1910-1919

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A specially convened Jewel Committee was formed to agree a design and price of a Past Masters Jewel to be presented to Bro. Nisbet I.P.M. and all future Masters leaving the Chair. Drawings from George Kenning and Son, A.D. Hamilton, J. Strang, R. Muirhead and D.M. Goudielock were examined and the first named were chosen to supply the Jewel at a cost of £8.00.

Our Meeting on 18th January 1910 must have been interesting. After opening the Meeting and conducting the business, the Master, Bro. Daniel McIntyre conferred the F.C. Degree on two Candidates, Bros. Archibald Hart and George Milne. Thereafter, he handed the Mallet to Bro. Robert Kennedy P.M. Lodge St. Vincent, Sandyford, P.G.I.G. who advanced eight Brethren to the Mark, assisted by Bro. Fred Larter P.M. Lodge Glasgow Kilwinning No. 4 P.G.D.o.M. When the Ceremonial was completed, the assembled 75 Brethren saw Bro. McIntyre, Master confer Honorary Membership of 1018 to these two distinguished Brethren for their services to the Lodge.

In March 1910, it was agreed we buy McWhirter's Hall, Canal Street, offering £500, although this never came to fruition, the premises having been sold to the Government for use as a Labour Exchange. In an effort to augment our Building Fund, the Lodge wrote to Clydebank Juniors and Yoker Athletic to see if they would be willing to play a benefit match to assist our funding efforts.

On 23rd March, the Lodge presented a gift of a photograph of the Lodge to our first Master, on the occasion of his leaving for Australia. Sadly, on the voyage, Bro. Nisbet suffered the loss of a second child.

A notable first in the history of the Barns occurred on 5th April 1910, when Bro. William Duncan S.D. initiated six candidates, amongst whom were a father and son, David Brown Robertson, 51 and James Brown Roberston, 23, both mechanics to trade.

On 16th May 1910, the Lodge paid respect as we mourned the death of His Majesty King Edward VII.

On 10th August, a Notice of Motion was made that "no alcoholic liquors be allowed in this Lodge". After the required time, when the vote was cast, the Motion was defeated by one vote.

A special event happened at the Special Meeting held on 15th October 1910 when a 50 year old toolmaker, William Reid and his two sons, William Jr., 25, a draughtsman and Robert, 23, an engineer were initiated by Bro. James Carlisle.

It is not recorded how long the Meeting of 6th December 1910 took, but the evening started with some business, after which a F.C. Degree was conferred on five E.A. Freemasons by Bro. Nesbit I.P.M., which was followed by a M.M. Degree on 15 F.C. Freemasons, then a M.M.M. Degree on 31 M.M.s, again by Bro. Nesbit I.P.M. and the evening rounded off by a Masonic Lecture on "The Derrick Emblem" by Bro. John Crail P.M. Lodge Thistle and Rose No. 73.

That year saw the Barns restless again and, after much research, the Committee agreed to recommend moving home again, this time to the Library Hall of the Municipal Buildings, now known as the Lesser Town Hall. Provincial Grand Lodge sent Bro. MacFarlane, Depute P.G.M. and Bro. Thomson, Substitute P.G.M. to inspect the suitability of the premises. We moved to what was described as "more comfortable" surroundings and the hall was consecrated on 22nd December 1910 by Bro. Col. Brock, P.G.M. Two days later, a Special Meeting was held to confer the Mark Ceremonial on seven Brethren.

In that first year of the new decade 1018 had received deputations from five new visiting Lodges to work on our behalf: Glasgow Kilwinning No. 4 and St. Vincent Sandyford No. 553 in January; St. Mark's Lodge at Glasgow No. 102 in February, when Bro. Frank Wessenberg I.P.M. conferred an E.A. Degree; St. John Whiteinch No. 683 in October with Bro. Watt D.M. conferring a M.M. Degree and Govandale No. 437 calling in December with Bro. James Sheeden P.M. as R.W.M.M.

When Bro. Thos Loy was installed as Master in 1911, any old differences were forgotten when he invited Bro. George G. Miller P.M. Lodge St. John Dalmuir No. 543 to be his Installing Master.

On 30th May 1912, a deputation from Lodge Whifflet St. Johns No. 963 (Coatbridge) were received into the Barns, advancing 38 Brethren to the Mark, the ceremonial being carried out by Bro. Duncan C. Wyper, P.M. of that Lodge. That evening, 210 Brethren signed the Book.

All through these early years, our desire to find our own premises was very keen, and we looked at land in Alexander Street owned by the Caledonian Railway and the hall in Bank Street owned by the Hamilton Memorial Church, for which an offer of £1,600 was made and rejected, and at Brandon Place. At every opportunity, the Lodge held socials, outings and functions to raise money to augment our Building Fund.

On 26th September that year, R.W.M. Bro. McCrae headed a deputation from Lodge Coltswood No. 1067 to confer a Degree on our behalf, a M.M. Degree on twelve candidates.

In 1912, the Lodge granted Honorary Life Membership to Bro. James Dundas White M.P., Initiated 4th April 1907, for services to the Barns.

1912 also saw Lodge Maryhill No. 510, The Glasgow Star Lodge No. 219, Lodge Old Monkland St. James No. 177 and Lodge Clydesdale No. 556 all visit and confer Degrees.

Lodge Dumbarton Kilwinning No. 18 became the next visiting Lodge to confer a Degree in the Barns on 22nd May 1913, R.W.M. Bro. Hutchinson heading a Deputation and conferring the F.C. Degree on nine candidates.

In 1913, Glasgow District Council accepted our offer of 13 shillings (65p) per square yard on the ground at Brandon Place. A suggestion was made that members each purchase one square yard and donate it to the Lodge. This was unanimously carried. Brandon Place is not a Place, nor a Street nor a Road, it is the name of a building. The proper address is 80 - 108 Dumbarton Road. The site, opposite Clydebank Library, became our first Temple. Our records show that for some years the Lodge received a rent from a succession of tenants while we rented elsewhere. The conclusion must be drawn that the premises there were originally much smaller and would not have suited our requirements. The interim years were spent raising the funds needed to create our own Temple.

Serving Brethren often did not wait to pursue their Masonic careers in their Mother Lodges. One such example is Bro. Alexander Haddock, a Petty Officer on H.M.S. Blake. Initiated into 1018 on 22 March 1913, he took his Second and Third Degrees in Lodge Ness No. 888 and his Mark in Lodge St. John Dalmuir No. 543.

In those early years, attendances averaged just under 150 per meeting and over 100 candidates were initiated each year. At many of the meetings, more than one Degree was conferred.

A Masonic Funeral was held for our I.P.M. Thomas Wilkie Loy on Tuesday 9th June 1914. 160 Brethren met in the Municipal Buildings and marched in procession to Bro. Loy's home in Glasgow Road where the body was placed in the hearse, then the solemn walk continued, the cortege led by Clydebank Brass Band. The large procession, now joined by a large number of Bro. Loy's workmates walked to Kilbowie Cemetery, where Bro. Alexander Hynd, Master conducted the Masonic funeral, assisted by Bro. Rev. Thomas M. McKenderick.

1914 saw our nation at war with Germany, and benevolence became foremost on our agenda, monies going to The Prince of Wales Fund, various hospitals and families of serving Brethren.

On 8th October, a moving letter was read to the Lodge from Bro. Murdoch Matheson, serving with his regiment in France. That same year, the Barns repeated a fund raiser started the previous year and commissioned the printing of 500 calendars to be sold for funds to go toward the purchase of our new hall.

At our meeting on 26th November 1914, Bro. Claud A.M.B. Hamilton appealed for more recruits for His Majesty's forces.

Proof of the worldwide principals of Freemasonry was shown when a letter was read from Bro. William Watson, a Master Mason of 1018, resident in Australia, who had received "kindness and help" during a spell of severe ill health by the Grand Lodge of Queensland. Our Benevolent Fund Committee recommended to the Lodge that Bro. Watson receive the sum of four Guineas (£4.20), a substantial sum in those days.

On 14th January 1915 letters were read from a wounded Brother, David Whitelaw and from Petty Officer Bro. Alexander Haddock, serving on H.M.S. Blake.

In that same year, the Lodge unanimously agreed to a Grand Lodge recommendation that all serving Brethren be freed from Test Fees during their service to the country.

Many will be aware that the Barns has a reputation today of visiting far and wide, and often. This seems to have been the case in our early days, as evidenced by the reading of a letter from Lodge Wood County, Ohio No. 112 in America, who intimated their pleasure at having received a visit from a 1018 Brother, John Ramsey Dickson.

Lodge Barns o'Clyde lost its first member in the war, Bro. Corporal John S. Craig, 2nd Field Company, Canadian Engineers, who died at the Battle of Gravenstafel on 22nd April 1915, one of four engagements that comprised the Second Battle of Ypres.

At various times in the following weeks, letters of thanks were received from Bros. McGregor, Martin, Pollok, Mair, Fraser, McPherson, Ross, Curran, Goudie, Robb, Murray, Clark, Livingston, King and McHaffie for the gift of cigarettes sent to them from the Lodge, whilst serving abroad.

On 14th October, the Lodge welcomed back Bro Robert Haddock, who had been wounded during the Dardanelles campaign.

In October 1915, the Province lost the P.G.M. with the death of Bro. Col. Henry Brock, who passed away in Cannes, France. He bequeathed one of his homes, Broomley to the people of the Vale of Leven and this building grew to form the Vale of Leven Hospital.

A letter was received from Bro. John Dougal Robb, a Prisoner of War held in Germany thanking the Lodge for a gift. Two weeks later, a letter was read from Bro. Henry Morrison, serving in the Dardanelles, enclosing his Test Fees and a sum for the Benevolent Fund.

Bro. David Brockett became Master on 25th November 1915, the first initiate of the Lodge to be installed into the Chair.

Father and son James (59) and David (23) Hillis were initiated together on 9th December 1915, with two others, one of whom, Adam Heaton, would rise to become Master seven years later.

Early in 1916, our plans for the new Masonic Temple were approved by the Lodge, as we had moved back to renting the Morison Memorial Church Halls.

On 9th March 1916, a gentleman called Hugh MacMillan MacWilliam was initiated and shortly after taking his Mark in June emigrated to India. Bro. MacWilliam affiliated to Lodge Ubique No. 2476 E.C. in Barrackpore, West Bengal in July 1920 and resigned from that Lodge in December 1921. He rejoined the Lodge in April 1925 and became Master in 1930. He resigned again in 1940. An engineer to trade, now employed as a Works Inspector, he had also joined Marine Lodge No. 232 in Ishapore (a district of Barrackpore), resigning from that Lodge in 1950. Bro. MacWilliam became a Founder Member of the Bengal Masters Lodge No. 5817 in Calcutta in 1930 before his membership ceased in 1950. He was also a member of Sinai Chapter No. 2476 from 1934 to 1945 and rose to District Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in 1934 and District Junior Grand Deacon in 1939 (Bengal). Lodge 2476 was erased from the Roll of UGLE on 24th November 1961 and joined the Grand Lodge of India on its formation on the same date to become Ubique Lodge No. 53 under the District Grand Lodge of Bengal.

In April 1916, Bro. Claud A.M.B. Hamilton agreed to accept the Grand Lodge commission as the new Provincial Grand Master. This was confirmed on 28th October 1916. His Installation, however, did not occur for three more years.

More history was made in 1916 when Barns o'Clyde Royal Arch Chapter No.403 was created.

To put finance in place for our new Temple, a letter was sent to every Brother asking for a loan to be paid in five instalments over the next twelve months. The sum to be loaned to the Lodge was to be left to the Brother to decide as his circumstances in life might permit.

On 24th August 1916 the Lodge was informed of the tragic loss of two more Brethren, Bro. Private Alexander Mair, Black Watch, and Bro. Lieutenant Thomas Hutcheon, Royal Scots Fusiliers, killed in action in France.

The Lodge continued good work by making regular donations to deserving Brethren, their widows and families; and to many hospitals, including the Western Infirmary, the Royal Infirmary and the Samaritans Hospital, as well as The Soldiers and Sailors Association.

Bro. Alexander Stevenson displayed true Masonic principles when he wrote a letter to the Secretary, Bro. Philips declining the nomination for Substitute Master because he had been made aware that "several Brethren were against" his holding Office. Rather then disturb the harmony of the Lodge, Bro. Stevenson decided it was better that he withdraw. His character stood him in good stead, as he rose to be Master nine years later.

On 14th September 1916, two years into the terrible conflict of the Great War, a letter was read from Grand Lodge, which had been circulated to all Lodges. Headed "Alien Members", it informed all members that any Brother of "alien enemy birth" should discontinue attending any Meeting until the cessation of hostilities and the signing of a peace treaty, unless the Lodge vote unanimously to exempt the Brother from the abstention of attendance.

When it was announced in October 1916 that Bro. Claud A.M.B. Hamilton R.W.P.G.M. was getting married, the handsome sum of five guineas (£5 and 25p) was raised by the Lodge to give as a wedding present to this renowned freemason, who had been initiated into 1018 four years earlier.

In January 1917, we lost one of the tenants on our ground, when a Mr Robertson, renting a stable on the land, refused to pay tax due on the stable and vacated the premises.

On 28th June 1917, a gentleman called John Smyth became our 1000th member, taking his E.A. Degree with three others. Unusually, the Lodge worked only one Degree that evening. Bro. James Elliot D.M. conferring.

Bro. Thomas Wilkie Loy Jr, son of our late P.M. of the same name, was drowned at sea when his vessel H.M.S. Mariston was torpedoed on 15th July 1917. Bro. Loy had joined the Lodge in 1914 and had risen to I.G., before resigning office in February 1917 to accept a position as an engineer on a steamer. Sadly, a mere five months later, he lost his life.

On 14th October 1917 the Lodge held a Memorial Service to the fallen Brethren of the Lodge within the Morison Memorial Church, the service being conducted by Bro. Rev. T. M. McKenderick.

The brave souls who made the supreme sacrifice were:

  • Bro. John Sheppard Craig: Corporal, 2nd Field Co., Canadian Engineers, died at Ypres on 22nd April 1915.
  • Bro. Donald Hugh Grant: died at La Clytte-Voormezeele, Belgium on 9th May 1918.
  • Bro. John Hutcheon Jr.
  • Bro. Thomas Hutcheon: Second Lieutenant, Royal Scots Fusiliers, died in France 13th August 1916.
  • Bro. William Johnstone: Lance Corporal, 1st/ 9th Battalion, Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders, died at the Dardanelles on 5th April 1915.
  • Bro. Thomas Wilkie Loy Jr.: died 15th July 1915, when H.M.S. Mariston was torpedoed.
  • Bro. Alexander Mair: Private, 8th Battalion Black Watch, died at the Battle of Gorizia on 6th August 1916.
  • Bro. Murdoch Matheson: Private, Cameron Highlanders, died at the 1st Battle of Ypres on 11th November 1914.
  • Bro. John Murray: Private, 2nd Battalion Black Watch, died in Palestine on 17th June 1917.
  • Bro. Andrew Rankin

Originally, we had only had intimation of the passing of our Brethren in the Minute Books, but it became our work to find out all we could about them, and this work is ongoing. If there is apathy today in some quarters of Freemasonry, it existed, too, in those days. In a conversation with Bro. Bob Cooper, Curator of the Grand Lodge of Scotland Museum and Library we learn that following an initiative from the United Grand Lodge of England, The Grand Lodge of Scotland sent a letter to all Lodges requesting a list of every Brother called to the colours. Very few Lodges responded, the Roll was never created and a chance to establish a tribute to Freemasons throughout the country was lost.

During World War I, Bro. Robert Carmichael Spied was awarded the Military Medal.

Our 1917 Annual Report stated that "close on 90 members of the Lodge are serving King and Country".

Bro. John McLaren, Master, perhaps felt the proudest moment of his year in the Chair was on 11th April 1918. On that evening among the ten initiates was his own son, John, aged 20. Among the other Candidates were father and son William Blair (53)and William Dawson Blair (24).

At our meeting of 12th September 1918, a welcome return to the Barns was extended to Bro. Sgt. James Diamond, who during his service had been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal and Bar and the Military Medal.

At the same meeting, the Master, Bro. McLaren announced that he had been "called to the colours" and would be leaving in two or three days to serve his country. The shocked meeting wished Bro. McLaren a safe and speedy return.

Our October meeting was chaired by the I.P.M., Bro. Brockett and held in the premises of Lodge St. John Dalmuir No.543 due to the Military Authorities taking over the Morison Memorial Hall. Our near neighbours St John Dalmuir kindly offered to rent us their premises at short notice.

On 14th November, our Secretary, Bro. William Phillips Jr made the following entry in the Minute Book: "Bro. Alex Hynd P.M. expressed the great pleasure, and heartfelt relief, that the terrible War, which had lasted four years and three months, had been ended in a glorious victory for the Allies, the Brethren in thankfullness (sic) united in singing two verses of the 100th Psalm."

Our 1918 Annual Report informed the members that "almost 120 members of the Lodge "had answered the call for King and Country and that six members had made the supreme sacrifice".

On 12th December 1918, a 31 year old machineman called John Andrew Chisholm became our 1000th Initiate. On the same date in 1930, Bro. Chisholm became Master of the Barns.

We saw a welcome, if temporary, return by our Master, Bro. McLaren who was enthusiastically received by the Brethren at the meeting of 26th December 1918.

Thankfully, inter visitations resumed after the dark War years and 1918 welcomed Lodges Scotia No. 178 and Glasgow No. 441.

On 10th April 1919, a unique event took place in the history of the Barns. Bro. Claud A.M.B. Hamilton, R.W.P.G.M., who had been initiated into 1018 in 1912, being presented with a suit of Regalia befitting the high Provincial rank he now held by his Mother Lodge. Bro. Hamilton R.W.P.G.M. thanked his Mother Lodge and presented 1018 with an inscribed silver mallet and plinth.

On Sunday 4th May 1919, the Lodge held a Memorial Service for those Brethren who had made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of their country. Ten brave men were remembered with affection by a large number of their Brethren.

We received Lodge Shettleston St. John No. 128 for the only time, when at a Special Meeting on 10th May, their P.M. Bro. McDowall advanced 62 Brethren to the Mark.

On 17th May 1919, the Grand Master Mason of Scotland, Bro. Brig. Gen. Sir Robert Gordon Gordon-Gilmour of Craigmillar, C.B., C.V.O, D.S.O. installed Bro. Claud Hamilton as Provincial Grand Master of Dunbartonshire in the halls of Dumbarton Kilwinning No. 18, retrospectively from 4th May 1916. The following month, Bro. Rev. T. Angus Morrison, Depute Provincial Grand Master installed Bro. Hamilton as a Master of the Craft, a position Bro. Hamilton had never held.

On Friday 6th June 1919 the Town Hall was hired and a banquet provided for the Brethren who had served their country during the Great War. Over 100 Brethren of the Lodge who had served were treated to an evening which was minuted as "one of the finest in the history of our Lodge." A Lodge Roll of Honour was created, to include the names of all who served. In the years following, this priceless piece of history has been lost.

Three weeks later, an E.A. Degree took place, when an astonishing 33 Candidates were entered on the Lodge Roll Book. Among them were four sets of brothers Samuel (29) and Alexander (37) Cowan, Daniel (19), John (23) and Peter (24) Fulton, Robert (18), John (24) and Hugh (27) Osborne and Frank (28) and David (34) Wilson.

Following the cessation of hostilities, attendances soared. At a Meeting held on 14th August 1919, Bro. McLaren, Master, conferred the F.C. Degree on three Brethren, 24 Applicants were balloted and accepted, then Bro. Hynd P.M. conferred the M.M. Degree on 27 F.C. Freemasons, and an astonishing 290 Brethren signed the book.

It was also decided in this year that Masters should serve only one year, in order to create a Master's Roll. In future years, this sometimes proved difficult, and when needed, several Masters served more than one term.

On 11th September, two Candidates, John Walker and James Hay Miller were added to the Roll Book. On that same evening, two affiliates joined 1018, Samuel Pollock from Lodge Thorntree No. 512 and John B. Scobie, Lodge Speirs of Elderslie No. 1102. It was immediately moved and seconded that Bro. Scobie be granted Life membership of the Barns "in consideration of the many excellent services Bro. Scobie had rendered Lodge Barns o'Clyde."

The Office Bearers Meeting held on 28th October 1919 must have been lengthy and interesting. When it came to the recommendations for Office for the following year, not one but three names were proposed and seconded for the Chair. Bros. Alexander Stevenson, William Anderson and Rev. Thomas M. McKenderick were all nominated, with the voting going 7 - 4 - 9. On the second vote, with Bro. Anderson dropping out, Bro. Stevenson was voted for the Office on a 11 - 9 vote. At the Lodge Election Meeting, the three names were again propsed and another vote had to be taken. This resulted in a 95 - 125 - 97 vote. This time, Bro. Stevenson dropped out and on a second vote Bro. Anderson was elected Master on a vote of 195 - 113.

On 29th November 1919, new Master William Anderson had a hectic start to his year in the Chair. On that evening, 16 Candidates were made E.A.s by Bro. Adam Heaton J.D., 27 were passed F.C. by Bro. Thomas Hamill W.S.W. and 14 were raised to M.M. by Bro. A. Stevenson D.M. The lengthy evening concluded with the 156 present joining the Master in congratulating the Degree workers.

With the end of what was ironically called The Great War and the beginnings of rebuilding shattered lives, Lodge Barns o'Clyde stood proud. In a few brief years, the Lodge had grown, perhaps beyond the wildest expectations of its Founder Members. It had brought hundreds of good men into the Craft, and had lost good men in the terrible conflict.

Christmas Day 1919 was special because father and son Robert Duncan and Robert Jr. were initiated with five others by Bro. William Stevenson W.S.W. Earlier that evening six E.A. Freemasons were passed by Bro. Alexander Baird S.D. and, following the Second Degree, seven F.C. Freemasons were raised by Bro. Alexander Stevenson D.M. 163 Brethren were present despite the significance of the date.

In 1919, a joint venture with Lodge St. John Dalmuir to unite "for the purpose of erecting a Masonic Temple worthy of the District and in keeping with the dignity of our Craft" was suggested but representatives of St. John Dalmuir could not see their way to put the proposal to their Lodge. With good grace, it was agreed that the Barns forge ahead on our own.

1919 was also the end of a 15 year term as Provost of Clydebank by Bro. John Taylor, a Founder Member of the Lodge. In that last year of the decade, Bro. Daniel McIntyre served the Provincial Grand Lodge of Dunbartonshire as Provincial Grand Senior Warden.

 

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