1960-1969

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In 1960, we visited Lodges new to us to confer Degree work, Lodges St. Ninian's No. 66 (Brechin), St George No. 333 (Glasgow) and Alexandra No. 1282 (Glasgow). There were a great many social functions in the Lodge with monthly dances held throughout the early years of the decade.

Another father and son joined the Lodge on 8th September 1960, when Robert Wright Thomson, a 49 year old storeman and son Peter Macfarlane Thomson, a 23 year old toolmaker were initiated with three others, Robert Maitland, John Gardner Russell and Hugh Peebles.

16th December 1961 was another historic evening in our Lodge's history. Bro. Robert Porteus was installed as Master of the Lodge, by his own father, P.M. Bro. Tommy Porteus.

In February 1962, after years of repairing the Halls, the Halls Committee agreed to recommend a new design for the Temple. The members had sadly reached the conclusion that too many repairs had been made at too great a cost and that our dear old Temple would never reach its former glory. Some members were against the sale, including Bro. Bob Burnett, who spoke vociferously in defence of keeping the Temple.

At the Meeting on 12 April 1962, we were informed of the death of Bro. Thomas Porteus P.M., who has been initiated in 1925, been Master in 1942 and, in his 1018 career, had conferred within our Temples, 44 E.A. Degrees, 40 F.C. Degrees, 54 M.M. Degrees, 7 Mark ceremonials, installed eight Masters and two sets of Office Bearers; a record that may be second to none anywhere. Bro. McKenzie I.P.M. paid tribute to Bro. Porteus P.M. P.P.G.S.W. for his long and dedicated service to his Mother Lodge then Bro. H. Blair R.W.P.G.M. spoke of Bro. Porteus' service the Provincial Grand Lodge.

Bro. Angus Neil MacInnes R.W.M. of Lodge St. Patrick No. 1309 led his Lodge into the Barns on 24th May 1962. Bro. MacInnes then conferred the F.C. Degree on five Brethren of 1018. Bro. MacInnes went on to become R.W.P.G.M. of Dunbartonshire in 1983.

June 1st 1963, Lodge Grange No. 1073 travelled from Monifieth near Dundee to visit 1018 and confer the M.M. Degree on five F.C. Freemasons. Bro. George Rollo, Master, headed the Deputation and conferred the Degree.

1964 started on a sad note. In January, the Master, Bro. Bob Burnett paid tribute to P.M. Bro. John Ewing, who had recently died. Bro. Burnett spoke with affection of Bro. Ewing's service to the Lodge, particularly as Organist.

On 17th May that year, the Lodge held a Lodge of Sorrow to honour the passing of Bros. Tommy Porteus P.M., P.P.G.S.W., William Hamilton P.M. and John Ewing P.M. A very large number of Brethren from within and out-with the Province attended. P.G.L. was represented by a Deputation headed by Bro. A. Anderson D.P.G.M.

By mid 1964 we were made aware that buyers would be interested in our premises. Although we are supposed to be a "society with secrets", it became more known that the sale might be forced on us due to the amount of repairs needed. It was a sad day in 1964 when the Lodge finally agreed it was time to leave our Temple in Dumbarton Road. Originally damaged by the bombing during the Blitz and with a massive patched crack running the length of an exterior wall, the fine old hall simply needed too much money spent on it to restore it to its former glory. Slate work, plaster work and plumbing work had been the subject of running repairs for many years. Above all, the roof still suffered from bomb damage and over the years, water had got in and run down the internal walls, requiring major repair work. Alternative internal layouts had been considered but were not viable. If there was a sense that we were letting down our early members it was tempered by a realism which made it clear we didn't have the sums needed to keep the hall going. The intention was to immediately build new premises from the proceeds of the sale of the existing Temple.

The Barns were contacted by Lodge Punta Gordo No. 115 in Texas in the middle of the year. A Brother of 1018 who had emigrated to the United States had passed away. Knowing he was a Freemason, Lodge Punta Gordo had arranged a floral tribute, sending the Barns the bill.

On 27th August, the Lodge paid silent tribute to the late Bro. George Hill P.M., who had joined the Barns in 1919, been Master 10 years later and had conferred a remarkable 108 Degrees for the Lodge at home and installed six Masters and two sets of Office Bearers. Bro. Hill had been a professional singer and had also provided sterling service to the Barns o'Clyde Male Voice Choir for many years.

In March 1965, we received an offer of £7,000 for our Temple. The General Committee agreed to put this to the members to decide at a stated Business Meeting. On 22nd April 1965, after a great deal of discussion, it was agreed with regret to accept the offer. Notice was given to our tenants and to our Hallkeeper. In May, the General Committee was already looking at plans for a new Temple. In June, we had agreed a move to rent the Orange Halls in Whitecrook Street.

170 Brethren attended the last Meeting in Dumbarton Road, on Friday 18th June 1965. Deputations from Lodges St. Mary Coltness No. 31, Panmure No. 299, Clydebank No. 1234, Cochno No. 1304, St Patrick No. 1309 and Tower No. 1523 were received and presented to Bro. John McGregor, Master. Bro. Alexander Johnstone P.M. conferred the last Degree in the Temple, a M.M. Degree on five F.C. Freemasons, Bros. Archibald Barlow, James Wiseman, Thomas Hamilton Clark Craigen and John Hillis.

Reflecting back on the loss of the "Old Hall", Bro. Donald Lawrie P.M. recollects with fondness the children's outings by car, the collecting of items for the fund raising Jumble Sales and the cleaning and painting of the hall by the Office Bearers and Members which, in his eyes, were all important in the sense of the feeling of brotherhood.

Many Lodge furnishings were stored in the Orange Halls. Our priceless treasure, the stained glass window was stored on our behalf by Messrs. Archibald Hamilton, then in John Browns Shipyard by Bro. Copeland P.M. but eventually lost. There is the legend that the window is now in the United States.

Bro. Robert Livingstone, I.G. conferred the first Degree in our rented premises, on 26th August, an E.A. Degree on five candidates, John McIntosh, Robert Wylie, Douglas Mathieson, Victor Watson Jr. and Robert Duncan, 73 attending. Only four more Meetings were held there. In October, due to a power failure in the Halls, we moved to Lodge Cochno's Temple for one Meeting, a M.M. Degree by Bro. James Seivewright P.M., then Lodge St. John Dalmuir's Temple for one Meeting, a Mark by Bro. Harry Ferrier P.M. on 22 candidates.

For a time, we held Committee Meetings in Hunter & Currie tea-rooms. The Lodge then moved to new rented premises, the Burgh Band Halls, the first Meeting there being on 28th October 1965. On that evening, Bro. Bob Burnett I.P.M. conferred the M.M. Degree on five Brethren, James McConnell, Ian McKain, William Bannerman and William Smith.

On 6th January, we finally received a cheque in payment for the Hall at Dumbarton Road, the sum a little over £6,945, the balance of the £7,000 sale price being taken in expenses. A sub Committee was formed to meet Baillie Malcolm Turner of the Burgh with a view to finding suitable sites for our new Lodge building.

Our attendances fell a little with the move, but the dedication to the Ritual was as keen as ever. Among others, we visited Lodge Tower No. 1523 in 1966, conferring the F.C. Degree and Lodge Broughty Castle No. 486 on 10th September. Lodge Tower came to 1018 too, and on 11th June conferred the M.M. Degree on five candidates before 92 Brethren.

On 10th March 1966, Bros. William McDonald and Robert Kiddie were presented with Distinguished Service Diplomas by Bro. H. Blair, R.W.P.G.M. for their long service to the Barns.

By the end of 1966, three sites in the Radnor Park area were looked at and meetings held with builders including a representative of a firm in England.

In 1966, The Lodge Strathclyde was given its Charter and the Roll number 1626. Among their Masters have been the following Brethren of 1018, Bros. William Tivendale P.M. (Charter Master 1966-7), James McGowan (1968-9), John Henry Todd (1969-70), George Flood Crichton (1972-3), George Alexander Gray (1973-4), Trevor M.R. Stewart (1979-80), John Butcher (1999-2000). The following Brethren also affiliated from 1018 to the new Lodge: William G. Anderson, David W Bean, William Bell, Stanley M. Boult, Edward Cornock, Alex Davidson, Ian A.J. Ewing, Harry Ferrier P.M., James A. Finlayson, Norman J. McGregor, George Meekison, James Seivewright P.M. and James Thomson.

Bro. Harold Tait Butchart, initiated 1940 and who had been Master of the Lodge in 1948 - 49, reached the rank of P.G. Senior Warden in 1967.

By 1967, the Committee members came to realise we didn't have enough to build our new Hall without some form of loan. An appeal was made to all members to contribute, as those Brethren did in 1907. Another new Lodge was visited in that year, when a Deputation from the Barns went to Lodge Roineach Mhor No. 1308 in Dundee on 22nd April to confer the M.M. Degree. In October that year, at our Mark Meeting, Bro. Danny Lambie, Master, welcomed Bro. Alexander Anderson R.W.P.G.M. and his Depute, Bro. Newton Miller Stewart.

On 15th December 1967, at the Installation Meeting, fitting tribute was paid to Bro. Adam Heaton P.M., who had passed away. Bro. Heaton had for many years been a great servant to the Lodge, particularly with his work with the Barns o'Clyde Male Voice Choir. Thereafter, Bro. Tommy Cochrane was installed as our 42nd Master, by Bros. Bob Burnett P.M., R.W.I.M. and Frank Swanson P.M., R.W.I.M.

Bro. Robert Adams was installed as Master of Lodge Cochno No. 1304 on 23rd December 1967. In a ceremony held in the Masonic Temple, Dalmuir, Bro. Alexander Johnstone P.M. of the Barns installed Lodge Cochno's office bearers.

In 1967, too, a letter was read from Bro. Thom K. Sturges P.M., King Solomon's Lodge No. 7 of Woodbury, Connecticut, United States thanking the Lodge for the hospitality shown to their Brother William Holloran on his recent visits to 1018.

Past Masters Harry Ferrier and Bob Burnett installed Bro. David McGowan (roll 3466) as R.W.M. of The Lodge Strathclyde in December 1968, Bro. McGowan had joined 1018 in 1952 and was a Founder Member of 1626.

The Lodge received a letter from ex pat member Bro. Andrew Gibson (roll no 3595) in 1968, enclosing a photograph from the Installation of the new M.W. Grand Master Mason of New Zealand, His Excellency Sir Arthur Espie Porrit.

In 1969, we invited Lodge Clyde No. 408 to confer the F.C. Degree with only one week's notice as the Lodge due to come could not make it. Their Deputation was headed by the I.P.M. Bro. Christie P.M. and the Degree conferred by Bro. William Robb P.M. Bro. Robert Livingstone, Master, thanked Bro. Robb for "the sincere and excellent manner" in which he had carried out the Degree.

Throughout the late 1960s, the General Committee and a specially appointed Sub Committee met regularly, often with builders, architects and local Burgh officials, to progress to our new Temple. Various sites were considered and different plans drawn up by builders. Much credit is due to Bro. Hugh Ross, our then Secretary, who worked tirelessly to try and achieve our aim.

 

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