The resurgence within the Lodge, brought about and developed during the years of Bro. R. Mackie's chairmanship was sustained, and further advanced by Bro. John McKay through the years 1890, 1891 and 1892. He was recalled for a 4th term as we shall see in 1897 - the 25th year of the Lodge's history. Throughout his 3 years in office he missed through illness, only 1 meeting out of the 65 held.
In 1890 alone of 25 meetings held 19 were for Degree Work. The Lodge still carried out more than 1 Degree a night and some 23 Degrees were conferred. The R.W.M. himself conferred 15 of these and with the assistance of Bros. Scott 406, Barclay 552 and both Bros. Ferguson and Purdie of 581 - entered no less than 17 Apprentices in that year. These along with 1 affiliate made up the candidates for what proved to be a very successful year for Degree Working. The Regular Meeting of January 11th 1890 was given over to a re-appraisal of Lodge Meeting Nights and Rules.
A proposal to fix Lodge Meeting Nights to the 3rd Friday of each month was agreed. It was further agreed to form a Committee to Revise Lodge Rules. The R.W.M. with Bro. J. King P.M. and Bro. M. Marshall were thereupon appointed.
It is worthy of note that a reply was received from P.G.L. - within the week - to say the Lodge could change their meeting night any time they wished to do so. The Rules Committee worked swiftly, on May 26th we have a 10 page entry headed "Byelaws of Lodge St. Andrew No. 524" The catalogue begins with a list of the O.B.'s for 1890; R.W.M. Bro. J. McKay; S.W. Bro. T. McBryde; J.W. Bro. J. Robertson; Secretary Bro. H. Kerr and Treasurer Bro. R. Pollok being the first 5 in a total of 23. The Introductory Remarks extend to 1 full page we reach the first of 28 Regulations.
Among these we find that at the Nomination Meeting the Nominations for the Office of R.W.M. will be received from (1) - The R.W.M. (2) - The Office-Bearers (3) - The Brethren of the Lodge - possibly 3 in all. We find also that a Committee of 5 Brethren of the Lodge (not Office-Bearers) is to be formed "… To arrange disputes among the Brethren…" and again the Lodge Tyler act as Officer and warn Members of Meetings and finally, that candidates must be over 18; that Initiation Fee be £1:12:6 and Tes Fees 2/6d. To all of which we find the signatures of Bro. J. Caldwell P.D.G.M., James Derwette P.G.Secy. and A. McPherson P.G.Treas. Certified and Authorised by them at Paisley, on the 26th May 1890. At the Meeting of the Lodge on August 15th, these were read to the Lodge by Bro. Secretary. Interested Brethren of today would find the 10 page entry worthy of a closer scrutiny. A determined effort was also made in March to promote a Harmony Night in April. Invitations were sent to Lodges Nos. 114, 116, 458, 512, 557 and 617 to attend this Harmony.
This all resulted on 4th April, in the Lodge adjourning to "Harmonise in the Light", with Toasts and Song, together with Brethren from the above Lodges and others from lodges 128 and 544. We feel that this Minute must leave very much unsaid. In the Minutes for 1890 it emerges that the P.G.L. of Renfrewshire East was to hold a Grand Bazaar in Aid of Grand Lodge Benevolent Funds.
The Lodge formed a Committee in January to organise the Lodges' contribution to this Bazaar. Subscription cards in aid of this were issued to the Brethren in May and urged again in August. In September the Bro. Junior Warden made a request on behalf of Mrs. Gilmour of Eaglesham House, Stallholder, for the Brethren to get as much material as possible for her stall. All must have gone well and to the satisfaction of everyone as from a Minute dated 8/12/1890, inscribed by Bro. Sir A. Campbell, Grandmaster we learn of the thanks expressed by him to all who made the Grand Masonic Bazaar "so great a triumph". Divine Service Invitations were received from Cambuslang and Blantyre. In September the R.W.M. reported that the Rev. Bro. John Murray would take the Masonic Service on 26th October. This seems to be a clear reference to the Lodges' own Masonic Service but unfortunately no other references to it appear. The Lodge Meeting on the 17th October was changed to the 15th "…because of a Public Meeting in the village on the 17th …" - a clear indication of how closely knit all the village must have been. At the end of the year the Financial Report was well received - it having a Credit Balance of £13:7:7. It was agreed to present Bro. R. Mackie P.M. with a P.M.'s Jewel and to pay the Bro. Tyler an Honoraria of 10/-. Bro. J. McKay, having re- elected as R.W.M. was Installed by Bro. Wm. Barclay P.M. 553 "…in a most creditable manner…"
Coming to 1891 Bro. J. McKay's second year in the Office of R.W.M. we see that he carried out all the Degree Work except 1 Third Degree which was conferred by Bro. Thorburn R.W.M. 557. This meant that the R.W.M. carried out 20 Degrees leading to the Initiation of 15 Candidates. On 2 occasions we have cases where 3 Degrees were conferred on the one evening. For example take the Minute of the Special Meeting on the 4th September: "…Axel Larsen, who leaves for London soon, received his First, Second and Third Degrees from the R.W.M., his Instructors to have him well posted…" On March 6th we come to our First Mark Degree. It was a Special Meeting and in the care of Bro. Wm. Barclay P.M. with Bros. R. Steven and G. White of Lodge St. Vincent No. 553.
Some 20 Brethren received their Mark Degree. It is here too we have our First Honorary Affiliate Members, there are 6 altogether with Bro. Wm. Barclay P.M. 553 (and a Past P.G.L./Jeweller of the P.G.L. of Glasgow) being the first. Among the others were Bros. R. Steven and G. White with notably Bro. George Aitkenhead - No. 128 on our Roll. The Lodge thus increased, in 1891, by 15 Initiates, 1 Affiliate and 6 Honorary Members. Bro. McKay, the R.W.M. chaired all but 1 of the 21 meetings held. It was the Nomination Meeting in November which he missed, being ill. Even so he was re-nominated as R.W.M. for 1892 in his absence. He was Installed R.W.M. in December by Bro. C. Galletly, P.M. 362, and described as S.D. at Grand Lodge. The Minute of this Installation tells us that the Lodge was raised to the Third Degree for the Election, earlier. Lodges represented were Nos. 27, 177, 306 and 609. During the year Bro. R. Mackie P.M. was presented with a P.M.'s jewel. A Brothers call for assistance from Douglas, Lanark was met by a grant of 2/6d and it was agreed to enquire the cost of Aprons for the Master and Wardens. The years Financial Statement showed the Credit Balance to have increased to £15:0:0. A sad note is struck in the month of June when we read of Bro. J. King P.M. thanking the Lodge for their letter of sympathy at the death of Mrs. King. To Mrs. King, we have little doubt; Bro. John King owed much of his success as a Brother and R.W.M. of Lodge St. Andrew No. 524.
In 1892 the R.W.M. carried out all of the 11 Degrees conferred and Chaired all of the 19 meetings. The Mark Degree was conferred by Bro. Wm. Barclay P.M. 553 in March when 22 Brethren were advanced (19 from 524 plus 2 from 553 and 1 from 510). At this Meeting a number of Honorary Members were made leading to a total of 17 for the year. Of these 5 were from our Provincial Grand Lodge. The number of Initiates for the year was 11. Benevolence might be said to have been the feature of the year. In January 2 Brethren "unwell and not working", received 15/- each. In April a Widow's Appeal was read and after a Visit had been made, where the circumstances were found to be, "not too bad", a payment of 10/- was made. It was decided to refer the case to P.G.L. In the October a Bro. Stewart was killed at his work and his Widow and family received 30/-. In the December the Lodge received a somewhat salutary lesson when a letter was received from Grand Lodge to say that the Lodges Application for an Annuity on behalf of a Brother could not be met as "…the Brother was not registered at Grand Lodge…" It was also a varied year on the financial side. In March a "Deputation" was received whose business was to describe the Testimonial being prepared for Bro. Bailie A. Caldwell P.G.D.M. of Renfrewshire East and no doubt to receive subscriptions. In January Bro. J. King P.M. passed to the Treasurer the sum of £2:11:0 being a Social Committee credit balance. It was also agreed in April that the Lodge Funds be transferred from the Clydesdale to the National Security Bank and that Lodge paraphernalia be insured. In September Grand Lodge recommended the Initiation Fee minimum be £2:2:0 and this was agreed to be the Lodges' new Initiation Fee. In August it is minuted that the Rev. Bro. P. Black of Old Monkland would give the Masonic Service in our Parish Church on 4th September. Once again we fail to find further reference to the Divine Services being held by the Lodge. At the end of the year Bro. Wm. McIntosh is elected R.W.M. and Installed by a Bro. N. Denholm I.P.M. Lodge No. 553.
The Laws of Grand Lodge are minuted as on view but it is noteworthy that the Election is by a "Show of Hands", in open lodge. Provincial Grand Lodge appends a clear minute to this entry but adds that Candidates must be balloted and also appeals to Lodge Wardens to attend Provincial Grand Lodge and Grand Lodge. The Lodge is 20 years old; Brother McKay has ended a busy period of 3 years as R.W.M. and at Grand Lodge, we have a new Grand Master, Bro. The Earl of Haddington.
The great efforts made by the Lodge during the previous 6 years under Bros. R. Mackie and J. McKay as Masters were no doubt difficult to sustain at a high level. Certainly the years of 1893 and 1894 under Bro. W. McIntosh were quieter years. Bro. McIntosh was able to chair 20 of the 26 meetings during his 2 years as Master - illness in 1894 being the causes of his absences.
Bros. J. McKay P.M. and R. Mackie P.M. Secy. acted in his absence. Candidates and Degree Work fell away but the R.W.M. and Bro. J. McKay shared the working equally over the 2 years. In 1893 there were 4 Initiates and 7 Honorary Members. The year began with a report of 1892's Finances, "forgotten" in December 1892. It is described as "good". It is also reported that £2:15:0 had been collected for the family of Bro. Stewart, deceased. The Lodge paraphernalia Insurance was given as Sum Assured £100 and the premium 3/6d. The premium was described as exorbitant! From a Notice of Motion made in March, and later debated it appears the Lodge was issuing circulars, by now for all its meetings. There is a minute telling of the result of the vote but this is almost meaningless and leaves us to guess the result. At a Presentation and Harmony Meeting held in April, Bro. J. McKay received his P.M.'s jewel "…of gold and to the design of Bro. A. Brown, Argyll Arcade, Glasgow…" In his reply, thanking the Brethren of Lodge Bro. McKay urged all to do their best for Lodge St. Andrew. Deputations were present from Lodges 103, 215, 347, 458, 556, 557 and 609. A Brother Johnstone gave the Lodge a gift of an Apron Box.
Invitations were received to the Divine Services of Lodges 103, 215 and 557. One was also received to a Harmony at Lodge Clyde. The Lodge conducted its own Divine Service on the 2nd July when the Rev. Bro. D. Ness took the pulpit. This time we hear something more about it when we read that the Balance remaining after the Service equalled £2:17:8. This was passed into the Benevolent Fund of the Lodge. A letter received in May from Lodge No. 259in Aberdeenshire West asked for help to build a suitable Hall. This letter was "laid aside". Such letters were, or were about to become a regular feature as we shall see. At the A.G.M. in November it was agreed to pay the Secretary a 10/- Honoraria. Bro. W. McIntosh was again elected R.W.M. and Installed in December by Bro. Barclay P.M. 553.
In 1894 there were but 2 Degrees conferred: a 3rd and a 1st by the R.W.M. The 1st Degree, in November, gave the Lodge its sole candidate for the year. With 11 Regular Meetings and 1 Special Meeting it is a year which gives us an increasing insight into Lodge affairs. The P.G.L. Visitation, due in January, was put off till June the 30th. Then they are able to give a "Clear Minute" and are pleased to note the healthy state of Lodge Finances: Credit Balance £33:15:0 of which £10:12:11 is in the Benevolent Fund. The P.G.M. being absent this Minute is signed by the P.G.D.M.
Bro. Caldwell and 11 members of P.G.L. Benevolence features yet again in "Relief to a Brother £1"; to a renewed request from Mrs. Stewart, Widow a grant of £3; to a "destitute Brother on-the-way" 5/- and a report from P.G.L. that they too have contributed to Mrs. W. Stewart in the sum of £4. In March alterations cause the Lodge - room to become "unsuitable" and it is agreed to bear part of the expense to make the Lodge - room once again convenient for the members. We must assume they still met in Rae's Hall and can only wonder at the above. A Divine Service is arranged for July 8th and it is agreed to give Proceeds to the Victoria Infirmary, Glasgow. In August we find that the Divine Service proceeds equalled £ 5:2:7. From this is deducted £1:9:1 for expenses and the Balance despite an earlier decision is divided into £3 to the Victoria Infirmary and 13/6 to the Lodge Benevolent Fund. Invitations are received during the year to the Divine Service of Lodge Sir George Cathcart; to a Dramatic Entertainment at Lodge Strathaven in aid of the Town's Unemployed and to a "Quarterly Meeting" and Harmony at Lodge Rutherglen Royal Arch No.116.
The Lodge itself agrees and arranges a Social Meeting for St. Andrew's Night in November. At the A.G.M. a debate ensues as to why the Treasurer required to have 2 Bank accounts - one for the lodge and another for the Benevolent Fund. Following timely advice and explanation it was agreed this should continue. The Financial Statement for the year was given without detail or comment. Bro. Thomas Bell received the Nomination and Election as R.W.M. for 1895 - the Installation being postponed till the 11th January 1895. No reason for this postponement is given. This ended the reign of Bro. Wm. McIntosh; and at Grand Lodge the Grand Master was Bro. Sir Charles Dalrymple.
The 2 years 1895 and 1896 were under the Chairmanship of Bro. T. Bell, R.W.M. During those years some 28 Meetings were held of which Bro. Bell Chaired 23. In his absence Bro. J. McKay P.M. acted for him and it would seem that Bro. Bell leaned very heavily on the redoubtable Bro. J. McKay. This is evident in that all Degree Work in the 2 years was carried out by Bro. J. McKay. Degree Work was carried out on sixteen occasions yielding 10 Candidates 6 and 4 respectively. In this time there were also 1 Affiliate and 10 Honorary Members. Bro. Sir J. S. Maxwell S.P.G.M. was one of the latter. The Mark Degree in 1896 was under the care of Bro. A. Brown P.M. 512, 13 Brethren received their Mark Degree at that time. In 1895, as we learnt, the Installation was held on the 11th January. The Installing Master was Bro. Denholm P.M. 553, who was assisted by Bro. Thom also of 553. This Minute of Bro. Bell's Installation is a very full one and the procedure shown is very close to that we Know of today. Bro. Secretary tells us that Bro. Bell was supported by Bros. McKay, McIntosh, Begg, Sweeney and McNaught. In February the death is reported of a Bro. R.Y. Wilson, at Mauchline, of whom the R.W.M. spoke very highly. A wreath is purchased by the Brethren and a letter of thanks for this is received from Bro. Wilson's Mother. In March and May we have further entries of Benevolence to Brethren "on the way" with payments of 5/- and 1/8d. An application for relief from the I.P.M. Bro. McIntosh who is indisposed is met with a grant of £3. Sadly however we read of the death of Bro. McIntosh in September and also that of a Bro. D. McInnes. In November relief of £2 is voted to the widow of Bro. McInnes. Further letters from various Lodges seeking Building Fund Aid are received and "laid aside". So too are letters from Lodge Lurgan, Ireland and "Lodge Kilwinning" re Bazaars. The Lodge Divine Service is arranged in the Parish Church on 18th August, with the Rev. Shearer conducting, again we have a Financial Report of it, if no other. The collection reached £3:19:5 with expenses at £1:5:3. The balance was placed in the Lodge Benevolent Fund. A gift was received by the Lodge from Bro. Fraser of Lodge 116, of an ancient gavel head. The Secretary has decided to write and thank Bro. Fraser. In a manner seemingly contrary to the foregoing the Lodge voted 9 to 6, "not to have the Stewards Rods painted." In June we hear of a large Deputation from Lodge Cambuslang No. 114 headed by Bro. A. Telfer R.W.M. - no other details provided. The Provincial Grand Lodge visit in April was of 9 Brethren headed by Sir J. S. Maxwell, S.P.G.M. A Clear Minute is recorded, the Office Bearers are congratulated on their attendance and Finance is detailed. This was of a Credit Balance £29:13:10 of which £10:11:4 were in the Benevolent Fund. At the A.G.M. in November the Secretary's Honoraria was increased to £1:1:0 Bro. Bell, re-elected R.W.M. was Installed in December by Bro. Phillips of "Shamrock and Thistle" Glasgow, assisted by Bro. Owens of Lodge St. Mungo No. 27.
1896 was a year not unlike that of 1895 but with apparently, a reduction in general activity. It did reveal facets of Lodge life as had 1895. A Committee was formed in March to revise Lodge Bye-Laws. This consisted of the R.W.M. with Bros. McKay P.M., Johnstone, Allan and Bro R. Mackie P.M. Secy. The reading of the revised Bye-Laws was put off in August and it is not until January 1897 that we hear of them again. A Motion to change the Lodge Meeting Night to a Saturday, made in April, was ruled "incompetent" and we hear no more of it. Further indications of a measure of acrimony appear in April when it is moved, and agreed, for Secretary's and Treasurer's books to be examined, as some Brethren, "questioned the accuracy of these with regard to Test Fee payments". The Committee formed to examine the books reported in June and we find all dismissed by the Minuted entry, "the Brethren concerned in the dispute are not voting members in 1896".
The Secretary and Treasurer appear to have been vindicated. In November Grand Lodge passed a new law to say that "No Passing or Raising of Candidates may be carried out at intervals of less than 2 weeks." This would certainly cause a major change to the practice and precept of Lodge St. Andrew. At the Nomination Meeting there are 2 Nominations for R.W.M. in 1897; Bro. J. McKay P.M. and Bro. H. Begg. However, at the Election Meeting, Bro. J. McKay P.M. was elected and later Installed by Bro. Thorburn P.M. 557. All of which we'd say indicated some concern in the Lodge as to who would be our R.W.M. in 1897 - the Lodges 25th Anniversary.
Brother John McKay P.M. - R.W.M., setting out on his 4th term as R.W.M. and the Lodges 25th year in 1897 had as Secretary Bro. R. Mackie P.M. Bro. Mackie was then in the 5th of his many years as Secretary. At Provincial Grand Lodge Bro. Sir A. Campbell was in his 30th year approximately as P.G.M. and at Grand Lodge the "new boy" was Alexander, the Lord Saltoun M.W.G.M. The year begins with a reading of the New Bye-Laws. These were agreed after a reduction of the Benevolent Committee from 8 members to 5 had been made. The P.G.L. returned them to the Lodge in March for some re-consideration all of which were finally resolved in September. In that month the New Bye-Laws are entered, in their entirety as once before, in a 10 page minute of some 27 Bye-Laws. Of interest are the points that Candidates must now be over 21 years of age unless they are the Sons of Scottish Master Masons and that applications refused may be remade after 3 months. A Life Membership Fee becomes available at £1:1:0 - this to be divided equally between General and Benevolent Funds. Following a vote in Open Lodge a large majority favoured holding a Divine Service. This was held in June and the Rev. A. Millar of Blue Vale Parish Church was the Minister. Some 13 Lodges were represented and a Collection of £3:4:5 was taken up, after £1:6:6 expenses the balance was applied to Lodge Benevolent Fund. Benevolence extended during the year included 2/6d to a "Brother on the way" and £3 to Mrs. McIntosh, widow. On her behalf also the Lodge Secretary was directed to appeal to P.G.L. In March of the year we are puzzled by an entry saying that Nominations were being called for a Brother to succeed the P.G.M. Bro. Sir A. Campbell. This is contrary to our information where Bro. Campbell remained P.G.M. until 1902. We must assume that he was re-elected for a further term. The Provincial Grand Lodge Visit in 1897 was on June the 18th when 9 Brethren headed by Bro. Major F. W. Allan P.G.D.M. attended the Lodge. A "Clear Minute" was given and financial details recorded. Lodge Funds were in Credit to £21:0:9 with £14:3:9 in the Benevolent Fund. During the year a Bro. A. McLelland, Jeweller presented the Lodge with a set of candle-sticks and candles for which he was thanked. It was also agreed to repair some of the Lodge Jewels. Although no minute appears of a specific 25th Anniversary Celebration, we feel it did not go unmarked and the state of Lodge financially with the mind - picture we have to date leads us to say the Lodge would be well justified in drinking a Toast to itself in its 25th year. Brother McKay, ill for a time in the spring, chaired all but 2 of the 11 meetings, and with Bro. Thorburn P.M. an Honorary Member shared the working of 4 Degrees. New Members for the year were 4 Initiates and 7 Honorary Members. Bro. Secretary ends a Minute in July "…after some business of a miscellaneous nature the Lodge was closed…" We wonder what reception such an entry would receive today.
So ends our first 25 years.