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 SECOND WORLD WAR TO THE SEVENTY FIFTH ANNIVERSARY

 

INTRODUCTION

Once again the era following a World War proved to be a boom time for the Lodge with the number of candidates and the number of attendances remaining high. So much so that it was decided that the 1945 Installation would be an all-ticket affair!
As occurred previously after the First World War, Grand Lodge once again threw a spanner in the works---this time by limiting the number of (additional or) Special Meeting the Lodge could hold and thereby limiting the throughput of Candidates.
Other notable features in this era was the Dedication of a new Volume of Sacred Law in the Memory of 3 Brethren who gave their lives in the War, and a lecture given by Bro. Andrew McBride PM Lodge Progress No 873 who, of course, was the father of the McBride Ritual.On a sadder note this era contained one of the darkest days in Lodge Kenmuirs history when it was deemed necessary to hold a “Masonic Trial”.
The era concluded with the 75th Anniversary celebrations which culminated in a grand dinner at the Ca’Dora restaurant in 1950.

 

1945-1950

After the War had ended the attendance at Lodge Meetings soared with the return of the Servicemen from abroad. This is illustrated at the Meeting on 12/9/1945 when it was decided that due to numbers the Installation would be a ticket only affair with 200 tickets being printed, with 50 of those being reserved for Visitors. The remainder of the tickets would be distributed on a first come first served basis.

The Lodge organised a social event at the Meeting on 26/9/1945 with the Secretary instructed to secure 200 tickets for the Pavilion Theatre.

The AGM was held on 14/11/1945 and opened with the traditional laying of the wreath at the altar to remember the 25 Brethren who had given their lives in World War 1 and the Brethren who had given their lives in World War 2, Bro. Robert Pithie and Bro. George D Milne. However a third name, Bro. John Rennie was later to be added to this list.

The Secretary gave his Report

  21 Regular Meetings         2386               114 Average
                          21 Special Meetings          1247               59 Average
Total                           3633
 
 
            During the course of the year 46 Degrees had been conferred on 94 Candidates.

The strength of the Lodge at this time was

                        Life Members                        1460
                        Test Fee Members                  171
                                    Total                           1531

The Secretary also reported the death of Bro. J McAndrew PM(1919)

The Hall Fund once again showed a deficit due to repainting, cleaning, roof work and rot repair work to the cupola area in the Temple.

Bro. A Cormack was Elected as Master and duly Installed on 28/11/1945.
To celebrate the end of hostilities the Lodge at its Meeting on 12/12/1945 announced it would have a Victory Dance on 23/3/1946, which would be arranged by the Social Committee.

On 9/1/1946 an interesting letter was read from St Johns Lodge, Boston, USA intimating that a certain George Thornberry had attended their Installation on 3/2/1945. Bro. George was, of course, later to become a stalwart of Lodge Kenmuir and be awarded Honorary Grand Rank of Bible Bearer.

On 6/5/1946 it seemed fitting that the Soldiers Fund be closed, and this was duly done. The Social Committee informed the Lodge that it was their intention to hold a function each month in the Hall starting in September.

The Lodge conferred a Mark at its Meeting on 22/5/18946 with 55 Candidates, the Mark Master being Bro. R Porter PM.

A letter was received from Grand Lodge asking the Lodge to make a return by 30/9/1946 detailing the number of Qualified Members—The first such record of this in the Minutes. At this same Meeting 21 Applications were read, and the Degree that night was a First Degree by Bro J Howat Jnr.

At this point in time the Lodge carried out Degrees at least once, sometimes twice a week, and as such much of the Minutes relate solely to this at the expense of normal run of the mill Lodge Minutes.

The Meeting of 9/10/1946 was important on as 2 main issues were decided. It was agreed to increase the sum for the IPM jewel and apron (still no case!) from £15 to £20, and on the motion of Bro. Morrison PM Sec it was agreed that Test Fee Members could be made into Life Members on completion of 21 years consecutive Test Fee payments. The first beneficiary of this new Byelaw was Bro. J Wright Tr. who was awarded his Life Membership card at the same Meeting. The same was also conferred on Bro. A Finlay at the next Meeting on 13/11/1946.

The Secretary gave his annual report at the AGM on 13/11/1946.

   21 Regular Meetings        2777               132 Average
                           27 Special Meetings         1780                95 Average
Total                           4557
 
            These figures show an increase of over 900 attendances on last year. The number of Candidate and Degrees had remained about the same, which show that this increase was solely due to larger attendances and not additional Meetings.

            During the course of the year 46 Degrees had been conferred on 93 Candidates.

The strength of the Lodge at this time was

                        Life Members                        1548
                        Test Fee Members                  181
                                    Total                           1729

The number of Life Members had increased by approx. 120.
 
The Secretary also reported the death of Bro. A Phillip PM(1931)

Bro. J McDonald was Nominated, Elected and duly Installed as Master on 27/11/1946. At the same Meeting it was reported that Bro.A Scott PM(1942) had passed away.

The Lodge now closed the old (damaged and dry rot infected!) Minute Book and opened a new Minute Book which I am sorry say is in exactly the same dilapidated state ! This Minute book runs till 26/4/1950.

At the Meeting on Christmas Day 1946 the Master Bro. J McDonald reported that along with the IPM and the Treasurer he had visited Erskine Hospital and given gifts (including cigarettes!) to the Matron to distribute to the patients.

On 8/1/1947 Bro. Andrew Tasker joined the Lodge and he was later to become a stalwart of Lodge Kenmuir until his death some 42 years later. I am proud to say that Bro. Andy was my Seconder to join 570, and I wear his PM jewel with equal pride.

It was with sadness that the Lodge reported on 12/2/1947 the death of Bro Carlton Smyth who had been DOM for many years as well as PGL Organist for over 25 years.

An interesting letter was received from Grand Lodge advertising the Post of Grand Secretary and was looking for “A Master Mason not over 45 with a salary between £1500 and £2000 per annum”. The Lodge also planned a bus run to Ayr with coaches costing £8 per 32 seater, with the cost per ticket being 9/-. The Lodge also decided to use the firm of Strachan Kerr to provide the Harmony meal at the next Meeting at a cost of 2/6 per head.

At the Meeting on 11/6/1947 Grand Lodge advised that Lodges Special or Emergency Meetings during the year were not to exceed the number of Regular Meetings held. The main object of this would be to encourage the formation of new Lodges rather than have Lodges working several Degrees per Month (or even per week!) to try to keep waiting lists for Membership as short as possible.

Given the increase in Membership the Lodge decided to restart a Lodge of Instruction and these would be scheduled to be held on the first Wednesday of each month.

The Lodge at this time seemed split fifty-fifty on the question of wet or dry harmonies as can be seen at the vote taken for the Installation at the meeting on 22/10/1947 when the wets won 69-65. It was also agreed that the balance of the Soldiers Fund be used to purchase a new Volume of Sacred Law for use on the Altar with the names of the Brethren who fell in War inscribed thereon.

The AGM for 1947 was held on 12/11/1947, where it was decided to increase the Initiation Fee to £8-8-0 and Life Membership increased to £2-10-0.

The Secretary gave his report for the year.
 
21 Regular Meetings           2679               127 Average
                        11 Special Meetings              817                81 Average
Total                           3496
 
These figures show a decrease of 1100 attendances on last year and a decrease of over 30 Candidates resulting in 16 fewer Meetings

            During the course of the year 29 Degrees had been conferred on 67 Candidates.

The strength of the Lodge at this time was

                         Life Members                       1598
                      Test Fee Members                   182
                                                                        1780

The Secretary also reported on the Lodge having a “Welcome Home” night for Servicemen of the Lodge, which cost £57-8-1.

Bro. F Halliday was Installed as Master on 26/11/1947.

The Lodge reported on holding a Lodge of Instruction in January 1948. It seems that there was a heated discussion at this Meeting and the Instruction Master Bro. G Callendar resigned this post. The Lodge then decided to seek Provincial Grand Lodge advice on the format of a Lodge of Instruction. The Lodge of Instruction had not been Minuted—perhaps that was the cause of the heated discussion.

At the Meeting on 26/031948 the Lodge presented Bro. J McDonald PM with a gift to mark the fact that he was emigrating to Vancouver, Canada.

The Lodge held a ceremony on 12/5/1948 to dedicate the Volume of Sacred Law to the use of the Lodge. The service was conducted by Bro. Rev J Russell Andrews (Minister of Johnston Church) after which he was given Honorary Membership of the Lodge. The Brethren whose names are inscribed on the VSL are;

Bro. George D Milne
Bro. Robert Pithie
Bro. John Rennie

Inflation struck the Lodge again on 13/10/1948 when it became necessary for the Lodge to increase the sum for the jewel and apron for the retiring Master to £25 !

At this point the Minute Book is very badly damaged and pages, if turned, begin to disintegrate. However I did manage to read from the Secretary’s Report that 37 Degrees had been conferred on 67 Candidates.
Meeting attendances were

21 Regular Meetings           2469               118 Average
            18 Special Meetings              980                54 Average
Total                           3449
 
            Bro. Clarkson was Elected as Master and Installed on 24/11/1948.

At the Meeting on 26/1/1949 it was decided that the PGL visit (which was due to be held on 23/3/1949) would commence at 7.00PM with no Degree to follow---basically the same format we use today.

The first Lodge of Instruction of this era was first minuted on 2/2/1949 and continued to run, every first Wednesday, until 2/11/1949. Most of the Meetings comprised discussions or practices for forthcoming Degrees. However the Meeting on 2/11/1949 was a lecture given by Bro. Andrew McBride PM Lodge Progress No 873 (The father of the McBride ritual). This lecture was entitled “The essentials and non-essentials of Freemasonry”.

25/5/1949 marks what was probably Lodge Kenmuirs blackest Masonic moment in its history. Visitors were asked to leave the Lodge as the Lodge had a matter of “domestic business to discuss”. It then transpired that £180 had gone missing from the Lodge funds, although £100 had subsequently been returned. The Lodge discussed this matter fully at the end of which, on the motion of Bro. G Carruth seconded by Bro. Sam Sloan “a Special Meeting be held to conduct a Masonic Trial “. This was duly set for 2/8/1949.

The following meeting of the Lodge on 10/09/1949 the Minutes of the Halls and Finance Committee were read----The first occasion of this being done which was probably prompted by the problem of the missing money.

The “Masonic Trial” was held on 2/8/1949 “to try the charge of embezzlement of £180-10-7.” The Brother concerned (who was not present) had reimbursed £105 by now. The Meeting considered the matter and after discussion decided to expel the Brother and write off the remaining £75. This was intimated to Provincial Grand Lodge who varied the sentence to “Sine Die” which was ratified by Grand Lodge. This sentence was never raised.

As far as records show this is the only Brother of 570 ever to have been under Masonic Censure and hopefully he will be the last.

The AGM was held on 9/11/1949 with the Secretary reporting that 29 Degrees had been conferred on 45 Candidates.

Meeting attendances were

21 Regular Meetings           2585               123 Average
            11 Special Meetings              982                89 Average
Total                           3567

Attendances for the year were about the same as the previous year although there were 7 Meetings fewer.

The strength of the Lodge at this time was

                        Life Members                        1632
                      Test Fee Members                     70
                                                                        1702

Bro. Sam Sloan was elected and duly Installed as Master on 23/11/1949.

The Lodge was still organising outings –the latest one being to the Cathedral on 26/11/1949.

At the Meeting on 28/12/1949 the Lodge announced that it would hold a Divine Service in Johnston Church which would be conducted by Bro. Rev Andrews MA. The Lodge also considered holding an Anniversary Dinner to celebrate 75 years.

Unfortunately at this point in time a Minute Book is missing. This book runs from January 1950 till May 1953 and as such there are no records of Meetings during this time.

I can report, however, that a 75th Anniversary Meeting was held on Saturday 26th August 1950 followed by dinner in the Ca’Dora restaurant at 5.00PM. The Toast List was as follows;

TOAST LIST

 

The King       Proposed by:             Bro. Samuel C Sloan RWM

                                    Song              Bro. Archibald McLellan

The Grand Lodge of Scotland 

Proposed by:             Bro. George Carruth PM Senior PM

                                    Song              Bro. John Clarke
                                   
                        Reply by        :           Bro. James SM Grieve JP PDGM 

 

The Provincial Grand Lodge of Scotland 

Proposed by:             Bro. Thomas Dobinson PM

                                    Song              Bro. John Hynd
                                   
                        Reply by        :           Bro. Donald McKay Kerr PGM

Lodge “Kenmuir” Springburn No 570 

Proposed by:             Bro. James M Rennie RWM No 465

                        Collection for the war-blinded

                                    Song              Bro. Archibald McLellan
                                   
                        Reply by        :           Bro. Samuel C Sloan RWM No 570

Past Masters 

Proposed by:             Bro. George L Nairn MM No 570

Reply by        :           Bro. James McGhee PM No 570

Song              Bro. John Hynd
                                   

Sister Lodges

Proposed by:             Bro. John C Howat Pm No 570

Song              Bro. Archibald McLellan

                        Reply by        :           Bro. PF McPherson RWM No 1330

 

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