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Lodge St Andrew 524, 2017
The Lodge was chartered on 5th August 1872 by The Grand Lodge of Scotland, in Edinburgh.
The petitioners included Joseph B. Wallace R.W.M.., Richard Burns S.W., George Buchanan J.W., Alexander Workman, Treasurer., James Russell, Secretary, Neil McMillan S.D., and George Kerr J.D.
The petition was supported by Lodges Rutherglen Royal Arch, No. 116 and St. John Busby No. 458. The Charter being awarded by Bro. Francis Robert, Earl Rosslyn the Most Worshipful Grand Master.
The lodge was later Consecrated by the Provincial Master of Renfrewshire East Brother Colonel Sir Archibald Campbell, 1st Lord Blythswood, on the 26th April 1873.
In the years which followed, up to 1917, a random selection of recurring well-known names displayed the following:
The first minute in the First Minute Book of the Lodge is dated August 10th 1872. Here it is - reproduced in full:
"Lodge 524 met in their Lodge-room for deciding the colours of the clothing unanimously agreed to be Crimson also that Mrs Horner of Thornliebank make us 30 aprons. Bro. John Horner received the sum of one pound stg. of his expenses going to Edinburgh presenting our petition for Charter after business being over closed lodge in due and ancient form" Signed : J. B. Wallace R.W.M.
The initial year of 1872 continued with a further 11 meetings during which the Roll Book records 10 initiates. The very first of these being James Torlay, Carter in East Kilbride. He was both Initiated and Passed, together with a Mr. Ballantine and a Mr. Miller on 7th September 1872. On 9th October 1872 we have a very full evening with candidates Proposed, Initiated, Passed and Raised - this becoming a regular pattern for some time to follow.
In September it was agreed that meetings would be held on the Second Wednesday and the Last Saturday of each month. The election of Office Bearers took place in October with the R.W.M. being re-elected. Bro. R. Burns, elected Tyler, was voted £1:10/- per year for his services. The Installation took place on December 4th with Committees being appointed to examine the books of Secretary and Treasurer and to propose bye-laws. Visitors to the Lodge were recorded in November and December from Strathaven, Busby and Glasgow.
This ended a busy year with results that must have been satisfying to all.
The year of 1873, the first full year of working, proved to be a busy, stormy yet successful one, in many ways
A Brother Fleming emerges as Lodge Secretary. He records two meetings in January the second being an Emergency one for the Lodges first Provincial Grand Lodge Visitation. The visitors appear
to have been satisfied and indicate this by the simple expedient of counter-signing the previous Minutes of the Lodge. This was done by Bros. W. Robertson and James Buchanan of P.G.L.
Two proposals relating to Finance were agreed to about this time; firstly that the R.W.M. and Wardens to be paid expenses when representing the Lodge ( at Grand Lodge presumably ) and secondly that the payment of Fees on the night of Initiation be adhered to.
On February 22nd a rift in the lute appeared - the Lodge received a letter of resignation form the R.W.M. Bro. J. Wallace. The trouble seems to have been over the business to be conducted on Wednesdays as opposed to Saturdays and to the notice to be given for Emergency Meetings. "Sides" seem to have been taken up with the result that the R.W.M., at the next meeting on March 1st, won his way, if only partly. Bro. Wallace evidently continued as R.W.M. until May 1st 1873. The last minute signed by him was on April 25th - the day before the Consecration of the Lodge. On the 1st of May a sad entry appears; "The R.W.M. threw down his Jewel when they were to be locked in the Chest and had to be called back to close the Lodge". Bro. Wallace continued
to attend the Lodge, dissenting on May 14th to the minute of May 3rd, when Bro. Workman was appointed to represent the Lodge in Edinburgh. He was present once more on October 17th 1874 when he failed to be elected to the Chair. Meanwhile Bros. A. Workman and N. Buchanan were both nominated as the new R.W.M. with N. Buchanan successful on 31st May 1873. Lodge business continued with Jewels ordered for the office-bearers ( cost £5 ) and a "swatch of material" approved for Sashes and Aprons. Whilst on March 26th the Bye-Laws committee, having made no progress recommended that the Lodge should adopt the Bye-Laws of Lodge St. John Busby, No. 458. This was agreed.
It is pleasant to record here that visitors from Lodge St. Andrew, No. 215 Strathaven made the first recorded presentation to the Lodge - that of a Dagger.
It is in April 18th of this year ( 1873 ) that we find the first reference to the location of our Lodge Meetings. At a meeting on that date a Deputation was formed "to wait on Mrs. Cook at her hotel in Hunter Street, to fix a room for the Lodge to meet in". This deputation must have gone out forthwith - no doubt with great alacrity - for it's report was made that same evening. They reported that Mrs Cook had rented to them a room for the meetings of the Lodge at a rental of £2.10/- Per Annum, adding that a door and a table would be removed to suit the Lodge. At the same time 2 Bros. were called on to arrange a place for the Lodge to meet at Lectures on Saturdays.
It was during April that arrangements for the Consecration Ceremony on 26th April were made. It was decided to meet the Deputations at the Railway Station and give them a glass of wine and a pie (150 were ordered ). A band had been engaged to play at the lodge and this would be free-of-charge due no doubt to the influence of Alexander Watt. The Consecration of the Lodge took place in the local school-room. A donation was received for the P.G.M. Bro. A. Campbell in the sum of £5. April 1873 had proved to be a busy, eventful month - the Lodge going so far as to decline an invitation to visit St. Johns Operative No. 347 in Rutherglen. They made amends in June however when they invited 347 together with Cambuslang R.A. No.114 to visit East Kilbride.
In August we read of arrangements for a Walk to High Blantyre with a band at the head. This band cost 30/-, but no report of the walk appears. Social Minutes begin to appear at this time with a Ball arranged for December. Endeavours to move the Annual Festival from St. Andrew's Night to Halloween failed Nov. 30th remained the date. Later, the number of participants at the Annual Ball, proving to be "only half expected", the Ball venue was confined to Lodge Room.
In October Bro. Buchanan was re-elected R.W.M. but we have no minute of Installation. Provincial Grand Lodge appear to have visited the Lodge on November 12th as the ordinary minute for that date is countersigned by the P.G.M. Bro. A. Campbell. Lodge Secretary in the latter part of 1873 appears to have become Bro. J. King.
The R.W. M. proposed in October "that our meeting nights be the 3rd Saturday of the month " No further details appear at this point. The last entry for 1873 gives the first indication of Lodge Instruction Class as on that date the Lodge "met for Instruction". It was also agreed at this meeting for R.W.M. and Wardens to attend Grand Lodge in May 1874 and to be excused an earlier meeting.
The only reference to Degree work in 1873 is in the April 23rd meeting minute. However Lodge Roll Book tells us that no less than 31 candidates were initiated in 1873 with 6 Bros. affiliating, our first Affiliate was Bro. James Horner from Lodge St. John Busby No. 458.
At Grand Lodge there was a new Grand Master - Brother Sir Michael Shaw-Stewart.
1874 was a year of few meetings - 12 only - and little information from its minutes. It begins too on a severe note with an entry regarding 4 Brothers brought before the Lodge "for their conduct". In March, 2 noted visitors are recorded; Bro William Bassett of the "Masonic News" and a Bro. Prentice, R.W.M. - Elect of the proposed new lodge in Blantyre ( 557 ) who presented his petition for signature by our R.W.M. and Wardens. Lodge benevolence receives its first mention in the request of a brother for assistance "whose immediate wants were supplied". April and May go by simple references to visitations from Lodges 114, 116 and 347. In June a proposal is made that "Bro. Joe Wallace's account be settled". This looks most alarming but all is well when one month later it is recorded that Bros. Park and King had paid the same. In July a Bro. Speirs is asked and agrees to act as Senior Warden.
Visitors from Lodge St. John Busby are here noted - Bros. Galbraith and Horner. Bro. Horner agrees that he and other office bearers from Lodge St. John would "chair" the Lodges Meeting on August 1st.
No minute shows for the meeting mentioned for August 1st and the next minute, 15th August, tells us of a 1st Degree by our Lodges own Brethren. On October 17th we have the classic reference as one Wm. McIntyre, who received his First, Second and Third Degrees all in that evening. The nomination this year was separated from the Election with three nominations for R.W.M.; Bros King, Buchanan and J. Wallace. At the election in November Bro. John King was elected R.W.M. for 1874/75 and Installed by Bro. Gillies of Lodge Union and Crown, Glasgow, No. 103. This gives us our first minute of Installation.
In December a Soiree / Concert was held in the Parish School tickets 1/6d. The Annual Ball to be held in the Lodge-room in January 1875, tickets 2/- each. Lodge Roll Book tells us of 5 Initiates and 3 Affiliates during the year.
1875 is also a year of 12 meetings with a Bro. R. Paton as Secretary until June 19th when, he having "gone to a foreign land", a Bro. P. Livingstone took his place.
The minute of January 16th displays the first evidence of the lodges approach to Degree working where we read of a Mr. Wm. Hutchison being initiated "…for the lodge Bro. Speirs and for Candidate Bro. Colligan…". In January we have evidence of Lodge charity when a Bro. received aid from the box. In March, a Brother "badly and not able to work" was sent 14/- after a collection had been made. Another "First" appears in February when the Ball Committee reported its returns. Having drawn £1.17.6, paid the fiddler 15/- and a refreshment 2/6, the balance of £1 was added to Lodge Funds. The Soiree / Concert is also reported but without details. Lodge Instruction still receives attention and proposals are made that "instead of Harmony after the meeting on February 20th we have a lodge of Instruction", and again in December "that we meet on the First Saturday of every month for Instruction". Invitations are also received during the year to a Masonic Service in Paisley; the laying of the Foundation Stone at Lodge Patrick St. Marys, No. 117 and to the Consecration of Lodge St. Johns Operative, No. 347's New Hall in Rutherglen.
In May of this year a Bro. Thomas is shown as "In the Chair" and conferring a Third Degree. Bro. Thomas having to leave early for his train was followed by the R.W.M. Bro. King who in turn conferred a Second Degree. The facility with which our Brethren conferred degrees in those days makes one wonder at the content of such degrees. Clearly meetings lasted for many hours or degrees were much shorter. Meetings were held that summer but no business was transacted. In September Bros. Park and Colligan felt moved to propose, "That all Bros. of the Lodge be served with a written notice for the next meeting, October 16th at 6p.m." The motion was agreed. Obviously some concern was felt with regard to attendances, due possibly to meetings being held with a measure of irregularity. In October, at the Nomination of Office-bearers, Bro. King declined nomination and Bro R. Kerr was nominated for 1874 / 75. Bro. Kerr was Elected in November and Installed by Bro. Gillies of Lodge 103. This ended a quiet year with the Roll Book showing 7 initiates.
The next year 1876, the Lodge being 4 years old was not a notable one. Bro. R. Kerr R.W.M. Chaired only 5 of the 15 meetings held. Bro. J. King P.M. acted in the absence of Bro. Kerr. In November the Provincial Grand Lodge Visitation was recorded by a Minute the style of which is more in line to the Minutes of today. In this Minute Bro. R. Kerr is taken to task for his attendances and failure to pass on information sent to him by P.G.L. The Treasurer's Books were not examined as he was indisposed. However Provincial were satisfied that Lodge Minutes were being well kept and all else was in "good working order". This Minute is signed by Bro. J. Caldwell, P.G.S.M. and Bros. Gilmour, McPherson, Carswell and Edmonds.
From January to May the Minutes are extremely short with degree work mentioned, but no reference to any other business. A Bro. Wm. Ferguson of Lodge Govandale No. 437 is quoted as standing for the candidate in more than one degree. In July a clash of interests leads to the Lodge "…on account of our Faire being on our regular meeting night", postponing its Meeting. The postponed Meeting was held on July 15th. At this meeting, and again in August, a Lodge "Procession" is agreed and arranged for 9th September. Sadly no report of this appears. However an interesting entry in October 17th tells us that the Lodge met for the purpose of going to assist in laying the Foundation Stone of the new Post Office in Glasgow. "22 went away and joined in the Ceremony, returning in the evening.
The October Nomination, postponed till November, because of the absence of Brethren, resulted in Bro. N. Buchanan being nominated as R.W.M. His Election and Installation took place on the 16th December, Brother J. King being the Installing Master. A Lodge Ball arranged for the last Friday of the year receives no report. With Lodge Roll Book Indicating 3 initiates, so ends a somewhat poor year.
Yet another quiet year follows in1877. The first 4 months of the year in fact have entries reading "No business". This parlous state is ended in May when 2 Candidates receive their First Degree. The conferring of the Second and Third Degrees occupies the Lodge to the month of September. In October a new "hand-of write" appears and we have the best, full and well set Minute to date. At the Nominations which took place in October Bro. J. Park was nominated R.W.M., and at the Installation in November, he was installed by the I.P.M. Bro. N. Buchanan. The Lodge meeting on December 1st was Provincial Grand Lodge Visitation. A very brief minute, "Books examined", was signed by the P.G.M. Bro. A. Campbell. The Minute of November 17th leads to 2 interesting observations; first the addition to a proposal that the Lodge Ball be held on 25th January 1878; "and that it be open to friends", also the Secretary's entry "the Brethren retired from Labour to Refreshment for the space of half an hour and the Lodge was then closed in due and ancient form". The year saw the entry of 2 initiates and 1 affiliate.
The 3 years which follow 1878, 1879 and 1880, under the Chairmanship of Bro. Park and for the latter part under that of a recalled Bro. J. King P.M., were indeed difficult. This is not to say that Bro. Park R.W.M. was at fault and in fact no criticism of Bro. Park is recorded. Our Lodges Board of "524's R.W.M.s credits Bro. Park as R.W.M. in 1880. In that year we see that of 14 meetings Bro. Park chaired 1 only and Bro. J. King P.M. the remainder.
In 1878 five out of the eleven meetings were held with no business being transacted. A proposal was made and agreed, that the Lodge send out Invitations to neighbouring Lodges to visit us at our "Quarterly Meetings". Invites were sent out to Cambuslang, Rutherglen and Blantyre and resulted in a Deputation being received from Lodge St. Johns Operative No. 347 at the "Quarterly Meeting" in May. We read in September of a letter from P.G.L. with regard to a Masonic Burial Ground, the Minute ending "…there was nothing said about this." Bro. Park was re-elected R.W.M. and Installed in November. An Emergency meeting in November was for the P.G.L. Visitation with Bro. A. Campbell simply counter-signing a previous Minute. 1878 shows the dubious record with 1886 as the only years in which the Lodge failed to enter any candidates.
The year 1879 has record of five meetings only, January, March, May, November and December. The first three record "no business". It is in November that the seriousness of the Lodge affairs begins to come to light. A proposal is made to go with the Election of Office bearers for next year. "Bro. J. King is nominated but declines the Office. Lodge Minute continues "…there being no other Brother in the Lodge which would accept the office we could not go on with the Election..." It is then arranged to send a letter to P.G.M. to say a Deputation would meet him at Busby. The Minute like so many during these years is not signed. The year is saved from being almost totally negative in December when on the 20th of that month, with Bro. J. King in the Chair, 2 candidates, D. Conn and J. Brannen, receive their initiation. 1879 really comes to a close on 15th January 1880 when the P.G.M. with four of his Office Bearers meet the members of the Lodge and record the following: - "We the undersigned, certify that the Minutes of the Lodge have been regularly kept and that although from certain circumstances the Lodge is not clear of Grand Lodge dues we are hopeful that this will be immediately attended to." This is signed by Bro A. Campbell P.G.M., Caldwell P.P.G.M., W. Adam P.G.D.M. and by the Secretary and Treasurer.
Thus ended 1879 but with 2 entrants to its credit.
In 1880, a year credited to Bro. J. Park. Of 14 meetings, only1 is chaired by him. Bro. King is in command elsewhere and throughout. On January 17th the deputation to meet the P.G.M. reported to the Lodge; a £1 donation from the P.G.M. is delivered and a Second Degree conferred - Bro. J. King in the Chair. 4 meetings between February and May record the formation of a Committee to collect regularly from the Brethren for funds to buy Lodge Furniture and further Degree work. From June to September during 4 further meetings each of the three degrees are carried out, but with no other business noted. In October Bro. King is nominated R.W.M. and is Elected and Installed as such in November. This meeting in November was held in "Rae's Hall" - the first mention of such premises. An Emergency meeting on the 26th of the month to confer the Third Degree was also held in Rae's Hall. The P.G.L. Visitation took place on December 4th of that year. It was an Emergency Meeting once more and held on a Saturday. Their Minute of Inspection extends for the first time to a full page but is badly written. The Minute declares that all the Lodge Books are "fair and regular"; that some fees to Grand Lodge are still due but that they believe these will soon be paid and they Congratulate the Lodge on a successful year. They recommend that the Lodge purchase a Roll Book and bring it up to date, and that Initiation Fees be paid in full at the time and not in Instalments. They end by saying that every effort should be made to ensure the conferring of the Second and Third Degrees. The Minute is signed by Bro. A. Campbell P.G.M. and 6 others. The year ends with a meeting in Rae's Hall when a Social Committee is formed and there were 5 Initiates during the year. The Lodge Secretary is Bro. Jarvie.
In the year 1881 the Lodge emerged from the doldrums of the previous 3 years. All of the 15 meeting held were in Rae's Hall of the Bro. King chaired 12. The Chairman at the January meeting was Bro. Hugh Colligan Depute Master and on 2 other occasions a Bro. J. Walker. Few Minutes remain unsigned and the Opening, Passing and Raising of the Lodge is regularly quoted. Degree work is carried out at 8 of the Lodge meetings with yet another 'Full House' on December 2nd when Mr Jas. Dunsmore received all Degrees in one evening. In May a Mark Degree is arranged - Bro. John Walker to be in charge - with the proceeds (2/6 each) to be used to buy Lodge furniture. This is the first reference to a Mark Degree. However, if it was ever held, no Minute appears to tell us so. Little is recorded on the Social side - we hope the Invite from Lodge 557 to a Social Meeting in January was taken up. P.G.L. made their Annual Visit in November with Bro. A Campbell, P.G.M. at the Head. A 'clear minute' is recorded but the Lodge is again urged to have a 'Role Book'. They said also that Lodge Minutes must show degree in which Lodge is working; that Elections must be held in the Third Degree and that the Lodge copy of Grand Lodge Laws be on view and so minuted. Oddly enough this Minute is one of the three not signed during the year. Bro. J Walker Nominated R.W.M. in October was elected in Installed by Bro. T.M. Campbell in November. Deputations were received at this meeting from Lodges No. 0, 4, 305, 408, 458 and 557. The Installation Minute ends, ' …Lodge called from Labour to Refreshment and after being in Harmony with Song, Toast and Sentiment for a time was called back and closed in Due and Ancient Form…' Initiates in 1881 equal 2, and a third Brother was affiliated.
1882 brought the Lodge to its 10th Birthday. Of 16 meetings held - no month being omitted - Bro. J Walker R.W.M. chaired but six. The stalwart Bro. J King P.M. also chaired six with Bros. H Colligan, R Paton, A Simpson and a Bro. Philips R.W.M. Lodge 556 assisting. It was on March 18th when a Bro. Philips took the Chair, assisted by J Wilson of 556 a Senior Warden. This seems to indicate an Official Visitation by Lodge 556 but unfortunately no Degree work took place. Degree work was held a six of the year's meetings with three candidates entered and one Bro. affiliated. The 2nd Degree in November was conferred by Bro. B Crann of lodge Busby St John. Deputations were received in June from 'Busby and Cathcart'. The Lodge in turn visited Lodges 557 and 458 in February and September.
East Kilbride 'Show' again caused the Lodge's June Meeting to be put back one week as the regular meeting was 'too soon after the Show' in August we again find the proposal that the Secretary send notices to all members to attend the next meeting. The subsequent meeting gives no other details than that of a deputy to Lodge Busby. The designation, age and other details about candidates begin to appear in the Minutes where, formally, next to no detail was given. The Annual Visit by P.G.L. was in December when the Clear Minute ends by reporting that the P.G.M. donated £1 to Lodge Funds.
Since the Lodge Roll Book is not mentioned we may take this to indicate that one at last had been procured and brought up to date. At the Installation Meeting November 18th Bro. Robert Paton, Mason, having been elected was Installed R.W.M. by Bro. G Hart P.M. Lodge No 153. Bro. Paton chaired his meeting on November 30th but it was not until February 17th 1883 to we find him back again in the Lodge. In December Bro. J King acting R.W.M. records a vote of thanks to Organisers of Lodge's Annual Assembly, December 15th, and praises their able arrangements and managements. This is the first Minute of such a vote and one feels that such an entry would go far to encourage the Workers of the Day.
The Chairmanship of Bro. Robert Paton extends over the year, 1883, 1884 and 1885. Until August 1885, more precisely, as we shall see. Bro. Paton presided over 11 of the 13 meetings in 1883, Bro. J King, P.M. 524, and Bro. A. Maxwell, R.W.M. 557, the others. Brother Maxwell did much for Lodge St Andrew and in November, the ceremony of Installation. Degree work was carried out on six other occasions, including the Nomination and Instruction Meetings by the Lodge. The illness, death and funeral of Bro. Simpson took much of the Lodge's attention from February until September. The Lodge gave the contents of the Charity Box to Bro. Simpson in February and wrote to P.G.L. on his behalf. In May P.G.L. sent £4 for our Bro. but later, he having died, the Lodge agreed to defray the expenses of his Funeral and Burial. Finally in September the sum of 6/6d is returned to the Charity Box. The Lodge Demit Book being brought into line with Grand Lodge Rules, two Bros. are guaranteed demits in April. In July some concern is evident over absent members when two Bros. are detailed to visit any Bro. absent from a meeting to ensure with regard to his health. Two boxes for Lodge Wardens are agreed to be purchased with £1 subscribed for furniture. In August a proposal is made to have an Emergency Meeting each month on the third Monday but no evidence follows to show if this was ever practiced. In July and September the Lodge attended the Foundation Stone laying ceremonies at both the Established Church at Busby and the Sherriff Court House at Paisley. In April it was agreed on the motion of Bros. Livingston and Nimmo, 'that Bro. J King P.M. be given a token of Lodge appreciation for his valuable services. A committee was formed to take up subscriptions. This resulted, on May 19th, in the R.W.M. Bro. R Paton presenting Bro. J King with a P.M.'s jewel suitably inscribed. The Minute tells us that, Bro King suitably replied and the evening ended with a happy Harmony together with some Blantyre Brothers'. There can be no doubt that Bro. king would treasure such an Honour and would wear his Jewel with the greatest pride. The Lodges first P.M. Jewel was surely earned by a very consistent and hard working Brother and Master. The Nomination Meeting in October resulted in all the Officers for 1883 being unanimously Re-nominated for 1884. Brothers from Lodge Star 219 and Blantyre 557 were present at the Harmony which followed. The Installation Ceremony in November was carried out by Bro. A Maxwell R.W.M. 557 - a simple one of re-obligating the Office Bearers stating that 15/-, the balance from Lodge Ball, had been passed to Treasurer. Initiates were 3 and Affiliates 2. At Grand Lodge a new Grand Master presided: The Earl of Mar and Kellie.
During 1884 - another "quiet" year - Bro. R. Paton was in the Chair at 7 of the 14 meetings. Bro. J. Speirs S.W. and Bro. J. King P.M. taking over at the others. January, February and November 26th only saw Degree work - the 3rd Degree in February being by Bro. A. Maxwell R.W.M. 557. In May the Lodge business is given over to an Instruction Class "run through" of the 2nd Degree.
Five meetings are dismissed as having "No Business" other than Minutes. In September on a happier financial note - the balance of monies, after buying Lodge Furniture is passed to the Treasurer. In October, on the 11th the P.G.L. gives the Lodge a "Clear Minute" and on the 18th Bro. R. Paton is nominated R.W.M. for 1885. The latter Minute records that Grand Lodge Laws were laid on the table; that 18/- in the Charity Box be passed to Treasurer and that 4 Bros. receive diplomas.
At the Installation meeting in November a proposal is made to postpone Installation "on account of the Nominated Bros. not all being present". Since no Minute of Installation does appear we are left to assume either that the Installation did take place that evening or that the Office Bearers "soldiered-on" into 1885. The latter may have been more likely, as we shall see, but with Bro. J. King P.M., once again doing the "soldiering". The last Minute for the year is a sad one as it tells us that "…the Committee at our Annual Conversation (A.G.M.) reported the Lodge to have gone 7/2d in arrears…" It was then proposed, "To fall back on the Fund for that purpose". 1884 ended on this note but with 3 Candidates for the year.
In the third of the years credited to Bro. R. Paton as R.W.M. -1885- he chaired only 2 of the 13 meetings held. Bro. J. King P.M. chaired 9 of the remainder with Bro. J. Speirs of 524 and Bro. A. Maxwell, R.W.M. of 557 the others. Bro. J. Speirs, Senior Warden in 1884 is now referred to as Substitute Master. The Minute of February 21st 1885 reveals yet another division. With Bro. J. King in the Chair, Bro. Paton not having attended since November, a proposal is made, "…that Bro. Jarvie (Secretary) wait on the R.W.M. and inform him it is the urgent wish of the Lodge that the O.B.'s be Installed and that Bro. Logan be Raised…" Bro, Jarvie must have failed to prevail on the R.W.M. at an Emergency Meeting was held on March 11th to Raise Bro. Logan to the Degree of Master Mason. Bro. J. King chaired this meeting. The R.W.M. Bro. Paton did appear on March 21st and again on April 18th. At the first of these a 1st Degree was carried out and the Installation may also have taken place. In April the 2nd Degree is recorded as conferred by the R.W.M. Bro. Paton. However, in August the Lodge receives the resignations of the R.W.M. Bro. Paton and Bro. Speirs Substitute Master. These are agreed not to be accepted, until September when it is then agreed to do so. No indications appear in the Minutes as to what the trouble was between Bro. R. Paton and the Lodge. Provincial Grand Lodge Annual Visitation was in September and the Clear Minute recorded is signed by Bros. Caldwell, Nisbet and McPherson. Correspondence from Grand Lodge continues earlier appeals for Benevolence with Subscription Sheet brought before the Lodge. Bro. J. King P.M. was nominated R.W.M. in October and in December Installed for his fourth term as R.W.M. by Bro. A. Maxwell R.W.M. 557. During the year 4 candidates were admitted.
At Grand Lodge the P.G.M. for Renfrewshire East, Bro. Sir A. Campbell (1st Lord Blythswood), had become the Most Worshipful Grand Master.
As we have said of 1886 it shares with 1878 the doubtful distinction as the only years in which no candidates were received. 1878 however showed other signs of life - 1886 almost none. Only 7 meetings were held. Bro. J. King R.W.M. chaired 5 of these - up to the Installation. In January and February the 2 meetings held led to no other business than that of Minutes. The next meeting in August also saw no other business other than Minutes. October and November saw the Nomination and Election of Bro. Robert Mackie as R.W.M. - Elect. One can almost sense the relief with which Bro. J. King P.M. Installed Bro. Mackie as R.W.M. in December of that year. Minutes at the end of the year tell us of 7/- being paid to a needy Brother and of 19/1d, the Balance from the Lodge Ball, being paid to the Treasurer. The year ends on a financial note when, it is proposed "…that Brethren pay their Test Fee quarterly to assist Lodge Funds…" It is also agreed that any Member in arrears be admitted as "Clear" on the payment of 2/6d. The year has to be acknowledged as the "Record Low" and this may have had its effect on the Brethren of the Lodge for, as we shall see, recovery was strong.
Bro. Robert Mackie, R.W.M. of the Lodge, throughout 1887, 1888 and 1889 was a thorough and business like Chairman. During his years as Master he Chaired all the Meetings of the Lodge and set the Lodge up into a robust state which led to even greater years. In 1887 the Lodge Secretary Bro. Jarvie reached the end of some 10 years in office to be followed by Bros. J. Cameron and H. Kerr during Bro. Mackie's Stewardship. In March the Secretary is instructed to write to all Members to attend the next meeting "For Harmony"!!!. At the April meeting it is proposed to send a Committee of Bros. to visit all non-attending Members and urge them to return. The P.G.L. Annual Visit, held in May, is on a Regular Meeting date. A "Clear Minute" is recorded but it continues ...we regret to find that owing to the state of Trade in the district there were no Initiates last year and attendance is low. Still it is pleasing to note that there are Members who are exerting themselves to keep the Lodge open. Signed Bro. Caldwell and 2 others. Secretary Bro. Jarvie seems to have become unable to attend during the second half of the year possibly due to health reasons. His place being no doubt taken by Bro. J. Cameron, Lodge Secretary for 1888. A crop of proposals at this time, all of which were agreed indicate the Financial State of the Lodge and Brethren. These excluded a proposal for all Test - Fee arrears to be cancelled; the Initiation Fee be reduced from £1.19.0 to £1.12.6 (with P.G.L.'s permission) and that the Master receive 4/- expenses for going to P.G.L. It is also agreed to approach the Landlady with a view to reducing the room rent. There being no Degree - Working in progress it was also agreed to have "practice in the Order" at each meeting. In October the Lodge visited No. 557 in High Blantyre. One would like to think that they carried out the working too, although this is not recorded. Bro. R. Mackie was re-elected as R.W.M. in the November and Installed by Bro. Crann of Lodge St. John Busby. At last meeting of the year a Mr. A. MacDonald was Initiated by a Bro. Mackie of Lodge St. Mungo No. 27, thus saving the year from being without a candidate.
For Bro. Mackie's second year in Office as R.W.M., 1888 Bro. J.Cameron, Secretary records 11 Regular and 3 Special Meetings. All of which were Chaired by Bro. Mackie. This was the first recorded use of the term"Special"for an Emergency Meeting. The accord between 524 and 557; already evident became even more so in 1888. Of the 8 recordings of Degree Work 4 were carried out by Lodge 557. So too was the Installation at the end of the year. Three First Degrees were by the R.W.M., Bro. Mackie - the others show no record as to who worked. Echoing an agreed proposal of 1887, Bro. H. Marshall reported that the landlady took no rent for the previous year. It was also agreed in May of the year to close till August - the first indications of an actual recess as we know it.
Grand Lodges Scottish Benevolent Fund, which had been discussed over a lengthy period, was decided in September when a proposal was agreed that Brethren themselves could make Voluntary Subscriptions to the Fund. In August a Deputation was received from Lodge Rutherglen Royal Arch No. 116 - they in turn inviting Lodge St. Andrew to come to 116. An invitation was also received to attend the Foundation Stone Laying of Cambuslang West Established Church. Two "Annual Assemblies" were held in 1888. The first in February 24th and the second, after proposals and counter-proposals, on St. Andrews Day - 30th November. To date no Reports are given on such Assemblies - which is a pity. Cash Balances following such events are given however and in March £1:1:0 was passed to Lodge Funds whilst in December a 9/- Balance was divided, 5/- and 4/-, between Grand Lodge Scottish Benevolent Fund and Lodge Charity Box respectively. A tactful move is evident at the arranging of the Assemblies in this year when it is moved and agreed "...that the Office - Bearers act as a Committee..." Bro. R. Mackie was again Elected R.W.M. and Installed as such by Bro. A. Maxwell Of Lodge 557, in November. It is noticeable that minutes of P.G.L. Visitations fail to appear for the next few years - we assume they would be carried out.
However in 1888 we do have the first recording of the Auditors Report - terse though it may be Bros. J. King and J. Campbell reported in December "...that the Books were in order with a Balance on the right side..." It is so minuted ! Bro. Mackie's second year ended with 5 new members and 2 affiliates - the best of his three years in Office. An application received at the end of the year was that of Hugh Begg, Blacksmith.
Bro. Mackies third year - 1889 - was a busy and varied one, Certainly Lodge Minutes begin to offer much more detail, running sometimes to a whole page. The R.W.M. chaired all meetings required of him to the Installation - 15 in all including 4 Specials. Degree Work was by Bros. J. Tait Lodge No.27, the Worthy Bro. A. Maxwell of 557, Bro. W. Scott R.W.M. 406, Bro. Latimer 116 and the R.W.M. of 524 himself. Many Invitations flowed to and fro; Divine Services at Cambuslang and to Rutherglen 116, Harmonies at 116 and Thornliebank 512, Installations of St. John Busby and to Livingstone Blantyre and to Foundation Stone Laying Ceremonies at the Camlachie Institute, Glasgow and the County Buildings in Paisley. Deputations are also received from Lodges Pollokshaws Royal Arch No. 153 and St. Johns Operative No.347.
In February the Lodge Secretary Bro. J. Cameron intimated his intention of emigrating to the U.S.A. and submitted his resignation as Secretary. A Harmony Meeting was then arranged for February 9th to bid farewell to Bro. Cameron. On that evening Bro. Cameron handed in all books belonging to the Lodge. The Brethren present decided to give Bro. Cameron a Masonic Testimonial - a Committee was detailed to arrange this and the Harmony defined. On the 16th February the R.W.M. reported the "... disappointment of the Testimonial Committee in that Bro. Cameron refused to accept the testimonial..." We trust that the Brethren did have a good Harmony of some kind on the 9th and that the Testimonial was of cash. Bro. H. Kerr was Elected Secretary and Installed on March the 16th. It was at this time agreed that the Lodge Secretary should have a Cash Book and to compare the same to the Treasurer from time to time. In April Bro. J. Mackie Depute Master presented Wardens Mallets to the Lodge. The R.W.M. reporting the cost of working tools, the Lodge deferred the purchase of these. Continuing on a financial note the Secretary gave the Financial Report for the year in the November, adding that Lodge Room - Rent had been arranged with a Mrs. Paterson at £1:5/- per year. The Cash Balance of 19/- received latter, in December, from the Annual Assembly, was applied to having Lodge Bye -Laws revised and re - printed. No recess took place in this year, as following proposals in May, meetings were held in June, July and August.
A letter from Grand Lodge with regard to a Bazaar in Aid of Annuity Funds was deferred in both August and October. In October there were 2 nominations for R.W.M. Bros. R. Mackie and J. McKay. Circulars were sent out for the November meeting and at this Bro. J. McKay was elected R.W.M. His Installation in December was by Bro. Wm. Scott R.W.M. Motherwell, No. 406 assisted by Bro. J. King P.M. 524, Bro B. Crann P.M. 458, and a Bro. Hunter of Glasgow St. Mungo, No.27. Here we have some indication of Installation Procedure in that part of the Minute where we read " ...the Brethren then returned to the Lodge and saluted the new R.W.M...." Before the year ended a Masonic Annuity Committee was formed of Bro. John McKie and 9 others. We take this to be action on the letter received from Grand Lodge in August. Bro. Mackie's third year closed with 3 new members added to the roll.
Hugh Colligan ( Miner )
John Currie ( Blacksmith )
Robert Paton ( Mason )
Hugh Marshall ( Farmer )
Hugh Begg ( Blacksmith )
David Granger ( Flesher )
George Aitkenhead (Affiliate )
William Mackie ( Surveyor )
Hugh Pollock ( Miner )
Angus Calderwood ( Merchant )
John Buchanan ( Mason )
Robert Aitkenhead ( Contractor )
James Marshall ( Clubmaster )
William Dickie ( Millwright )
George Warnock ( Flesher )
Hugh Barr ( Clerk )
Isaac Currie ( Mason )
Thomas Callaghan ( Contractor )
John Aitkenhead (Fruit Grower )
John MacDonald ( Joiner )