At the meeting of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland, held on Thursday 7th November 1974 charters were granted to form four new Lodges. The petition sent to Grand Lodge on our behalf being given the Lodge No 1688. This petition was supported by the Brethren of Lodge St. Andrew No 524 and Lodge Douglas No 1557 as our Sponsor Lodges. This was the result of a lot of hard work by Bro Joe Morris and Bro Ernest Kneale both Past Masters of Lodge Larchgrove No. 1518 along with Bro Andrew McLaren. It was originally intended that the Lodge would meet within the premises of the canteen of Clyde Fasteners which was owned by Bro McLaren and where the founder members held the initial meetings. However on inspection by members of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Renfrewshire East, it was deemed that the premises were not at all suitable. An approach was made to Lodge St. Andrew No 524 for the use of their hall on two Mondays from September to May but as these were already booked, the brethren agreed to meet on Wednesdays which were available.
The Consecration took place on Thursday 14th November 1974 in the Ballerup Hall, East Kilbride. This being the first time that a Masonic meeting had been held in the building. Our Charter Master was Bro Geo Marshall a Past Master of Lodge Bigger Free Operative Lodge No 167. The Consecration and Installation being carried out by the Office Bearers of the P.G.L. of Renfrewshire East, under the leadership of Bro Ralph Denholm. Bro Alex G Murray, who at that time was the Provincial Grand Secretary, was a tower of strength to the founding members with a lot of sound advice without which we may not be here today. Bro Ralph Denholm and Bro Alex Murray were the first two Brethren to receive Honorary Membership of the Lodge, as were the RWM’s of Lodge St. Andrew and Lodge Douglas, at the conclusion of the Consecration and Installation of the Office Bearers of Lodge McLaren.
Unfortunately, all records of the first four years of the life of the Lodge were lost, when the then Secretary’s car was broken into and the entire Lodge books stolen. With the help of the Provincial Grand Secretary, and Grand Secretary the names of all Founder Members, Petitioners and Affiliates with the relevant dates were entered into new Record and Petition Books in time for the Annual Visitation of P.G. Lodge and we were given a ‘Clear minute’
Our Ritual is a mixture of the rituals used by our Founder Members. The Instruction Classes being held in various places. The Scout Hall in Kirktonholme Road, the old AEU Hall (now known as Douglas Hall), and then for many years the old police station in the village, and latterly the Allison Lea Community Hall. We have always taken our ritual work seriously, especially the Master Mason Degree.
The Installations were held in the Old Parish Church Hall, then the West Kirk Hall for a number of years until such time as the then Minister let it be known that he was not happy that the church hall was being used for this purpose. We then approached the local Council for the use of the Calderwood Hall, and again were the first to use this hall for Masonic Meetings.
For the first four years members of the Lodge supported the local Multiple Sclerosis Society by transporting members of that group to and from their homes to their meetings. This only came to an end when that group organised the use of the Murray Mini Bus service to pick up their members. But the East Kilbride MS Society greatly appreciated our help during that time, also the monies which were raised by the Brethren for that group among others over the years that we have been operating.
Three of our Past Master went on to occupy the Chair in other Lodges. Bro Leslie Falconer becoming Master of his Mother Lodge, Garrowhill No 1413 in 1984. Bro Harry Kane and Bro James Carlin having affiliated to Lodge The Kings Park No.1386 both became Master of that Lodge.
The fourth Saturday of October 1982 was a red letter day in the history of the Lodge, as on that occasion, Bro A Fraser McLennan an Initiate of the Lodge was Installed as R.W.M. of his Mother Lodge.
We celebrated our Silver Jubilee on November 1999 with a Dinner which was well supported, we also purchased new regalia for the R.W.M. and the Office Bearers. This included a new Chain for the R.W.M. this as made possible by a legacy left to the Lodge by the late Bro James McIlwaine, P.M. and Founder Member. It was agreed that the original apron worn by our Charter Master be used at all Installations when the RWM is invested with his Regalia, it is then put away safely until the next Installation
In 2006 the Lodge received a donation of £1000 from the estate of the late Bro Alex Steele a Founder Member. This donation was used to purchase a new lodge carpet. The Lodge also launched it’s first website in this year.
Like a lot of Lodges we’ve had our problems with dwindling attendances and a lack of candidates over recent years. The Lodge went through a particularly bad time in late 2013. With reduced numbers attending, the September meeting was cancelled and a Special Business Meeting was called for early October. The meeting was well attended and the brethren pledged their support as the only other option was to return our charter to Grand Lodge. The agreed solution was to further reduce our regular meetings to six per year (Jan, Feb, March, April Sept and Oct). In 2015 a December Regular Meeting was added and with good team work and planning we look forward to the future with keen anticipation.
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