet than last year” – No doubt largely due to the increase in Initiates.

Two Brethren were proposed for Master at this meeting Bro. R Liliburn and Bro. J Morrison, with the former being successful and duly installed on 25/11/1936.

On 10/2/1937 the Lodge pulled an old Kenmuir trick – Holding 2 Meetings on the one day. A Special Meeting was held at 6.30PM at which the Second Degree was conferred, and a Regular Meeting at 7.30PM at which the First Degree was conferred.

The Meeting on 14/4/1937 was notable for 2 points . Firstly the Lodge was sad to hear of the death of Bro. J Carswell who had been Secretary and Secondly that Bro. W Devine IPM had appealed to PGL regarding an incident in the Lodge (which appeared to be a problem about the ballot). PGL then examined the books of the Lodge and the matter was corrected. Bro. R Liliburn Master apologised for this oversight.

The Meeting on 12/5/1937 opened on a positive note – This was the same day as the Coronation of King George VI and the Brethren were upstanding singing “God Save The King” to open the Meeting.

At this same meeting The Lodge received a letter from Lodge Doric No 121 in Brantford ,Canada reporting that a Member of 570 had been buried in full Masonic Honour. Lodge Kenmuir wrote back thanking Lodge Doric for their kindness and enclosed $3 to cover the cost of a wreath.

The AGM of 1937 was held on 10th November at which 103 attended. The Secretary gave his report.

                        Initiates for the year 26

21 Regular Meetings           1646               78 Average
                          6 Special Meetings              207              35 Average
Total                           1853
 
            An increase of 350 on the previous year.
 
The strength of the Lodge at this time was

                        Life Members                        1195
                        Test Fee Members                   84
                                    Total                           1279

The Secretary also reported that a reserve fund of £21-11-11 had been set aside for future repairs. The first such repair fund set aside!  Although it must be pointed out that the Building was by now 28 years old---But I suppose better late than never!

Bro. R Smith was elected as Master and duly installed on 24/11/1937.

Provincial Grand Lodge sent the Lodge a letter on 12/1/1938 advising the Lodge that accommodation was STILL available for excursion on 9/4/1938 to Wembley! Now there’s a PGL event that wouldn’t struggle for support!

At the Meeting on 9/2/1938 the Lodge was presented with 3 choices for the bus-run—Alva Glen, Prestwick and 3 Lochs. On a vote 3 Lochs prevailed! On the same night it was also announced that Provincial Grand Lodge BI-Centennial Jewels were on sale at 5/-. This Meeting co-incided with the Provincial Grand Lodge Visit, which was headed by Bro. A Swan PGM who was afforded Honorary Membership.

 

On 25/5/1938 the Lodge passed the following Notice of Motion
That The Annuity Fund shall consist of a) Capital ( approx. £2886) and b) revenue. Interest shall be used solely for the benefit of worthy poor and distressed and cannot be used for any other purpose whatsoever”. I think perhaps the Notice of Motion should have concluded with “ especially for propping up the ailing General Fund” as this was the real purpose of this Notice of Motion which was probably orchestrated by Provincial Grand Lodge.

At the meeting on 11/5/1938 another important vote took place . The subject—should the next meeting have “wet” or a “dry” Harmony! For the sake of posterity the drys won 18-10!

It was with sadness that the death of Bro. A Briggs, the Senior Past Master of the Lodge (1903-1905), was recorded at the meeting on 12/10/1938. The Lodge owed Bro. Briggs a huge debt of thanks for his financial acumen, which greatly assisted the establishment of the new Hall and the astute investments for the Benevolent and Annuity Fund.

Bro. Morrison was duly Nominated, Elected and Installed as Master in November 1938.

At the Meeting on 28/12/1938 it was reported that the Lodge had acquired 15 tickets for the service to be held in Glasgow Cathedral to celebrate the Bi-Centennial of Provincial Grand Lodge. It was also reported that Bro. Dan Creran, a Member of 570 had been installed as Master of Lodge Lyee No66 of Prince Rupert, British Columbia.

The last Meeting held prior to the outbreak of World War 2 was held on 9/8/1939 and there was no indication given in the Meeting of the War that was to change Freemasonry and the World forever.

 

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