Welcome to the history page of Lodge Possilpark (Glasgow) 1330. Our lodge has a rich and fascinating history that dates back to the early 20th century.
This page is dedicated to sharing our journey from those early days to the present. We invite you to explore our past and learn more about our traditions and the brethren who have shaped Lodge Possilpark.
Lodge Possilpark was officially consecrated on 29th January, 1925, the date of her Charter being 6th November, 1924, but for almost a year before the consecration ceremony meetings of the Founder Members had been held to discuss progress in the formation of the new Lodge.
The first recorded meeting took place on 12th February, 1924, in the Rockvilla U.F. Church Hall in Saracen Street. At that meeting thirty three Brethren heard an address by Bro. George Croll, Past Master of Lodge Thistle and Rose No. 73, (who was to become a Founder Member) on the proceedure to be followed if the Brethren decided to form a new Lodge. After discussion it was decided that a Lodge be formed in Possilpark and that further meetings should be held under the chairmanship of Bro. James Robertson of Lodge Maryhill No. 510 also present were David Gordon, Alex. Russell, John Brownlie,James Candlish, Bro. George Croll and others. Bro. Croll was to provide advice on Masonic Proceedure.
Meeting followed meeting, and on 7th April, 1924, the Brethren met to discuss the important matters of fees, sponsors and the name of the proposed Lodge. The acting Secretary, Bro. John Brownlie, was intructed to write to Lodges Glasgow Kilwinning No.4, The Lodge of Glasgow St.Mungo No. 27, Maryhill No. 510, Kenmuir No.570. When the question of the name of the new Lodge was discussed at that meeting, four suggestions were put forward - Sheriff Allison, Fossil, Possil St.John and Possilpark. On a vote being taken, Lodge Possilpark was accepted.
On 13th June, 1924, the initiation fee was fixed and the official Lodge colours of Stuart Dress Tartan was adopted, and the petition form for submission to Grand Lodge was available for signature (113 Brethren attached their names). The four above named Lodges supported the petition.
A further step forward was taken on 16th October, 1924, when the Brethren agreed that the regular meeting nights should be the second and fourth Thursdays of the month and on this occasion, the design for the Lodge Seal was submitted and approved.
At last,however,they were about to see the result of their labours,for on 5th December, 1924, the acting Secretary was able to report that the Lodge's number on the roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland was 1330,the Charter having been granted at the meeting of Grand Lodge on 6th November.1924.
At 7.30 p.m. on 29th January, 1925, the Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow met in the Rockvilla Church Hall for the purpose of the erection and consecration of Lodge Possilpark No. 1330 and the installation of the Master and Office Bearers. The Provincial Grand Master, Bro. A.A. Haggart Spiers of Elderslie, D.L., J.P., presided, accompanied by the Provincial Grand Lodge Office Bearers. Among the representatives of Sister Lodges were Masters and Past -Masters of ten Lodges ranging from No. 27 to No. 1222. The Master and Office Bearers being installed by the Provincial Grand Master and his Depute, Bro. W. Munro Denholm. The officiating Chaplain was Bro. Dr. L. A. Cameron Reid, D.D., Bro. Haggart Spiers concluded by wishing the new Lodge every success and prosperity in the years to come.
Before Provincial Grand Lodge retired Bro. James Robertson, as R.W.M. of Lodge Possilpark, asked Bro. Spiers to accept honorary membership of the Lodge. This ceremony having been conducted Bro. A.A. Haggart Spiers signed the members' roll as the first honorary member. Some five years later, in November, 1929, Bro. Spiers was to be installed as Grand Master Mason of Scotland and thus Possilpark has the distinction of numbering a Past Grand Master Mason among its honorary members.
The first regular meeting following the consecration was held on 12th February, 1925, when the first seven candidates of Lodge Possilpark were initiated. They were Adam Stewart, Daniel Muir, Charles Waugh, Charles Ralston, James Simpson, James Short and Devis Mackay, the ceremony being carried out by Bro. James Robertson, R.W.M.
It is pleasant to record that among these seven initiates, the first brethren ever to acknowledge Possilpark as their Mother Lodge, was a future Master, Bro. Charles Ralston, being elected to the Chair in the year 1932/33 - he was in fact the first 'initiate' to preside over the lodge, all the previous Masters up to 1932 having been Founder Members.
With that first initiation ceremony the 'birth' of Lodge Possilpark was completed. The Lodge had now commenced its working life and in a few weeks was handling its business as though it had been in existence for years.
Another 'first' took place on Sunday, 13th September, 1925, when the Lodge's first Masonic Divine Service was held in the Rockvilla U.F. Church. Seventeen Lodges were represented. After assembling in the War Memorial Hall the Brethren took up position in Lennox Street and headed by the Possilpark Prize Silver Band, they marched by way of Barloch Street, Bardowie Street and Saracen Street to the Church entrance. The minute records that the procession 'created great local interest' and no doubt the Brethren, founder members and initiates alike, took an especial pride in showing that Possilpark, though not yet one year old, was a lusty infant fit to take her place amongst her older sisters. The service was conducted by the Lodge Chaplain, Bro. the Rev. William McCulloch Steven, B.D. About this time we were indebted to two Past Masters of The Lodge of Glasgow St. Mungo No.27 who gifted to the Lodge our Deacons Rods.
During this first year of the Lodge's existence the brethren had never lost sight of their ambition that one day there would be a Masonic Temple in Possilpark. Various Functions were organised, and on 15th September a Grand Concert was held in the Lyric Theatre at which artistes from the Pavilion and Empire Theatres gave their services. Much of the credit for persuading these professional artistes to take part was due to an enthusiastic young Office Bearer - one James Candlish, Sword Bearer of the Lodge. The First Annual Meeting was held in November, 1925, when the financial statement was laid before the Lodge. After only ten months' working the General Fund stood at £211, the Benevolent Fund at £138 and the Building Fund at £105. Up to 31st October, 1925, the Lodge had held 15 regular meetings and one special meeting, 32 candidates had been initiated and the average attendance had been 77.
Following the adoption of the financial statement the office bearers for the ensuing twelve months were elected and on 10th December, 1925, the first 'normal' installation ceremony took place, Bro. Robertson again being installed as Master.
On 29th January, 1926, an anniversary dance was held in Woodside Halls to commemorate the consecration of the Lodge twelve months before and by special dispensation from Grand Lodge, the brethren attending the dance, were permitted to wear Masonic Regalia. Financially, as well as socially, the evening was highly successful and it was decided that a Master's Chain should be purchased from the proceeds.
The chain was duly purchased and when Provincial Grand Lodge made their first visitation to Lodge Possilpark on 11th March, the Substitute Grand Master, Bro. Matthew Robin, performed the investiture. Bro. Robin, in his subsequent remarks, congratulated the Lodge on gaining a 'clear Minute' at this, the first Provincial Visitation. At the Harmony that evening one of the artistes who entertained the brethren was Bro. Charles Coburn, the original 'Man who broke the Bank at Monte Carlo'.
When the next Annual Meeting was held on 25th November, 1926, Bro. Robertson intimated that he did not wish to stand for re-election as Master. In the year 1926/27 Bro. Alex. Russell was installed R.W.M. of the Lodge,among the Office Bearers Bro. James Patrick was installed as Tyler, an office he was to hold for the next twenty seven years.
In his year of Office Bro. Russell did not neglect the social side of Lodge affairs and in an interim report on 27th May, 1927, the Treasurer was able to report that functions held during the winter months had shown a total profit of nearly sixty pounds. At this time the Building Fund stood at £228 and the General Fund at £193.
It is worthy of note that at the Masonic Divine Service on 11th September, 1927, the two elected Chaplains of the Lodge acted as officiating clergymen, bk>. the Rev. McCulloch Steven, a founder member, reading the lesson and Bro. the Rev. J. Maxwell Dewar, who had been initiated on 13th May, 1926, delivering his first Masonic sermon, based on Fidelity. In this year and the next, the two brethren elected to the offices of Chaplain were in fact Ministers of religion. Bro. David Gordon was installed as R.W.M. on 8th December, 1927.
During Bro. Gordon's year his son, Peter McNiven Gordon, was initiated and was later to become Master of the Lodge in 1936/37. At the same meeting an application was read from Daniel R. Munro who was also to be elected to the Chair in the fulness of time.
In December, 1928, Bro. David Gordon was succeeded by Bro. James Candlish as Master'and one of Bro. Candlish's first - and most pleasant - duties was to present to Bro. Gordon a handsome silver tea-service in appreciation of his and Mrs. Gordon's services to the Lodge. This tea-service, unfortunately, went to the bottom of the Atlantic when the ' Athenia' was sunk by the Germans on September 3rd, 1939.
The year 1929 saw the beginning of the economic crisis in the outside world and soon the financial affairs of Lodge Possilpark were to feel the strain. Towards the end of Bro. Candlish's year, a sub committee had to be formed to review the financial position and to report on falling attendances.
As always, however, the wives of the brethren were active in their support of the Lodge. They organised several functions and devised various means of raising funds. Again and Again we find reference to donations by ladies who, happily, still take an active part in our social affairs. Here, as on numerous occasions in our history, our grateful thanks are due to the ladies for their vigorous support of the Lodge and of an Order which, by its very rules, they themselves were precluded from joining.
Towards the end of Bro. Candlish's year, in October 1929, the Lodge was honoured by the election of our first Master, Bro. James Robertson, as Provincial Grand Standard-bearer. Thus, from the purely Masonic point of view, Bro. Candlish's year ended on a note of encouragement, but when he vacated the Chair on 28th November, 1929, it was already evident that difficult days lay ahead for the Lodge and for the world in general.
By this time the country was in the throes of a serious depression and it is indicative of the state of affairs that only eight Master Masons were advanced to .the Mark in the year 1929/30. The attendances and collections dropped off alarmingly and in November, 1930, it was proposed to reduce the initiation fee. After prolonged discussion this proposition was abandoned.
Though the brethren had deemed it necessary, in the year 1930/31 to restrict the social activities of the Lodge, it would seem that they soon found that a diet of all work and no play was not to their taste, for Bro. James Ralston, who was installed in December, 1931, was required to devote his energies to the task of restoring some of those social events which had declined gradually during the past few years.
In spite of these efforts, however, progress was very slow, and with the best will in the world money was hard to come by. Notwithstanding the optimism of Bro. Ralston and his office-bearers we now know that matters were to become even worse before conditions improved.
Leaving other considerations aside, however, it must have been with mixed feelings that Bro. James Ralston vacated the Chair on 8th December, 1932, for the Master elect whom he presented to the brethren as his successor was in fact his own son, Bro. Charles Ralston. Mixed with his natural regret that his term in the highest office of all had come to an end, Bro. Ralston senior would also have a sense of pride that he should be followed by the son whom he had seen initiated on that night, almost eight years before, when Lodge Possilpark's first regular meeting was held. Possilpark has always been a 'family' Lodge and it is indeed fitting that this example of the family ties should be fotind even in the roll of her Past-Masters..
Early in Bro. Charles Ralston's year he had the privilege of conferring honorary membership on Bro. John Marr Grant, the Provincial Grand Master. The ceremony took place on the occasion of Provincial Grand Lodge's visitation in February, 1933.A grimmer note had to be struck, however, when the brethern were forced to approach the Rockvilla Church Session with a request for a reduction in Hall rent. As a result the quarterly sum was reduced from £10 to £8, a gesture of goodwill much appreciated by the brethren, especially as in their letter agreeing to the new terms, the Church pointed out that their own finances were becoming depleted as a result of the prevailing conditions. They went on to request that as soon as circumstances permitted the Lodge should revert to the original figure of £10, and this the grateful brethern willingly resolved to do.
About this time, the Lodge was itself approached by Possilpark Estates, offering a piece of land comprising approximately 1,200 square yards in Ardoch Street, Possilpark. It was conveniently situated and appeared to be highly suitable for the site of a Masonic Temple. The price asked was 7/6 per square yard. Surveyors and Valuators reports were obtained which confirmed that the proposition was a sound one and the Committees favourable recommendation received much support in open lodge. In the end, however, the scheme had to be abandoned, mainly because there was insufficient money in hand to commence building at once, and in the meantime certain recurring expenses connected with the ownership of the land would need to be met for an indefinite period.
The year 1933/34 was to pass with only four candidates admitted to Lodge Possilpark. Yet the twenty regular meetings had to be held and the general expenses met with practically no ceremonial work to be performed for the instruction of the brethren and with virtually no income to meet our just and lawful debts. As an example of the problems which the Master and office-bearers had to tackle, it may be mentioned that an initiation was carried out on 22nd February, 1934. The next initiation did not take place until 25th October,1934.At meeting after meeting the minutes record that the Lodge adjourned to hear lectures and take part in discussions on Freemasonry and other subjects.
Financially, however, it was impossible to carry on under these conditions and on 11th October, 1934, the brethren were forced to vote the sume of £100 from their cherised Building Fund to replenish the almost exhausted General Fund.
When Bro. Wright finally left the Chair on 13th December, 1934, the worst of the economic crisis was over though several difficult years still lay ahead. Financially the year 1933/34 was almost disastrous for Lodge Possilpark but morally the success of the Master and Office-bearers hi keeping alive the spirit of the Lodge was in its own way a very real triumph - perhaps one of the greatest in the Lodge's history.
In the year 1934/35 the accommodation became unsuitable but despite the financial situation the brethren decided they must build their own Temple. Their decision was hastened by the knowledge that only three suitable sites were left in the district and it was agreed that arrangements be put in hand to borrow the sum necessary. Bro. Alexander Hepburn being Treasurer at this time, the matter was left in his hands, and right well did he carry out his task.
The sum of £600 was borrowed from the Lodge's own Benevolent Fund and a loan was negotiated from the Co-operative Building Society for the remainder. This, remember, when the Lodge's finances were almost at their lowest ebb. Looking back on the decision that the brethren had to take at that time, there is no doubt that the building of our Masonic Temple was a venture in faith - a faith that has since proved itself fully justified.
When the Lodge re-assembled on 8th August, 1935, after the summer recess it was to hear a letter read from Ashfield F.C. intimating that the Club had bought a new ground in the district of Possilpark, and that it was their intention to erect a hall on part of this ground, constructed to hold 500 people.
Many of the brethren were aware of this plan but the Secretary now went on to read the really startling part of the letter. This was a proposal that four representatives of the Ashfield Club should meet the brethren of Lodge Possilpark with a view to the Lodge becoming tenants of the Ashfield Hall instead of proceeding with the building of a Masonic Temple in Bardowie Street!
The matter was put to the vote and by an overwhelming majority the brethren decided that 'Ashfield F.C. be thanked for their letter, but we do not agree to meet their deputation,' The possession of a hall of their own had been too near the hearts of the brethren - and for too long a time - for them to consider any compromise solution.
In view of the progress being made in the matter of the Hall, the Treasurer's report at the annual Meeting of 28th November, 1935, was awaited with special interest. The General Fund stood at £65, the Building Fund at £310 and the Lodge Benevolent Fund at £674. At this meeting, Bro. Daniel R. Munro was elected to the Chair, and to him fell the duty of guiding the Lodge through the busy and exacting year that lay ahead.
On Monday, 6th June, 1936, the first spade was sunk into the piece of ground at the corner of Bardowie Street and Denmark Street, where the new Hall would one day stand. All during the summer and autumn the work proceeded while Bro. Munro's devoted Building Committee placed contracts on the most advantageous terms possible. Excavating work, bricklaying, joiner work, slaters, plasterers, plumbers and painters - each estimate had to be considered and decided upon. As in the minutes of the Founder Members' meetings, no mere record can possibly convey the amount of work that must have been performed by this Committee during 1936, but to these brethren the sight of the new Hall steadily rising from the clay and rubble was reward enough. We were fortunate in securing the excellent services of Bro. John Laird, Past Grand Architect, also Bro. Livingstone, the joiner. Their expert assistance smoothed out many difficulties and they were in no little way responsible for the fine Hall we now possess.
It was now, too, that donations began to flow in to help the Building Fund -donations voluntarily offered not only by the brethren of Lodge Possilpark but by visiting brethren also. By the end of October, 1936, over twenty pounds had been received in this way, and of this sum no less than eight pounds had been handed over by the Ladies' Committee from the proceeds of a cabaret tea and a bus run - for the ladies were no less keen on the project than the menfolk. Earlier, for instance, when the Lodge had run social functions to help swell the Building Fund, the ladies had come along to make the tea, cut sandwiches and to wash up afterwards. The brethren, in their innocence, had then suggested that as the ladies did all the work on these occasions they should not be asked to pay their halfcrowns.
This typical piece of twisted masculine logic produced a swift reaction from the ladies. They threatened a strike! If they weren't to be allowed to contribute to the Fund then they weren't coming to the functions at all, and the men could jolly well make their own tea! Faced with this horrifying possibility the men capitulated and the ladies continued to pay their halfcrowns for the privilege of working their hearts out in the kitchen.
Despite all these efforts and donations, however, funds were low in the autumn of 1936. The loans which had been negotiated certainly took care of the building itself but as the work neared completion the problem of furnishing had still to be solved.
Fortunately, in Bro. Alex. Hepburn, the Lodge possessed a Treasurer of unbounded energy and foresight. Three hundred tip-up seats were purchased at a cost of £116. A great deal of money, yes, but Bro. Hepburn arranged for them to be paid in instalments. Master's and Warden's Chairs were an obvious necessity. Obvious, too, that to buy new chairs would cost a lot of money that the Lodge could not afford - so three excellent chairs were obtained from a second-hand shop in Buchanan Street! Faith was indeed moving mountains.
By 26th November, 1936, the revival in the Lodge's fortunes was to be seen in the number of candidates admitted during Bro. Munro's year - twenty two brethren having been initiated. It was at this meeting that Bro. Peter McNiven Gordon was elected Master, and on 30th December, 1936, Bro. David Gordon had the proud privilege of installing his own son into the Chair of the Lodge which he had himself occupied eight years earlier.
If we except the night of his own installation, this was perhaps the greatest moment in David Gordon's Masonic career, but quite apart from its personal significance to the new Master and his father, that installation ceremony marked a turning point in the history of Lodge Possilpark as a whole, for the first regular meeting of Bro. Peter Gordon's year was to take place in the new Masonic Temple in Bardowie Street.
The official consecration of the Masonic Temple was conducted by the Provincial Grand Master, Bro. Sir Alexander B. Swan, D.L., J.P., on Tuesday, 22nd December, 1936. Among the Provincial Grand Office-bearers present was Bro. William Gillon, a Past Master of Lodge Possilpark, but here today in his capacity of Provincial Grand Steward, and Sir George G. Graham, Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies. It may be of interest to reproduce here a prayer offered up by the Provincial Grand Chaplain on that occasion :-
'O God most holy and eternal, Who art the author and preserver of our being, grant, we pray Thee, that this Temple which we now set apart for the purpose of Freemasonry, may be the abode of harmony and peace. May brotherly love prevail among the numbers who assemble here. Prosper Thou the work of their hands and guide them by Thy spirit, that in all their deliberations and doings they may glorify Thy name and further the best interests of the Craft'.
Two days after the consecration ceremony, on Thursday, 24th December, 1936, Bro. Peter Gordon opened the first regular meeting in the new Temple. The dream of twelve years was a reality at last.
Back in 1928, in David Gordon's year, two candidates who were later to become Masters of the Lodge (Peter Gordon and Daniel R. Munro) passed through their Degrees together. Not to be outdone by his father, Peter Gordon had the same distinction in his own year of office, for on 25th February, 1937, William Strachan and Peter F. McPherson were initiated together.
Incidentally, the two earlier candidates both had a hand in the instruction of the second pair, for while Bro. Peter Gordon occupied the Chair in the year of their initiation, it was Bro. Munro, P.M., who conferred upon them their Third Degree.
During 1937/38 the affairs of the Lodge continued to prosper. The number of initiates was twenty-three, as compared to twenty one in the previous year, a further indication that the country was returning to a fuller level of employment.
We now know that the world was approaching another and even greater crisis than the economic one which it had only recently emerged, and during this term which was to be the last full year of peace until 1945/46. To the brethren at that time, however, it must have appeared that at last the clouds were lifting, and that the Lodge could look forward to a period of prosperity in the new hall which their labours had created.
Bro. Mowatt was installed by Bro. David Gordon in December, 1938, and later in the same ceremony Bro. Gordon was himself installed as Treasurer, Bro. Alex. Hepburn, who had so ably handled the financial affairs of the Lodge during the building of the hall, having intimated his retiral.
An indication of the growing financial stability of the Lodge is to be found in the minutes of 25th May, 1939, when a notice of motion was passed to transfer £50 from the General Fund and £50 from the Halls Fund to the Building Fund. Five years earlier, it will be remembered, during the worst of the crisis, money had to be transferred from the Building Fund to the General Fund in order to keep the Lodge solvent. Now the steadily growing General Fund was able to repay at last.
September, 1939, arrived and with it the commencement of World War 2 Soon, brethren were being called to the Forces and by the middle of October,1939, the brethren were meeting once more in their old home, the Rockvilla Church Hall, the Masonic Hall in Bardowie Street having been taken over by the Government for refugees. At the beginning of November, 1939, it was agreed to send gifts to all members of the Lodge serving in H.M. Forces. With the country at war Lodge Possilpark was determined to do all that she could to assist in the struggle.
On December, 1939, a Notice of Motion was read proposing the transfer of £150 from the Benevolent Fund for investment in National Savings Certificates. At this meeting, too, it was agreed that all meetings should start at 7. p.m., no • doubt due to 'black-out' and transport difficulties.
Another example of emergency measures was the revival of the custom of holding more than one Degree on the same night, for on 18th January, 1940, it is recorded that the First and Second Degrees were conferred on that evening. This had been a fairly common practice in the nineteen-twenties but during the past ten years or so (due perhaps in large measure to the lack of entrants) the custom had been abandoned.
By February, 1940, the brethren felt impelled to invest a further sum in National Savings and voted that £75 be taken from the Benevolent Fund for this purpose.
When the lodge re-assembled after the recess on 12th September, 1940, Bro. Caskie was once more at his desk and was accorded a hearty welcome by the brethren. However, just over a month later The R.W.M. had to inform the Lodge with profound regret that Bro. Caskie had passed away. Bro. Caskie had been Secretary for fourteen years, during which time he had given full and faithful service to Possilpark, and the brethren placed on record their deep sympathy at his passing and their keen appreciation of his work.
Three other Founder Members died during 1940 - Bros. Kenneth McLeod, Alexander Gourlay and George Croll, that same Bro. Croll who had been of such invaluable assistance to the Founder Members at the formation of the Lodge sixteen years before. The time had at last come for him to pass on the torch of his enthusiasm and learning to other hands, and fortunately these hands are with us still, guiding the present generation through difficulties and perplexities as Bro. Croll in his time had guided them.
When Bro. William Neilson was installed in December, 1940, there was installed with him, as his Secretary and Treasurer, a team which was to serve Lodge Possilpark well for the next ten years or so, in the persons of Bro. James Candlish, P.M. and Bro. Thomas Patrick.
The thoughts of the brethren were, not surprisingly, focussed on the war and its impact on the Lodge. On the 27th February, 1941, for instance, we find an account given regarding the arrangements for fire watching and the watchers were granted the use of the Lodge kitchen during their tour of duty.
It is worthy of note that when the blitz came to Glasgow in those terrible March nights of 1941 when Clydebank was set ablaze by German Bombers, Bro. Daniel R. Munro, P.M. conferred a full Third Degree one evening while bombers roared overhead and anti-aircraft fire arced into the threatening sky.
Although members were finding it increasingly difficult to attend meetings regularly they were giving wonderful support to the Lodge's 'Jock's Box', the minutes of every meeting making reference to donations both large and small. Indeed, the matter soon became sufficiently important to justify the appointment of an honorary Treasurer of this Fund. Bro. Horace Lowes accepted this extra office and during the remainder of the war he was tireless in his efforts to stimulate interest in the welfare of those brethren who were serving in H.M.Forces; many of whom kept up an intimate correspondence with him long after hostilities ceased.
In 1941/42 the Building Fund was considered to be in need of help and various gift schemes were started which proved highly successful and resulted in several very useful sums being donated. Indeed, so much progress was made that it was eventually decided to repay, with appropriate interest, certain private loans which had been made to the Fund by a few of the more affluent brethren.
During November, 1942, the initiation took place of William Boyd Marshall, who was later to become Master of the Lodge and who, over the years was to make several handsome donations to the Lodge, not least of these being our present Lodge furniture and electric organ. Unfortunately, it must be recorded that this initiation coincided with the announcement of the death of Bro. William McCallum, Senior Deacon of the Lodge.
Although Bro. George H.D. Robertson who succeeded Bro. Hepburn took office at a time when our energies were mainly concerned with the war effort, the fortunes of Lodge Possilpark were now progressing in a satisfactory manner. Attendances were consistently good, collections were improving and the numerous references to donations towards the Building Fund were most encouraging.
Another landmark was the initiation on 4th February, 1942, of our 500th member. This being something of an occasion, special reference was made to the event in the official minutes. A few weeks later, Bro. James Robertson, P.M., presented to the Lodge on behalf of his good lady a new mallet and trowel which were most gratefully received by the brethren.
During the period when Bro. William Brown occupied the Chair our thoughts were not unnaturally focused on the war which was now beginning to swing in favour of the Allies. There was a feeling of great optimism which pervaded the Lodge.
The atmosphere at attendances were perhaps on the low side as many of the brethren were either on active service or engaged on work essential to the war effort, but undoubtedly we were progressing in the right direction..
The installation of Bro. Robert R. C. Dobbie on 16th December, 1944, marked the commencement of another eventful year in the history of Lodge Possilpark.
The first highlight of the year was the dedication of the new Alter and Lodge furniture on Saturday, 10th February, 1945, in the presence of the Provincial Grand Master, Bro. J. Osborne Martin and his Office-bearers. The ceremony was
carried out by Bro. G. Kerr McKay, Substitute Provincial Grand Master. Much of the furniture was gifted to the Lodge and we here reproduce a tribute printed on the circular calling the brethren to that meeting: -
The Committee on behalf of the Right Worshipful Master and Brethren of Lodge Possilpark desire to express their appreciation to the undernoted brethren for their generous gifts of Lodge Furniture as detailed:-
R.W.M.'s and Wardens' Chairs and Wardens' Pedestals. Bro. W. Marshall, J.D.
V.S.L, ............................ Bro. R.R.C. Dobbie, R.W.M.
Oak Reading Desk.................... Bro. D. Gordon, P.M.
R.W.M.'s and Wardens' Mallets and Wardens' Batons.Bro. J. Candlish, P.M.
An interesting sidelight is the story of how Bro. Marshall came to choose the design of the furniture which he donated to the Lodge. Some time before, Bro. Marshall had visited a Lodge in South Wales, and had been impressed by the workmanship and ornamentation of the Master's and Wardens' Chairs and Pedestals. Later, when he decided to make a presentation of furniture to his Mother Lodge, he had them made to the design which he had admired on that evening. Thus our Lodge furniture as we have it today is in itself a link with a Sister Lodge of another Constitution hundreds of miles away in South" Wales.
Some three months later on 10th May, 1945, Bro. Dobbie had the welcome duty of conducting a short thanksgiving service for the victory of the Allies in Europe. His theme was the building of a Temple of Peace and Brotherhood and he charged the brethren to work towards that end. The service concluded with the offering up of thanks for our deliverance and the mercy shown to us during the dark days of war.
On 16th August, 1945, Bro. Dobbie held a thanksgiving service, this time on the successful conclusion of the War in the Far East, prayers were offered that this victory would result in a lasting peace throughout the world.
When, on 22nd November, 1945, Bro. Dobbie declared all offices vacant for the purpose of the election of Officebearers for 1945/46, he was able to reflect that his year of office had been a momentous one in the affairs of the outside world. When he was placed in the Chair in December, 1944, the nations of the world were still locked in a death struggle and though the Allies were back once more on the soil of France, the end of the war had seemed as far off as ever.Now, when he vacated the Chair in favour of Bro. James Colquhoun, the fightingwas over. Already, the first of the serving members were making their appearance in the Lodge, dressed once more in civilian clothes and a Welcome Home Committee had been formed. Soon that faint trickle would become a flood, and brethren who had spent four, five and six years away from their homes would again take their places in the friendly surroundings of their Mother Lodge.
During the Spring of 1946, it was Bro. James Colquhoun's pleasant duty as Master to welcome more and more of the serving members back to the Lodge on their demobilisation, and on 11th April he made a presentation to newly-returned members, on behalf of the Welcome Home Committee. In reply, Bro. Thomas Mowatt, P.M., speaking on behalf of the recipients, thanked the Lodge for the many kindnesses shown to them while in H.M. Forces, and for this final gesture on their safe return.
At the first meeting after the summer recess, Bro.Colquhoun informed the brethren of the death of Bro. Alex. Hepburn, P.M., who had occupied the Chair in 1941/42, and who, as Treasurer, had so ably handled the financial affairs of the Lodge at the time of the building of the Temple.
Bro. Kennedy Drysdale Darroch was installed on Saturday 14th December 1946, and he continued the tradition set by his predecessors in ably coping with the large volume of business which arose during these early post—war years. During Bro. Darroch's year it was his sad duty to announce the death of two Past Masters namely Bros. Peter Gordon and AJex. Russell. In December 1947, Bro. Darroch performed his final duty as Master when he presented Bro. William McNiven as R.W.M.-elect for 1947/48.
On 22nd April 1948, it was decided to purchase a new set of officebearers' aprons, and perhaps the high-light of Bro. McNiven's year of office was the dedication of a handsome electric organ presented to the Lodge by Bro. William Marshall, Senior Warden. The dedication took place on 2nd September 1948, when the Substitute Provincial Grand Master, Bro. G. Kerr MacKay, was welcomed into the Lodge by Bro. McNiven.
Bro. Marshall, at the request of Bro. McNiven, Master, formally presented the organ to the Lodge, and in his speech he asked the brethren to accept the gift as a thanks-giving offering on the safe return of every member of Lodge Possilpark who had served in H.M.Forces during the War. At the following meeting, two more gifts were made to the Lodge, a new Secretary's table-lamp and a new organ-cover.
Bro. William Marshall was himself installed as Master on 9th December 1948, and shortly afterwards, on 27th January 1949, he made a presentation to Bro. Robert R.C. Dobbie, P.M., on behalf of the Lodge, on Bro. Debbie's departure for Australia. Bro. Dobbie affiliated to Romsey Lodge No.97 on the roll of the Grand Lodge of Victoria Australia.
In March 1949, Bro. Donald MacKay Kerr, who was now the Provincial Grand Master, and Bro. the Rev. Kerr MacKay, Substitute Provincial Grand Master, accepted honorary membership of the Lodge. At this meeting, too, it was decided to make a gift of an organ to the Lodge of Glasgow St.Mungo No.27, which had been one of our Sponsor Lodges.
During the Autumn of 1949, the roll of members of Lodge Possilpark ran into four figures with the initiation of Bro. Hugh Reilly, number 1000 on the books of the Lodge.
Bro. Peter Fraser McPherson occupied the Chair during 1949/50, and the Lodge continued to prosper under his genial leadership. An active and popular member, it is perhaps fitting that Bro. McPherson's year should be remembered for the general pleasure which it gave the brethren who attended his meetings.
It was during Bro. McPherson's year that Bro. James Patrick completed twenty-five years service as Tyler of the Lodge, and Bro. James Candlish relinquished his office as Secretary and both received suitable gifts. Bro. Ca'ndlish's office was filled by Bro. John McCallum, who, as this record is prepared, is still rendering sterling service as Secretary of the Lodge.
The 'reign' of Bro. William Strachan was not without much pleasurable incident. On 8th March 1951, for instance, the Lodge decided to purchase an invalid chair for a disabled brother. During his year of office Members were kept busy with the many visitations which were all well attended by the Brethren.
Bro. Strachan is to be commended for his untiring efforts in introducing young members into ceremonial work. A sadder note was struck on 23rd August, however, for at that meeting Bro. Strachan intimated the death of yet another Past-Master, Bro. William Brown.
At the installation of Bro. John Taylor on 13th December 1951, the Master had the painful duty of informing the brethren of the death of Bro. William Laird, who only three weeks before had been elected to the office of Director of Ceremonies, and who was to have been installed that evening. It was on this sad note that Bro. Taylor's year began, and on 14th February 1952 the Lodge went into mourning for three months - in common with all other Lodges - on the death of His Majesty King George VI, who as Duke of York had occupied the Chair of the Grand Master Mason of Scotland. Bro. Taylor's meetings were conducted with the affable and extremely apt geniality to be expected from Bro. Taylor, and he led the Lodge on several pleasant visitations to sister Lodges.
As we draw nearer to the present day in our history, it becomes more and more difficult to view the passing years in their proper perspective, and to recognise the truly outstanding events as they occur. It may be left to some future historian to pick out occurrences whose significance can only be measured in thelight of future developments. Meanwhile, we pass on to the year 1952/53, when the Lodge was ruled over by Bro. Thomas Beattie.
During the Spring of 1953, the toll of the years was once more apparent when the deaths of two more founder members were announced. Almost thirty years had now gone since those first eager meetings of Masonic Brethren were held in the Church Halls. Steadily, the survivors of that list of 113 brethren who had signed the Petition were growing fewer. May these survivors who are left, long be spared to afford instruction and assistance to the younger brethren who come after them.
1953 was of course Coronation Year, and in contrast to the sombre mourning of twelve months before, the subject under discussion at the meeting of 14th May was the decoration of the Hall to celebrate the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. It was of course agreed that the Hall be decorated.
Brother Beatties' year was a very happy one, and his enthusiasm for free Masonry was an example to all the Brethren.
Bro. Thomas Patrick, who succeeded Bro. Beattie as Master, had served for thirteen years as Treasurer - the longest-serving Treasurer that Lodge Possilpark had ever had. While on the subject of long service, it must be recorded that it was now that Bro. James Patrick left the office of Tyler, alter twenty seven years, and joined his son on the dais as his Depute Master.
On 26th August the brethren were informed of the death of Bro. James Colquhoun, P.M., and Bro. Henry McKerlie, a young member who fell ill shortly after receiving his Second Degree.
Bro. Robert E. Gunnell began his term of office on 9th December 1954. He brought his own brand of humour to enliven his meetings, and soon the brethren were looking forward to his apt rejoinders.
On 10th March 1955, The Provincial Grand Master Bro. Dr. A. Anderson McMillan received honorary membership.
A month later Bro. Gunnell accepted, on behalf of the Lodge, gifts of a Director of Ceremonies staff from Bro. Charles Windle and a set of collection plates from Bro. David McLean. Both gifts were much appreciated by the brethren, and Bros. Windle and McLean were warmly thanked by the Master. Shortly afterwards Bro. Gunnell had to announce the death of Bro. John H. Brownlie, the first Secretary of the Lodge.
On 9th June, Bro. David McLean was presented with a dress apron, Bro. Gunnell stressing, in making the presentation, that this gift was a token from the brethren of the Lodge of the esteem in which Bro. McLean was held, and of their gratitude for the years of faithful service given by him to Lodge Possilpark.
It was during Bro. GunnelFs year that the Hall floor was relaid at a cost of some £300, and when he vacated the Chair on 8th December 1955 he could look back with satisfaction to a happy and eventful twelve months in the history of Lodge Possilpark.
Bro. John G. Whannell, who succeeded Bro. Gunnell, soon had the sad duty of informing the brethren of the death of one of our Pastmasters, Bro. Horace Lowes.
On 12th April, 1956, David S. McLean was presented with his Distinguished Service Membership diploma. The occasion was the Provincial Grand Lodge Visitation, and the presentation was made by Bro. Ernest Noakes, Depute Provincial Grand Master, who expressed his satisfaction at being asked to perform this happy ceremony.
Later in the year Possilpark became a sponsor Lodge for a new Lodge being formed in Milton, and on 1 Oth May Bro. Whannell informed the Lodge that he and his Wardens had interviewed the Founder Members and were satisfied that Possilpark should support the new venture.
The installation of Bro. George C. Mitchell took place on December 1956 a year in which the Lodge continued to prosper in the usual high standard and Bro. Mitchell carried out his duties in his usual quiet but efficient manner.
This standard was maintained during the year 1957/58 by Bro. John Hunter as R.W.M.
Who looks through Masonry to God,
And looks through God to all mankind,
Learns more than sign or word or grip,
Learns man's and God's relationship.
The year 1958/59, eleven years after his initiation saw Bro. John Dobbie in the Chair, which his Bro. Robert had occupied in that Historic year 14 years earlier. While by no means as eventful, his year, like others before him, proved to be both happy and successful for himself and the Lodge.
Two occasions, which he himself takes pride in, are, first - His presentation of Distinguished Service Diplomas to Bro. James Robertson and Bro. David Gordon in the presence of Provincial Grand Lodge. They were then in their 84th and 80th year respectively, and no two Brothers deserved the Honour more for their service to the Lodge and the Craft.
The other occasion was the installation of Bro. Frank Black into the Chair of Lodge Maryhill No.510 while he Bro. Dobbie was still reigning Master.
It is also worth mentioning his colleague on that occasion was P.M. Bro. Robert E. Gunnell, a team that performed these Honours on many later dates.
September 1959 was a busy month, and the R.W.M. had to call on the Brethren for support on no fewer than 8 meetings both in Possilpark and on visitations, an appeal to which the brethren responded admirably, and also proving the popularity of Lodge Possilpark and the wonderful dearth of Degree workers within its walls.
Divine Service, a General Management and Social Evening completed the September programme.
During the year 1959/60,Bro.Duncan M.Orr R.W.M. had the sad duty of intimating the death of Bro. Arch.Darroch,who was killed whilst carrying out his duties with the Glasgow Fire Service at the Cheapside Street disaster. It was also announced that Bro.Chas.Biggerstaff was seriously injured in the same disaster. It is worthy of note,of all the Firemen who died,seven were Free Masons. An 'In Memoriam' Service was held in the St.Davids (Ramshorn) Church,which was attended by Masons from far and near.
Bro. George Mclntyre
Bro. Daniel Davidson
Bro. Edward Murray
Bro. James McLellan
Bro. Archibald Darroch
Bro. Ian McMillan
Bro. Gordon McMillan
Bro. Hugh T. Kennedy occupied the Chair during the year 1960/61 and it was his sad duty to announce the death of P.M. Bro. David Gordon who was the 3rd Master of the Lodge.
It was in this year that Bro. Kennedy inaugurated the Lodge In Memoriam Services, the first being held on the 18th May 1961 the order of service and ceremonial was compiled with the assistance of P.M's. Gunnell and Dobbie along with Bro. John Newman.
In the year 1961/62 Bro. Edward D. Lone carried out his duties in the usual Possilpark manner which left an imprint on many of the brethren, and today he still carries on good work in the Lodge.
On Thursday 13th December 1962 Bro. Charles L. Hill was installed as R.W.M. During his year the Whist Team had again won the South Side Masonic Whist League Championship. Whist Drives were held throughout the year and with the assistance of Bro. David S. McLean they handed in the sum of £200 for Lodge Funds.
The year 1963/64 saw the Lodge in the capable hands of Bro. James N. Johnson and during this year the Lodge was again active in visitations and Social Events. He later had the pleasure of conferring affiliation on Bro. James R.W. Sinclair a M.M. of Lodge Robert Morris (No.97) Washington D.C. who was later to occupy the Chair in Lodge Possilpark.
Bro. Kenneth J. Skeggs was installed in 1964/65 to the high office of R.W.M. a year which saw our Masonic Temple in need of repair, our heating system had reached a point where normal remedial work was out of the question with vandalism and the demolition of ajoining buildings. This had resulted in a constant struggle to keep our heads above water, we were equal to the occasion, the necessary repairs were carried out, but obviously hard work lay ahead.
On 9th December 1965 Bro. John McPherson was installed as R.W.M. and during his year in office the financial affairs of the Lodge were at their lowest ebb due to various reasons, but, perhaps mainly due to the continued vandalism which was rife in the area at that time and indeed so bad did it become that a 3rd Degree which was to be conferred had to be cancelled because of a break in.
Although conditions were pretty grim the spirit of the brethren was high and due to their efforts much good work was done. The event that is greeted with pride is that a Lodge of Instruction was formed and has produced many excellent degree workers, but more important it welded together the younger members which formed a basis from which the Lodge regenerated itself.
In the year 1966/67 when Bro. Arch. M. McCulloch presided over the Lodge, the brethren continued to strive to make the Lodge one to be proud of. We still have our problems and the struggle for survival continued. On a happier note, the R.W.M. had the pleasure in presenting to Bro. T.S. Patrick, the distinguished Service Membership Diploma.
Through the popular leadership of Bro. William McKay in 1967/68 the Lodge could discern a ray of light shining on our efforts, and the strain of our financial worries began to ease. This was again due to the many activities of the brethren, and the hard work put in by them. It was in this year the Lodge decided and obtained a club licence, and the year ended with the prospects of greater things to come.
Bro. Leonard McNicol Miller in 1968/69 had the honour of occupying the Chair and again having the honour of being installed a second time in 1970/71. With money now becoming more available, it was decided to renovate the lesser hall.
One of the highlights of his first year was the affiliation of his Father to Lodge Possilpark. During these two years the Lodge continued to prosper under his leadership. On 8th April 1971 a Dedication Service was held for Aprons, Carpet and Bible, the officiating Clergyman was Bro. the Rev. D. Barr M.A.B.D., M.M. of Lodge Airdrie No.203.
Between P.M. Bro. Miller's years Bro. James R. Patrick R.W.M. added his contribution to the history of Lodge Possilpark and kept the high standard of Ceremonial work to the fore front, and followed in the footsteps of his Father and Brother in giving yeoman service to the Lodge.
One of the noted affiliates of the Lodge namely Bro. Jas. R.W. Sinclair held the office of R.W.M. in 1971/72. Bro. John W.G. Dobbie who was to have installed Bro. Sinclair was hospitalised and Bro. R. E. Gunnell P.M. filled the breach and carried out the duties of Installing Master, a task which was ably performed.
We are proud of the fact that during Bro. Sinclair's year in office who was himself an affiliate from a Lodge in Washington D.C. a M.M.M. of the Lodge namely Bro. John A. Mitchell was installed into the Chair of Lodge Henry L. Martyn Toronto No.696 proving that masonry is indeed universal.
All the brethren I'm sure will agree that Bro. Sinclair more than any other led the Lodge into the happy financial position the Lodge now enjoys. .
Bro. Hugh A.S. Gunn was duly installed in December for the year 1972/73 and during his year had to announce the departure of Bro. M.I. Stevenson S.D. to South Africa to become a Missionary to the Bantu Pres. Church.
At this time the happy financial position of the Lodge reflected itself on its members and we now looked forward to the coming year — our fiftieth anniversary.
Go work thy task however low it be
Tis thine and in its doing lies thy faith
To Gods plan work each stroke of Gavel free
carve deep the lines of all thy future state
There is no height or depth in the eternal space
Not humble work but work ill done
will bring disgrace.
The hope expressed in the previous "Lodge History", that the Golden Jubilee year of 1974 would be a memorable one, was realised in full, with the then R.W.M. Brother Ian Campbell at the helm. The Brethern entered whole-heartedly into the spirit of the occasion, and enthusiastically supported the various events that took place, in particular the Celebratory Dance, which was held in the City Halls, and was attended by a total of five hundred, composed of Brethern, their families and friends. A very successful and enjoyable night it was.
By far the most important event that took place in connection with the celebrations, was the "Re-Consecration" of the Lodge, which took place on Wednesday 6th November. The "Ceremony" itself was conducted by Brother Adam J. Ferguson R.W.P.G.M., who headed a distinguished deputation from Provincial, which included Brothers Brian G. Brown Dep. P.G.M., William A. Leslie P.O. Secy., Andrew Petrie P.G.S.W., John Black P.G.J.W., John M. Stewart P.O. Chap., Archibald Scott D. of C., John Armstrong P.G. Stew. During the course of the evening, Brother Allan R. Anderson, First Principal of Maryhill R.A.C. No. 296, and one of our own Brethern, presented to the Lodge a set of "Square and Compasses" to mark the occasion, a gift which has been in constant use ever since. This occasion was one which will live in the memory of those Brethern who were present, a fitting climax to a memorable year.
A few short weeks later, the equally important Ceremony of Installation, took place and Brother Alexander H. King was installed as R.W.M. for the session of 1974/75. After the buzz and excitement of the previous year, there was a danger that a mood of anti-climax would prevail, however that was far from the case. Brother King's own enthusiasm, was reflected in the attitude of the Brethem, and the Lodge again enjoyed a very successful year. During the year the Lodge had a visit from the newly installed R.W.P.G.M. Brother Brian G. Brown, who dropped in one night, in a purely informal basis, and enjoyed himself immensely. In the same year Brother King was given Honorary membership of Lodge Anima No. 1223, an event from which we all derived a great deal of pleasure.
In December 1975, Brother Thomas M. Lamb was Installed as R.W.M., for the session of 1975/76. Brother Lamb's year saw the Lodge continue to flourish, and work on the aforementioned Extensions and Alterations began. To finance this work, we negotiated a loan of £20,000.00 from T.C.B., to be repaid over a period of 10 years. Apart from the financial worries of these Alterations, the work itself caused a great deal of upheaval in the life of the Lodge, and it was well into 1977, when Brother James Stevenson was R.W.M., before the work was completed.
Brother Stevenson's year as R.W.M., was unique, due to the fact that he began and finished his year, at opposite ends of the Lodgeroom, this was due to the Dias being moved, as previously mentioned, and thus he became the first Master to sit in the true East of the Lodge. Brother Stevenson, who was killed so tragically in a car crash in 1983, was followed to the chair by Brother Richard M. Jackson, who became the first Master to be installed in the true East of the Lodge.
Brother Jackson was the first Master for some time, who was actually born and bred in Possilpark itself, and in fact was the Third Master of the Lodge, to come from the same "close" at 59 Mansion Street, the other two being Brother Peter F. McPherson, and his son John.
Under Brother Jackson's leadership, the Lodge continued to flourish. On September 21st of that year, the Lodge lost one of its most active members, in the death of Brother William M. Brown, Benevolent Fund Treasurer. Most of the Brethern know that during the "Festive" season, parcels are distributed to the Pensioners, Sick Brethern and Widows of the Lodge, however they may not know, that it was Brother Brown, who suggested and inaugurated the scheme in 1975, and long may it continue, as a fitting testimonial to Brother Brown, and indeed to all those who have helped in any way, to make the venture such a success. Earlier in the year, two of our Past Masters were honoured by the invitation to Install Brother Irvine Clark, into the Chair of Lodge Innellan and Toward No. 1435. The Past Masters were Brother John McPherson and the late Brother James Stevenson, and on Saturday 25th November, they carried out that very pleasant duty, supported by a large deputation from the Lodge, who had made the journey, despite the fact that it was a very cold night. However, the warmth of the welcome extended by the Brethern of Lodge No. 1435, more than adequately made up for the cold conditions outside, and a very enjoyable and happy evening it was. Brother Jackson's term as R.W.M. was to end on the same happy note, when on the night of the Installation, he presented Brother David S. McLean, who had joined the Lodge on the 25th October 1928, with his "Fifty Year" Diploma. With the exceptions of admitting the Deputations, from Provincial Grand Lodge, and the Installing Masters, this was literally the last act of Brother Jackson as R.W.M., and a few minutes later, Brother David H. Agnew was Installed for the session 1978//79.
Brother Agnew's year as R.W.M., can be looked upon, as one of the Lodge's most successful years, yet one that was tinged with a great deal of sadness. Successful because of the happy atmosphere that prevailed, which is reflected in the fact, that out of 1635 Brethern, who attended our meetings, 425 were visitors. This success, to a large extent, was due to the efforts of Brother Agnew himself, and the enthusiasm he inspired in others. The sad aspect of the year, is due to the fact that we lost three stalwarts of our Lodge, in the passing of Brother Thomas R. Patrick P.M., Brother David Hunter, Depute Master, and Brother John W. G. Dobbie P.M. Brother Patrick who was a C.A., served as Treasurer of the Lodge for fifteen years, and later acted as Auditor and Financial Advisor, up until the time of his death. Brother Patrick was R.W.M., of the Lodge for the session 1953/54, and sixteen years later his younger brother James was also Installed into that High Office. Brother D. Hunter, Depute Master, was one of those Brethern who kept to the background, but was always ready to do his best for the Lodge. The fact that he was Brother Agnew's uncle, and Depute Master, made his passing all the more poignant.
Brother John W. G. Dobbie's fame as a Ceremonial worker, extended far and near. He was conversant with all the Degrees, including the Installation Ceremony, and indeed acted as Installing Master on numerous occasions, the last being that of Brother Agnew himself. The last time the Brethern of the Lodge heard Brother Debbie, was when along with Brother Agnew, he conferred a Third Degree in the April of this year. It is perhaps for his work in this Degree, that Brother Dobbie is best remembered, and in fact, the Ritual he developed, is now being used by established and aspiring Third Degree workers alike. Brother Agnew was succeeded as R.W.M. by Brother James C. Buddo.
Brother James C. Buddo R.W.M. 1979/80 was the second "Affiliate" to attain that office in the space of eight years, the first being Brother James R. Sinclair 1971/72. This was due to be another successful year for the Lodge. In particular, the winning of the Captain Spiers Golf Cup, by the team of Brother Edward Dickson and Brother William I. Smith, brought a great thrill of satisfaction to all concerned. However this year like the previous one, had its share of sad moments.
Early in the year, on the 25th February, we learned of the sudden death of Brother R. E. Gunnell P.M., who had been R.W.M. for the session 1954/55. Although he was one of the great "Characters" of the Lodge, renowned for his humour and wit, he took Masonry very seriously as any Brother will testify, who witnessed the dignity and depth of feeling, with which he carried out all his Masonic duties. Some eight months later, the Brethern were to be stunned once again, when on the 19th October, Brother Edward D. Lone P.M., collapsed and died on one of his regular visits to our Social Club. Brother Lone, who was R.W.M. of the Lodge for the year 1961/62, often said that the Lodge and Club, were his second home, and we feel that "Wee Eddie" would be content that he laid down "The Working Tools" of life, in the place he loved so much, and amongst friends who held him in such high esteem. Brother Buddo's year as R.W.M. was to see the retiral of Brother John McCallum, from the Office of Secretary, a position he held for thirty years. The years of service he gave as Secretary, are testimony enough to his dedication to this Lodge, and to Freemasonry, but when one considers the fact that during these thirty years, he never missed one single meeting of the Lodge of any kind, and that he was for a time. Secretary of our Social Club, the Masonic Social Clubs Association as was, and Scribe E of Maryhill Royal Arch, of which he was also a P.Z. In recognition of his service to Freemasonry, Brother McCallum was appointed to the Office of Honourary Provincial Grand Senior Deacon, a proud moment for both him and the Lodge. It was obvious that it would be very difficult to follow Brother McCallum as Secretary. However we were fortunate that the Office was taken over by Brother Leonard McN. Miller P.M., who proved to be an excellent Secretary, as we all knew he would be. That year, one of our Past Masters, namely Brother John McPherson, had been honoured by the invitation to Install Brother Alexander S. Douglas, into the Chair of Lodge Anima No. 1223, and on the 3rd December, he carried out that very pleasant duty. On the 25th May the following year Brother John was made an Honourary Member of 1223, which means that we now have two Past Masters, who have been honoured in this manner. Thus Brother Buddo's year drew to a close, and he was succeeded as R.W.M. by Brother George Buchanan.
The year 1981/82 was to see the affects of the recession becoming more evident, with Brethern on short time working, or worse still, being made redundant. It therefore says a great deal for the resilience of the Brethern, that despite all the difficulties and pressures, which are generated by these circumstances, the Brethern under Brother George Buchanan's leadership, continued to work with their usual enthusiasm. One event of note that took place, was the presentation to the Lodge on the 9th April, of a V.S.L. by Brother William McKay P.M., in memory of his proposer the late Brother David M. McFarlane. This beautiful gift was consecrated on the 23rd April, by the Provincial Grand Chaplain, the Rev. John M. Stewart and is one of our most prized possessions. Another proud moment for the Lodge, was when our team of Brothers David Agnew P.M., Iain Gray, William McArthur Jnr., Frank Knox, John K. G. McDonald and Fraser McPherson, won the Masonic Knowledge Quiz, the Trophy for which, was presented to the Lodge, on behalf of the team, on the 14th May, by Brother Fraser McPherson, the youngest member of the team.
A popular innovation to appear that year, was the publication of a Newsletter, which was masterminded by Brother Frank McElhinney W.J.W. Although a great success, because of production difficulties, the venture had to be abandoned, but perhaps it may be ressurected one of these days. Brother McElhinney also organised a "Boxing Night", and amongst the celebraties who attended was the then "World Champion", Jim Watt, and Walter McGowan, ex World Champion. As well as attending to the domestic affairs of the Lodge, the Brethern raised the sum of £339.83, which was donated to the Provincial Grand Lodge Appeal, for the "Year of the Disabled Child", a very worthy cause, the success of which, will always be a great tribute to the generosity of the Freemasons of Glasgow. At the end of this busy year, Brother Buchanan was succeeded as R.W.M. by Brother James D. Mowatt.
The Installation of Brother James D. Mowat, as R.W.M. for the session 1981/82, was the third time in our history, that a son had followed a father to the Chair. It was some forty two years earlier in 1938/39 that Brother Mowatt's father had been R.W.M. and it was good to see him acting as one of his sons Installing Masters.
With no sign of any improvement in the previously mentioned recession, hard times continued for many or the Brethern, which led to a drop in attendance at the Club, with a subsequent fall in revenue, as required to pay our way in the world. Therefore hard decisions had to be taken, to ensure that the financial position if the Lodge was not put in jeopardy. The main recommendation, made by those Brethern looking into the situation was that Voluntary Labour, would take over all work, previously done by part-time staff. The response to this recommendation was tremendous, and at the time of writing, this practice still continues. Despite the concern and worry about the financial situation, the Brethern under the able leadership of Brother Mowat, maintained their interest in "All" things Masonic, both in and out of the Lodge. Early in the year the Lodge was presented with a Silver and Rosewood Mallet and Stand. The gift was given by Brother Ian Brown, in memory of his father, the late Brother William M. Brown. Ian, however had moved to England, and the presentation was made by Brother John McPherson P.M., on the 25th February.
Our team in the Masonic Knowledge Quiz, composed of Brothers D. Agnew P.M., W. McArthur Jnr., F. Knox and D. McLeod, were successful in retaining the Trophy, for the second year. Later in the year, we had the great pleasure of being hosts to Lodge Anima, who held their Installation, in our premises on the 1st December. A few days later Brother Mowatt's year came to an end, and his successor was Brother Frank McElhinney.
Brother Frank McElhinney's year as R.W.M., 1982/83, saw the efforts of the Brethern to stabilize the financial position of the Lodge begin to take effect. This, of course, was mainly due to the Voluntary Labour mentioned earlier. In addition to this, the Brethern took a long hard look at all our outlays, and various sayings were made. However, certain items were exempt from this scrutiny, in particular the Childrens Party and the distribution of Parcels carried on as usual. Other important factors which helped in the financial field, were the increase in Lodge collections, and the money raised by Brother J. D. Mowatt P.M., which was the proceeds of the Prize Draw which he organised. Brother Mowatt's fund raising abilities, were not confined to Possilpark however, for having been elected to the Board of Stewards of the Provincial Grand Lodge, he was given the task of organising their "Appeal" on behalf of the "Boys Brigade" Centenary, which proved to be a very successful venture.
Brother McElhinney, whose two brothers were already members of the Lodge, was a very proud man indeed, when his father became an "Affiliate" member, proving once again, that Possilpark is a Lodge with strong family traditions. A few weeks after the Lodge went into recess, we learned that Brother John McCallum, H.P.G.S.D., who had been ill for some time, had passed on to Higher Service, on the 1st July. In the passing of Brother McCallum, we not only lost one of our best known members, but it also marked the end of an era.
Later in the year, on the 8th September, we had the pleasure of seeing two of our members, in the persons of Brother David R. Munro P.M., and Brother Thomas M. Mowatt P.M., being presented with their "50" years Membership Diplomas. The presentation itself was made by the Provincial Grand Master Brother William Fleming, in his usual inimitable style. A few weeks later, a deputation of eight Reigning Masters, conferred a "First Degree". This was an excellent evening, and we hope it will be the first of many. Brother McElhinney's year, had its share of worries and sad moments, but true to the Possilpark tradition, the Brethern gave him their enthusiastic support, which made his year, a very happy and successful one.
On the 10th of December 1983. Bro. Iain M. V. Gray followed Bro. Frank McElhinney to the Chair of the Lodge, the Installing Masters on this occasion being, Past Masters Bros. Alexander H. King and James C. Buddo. Bro. Gray's year was to have an unhappy beginning with the death of his father Bro. William Gray. Willie had been seriously ill for some time and had come from his sickbed to attend his sons Installation. However, he had to be taken home during the Ceremony in a state of great distress and died a few short weeks later in February 1984. During his year Bro. Gray had the sad duty of informing the Brethren that eight of our members had Passed On to Higher Service. Among them were Bros. Hugh A. S. Gunn and Thomas McL. Mowatt, both Past Masters of the Lodge. Hugh Gunn, who passed away on the 25th of February, had been Master for the term 1972/73 was an excellent Ceremonial worker, a strong supporter of the Lodge and had been very much involved in the work parties of the late 1960's and early 1970's. Bro. Thomas McL. Mowatt who passed on some seven months later on the 14th of September, had been Master for the term 1938/39 and was in the Chair when the World War II broke out. Tommy was not only a good friend and supporter of our Lodge, but in the everyday world of business there are many people who can testify to his kindness and generosity. In December 1981 Tommy took part in the Installation of his son, Bro. J. D. Mowatt, who is keeping the family connection with the Lodge ongoing whose support for this Lodge, and for Freemasonry in general, is well known both within the Province of Glasgow and beyond. During the year the Brethren continued to work hard in upholding and indeed enhancing our enviable reputation for Ceremonial Work and keeping Freemasonry alive and well in our part of the Province. To this end we continued to visit and receive visitations from /Sister Lodge/s from both within and outwith the Glasgow Province. In particular, we had a Deputation from Lodge Innellan and Toward who Conferred a First Degree on the 27th of April and who were without doubt the farthest travelled visitors we had that year.
It was also very heartening that during the year, we had the honour of Initiating eleven Candidates into the Craft. As well as the usual social and sporting events, organised by Provincial, the Lodge also took part in a fund raising fare where, along with Lodge Castlemilk, we ran a stall which raised the sum of £107.66 and later that year we also donated £250.00 to Provincial's Common Good Fund.
The year 1984 of course was very special in the history of our Lodge, as on the 6th of November we would be celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the granting of our Charter. To mark the Anniversary Bro. George Grace presented to the Lodge a magnificently decorated cake, which measured some 24 inches by 18 inches by 4 inches, which we subsequently donated to the Masonic Homes at Dunblane where it was very much appreciated by the residents and staff. So, the year that had begun so tragically for Bro. Gray, ended widi a sense of achievement and in a celebratory mood. On December the 15th. Bro. John K. G. McDonald was Installed as RWM. by Past Masters Hugh T. Kennedy and John McPherson for the term for the term 1984/85.
As anticipated Bro. McDonald (Jake) was to prove a very popular Master. Under his leadership the Lodge continued to prosper with the Brethren giving their wholehearted support in all the activities of the Lodge. On the night of Installation the top table was ornamented with an embroidered tablecloth showing the Lodge name and number, the dates 1924/1984 and the Working Tools. The cloth had been made and presented to the Lodge, to mark its Diamond Jubilee, by Mrs. Betty McPherson wife of Bro. John McPherson P.M., which at the time of compiling this history, still takes pride of place. Later in the year Betty and John were presented with a beautiful decanter and glasses by the Brethren, to mark their 25th.Wedding Anniversary, and to say thank you for compiling and typing the History for the years 1974/1983 and for other work they had carried out on the Lodges behalf. There were a number of other unique events that took place during Bro McDonald's year. Frank McElhinney PM. conferred the Mark Ceremonial for the first time in his Mother Lodge and an excellent job he made of it. Bro. Henry Jeffrey Depute PGM. who was soon to hold that High Office himself, was made an Honorary Member of the Lodge on the 23rd of May. By coincidence on the same night, his son Graeme's application form was read out.
The highlight of the year, was that one of our members, Bro. David Blunn, celebrated his 100th birthday. His Mother Lodge was St. Johns Operative No.347and he affiliated to our Lodge in 1955 when his son in law Bro. Robert E.Gunnell was in the Chair. By any standards Bro. Blunn was a remarkable man. Despite the fact that he had one leg amputated in his late seventies and the other a few years later, he never lost his cheerfulness or his zest for life and at the age of one hundred, was as bright as a button. On the 24th of October he attended a Lodge meeting where he received presentations from, his Mother Lodge and from Lodge Possilpark. Bro. Henry Jeffrey WDPGM, who had been made an Honorary Member of the Lodge on the 23rd of May, read a letter from the Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason, Bro. Marcus Humphrey, congratulating Bro Blunn on attaining his Centenary. Bro. Blunn with his usual aplomb and sincerity thanked the Brethren for their kind thoughts and' good wishes. That evening was a very remarkable occasion, the like of which we may never see again and will live in the memory of those who were fortunate enough to be there.
During the year we had ten Initiates, five of whom, were Initiated on the same night by Bro. Richard M. Jackson P.M. Whilst putting through this number of Candidates had been commonplace at one time, these days it was a rare event. Unfortunately, during the year, a further eight of our members Passed On to Higher Service. One of them being Bro. Kenneth J. Skeggs P.M. who died on the 4th of January. Kenny had been Master of the Lodge for the year 1964/1965. Although originally from England he and his family had lived for many years here in Scotland. He was a manager with the Turner Asbestos Company, and as he died from cancer one can only wonder if there was a connection. After his retirement both he and his wife returned to England where he joined a Lodge in his locality and. as far as we are led to believe, remained very active in Freemasonry. After his death, Mrs Skeggs returned his Past Masters Jewel to the Lodge and would not accept any remuneration for it. With her agreement and to show our appreciation of her kind gesture, we made a donation of £150 to the Marie Curie Foundation in his name.
So ended another eventful year for the Lodge and the Brethren. On December 14th Bro Frank C. Knox was Installed as Right Worshipful Master for the year 1985/86 by Past Masters David H Agnew, who is his half-brother, and Frank McElhinney. The inter-family ties once again emphasised our tradition of being a family Lodge and another year in our history was about to unfold.
Bro Knox's year was also the year that The Grand Lodge of Scotland celebrated the 250th Anniversary of its foundation in 1736. By a happy coincidence in February 1986 he had the pleasant duty of congratulating Bro. Robert Gemmel on being granted the Honorary Rank of Grand Bible Bearer in recognition of his dedication and service to Freemasonry. Although he was a member of Lodge Possilpark he was better known as a Founder Member and Past Master of Lodge Milton. The Brethren considered Bobby as one of our own and were delighted for him. Unfortunately, he was not destined to enjoy his new Rank for very long being taken from us the following month. In his Passing, Freemasonry lost a good and faithful servant.
As it was the Anniversary Year of Grand Lodge there were a great many special events planned to mark the occasion but unfortunately, due to work commitments etc., the Brethren found it impossible to attend them all but they did contribute generously to The Grand Masters Appeal Fund.
Nearer home we had an Anniversary to celebrate of our own. In December 1986, Bro. Daniel R. Munro P.M., known to us all as Ronnie, was fifty years a Past Master having occupied the Chair for the year 1935/36. This is a magnificent achievement by any standards and we trust that we will be able to enjoy his company for many years to come. Unfortunately Bro. Knox had the sad duty of informing the Brethren of the death of another Past Master in the person of Bro Wm. Strachan who had been Master in the year 1950/51. Although Willie had not been a regular attendee at our meetings in recent times he had, for many years, been a stalwart of the Lodge and had been Right Worshipful Mark Master for about ten years or so. He was a member of many other Orders connected with Freemasonry. Aside from his Masonic career he was a well known figure in the Possilpark area where he had been the local milkman for many years. Willie was a good Freemason and a good friend to this Lodge and will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
During the year the Brethren continued to get involved in the sporting and social events embracing both domestic and those organised by Provincial. The highlight being that we won the Masonic Knowledge Quiz for the third time when we defeated Lodge Anima in the final. The team consisted of the following Brethren, D. H. Agnew PM., G. N. Brown, SW G. Gilfillan, JD and W. Ballantyne. At the meeting of May 8th the team presented the Trophy to the RWM.The highlight of the social year was a weekend trip to Blackpool which was a great success and enjoyed by all.
The Ritual Work carried out by the Brethren continued to be of the highest standard and we had the privilege of Initiating eleven Candidates into the Craft. Sad to say this was to be the last time that the Mark Ceremonial would be conferred by Bro. J. McPherson P.M. as Right Worshipful Mark Master of the Lodge. Bro. McPherson had informed the Lodge of his intention of retiring from this position some time previously but would always be available as a backup and proposed to the Lodge, that Bro F. W. McElhinney PM., who had made an excellent job of conferring the Mark Ceremonial last year, now take over this duty. This was readily accepted by the Brethren and Bro. McElhinney was confirmed as the Lodge RWMM. As a matter of record, over the last thirty-five years he is only the fourth Brother to hold this position in the Lodge, the others being Past Masters David Gordon, Wm. Strachan and John McPherson. The Brethren had no doubt that Frank will uphold the high standards set by these Brethren and wished him every success for the future.
One item of note on the every day running of the Lodge was that the Masters Chain needed more bars to accommodate the names of the Lodge RWM's. The Lodge agreed to have ten fitted at a cost of £550 concluding another eventful year which saw the Lodge prosper under the leadership of Bro. Knox. On the 13th of December Bro. George N. Brown was Installed as Right Worshipful Master for the session 1986/87, by Past Masters Bro. F. McElhinney and Bro. J. ti. Mowatt.
At the first meeting after his Installation, Bro Brown had the sad task of informing the Brethren of the death of Bro. David Blunn who had, as recorded earlier in this History, celebrated his 100th birthday in 1985, a sad note with which to start the year. In a happier vein Bro. Brown welcomed back into the Lodge Bro. James R. Sinclair PM. who was on holiday from Canada. It was good to see him once again. Jimmy who had had been the driving force behind the work parties of the I960's and '70s, which had refurbished our Halls was very impressed with the alterations that we had since carried out. On this same evening a Second Degree was conferred by Bro. A. H. King PM. Sanny of course had conferred many such Degrees throughout the years but, what made this occasion unique, was that he was congratulated by his son David, who was RWM of Lodge Milton that year.
At the meeting of March 12th the Brethren were shocked to hear of the sudden death of Bro. Robert Weir on the 28th of February. Bro. Weir, who was a cousin of Bro. J. R. Sinclair, had affiliated to Possilpark from his Mother Lodge Ulster No. 1486. By a strange coincidence, his number in our Roll Book was 1690, which as many will know has strong associations with the Province of Ulster itself. Bobby, who had been our Club Steward since June 1972, had carried out his duties in an even handed manner and stood no nonsense from anyone. This of course did not make him very popular at times but he took it all in his stride and although he had a reputation for being dour, he did have a good sense of humour and sometimes was even known to smile. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him. For a number of weeks after the death of Bro. Weir, his job was carried out by the Brethren on voluntary basis, but all concerned agreed that this was not a satisfactory situation. Around April of that year Bro. Frank McElhinney was appointed as Steward and the Brethren wished him well in his new position.
During the year we had the privilege of Initiating ten Candidates, one of whom was Bro. Thomas Rushford who subsequently became Master for the session 1992/93. Under the leadership of Bro. Brown the Brethren continued to be actively involved in all the usual events, both domestically as well as those organised by Provincial. Although we didn't win any trophies this year, we had one winner in the person of Bro. J. D. Mowatt PM. who was Commissioned as a Substitute Provincial Grand Master. It was unanimously agreed by the Brethren, in recognition of the high esteem in which Dougie was held and the honour he had brought to Possilpark, that the Lodge purchase and present to him the Regalia required for his Office. This was subsequently presented to him in the Lodge on the 27th of August by a Deputation from the Provincial Grand Lodge, headed by the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master Bro. William C. Shepherdson. Bro. G. N. Brown RWM then added his congratulations to those of Bro. Shepherdson, and had no doubt that Bro Mowatt would be a great asset to Provincial Grand Lodge, which indeed proved to be the case over the coming years.
On the financial front several transactions are worthy of note. £100 was given to Possilpark Parish Church towards the cost of the new Church. This was being built on the site of the old Rockville Church where our Lodge held its first meetings. It was also agreed to fit five new shields to the Masters Chain at a cost of £225. A letter was received from Bro. Wm. C. Shepherdson, Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, thanking the Lodge for our contribution to the Immediate Past Provincal Grand Master, Bro. Brian Browns Retiral Appeal, which raised the magnificent sum of £2256.50. In the closing weeks of Bro. Brown's year, the Brethren had a serious problem to resolve. The problem was, that the Brethren who presently held the Offices of Senior and Junior Deacon had intimated earlier in the year, that due to pressure of work, they would be unable to take up Office in the coming year. As the Brethren concerned had given us plenty of notice of their intentions it gave us time to give this issue some serious thought. It was felt that because of the seniority of the Offices concerned it would be unwise to fill them with inexperienced Brethren. Two Past Masters volunteered their services in the persons of Bro. J. K. G. McDonald as WJW and Bro. T. M. Lamb as Sen. Deacon. It is also worthy of note that Bro. W. S. Smith agreed to take the Office of Jun. Deacon on the understanding that he did not want to go any further. Our sincere thanks are due to these Brethren for volunteering their services. With this situation resolved, Bro. Brown's year drew to a close and on December 12th Bro Charles J. McK. Thompson was Installed for the term 1987/88, by Past Masters Bro. J. K. G. McDonald and Bro. F. McElhinney.
Just a few weeks after the Installation the Lodge received another blow when Bro. Robert Ayres, Inner Guard, informed us that he had been offered promotion at work, which meant moving to England. The Brethren fully understood his situation and wished him every success for the future. However, with his agreement, it was decided to let his resignation lay on the table until the next Election and his Office was filled by various Brethren throughout the year. After this early glitch, Bro. Thomson's year continued in the usual smooth manner that we have come to expect in Possilpark, with the Brethren giving him their whole hearted support.
In the primary work of advancing the cause of Freemasonry we had the honour of Initiating nine Candidates, one of whom was Bro. Stuart Grierson, who became Master for the year 1996/97. Another Candidate that year was James Stevenson who subsequently went on to become our Senior Steward for many years. On the night he received his Third from Lodge Cadder Freestone, his brother, Bro. A. Stevenson, who was the Reigning Master of Lodge Bearsden was present. The Conferring Master on that occasion was Bro. James McDougall, the son in law of Bro. A. H. King, PM.' On a more sombre note Bro. Thompson had the sad task of informing the Lodge of the deaths of two of our members Bro. Mathew Frew and Bro. George Buchanan, PM. Bro. Frew had been a member for forty-six years and was a well known figure in the locality. Bro. Buchanan had been Master for the session 1980/81. George, brother of Dick Buchanan, was a very popular member who along with his wife Betty, who had unfortunately passed on a few short months earlier, had enjoyed all the social activities of the Lodge and Club to the full. He was a well respected member of the Lodge who took his duties as a Freemason very seriously, but would always oblige with a song or two at our harmonies and will be sadly missed.
Regarding the Ceremonial work of the Lodge, another item of interest was that on the 12th of May, Bro. W. S. Smith, who had stepped in as Jun Deacon, carried out the duties of Conductor. It was the first time that he had carried out any floor work in his twenty- seven years as a member of the Lodge and an excellent job he made of it.
On the social and sporting side of things we participated in all the events run by Provincial, and won the John Adams Whist Competition. As next year would be the 250th Anniversary of the founding of The Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow, various events were planned to take place. PG.L had let it be known that those Brethren who had purchased the Commemorative Jewell could wear it as from the 31st of January 1989
With Bro. Thomson's year coming to a close and the AGM, for the Election of Office Bearers for the next session fast approaching, the problem of the vacancy left by Bro. Ayres move to England earlier in the year now had to be addressed. As the Office he would have taken up was that of Senior Deacon it was a similar situation to the one we faced last year. The Brethren agreed, once again, that it would be unwise to ask an inexperienced Brother to fill the Office. In the event it was another Past Master namely Bro. James N. Johnsen, who volunteered his services, an offer which was gratefully accepted by the Brethren and Bro. W. S. Smith agreed to carry on as Junior Deacon. With this problem solved, Bro. Thomson's year drew quietly to a close. Big Charlie had proved to be a popular and capable Master and had upheld the traditions of our Lodge, of which we are so rightly proud and on the 10th of December Bro. George R. Black was Installed for the year 1988/89 by Past Masters Bro. F. McElhinney (who is Bro. Black's nephew) and Bro. D. H. Agnew. The Provincial Grand Lodge Deputation that evening was headed by our own Bro. J. D. Mowatt in his capacity as a Worshipful Substitute Provincial Grand Master.
As previously mentioned, 1989 was the 250th Anniversary of Provincial Grand Lodge and in his capacity as RWM Bro. Black was invited to the various Celebratory Events. These events were of course open to all the Brethren in the Province, but as tickets for them were only available on a first come first served basis, some got and some did not. The main events that took place were a Service of Thanksgiving in the Cathedral, a Celebratory Dinner and a Civic Reception in the City Chambers. There was also a Commemorative Jewel and a Souvenir Brochure. During the year we donated to the Grand Master Mason Appeal a total of £1585 and in addition to this we made a special donation of £100 to the Marcus Humphrey Home. By any standards it was a busy year but the Brethren continued to work for advancement of Possilpark in particular and Freemasonry in general. That year we Initiated seven Candidates, two of whom were to become Masters of the Lodge, namely, Bro. David W. Lamb, who was the nephew of Bro. T. M. Lamb, PM, and Bro .Brian Brown, brother of Bro. G. N. Brown, PM.
An event took place this year that was a first for the Lodge when, on the 27th of May, a Deputation of twenty Brethren had the great pleasure and privilege of visiting Lodge Endeavour Co Down, No.629 of the Irish Constitution. A team headed by Bro. G. N. Brown, PM. carried out an Exemplification of the Second Degree. All who attended had a marvellous time and the Secretary was asked to write to Lodge Endeavour to thank them for the hospitality extended to the Deputation.
Bro. Black sadly had to inform the Lodge of the death of eight of our Brethren, one of them being Bro. William McKay, PM. who died on May 30th . Big Willie, who was in the Chair for year 1967/68, was one of the finest men you could ever wish to meet and his enthusiasm for the Craft new no bounds. He was one of the Brethren who worked so hard to solve the financial problems that we faced in the 1960's and early 70's and helped greatly in the formation the Club. Due to ill health he had not been a able to attend our meetings for a number of years but his heart was always in Possil and we have lost another good friend and Brother.
This year was also to see the retirement, after nine years of faithful service, of Bro. Leonard McN. Miller PM. from the Office of Secretary. Bro. Miller had been an excellent Secretary and would be a hard act to follow but the Brethren had every confidence that his successor, Bro. G. N. Brown PM. would be more than capable of carrying out the duties of this most important Office, a confidence which indeed proved to be well founded.
On the 25th of November Bro. Henry Jeffrey, who is an Honorary Member of the Lodge and whose son is one of our members, was Installed as Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master and the Brethren wished him every success during his term of Office. When Bro. Black started his year as Master he had the pleasure of seeing before him WSW Bro. Jake McDonald PM., WJW Bro. "Big" Tommy Lamb PM., Senior. Deacon Bro. Jimmy Johnsen PM. and Junior Deacon, Bro. "Wee" Willie Smith. A sight that was enough to frighten the life out of anybody but four better men and Masons you would be hard put to find. The Brethren owe them a great debt of gratitude for offering their services to the Lodge in its time of need. As his reign drew to a close, 'Wee George' could look back on a busy and successful year in the knowledge of a job well done.
On December 16th Bro. J. K. G. McDonald PM. was Installed for the second time as RWM, his first time was for the year 1984/85 and now for the term 1989/90, his Installing Masters on this occasion being, Past Masters Bro. G. N. Brown and Bro. Charles J. McK. Thompson
When Bro. McDonald first held the Office some five years earlier, he had proved to be a popular and capable Master and the Brethren were justified in having every confidence that his second term would be just as successful. Under his leadership the Lodge continued to prosper and we were able to respond to an appeal from Provincial for funds to render assistance to Lodge Riddrie No. 1340 which had fallen on hard times. In response to this appeal the Lodge held a social night which raised £280 and, in addition to this, the Cork gave a further £325, making a total of £605. Needless to say our efforts were greatly appreciated by all at 1340. As well as asking the Lodges for support, Provincial themselves ran a Cabaret in the Ibrox Club with all proceeds going to the appeal. Other donations made during the year included, £100 to Erskine Hospital Building Fund, £210 in partnership with Lodges Thomtree and Union was given to the Special Games to be held that summer in Scotstoun Show-grounds. Although it was not enough to sponsor an athlete, it was never the less greatly appreciated by the promoters. Unfortunately other Lodges which had been asked to contribute had not responded. Never the less our heartfelt thanks go to the two who did.
The Brethren continued to take part in the usual sporting and social activities, with Bro's Edward Dickson and Wm. I. Smith reaching the final of the Captain Spiers Golf Competition. This of course was the partnership which won it a few years earlier but this time unfortunately it wasn't to be.
On the everyday life of the Lodge a serious problem arose with the floor in the Ladies toilet which appeared to be collapsing. On investigations taking place it was discovered that the outside wall to which the floor joists were attached was sinking, which was due to a collapsed drain. As the drain was the responsibility of Strathclyde Region, we were advised that we may be able to make a claim against them for the cost of the repairs that would be required. However as this could take some time to sort out, the Lodge agreed to go ahead with the repairs and pursue any claim in due course. Of the estimates that we received to undertake the work, the one of £4165 inc Vat, from R. Bell Builders wa& accepted. However, before they could carry out any work, the drain had to be repaired which meant waiting for the Region to do their part. In addition to the repair work it was agreed to accept an estimate of £400 from R. Bell to carry out some Roughcasting. It must be recorded that the advice and help that we received from Bro. Jake McDonald PM. in this matter was invaluable and we are very graceful to him for this.
During the year we Initiated eight Candidates but unfortunately three of or Brethren Passed On to Higher Service. As Bro. McDonald's second year drew to a close he could feel content that his second term was every bit as successful as his first and appreciate the satisfaction of a job well done. On December 15th Bro. Thomas M. Lamb PM. was Installed for his second term by Past Masters Bro. R. M. Jackson and Bro. J. McPherson.
Bro. Lamb, whose first served as Master some fifteen years earlier for the session 1975/76, was the second of the trio of Past Masters who had volunteered their services to the Lodge. In his first term Big Tommy had shown himself to be a popular and capable Master and his second 1990/91 was to be just as successful, and under his leadership the Lodge continued to prosper.
We had seven Candidates that year, three of whom went on to become Masters in their own right.. They were namely Bros. John B. Thomson 1998/99, Alfred A. Grimsey 1999/2000, and Andrew Dragsnes 2000/2001. There was also another Bro. namely John W. Wallis who, having retuned to the Lodge after an absence of some years, went on to become Master for the session 1997/98. You might say it was a good year for future RWM's.
Sadly a further three of our Brethren Passed On during the year, one of whom was Bro. Charles L. Hill PM. who was Master in 1962/63. Although he will be unknown to the younger Brethren before moving to Cumbemauld Charlie was a stalwart of the Lodge. His famous Whist Drives had raised a lot of much needed money which allowed us to decorate the Halls and replace the old cooker which was in a dangerous condition. He was a good Freemason in every sense of the word and will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
Although the Social Club has only been mentioned in the passing, it plays an important part in the everyday life of the Brethren and the Lodge. It is important therefore, that the events which took place in August through to October of that year should be set down, so that'everyone is aware of what actually happened. In June of that year our Certificate of Registration as a Club was due to be renewed. The Club Secretary who was Bro. A. H. King, PM. contacted our lawyers, Wright Johnston & McKenzie, in plenty of time to get this attended to and at the same time they were asked to check if our Gaming Machine Licence required to be renewed.
In due course we received a letter from them informing us that our Club Registration had been renewed and an enclosed invoice for the same. One Saturday in August, the Social Club had a visit from the Licensing Police who asked to see our Registration Certificate and as no Certificate could be found they were shown the letter from the lawyers stating that it had been renewed. The letter did not satisfy them and they gave us to Monday to revert to them but warned us, that we would have to close if the Registration Certificate couldn't be produced. When we contacted the lawyers on Monday it transpired that they had renewed the Gaming Machine Licence, which did not need to be done until the next year, and not the Club's Registration Certificate so it had to close. The lawyers then assured us that this would be rectified within a week or two. But, because they then went on to make another two mistakes, it wasn't until October that the Club was able to open again. This sad state of affairs was entirely due to the lawyers negligence and not in any way the fault of the Bar Committee who had carried out their part to the letter. Needless to say the closure of the Club for three months was a serious matter and the Committee took action against the lawyers for compensation. After several meetings with the lawyers representative, the Bar Committee agreed the sum of £16000, which they felt was a fair enough settlement. Despite the closure of the Club Bro. T. Rushford who was Social Convenor had ensured that the Lodge itself had a very successful year with several events taking place, one in particular raising the sum of £608.
Two of our Brethren in the persons of Bro. A. H. King PM. and Bro. G. N. Brown PM. received Honorary Membership of Lodge Milton and Lodge Anima respectively. Bro. Brown is in fact the third of our members to become an Honorary Member of Lodge Anima, the other two being Past Masters Bro. A. H. King and Bro. J. McPherson. Also this year, Bro. Leonard McN. Miller PM. was granted the Honorary Rank of Provincial Grand Lodge Senior Deacon in appreciation of his work for Freemasonry and the Brethren agreed to purchase the Jewel of his Office. Due to pressure of work this year was also to see the retirement of Bro. F. McElhinney as RWMM. As Club Steward he was finding it impossible to attend the various invitations we received to confer the Mark in other Lodges and he proposed that Bro. G. N. Brown PM. take over the duties of RWMM,- which was readily agreed by the Brethren. Bro. T Lamb RWM congratulated him on the manner he had carried out his duties as RWMM which had enhanced the reputation of the Lodge and that he had no doubt that Bro. Brown would uphold that reputation and wished him every success in the future.
So as an eventful year drew to a close 'Big Tommy' could be content, that under his leadership, the Lodge had gone from strength to strength and that his second term had been every bit as successful as his first. On December 14th he relinquished his Office in favour of Bro. James N. Johnsen PM. who was Installed for his second term as Master, by Past Masters Bro. J. K. G. McDonald and Bro. G. N. Brown.
Bro. Johnsen whose first term as Master had been some twenty-nine years earlier, for the year 1963/64 which meant that he was, with the exception of Bro. Hugh T. Kennedy, the longest serving Past Master attending the Lodge on a regular basis. Jimmy's second term was a very successful one but, due to a nervous complaint, he missed a few meetings. Needless to say the Brethren rallied round and gave him their unstinting support. It was during this year that a report from an Ad-Hoc Committee of Grand Lodge, which had been set up to look into every aspect of the Scottish Craft. Needless to say some of their proposals were controversial to say the least and special meetings were called to discuss its contents. In particular, one part of the Report dealing with Lodges with an attached Social Clubs caused us and other Lodges some concern. We therefore convened a meeting to which we invited all the Lodges with such Clubs. Representatives of Seven Lodges attended when the report and its effect on us if its recommendations were discussed. The meeting itself brought several anomalies to light and the feeling among those who attended was that it had been a worthwhile exercise and that we now had a better understanding of what the Report was actually proposing.
Another item that the Report highlighted was the falling number of men coming forward to join the Craft. In our own case, this was borne out by the fact that we only had five Candidates that year, which however, was still more than many other Lodges. Bro. Johnsen had the sad duty of informing the Brethren, that another six of or members had Passed On. Among them were Bro. Edward Hutchison, who was the brother-in-law of Bro. J. K. G. McDonald PM., Bro. Neil Brown who had worked in the Club for many years and David S. McLean who, along with his wife Martha, had been stalwarts of the Lodge in years gone by. Having lived in Ardoch St for many years, Bro. McLean was a well known figure in Possilpark. He also had a fruit & sweetie shop in Fossil Road next to the Astoria Cinema. If you look at our collection plates you will see that it was Bro. Davey who had presented them to the Lodge.
During the year, Provincial ran a charity night in the Kings Theatre which was well attended and raised a considerable amount of money for children's charities. Among the artistes taking part were, Christian, Mr Abie and Ronnie Carroll and an excellent night was had by all who had attended.
With his year drawing to a close, Bro. Johnsen, who was the last of the trio Past Masters who had stepped into the breech a few years earlier to whom we owe a hearty vote of thanks. He could look back content in the knowledge that, under his leadership, the lodge had continued to flourish and that he had carried out his duties as Master in the same able manner that he had demonstrated some twenty-nine years earlier. On December 12th Bro. Thomas Rushford was Installed as Master for the session 1992/93 by Past Masters Bro. J. McPherson and Bro. F. McElhinney.
Bro. Rushford's year saw the Brethren continue to promote the cause of Freemasonry with their usual enthusiasm and we had the privilege of Initiating five Candidates and one Affiliate. Two of the Candidates were Bros John Brown Snr and John Brown Jnr who are respectively the brother and nephew of Bro. G. N. Brown PM. and Bro. Brian Brown Snr Deacon who was to become RWM for 1995/96. Although both Johns were Initiated on different nights they received their Third on the same evening. It isn't very often that father and son receive a Degree together thus this event is unique in its own right.
On 27th-May that year a Deputation of Reigning Masters, headed by Bro. Ian McGregor RWM, Glasgow Kilwinning No.4, whose Mother Lodge is Possilpark, conferred a Third Degree. Worshipful Sub Provincial Grand Master Bro Wm. Gilmour, who was in attendance that evening, congratulated the Reigning Masters on a fine Degree and thanked the Lodge for the presentation of a cheque to the value of £350 for Marcus Humphrey House.
On the 9th February one of our members in the person of Bro. Joe Hammond, who had Affiliated to us from Lodge St Clair No.362, received his Jubilee Certificate to mark his fifty years in the Craft from his Mother Lodge. Needles to say he was accompanied on the night by a good number of Brethren from Possilpark.
During this year the Brethren decided to loan to the Provincial Grand Lodge Library, the Jewel which had been presented to Bro. John McCallum to mark his twenty-one years as Secretary. This in itself is a wonderful record of service. However, as recorded in an earlier Lodge History, Bro. John actually went on to complete thirty years in that Office which is an achievement that may never be equalled. It is worth noting that as the Jewel itself was specially designed by the Brethren of the Lodge and made for him by Toye Kenning. Being a one off it is therefore unique. The Jewel consists of Quill Pens Crossed with the Enamelled Crest the same as that on a Past Masters Jewel. The Lodge was also informed that, for his services to the Craft, Bro. John McPherson PM. was to receive the Honorary Rank of Provincial Grand Lodge Treasurer. The Brethren, in appreciation of his services, agreed to supply the appropriate Jewel for his Office.
On the more mundane everyday business of running the Lodge it was strongly suggested by Provincial Grand Lodge, that we should ask our lawyers to draw up a Minute of Agreement between me Lodge and the Club in order to define the responsibilities of both, so that there would be no dubiety on anyone's part, as to who was responsible for what. This action was agreed and carried out. The lawyer was also asked to approach the neighbouring YMCA to enquire if there was any possibility of purchasing some land from them to facilitate a planned extension to the Halls. In due course the lawyer informed us, that we would have to wait until the next meeting of their Board of Directors in Edinburgh before we would hear anything further on this matter.
On the second last meeting of his year Bro. Rushford had the sad duty to inform the Brethren of the death of Bro. Neil O'Neil. He hadn't been a regular attendee in recent times but had been a strong supporter of the Lodge in the past and was a fine man and Mason. As stated earlier, Bro. Rushford's year had been a busy one and Tommy had proved to be a competent and popular Master and could hand over his responsibilities to his successor in the knowledge that he had had a very successful year. On December llth Bro. John Knight was Installed as Master for the session 1993/94, by Past Masters Bro. G. N. Brown and Bro. Charles J. McK. Thomson. The Provincial Deputation that evening, was headed by our own Bro. J. D. Mowatt in his capacity as Worshipful Substitute Provincial Grand Master.
Bro. Knight's year was to have a sad start. Just a fortnight after his Installation he had to inform the Brethren on December 23rd of the death of two of our members, namely Bro. Archie Strachan and Bro. Joe Hammond. Archie, whose son Allan is also a member, is one of three brothers who joined Possilpark, the other two being Sammy and Willie. Archie Strachan,. unlike his brother Willie, a Past Master, had not sought high office preferring to remain in the background. Never the less he had been a stalwart of the Lodge for many years holding various Offices and getting involved in committee work, which is so important in the day to day running of the Lodge itself. He was also, along with his wife Jenny, a great supporter of the social side of the Lodge. Indeed Jenny was always willing to lend a hand in the kitchen and donate home baking etc. Archie lived in the Knightswood area for many years but after Jenny's death, he found it difficult to cope on his own. Latterly he was given a place in Erskine Hospital, where he remained until his death. As previously recorded, Bro. Joe Hammond had Affiliated to Possilpark from Lodge St Clair No. 362. Just ten months earlier, on February 9th, he received his Jubilee Certificate in his Mother Lodge. After affiliating Joe, as we all knew he would, proved to be an asset to the Lodge holding many Offices and taking an active role in its various committees. Like Bro. Strachan he preferred to remain in the background the only exception to this being, when he was Depute Master to PM. Bro. J McDonald in 1984/85. Joe took Freemasonry very seriously but he also had a tremendous sense of humour and a razor sharp wit. Along with his wife Mary, he enjoyed the various social events run by the Lodge.
In the coming months Bro. Knight had to inform the Lodge that a further four of our members had Passed On To Higher Service, namely Bros Wm. S. Smith, R. Bailey, T. D. McCool and Wm. Hutchison. Bro. Smith who died in March after a relatively short illness was one of our best known members having held various offices over the years in particular, those of Organist and Jun Deacon, for the years 1987/88 and 88/89. He also held the position of Halls Convenor for a number of years and along with Bros John Williams, Dick Buchanan, John McPherson and Jimmy Johnsen, formed the first of the Wednesday Work Parties which have done so much in keeping the premises in good shape which, at the time of writing, is still going strong albeit with different Brethren. Wee Willie was one of the characters of the Lodge and perhaps will best be remembered for the tall stories which he told with such panache. In August the death of Bro. R. Bailey was intimated to the Brethren. Unfortunately Bro. Bailey was one of many who had not attended the Lodge for many years and sadly nothing is known about him. In September the Brethren were saddened to hear of the death of Bro. T. D. McCool Snr. Dougie who had been ill for some time was unable to attend the Lodge. Previous to this he had been a regular at our meetings and also enjoyed the amenities of the Club to the full. The family name lives on in the person of his son Bro T. D. McCool Jnr.
Just as a fortnight into his year Bro. Knight had to inform the Lodge of the death of Brethren, so it was a fortnight before he vacated the Chair that he the same sad duty to perform. On November 10th he informed us of the Passing of Bro. Wm. (Billy) Hutchison. On the night Billy was Initiated he was accompanied by his two brothers, Edward and James and his brother-in-law, Bro. J.K.G. McDonald PM. As previously recorded in this History Bro. Edward Hutchison had tragically died a few years earlier which made Billy's Passing all the more poignant.
On a happier note on January 13th one of our members, Bro. R. W. Gillon, who had Affiliated to Lodge Dalhousie No.679 returned to his Mother Lodge where he was presented with his Jubilee Certificate. On the night Bro. Gillon was accompanied by a large deputation from Lodge Dalhousie, headed by RWM Bro. R. Simpson who along with Bro. Knight, presented the Certificate to Bro Gillan, and an excellent night was had by all. Subsequent to this occasion Brethren from Possilpark made a return visit to Lodge Dalhousie and it proved to be a most enjoyable evening.
Just two weeks later Bro. Henry Jeffrey RWPGM, visited the Lodge for the purpose of presenting Bro. John McPherson PM. with the Jewel of his Office of Honorary Provincial Grand Treasurer. In addition to this we learned later in the year that Bro. Wm. McArthur would be receiving the Honorary Rank of President of Stewards. As they had done for others in the past, the Brethren agreed to provide him with his Jewel of Office.
We had the honour of Initiating five Candidates and one Affiliate that year. One of the Candidates was Bro.Wra. Brown, brother of George, Brian, John Snr, and uncle to John Jnr. The extension of the Brown clan within the Lodge prompted some wit to comment, that we should change the name of the Lodge from Possilpark, to Glebe St. Wm. 'Billy' Brown, went on to become RWM for the session 2001/02.
This year unfortunately saw the Commission of Past Master Bro. J. D. Mowatt as WSPGM come to an end. Dougie had been a hard working member of Provincial. He was particularly prominent in his contribution in organising a tribute to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Boys Brigade, which of course originated in Glasgow, and has spread throughout the World. He was one of the most popular Provincial Office Bearers of recent times and will be sadly missed from their ranks. However, it is not only his contributions that Provincial has lost. His wife Christine also did her bit at the various functions and fund raising events that took place and it would be amiss not to record this and thank her for her efforts.
Another Honorary member of our Lodge, Bro. Henry Jeffrey was retiring from the Office of WPGM. Harry as he was known to us all, had been an excellent WPGM and a great ambassador for Freemasonry both within and outwith the Glasgow Province.
In May that year a visitor from Canada, namely Bro. Ernest Hogg who is Sen. Warden of Britannia Lodge No.73 in the Province of British Colombia, attended our meeting when a Second Degree was conferred by Lodge Milton No. 1520. Bro. Hogg commented, that although the basics were the same there was vast difference in the Ritual Work carried out in his own Lodge compared to what he had witnessed that evening but he was very impressed by what he had seen. He then, on behalf of his RWM and Brethren, presented to the Lodge a Travelling Square, for which kind gesture, he was suitably thanked by RWM Bro. Knight.
Later in the year we had a visit from Brethren who were residents of Marcus Humphrey House, which proved to be a very enjoyable evening for all concerned. Further to this, the Brethren agreed to donate goods to the value of £100 to the House, the nature of the said goods to be determined by the Matron.
As previously recorded, we had made approaches to the YMCA about purchasing some land from them. Unfortunately we received word from our lawyer informing us that they were not inclined to do so. This meant that any extension we planned to build would be confined to our existing boundaries. As another busy year for the Lodge drew to a close, Bro. Knight had proved himself to be an excellent Master and under his leadership the Lodge had continued to prosper. On December 10th Bro. David W. Lamb, the nephew of Past Master Bro. Tommy Lamb, was Installed for the year 1994/95, by Past Masters Bro. J. McPherson and Bro. T. Rushford.
Like Bro. Knight the previous year, just a fortnight after his Installation Bro. Lamb had the sad duty of informing the Brethren of the death of two of our members namely, Bro. Douglas McDonald and Bro. Joseph McMenamin. Both of these Brethren were long time members of the Lodge. Bro. McDonald was one of three brothers, the others being Ronnie who had Passed On a few years earlier, and Willie who still attends our Meetings on a regular basis. Bro. McMenamin was a gifted musician and formed part of the orchestra that the Lodge had at one time.
During the remainder of the year, Bro. Lamb had to announce that a further six members had Passed On to Higher Service, one of which was Bro. James Daroch the son of Past Master Bro. Kenny Daroch, and the brother of Archie, who had lost his life in the Cheapeside St. fire in 1960 and Kenny Jnr who, as far as we know, is hale and hearty and living in the Kirkintilloch area. The Darochs were a local family living in Denmark St for many years before moving to the Milton. Jimmy himself had worked for a while in Quigley's Pawn at the comer of Bardowie St and Barloch St, and later for A & P Newall's Woodside Engineering Works. Their offices stood where the open- air market now operates, with the works themselves, stretching for a good distance down Stonend St. As far as is known the Daroch's, composed of Kenny Snr and Jnr and Jim himself, hold the record for Conferring the fastest Second Degree ever worked in Possilpark. It lasted approximately Thirty-five to forty minutes and they never missed a word.
That year we had the privilege of Initiating three Candidates, which although down from the previous year, was more than some Lodges who had none at all. Despite the dearth of Candidates, the Brethren continued to work hard in promoting the cause of Freemasonry by keeping up our high standard of Ceremonial Work and getting involved with the various sporting and social events organised by Provincial. In April we had a visit from Bro. Henry Jeffrey IPPGM who had come for the purpose of Investing Bro. Willie McArthur with his Jewel of Office as Honorary President of Stewards. As well as being a long serving Office Bearer in Possilpark, Willie was for many years Admiral of St Andrews Ancient Cork Lodge and was well known and respected throughout the Province and beyond. In addition to this he was one of the band of Brethren who rendered valuable assistance to Provincial Grand Lodge by scrutinising the Books of the Lodges in the Province. This was assistance which Provincial would be hard put to do without and, needless to say, the Brethren were delighted that he had received this Honour.
In May we held a Memorial Service to remember those Brethren who had Passed the Veil. Officiating on this occasion was the Rev John Graham Provincial Grand Lodge Chaplain with the Eulogy being delivered by Bro. R. M. Jackson PM. The Rev Graham was very impressed by the solemn and dignified manner in which the Service had been conducted, and said that he had never saw anything to compare with it before. Due to the fact that, as far as we know, the Ceremonial Work involved is unique to Possilpark, having been developed by our own Brethren, we took this as a very great compliment indeed.
This year, one of our most respected Brethren in the person of Bro. Daniel R. Munro would be celebrating his 90th birthday, but in addition to this, this year would also mark his 60th year as a Past Master, having been in the Chair for the session 1935/36. Bro. Ronnie had made it clear that he did not want a fuss made about this but the Brethren had other ideas. Having thought long and hard about it, they decided to mark the occasion by donating the sum of £100 to Possilpark Parish Church, where he had been a member for well over fifty years and Session Clerk for some thirty-seven of those years. Bro. Ronnie was delighted by this gesture and we all wish him well for the future.
Bro. T. M. Lamb P.M. reported that he had been on the sponsored sail down the Clyde organised by Lodge Clyde No.408. He thoroughly enjoyed it and was pleased to further report that the sum of £880 had been raised for Erskine Hospital.
On the every day running of the Lodge, the kitchen had been refurbished by the Wednesday work party, who had also carried out other running repairs as and when necessary. The Brethren also gave the go ahead for the extension, which would provide more cellar space for the Bar. However, before work on this could be started a strengthening beam required to be placed under the roof of the existing cellar. The reason for this was due to rot in the joists which had only just come to light. The Brethren agreed that this should be done as a matter of urgency with the cost of all this work to be met by the Social Club.
It had not been an easy year for Bro. Lamb and the Lodge. The shortage of Candidates had required the Syllabus to be chopped and changed with the alteration of dates and times. However the Brethren had rallied round in their usual manner and kept the banner of Freemasonry flying high, ensuring that we continued to pay our way in the every day world.On the 16th of December Bro. Brian Brown was Installed for the term 1995/96, by Past Masters Bro. G. N. Brown, who is of course his brother, and Bro. J. Knight.
Bro. Brown's Installation was the first time in living memory, and almost certainly the first time ever, that four brothers held Office in the same year. They were, Brian RWM, John Snr. Depute Master, George Lodge Secretary and Billy Chaplain which is something that very few Lodges, if any, can equal.
On that night WSPGM Bro. Alex K. Watson, who headed the deputation from Provincial, had the pleasure of presenting Bro. James McCabe with his Jubilee Certificate and Bro. Daniel R. Munro with a scroll to mark the actual anniversary date of his sixty years as a Past Master. As there was no official document to mark Bro. Munro's achievement the scroll was made by Bro. A. H. King P.M. and signed by all those present.
Among the visiting Brethren that year were Bro. David McKenzie of Lodge Zetland, Shetland Islands, who went on to become Master of Lodge Athole No.413 and a frequent and welcome visitor to our meetings. Another visitor was Bro. Wm. Calmley of Lodge Longbranch Toronto Canada, who addressed the Lodge and presented us with a framed photograph of Robert Bums, for which, he was suitably thanked by Bro. Brown.
During the year we Initiated five Candidates one of whom being Mark Dragsnes, son of Andrew, who went on to become Master for 2000/01 and nephew of David and John both of whom have held various Offices in the Lodge, which again, demonstrates the strong family connections in the Lodge.
In this year our good friends in Lodge Thorntree No.512, celebrated their 125th Anniversary as would Lodge Maryhill No.510, which was one of our Sponsor Lodges. Thomtree with whom we have had a special relationship for many years would be holding a Re-dedication service on-Sunday 10th November (The writer of this History remembers being part of a deputation to them in 1955 indicative that this relationship spans at least fifty years).
Maryhill will be holding a Celebratory Dinner later in the year to which the RWM and Wardens have been invited. Bro. Brown intimated that he intended to attend on both these occasions and the Brethren agreed to purchase tickets for the Master and Wardens.
It also came to the attention of the Brethren, that another of our members, namely Bro. Win. Spiers, who had Affiliated to Mother Kilwinning No.O, had completed fifty years in the Craft. As they had done in the past they agreed to cover the cost of his Jubilee Certificate. Bro. Brown said he would be going to his presentation which is being held in No.O on Tuesday 24th September and looked forward to a large number of Brethren accompanying him on that occasion, which indeed turned out to be the case, and a most enjoyable night was had by all. Further to this it is worth recording, that Bro. Arthur Jackson, who is the Secretary of No.O, is the elder Brother of our own Bro. Richard McN. Jackson PM. and there is another younger brother Thomas, who is a Past Master of a Lodge in London. Whilst these Brethren are not members of Possilpark, it again shows the strong family ties that exist in Freemasonry.
On a sadder note eight of our Brethren Passed On to Higher Service during the year. Some were known only to the older members but, in their day, had been staunch supporters of the Lodge whilst others were very well known indeed. Bro. Wm. Donnelly who had moved to East Kilbride some years earlier had not attended for some time. Bro. Henry McBain who lived locally and was well known in the Possilpark area and although he had never sought high office he was one of our regulars. The name McBain is still connected to the Lodge in the person of his son Henry Jnr. Bro. Tommy McElhinney father of Bro's Frank McElhinney PM. Iain and Thomas Jnr. Tommy had Affiliated to Possilpark from Lodge Clydebank No. 1234 and had been a great asset holding various Offices and always willing to give a helping hand whenever it was required. He had a great sense of humour and was always good company. Bro. George Bakie who lived locally and was well known in the surrounding area worked as a bricklayer with British Rail and did several jobs for us over the years. His son George Jnr. is also a member and his daughter Helen worked as a waitress in the Club for quite a while. Bro. William McDonald whose two brothers Ronald and Douglas had died a few years earlier was one of a number of Brethren, who living as he did in East Kilbride, travelled long distances to attend our meetings. For many years Willie had a grocers shop on the corner of Saracen Street and Mansion Street (across the road from Williamson's Pub.). He therefore knew a lot of the local characters and could tell some entertaining stories about them. Willie was another bro who didn't seek Office but was a strong supporter of the Lodge. Bro. A. Nixon whose main interest in life was the Boys Brigade in which he held the Rank of Captain in one of their Companies for many years. Among these eight Brethren were two Past Masters, Namely Bros John Taylor and Hugh T. Kennedy. Bro. Taylor had been in the Chair for the year 1951 /52 and was well known locally. At one time he had a fruit & vegetable shop across from High Possil School and subsequently, it is believed, somewhere in the Govan area. After retiring he moved to Milport where, as far as we know, he spent the remainder of his life. Bro. Hugh T. Kennedy, although not the oldest in years, was the longest serving Past Master that attended on a regular basis and was regarded as the Father of the'Lodge. He held the Office of Director of Ceremonies for many, many years. He lived in Doune which meant, that to get to Possilpark and back home again, necessitated about a forty-five mile round trip. He very seldom missed a meeting whether it was a fully fledged Lodge meeting, Committee meetings of all kinds, or nights when the Instruction Class met, which amply demonstrated his love for and dedication to the Craft. He was a plumber to trade and rose through the ranks in the Glasgow Corporation to be in overall charge of all the plumbers employed by them. His responsibilities included the repairs and the upkeep of all the plumbing work in the Civic Buildings both within and outwith the City Boundary, a responsibility which he handled with his usual aplomb. In his younger days he lived in the Ruchill district, then later in Allison Street, then on to Drumchapel, then Lenzie and finally to Doune. His interest in Freemasonry was not confined to Possilpark as he was involved with Lodges Buchanan, Kileam and St James Doune as well as other Orders of Freemasonry. Few people know that he had been seriously wounded during the Second World War and although this was not obvious, he found certain things difficult to do. For example, being unable to use his left arm to its full potential he had to get help to fasten his Past Masters Jewel onto hislapel. He was the epitome of what a Freemason should be and was respected by all who knew him.
The loss of these Brethren was a tragedy as far as the Lodge was concerned. However, a greater one was to affect not only our country but also the World as a whole. This of course was the massacre at Dunblane which took place on the 13th of March. At the meeting the following night the Brethren observed two minutes silence in memory of the victims and agreed to contribute to any appeal fund that became established for their relief. In due course, the sum of £211 was donated.
On the every day running of the Lodge the cost of fitting a beam under the cellar roof, as mentioned earlier, was quoted to be £865 plus Vat, which was agreed as acceptable. The plumbing work involving the upgrading of the Ladies and Gents Toilets had been completed after a fashion, but the joinery work was completed by the Lodge work party with the assistance of Bro. John.Williams in particular. Just as Bro. Brown's year had started by creating a record, as it were it was to close in a similar vein when he and his brother George Installed the Master in Barrhill Twecher No. 1444. Although Brethren from the Lodge had Installed Masters of other Lodges in the past, namely, Bros. R. Gunnell and J. Dobbie at Lodge Ruchill, J. McPherson and J. Stevenson at Lodge Innellan and Toward and J. McPherson at Lodge Anima. This was the first time that a Reigning Master in his first term had carried out this duty and perhaps it will be a long time before it happens again. Bro. Brown had been an excellent Master. His year had had its share of highs and lows but, as he prepared to hand over to his successor, Brian could do so in the knowledge of a job well done and that the reputation of the Lodge had been enhanced under his leadership. On December 14th Bro. Stuart Grierson was Installed for the session 1996/97, By Past Masters Bro. J. K. G. McDonald and Bro. F. McElhinney.
During the year we had the privilege of Initiating four Candidates, one of whom was Colin McElhinney son of Bro. F. McElhinney PM. and the nephew of Bro's. Iain and Thomas Jnr. Unfortunately however Bro. Grierson had to inform the Brethren of the death of a further four of our members, one of whom was Past Master Bro. James N. Johnsen who died in January just a few weeks after his old friend and contemporary Bro. Hugh T. Kennedy. Bro. Johnsen had been Master of the Lodge on two occasions, first in 1963/64 and then in 1991/92, when along side Past Masters J. K. G. McDonald and Thomas M. Lamb, he had stepped into the breach when the Lodge so badly needed their services. Although he didn't show it he was of a nervous disposition and he worried constantly about whether he was up to the job or not. Going to the Chair for that second time was a big decision for him and the fact that he decided to do so clearly shows the love he had for this Lodge. Jimmy was brought up in the area between Queens Cross and the Round Toll. After he married he lived in various parts of the City and eventually moved to Saracen Street (where the school now stands) where he stayed for some time. The family then moved to Barmuloch and then finally he and his wife Sissy moved to High Knightswood. He served his time as a Grocer with R. & J. Templeton, rising to the position of manager of their shop in Garscube Road (Between St. Georges Road and Raglan Street). However when the big supermarkets opened up the type of shop he worked in began to close, and he had to look for pastures new. After trying various jobs he started as an Undertaker with Wylie and Lochhead where he remained until he retired. Jimmy was one of our best known and best loved members, famous for the shaggy dog stories he told, for example, his experiences in the undertaking business and his involvement in the Burial in the Firth of Clyde where the coffin kept coming to the surface. He was also part of the Wednesday work party where the patter between him and Willie Smith was absolutely fabulous. Jimmy was a good man, a good friend and Freemason and will be sadly missed.
During the year the Lodge premises were redecorated which included wall panels being fitted, a plaster arch and mock beam being fitted to the proscenium at the Dais, the Lodge Crest was hand painted on the wall above the bar and a new carpet was purchased for the Lodge Room. The carpet was made to order for us, with the Square and Compasses with the letter G, as its pattern. There were some who thought it a bit over the top, but it is a beautiful thing and much admired by all who see it. Also at long last the extension to create more cellar space for the bar will be starting in late July or early August. A price for the work of £7485 plus £370 in Council Fees was approved and we look forward to the extra space it will give us.
The Jewels belonging to two of our late Past Masters namely -Bro's George Buchanan and Hugh T. Kennedy were given to the Lodge, by Bro. Dick Buchanan and Hugh's daughterLynne. As both refused any remuneration for them the Brethren proposed that, with their agreement, we donate £150 in George's name to Marie Curie Cancer Research and £150 to the Regalia Fund to help purchase a new Volume of the Sacred Law, which would be dedicated to Hugh's memory at the Re-dedication Ceremony to mark our 75th anniversary. Both Dick and Lynne gave their wholehearted approval to these proposals.
This year 1997 was also the 25th anniversary of Possilpark Masonic Social Club in its present form and various suggestions were put forward to celebrate the event The final decision was that a Charity Dance would be held, with all the proceeds going to Yorkhill Children's Hospital Scanner Appeal. The organisation of the Dance was left in the capable hands of Bro. T. McGuire who had volunteered his services, an offer which was readily accepted. The night itself was a great success both socially and on the financial side. The total amount raised from tickets, the raffle and donations, the Lodge giving £50, was the magnificent sum of £900 and Bro. McGuire was warmly thanked for his efforts in making it such a success.
Dealing still further with matters affecting the Social Club an Extraordinary General Meeting was to be held in September to discuss amendments to its Constitution and in particular changes to Classes of Membership. With the 75th Anniversary drawing closer it was brought to the attention of the Brethren that the Masters Chain of Office required additional bars to be added at a cost of £828. This was agreed, and left in the capable hands of Bro. J. D. Mowatt PM. So another busy year drew to a close and as Bro. Grierson prepared to vacate the Chair he could do so in the knowledge that a great deal had been accomplished during his year. On December 13th Bro. John W. Wallis was Installed as Master for the year 1997/98 by Past Masters Bro. G. N. Brown and Bro. Brian Brown.
Although it is not generally known, Bro Wallis was not bom in Scotland (and contrary to the belief held by some that he wasn't born at all, but manufactured) he first saw the light of day in Kingston Upon Hull East Yorks. Which means, that although he has resided in Glasgow for most of his life, this technically makes him the second Bro from across the Border to become Master of the Lodge the first being the late Bro. K. J. Skeggs PM. who was Master for 1964/65
The list of Office Bearers that year makes interesting reading, showing as it does, that we had three Brown brothers in Office, Bro. George PM. as Secretary, Bro. William as Chaplain and Bro. Brian as President of Stewards. We also had two of the three Dragsnes brothers, Andrew as Junior Deacon, John as Architect, and Andrew's son Mark as Standard Bearer. In addition to this the RWM himself is one of three brothers who are members, namely George and Raymond, which once again demonstrates the various family connections that exist in the Lodge.
Having been an Office Bearer in the early to mid seventies, Bro. Wallis could have perhaps been RWM at an earlier date but, due to work commitments, he had to absent himself from the Lodge for a good few years. However, be that as it may, we are very glad that he has come back to us and has now achieved that High Office.
During the year we Initiated five Candidates, one of them being Past Master Bro. J. K G. McDonald's son John Jnr. Sadly we lost a further two Brethren, namely Harry Doherty and Charlie Gow.
Harry had worked for some time as a barman in the Club and latterly as doorman. At the time of his death he held the Office of Tyler and was very well known to everybody having been a member for a long time since joining the Lodge in November 1953. Due to the fact of moving to Castlemilk to live which, coupled with his work commitments, he had been absent for many years. However when he moved to the Maryhill district he started attending the Lodge again and proved to be a great asset. Bro. Gow also joined in the late fifties and served in various Offices but he was to find his niche in the Royal Arch, particularly in the Maryhill Chapter, where he was a P.Z. and a stalwart for many years. Charlie was a baker to trade and lived for a long time in Saracen Street. In joining the Lodge he followed in the footsteps of his father the late Bro. David Gow who was Tyler for many years.
During the year Bro. John Whannel PM., Bro. A. H. King PM. and Bro. James Braidwood received their Jubilee Certificates. Bro's. King and Braidwood received theirs on the 8th of October from Bro. George A. L. McEwan RWPGM, Bro. Gavin Stewart WSPGM and of course, our own RWM Bro. John Wallis. However due to ill health, Bro. Whannell was unable to attend on this occasion but was presented with his when Bro. Wallis and a number of Brethren from the Lodge, accompanied by Bro. George A. L. McEwan RWPGM visited his home a few weeks later, a visit which was greatly enjoyed by all concerned.
This year of course was the penultimate one before our 75th Anniversary and while the general format of the events to mark it had been decided, some fine-tuning was still required. For example it was felt, that to attend the functions that were planned and purchase the memorabilia that would be on offer could prove quite expensive. A thrift club was set up under the stewardship of Bro. John Knight PM. The purpose of the club was to enable Brethren to make payments, as and when they wished, toward the costs of the said celebrations. When the time came it proved to be a great success.
Due to the fact that'one of the Lodges in the province with an attached Social Club recently getting itself into very serious financial trouble, Bro. George A. L. McEwan RWPGM called a meeting of all Lodges with similar Clubs. His purpose in so doing was to ensure that they had the following in place. 1, a Minute of Agreement between the Lodge and the Club to define what the responsibilities of each organisation were, 2, that there was proper Insurance Cover in place, 3, that proper Accounts were kept and a Balance Sheet published annually, and 4, that to safeguard the Lodge's interests some senior Office Bearers were involved in the management of the attached Club. The seven Lodges present indicated that they already had all these in place which made Bro. McEwan a very happy man indeed. The feeling of those present, was that by holding similar meetings on a regular basis, where we could pool our knowledge and experience, would be an excellent idea and it was even suggested that we might be able to get discounts from Accountants and Insurance Companies if we approached them en-bloc rather than individually. Although subsequent meetings were held, alas, alas, it all came to nothing. With the cellar extension now completed, it was agreed that the bar area needed to be refurbished. After much discussion concerning quotes from various companies some Brethren decide that they would do the job themselves.
Those mainly involved were Bros Tommy McGuire, Alf Grimsey, John McPherson, Tommy Rushford, John Wallace and John Williams with other members and'non members being called upon from time to time. The old saying that one job leads to another proved to be the case once again, for the work was not only restricted to the bar itself. Years of storing beer kegs etc in the old cellar had severely damaged the floor making it necessary to lay a new one. In addition to the new floor being laid a new door was slapped through from the said cellar into the erstwhile whisky store where the cooler cabinet now stands. Despite the amount of work involved and, bearing in mind, that the Club was still operating normally, the job, with the exception of a few odds and ends, was finished in four to five weeks which speaks volumes about the efforts of those involved. Once they had finished with the bar they turned their attention to converting the existing cloakroom into the Lodge Museum, which meant of course that a replacement cloakroom had to be found. The problem was solved, although it meant a lot of work upgrading it, by converting a room that had been used for bar storage was now available due to the extra space created by the extension, which after all, was the whole idea of having it built in the first place.
The Museum itself is much admired by all who see it containing, as it does, items of interest mainly from our own Lodge. There are many other items of interest originating from Sister Lodges and various Orders connected with Freemasonry. In addition to these artefacts there are many books which can be borrowed by interested Brethren. The time and effort put in by those concerned in the refurbishment of the bar creating the Museum and all the other repairs and improvements that had arisen during the course of this work, is much appreciated by the Brethren, and they were suitably thanked by Bro. Wallis for the work they had carried out.
Among the many visitors we had during the year, were Bro. Robert Dunseith RWM of Royal St George Belfast No.633 Irish Constitution and Bro. Chris Base of Brackwell Lodge No.6792 English Constitution. This visit by Bro Dunseith, was reciprocated when Bro Wallis and several of our Brethren attended the Installation Ceremony in Royal St George, and as we had done in the past, a letter was sent, thanking them for the hospitality that had been extended on that occasion.
We ourselves received a letter, which included a donation of £10 for Lodge funds, from Bro. Base thanking us for our hospitality to him during his visit. These two instances prove, if proof were needed, that that no matter where a Freemason may go, he will always find a welcome. Bro. Wallis's year had indeed been a busy one, with the Lodge continuing to prosper on all fronts. As the time came for him to hand over to his successor, he could be very content with his year as Master. On December 12th Bro. John Begg Thomson was Installed as Master for the session 1998/99 the Installing Masters on this occasion were Past Masters Bro. T. Rushford and Bro. J. Knight.
Bro. Thomson's year was the year in which we would be celebrating the 75th anniversary of Grand Lodge granting our Charter in November 1924 and the Brethren were looking forward to this with great anticipation. However as the Rededication of the Lodge would riot take place until the 11th of November and the dance, which would also celebrate the Millennium, would not take place until the 3rd of March 2000, the everyday work of the Lodge had to go on as usual.
During the year we Initiated five Candidates and two Affiliates which, in comparison with other Lodges, was very good indeed. Sadly however, we were to lose a further two of our members, namely Bro. Archie Turtle, and Past Master Bro. A. H. King. Bro. Turtle who had joined the Lodge along with his twin brother Sammy had been hospitalised for many years, but recently had returned to the area'under the Care in the Community Scheme. Up until his illness Archie, along with Sammy, had been a regular at our meetings and although he preferred to remain in the background, he was always ready to do his bit for the Lodge when called upon.
Past Master Bro. Alexander Hamilton King, who had received his Jubilee Certificate just a few months earlier, affectionately known as Sanny to all and sundry, was held in very high esteem not only by Brethren of our own Lodge, but by others in Lodges within and outwith the Glasgow Province. He was an Honorary Member of Lodge Anima No. 1223, and Lodge Milton Glasgow No. 1520 in which his son David is a Past Master. He was a founder member of our Club and was involved in its management for upwards of twenty-five years, having held the Offices of President and Secretary at various times. He was also instrumental in the formation of St Andrews Ancient Cork Lodge, which has raised a tremendous amount of money for charity over the years and he remained closely associated with it up until the time of his death. He was also a mainstay of the work parties of the mid sixties and early seventies which did so much to put the Lodge back on its feet again. Being a painter to trade his knowledge and expertise were greatly appreciated. The Past Masters Roll of Honour Boards will always remain a testament to his deft skill with paint pot and brush. He was also in the forefront of the volunteers who manned the bar when we were going through a very sticky patch in the early eighties. The contribution that Sanny has made to this Lodge in particular and Freemasonry in general is incalculable. In his Passing we have lost one of the Pillars of the Lodge and we are all the poorer for it. During the year the Brethren continued to support the social and sporting events on the domestic front and those organised by Provincial. The Lodge made many visits to Sister Lodges within and outwith the Province.
There is no doubt that the main event of the year was the 75th Anniversary. All the plans had been made and, as previously recorded, on the night of November 11 th the Rededication Ceremony, followed by a Celebratory Dinner took place. On the night itself a total of one hundred and twenty-five Brethren from within and outwith the Province attended. The numbers included ten Brethren from Provincial Grand Lodge and fifty-eight visitors. The Lodge was opened in the normal manner and after the business had been attended to a Deputation of Reigning Masters from our Sponsor Lodges, Glasgow Kilwinning Lodge No.4, The Lodge of Glasgow St Mungo No.27, Lodge Maryhill No.510, and Lodge Kenmuir Springburn No.570 were admitted. The Lodge was then Raised to the Third and High and Sublime Degree and a Deputation from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow, headed by The RWPGM Bro. Robert R. Best, was admitted. Accompanying Bro. Best on this occasion were the following Brethren, Roy Scott Dep PGM, John Graham PGL Chaplain, Michael Wilson PSGW, David S. Nellis PJGW, Alistair Henderson PGL Sec, John McLean PDOC, James Robertson PGLSB, R. Callum Mathie PGL Org, and Allan Taylor PGLIG.
The Mallet was then presented to Bro. Best who then took over the Lodge. The Office Bearers of Possilpark then vacated their Offices in favour of the Brethren from Provincial and Bro. Best invited The Rev. John Graham PGL Chaplain to proceed with the Business in hand. Before the Rededication of the Lodge itself our new magnificent Volume of the Sacred Law, which had been donated by Past Master Bro. James D Mowatt and inscribed with the name of Past Master Bro. Hugh T. Kennedy was Dedicated by Bro. Graham who then proceeded with the Rededication of the Lodge. The Ceremony was opened by the Brethren singing the first and last verses of the 23rd Psalm. Thereafter Bro. Graham carried out the Rededication in a dignified and able manner and it was closed by the singing of the 5th verse of Paraphrase No.2 followed by a Benediction. The Mallet was then returned to RWM John Begg Thomson and the Office Bearers of the Lodge resumed their stations. The Deputation from the PG Lodge then made to retire, but before they did so, they were invited to return and spend some time with us in Harmony, an invitation which was readily accepted. There being no further business the Lodge was then closed in Due and Ancient Form.
At the harmony that followed, which commenced with a three- course dinner, the following toasts were observed. The Loyal Toast proposed by Bro. John B Thomson RWM, The Toast to the Provincial Grand Lodge proposed Bro. John W Wallis IPM, reply by Bro. Robert R. Best RWPGM, Lodge Possilpark proposed by Bro. Gavin Stewart PM 1223, reply by Bro. John McPherson PM 1330, to the Visiting Brethren proposed by Bro. James D. Mowatt PM 1330, reply by Alexander K. Watson PM 570.
Among the Brethren present that night were Bro. James R. Sinclair PM who had travelled from Canada to be with us and Bro. James Miller, younger brother of Bro. Len Miller PM. Bro. Sinclair, as recorded in previous Histories, was the driving force behind the work parties of the mid sixties and early seventies which refurbished our premises and made it possible for us to get our Club established which got us back on a sound financial footing. Bro. Miller was a stalwart of these work parties and like Bro. Sinclair was a founding member of the Club. It was good to see them again and revive memories of some of the events that had taken place and also those Brethren who had given so much of their time and labour to further the interests of the Lodge. It was a night which will live in the memory of those who were fortunate to attend and our thanks are due to all those who helped in organising it.
The celebrations were not finished yet for we still had the Dance to come in March 2000, which we were all very much looking forward to. Although not part of the Lodge History as such, in January that year at the Club AGM, after holding the Office for 27 years, Bro. J, McPherson PM. retired as Treasurer. To mark the service he had rendered he was presented with a suitably inscribed decanter and bottle of his favourite malt with which to fill it. His successor is Bro. G. N. Brown PM. and we wish him well for the future. Bro. Thomson's year had undoubtedly been a very busy one and he had discharged his duties as Master with great enthusiasm and in a dignified and able manner. As he prepared to hand over to his successor, Bro. Alfred A. Grimsey, he could do so in the knowledge of a job well done. Bro. Grimsey was Installed as RWM on the 11th of December for the term 1999/2000, by Past Masters Bro. John Knight and Bro. Brian Brown.
It goes without saying that the night of Installation in any Lodge is a special occasion, for this is the time when the Brethren look back at the achievements, or otherwise, of the past year and forward to the challenges that the new one might bring. This Installation however was extra special, in the respect that we had, just a few weeks earlier, been looking back over seventy-five years of achievement and now stood on the threshold of a New Millennium. In our Rituals it is said that our Craft has existed from time immemorial, which means, amongst other definitions, beyond memory or recorded history, that our Craft is descended from the great Mysteries practiced in Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Persia, and who's to say that this is not the case. There are many who believe however, that Freemasonry has its roots in the Order of The Knight Templars, which was founded in 1118 and whose history is very well recorded indeed. If we accept the latter to have some foundation in fact, then at the very least, we can claim that Freemasonry, or something akin to it, has been in existence for almost one thousand years. And as long as there are men who are prepared to conduct their lives in accordance with the Principles of the Square, the Level, the Plumb-rule and the Divine Precepts laid down for our guidance by the GAOTU.in the VSL, we have nothing to fear for the future, and that our Order will continue to flourish, no matter what obstacles are put in our path, and still be in existence at the end of another thousand years.
Bro. Grimsey's Installation was notable for another couple of reasons. He was the third Master who had originally hailed from over the Border, the others being the late Bro. Kenneth J. Skeggs who had been in the Chair some thirty-five years earlier during the year 1964/65, and Bro J. W. Wallis 1997/98.
On the night itself, a number of Brethren from his home patch were present to see him being Installed. They appeared to have enjoyed the occasion immensely and we certainly enjoyed their company. This was also the night when Bro. George N. Brown PM., having served in the Office of Secretary for ten years, retired from Office and handed over to his successor Bro. John Knight who Installed Bro. Grimsey into the Chair.
The opening meeting of the New Millennium held on January 13th was a First Degree, conferred in their unique style, by Past Masters Bro. J. D. Mowatt and Bro. F. McElhinney. The Candidate on this occasion being Mr Allan Giddings. Bro. Giddings subsequently went on to receive his Second Degree on the 27th of January at the hands of a Deputation from Lodge Barrhill Twecher No. 1444 headed by their RWM Bro. William Taylor. His Third degree was conferred on February 10th by a team of Past Masters of Lodge Possilpark headed by Bro. John W. Wallis. In total we had four Candidates that year which made it difficult to keep to the Syllabus and honour commitments made to Sister Lodges. However, with some astute management, this was achieved.
Sadly during the year we lost a further six of our members to the Grim Reaper among them were Bro. John. G. Whannell P.M., Bro. Henry Jeffrey PPGM, Thomas Henderson and John Cartwright Snr. Bro. Whannell who had been unwell for some time, as previously recorded, was too ill to travel to the Lodge to receive his Jubilee Certificate, which in the event, was presented to him in his own home in November 1998. John was Master for the session 1955/56 and gave the impression of being a very serious person and there is no doubt that he took his Freemasonry very seriously indeed. He was Proxy Master for an African Lodge, representing it at Grand Lodge Communications for many years. He was a constitutionalist, which in itself is no bad thing. On those occasions when rules are open to interpretation you have got to bend a little, a thing he would not do which led to, shall we say, some interesting debates over the years. He was the kind of member that every Lodge needs, for though, as often as not his opinion did not carry, he made others engage their brain before opening their mouths. Past Provincial Grand Master Bro. Henry Jeffrey an Honorary Member, whose Mother Lodge is Knightswood No. 1445 was the most popular occupant of that High Office in recent years. He was a very down to earth man who tried to dispel any mystique that surrounds Provincial and to get ordinary members interested in the important work that it does and to get the Province to punch its weight at Grand Lodge Assemblies and in its various Committees. He was an excellent ambassador for Freemasonry and will be greatly missed both within and outwith the Glasgow Province. His son Graham is a life member of Possilpark. Bro. Tommy Henderson at one time had been a regular attendee at the Lodge, but having moved from the area, had been absent for many years, had now returned to the area and was once again coming amongst us. Although he held several minor Offices over the years. He never expressed any desire to go further. Perhaps he will best be remembered for his exploits on the dance floor and was known to all and sundry as rubber legs. Bro. John (Jackie) Cartwright Snr. was an Affiliated member his Mother Lodge being Milton No. 1520. He was a stalwart of the Lodge for many years and held various Offices during that time. He was a founder member of the Club and served as doorman for some time and assisted the work parties in supplying the transport for uplifting and delivering materials etc. His sense of humour at times could be a bit over the top and he ruffled many feathers, some of which are still ruffled to this day. There are many Brethren in this and other Lodges whom he helped in various ways and his support for Possilpark is undeniable. In joining the Lodge, he followed in the footsteps of his father in law the late Bro. James Lennox. Although he hasn't attended for a long time the family connection continued through his son Jackie Jnr who is also a member.
Though the Brethren continued to support the various sporting and social activities with their usual enthusiasm there is no doubt that the main event in the social calendar was the Dance to celebrate our 75th Anniversary and the Millennium, which was held on the 3rd of March in the Hilton Grosvenor Hotel. The function was attended by a large number of the Brethren from our own and other Lodges accompanied by family and friends. Amongst the guests were Bro. James C. Peddie WSPGM and his good lady. Bro. Peddie on this occasion was representing Bro. Robert R. Best RWPGM and all present had a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Our thanks are due to all those involved in its organisation. With the Dance over and all outstanding accounts relating to the 75th Anniversary itself having been settled, as agreed at its outset, the Anniversary Fund was tb be wound up. It was proposed that the surplus of £1846.04 in this Fund be transferred to the Regalia Fund.
Quotations for the supply of new Office Bearers Regalia were sought and in due course the quote from Millennium Mark for £2665 was accepted and an order placed. On October 12th the Regalia was Dedicated by the Provincial Grand Chaplain The Reverend Bro. John Graham.
On the domestic front a number of events of interest took place. The first edition of our own Lodge magazine The Possilpark Jewel was published and proved to be a great success. Another first for the Lodge was a fraternal visit across the border to Lodge of Fortitude No.7188 (English .Constitution) at Stockton on Tees in the Province of Durham, some of whose Brethren had attended Bro. Grimsey's Installation and enjoyed the different Scottish Ritual and the renoun Possilpark hospitality. This of course was Alf s home territory and it was he who organised the trip. On the night itself the Brethren witnessed a Third Degree which was very enjoyable but vastly different to our own working. Our thanks are due to the Lodge of Fortitude and its Brethren for the hospitality given to us and for a very pleasant evening in every respect.
Due to the ever increasing fees charged by our present Accountant it was agreed to contact some others, to see if we could get a better deal. After several interviews had taken place it was agreed that Bro. Robert Provan, who is a member of Lodge Knightswood, be offered the position which we are pleased to say he accepted. Also, in an effort to cut costs, it was agreed to investigate the pros and cons of ceasing to advertise our meetings in the Evening Times, the costs of which were increasing year on year. As this would require an alteration to our Bye Laws, which can be a fairly drawn out process, any change could not take place immediately.
We also had a salutary lesson concerning dealings with Grand Lodge, or indeed anyone else if it comes to that, which came about as follows. A few years earlier we sent the Past Masters Jewel belonging to Bro. James Robertson, our first RWM, to Grand Lodge for display in their Museum. As we now have a Museum of our own we asked them to return it so that that we could display it in our own museum. Grand Lodge informed us that the Jewel, having been donated to them, was now their property and could not be returned. We then turned to Provincial for their advice on this matter and they told us exactly the same. So, the lesson learned is, don't give anything away without ensuring that it can be retrieved at some future time.
A report given on the condition of the floor of the Lodge Room, which was also used for dancing etc, made it clear that it was in poor state and verging on the dangerous. It was pointed out that the said floor, which had been laid in 1955, had been repaired on numerous occasions but was now getting beyond that stage. It was agreed to get estimates for its renewal with the cost to be borne by the Club. It was also agreed that, as Bro. Daniel R. Munro would be celebrating his 65th year as a Past Master in December, we write to Grand Lodge and Provincial Grand Lodge and ask them to mark this magnificent achievement in some manner. Subsequent to this, Provincial informed us that a letter from the Provincial Grand Master would be presented to Bro. Munro at the Installation.
On the list of Office Bearers for the coming year you will see that Bro. John B. Thomson PM. is there as Senior Deacon which means, if things go according lo plan, that he will be in the Chair again in 2002/03 and we thank him for filling this vacancy. Due to the fact that nothing like it would happen again for another thousand years this had been a unique year in the life of the Lodge. It also had been by any standards, a very busy, enjoyable, and successful one and our grateful thanks go to all those Brethren and friends of the Lodge who made it so. In particular our thanks and congratulations go to Bro. Grimsey on the manner in which he discharged his duties as RWM. When he handed over to his successor, Bro. Andrew Dragsnes, he could do so with a well-earned and well-deserved feeling of accomplishment. On December 16th Bro. Andrew Dragsnes was Installed as Master By Past Masters Bro. T. Rushford Bro, G. N. Brown.