1930-1939

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An illustrious and far travelled visitor started off the new decade when Bro. Chisholm, Master, welcomed Bro. R. Heath, the W.M. of Lodge Belwood Newfoundland (E.C.) into the Barns on 23rd January.

27th February 1930 saw Lodge Cochno No. 1304 form a Deputation headed by R.W.M. Bro. Robert Glen visit the Barns to confer the M.M. Degree on six F.C. Freemasons with 158 Brethren attending.

A new Lodge to visit and confer came to us on 12th June 1930. Lodge St. Andrew Glasgow No. 465, headed by their Master Bro. William Richardson conferred the M.M. Degree on five F.C. Freemasons of 1018, one of Lodge St. Andrew No. 465 and one of Lodge Clydebank No. 1234.

The summer saw the children of the Lodge go on an outing to Auchentoshan, to ground provided for the second year in a row by Sir Thomas Bell. While the children ate, played and competed in games, they were entertained by the Singer Pipe Band.

On 25th September, we received again Lodge Union and Crown No. 103 into the Lodge. The M.M. Degree was conferred by R.W.M. William F. Milne and his Office Bearers.

One of our Sponsor Lodges paid us the compliment of accepting our invitation to visit 1018 and confer a Degree. Lodge Ellangowan No. 716, on 10th October 1930, 16 Master Masons were advanced to the Mark by Bro. A.D. McIntyre P.G.S.M. and P.M. of Lodge Ellangowan.

Our Installation of 11th December 1930 was different in that a new Office was added to the list. For the first time, a Lodge Piper was chosen, Bro. David Marshall being installed by Bro. George Hill P.M.

In 1931, Bro. John McArthur P.M. reached the Office of Provincial Grand Senior Warden. Bro. McArthur had been initiated in 1913 and was Master of 1018 in 1921 - 22.

Masonry was expanding with more and more Lodges chosing to go and visit other Lodges simply to witness ceremonial work. On the evening of 12th February 1931, Deputations from Lodge Doric Kilwinning No. 68 (Port Glasgow), Lodge Cumberland Kilwinning No. 217 (Port Glasgow) and Lodge Crawfurdsburn No. 1121(Greenock) all made the journey across the river to watch a M.M. Degree by Bro. Adam Heaton P.M. Reading from the Minute Book, the journey seems to have been worth while, when we read: "the beauty of this degree was emphasised by the sweet music rendered by the Barns o'Clyde Male Voice Choir, coupled by the excellent manner Bro. Heaton conferred the degree. This ceremony reached the highest mark in ceremonial work." The 180 Brethren attending surely agreed.

On the evening of Friday 6th March 1931, at the request of the Provincial Grand Lodge, the Barns o'Clyde Male Voice Choir performed a concert with the proceeds going to the P.G.L. Orphans Appeal. 12 pieces were performed and there were other musical items from soloists and musicians of the district. A "handsome sum" was raised for the appeal.

A concert was held on 16th October 1931 to raise funds for the payment of the recent installation of a boiler and the re-painting of the hall. A massive 400 turned out and were entertained by Miss Isa Stevenson (soprano) and Miss Clark (contralto) with Bros. George Dick and Archie Burnett (P.M. The Bridgeton and Glasgow Shamrock and Thistle Lodge No. 275) signing, Bro. Jock Wilson comedian and Bro Will Dale performed conjuring tricks.

An unusual letter is copied in full in our Minute Books in October 1931. Entry into Freemasonry was perhaps more rigorous then as shown by the content. A serving police officer, living and working in London, had made application to join the Barns. Our Secretary wrote to Grand Lodge, who communicated with the Grand Secretary of the United Grand Lodge of England. Their investigation proved the applicant as a suitable candidate, but suggested perhaps his application to a Scottish Lodge was to avoid the "heavier Initiation Fee of a London Lodge."

In the early 1930s, the town had still not recovered from the financial hardships following the Great War and the Depression, the Lodge was progressing well and had built a stunning Temple, but candidates were not joining in the numbers they had been.

Lodge St. John Dalmuir No. 543 visit the Barns on 28th January 1932 to confer the M.M. Degree on three candidates, the ceremonial being conducted by the Master, Bro. A.M. Wright.

In that year the Lodge, which had been earning money towards expenses by letting the Hall to various organisations, sought clarification from Grand Lodge upon receiving a request for a regular let from a body called "The Order of the Secret Monitor". Grand Lodge confirmed that this was not a recognised Masonic body and recommended it would not be recommended that we allow the let and that any Brother who associates himself with them in any way "would probably be suspended or liable to expulsion from the Craft." The Hall Let was refused and a letter sent requesting the names of 1018 members who might be members of that Order.

Bro. James McWilliam, Master, presided over our Semi Jubilee Meeting on 7th February 1932. Bro. Rev. T. Angus Morison headed a large Deputation from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Dunbartonshire, and Deputations were welcomed too from Lodges Union No. 332, St. John Dalmuir No. 543, Clydebank No. 1234, Cochno No. 1304, St. Patrick No. 1309 as well as many Brethren from within and out-with the Province. A noted visitor was Bro. Sir Iain Colquhoun, Bart., D.S.O., L.L., D.G.M., P.G.M.O. In 1935, Bro. Sir Iain Colquhoun succeeded Alexander Fraser, 20th Lord Saltoun as Grand Master Mason of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. He, in turn, was later succeeded by H.R.H. The Duke of York, later King George VI. A dinner for 160 followed the Meeting.

The fine degree work for which we had gained a reputation was shown when we received an invitation from Lodge Burns St. Mary No. 505 in Hurlford to confer a M.M. Degree, and included a special request that the Barns o'Clyde Male Voice Choir be part of the Ceremonial. Unlike today, travelling a distance like that was quite difficult, there were no motorways or "A" class roads then.

Inter visitations became very important and in that year we welcomed St. Skae No. 1252, who conferred the M.M. Degree, Lodge Crawfurdsburn No. 1121, who conferred the Mark, Lodge Moorpark No. 1263, who passed two E.A.s to F.C. Freemasons and Union No. 332, who raised four F.C. Freemasons to the M.M. Degree. We also visited Lodge Speirs of Elderslie No. 1102 and conferred a M.M. Degree.

Our ex-pat Brethren continued to fly the flag for the Lodge and letters were read from Master Builder Lodge No. 911 in New York intimating Bro. Hugh Jones, a Master Mason of 1018 and Lodge Southern California No. 278 intimating Bro. William Morrison of 1018 had visited.

Thanks to the kindness of Sir James Bell, the Lodge was again able to take the children of members to an outing in Auchentoshan, and on 2nd July, 600 children and adults had a wonderful day, all the while being treated to music by Dalmuir Parish Church Prize Pipe Band.

1932 was a great year for the Lodge in sport, as we won both the Brock Bowling Cup (our second triumph) and the Claud Hamilton Golf Trophy, in which the first, second and third places were all taken by members of our Lodge, the winner being Bro. Daniel West W.J.W.

This was also an historic year when the Lodge, mindful of the large number of unemployed in the town, opened an afternoon "Social Club" for unemployed members on three afternoons a week, where afternoons were spent playing cards, draughts and dominoes as well as reading and music. Thanks to the generosity of other members, small prizes were awarded every day to those enduring the hardship of unemployment.

Another first took place on Monday 16th January 1933 when the Lodge's Burns Supper Committee met to discuss devoting an evening to our National Bard. That evening was the 27th January and our first Immortal Memory was proposed by Bro. Rev. James Fairweather B.D., who won the admiration of over 300 who attended.

In today's Freemasonry, Lodges tend to invite those Lodges with which they have a relationship or connection on an annual basis. In those earlier years that seems not to be the case, and another Lodge, Maryhill No. 503 made their first visit to our Temple on 25th May 1933 to confer a M.M. Degree on five F.C. Freemasons.

Our Mark Ceremonial that year was conferred by the Masters and Past Masters Association of Dunbartonshire, headed by Bro. Daniel McIntyre P.M., President; and a member of Lodge Barns o'Clyde.

Lodge St. Skae No. 1252 returned to us on 22nd February 1934 and Bro. Alexander Baird P.M. conferred the F.C. Degree on Bro. James Hamilton, an E.A. Freemason of 1018.

More proof of the visiting ethos was demonstrated when, on 8th March 1934, the Master Bro. Dr. William Gray informed the Barns that he had been given a wonderful welcome when he visited The Lodge of Edinburgh (St. Mary's Chapel) No. 1.

The mark of 1934 again saw the Masters and Past Masters Association visit and, headed by Bro. Angus McAllister, P.M. Lodge St. Modan No.1015, advance 15 M.M.s of the Barns and a M.M. of Lodge Fortrose No. 108.

Another letter from America was read on 8th November 1934 to intimate that Bro. Joseph Chambers of 1018 had visited Lodge Burlingame No. 400 in California.

At our third Burns Supper, on 25th January 1935, a tradition was started which, with few exceptions, has continued to this very day, that the Immediate Past Master be the Brother who proposes the Immortal Memory, Bro. Dr. William Gray I.P.M. being the first in that long line.

An invitation for us to visit Lodge Irvine St. Andrew No. 149 to confer the M.M. Degree was accepted. The Choir accompanied the Ceremony to tremendous reception.

Our near neighbours Lodge Cochno No. 1304 arrived on 23rd May 1935 to confer the Mark Ceremonial, the Deputation being headed by R.W.M. Bro. Robert Davidson, the Ceremonial being conferred by Bro. Robert Glen P.M.

1935 saw the Lodge repeat the sporting double, with the Barns again winning the Brock Cup and the Claud Hamilton Trophy.

We also returned the compliment paid to us earlier in the year and had Lodge Irvine St. Andrew No. 149 to confer the M.M. Degree in 1018, their Deputation being headed by Bro. Robert Espie, R.W.M.

Joyous news was given to the Lodge on 14th November 1935. Our bank loan and overdraft were completely repaid. The freshly decorated and improved Temple was now free of debt. In so short a space of time, our ancestors and Brethren had worked tirelessly to set the Lodge on a solid financial footing. It should also be remembered that some of the Brethren stood as guarantors for the loans, an astonishing gesture in such hard times.

23rd January 1936 saw the Lodge receive terrible news. Our Monarch, King George V had passed away and two minutes silence was impeccably observed. The Lodge proceeded with the fourth Burns Supper the following evening, as it was too short notice to cancel and the silent tribute was again paid by the 300 attending, with the Lodge Piper then playing a lament.

A Commemoration Dinner was held on 13th February to mark the clearing of all debt taken on in the building of our Temple and to thank those Brethren who stood as guarantors, being Bros. Alexander Hynd P.M., John Russell M.A. and William Phillips. 115 guests were in attendance including Bro. Rev. T. Angus Morrison and members of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Dunbartonshire; as well as Provost J.M. Smart, ex Baillie Philip McDevitt J.P. and representatives of our sister Lodges. A splendid evening was recorded, the speeches were fulsome in praise of what the Lodge had achieved in so short a space of time, and it was noted with pleasure that what had been accomplished was a heritage to be handed down.

By the mid 1930s, fewer candidates were being put through, averaging twenty to thirty a year, less than a third of our early days. There was a tremendous harmony within the Lodge, but it was noted on A.G.M. reports and indeed in the Minutes of our Socials, that the body of the work was being performed by less Brethren as time went on. Attendances were down too, largely due to the economic climate in the town, the Barns now averaging 75 Brethren at a meeting, again half of what we had been used to.

The Lodge accepted with regret the resignation of Bro. Adam Hillis P.M., who had been conductor of our hugely successful Choir, in the nine years since its inception. It was agreed with regret, the Choir cease.

In 1936 the Lodge were host to Lodge St. John Dalmuir 543, who rented our Temple, while their own Hall was demolished and rebuilt, thereby returning the favour when we rented from them some 18 years earlier. On 10th October, when 543 laid their Foundation Stone, Bro. Daniel West, Master led a healthy Barns deputation to the ceremony.

In that same month, Bro. Rev. Thos. Angus Morrison was installed again as R.W.P.G.M. by the Most Worshipful Grand master Sir Iain Colquhoun of Colquhoun and Luss, Bart, D.S.O., L.L.

Lodge Cochno No. 1304 was welcomed back on 27th May 1937 when Bro. T.B. McKenzie R.W.M. led his Brethren into the Barns to confer a M.M. Degree on seven Brethren. On 3rd November, the Barns made the journey up the road to confer a M.M. Degree for 1304.

On 10th June 1937, brothers Johnstone (25), an ambulance driver and Robert (23), a grocer, Currie were initiated and the brothers Currie became the Brothers Currie. This followed the initiation of their elder brother Archibald (34), a cransman, on 22nd April that year.

In July 1937, the Lodge were advised by Grand Lodge that they had received notification that Barns member William Holm, Initiated in 1912 had passed away in his new home in New Jersey in the United States. We were informed that Lodge Copestone No. 147 had incurred expenses in the burial of Bro. Holm. Our Lodge agreed to reimburse our American Brethren at once with thanks for that Lodge's services in our name.

Weeks later, we learned of the death of another old member, when a letter was read from the Masonic Flying Squadron Everyman's Bible Class in America to inform us that Bro. William Percival Peacock, initiated in 1914 had passed away. The organisation in question is part of an American Temperance Society for Freemasons.

The Instruction Class continued to confer Degrees, an example being on 28th October 1937 when Bros. Swan, Cameron, Gray, Malcolm, Fyfe, McKellar and Picken, with the Obligation conferred by Bro. George Hill P.M. D.M., initiated four Candidates.

That year too saw the Lodge revive the Annual Ball, which had become less popular due to the severe economic hardship felt still in the Burgh. It was hailed as a success.

19th February 1938 witnessed Lodge Oatlands No. 1005 (Glasgow) came to the Barns for the first time to confer the M.M. Degree on three F.C. Freemasons. The large Deputation was headed by the Master, Bro Hugh Macadie.

180 Brethren attended the Barns on 24th February of that year to see new visitors come to 1018. Lodge St. John No. 458 (Busby) brought a Deputation headed by their Master Bro. Robert Nelson to confer the Mark Ceremonial. Our Director of Ceremonies Bro. Alex Davidson was a busy man as he also introduced Deputations from Lodge Union No. 332, Lodge Clyde No. 408, Lodge Clydebank No. 1234, Lodge Cochno No. 1304 as well as the Provincial Grand Lodge of Dunbartonshire.

We were, in turn, invited to confer the Mark for Lodge Clyde No. 408 on 18th March 1938, the M.M. Degree at Lodge Clydebank No. 1234 on 5th April 1938 and the M.M. Degree on 27th April 1938 at Lodge Union No. 332.

Lodge Leven St. John No. 170 held their 150th Anniversary Harmony and 1018's Bro. George Hill P.M., a professional entertainer, provided songs at the function.

At an Office Bearers Meeting held on 29th October, the Lodge accepted with regret the resignation of our Tyler, Bro. Fred Lindsay, who due to failing health could no longer fulfil the duties of his Office, an Office he had held continuously since the first Meeting of the Barns. The Lodge suffered a sad passing too, with the death of Bro. John McArthur P.M., who had acted as Clerk of Works during the erection of our Temple.

On 8th December 1938, Bro. John Hood was installed as Master in a Ceremony watched by 210 Brethren, including Deputations from Lodges St. James (Kilwinning) Tarbolton No. 135, Union No. 332, St. John No. 458, Clydebank No. 1234 and Cochno No. 1304.

On 8th February 1939, William Hood Morton, a 19 year old engineer became our 2,000th Initiate. Bro. Morton later emigrated to Canada.

On 25th March 1939, the Barns welcomed for the first time, a Deputation from Lodge St. James (Kilwinning) Tarbolton No. 135, when Bro. D. L. Kerr, Master of that Lodge conferred the M.M. Degree on seven Candidates. 135 returned to us in 1946 to again confer a M.M. Degree.

In 1939, the Lodge gained more Candidates and our numbers at the Meetings increased. Sadly, in September that year the world was thrown into another global conflict when, on 1st September, Great Britain declared war on Germany when the latter nation invaded Poland.

Immediately, our Hall was in demand when the Territorial Army requested its use for a recruitment drive. At our Regular Meeting of 14th September, Bro. John Hood, R.W.M., made reference to what was termed as the "European conflict" and trusted that with "confidence, courage and faith" we would carry on until its end.

That year saw us move our Installation date from the normal Thursday night to the Saturday afternoon.

In view of the tremendous work being done in the District, the Lodge recommenced Benevolence to the local hospitals, and the Western, Royal and Victoria Infirmaries all received donations as well as the Samaritans Hospital, the Nurses Association, the Royal Hospital for Sick Kids and the Blind Association. In deference to the war our country was fighting, the Lodge unanimously agreed not to hold our Annual Ball. It was also agreed to allow Lodge St. Patrick No. 1309 the use of the Temple as they were in need of new premises.

 

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