History of Lodge St Servanus
Having looked up ‘minute’ books and other appropriate papers going back over the past one hundred years, I have tried to be accurate and fair in my understanding and interpretation of events generally. It may be that relatives of Masons, long since departed this earth, feel I have not recorded important and interesting facts relating to their masonic forebears, if so, I am sorry. There certainly was no deliberate slight or indeed conversely favouring to others I may have highlighted, on my part.
On the 5th April, 1890 the birth of Lodge St. Servanus 771, was celebrated, and since that historical day the Brethren of the Lodge have kept the light of Freemasonry burning brightly in the Hillfoots, the Province of Stirlingshire and beyond.
We are today privileged to join with you in your centenary celebrations, and give thanks for the great evidence of commitment and dedication, love and charity which have existed throughout this time.
As we study the tremendous changes and development which have taken place in the world over these past one hundred years it is striking how little Freemasonry has changed, for the basic principles and virtues upon which it is founded remain changeless and imperishable. They are as vital today as ever they were, to our members, our communities and indeed all areas of the world where this great order of ours is practised.
Brother Gordon N.S. Neave, the author of this historical sketch has meticulously researched the annals of the Lodge and brought to life in a very real sense, its history over these past years.
It is my earnest hope that it will be read and re-read by all who have the interest of the Lodge at heart, and in its reading, be the better Freemasons from doing so.
As you the Brethren of Lodge St. Servanus 771, re-commit yourselves, and prepare to set out on your next masonic journey which will take you through the nineties and on into the next century, we earnestly trust and pray that you will be richly blessed with the gifts of your forefathers, and like them keep the flame of Freemasonry burning brightly in the Hillfoots and the Province.
Provincial Grand Master Stirlingshire and Honorary Member of Lodge St Servanus, No. 771
Our eldest member in our centenary year
Bro. William Bean in his 101st year
Our youngest member in our centenary year
Bro. Kenneth W. Pryde in his very early twenties
WHY LODGE ST SERVANUS?
According to traditional legends and recorded history, St Serf or Servanus was a shadowy Celtic missionary or a peripatetic priest given to good works and one who travelled considerably in the Hillfoots/Fife area in the sixth century.
The name of St Serf is an island on Loch Leven where a monastery once stood. In Alva there is a holy well (St Serfs) built over in recent years by a housing estate in the glebe of St Serfs’ church, until fairly recently still available for worship.
Dedications to this particular Saint abound in the Hillfoots area, so, not surprisingly, St Servanus/Serf was rightly known as “the Apostle of the Ochils” preaching initially in this area at Logie Airte, the little community at the foot of the last hill of the Ochils, Dumyat.
It is recorded that St Serf died in Dunning; he also ordained and was the mentor of St Mungo, another well known local Saint.
From the foregoing reading (and much more could be written about St Servanus) we can reasonably assume that the worthy originators of the Alva Lodge, when considering a name, decided to associate their Lodge with a well known and reputable safe Saint with a worthy and respected past, hence St Servanus.
ERECTION OF THE MASONIC LODGE
After nine meetings between September 24th 1889 and the 31st of March 1890 of a planning and organisational nature, certain brethren, most of whom had Masonic ties with Alloa St John’s Lodge No. 69 and Ancient Stirling No. 30 had their dream realised on Saturday 5th April 1890 when they received a Charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland naming the formation of Lodge St Servanus No. 771.
The inauguration took place in the Lodge room Alva (Mr. Perry confectioners) and was attended by about fifty brethren. Brother George Christie, Depute Grand Master of the Province, in the absence of the Provincial Grand Master Brother Michael Stewart M.P., presided; he was accompanied by a large deputation from Provincial Grand Lodge and there were also several past and present Masters from different Lodges in the Province.
The proceedings began with praise and prayer and the delivering of an oration by the Provincial Grand Chaplain, the Reverend W.E. Hall of Bridge of Allan. He took as his theme the relationship that exists between Freemasonry as it is practised amongst masons and the system of religion which prevails today (and we must remember of course, that one hundred years ago the Church governed and ruled the lives of ordinary folk to a much greater degree than exists today).
In his lengthy address the Reverend Hall drew attention to morality, brotherly love, and the unerring standards of truth and justice contained in the Volume of the Sacred Law and the need to regulate our actions and standards accordingly. One could interpret his address on Freemasonry being complementary to an orthodox religious faith and not being in competition.
He highlighted too, the fact that no religious differences nor political rancour find a place in a Mason’s Lodge to hinder or mar the workings of its moral training. His quotations relative to brotherly love were particularly apt; “He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?”; “He that loveth not his brother abideth in death” and from the words of the immortal poet “To thine own self be true and it follows as the day and night thou canst not then be false to any man”.
In conclusion Brother Hall addressed the new office bearers of Lodge St. Servanus thus “May you who are the original founders of Lodge St. Servanus and all your successors hereafter in office look up for and find the blessing of the Great Architect of the Universe on all your undertakings”.
He further suggested that wisdom, strength and love was available in plenty for those who gave of themselves, with honest endeavour, appropriate humility, and a just regard for one’s fellow man. He ended in the hope that one’s work and efforts in Freemasonry could be such that when called above we would be as living stones in that Eternal Temple where the Great Architect himself lives and reigns forever.
The Provincial Secretary, Bro. J. Brown, having read the Charter from the Grand Lodge thereafter presented the Office Bearers of Alva St. Servanus No. 771 to the Provincial Grand Depute Master as follows:
Right Worshipful Master
David R. Young
James W. Henderson
James W. Dickie
John M. Walker
Proclamation of the Lodge took place as did the Installation of Office Bearers in their respective offices with the appropriate jewels of office being invested simultaneously. Suitable words of encouragement from the Grand Depute Master to all present ended the formal proceedings.
A cake and wine banquet followed with the rest of the evening spent in “story and song”. The first organised harmony?
THE FIRST TWENTY YEARS 1890-1910
The first item to strike a reader of the minutes recorded in one book between 1890 and 1910 is the high standard of the penmanship and/or copperplate writing that successive Secretaries practised. It may be that the pen nib after the quill and before the biro assisted in achieving such a high standard of writing.
The lengths of masonic minutes vary according to the amount of business discussed/raised and to some extent the “wordiness” of successive Secretaries, although the general form is always the same. To write down each recorded minute and date same, would be a lengthy, and to the reader, a dull business. In consequence ‘highlights’ and hopefully interesting facts is the intention of the author.
After the excitement and pleasure of the Inauguration Ceremony on 5th April 1890 the first meeting thereafter on the 7th April saw the admission to masonry of the first four candidates. They were George Perry (in whose rooms the Lodge met), John Lodge, George Maltman and John Minto.
Meetings initially raised candidates, discussed money matters, organised paraphernalia and essential accoutrements, but in May 1892 a committee was formed to seek better Lodge accommodation and indeed it took two and a half years before a Mr. Fulton’s premises in Queen Street were rented to Lodge St. Servanus. A cutting from a local paper hails 21st December 1894 as “a red letter day in the masonic circles of Alva. The inauguration of the new Lodge, new Office Bearers installed, and Festival of St. John celebrated”.
I note that the new Master was John Minto and that he had presided over the committee in their search for other accommodation. I wonder was he the same John Minto who was one of the first four candidates to join the Lodge? I suspect he was. The newspaper report speaks of “a handsome Lodge Room and Ante Rooms, decorated and furnished in true masonic style and altogether forms a hall of which any society might be proud”. For many years to come the Fulton premises housed Lodge St. Servanus.
In 1895 and 1896 there was no shortage of candidates and meetings were held regularly. In all 130 meetings and special meetings took place from inauguration of the Lodge to December 1896. Gifts from Worthy Brethren to the Lodge and to Brethren going overseas was a feature at many meetings. The following extract from a minute dated 9th December 1895 lets us know a little about the value of money as it then was “the balance sheet submitted showed the Lodge was in a very prosperous state—Income £57-10/5d, Expenditure £42-4/8d, Balance in bank £15-5/9d”. When one reads of such sums, however, it is important to remember that ordinary every day commodities cost as little as 1/3d for a pound of butter, coal 12/6d per ton and 4d for an ounce of tobacco.
Harmonies were held at anniversary time, when Provincial Grand Lodge paid their annual visits and when a Brother Mason was leaving to take up work well outwith the Alva area. The Johnstone Arms Hotel was the popular venue for such parties although later on one reads of the Cross Keys and the Glen Hotel also being patronised.
A Benevolent Fund was set up mid 1896 when a Brother from South Africa sent a donation of £5.00 to his Mother Lodge. At the election of Office Bearers to date I have seen no mention of Almoner. The practise appears to have been voluntary visiting to sick and needy personnel from interested Lodge members. I note too, that tracing boards are mentioned for the first time in an extract from a minute dated 14th December 1896 “it was agreed to get tracing boards for the Lodge”.
During the next two years Lodge business was enacted with efficiency and considerable lecturing was carried out by, experienced Brother Masons to the body as a whole. An accident at Devon Pit was a tragedy when six men lost their lives, one a mason and the father of a serving Office Bearer, Junior Warden Taylor.
The Lodge also took part in a procession celebrating Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. After a great deal of discussion and meetings a Mark Master Lodge was formed and duly practised on the 26th January 1898—a fee of 2/6d (12½p new money) was charged plus the same sum for a diploma. Ordinary normal masonic business occupied the minds and time of respective Office Bearers over the next five years.
Brethren going abroad and presentations to such travellers occurred. The minute of 21st October 1899 indicates a ‘funeral’ lodge opening and the death of Queen Victoria on 22nd January 1901 was recognised and eulogised upon at considerable length. Earlier reference was made to the setting up of a Benevolent Fund and by December 1900 it stood at £8-6/11d. Out of interest, at that time and for much of the Lodge’s early years the test fee was 5/-. We sometimes raise the issue of hall lets at our General Committee Meetings today. It interested me in reading the extract from a minute dated 12th October 1903—it was as follows “the Secretary was instructed to write the Clerk of the School Board saying that the Lodge Rooms had been occupied by them without any notice of same for cookery classes but we will understand that it will be on the same terms as formerly, and at same time to draw his attention to the fact of leaving the place so untidy and that the Lodge furniture was getting badly damaged, trusting he will see to this”.
As time goes on little of significance is reported in the Minute Book dated to 27th June 1910. Mention is made of the Lodge Committee organising a dance, but no report of such an event taking place. The initiation fee was set at £3-3/- in 1904 and the death of King Edward VII was reported in May 1910.
In reading past minutes one notes that although in most years there was a break in Lodge activities between April and September many special meetings were held between these months to allow potential masons to fulfil their degrees when home from abroad on holiday, or prior to taking up work abroad. Since the founding of Lodge St. Servanus No. 771 approximately 360 recorded meetings and special meetings took place in the first twenty years.
THE NEXT EIGHTEEN YEARS 1910-1928
It so happens that the minute book following the first, covers from 1910 to 1928, in consequence the next chapter deals with the highlights and points of interest from that period.
Two men, who obviously influenced the Lodge tremendously, and the Craft in general, are mentioned and eulogised in glowing terms on their deaths in May 1912 and September 1913. The first was James Dickie a founder member and first Lodge Secretary. He obviously played a large part in the initial organisation of the Lodge and later in his masonic career became R.W.M. The second, James Donaldson, the first R.W.M. of Lodge St. Servanus, and a man, who continually until his death, took a tremendous interest in all affairs appertaining to the Lodge was the subject of a masonic funeral—a quote from a minute dated 16th September 1913 says it all and this in reference to Past Master Donaldson “his example and counsel did much to ensure that love and harmony characterised all our proceedings”.
In July 1915 Brother Alex Baigrie, a founder member and the Lodge’s first Depute Master was presented with a Past Master’s Jewel. This was on account of his work and efforts for the Lodge as he had been, to that date, R.W.M. on four occasions.
A Committee of Enquiry is mentioned for the first time when an edict from Grand Lodge dated 15th August 1916 reads as follows “the character and qualifications of the applicant shall be fully enquired into by a Committee of Enquiry consisting of R.W.M., I.P.M. Secretary and not less than two other members of the Lodge who must be Master Masons in good standing to be elected annually”.
While meetings were regularly held during the First World War years the impression gained is of little of great importance happening. Calls from Grand Lodge to subscribe to a ward in a military hospital, to set up a Roll of Honour in one’s Lodge and generally encourage the Office Bearers to function as normal as possible and retain the member’s interests was accomplished with credit in Lodge St. Servanus.
With the War over there was a flurry of activity and the building up of the Lodge numerically took place at most meetings. Four to seven candidates were commonplace for degree work at most regular meetings.
The question of new premises and the need for more space was discussed. There were expectations that the Cobden Street School, up for sale, was to house the new Masonic Lodge but at a meeting on 31st March 1920 the R.W.M. Major J. Philp (who had recently returned from four and a half years active war service) reported that there was not any reasonable prospect of securing Cobden Street School. He further reported “that the property known as the ‘Island’ having been advertised for sale the Lodge Committee had authorised the purchase of this property. It had accordingly been purchased by Brother Reed, Past Master, on behalf of the Lodge”. The architects plans to carry out alterations as per the wishes of the Lodge would cost £2,240. An acceptable curtailment of certain plans would still cost £1,070.
No hurried decision was taken but after an informal meeting of all brethren at the `Island Hall’ on 31st May 1920 a minute of that date reads as follows “that the Lodge Committee by empowered to proceed with the necessary alterations at the New Lodge Room and also that each member of the Lodge be circularised as to the probable cost of same and asking what sum each would be prepared to subscribe and in what period”. I can find no breakdown of necessary alterations nor the accepted costs of same.
The consecration of the new Lodge took place on the 4th December 1920 and was carried out by the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master Brother E.E. Dyer who headed a large deputation from Provincial Grand Lodge. It is interesting to read that when the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master paid his annual visitation on 3rd December 1923 he headed his minute as “Arthur Johnstone Hall”.
Fund raising efforts proceeded apace after the acquisition of the New Lodge. Concerts, whist drives and a Grand Bazaar organised by the Lodge, but with considerable help from the ladies raised the sum of £1,006-12/10d and with expenses off, £833-13/7d went to the Lodge Building Fund. A Supper Dance held on 4th April 1924 was one way of saying thank you to the ladies and recognising their efforts. Coinciding with this event the new halls were officially opened.
In November 1924 it is minuted that Brother George Campbell gave notice that he would move at the next meeting that the regular Lodge meeting be changed from Monday to Tuesday night. This duly happened from 9th December 1924.
In October and November 1925 the question of jewels for Past Masters was raised and it was unanimously agreed that any surplus cash arising from whist drives and similar functions form the nucleus of a fund for such jewels. This particular fund was such that on the 20 May 1927 six Past Masters were presented with handsome jewels. This was a unique and important historic occasion and the Lodge was rightly honoured with the presence of the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master Brother E.E. Dyer.
During the whole period 1910 to 1928 the Lodge was a good Church attender and on one occasion having met as a Lodge in Menstrie School they went from there to Menstrie Parish Church. It was also noted that considerable correspondence, from Sister Lodges within the Province relating to the black balling of potential candidates, passed between the Lodges.
Lodge St. Servanus No. 771 Alva Office-bearers and Past Masters 1927
Back Row L-R
Bros. W. McKenzie—Organist, J. Morton—S.B., J. Dickson—D of C, T McGuire—Marshal, T. Graham—S.S.,H. Young—J.S.
Centre Row L-R
Bros. A. Horne—I.G., W. Smith—S.D., P.M. Clark—Secy., A. Chalmers—D. M., Rev. J.A. Williamson—D.D. Chaplain
A. Sinclair—S.M., J.J. Aitken—Treasurer, A. Page—J.D., J. Lumsden—B.B., A. McPhail—Tyler.
Front Row L-R
Bros. J. W. Anderson—S.W., Major J.D. Minto, P.M., J. Reed, P.M., D. Taylor—I.P.M., G. Campbell, R.W.M., T Greig, P.M.,
Major J. Philp, P.M.,Rev. J. Boyd—B.D., P.M. J. Williamson—J. W.
A FURTHER TEN YEARS 1929-1939
Intimation of the retiral of the Provincial Grand Master Dr. E.E. Dyer is recorded in a minute dated 5th November 1929 when Lodge St. Servanus was asked to subscribe towards his presentation—£3-3/- was donated. It was a great blow to freemasonry and the craft in general when it learnt of his death in a minute dated 15th December 1933 “Brother Dr. Dyer had held the office of Provincial Grand Master of Stirlingshire for the long period of twenty years and had done much to further the interests of freemasonry. In our Lodge he had always taken a very keen interest and was the first Honorary Member of Lodge St. Servanus”.
The period under review discloses several deaths of Lodge members who particularly distinguished themselves in and out of office as masons of the highest standing. While recognising that death is not an attractive subject to dwell upon it surely is appropriate to mention in addition to Brother E.E. Dyer the following whose behaviour and presence on earth assures them of peace and tranquility in the Upper Lodge:-
Minute dated 9th September 1930
Death of Chaplain Brother Dr. J.A. Williamson. Initiated 1st December 1890—was Chaplain for a period of about 40 years.
Minute dated 4th November 1930
Death of Brother A. Baigrie PM. was the last survivor of the founders of the Lodge and had been a Master on four different occasions extending over a period of seven years.
Minute dated 7th April 1936
Death of Brother Ex-Provost John D. Minto and Senior Past Master Initiated 7th April 1890 and was Number One on the Lodge Register. I presume Minto Gardens in Alva was named after him during his tenure as Provost?
A splendid example of the personable and dignified Master of the 1930’s.
R. W. M. Benjamin P. Neil. Master for two continuous years 1935-37.
Town councillor and subsequently a Baillie in Alva he had an interesting
and varied career before retiring from the Postal Service in 1936
Right Worshipful Provinical Grand Master of Stirlingshire Brother Dr. E. E. Dyer was P. G. M. for 20 years between 1910 and 1930.
He was the first honorary member of Lodge St. Servanus having been bestowed with that honour in 1920. His Mother Lodge was Alloa No. 69.
A little more expensive today?
Minute dated 4th April 1939
Death of Brother PM. Clark Initiated 1909 and who was Lodge Secretary for 26 years.
Death of Brother Taylor, PM. who was initiated 1914. He was the R.W.M. when the very successful bazaar contributed greatly to the Lodge’s funds.
Another death minuted on 19th November 1929 was that of Brother the Right Honourable The Lord Blythswood KCVO DL JP Grand Master Mason of Scotland.
Whist drives, dances, cake and candy sales were regular fund raising pursuits over this period and despite “times of severe trade depression” as indicated in a minute dated 4th November 1930 the Lodge managed well financially. Day trips to Helensburgh and Garelochhead in 1936 and 1938 respectively were popular with Office Bearers, Brethren and their families.
In a Hall and Properties Committee Meeting held in January 1938, mention is made of Brother Bean being appointed as the plumber to carry out such work as was necessary on the Lodge premises. This surely is the same Bean who celebrated his own centenary in 1989 in Alva and the oldest member of the Lodge today.
At the first meeting, after war was declared, the Lodge Secretary, let it be known that their property was ripe for commandeering and that this would take place shortly. He predicted correctly and in a minute dated 10th October 1939 it was stated that the military would take over in a day or two and that only part of the gent’s cloakroom would be available for the storage of furniture. A small committee comprising Master, Wardens, Secretary and Treasurer were empowered to secure suitable accommodation and report back. This they duly did and on 8th November 1939 accommodation in the Good Templar Hall was ours at specific times at a cost of 6/6d for three hours for the use of the Upper Hall.
Later that month the position of the caretaker was considered but decisions relating to his/her functions in the wartime situation were deferred. The first meeting in the Good Templar Hall was held on the 5th December 1939. The Master referred to the conditions under which the meeting took place and “expressed the hope that the war might be speedily ended and that the spirit of Masonry will flourish and play its rightful part in World affairs”. A sentiment shared I have no doubt by all present at that meeting.
Approximately 178 Regular and Special Meetings were held plus many Committee meetings, viz Hall & Property, Lodge, General and Enquiry.
SECOND WORLD WAR YEARS 1940-1945
It would be easy to think that during the war years, what with black out, rationing, and the movement from the Island Lodge to the Good Templar Hall, then, the Parish Church Hall, and eventually a return to one’s proper home that malaise and a general feeling of why bother would creep into the minds of those responsible for many individual organisations, but this was not the case so far as Lodge St. Servanus was concerned. From minutes and records generally this was a very active period.
At a meeting dated 6th February 1940 we learnt of the death of the Reverend Dr. Boyd P.M. who was initiated in 1913. He was the R.W.M. for four years and was for many years the Provincial Chaplain and a man and mason of sterling qualities—his love for his Mother Lodge was such that he left £50 from his estate to Lodge Funds. A brass memorial plaque, to which the Lodge subscribed, is on the communion table in Menstrie Parish Church.
In April 1940 the Halls and Property Committee considered a letter from the Government which offered a total of £91 for the use of the Masonic Lodge for one year. This was not immediately accepted but after consulting Brother John Reed P.M., who for many years had assisted the Lodge in resolving matters appertaining to the law, this offer was accepted. Over a year later the death of Brother John Reed was intimated. He had been a mason for 44 years. The Minute relating to his passing reads as follows “although not an active participant in the Lodge proceedings recently he had always retained a deep and constant interest in its affairs and had rendered his Mother Lodge invaluable assistance in a legal capacity”.
An interesting Minute was noted at a Committee Meeting held in October 1940 when the following motion was put forward for approval or otherwise of the members “That this Lodge appoint an Almoner at the Annual Meeting in December”. It appears that no Almoner was appointed during the period under review. Around this time too, it was decided that no hospitality would be accepted or extended from or to Sister Lodges while the country was at war.
While accepting that financial matters usually make for pretty dull reading one must accept that no successful organisation can run without having access to funds and Lodge St. Servanus was no exception, consequently let’s look at the Lodge’s finances as reported in December, 1941. Twelve months ending October 1941 a credit balance of £258-7/2d is reported in the General Fund and there was a credit balance of £114-7/1d in the Benevolent Fund. A cheque for £152-6/3d from the military in September 1941 for the use of the Lodge had swollen the Funds substantially.
Considerable discussion took place at meetings from time to time relating to the “paying off” of part of a ‘bond’ for £700 which had been taken out when the ‘Island’ Lodge was originally purchased. This was considerably reduced, however, when sums of £200 on two occasions were paid off between December 1941 and January 1943. It may be appropriate at this point to say how Provincial Grand Lodge on their Annual Visitations regularly commented favourably upon the correctness of the “books” of Lodge St. Servanus and their appreciation of the diligence and competence of successive Lodge Treasurers and Secretaries.
Another death, that of Brother Major John Philp is recorded in a Minute dated 11th May, 1942—Brother Philp was Master on four occasions and he played a big part in our acquiring our present premises. He was initiated in 1895.
In January 1942 it was decided that Brother Alex. McPhail be honoured on the occasion of his fortieth year as Tyler—he was presented with a wallet and notes in April 1942.
Later that year congratulations were extended to him on his being installed as Tyler for a forty first time. Sadly this was his last year in office as his death was intimated in November 1943 and he was the subject of, not surprisingly, a Masonic Funeral.
His service to the Lodge was such that it would be wrong to try and précis the remarks made by Brother Wm. Taylor, R.W.M. in the Lodge, after the burial service so here they are in full:-
“Brother McPhail’s heart and soul lay in Lodge St. Servanus. I really don’t know what he would have done without it to attend to, whatever was asked of him he did willingly. Anything that would be of benefit to this Lodge he did not fail in his duty to do it. Brother McPhail was 84 years of age last Friday and still would have carried on in spite of his years had he been spared to do so.
This splendid example of zeal should be an inspiration to all of us. He had always a cheery word for everyone and was held in high esteem by every brother of this Lodge and I have no doubt that his memory will be long cherished by all who knew him and I know it will be in keeping with your thoughts when I ask our Secretary to record this expression of our deepest sympathy in the Minutes and to convey our heartfelt sorrow to his widow at this time of her sad bereavement”.
Factually Brother McPhail was initiated in 1897, installed as Tyler in 1901, served under 19 Masters, prepared 722 candidates for Initiation.
If there were a Masonic Guinness Book of Records surely 41 continuous years as Tyler would have an entry?
Frequently, at meetings, requests were made from Grand Lodge and many Forces Charities to subscribe to this and that fund, all laudable and the Lodge was generous, but it did make a special effort to look after its own and after a series of whist drives, and prize draws it was able to send a postal order for 15/- to every mason serving in H.M. Forces whose Mother Lodge was St. Servanus. Bearing in mind that 15/- was more than a week’s wages for a Private soldier in the army and that there were over 50 serving Brethren, this was a most welcome and commendable Christmas present in December, 1943.
From time to time changes have taken place relating to the nights for regular meetings, sometimes when one is in a borrowed Church Hall to accommodate the wishes of the Minister. However the position at the end of this review period is that meetings were held on the first and third Monday of each month.
Other matters of interest during this period was the ability of the Treasurer to pay off the balance due on the buildings bond, a sum of £300. He was able to do this because he had received over £100 from the Military/Government on account of losses incurred from a lockfast room within the Lodge buildings while troops were in occupation of same, plus the very good state of the Lodge’s finances.
Application had to be made in September 1944 for the derequisitioning of the Masonic Lodge although a return to working there did not take place until December 1945.
A decision to close the Serving Brethren’s Fund was taken as from 31st October 1945 and from that fund everyone received 15/-, thereafter the balance provided a Welcome Home Dinner for the first 40 ex-servicemen, and those not available for such a function, to be entertained at future Lodge Harmonies.
In November 1945 a committee was appointed to carry out renovation work on the Lodge. They were empowered to spend up to £50. On exhaustion of same they would report back to the General Committee for authorisation to spend more—a ‘canny’ General Committee.
Around this time too, a brother who had not attended a meeting for more than a decade complained in Open Lodge of “the coldness of his welcome”. The Master apologised for any slight on his part. Two visitors from Lodge 782 Ben Cleuch vindicated the Master by thanking him for the warm welcome they had received – humane and human are we not?
Office Bearers were led in’ by a piper on the 24th December 1945 and the uniqueness of this ceremony caused it to be minuted. A Christmas Eve gesture?
THE NEXT FOUR YEARS 1946-1949
The primary impression gained from the minutes, in this post war period, was the considerable number of applications received from potential masons and in turn the large number of acceptances to the Craft. At one stage early in 1946 when sixteen applications had been received at a regular meeting there is a minute which reads “it was decided meantime to entertain no more applications”. This did not last for long, however, and a few months later having ‘caught up’ and dealt with the waiting list, applications were again received and looked after as appropriate.
It was at this time also (early 1946) that mention is made for the first time of a large deputation from Lodge St. John No. 187 Carluke visiting and conferring the M.M. degree on seven brethren. This would appear to be the beginning of a very special relationship between the Carluke and Alva Lodges. As one reads the minutes right up to the present day, there have been regular ‘comings and goings’ between the two Lodges, not only to enhance and work at the Craft but also to socialise and become involved in friendly and sporting activities.
Financial matters were raised and discussed by all committees in open Lodge. At the Annual General Meeting in December 1946 the Auditors, Past Masters Anderson and Greig congratulated the Treasurer on his
report and on what they considered the finest balance sheet in the Lodge’s history—an aggregate balance of £1,281-5/5½d. I note that in 1947 this balance was further raised to £,1435-14/8½d. The receipt of approximately £500 from the Military for damage done during the troops occupancy of the Lodge was “noted with satisfaction” by the Halls and Property Committee. Considerable benevolence was distributed during this period and there was no shyness in recording who received same.
Money, usually a guinea, was subscribed regularly to a variety of charities. It was also the Lodge’s donation, many years later towards a gift for Brother Lord Bruce now the Earl of Elgin, Substitute Grand Master at that time, on his marriage. Always giving, it was nice that nine needy Lodge brethren received a parcel of food from Grand Lodge Victoria in Australia. This was the ration to St. Servanus, the distributors being Provincial Grand Lodge.
Hall lets have always been a useful source of income and the after war years were no exception. Varying parties and individuals hired the hall, from the Alva Youth Club two nights a week to the Brother who taught dancing three nights each week at a rental of £35 per annum. Annual dances, whist drives and prize draws were the acceptable fund raisers, although at this time functions were frequently held in one of the local hotels. The Alva Old Man’s Treat became a regular feature and the Master and involved Office Bearers were constantly urging Brethren (not without success) to be generous and give liberally to this worthy cause.
A first mention of a Master and Past Master’s Association was intimated (for interest purposes only) at a Regular Meeting held on 15th November, 1948.
A minute from a meeting in October 1946 activated the formation of the 771 Social Club for members of Lodge St. Servanus only, the subscription after considerable argument and debate to be 5/- per annum. It might be appropriate to mention that a few years later November 1950 the Master at that time intimated “that the 771 Club was now open to all members of the Craft and that there was no membership fee entailed”.
The Lodge’s first Almoner Brother W. Gibson was elected to this office in March 1949. It is interesting to note that our present worthy Almoner Brother W. Swarbrick became a master mason six months prior to Brother Gibson’s appointment.
In all, 160 meetings were held ranging from a small committee organising benevolence, to a large Regular Meeting during the period under review.
THE NINETEEN FIFTIES
Outside the routine matters of initiating, passing, raising, being generous with benevolence, subscribing to laudable charities, looking after and purchasing needed goods for the property, ably governing finances, visiting Sister Lodges and receiving in turn many visitors from other Lodges the early fifties was a relatively quiet period.
An interesting saga was that of the club bar business (I wonder did Calvinistic attitudes and staunch Presbyterianism play a part?). First reference is made by the Master at an Emergency Meeting in March 1951 stating that the request for a bar at the Annual Dance had been turned down in Committee. A year later one reads of the Annual Dance and “that there be no bar”.
A further year passed and at a General Committee Meeting the question of a club licence was raised (this was after a decision had been taken to have a bar at the Annual Dance). The Secretary was asked to explore the matter of a club licence further and the costs, and to have same discussed and approved in Open Lodge. A week later a minute at a regular meeting reads as follows “Brother J.T. Leckie, D.M. objected to the decision of the General Committee to run a bar at the Annual Dance without the approval of the Lodge”. The Master stated that the committee had to make all the arrangements for the dance and ruled that their decision on the matter was quite in order.
The recommendation of the General committee to make application for a club licence was submitted to the Lodge for approval or otherwise. Discussion and argument, motion and counter motion followed, the decision being that the motion i.e. application be made for a club licence, was approved by a large majority. A couple of weeks later this decision was rescinded when the Secretary pointed out that after taking advice, this decision should have been taken after “Notice of Motion”. Two Brethren consequently proposed and served notice of motion and that the matter would again crop up at a regular meeting in due course. It did and despite an amendment to the contrary a clear majority were in favour of a club licence being applied for. A minute from a General Committee Meeting on 21st December, 1953 informs that a Club Licence had been granted and that the Committee run the bar at the Festival of St. John. This suggestion was readily accepted with much appreciation—I wonder will club licence and a bar be raised again?
The Scottish Masonic Home, Ault Wharrie at Dunblane was opened on Saturday 27th October 1951 and Lodge St. Servanus was represented at the opening. Over the years a close association and friendship has developed between the Lodge and the Home. This is understandable on account of their nearness to each other. Each year a number of guests from Ault Wharrie are invited to the Annual Christmas Party held in the Lodge for elderly male residents in the Alva area. Office bearers of Lodge St. Servanus and in particular, the Almoner, maintain close links with this admirable Home for elderly Brethren.
Intimation was given in January 1952 of the desire to open a new Lodge in Tullibody by certain brethren and in due course the erection and consecration took place in September 1952 of Lodge Ladywell No. 1474 Tullibody.
Early in 1952 Freemasons in Scotland were saddened to learn of the death of His Majesty King George VI, a Past Grand Master Mason. Instructions were received to the effect that all Lodges in Scotland would observe a state of mourning for three months.
Many names are mentioned in the minutes of the fifties and it is always difficult to decide who to comment upon in a sketchy history, but I feel mention should be made of Brother G. Campbell P.M. whose sudden death is reported in a minute at a meeting in March 1952. Brother Campbell held various offices and was R.W.M. 1926-27. His worth was probably that of being a first class Installing and Mark Master and was much in demand by Sister Lodges.
Brother J.T. Leckie was singled out for mention by the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master Brother Pitcairn on an annual visitation. He commented upon Brother Leckie’s loyal and valuable services as the Lodge’s Secretary over a period of eleven years. At this time Brother Leckie had just been appointed Substitute Master.
A nice gesture took place in October 1952 when P.M. Brother Charles Taylor number 32 on the Lodge’s register, initiated on 11th January 1892, and at that time the oldest living member of Lodge St. Servanus was presented with a Life Membership. He said in his thank you speech “before becoming a Mason I had watched the mallets being made”.
Church Services were held from time to time and the Chaplain of Alloa Lodge No. 69 the Reverend Peter Brodie, B.D., L.L.D., commenting in a reply to a vote of thanks he had received for conducting a service, stated how pleased he was to officiate and remarked that a Masonic Church Service should be an annual event in every Lodge. A few days later the Master, at a regular meeting, remarked “that the attendance of the Alva members at the Church Service, taken by the Reverend Brodie was very disappointing”. Menstrie Parish Church and St. Serfs, Alva were the usual venues for church services.
Under competent business at a regular meeting held in November 1955 Brother Robert Beveridge presented the following Notice of Motion “that the Lodge House property be sold”. .This would be decided at the regular meeting on 19th December, 1955. A decision to sell was taken and on 5th March 1956 an offer of £500 was accepted from Mr. William Dick, Lorne Cottage, Alva. Brother Beveridge 34 years on, a Past Master, is still active, very experienced, and a valued and influential elder statesman and Mason in Lodge St. Servanus.
In November 1958 it is reported in a communication from Grand Lodge that a new home, Randolph Hill in Dunblane, was available for brethren, dependants and Mason’s widows who wished to convalesce there following a serious illness or an operation. The masonic Homes Board who decided that for the first two weeks of convalescence no charge will be made, but if the period be extended a charge of up to £4-4/-d per week be made. A fine example of masonic munificence.
THE NINETEEN SIXTIES
A lack of restraint, a desire for openness and freedom of expression, a wish to move away from curtailing and inhibiting authority, were all characteristics that allowed populist journalists and writers to name this period ‘the swinging sixties’. There is no evidence to suggest that the Masters, Office Bearers and Brethren of Lodge St Servanus were other than responsible and worthy masons but we are all influenced by the times `we live in’ and in reading the minutes one cannot help feeling that Lodge St. Servanus was very much alive and that a spirit of energy, enthusiasm and single mindedness prevailed in an effort to make our Lodge the best possible in every respect.
Money was spent on improvements to the Lodge’s property, this necessitated considerable funds being required and outwith the usual fund raising pursuits, innovative ideas such as car rallies, a joining together with the Eastern Star for joint fund raising efforts (they had the hire of our premises at that time), cabarets and Derby prize draws were organised.
I also understand that a typical sixties `whacky’ band led by Brother George Young P.M. was a considerable success and played at venues outwith the Lodge. I am reliably informed that some members of that band (whose antics at that time would surprise you) continue to remain worthy and hard working masons—importantly they raised money, always a primary requirement to further the charitable aspects of Freemasonry.
As has happened in previous chapters, honours to individuals have been mentioned and between 1960 and 1970 several names are minuted. Brother John Dubrowski is particularly remembered for his skill as a tradesman and he gave his services willingly when extensive alterations were carried out.
St. Servanus had a very good bowling team and a County Masonic Trophy played for annually was won on more than one occasion with Past Master Chalmers appearing to be the bowling leader.
A name mentioned frequently in the minutes is that of Brother George Gornall, an Englishman, and not a member of Lodge St. Servanus, although I understand he later became an Honorary Member. He with other worthy brethren was a frequent visitor to our Lodge and as a mark of respect and affection on his attaining the Chair of his Mother Lodge Empire 3257 Liverpool he presented Lodge St. Servanus with two Deacon’s aprons.
Our well known and highly respected P.M. Brother Colin Wyse was nominated for Provincial Grand Lodge Office early in 1968 and a few weeks later in the minutes one reads of his election to Provincial Grand Lodge as Provincial Grand Standard Bearer, his first step on the Provincial Ladder of Office Bearers.
Around this time also Brothers A. Wright and T. McGuire both Past Masters received Distinguished Service Members Diplomas, Brother G. Young P.M. on his departure to America received a presentation and Brother J. Jackson P.M. was similarly honoured for “His services given so freely in the painting of the Lodge Room”.
A unique happening and one of historic significance took place on the 10th of December 1966 when Brother Robert Beveridge was installed as Right Worshipful Master by his brother James, a Past Master of Lodge St. Servanus. Knowing Bert and his social talents one can imagine the revelry and enjoyment for all after the serious aspects of installation and the celebrating of the Festival of St. John took place.
Money matters are always important and it was disturbing to read that in the early sixties out of 300 Test Fee paying members only 98 had paid. Provincial Grand Lodge, on their annual visit, raising this issue, rightly said “that this is a matter which should exercise the minds of members of the committee since apart from the loss of revenue to the Lodge there is also a loss of contact and interest of those members”. Needless to say this matter was followed up with alacrity by the General Committee and it was resolved that each member out of test, be contacted personally by an individual member of the committee.
After a lapse of twenty years a Burns Supper was organised in 1966 and in successive years this has become a popular event in the Lodge’s Masonic Calendar. Indeed the Lodge did its own catering for the first time in 1969 for a Burns Supper and it was so successful that it prompted the General Committee to make enquiries as to the cost of purchasing catering equipment.
Annual Dances and the party for the elderly masons and certain pensioners in the Alva area are regular and well established features and continue to be successful social events.
During this period approximately 370 meetings were held. They ranged from regular and special meetings to smaller benevolent committee meetings and similar.
THE NINETEEN SEVENTIES
Comparatively youthful, hardworking and determined to succeed in all they undertook appear to be characteristics of the Seventies Masters and Office Bearers.
Degree work was practised with skill, dignity and efficiency, the continuing with benevolence in a humane and understanding way to needy brethren, the giving to charity and good causes was high on the agenda and of course always co-operating with outside bodies and sympathetically considering any demands from them.
Records indicate that Spina Bifida sufferers and/or research benefitted to the tune of £280, a cheque for £315 was donated towards a lift for the Eventide Home at Inglewood; orphaned children from local Children’s Homes were entertained at Christmas, letters asking for help from a multitude of charities were carefully considered and sums up to £23 were invariably sent, this is of course all in addition to the generous donations given to Grand Lodge for their various Masonic Funds.
Considerable money had to be found for a new club lounge plus toilets, early in 1970. An unsecured loan for £4,000 was gratefully accepted. A few years later during the summer recess the Lodge was completely rewired. To fulfil the aspirations of the Masters and Office Bearers in their desire to maintain and improve the property money was always tight, nevertheless a new source was found and that source was the ‘Ladies’.
It may be uncommon to comment upon the ladies in an historical account of the activities and highlights of a Masonic Lodge but Lodge St. Servanus owe a great deal of thanks and gratitude to the St. Servanus 771 Ladies Circle.
This particular group was formed on the 15th February 1972 and they held their first meeting on the 11th of April that year. Their objective was simply stated “To raise funds for Lodge St. Servanus”. The qualifications for membership of this enthusiastic body was a masonic connection i.e. Father, Son, Husband or Brother being a freemason. To date they have raised over £8,000 (and that is a conservative estimate).
Their fund raising activities have never ceased, bingo teas, floral art, cookery and beauty demonstrations, fashion shows, concerts and they have actively been involved with sales of work, coffee mornings, Autumn Fayres and similar money making projects. They have bought cups, saucers and much paraphernalia to make the Lodge more comfortable for all concerned on social occasions.
Their efforts were noted at least twice when one reads from the minutes after a Provincial Grand Lodge visitation. I quote, “a great contribution to the Lodge has been made by the Lodge Ladies Circle and that the appreciation of Provincial Grand Lodge be conveyed to all members of the Circle”, and a further quote in 1978 reads “they are greatly assisted by the Ladies Circle and grateful thanks are accorded to them for the amount of work they do on behalf of this Lodge. They have contributed to the comfort of the premises and it is to be hoped that the Lodge members make them aware of the fact that their efforts are greatly appreciated”. I wonder do we (outwith the office bearers) think of their worth and contribution as much as we ought?
Early in the seventies on Saturday 3rd February 1973 a particular highlight and honour to the Lodge was a visit from the Grand Master Mason of Scotland, Brother David Liddell Grainger. He was accompanied by his wife and several members of Grand Lodge. This was an informal visit and he and his party were entertained to light refreshments and home baking produced by members’ ladies. Over one hundred Lodge members some with their wives received and welcomed the Grand Master Mason, his wife and party. At that time this was the first occasion that a Grand Master Mason had visited Lodge St. Servanus.
A frequent visitor to Lodge St. Servanus in the Seventies was W.P.G.M. Depute Brother Angus Campbell who later became the Provincial Grand Master. The fact that he lived and worked locally plus the presence of P.M.’s Colin Wyse and Fred McGhie, who at that time were Junior Provincial Grand Warden and Provincial Grand Sword Bearer respectively probably made him feel very much ‘at home’ when attending meetings in Alva—his Mother Lodge was Craiginnan, Dollar No. 850.
A key figure in any organisation is the Secretary and this is no less so in a Masonic Lodge. St. Servanus was particularly well served by P.M. Brother John Chalmers who held the office of Secretary, during the whole period under review. His full but unambiguous minutes reveal a total involvement in his office and a tremendous interest and enthusiasm for Freemasonry. He was seldom, if ever, absent from any meeting and his efforts and service were highly regarded by everyone who had dealings with him. His special interest in ‘bowls’ was such that he was a leading player and organiser when bowling matters and fixtures were reviewed in masonic circles or indeed as John Chalmers with a local bowling club. He and the Treasurer of the Lodge for many years in the seventies, Brother R. Marchbank (now a Past Master) appeared to work extremely well together.
It was interesting to note in this particular decade that P.M. Colin Wyse officiated and was invited to take the chair when his sons Colin and Alan were initiated into Freemasonry on 3rd April 1972 and 3rd April 1978 respectively. It was surely a rare occurrence too, when P.M. Brother Fred McGhie, then in office as Depute Master chaired and initiated his father Samuel into the Craft on 6th March 1972.
Fifty years memberships certificates were presented to the following:-
7 September 1970
Bro. T. McGuire P.M.
Bro. J. Monks
Bro. T. Dawson
Bro. A. Horne
23rd September 1974
Bro. T. Anderson
18th April 1977
Bro. D. Paisley
6th March 1978
Bro. W.P. Fyfe
During this period approximately 440 meetings were held. These ranged from regular to small meetings when decisions relating to the distribution of benevolence were made.
THE NINETEEN EIGHTIES
The Masters and Office Bearers in the eighties continued in the same vein as their predecessors of the seventies, a furtherance of dignified, solid, efficient degree work at meetings, looking after and improving the Lodge premises as necessary, raising money for the Lodge and charitable causes, receiving, welcoming and extending hospitality to the members of Sister Lodges, and generally displaying mature judgement in all their undertakings.
In May 1980 the Lodge was honoured by a visit from the most Worshipful Grand Master Mason Brother Sir James W. McKay, who accompanied by Grand Lodge Office Bearers installed R.W.P.G.M. Brother Alexander Whitehead in office—this particular highlight went off very well and the Master and Office Bearers at that time felt that their hard work in ensuring that the Lodge looked and was at its best, had been justified.
Minor setbacks do occur from time to time and I am reliably informed that at an Annual Dance early in the eighties a gas problem in the village of Menstrie caused poor pressure in our gas supply. This resulted in the meal, carefully planned and timed, to be put back for two hours—despair? not a bit of it, it was decided to dispense Lodge Hospitality (which had been planned for later in the evening anyway). This proved to be a popular decision and the evening was voted a tremendous success.
At times, particularly in recent years, a higher attendance of brethren at regular meetings would have been welcomed but there can be little or no criticism when it comes to collecting for charity and in particular participating in the sponsored walks. These walks were another source of gathering income for charitable causes and taken up with enthusiasm and energy by Lodge St. Servanus in the eighties.
The Lodge property being very well placed at the foot of the Ochil Hills makes a hill walk to or from the Lodge a practical and distinct possibility—across the hills nine miles away is the village of Blackford and for the past nine years a walk from there to the Lodge has become an Annual event. The charity to benefit from the Sponsored Walk is selected by the current reigning Lodge Master after, I have no doubt, consultation and deliberation.
Transportation to Blackford is willingly and voluntarily provided for the hill walkers by older and less able brethren whose days of walking nine miles over rough terrain are finished. Many Lodge members and their friends plus children set out on this walk and return to the Lodge for a splendid lunch and all, despite being tired, experience a tremendous sense of achievement and raise hundreds of pounds. Coinciding with this hill walk is a shorter “stroll” for the ladies, wives of members, girlfriends and smaller children. They all enjoy this walk from Logie to the Lodge a distance of five miles. They similarly are transported to Logie, and like the men they are sponsored. It really is a great fun day for all the family. Now where has the money collected gone?
Records indicate that somewhere in the region of £16,000 has been donated this decade to bodies such as Strathcarron Hospice, The Baby Unit at Stirling Royal Infirmary, The Forth Valley Health Board to purchase specific apparatus, The Diabetic and Spina Bifida Association, The Multiple Sclerosis Society and a group catering for physically handicapped children.
Daring to be immodest, for just a sentence, can we not say to the critics of our movement “is it not credit worthy and part justification for being a mason that so much money is donated annually to reputable and deserving causes from the hard work and efforts of a Lodge such as St. Servanus?”
Fifty years certificates were presented to the following:-
20th April 1981
Bro. J. Dewar
Bro. D. Hunt
16th November 1981
Bro. T. Greig
Bro. D. Lyon
It was a family occasion on 8th December, 1984 when Senior Warden Brother Derek McCall was installed as Lodge Master by his brother Past Master R.H.McL. McCall who headed a team of three installing Masters, the others being Past Masters F. McGhie and T.S. Paterson.
During the period under review 109 members of Lodge St. Servanus were elevated to Grand Lodge above, amongst them were the following Past Masters, Rogers, Comrie, Chalmers, Jackson and very recently Tommy Rough. They are all remembered with affection, brotherly love and appropriate grace and humility by many of today’s Lodge membership.
Minuted also are tributes to friends of the Lodge who have passed over. They include Past R.W.P.G.M. Brother Angus Campbell, W.S.P.G.M. John Gordon, Brother George Gornall P.M., Past Masters McLean and Forrest of Lodge St. John 187 Carluke, Brother Douglas Thomson, Lodge Fingal Dingwall 318, Past P.G.M. of Stirlingshire Brother Wm. McKay Clegg and affiliate member and Past Master Cyril Turner who became quite a ‘character’ in our Lodge.
The Master and Office Bearers work hard and with enthusiasm, and understandably they ‘run’ the Lodge. Normally each year they change their role consequently they acquire new skills and have different duties to perform but not so the Organist and Almoner and perhaps one should just mention them.
The musical contribution adds tremendously to any meeting and it is so easy to take for granted the skill and artistry of the masonic musician—Lodge St. Servanus over the years has reason to be proud of the skills and accomplishments of their Brother Organists.
The Lodge Almoner in addition to reporting regularly on needy and sick brethren does a considerable amount of work outside the Lodge at hospitals, attending funerals, comforting distressed relatives, organising presents as appropriate and generally being Lodge Welfare Officer. Work as this requires certain skills, and we have been very fortunate in our choice of Almoner over the years.
Two centenarians Brother Wm. McKenzie and Wm. Bean celebrated their hundredth birthdays in 1985 and 1989 respectively and received suitable and appropriate presents from the Lodge.
During this decade 375 meetings in all took place. They ranged from Regular and special to small meetings when decisions relating to benevolence were made.
A minute dated 4th September 1989 reads as follows “a letter from Grand Secretary was read inviting the Lodge to recommend a Brother who would be acceptable as a nominee for the Office of R.W.P.G. Master of Stirlingshire which will become vacant in May 1990. On the motion of the R.W. Master seconded by P.M. Brother A .S.F. McGhie it was unanimously agreed that the name of P.M. Brother C.T. Wyse be submitted to Grand Secretary”.
At the end of this historical sketch it surely is most fitting that the last named person therein should be Colin T. Wyse as no one represents Freemasonry and all it stands for more than this man. Eulogising would embarrass him, suffice to say let us hope he succeeds in becoming the next Provincial Grand Master Mason of Stirlingshire.
A LENGTHY POSTSCRIPT
December 1989 to February 1990
Although I thought I had finished my masonic work I find that several matters between December of last year and February of this year require recording, consequently in this postscript I aim to complete my writing.
Firstly, all of us in Lodge St. Servanus are absolutely delighted that P.M. Colin Wyse is now officially the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master designate for the Province of Stirlingshire and he is to be installed in his Mother Lodge St. Servanus as R.W.P.G.M. on 12th May.
On December 9th Senior Warden David M. Eadie was installed as Right Worshipful Master. P.M.’s Paterson and McKendrick were the Installing Masters and they fulfilled their roles with expertise, dignity and quiet confidence. It was a nice gesture on the part of the R.W.M. to select his father Brother T. Eadie to be his Depute Master during his term in office. The Depute Master must indeed be proud to sit at his son’s right when Lodge business is being transacted. The R.W.M. in turn must sense his father’s supportive presence there.
It is with regret I have to report the recent deaths of two well known brethren in the persons of John Looker and George McIntosh. They both had been masons for many years and were highly regarded.
To mark the start of our Centenary Celebrations a Thanksgiving Service was held in Menstrie Parish Church on 18th February. The Service was conducted by Brother the Rev. George Sherry, the oration delivered by the R.W.P.G.M. Brother Robert Hutchison and readings from our R.W.M. Brother David Eadie and Lodge Chaplain P.M. Thomas Richardson. The P.G. Chaplain Brother, the Rev. George Gillon also participated.
Although there was a somewhat disappointing turnout from Lodge St. Servanus, Sister Lodges and a large deputation from Provincial Grand Lodge helped swell the number of Masons to well over one hundred. In addition a goodly number of friends, wives of masons and children made up the rest of the congregation. It was a social occasion too when everyone adjourned for tea and light refreshments in plenty and variety, to the adjacent Church Hall.
A lovely cake in the shape of one hundred in numbers and beautifully iced was cut and distributed to all present. I understand the cake was baked by Isla McKendrick (Russell does make his daughter work for the Lodge).
An interested visitor to this event was Brother James Yates, an Alvonian and a member of Lodge St. Servanus. He was in this area on business from his present address in California.
Finally, I hope this little history will prove of interest to you all and, if possible, strengthen the bond of affection between the Brethren and Lodge St. Servanus.
Bro. David M. Eadie
Right Worshipful Master – Centenary Year 1990
Provincial Grand Lodge Representatives
Senior P.G. Warden Bro. Alfred S.F. McGhie
and P.G.M. Depute Bro. Colin T. Wyse
Bro. Robert D. Wilson P.M.
Honorary Grand Sword Bearer of the Grand Lodge of Scotland
Sadly with regret we learnt of the death of Bob Wilson on 19/3/90
The Temple from the South West
The Wardens in our Centenary Year
W.S.W. Bro. Ron Foster & W.J.W. Bro. Tom Adams
RWM and Office-bearers of Lodge St Servanus No. 771 1989-90
Back Row (Left to Right)
Bro. T. Richardson P.M. – Chaplain, Bro. D. Buck P.M. – D.O.C., Bro. N. Gardner – Steward
Bro. H. Dunnachie P.M. – Steward, Bro. C. Ramage – Steward, Bro. R. Marchbank P.M. – Organist
Bro. H. Speed P.M. – Substitute Master
3rd Row (Left to Right)
Bro. A. Copland – Bible Bearer, Bro. K. Pryde – Steward, Bro. R. Taylor – Senior Steward
Bro. D. Taylor – Sword Bearer, Bro. G. Johnstone – Steward, Bro. I. Wotherspoon – Steward
2nd Row (Left to Right)
Bro. Wm. Hall – Senior Deacon, Bro. T. McLaughlin – Marshal, Bro. W. Swarbrick – Almoner
Bro. C. Lawrie – Secretary, Bro. J. Ramsay – Treasurer, Bro. S. Foley – Tyler
Bro. K. McCallum – Inner Guard, Bro. P. Maley – Junior Deacon
Front Row (Left to Right)
Bro. T. Eadie – Depute Master, Bro. R. Foster – Senior Warden, Bro. D. Eadie – RWM
Bro. T. Adams – Junior Warden, Bro. E. Brown – Immediate Past Master
Past Masters of Lodge St Servanus No. 771 – 1990
Back Row (Left to Right)
Bros. E. Brown, H. Speed, A. Wyse, D. McKenzie
3rd Row (Left to Right)
Bros. R. Marchbank, H. Dunnachie, T. Paterson, T.Richardson, D. Buck, R. McKendrick
I. O’Connor, Roderick McCall, G. Dewar, Robert McCall
2nd Row (Left to Right)
Bros. D. Paton, W. Wilson, A. McGhie, H. Purser, J. Bennett, R. Beveridge, C. Wyse
Front Row (Left to Right)
Bros. G. Young, J. Beveridge, R.W.M. D. Eadie, R. Wilson, D. Nicol