History

Lodge St. Andrew Kilmarnock No. 126

History Chapter 4

"The Proper Method of..."

Lodge 126 History
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LODGE HISTORY COMPILED FROM THE RECORDS 1771 - 1994
BY BRO. ROBERT GHEE LODGE SECRETARY
TO MY MOTHER LODGE
ST. ANDREW KILMARNOCK NUMBERING ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY SIX
ON THE ROLL OF THE GRAND LODGE OF SCOTLAND

It can only be expected that with the passing of time, there follows new attitudes usually defined as progress, this maybe seen in our minutes, we now see small glimpses recorded that earlier would have been left unrecorded. One such instance appears in the minute dated 14th June 1922.
Extract 14 - 6 - 1922
"Bro. Harris Lodge St. James Border Union Royal Arch Hawick No424 was after examination admitted and welcomed by the R.W.M. at the close of the meeting. Bro. Harris in a few words thanked the R.W.M. and brethren for the welcome accorded him, and expressing the pleasure he had in being present with us that night".
Signed William Brown R.W.M. Robert Clark, intem Secy.
It is now obvious that the lodge was in the hands of leaders who were now serving within its ranks, they understood that the more that is learnt about a given subject the better one is able to understand its true import. This maybe seen in the following extract.
Extract 9 - 8 - 1922
"Brothers Malcolm and Bagshaw referring to the probable falling off of ceremonial work in the near future suggested that the office bearers consider and arrange for a series of lectures to be delivered during the winter months, this was agreed to. It was also suggested that we do not confine the lectures to probing the hidden mysteries of nature and science rather that they tread new paths and go out into the highways and byeways of masonry and make light shine in dark places".
Signed William Brown R.W.M. Robert Clark, I.P.M., int Secy.
It is fitting that our history should record that on the 15th September 1922 Bro. John M. Young lodge secretary tendered his resignation, owing to his business commitments, he could no longer carry out the duties as secretary. The lodge accepted his resignation with great regret acknowledging the twelve years that Bro. Young had faithfully carried out the duties as secretary. Thus ended the career of one who was respected by all who came into contact with him, his minutes could only inspire his fellow members with enthusiasm, his range of expressions and charm has left our records so much richer. Once again the lodge carried a consistent consciousness of the prevailing economic conditions surrounding the lodge.
Extract 18 - 10 - 1922
"Owing to the economic condition prevailing at the present time in the industrial world, it was agreed that the after meeting of the installation ceremony be of the most modest dimensions. The office bearers to arrange same".
Signed William Brown R.W.M. Robert Clark, I.P.M., int Secy
From the secretary's annual report dated 1st November 1922 the lodge had gone from strength to strength, the lodge finances were "on an upward grade". His report gave great mention to our 150th Anniversary and the mode of celebrations. Some interesting statistics were included in the report "The lodge had a working membership of 560 of which 220 were life-members and 340 being test-fee members".
Signed Robert Clark int Secy.
The annual installation meeting was held on the 17th November 1922. The installing masters being P.M. Bro. John Boyd and P.M. John Anderson both worthy P.M.'s of lodge St. Andrew No465 Glasgow. It is recorded that both installing masters were made honorary members of 126. Times were becoming increasingly hard unemployment through-out Scotland was rampant, Ayrshire was suffering badly this was reflected in our minutes 29th November 1922.
Extract 29 - 11 - 1922
"Bro. John Paterson moved that the lodge pay one half of the travelling expenses of the deputation visiting Tarbolton, stating that the motive which influenced him to make this motion was the prevalence of much unemployment in our midst, also that other lodges in the district for a like reason had decided to go half-shares in the expenses of deputation's to similar meetings".
Signed Robert P. Loudon R.W.M. Robert Clark Secy.
A testimonial of character.
Extract 20 - 1 - 1923
"It was agreed that five pounds be donated to the provosts fund for the unemployed within the burgh of Kilmarnock". Old customs die hard, we have a strong tendency to preserve "what was done by our fore-fathers should continue". One such custom was the application procedure for benevolence. Since our beginnings it was the custom that any applicant for succour, the name was read out in open lodge, it has been already stated times were hard, these were lean years that surrounded the lodge, the call for assistance had never been greater. There can be no doubt that many deserving members were to proud to have their names read out in open lodge, hardships were tolerated to the extreme. Changes were required. At the meeting dated 7th February 1923 it was proposed and agreed that in future all applicants for relief be submitted direct to the benevolent committee to be inquired into and considered by them. That no applicants name be disclosed in open lodge, the applicant to be described simply as "Brother", "Widow of a brother", "Daughter of a brother", "Son of a brother", or like wise as the case maybe. That the committee decide on the merits of each case and report. The lodge to determine the grant of benevolence to be distributed. The above ruling has stood the test of time and still exists today.
Extract 7 - 3 - 1923
"There was received from the clerk of halls committee a copy of a proposed scheme to raise funds for the purpose of building a "new temple" this to be submitted to the brethren for discussion and consideration".
Signed Robert P. Loudon R.W.M. Robert Clark Secy.
Sequel
This was the first small step in planting the acorn that grew into the mighty oak of our masonic temple. The minute dated 16th May 1923 contains the following. A letter was received from a Bro. William Mathew who was a bedroom steward aboard the T.S.S. Cameronia. Bro. Mathew is a member of lodge Neptune Kilwinning Saltcoats No442. Bro. Mathew relates that during his duties aboard the above named ship he had found a receipt of initiation fee paid by a Bro. John McGeorge Dalling of lodge St. Andrew No126 Kilmarnock in state room No92b and was pleased to return such receipt to lodge 126. Sequel The above receipt was returned to Bro. Dalling's father, and a letter sent by the lodge to Bro. William Mathew thanking him for his kindness. The minute of the 30th May 1923 contains the invitation to attend the laying of the memorial stone of the new masonic temple being erected at West Kilbride No314. The wording and sincerity of the following extract is worthy of inclusion.
Extract 11 - 7 - 1925
"The R.W.M. intimated that Bro. McNair our esteemed D.M. was about to proceed abroad at an early date and that this meeting would in all probability be his last opportunity of attending his mother lodge before leaving until he returned with his fortune assured and he (R.W.M.) took this opportunity of wishing Bro. McNair "God speed" and every success in his new venture".
Signed Robert P. Loudon R.W.M. Robert Clark secy.
It is interesting to note that the minute 28th November 1923 records that 600 circulars be printed and sent to the brethren of lodge 126 at home and abroad for subscription to the new masonic building fund. Scattered through our minutes are references which support that the appeal was receiving a good response from the members.
Sequel.
Enclosed in the minute book dated 26th December 1923 is an inserted copy of the above mentioned circular. Again A hidden mystery. The minute dated 30th April 1924 records that an honorary membership was conferred on Bro. Montague Chown of lodge Rajpootana No526 India. There are no details as to why this honour was given or any further reference made to the above. Mention must be given to the scribes and their command of words, words that have disappeared into antiquity. One such example is recorded.
Extract 9 - 7 - 1924
"The R.W.M. having addressed the "neophyte" in a few well chosen words the candidate was allowed to retire".
Signed Robert P. Loudon R.W.M. Robert Clark Secy.
The regular meeting held on 3rd September 1924 records that the annual dues payable to Grand Lodge was "one pound fifteen shillings and six pence". The age old habit of conferring more than one degree at a meeting continued. The meeting dated 17th September 1924 records that a M.M. degree was carried out followed by a M.M.M. degree. As we continue to read the lodge minutes it is commendable to note that the lodge was consistent in the cardinal principal of charity. It maybe of interest to today's members that two institutions received favour on an almost annual basis, "The Royal Samaritan Hospital for Women" and the, "Western Infirmary Glasgow".
The minute dated 12th November 1924 which was the A.G.M. of the lodge records the application to become a member of Major Charles Glen MacAndrew the member of parliament for Kilmarnock. As customary the Bro. secretary read out his annual report on the working of the lodge. It makes reference to the present conditions surrounding the lodge.
Extract
"Since our election of office bearers last year up to the present moment we have held twenty seven meetings at all of which not with standing the great amount of unemployment prevalent and the large exodus of our young men to distant places and far of lands to better their circumstances in this life, there was a good average attendance's of our members showing a lively interest in the lodge and lodge work". Further on in his report is a passage which is a euphemism unsurpassed in our minutes, in our history it shines like a flawless jewel.
Extract
"From the balance sheet, copies of which have been distributed among you this evening you will observe that our funds continue in a very flourishing state entitling us to feel very pleased with ourselves, our assets excluding the lodge effects, jewels, furniture, clothing, (etc.). The word clothing will recall to your memory, that during the year just gone we incurred a very heavy outlay in clothing our master and wardens"., "But why take ye throught of raiment consider the lilies of the field how they grow, they toil not, neither do they spin, and yet I say unto you, that even solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these, they take no thought for tomorrow, for sufficient unto the day is the evil there of, yet I say unto you we have to record the very satisfactory accumulation total of 1,454 pounds, eight shillings and seven pence, in the lodge funds".
Signed Robt. Clark secretary William Robertson R.W.M.
During the next year 1925 the lodge minutes are not marked by any discordant note peace and harmony reigned. The secretary's annual report being the highlight of the year. As his previous reports Bro. Robert Clark had a genius ability to be informative yet leave his mark on his reports with that added touch of poetic justice as the following will confirm.
Extract 11 - 11 - 1925
"I do not exceed the truth nor am I stepping o'er the bounds of modesty when I say that the office bearers of 126 have as always in the past maintained the usual high standard of excellency in all their work. Our R.W.Master Bro. Wm. Robertson good conduct of the chair can not be gainsayed, he shares harmoniously with his brothers the labours falling to their lot. "A man of high mark he, and judgment rife, A mason of the noblest trust type, To him we look with confidence and pride, To hold the tiller, and the craft to guide". To the degree workers of the lodge Bro. Clark added to his report. "Brethren a debt of gratitude" "These men who wrought with gifted seers, And built for the eternal years, This hint that history gives declares, What Grand Masonic souls were theirs." The report continues. "The lodge has a credit balance of 1,506 pounds and four shillings, "our funds continue to grow". The lodge has 302 test fee members and 281 life members". "The secretary's report was enthusiastically received by those present".
Signed Robert Clark secretary.
The minutes record on the 9th December 1925 a visitation was made to the lodge by Maybole No11. The minute gives very little detail of the business carried out. A footnote is added to the minute and records an exuberance enjoyed by the lodge.
Extract
"About 30 members accompanied the deputation from Maybole to the Station Hotel and entertained them to tea(eg). Songs were rendered by the R.W.M. and Bro. Avery 126, also by members of the Humpty Dumpty Pantomime".
Signed William Robertson R.W.Master Robert Clark Secy.
5 - 3 - 1926
The lodge held its now annual whistdrive and dance on the 5th March 1926 in the Oddfellows hall. The company numbered 180, this whist carried on till 11pm, the tea and dance until 2.30am. A unique chapter is now added to our minutes.
14 - 4 - 1926
On the 14th April 1926 the minutes record that an invitation was extended to lodge St. Andrew Birmingham No4056 E.C. to visit our lodge and while there give an exemplication of the third degree. As to who or why this invitation was made or records are silent, we do know that lodge St. Andrew Birmingham was formed primary for Scots patriots domiciled in Birmingham. The invitation was accepted and the visitation took place on the 28th May 1926. The visit created a great deal of interest the sederunt of this meeting runs into two complete pages. Brethren of high masonic rank, various Provincial Grand Masters, outwith the province, members of our own Provincial Grand Lodge, and brethren from lodges far and near attended. Well over 200 filled the lodge room. "an abridgment of the minute" Before the mallet was handed over to lodge St. Andrew Birmingham, the secretary of lodge 126 read out two letters of dispensation one from the Grand Lodge of Scotland and one from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire both giving permission to the visit and to the conferring of the M.M. Degree.
By the minute the labours of the evening the ceremonial work was very impressive the difference between the Scottish and English workings being very marked, all were agreed that in the capable hands of those brethren from our sister constitution the ceremony did not loose in beauty, but was high and sublime in the truest sense of those words. At the conclusion of the meeting each member of the conferring team were made honorary member of lodge 126 and presented with a copy of the history of lodge St. Andrew 126.
To close the above chapter.
So great was the interest on the above meeting that the Kilmarnock Standard on the 5th June 1926 chose to print an article on this unique masonic meeting, this is inserted in the minute book of 1926.
Yet another presentation to the lodge.
At the meeting 23rd June 1926, 6 volumes of the history of freemasonry was presented to the lodge by Bro. William Morton in memory of his father Bro. W.I. Morton. It is of interest that the minute mentions that the volumes be added to the lodge library.
Extract 2 - 3 - 1927
"The R.W.M. intimated that as two separate degrees were to be conferred this evening he would thank the E.A.(s) to retire and prepare for passing".
Signed James Cree R.W.M. Robert J. Kennedy Secy.
The simple bare facts as recorded must convey to the reader an imagery of the past, which though it seems incongruous to the present.
Extract 8 - 6 - 1927
"The I.P.M. intimated (re) a brother who had asked for a loan of money from this lodge. Following a lengthy discussion and a divided vote, it was agreed to grant the loan".
Signed William Robertson I.P.M. R.J. Kennedy secretary.
The above was to cause disquiet, at the lodge A.G.M. dated 9th November 1927. As the following extract concurs.
Extract 9 - 11 - 1927
"The I.P.M. asked our worthy auditors if there was any point they wished to comment on re. The balance sheet. Bro. W.A.Gold auditor paid high tribute to the manner in which our worthy treasurer kept his books. He Bro. W.A. Gold then spoke on an item on the balance sheet, namely a thirty pounds loan to a brother. Bro. John Kennedy auditor spoke on said item intimating that the loan was illegal and suggested that we, the word "loan" altered to read an "advance". Bro. John Paterson, R.W.M. elect voicedly criticised the loan matter, intimating that unless further proof be submitted to show that the money would be repaid, he would have nothing whatever to do with that part of the business when he took over the position of R.W.M., I.P.M. Bro. Wm. Robertson and R.W.M Bro. James Cree intimated that they would stand guarantors for said money".
Signed William Robertson I.P.M. Robert J. Kennedy secretary.
What must be regarded as the greatest achievement in the history of Kilmarnock freemasonry was the consecration of the new purpose built masonic temple. This took place on Saturday 10th December 1927. The ceremony was conducted by the Provincial Grand Master Bro. James Arthur and his office bearers. Although for some considerable time our minutes had recorded scatterings of the new temple very little is recorded, the question of the site chosen or the design was never mentioned in our minutes. We do know that each lodge had worthy members on the building committee, their labours are justly rewarded in the Ballochmyle stone building in London Road. A lasting tribute to the great efforts and perseverance of our fore fathers some of which are still within living memory.
"It is only within a masonic lodge that men of different creeds and religious denominations can meet on common ground to teach and to learn civic, moral and religious duties without the slightest risk of disagreement or contention. There is no other association of men, no other sphere of social political or religious activity in which this is possible and here in lies that mysterious power of freemasonry".
The first meeting held in the new temple was the regular meeting dated 21st December 1927. Written evidence of a tragedy.
Extract 29 - 2 - 1928
"The R.W.M. in a few well chosen words spoke on the tragic demise of Bro. James Nairn secretary of lodge Dreghorn No549. Bro. Nairn had been erecting a wireless aerial pole when said pole came in contact with an electric cable of 11,000 volts, and was instantaneously killed". "The R.W.M. asked the same to be minuted".
Signed John Paterson R.W.M. R.J. Kennedy secretary.
The now annual whist drive and dance was held on the 23rd March 1928. An office bearers meeting was held on the 5th April 1928 to assess the returns of this social event. The following is recorded.
Extract 5 - 4 - 1928
"Number of tickets sold was 61 ladies and 61 gents making a total income of nineteen pounds, sixteen shillings and six pence. Expenditure purvey, ten pounds, sixteen shillings, four waitresses one pound, cards five shillings and three pence, band three pounds, prizes two pounds, floor polished one shilling and three pence, janitor seven shillings and six pence, printing of tickets nine shillings and four pence, hall rent one pound five shillings. Total nineteen pounds four shillings and four pence, profit twelve shillings and two pence".
Signed R.J. Kennedy secretary.
A special meeting was held on the 27th April 1928. This was a visitation from lodge Clydesdale No556 to confer the mark degree. The labours of the evening being completed a harmony was to follow.
Extract 27 - 4 - 1928
"harmony reigned" "There after the brethren prepared for harmony and after having light refreshment, song and sentiment was freely indulged in. When the midnight hour had passed the brethren joined hands and with the singing of "Auld Lang Syne" and "Wull ye no come back again", brought a night most enjoyable entertained to a glorious finish".
Signed John Paterson R.W.M. R.J. Kennedy secretary.
Over the period of 157 years there have been many occasions when the lodge has been referred to as lodge St. Andrews Kilmarnock. This misdemeanour was to be corrected in the following extract.
Extract 9 - 5 - 1928
"On P.M. Bro. Wm. Robertson drawing attention to the lodge name on the pedestal being St. Andrews it was unanimously agreed that our R.W.M. arrange for same to be put proper namely". "Lodge St. Andrew"
Signed John Paterson R.W.M. R.J. Kennedy secretary.
An invitation was received by the lodge to attend the consecration ceremony of lodge Troon Navigation No86 to be held on Saturday 18th July 1928. A meeting of the lodge office bearers was held on the 16th October 1928 to discuss the arrangements for the forth coming installation meeting on the 9th November 1928. It was agreed that installation tickets be priced at three shillings and six pence. The menu being steak pie. It was further agreed that 18 named lodges would each receive 3 complimentary tickets.
As to what prompted this sudden air of affluence to be shown we can only speculate that our new temple may have given the lodge the air of importance and grandeur, 200 tickets were issued. The minute book records that 28 installed masters attended the installing board of the R.W.M. elect Bro. John Graham. To read the following in today's light may seem a trifle but to the lodge at the time it was threatening and impending cost involved must have caused great anxiety.
Extract 24 - 10 - 1928
"Correspondence from G.L. was received. A letter had been received by Grand Lodge from The Princess Umbrella Co, London inquiring if lodge St. Andrew Kilmarnock intended having a gathering in London, for which purpose the Umbrella Co had been asked by an Illford Co to supply samples for a possible order of 200 umbrellas Grand Lodge was asked to confirm same or otherwise".
On the above being read.
"The R.W.M. said this is probably a hoax, but secretary had sent the necessary reply".
Signed Robert.J. Kennedy secretary.
A motion made.
Extract 13 - 3 - 1929
"The notice of motion which had been "tabled" a month ago by P.M. Bro. Jas. Cree was read as, "I propose moving at the regular meeting to be held a month hence, that our annual test fees be raised from two shillings to two shillings and six pence, and life memberships from twenty one shillings to twenty five shillings. The R.W.M. intimated that the time was now opportune for the brethren to decide this matter, and on the motion of Bro's Jas. Cree and R.P. Loudon P.M. The alterations were unanimously agreed to.
Signed John Graham R.W.M. Robert.J. Kennedy secretary.
For some time peace and harmony had reigned in the lodge but the calm was to be ruffled in an unprecedented manner. At the regular lodge meeting dated 8th May 1929 a letter was read from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Ayrshire via, the Grand Lodge Edinburgh intimating that the lodge's enquiry committee had been suspended for three months for breach of Grand Lodge Law No174. There can be no doubt that this caused anxiety soliciting great concern, the lodge loosing its senior office bearers for a period of three months. The office bearers suspended as follows, R.W.M., I.P.M., D.M., S.M., J.W., secretary and treasurer.
To the reader it is appropriate that the following minute extract be recorded.
Extract 8 - 5 - 1929
"For the benefit of the brethren present the R.W.M. reported that this sentence was due to this lodge initiating, passing and raising a gentleman who although he had spent the major portion of his life in Kilmarnock had not been resident in this province for the past three years as laid down in Grand Lodge Law No174".
The minute continued.
"P.M. Bro. James Cree in a most rigorous speech condemned the actions pertaining to this matter". With standing above impeachment and the imminent circumstances to follow it is noticeable that the minute although recorded in some detail remains unsigned.
Sequel
No time was lost, before the meeting was closed, an election took place to fill the offices of the suspended office bearers in a pro-tem capacity. The haste and resilience shown by the lodge in this time of adversity shows great credit to our lodge members. During the intervening three months there is no further mention of this episode. Three months on. The sederunt of the regular meeting dated 14th August 1929 contains the names of the suspended office bearers, the destinies of the lodge once again in their hands.
This history would be incomplete without mention to a stalwart of the lodge Bro. Andrew Noble. Bro. Andrew Noble held the office of lodge treasurer for 24 years, truly a remarkable service. To look back on these years we find that Bro. Noble had cherished ideals and sometimes these conflicted with those of different groups surrounding the lodge, he neither held malice or hatred for those who differed with him, but with restraint he advanced his masonic views with moderation and in an upright manner. At the nomination and election meeting held on the 9th October 1929 Bro. Andrew Noble intimated his retiral as lodge treasurer. The secretary's annual report on the 23rd October 1929 contains great words of appreciation to Bro. Noble for his long and devoted service as lodge treasurer.
Sequel.
At the regular meeting of the lodge 21st May 1930 it is recorded that Bro. Andrew Noble was presented with a wallet of treasury notes in appreciation for his services to lodge St. Andrew 126. Thus ended the career of one who steered the craft through stormy waters with a skilful hand in these hard times, when reality was a stern fact and the obstacles in progress were many. A remarkable presentation.
On the 23rd October 1929 Bro. P.L. Thomson presented to the lodge a case containing silver mounted ivory emblems of the Master Mason Degree, intimating that lodge St. Andrew Kilmarnock No126 had been the mother lodge of four generations of his family.
Two items of interest appears in the minute dated 6th November 1929. That Bro. John Barr an initiate of lodge St. Andrew No126 was to be installed as R.W.M. of lodge St. Andrew No4056 Birmingham, and that a subscription fund be supported to erect a memorial grave stone for Bro. Thos. Hendry the late Tyler of the four Kilmarnock lodges..
There can be no dubiety of the dedication the members gave to the lodge.
By the minute book a regular meeting was held on the 1st January 1930, New Years Day, this was a full meeting with the conferring of the M.M. degree, followed by the installation of lodge Tyler. The meeting was attended by a number of visiting brethren including the secretary of lodge St. John Shetteston No128. The minute pays tribute to the oldest living member of lodge 126, Bro. John Gilchrist who was in attendance, that Bro. Gilchrist carries the unique distinction of attending the lodges centenary and by-centenary meetings.
At the meeting dated 29th January 1930 an invitation for two members of lodge St. Andrew No126 to attend the festival of St. John, from lodge Greenock No175. The letter of invitation carried the following "that this lodge St. Andrew 126 was one of the original supporters of the application for a charter of lodge Greenock St. John No175".
The sequel to the above.
At the next meeting of the lodge 12th February 1930 a report was made, that a worthy Past Master, the I.Past Master and the Bro. secretary all attended the festival at Greenock, and owing to the lateness of the festival they had to stay over-night at a local hotel, but the expense was paid by lodge St. John Greenock. With the opulence of a new temple it is expected that many of our old furnishings and unfortunately some of our artefacts have been lost or become redundant to the modern needs of the lodge, it is pleasing that the records show an age old custom surviving and with standing the vicissitude of time.
Extract 12 - 2 - 1930
"P.M. Bro. Wm. Robertson drew attention to our lodge "Snuff Box" having been polished, and it was agreed that the contents of same be destroyed, and replenished with some new material for causing a "Sneeze".
Signed John Graham R.W.M. Robert J. Kennedy secretary.
Minute continues of 12 - 2 - 1930.
That the R.W.M. Bro. John Graham paid homage to our oldest member Bro. John Gilchrist who this evening was celebrating his diamond jubilee (60 years) as a member of lodge St. Andrew No126, mentioning that Bro. Gilchrist was initiated into freemasonry on the 9th March 1870. "The R.W.M. in his remarks mentioned that although Bro. Gilchrist resided 4 miles beyond Stewarton he was a regular attender of the lodge and wished him the best of health that he would be long spared to come amongst us".
Signed John Graham R.W.M. Robert J. Kennedy secretary.
"Give me a few friends who will love me for what I am, or an not, and keep ever burning before my wandering steps the kindly light of hope and though age and infirmity overtake me and I come not in sight of the castle of my dreams, teach me still to be thankful for life and times old memories that are good and sweet and may the evening twilight find me gentle still".
23 - 4 - 1930
The minute of the above date records the passing to the Grand Lodge above of P.M. Bro. Alexander Crawford and Bro. Peter Malcolm the author of the history of lodge St. Andrew 126. Two brothers who's life's passion was lodge 126 and the craft of freemasonry. "Freemasonry is to man what music is to the soul, it subdues his passions and mellows his nature, there are times in our ritualistic rites where he is brought almost face to face with his maker".
Now chronicled in our minutes is the visitation by the lodge to lodge St. Andrew Birmingham No4056. E.C. this was a recipocal visit to the historical visit made by our English brothers on the 28th May 1926. The minute recording this visit is extensive, it is written in a humorous and flamboyant manner, the following extracts are well worthy of a place in these records.
Extract 12 - 9 - 1930
"On Friday evening of the 12th September 1930 eighteen members of this lodge met at the Railway Station at 9.58pm and having arranged for a special saloon car entrained for Birmingham. the luggage consisted of 28 dozen bottles of beer and bass, six bottles of whisky, one bottle of port, and six dozen bottles of "soft water". the journey to Birmingham although enjoyable was uneventful except that at every station that "stops" were made at the majority of our party "enjoyed" walks on the platform, and as we had a few railway workers with us, quite a number of railwaymen were persuaded and they fell easy victims to "sample our luggage".
The minute continues that the party arrived in Birmingham at 7.23am where they were met by the R.W.M. Bro. John Barr and members of lodge 4056. They were taken by car to the masonic temple, Broad Street corner where they were served breakfast in the temple, this was the first time the same was served in the temple. It was mentioned that the lodge was to be opened at 10am, it further mentions that a program is inserted in the rear of our minute book recording the labours that the members of lodge 126 carried out. Unfortunately this is now missing, we do know that after the labours were complete a harmony followed until 3am after which they were taken once again by car to their lodgings which had been arranged and paid for by lodge 4056.
The next day at 10am they were taken for a trip round the city, at 9pm they had a final rally at the temple then made their way to the Railway Station. Due to the farewell greetings and songs rendered by our party a lasting impression of the Scotchman was left at Birmingham. The journey home was rather eventful for at every station where a halt was made especially at Hellifield where we had to wait 80 minutes for connections, and at Leeds, where we had to wait 38 minutes members of our party were on the platform singing scotch songs and dancing highland reels and strathspeys, the noise merry we made attracted all in various vicinities and at times we had as many as 100 spectators encouraging our musical talents.
At Carlisle where our saloon was detached from the train and where we had to wait 25 minutes for our connection we had four sets of reels while the non dancers were rendering scotch songs at the top of their "song power" and I feel safe in saying that we were surrounded by a crowd numbering about 3 hundred. The minute concluded that they arrived back at Kilmarnock at 7.17am Monday. "and every member of our "party strictly sober" thus ended a never to be forgotten weekend of business and pleasure unparalleled in the history of the lodge, it must be understood the party was purely a masonic deputation".
The above minute bears no signature.
There is no dubiety in the comment entered in the margin of the minute dated 24th September 1930. "Strong protest re-"horrible noise below". The R.W.M. voiced a strong protest at the downstairs hall being let for dancing on a night such as this, the voices of the degree workers were almost inaudible due to the "hoohing and yelling" from below. Quite a number of members present associated themselves with our R.W.M.'s protest and it was agreed that a strong protest be lodged with the halls committee clerk".
Signed john Graham R.W.M. Robert J. Kennedy secretary.
Charity a characteristic of freemasonry was becoming a principal feature of the lodge , great demands were made on the lodge funds since the end of the war of 1914 - 18 and the great depression that followed in its wake. Times were indeed hard, the general strike of 1926 did little to help the depressed state of Scotland. Unemployment brought reluctant members to seek succour. The economic crisis hit many institutions which relied on donations, documented in our minutes are the names of various institutions that was constantly supported by the lodge. The Kilmarnock Infirmary, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Samaratin Hospital, The Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital, The Sick Children's Hospital, The Scottish Homeopathic Hospital, St. Dunstands (blind ex. servicemen's) Hospital.
Truly an impressive list, as we of today dig into our history we must surely appreciate more deeply the efforts of our fore-fathers to attain their ideals of freemasonry leaving a glorious heritage which we of today enjoy.
18 - 11 - 1930
A special meeting was called on the above date to pay our last respects to Bro. John Gilchrist, who was the lodge's oldest member, who had died very suddenly. The R.W.M. remarked that Bro. Gilchrist had given a lecture in the lodge 4 days ago. A full masonic funeral was given with a large number of masonic brethren attending the service which was conducted by the lodge chaplain the Rev. Wm. Marshall.
"When I go down to the grave I can say like many others, I have finished my days work, But I cannot say, I have finished my life, My days work will begin again the next morning, The tomb is not a blind alley, it is a thoroughfare, It closes on the twilight, it opens on the dawn".
9 - 9 - 1931
The lodge received an invitation to attend the consecration of the new temple of lodge St. James No125 Ayr on Saturday first.
Signed John Dunbar R.W.M. Robert J. Kennedy secretary.
The year 1931 - 32 the records are unmarked by any discordant note the affairs of the lodge was to pass in an unassuming manner. Progress usually the benefactor has also its casualties. On the 7th September 1932 an application for succour was received from a Bro. then residing in England. By profession the Bro. was a picture house musician. The brothers application was considered by the committee and benevolence was forwarded.
As a sequel.
A letter was received by the lodge from the recipient and is still contained in our minute book. To J. Brieton Esq. Dear Sir & Bro, Your of the 6th to hand also money order which I am more than thankful for. I can't express words for your assistance, I was really without when I got it on Saturday. It will carry me over for a few weeks. You know it is hard to get work at my age. I have tried till I am fed up with walking about seeking work. I have not been used to anything, music has been my living and talkies has killed my profession. Again I must thank you and committee for assistance. It is truly more honourable to give than receive.
Extract 16 - 11 - 1932
"Our worthy test fee collector P.M. Bro. James Cree reported on a Bro. who had paid test fees for over 30 years, being unable to pay his dues. There after it was proposed and seconded that the Bro. receive a life-membership".
Signed Geo. Milligan R.W.M. Robert J. Kennedy secretary.
The lodge held its annual whist drive and dance. The minute of which is recorded on the 17th March 1933.
Extract
"Miss Ella Arbuckle daughter of Kilmarnock Football Club's trainer gave an excellent display of acrobatic dancing". Again we find originality in our minutes, the secretary at this time seen fit to include in his recorded chronicle the following.
Extract 14 - 6 - 1933
"Bro. John G.W. Paterson and Arthur S. Jeffs were admitted and instructed in the master mason's secrets in a most convincing and eloquent manner by Bro. John Graham P.M. who was awarded a very hearty vote of thanks for his labours, near the end of the ceremony Bro. John. G. W. Paterson fainted. A number of brothers rendered first aid and Bro. Paterson soon revived".
Signed Geo. Milligan R.W.M. Robert J. Kennedy secretary.
At the regular meeting dated 12th July 1933 notification was received from Grand Lodge that a notice of motion was to be raised at the next quarterly communication to raise fees. "After a very lengthy discussion it was ultimately agreed that the R.W.M. and wardens attend this communication with the express purpose of opposing the new schedule of fees".
Signed Geo. Milligan R.W.M. Robert J. Kennedy secretary.
"Contrariety to our some what improved financial standing a prudent discretion was still inherit to the lodge. The minute dated 6th September 1933 records that a discussion took place regarding renewal of the R.W.M. and wardens aprons. It was approved that the aprons be purchased but a whist drive and dance be arranged to raise amount required to said purchase".
Signed Geo. Milligan R.W.M. Robert J. Kennedy secretary.
18 - 10 - 1933
Over the years all the necessary symbols of the craft had been obtained yet there were gaps to be filled, one such gap was filled by the presentation of a box containing the "working tools" of a master mason, by Bro. John Dunbar I.P.M. "A broken column, three steps, bee hive, dormer window, spade, ark and anchor, (seven articles) the box and contents were all made by Bro. John Dunbar who is a journeyman joiner by profession".
An extract from the minute dated 29th November 1933 is worthy of note.
A letter was received from Bro. James G. Calderwood, a member of lodge 126, residing in Bombay India intimating in his letter that he Bro. James G. Calderwood was being installed as R.W.M. of Scots lodge No828 S.C.Bombay.
16 - 3 - 1934
The lodges annual whist drive and dance was now established as the main social event of the lodge. 80 ladies and 75 gents attended. The main prizes being 1st one ton of coal donated by Bro. Wm. Clegg, 2nd prize, a pair of gents flannels donated by Merres Burtons. The event was a great success, a profit of six pounds five shillings and one pence was made.
A footnote to the minute "was that" refreshments to the ladies were supplied free. Through some misfortune 5 years of our history must remain hidden, the minute book dated 1934 - 39 is missing from our library. What fortunes or misfortunes took place must remain in darkness, one consolatory factor being that these times are still within living memory.
To continue the consistency of recording the master's of the lodge , the years 1934 - 36 R.W.M. Bro. David Kenmuir, 1936 - 38 R.W.M. Bro. R.J. Kennedy. Both of whom carried the destiny of the lodge with distinction. We must now go forward to the year 1939. A year synonymous with the start of great suffering and apprehension world wide, it heralds the beginning of the 2nd World War. The first thread of war was to enter our minutes.
The minute dated 13th September 1939 records that a circular was received and read out from Provincial Grand Lodge on restrictions to be observed regarding blackout precautions. There was no sudden change or reaction in the minutes, the business of the lodge carried no text of the out-break of the war, we must go forward to the 10th April 1940 where the minute records the following extract.
Extract 10 - 4 - 1940
"It was moved by the W.S.W. sec by the I.P.M. that the lodge send gifts to the members serving in the forces".
Signed Hugh McPherson R.W.M. John Graham P.M. Secy.
The black clouds of war was to hit the lodge.
6 - 11 - 1940
The lodge held a its annual meeting on the 6th November 1940. The brother secretary announcing that Bro. Serg. Arch. Murdoch had been killed on active service. The first brother of the lodge to make the supreme sacrifice. The war with its hostile environment had yet not curtained the activities of the lodge. For reasons unrecorded an office bearers meeting was held in the Langlands Street Hall on the 18th November 1940, this was to complete arrangements for the lodges annual installation.
Two items from this meeting is worthy of mention.
It was agreed that 150 steak pies be ordered and "That the W.S.W. and W.J.W. be stationed at door leading to the crush hall to lift harmony tickets". At an office bearers meeting dated 17th December 1940 it was decided that a five shilling postal order be sent to all lodge members serving in H.M. Forces. Like the previous year 1941 was to pass quietly the routine uninterrupted a matter of fact being recorded.
It may be worthy of note that candidates were being balloted for and receiving their E.A. Degree at the same meeting, like wise the age old practice of conferring more that one degree at a meeting was continuing. The minute of the 1st July 1942 records the setting up of a new lodge fund, "Soldiers distress fund". A dance was arranged to raise funds for the above. This proved a great success the profit being thirteen pounds sixteen shillings and two pence. As in the previous war (1914 - 18) applications to join freemasonry had increased greatly, the conflict of the second world war had this same great influence, it maybe suggested that new members were looking to find in our ritual and fraternal association something which in their war service they found the need of.
A sequel to the above.
At the meeting of 9th September twelve applications were read out seeking admission to become members, there was also a great increase in the number of special meetings, which our records record more than one degree was conferred. Two great attributes of our order are "Brotherly Love" and the "Hand of Friendship". Both are extended in the following extract.
Extract 2 - 12 - 1942
"A letter was received from a very young lodge, Lodge St Maurs No1398 requesting the use of our lodge jewels and aprons for their installation this was unanimously approved by the lodge".
13 - 3 - 1943
A special meeting was held on Saturday 13th March 1943. the minute records that 26 brethren received their Mark Master Mason Degree. Over many years the lodge had participated in various sporting events, extract of one such event.
Extract 5 - 5 - 1943
"The I.P.M. Bro. John Samson gave a report on a recent Inter Lodge Curling game which had been won by this lodge , he proposed to hand over the prize money which amounted to ten shillings to the R.W.M. for allocation".
Signed Matthew Pettigrew R.W.M. R. Gordon secretary
The following in now recorded in the minute book. "Owing to the prevailing war it was agreed that no harmony would follow the annual installation of 1943".
The secretary's annual report dated 20th October 1943 contains the following unique report. "For the first time in our long history (172 years) we are now in the happy position of being clear of all debt".
Signed E. Nicholas secretary
Extract 17 - 11 - 1943
"The R.W.M. announced to the brethren that an incence bowl for use in the 3rd degree had been presented to the lodge by Bro. Norman Archer Ass. Chaplain". Signed Matt. Pettigrew R.W.M. Jas. Brierton Secy Sequel Bro. Norman Archer gave further proof of his interest in freemasonry and his mother lodge on the 1st December 1943. He presented a further gift to the lodge in the form of "Three Electric Candles" to be used in degree work.
Signed Matthew Pettigrew R.W.M. Jas. Brierton Secy
Account of the past reminiscence of today.
Extract 6 - 9 - 1944
"The lodge was then passed and raised to the high sublime degree of a master mason. The candidates were raised in a most excellent manner by the R.W.M. Bro. Matt. Pettigrew and Bro. Ed. Nicholas D.M. and Bro. Chas. Auld S.D. who was making his initial attempt at 3rd degree working. The solo "Wipe the tear from every eye" was very feelingly rendered by Bro. Andrew McGarvie".
Signed Matthew Pettigrew R.W.M. Jas. Brierton Secy
The lodge A.G.M. took place on the 18th October 1944. The secretary's annual report was comprehensive and full, he gave great credit to the R.W.M. and his office bearers for their endeavours in dispersing the darkness in these difficult years. His report continues with the following. "We have passed through difficult times and won, with that silver lining showing through, the war clouds may it be the will of the great architect that the day is not far distant when all war will cease and all nations the world over are at peace again".
Two further items from the report are worthy of mention, a Mark Masters Jewel was presented to the lodge by I.P.M. Bro. Jno. Samson to be used in the Mark Degree. Bro. Samson made a further presentation of a bowling trophy to be known as the Hillsboro Bowling Trophy, to be played for by the local lodges. The dark cloud of war was again to descend upon the lodge.
The minute dated 13th December 1944 records the passing to the Grand Lodge above of Bro. Alex Pettigrew due to injuries received during active service. At the same meeting Bro. N. Archer gave a report of the formation of the Masonic Social Club and of its first meeting. The R.W.M. also intimated that the tuition classes recently formed would in future meet in the gymnasium room at the local baths every Tuesday at 7p.m.
Signed Edward Nicholas R.W.M. Jas. Brierton Secy
There is no doubt that the prolific conferring of the Mark Degree was continuing. At a special meeting held on 17th January 1945, 28 candidates received their Mark Degree. At the regular meeting of the 21st March 1945 records that a letter was read out on a proposed lodge at Dunlop and a petition sheet inviting any Bro. of the lodge to become a founder member. Reference was made earlier to a Masonic Social Club, very little is recorded regarding the formation or the activities of the club. The minute of the 4th April 1945 does record that a concert was held on the 25th April 1945 in the Co-Operative Hall Dunlop Street, Kilmarnock under the auspices of the Masonic Social Club.
A striking innovation is now recorded.
Extract 11 - 4 - 1945
"The following motion was made by I.P.M. Bro. Matt Pettigrew, "That a sickness benefit fund" be formed to be known as "Lodge St. Andrew Sickness Benefit Fund". The Proposal was made at an office bearers meeting, it was there after agreed by the office bearers that this should be brought up at the next regular meeting of the lodge. This took place on the 18th April 1945, after a some what lengthy debate the proposal was referred back to the next meeting of lodge office bearers. Through fate, destiny or inevitable necessity no further mention is made in our records on this matter".
Words of jubilation.
Extract 9 - 5 - 1945
"A special meeting was held on the 9th May 1945 to confer the fellow craft degree. The opening remarks by the R.W.M. Bro. E. Nicholas was the very small attendance of brethren, this he stated was expected on the wonderful news that victory in Europe had been won and now looked forward in the very near future in having the pleasure of welcoming back our serving brothers". "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley"
On Saturday 21st July 1945 a grand cricket match was to be played between lodge 109 and lodge 126 unfortunately the records show, "That the makers of a fine afternoon was completely marred by the weather". Now that the nations of the world are at peace a feeling of calm and harmony reigned through out the country and within the lodge. It is surprising that little influence is recorded in our minute books during the difficult years 1939 - 45.
It is obvious as we read the minutes of this period, the great feeling of welcome that was extended to the returning brethren who had obeyed their countries call. A great enthusiasm by these brethren to enrol themselves back into the lodge and free masonry.
It could be said. "Within the precincts of the lodge there is a sanctuary, in free-masonry there can be found a privacy of inner fellowship, a brother will often find rest of heart and protection from the bruises of the world". To complete the celebrations of a victory ball was held on Friday 8th March 1946. Which by the records was a huge success.
A further presentation to the lodge. At the regular meeting on the 2nd October 1946, P.M. Bro. David Murray of Lodge Royal Arch, Pollokshaws No153 "presented" the lodge with a beautiful gong, "to be used in the 3rd Degree", the R.W.M. graciously accepting this generous gift.
A special affiliation and friendship was now to take place at the regular meeting dated 11th December 1946. A letter was read out from lodge Oakleigh Australia No126 asking the lodge to submit 50 or 60 names of lodge brethren to their lodge secretary in Australia, as it was the desire of lodge Oakleigh members to forward food parcels. The year 1946 is well within living memory of many members of the lodge, suffice to say that there are members within the lodge today who's names were added to the Australian list and bear witness to this unique act of friendship, geographically our two lodges are separated by thousands of miles, the tiny acorn planted in 1946 has now grown into a mighty oak who's roots are deeply planted in both lodges. This faithful friendship continues today.
There can be no question of enthusiasm of propriety to hold regular meetings, the minute book records that the regular meeting of the lodge was held on Christmas day 25th December 1946, with the E.A.Degree being conferred on 7 candidates. A record, the like of which will never be seen again.
Extract 26 - 2 - 1947
"A special meeting was held on the 20th February 1947, 39 candidates received their "Mark Degree".
Signed David Gordon R.W.M. Jas. Brierton Secy
The language used in the following is expressed in true feeling.
Extract 25 - 6 - 1947
"The R.W.M. announced that Bro. Potts and Bro. Ewing had left the shores of this old country to seek new adventures in the colonies and he was sure it was the wish of every brother that good luck and prosperity would attend them".
Signed David. G. Gordon. R.W.M. Jas. Brierton Secy
A special meeting was held on Saturday 6th September 1947. The purpose of which was the unveiling of the memorial tablet to the brethren of the Kilmarnock lodges who gave their lives in the 2nd World War 1939 - 45. The tablet bears the names of Bro. Alexander Pettigrew and Bro. James Crosbie members of lodge St. Andrew 126. The unveiling ceremony was carried out by the substitute Grand Master Br. R.H.A. Moncrieff. Next day Sunday 7th September 1947 a joint divine service was held in the St. Andrews parish church of the 4 Kilmarnock lodges to commemorate the members who lost their lives in the war 1939 - 45. The service was conducted by the Rev. Wm. Marshall chaplain to lodge St. Andrew 126.
Two items of interest are contained in the minute of the 17th September 1947. A presentation to the lodge was made by a Bro. Black of lodge St. Marnock No109 of a marshals baton, and the visit to the lodge by a Bro. George Moore of lodge Golden Rule No555 Melbourne Australia, sponsored by lodge Oakleigh 126 Australia. The R.W.M. thanked Bro. Black for his gesture to the lodge, to Bro. Moore of Australia he extended the warm hand of friendship asking Bro. Moore on his return to Australia to thank lodge Oakleigh and the other masonic lodges who were engaged in sending food parcels. There after it was unanimously agreed that Bro. George Moore be made an honorary member of lodge St. Andrew 126.
Extract 8 - 10 - 1947
"That the lodge insert in the special bye-laws of the lodge "that any qualified member who had paid their annual contribution for twenty-one consecutive years will be exempt from further contribution".
Signed David. G. Gordon R.W.M. Jas Brierton Secy
The minute of the 15th November 1947 mentions that 110 seats had been booked at the Royal Theatre Glasgow for the lodges annual theatre outing. Mentioned in the minute dated 3rd December 1947 that lodge Oakleigh Australia was soon to celebrate their diamond jubilee, it was agreed by the lodge that as a token of friendship the lodge present three mallets, (R.W.M. and Wardens) suitably inscribed. Over the years presentations have been made to the lodge, many to fill gaps which were necessary to carry out our ceremonial work others were to adorn and embellish the lodge room.
The minute dated 24th April 1948 records that Bro. Wm. Ewing a member of the lodge had written offering a picture of "The inauguration of Robert Burns as poet laureate of lodge Canongate Kilwinning Edinburgh 1st March 1787". This gift was unanimously accepted by the lodge.
As a sequel to the above.
It was agreed to recommend that the dress apron gifted to the lodge by Bro. A. Majilton should be presented to the Dick Institute Kilmarnock". The above was the recommendation of the office bearers, at the regular meeting dated 18th August 1948, this was unanimously approved by the lodge. This dress apron was from the Irish constitution lodge Killyleigh Co. Down Ireland. It is unfortunate that nothing is known why this particular presentation was made to the lodge. It remains one of the hidden treasures of the lodge.
Sequel
The records show that the above apron was received by the Dick Institute as a letter was received from the curator acknowledging receipt of this apron.
An innovation.
This was made to the minute dated 3rd December 1947. The presentation of three mallets to commemorate the diamond jubilee of lodge Oakleigh Australia was changed to a "Brass Gong" No explanation is given for the above change, we do know that the above gong is still in use within lodge Oakleigh. The minute dated 1st September 1948 records that the lodge agreed to present a cased box of working tools of the 3rd degree to lodge Altitude No579 Australia in appreciation for the food parcels received by the lodge members.
Throughout the chronicles of our lodge history many references have been made to brethren leaving their native shores for a new life over seas, one such Bro., was Bro. Calderwood. History relates that Bro. Calderwood became a P.M. of lodge Bombay No828 India S.C. and was later appointed substitute Grand Master of all Scottish lodges under the constitution of the Grand Lodge of Scotland in India. The appointment bringing great credit to lodge St. Andrew 126, his mother lodge.
Extract 27 - 10 - 1948
"A very pleasing ceremony now took place when R.W.M. Bro. David Gordon was asked to accept a "A most beautiful volume of the sacred law". A gift from P.M. Bro. David Murray of lodge Pollokshaws No153. R.W.M. Bro. David Gordon in accepting this beautiful gift on behalf of the office bearers and brethren of his mother lodge said it would be greatly treasured and prized by the brethren. P.M. Bro. David Murray now placed the "Gift" on the alter and on removing the old V.S.L. which had been in working use since the inception of the lodge in 1771, stated that it was his desire to have the old book attended to by the "book binder" so that it could be preserved for all time".
Signed David G. Gordon R.W.M. Jas. Brierton Secy
The minute dated 28th September 1949 records that the lodge received its 1000th food parcel from lodge Oakleigh Australia. This achievement by our Australian brothers shows the true spirit of brotherly love a virtue that was cultivated and practised rather than talked about. Men who seized an opportunity when it occurred to do good not only to the individual assisted or helped but also to the craft as a whole which receives a reflected credit.
Our records now show that P.M. Bro. John Samson of lodge 126 St. Andrew Kilmarnock, on the 15th February 1950 was elected to Grand Lodge Committee, this was the first member of lodge 126 to gain Grand Lodge honours.
14 - 6 - 1950 The minute of this special meeting records that the lodge welcomed 6 Australian brothers as visitors to this meeting. By local press reports at this time a party of Australian bowlers were visiting Ayrshire. Included in the party were a number of craft members one of which was a Bro. Herbert S. Gray a member of lodge Oakleigh 126 Australia. We can only speculate that the special bond of friendship that existed between lodge St. Andrew and lodge Oakleigh had a great influence in Bro. Gray to attend the lodge, supported by other members of the craft from the Australian party. Bro. Herbert Gray was made an honorary member of lodge St. Andrew 126 at this meeting.
A tragedy was now to hit the lodge.
At the regular meeting on the 8th November 1950 the R.W.M. initiated the sudden death of Bro. James Brierton the lodge secretary and the R.W.M. elect. As the lodge installation was to be held on the 10th November 1950 a special application for dispensation to postpone the installation meeting was made to Provincial Grand Lodge and Grand Lodge.
Our history records that dispensation was granted the installation meeting being held on the 8th December 1950 Bro. James Martin being installed as R.W.M.
A sequel to the above.
At the above installation meeting P.M. David Murray and P.M. Charles McClung worthy P.M.'s of lodge Pollockshaws No153 presented the lodge with a beautiful "charter case" to act as a memorial to the late Bro. James Brierton. This gift has been in continual use since this presentation, it's honoured place in the lodge room table is synonymous with our lodge meetings. Events were now taking place in the name of progress at an office bearers meeting held on the 10th January 1951. It was agreed that the lodge open a "current account" to pay by cheque.
For a number of years scattered through our minutes are slight references to the lodges annual children's outing, with these outings continuing they must have proved not only successful but well supported by the brethren and their families. The minute dated 25th March 1951 records that three double decker buses were booked for this outing to South Beach on Saturday 9th June 1951.
A sequel
"On the 11th April 1951 a letter was received from the town clerk of Ardrossan granting permission to use part of South Crescent Green and shore for children's outing".
Signed James Morton R.W.M. Wm. Thomson Secy.
From the genesis of the lodge it was the custom that a brother be nominated as "test fee collector" a most important and at times an arduous office. There is no doubt that a history in itself could be written on this subject. It may not be out of place to record that at the meeting on the 11th April 1957 the R.W.M. Bro. James Morton intimated that the lodge test fee collector Bro. J.C. Thomson had collected what was a record sum of one hundred and eight pounds five shillings and paid tribute to Bro. Thomson for the great effort and time he gave to this office.
Again we find that a gap was to be filled in carrying out our ceremonies within the lodge. P.M. Bro. DG Gordon presented the lodge with "three blue prints" for the use in the mark degree at the meeting dated 11th April 1951.
The minute dated 25th April 1951 records that the lodge purchase a mark register, this was approved by the lodge brethren. The above register is still in use today and is worthy of examination. At the above meeting the R.W.M. intimated the death of King George VI a Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. A circular was read from the Grand Lodge re- the death of our late king, whereby the lodge will be placed in mourning for a period of three months, and no special functions shall be held until after the memorial service by Grand Lodge.
The lodge finances were on a solid foundation mainly due to prudence, strict management and a commitment to hard work by the brethren. We see by the following extract that anything frivolous was unacceptable.
Extract 15 - 2 - 1952
"Tres. intimated that he estimates we are almost 50 pounds over spent since the end of our financial year and suggested "that we be careful to see that anything we run washes its face".
Signed James Martin R.W.M. Wm. Thomson Secy.
Again our minute book records that on the 21st June 1992 the lodge held its annual children's outing. This was held at the David Livingstone Memorial Park, Blantyre. Two double decker busses were hired for this event, which proved a great success.
The minute of the 3rd December 1952 records the end of an episode in our lodge history.
The lodge received its last food parcels from lodge Oakleigh Australia.
The first recorded presentation of a distinguished service membership took place on the 28th January 1953. The R.W.M. Bro. James McDermont in a few well chosen words congratulated Bro. John Clay Thomson and presented him with a diploma. Bro. Thomson held the office of bard for 22 years, deputy master for 3 years and held the office of lodge test fee collector for 6 years.
Signed R.W.M. James McDermont Secy Matt. J. Pettigrew.
The above minute contains a further three items of interest. Bro. T. Sturdie presented the lodge with a handsome "slipper box". P.M. Bro. John Dunbar a joiner by trade intimated that he had made a set of emblems and sent them to lodge Oakleigh Australia. The R.W.M. now informed the brethren that Bro. P.M. James. G. Calderwood had been made an honorary Grand Junior Deacon by Grand Lodge for his services in India. P.M. Calderwood suitably replied to the welcome given to him by the brethren of his mother lodge.
Signed James McDermont R.W.M. M. Pettigrew Secy.
A rather enterprising item now appears in our minutes.
Extract 28 - 7 - 1954
"A pocket history of freemasonry was presented to the lodge and any brother could have a loan of the copy for one shilling, the money to be used to obtain literature of a similar nature".
Signed R.W.M. James McDermont Secy Matt Pettigrew.
The originality of the wording used by the R.W.M. Bro. James McDermont in the following extract leaves no dubiety.
Extract 6 - 10 - 1954
"R.W.M. Bro. Jas. McDermont sec. by P.M. Bro. John Kelly nominated Bro. Thomas Hamilton for the high office of R.W.M. The R.W.M. now asked if there was any brother who had any reason to urge why he should not be elected to state it now or ever after hold his peace","No objection being advanced".
Signed R.W.M. J. McDermont Secy Matt. J. Pettigrew.
To the reader an imagery past which is incongruous today.
A special meeting called by the lodge on the 8th December 1954 records that a mark master mason degree was carried out and conferred by the P.G. Master the Earl of Eglinton and Winton and his office bearers, after which the lodge conferred honorary membership to the P.G. Master the Earl of Eglinton and Winton and presented him with his certificate of membership of this lodge. What became a custom for a long number of years was the wearing of regalia during the first dance at the lodge annual dinner dance. Permission was granted for the above from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Ayrshire on the 23rd February 1955.
An interesting item appears in the minute dated 4th May 1955. It seems that in the year 1921 a brother of the lodge Bro. Daniel Kennedy had distinguished himself by composing poetic verses in honour of the lodges 150 anniversary.
An extract from the above minute.
"The original copy of the verses composed by the late Bro. Daniel Kennedy on the occasion of the 150th anniversary were presented to the lodge and it was agreed that the office bearers should consider ways and means of preserving the copy".
Signed R.W.M. Thomas Hamilton Matthew. J. Pettigrew Secy.
No further mention of the above matter is recorded what ever provisions were taken to preserve these original expression in poetry our records are mute. A protest accompanied by precise facts.
Extract 11 - 1 - 1956
"It was agreed a letter of protest be sent to "Clerk of Halls" committee regarding the heating of the temple, the temperature being 50 degrees at the opening and 52 degrees when the lodge was closed"
Signed R.W.M. Thomas Hamilton Matthew. J. Pettigrew Secy.
Sequel
At the close of the above regular meeting an office bearers meeting was held, where it was agreed that a retiring collection box be place on the table at each meeting the proceeds of which would go as an annual contribution to the Scottish Masonic Homes. The brethren being asked to place any spare coppers they had in the box.
Signed R.W.M. Thomas Hamilton Matthew. J. Pettigrew Secy.
At the meeting on the 25th January 1956 Bro. Adam Cunningham J.D. presented a collection box in the shape of a house for the retiring collection to the Scottish Masonic Homes at Auld Wharrie.
The minute of the 8th February 1956 records the passing to the Grand Lodge above of P.M. Bro. John Samson. A brother who had served his mother lodge, Provincial Grand Lodge, and Grand Lodge.
The minute contains the following eulogy.
Extract
"Thou shall be missed John for thy place shall be empty, sleep on brother we shall meet in the morning in that place prepared by the Grand Master for us".
Signed R.W.M. Thomas Hamilton Matthew. J. Pettigrew Secy.
For a considerable time the 4 Kilmarnock Lodges had shared the same brother as Tyler, Bro. John Kane. Bro. Kane was a member of lodge St. Andrew 126. At the meeting dated 6th February 1957 Bro. Alex Ross the R.W.M. of lodge 126 presented Bro. Kane with a wallet of notes on behalf of the 4 Kilmarnock lodges. Bro. Kane owing to health reasons was retiring after 14 years as Tyler. The R.W.M. Bro. Alex Ross expressing the great diligence and commitment Bro. John Kane gave to this office.
Throughout our lodge history the scribes have included in their minutes events surrounding the lodge.
One such event is recorded on the 11th December 1957 this was the tragic Muirkirk Mining Disaster. The lodge at once pledged a donation to a disaster fund set up to aid the victims and families of this local disaster.
Sequel
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal". It maybe of interest to today's brethren. The regular meeting of the lodge was held on Christmas Day 25th December 1957. The usual business was carried out followed by a M.M. degree.
The minute recording that a member of visitors attended the meeting. The beginning of a tradition that survives today.
It now appears that a benevolent meeting of the lodge held on 12th February 1958. The first steps were taken to recommend to open lodge that a Christmas gift be given to our senior members and widows of the lodge.
The minute dated 5th March 1958 records the presentation by Bro. James Kenmuir of his fathers. P.M. Bro. David Kenmuir 1934 - 36. P.M. jewel to the lodge.
The annual visitation of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Ayrshire took place on the 11th November 1958. This was a combined meeting all 4 lodges in Kilmarnock attended. The P.G. Master was Bro. T. Muir. Wilson expressing his appreciation to the 4 lodges in providing the finance to furnish a room at the new masonic homes at Randolph - Hill.
The regular meeting of the lodge was held on the 18th February 1959. On this occasion lodge L.K. 51 Newmilns had been invited to confer the E.A. degree. At the conclusion of the business P.M. Bro. David Gordon of lodge 126 presented a square and compasses to lodge L.K. 51.
The minute includes the following extract.
"There is an historical connection in the metal used in the manufacture of these emblems. It having been retrieved from the wreckage of an enemy plane which took part in the Clydeside Blitz".
Signed John Breckenridge R.W.M. Alex. L. Phillips Secy
A joint divine service of the 4 Kilmarnock lodges was held on Sunday 31st May 1959. This took place in the Laigh Kirk, Kilmarnock. This service was attended by the Grand Master Mason the Earl of Eglinton and Winton.
Foresight for the future.
Extract 25 - 11 - 1959
"P.M. Bro. James McDermont stated that the Bi-Centenary of his lodge would take place app. 11 years hence and consideration should be given regarding the inauguration of a celebration fund".
Signed John. Breckenridge R.W.M. Alex. L. Phillips Secy.
Innocent enough as the following extract seems this must have been for the individual a disastrous calamity.
Extract 3 - 2 - 1960
"It was reported that the Bro. Tyler had accidentally broken a bottle of whisky required for harmony this evening and had purchased a replacement which cost 37 shillings and six pence. On the motion of P.M. Bro. D. Gordon sec. by P.M. Bro. T. Hamilton it was agreed that the price be reimbursed to the Tyler".
Signed John. Breckenridge R.W.M. Alex. L. Phillips Secy.
We now enter what must be justly called modern times.
Extract 12 - 10 - 196
"On the motion of R.W.M. Bro. J. Breckenridge seconded by Bro. G. Skilling, Bro. Adam Cunningham was duly elected R.W.M.".
Signed John. Breckenridge R.W.M. Alex. L. Phillips Secy.
Lodge St. Andrew has through-out its long history been conscious to acknowledge the true tenets of freemasonry. It is recorded in our minutes dated 26th October 1960 the death of Bro. David Kerr a Bro. of lodge 126. Who left his native shores of Scotland to live in America. Bro. Kerr's masonic career continued in America. Adopting lodge Palmdale California No769. A letter was received from lodge Palmdale informing the lodge that Bro. David Kerr's funeral service was conducted with full masonic honours.
Sequel.
In appreciation to lodge Palmdale California for their services to the above brother a presentation case of working tools was sent to lodge Palmdale.
Signed John. Breckenridge R.W.M. Alex. L. Phillips Secy.
Our records continue to show that the annual visit of the Provincial Grand Lodge was still a shared visit with all the Kilmarnock Lodges. An extract from the above meeting is worthy of note.
Extract 17 - 10 - 1961
"The mallet was presented to the P.G. Master who on accepting it expressed his disappointment at the "poor turnout". This comment was answered by a Bro. of lodge 126. "P.M. Bro. James McDermont responded to the remark made by the P.G. Master that provincial was partly to blame for the small attendance by combining the 4 lodges the same evening". An answer synonymous to the character of P.M. Bro. James McDermont of lodge St. Andrew No126. Although the following extract ascribes no impute or attribute to our history its content is worthy of inclusion.
Extract 3 - 1 - 1962
"Owing to the extremely cold weather conditions prevailing and the heating system being out of order, the R.W.M. granted permission for the brethren to wear their overcoats during the remainder of the meeting".
Signed R.W.M. Adam Cunningham Alex. L. Phillips Secy.
A further presentation to the lodge.
Extract 28 - 2 - 1962
"The R.W.M. now thanked Bro. William Barclay of having presented his mother lodge with a miniature sword to replace one which had gone missing".
Signed R.W.M. Adam Cunningham Alex. L. Phillips Secy.
Extract 14 - 3 - 1962
"On the motion of P.M. Bro. David. G. Gordon sec. by Bro. James McDowall it was agreed to invite the royal artillery T.A. Band to lead the divine service parade".
Extract 19 - 12 - 1962
"The R.W.M. warmly thanked Bro. John Farrell for his gift of a beautiful jewel case to his mother lodge".
Signed R.W.M. Geo. R. Skilling Alex. L. Phillips Secy.
11 - 3 - 1964
A distinguished service diploma was presented to Bro. John Baillie on recognition of his long service to this his mother lodge. Signed R.W.M. Geo. R. Skilling Alex. L. Phillips Secy.
10 - 5 - 1964
The lodge once again held its annual divine service in the St. Andrews Parish Church. The service was conducted by the Rev. A.M. Beaton 17 deputations from sister lodges attended and a large deputation from the Provincial Grand Lodge. The minute records that a most inspiring service was given by the Rev. A.M. Beaton whose sermon was based on St. Andrew of Galillee. Service to mankind and giving heart before hand. At the close of the service the Rev. Bro. Beaton congratulated the brethren on their excellent singing in church.
Signed R.W.M. Geo. R. Skilling Alex. L. Phillips Secy
Extract 13 - 5 - 1964
"A meeting of office bearers was held on Wed. 13th May at 8p.m. R.W.M. Bro. Geo. R. Skilling presided. The outing to the mausoleum at Hamilton was discussed and it was agreed that this take place on Saturday 13th June leaving at 2p.m."
Signed R.W.M. Geo. R. Skilling Alex. L. Phillips Secy
Extract 1 - 7 - 1964
"A notice of motion that the regular meetings close down from the last regular meeting in June instead of July as per lodge special bye-laws No2 was propose by S.D. Bro. Jas. McDowall and seconded by Bro. Wm. Byers".
Sequel
This was approved at the regular meeting dated the 9th September 1964.
Signed R.W.M. Geo. R. Skilling Alex. L. Phillips Secy
At the meeting of the 9th September 1964 the Rev. Bro. A.M. Beaton was in attendance to conduct a memorial service to our late Bro. P.M. Bro. D. Gordon. The Rev. Bro. Beatons theme being "Friendship". I.P.M. Bro. Adam Cunningham assisted by giving the eulogy to the worthy P.M. and paid a glowing tribute to the memory of this genial brother. At the conclusion of the service the R.W.M. Bro. Geo. Skilling conferred Bro. Rev. A.M. Beaton with an honorary membership of lodge St. Andrew No126. The obligation being conferred by P.M. Bro. James McDermont.
At the installation meeting on the 13th November 1964. Bro. John Lochhead was installed as R.W.M. . The minute of the meeting records that 38 deputation's were received from sister lodges and "that the temple was filled to capacity".
Signed Geo. R. Skilling Alex. L. Phillips Secy
The minute dated 10th February 1965 contains a report on the 175th Anniversary and rededication ceremony of lodge Greenock St. John No175. The principal toast being given at this historical ceremony by Bro. John Lochead R.W.M. of lodge St. Andrew Kilmarnock No126. P.M. Bro. James McDermont made special mention of the excellent manner the R.W.M. carried out this duty upholding the prestige of lodge 126.
Signed R.W.M. John. E. Lochhead Alex. L. Phillips Secy.
19 - 5 - 1965
The minute records that Bro. James McLay Sharpe was presented with a distinguished service diploma in recognition of 50 years faithful service to the lodge.
Signed R.W.M. John. E. Lochhead Alex. L. Phillips Secy.
A small but significant recommendation was made at the meeting dated 28th September 1965. "That the names of deceased brethren during the past term, be included in the installation programme". The mark of respect continues today. An indicative sign from the past.
A special meeting was held on 2nd March 1966 to confer the mark master mason degree. The minute records that 22 brothers received this degree at this special meeting.
Signed R.W.M. John. E. Lochhead Alex. L. Phillips Secy.
The minute dated 23rd March 1966 records that the lodge was represented at the consecration of the new temple of lodge Thistle Stewarton No127 on the 19th February 1966. The lodge minutes now record the passing to the Grand Lodge above of Bro. the Earl of Eglinton and Winton. The memorial service to be held at Kilwinning on Sunday 29th May 1966. An item of interest is contained in the correspondence of the minute of the 6th April 1966.
Extract
"Letter was read from Grand Lodge requesting names and addresses of ministers and elders who are members of the craft, and who will be attending the general assembly of the Church of Scotland on the 30th May".
Signed R.W.M. John. E. Lochhead Alex. L. Phillips Secy.
20 - 4 - 1966
Bro. Adam Cunningham P.M. nominated as lodge St. Andrew No126 halls trustee, due to the resignation of P.M. Bro. R.J. Kennedy.
23 - 11 - 1966
The extract of the following minute precluded any ambiguity of words.
"Some consideration was given to the rather lengthy degrees which resulted in the lateness of certain regular meetings, thus causing some inconvenience to brethren who resided in outlying housing areas".
Signed R.W.M. Samuel Lundie Alex. L. Phillips Secy.
A unique presentation is now recorded in our minutes.
Extract 25 - 1 - 1967
"R.W.M. Bro. Wm. Lawson of lodge Ibrox Glasgow No1272 presented a beautiful cloak in lodge colours of crimson and blue for use in the 3rd degree".
Signed R.W.M. Samuel. C. Lundie Alex. L. Phillips Secy.
Sequel
This cloak is still in use today, it has become a unique characteristic of lodge 126 master mason degree. To add to the presentations to the lodge at the regular meeting on 8th March 1967. Bro. Richmond of lodge Troon Navigation No86 presented two beautiful hardwood columns to be used by the wardens of the lodge. What was to become for many years a fund raiser for the lodge was introduced at the meeting dated 5th April 1967.
Extract
"S.D. Bro. J. Farrell made a proposal that a jumble sale be organised for the purpose of raising funds, this was seconded by Bro. Arch. N. Gibson and approved".
Signed R.W.M. Samuel. C. Lundie Alex. L. Phillips Secy.
Yet an other gap was to be filled to carry out the ceremonial work of the lodge.
Extract 16 - 10 - 1968
"Bro. John. A. Ghee then presented a beautiful tracing board to the R.W.M. who expressed his warmest thanks for this gift, several other brethren congratulated Bro. Ghee on the excellent quality of his work".
Signed R.W.M. Samuel. C. Lundie Alex. L. Phillips Secy.
An innovation is now mentioned in the minute 20th November 1968.
Extract
"In view of the fact that we did not have an experienced organist the committee favoured the idea, that a tape recording be procured with suitable music for the various degrees".
Signed R.W.M. Jas. McDowall Alex. L. Phillips Secy.
Extract 11 - 12 - 1968
"The R.W.M. drew attention to 2 cups presented by Bro. J.G. Calderwood, and thanked Bro. A. Morrison for his excellent work in renovating them".
Signed R.W.M. Jas. McDowall Alex. L. Phillips Secy.
Sequel
These cups were to be used in sporting events of the lodge.
The minute of the 25th December 1968 records that the R.W.M. Bro. James McDowall had been given the honour of proposing the toast to lodge 114 at their forth coming Bi-Centenary celebrations in February 1969. At the meeting of the 15th January 1969 an appeal was read for a donation towards the restoration of Burns House and Museum in Mauchline. The lodge approved that a donation be made to this appeal.
Signed R.W.M. Jas. McDowall Alex. L. Phillips Secy
Our minutes 5th March 1969 mentions a meeting of a four square club, the fore-runner of the now masonic social club.
18 - 4 - 1969
The minute of the above meeting records that the R.W.M. Bro. James McDowall conferred honorary membership to P.M. Bro. David Maxwell of lodge 114, there after P.M. Adam Cunningham and P.M. James McDermont both worthy past masters of lodge 126 presented lodge 114 with a copy of the tracing board drawn by Bro. John Ghee of 126.
Signed R.W.M. Jas. McDowall Alex. L. Phillips Secy
As a sequel to the above.
At the meeting dated 25th June 1969 P.M. Bro. James McDermont on behalf of the lodge presented Bro. John Ghee with a masonic bible in appreciation for his work in providing and drawing the new tracing board for the lodge, with a copy being presented to lodge 114.
Signed R.W.M. Jas. McDowall Alex. L. Phillips Secy
A further presentation was made to the lodge by Bro. A. McGarvie, three beautiful mallets to be used by the R.W.M. and wardens. R.W.M. James McDowall acknowledging the excellent craftsmanship of Bro. McGarvie in making the mallets. A complement to an embellishment that is sadly missing today.
Extract 5 - 11 - 1969
"The R.W.M. congratulated Bro. Graham on the excellent quality of his ceremonial work and called on the brethren to show their appreciation". P.M. Bro. J. Kelly said that the fine singing of the trio, comprising R.W.M. Bro. James McDowall, P.M. Bro. Ed. Nicholas and Dep. M. Bro. R. Graham enchanced the degree".
Signed R.W.M. Jas. McDowall Alex. L. Phillips Secy
It has been the custom of the lodge to appoint a brother as "Lodge test fee collector". For some considerable time this important office had remained vacant. The minute of the 21st January 1970 records that P.M. Bro. Thomas Hamilton was appointed to this office. Bro. T. Hamilton carried out this duty until his health failed his enthusiasm and diligence in this office is well remembered.
The minutes of the 18th February 1970 record that P.M. Bro. Thomas Paterson of lodge St. John No22 was conferred with an honorary membership of lodge 126.
Extract 17 - 6 - 1970
"Bro. Ian Gordon on behalf of Bro. Jas McAulay presented a set of square and compasses with inscription "in memory of P.M. Bro. David. G. Gordon".
Signed R.W.M. Jas. McDowall Alex. L. Phillips Secy.
25 - 11 - 1970
A new enterprise was to commence by the W.J.W. Bro. Neil McIntosh, this was the publication of a monthly news and views sheet. The R.W.M. Bro. John Farrell congratulating Bro. McIntosh on this new venture and asked the lodge members to submit items of interest for publication.
Signed R.W.M. John Farrell Alex. L. Phillips Secy.
Preparations were complete regarding the lodge's forthcoming Bi-Centenary on the 28th May 1971.
The minutes record the following. That a history of the lodge was complied by the lodge chaplain Bro. James Gordon. 200 commemorative jewels were purchased. Donations to be made to the Provincial Grand Lodge and Grand Lodge benevolent funds. The donation and presentation of medical equipment to Kilmarnock Infirmary, all of which being an integral part of this historical lodge event.
Extracts 28 - 5 - 1971
Special Bi-Centenary meeting.
"The D.O.C. P.M. Bro. J. McDermont introduced representatives of sister lodges and a large deputation from Provincial Grand Lodge headed by Pro. Grand Master Bro. Gregor Grant". "Representatives from Grand Lodge headed by the most worshipful Grand Master Mason Bro. David Liddell - Grainger of Ayton were then admitted". "The Grand Chaplain read a passage of scripture and performed the act of re-dedication and the three fold blessing, with verses of psalm 122 being sung between blessings from the south, the east and the west". "The most worshipful Grand Master Mason then delivered his address and congratulated the lodge on its history and enthusiasm over the past 200 years, and noted that the original V.S.L. and Charter were on display". "Two verses of the 2nd paraphrase were then sung following by prayer of thanks giving and the dedication of new lodge regalia by the Grand Chaplain". The R.W.M. presented Bi-Centenary jewels and lodge 126 "ties to the Grand Master Mason and his deputation and to the Provincial Grand Master".
The minute concludes.
"The R.W.M. expressed his thanks to the brethren of 126 for the high honour of presiding on this historic occasion".
Signed R.W.M. John Farrell Alex. L. Phillips Secy.
The secretary's annual report dated 10th November 1971 carries the following tribute to the R.W.M. John Farrell.
Extract
"A model of chairmanship throughout this historical Bi-Centenary".
Signed Alex. L. Phillips Secy.

So ends chapter four.

To: The brethren of my Mother Lodge, in compiling this history my first intention was to go into as much detail as possible, but the language and style in which our history is recorded would have been a mammoth task. Since the work I embarked upon was aimed for the Lodge reader I had to be restricted by length.
The dictate of the above imposed the most difficult decision in my endeavours, what should be included and what should remain hidden in our records. The choice made with much difference was individual.
The History of Lodge St. Andrew, though individual touches many facets, references are made to the town of Kilmarnock and the harsh social conditions that surrounded the Lodge in the early years. The ravish of wars and their aftermath left their influence on our minutes.
The extracts I have recorded are in the original phraseology taken from the minute books. The spelling penned by the scribes remain unaltered, any alteration would be a false imitation of their minutes.
I have tried to tell in plain language what I myself have learned from our records and give an interest to the brethren who have not had the opportunity to study this great heritage that we today are the custodians. If, unwittingly, I have transgressed in any interpretation of these records, or in any way offended, I offer my sincere apologies.
R. GHEE.

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