Lodge St. Andrew No 524


About 524

Although the Lodge was chartered in 1872 it is worth noting that Freemasonry first appeared in East Kilbride in 1738. Had there been no breaks in the chain, as Brethren, we would be looking at 276 years of Freemasonry in the village / town in the year 2014.

However, on the 5th August, 1872 the Lodge was chartered by the Grand Lodge of Scotland and given the number 524. Our two sponsor Lodges being Lodge Rutherglen Royal Arch No. 116 and Lodge St. John Busby No. 458. Freemasonry had once again been introduced into East Kilbride and continues till this day. The colour for the apron was registered as crimson. Aprons, sashes and jewels were ordered and our first recorded presentation was that of a dagger in 1873 which is still in use in the Lodge today.Visiting Brethren, as far back as 1872, were recorded as being from Strathaven, Busby and Glasgow.

The early years passed with great activity by the Brethren. Degree work was carried out with 1st, 2nd and 3rd degrees being carried out on the same evening. Visitations to Ayrshire, Cambuslang, Glasgow, Lanarkshire and of course, Renfrewshire East. Brethren attended consecrations, laying of foundation stones and divine services. These events took place as far afield as Glasgow and Greenock.

We are proud to have sponsored Lodge Blantyre Kilwinning No. 557 (1874) and in later years Lodges Eaglesham No. 1265 (1921), Douglas No.1557 (1959), Kil Bryd No. 1667 (1972) and McLaren No. 1688 (1974).

Assistance was also being given to worthy, needy Brethren and their dependants. Social events had also taken off.

In 1883 the first Past Master's jewel was presented to Bro. J. King. Unfortunately the Lodge was struggling to stay afloat with low attendances, a dearth of candidates and finances unhealthy. However, in the three years (1887 - 89) the Lodge grew into a robust state.

In 1890 P.G.L. of Renfrewshire East held a successful Grand Masonic Bazaar in aid of Grand Lodge Benevolent Funds in which the brethren of "524" were involved. The Lodge's first Mark Ceremonial took place in 1891 and circulars for attendance at meetings were first issued in 1893. There is no minute to tell what took place at the Lodge's twenty-fifth year in 1897 but we hope that some commemoration took place of these busy and fruitful years.

At the start of the twentieth century Queen Victoria had died. P.G.L. had advised the Lodge that all minutes should be written into a fixed leaf book and that the loose leaf system be abandoned. How the wheel has turned.

In the Lodge's thirtieth year (1902) it was decided to start a building fund to provide our own hall. A two-day summer bazaar was held in 1904. This event, among others was successful and in 1907 the Lodge purchased land in Kittoch Street, the village. The hall was built and consecrated by P.G.L. on 9th April, 1910.

Roll of Honour

When 1914 arrived it is recorded that many Brethren had "joined the colours" with several of the Brethren paying the ultimate sacrifice, those Brethren are remembered on a Roll of Honour (pictured above) which is on display in the Lodge room. After the war in the years 1919 - 20 there was a great upsurge in membership.

At the jubilee celebrations of the Lodge (1922) many gifts were received throughout that year.

In 1936 H.R.H. Duke of York (later King George VI ) became Grand Master Of The Scottish Constitution. However, in the year of the Empire Exhibition (1938) war clouds were gathering and the Masonic Hall was requisitioned by the military in 1939. During the ensuing Years the Lodge met practically next door in the Lesser Hall of the West Kirk until the Hall was released by the military in 1944.

The Brethren returned to the hall in 1945 and there was a great upsurge of membership the following year. In 1947 the designation of the New Town of East Kilbride was to have a great effect on what was essentially a "Village Lodge". Sadly in the Lodge's seventy-fifth year (1947) there is no reference in the minutes to the event.

In 1952 there was a mourning period of three months on the death of King George VI.

A gift of a master's chair in 1955 was given to one of the newer Lodges in the Province, The Royal Stuart No. 1414.

In 1967 the Lodge looking ahead set up a Centenary Committee. Also on the agenda was a further extension to the hall.

The last meeting in the "Old Hall" was in May 1970 when a Mark Ceremonial was carried out. The Lodge met in the Scout Hall, Kirktonholme Road, the Village until August 1971. We moved back into the "New Extended Hall" in September 1971 and at the first meeting the Mark Ceremonial was again carried out.

The centenary celebrations are well documented in the Lodge minutes and history. On Saturday, 16th September, 1972, Bro. Norman Robb R.W.M. welcomed the Grand Master Mason of Scotland Bro. David Liddell-Granger and his deputation and the Provincial Grand Master of Renfrewshire East Bro. Ralph Denholm and his deputation. The meeting was held in the Ballerup Hall, Civic Centre, East Kilbride. The Grand Master and his office-bearers then re-dedicated the Lodge in an impressive manner. Grand Lodge, Provincial Grand Lodge and Lodge Brethren had earlier been received by the Provost, Mr James Smith, at a civic reception. The evening was rounded off by a dinner and entertainment.

Lambskin Apron presented by Grand Master Mason

Lamb skin apron presented to the Lodge by the Grand Master Mason and signed by members of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, Provincial Grand Lodge and PMs, and Office Bearers of 524. Hairmyres Curling Club and East Kilbride Bowling Club also celebrated their Centenaries in 1972.

The following year the three East Kilbride Lodges held a Masonic Ball and the sum of £500 was donated to Hairmyres Hospital. The Lodge was still invoked in charitable work when it sent one of its members in the Year of the Disabled (1981) to attend a Disabled Conference in the United States of America.

One of the visitations received in 1983 was from a Canadian Lodge who conducted a dramatised Third Degree.

In 1986 the Lodge was well represented at the various functions held by Grand Lodge to commemorate their 250th year. Applications for membership had dropped and attendances had fallen but just like the Brethren of 100 years before our members soldiered on.

The fortunes of the Lodge waxed and waned but the Lodge still persisted in their endeavours. Lectures were placed on the syllabus for the education and interest of the Brethren. This continued up to and past our 125th celebrations which took place in the Ballerup Hall on Saturday 20th September, 1997. On that occasion Bro. William Greig R.W.M. welcomed the Provincial Grand Master, Bro. Frank Johnstone and his office-bearers who then re-consecrated and re-dedicated the Lodge. A full report again appears in the Lodge minutes but the ceremonial work carried out was second to none. After the meeting a fine dinner and harmony was enjoyed by the Brethren.

Another important event that took place was the complete refurbishment of the Masonic Hall in 1999.

One of the visitations received in 2002 was from the Lodges of the Valley Cincinnati Ohio U.S.A. who conducted an exemplification of the Fellow Craft Degree, the meeting was once again held in the Ballerup Hall to accommodate the large number of Brethren who were in attendance afterwards an enjoyable harmony was held in The Masonic Hall, Kittoch Street.

In 2005, the lodge was host to the annual St.Andrew lodges gathering, where an exemplification of the Entered Apprentice degree was a carried out by a team of reigning masters from the various St.Andrew lodges in Scotland.

All the good and charitable intentions that inspired the founding and earlier Brethren are still to the fore. During the good years and the hard years and right up to the present day there have always been Brethren ready to shoulder the burden.

Brethren may it always be so.