Foreward It is with very great pleasure that I congratulate Lodge St J Andrew No. 814, Pitlochry on attaining their Centenary. The Centenary of a Lodge is something very special. Its history is the story of the Masonic progress of its members, ~ a time to look back and remember events and achievements, to pay respect to the Founders and their successors, who handed down to us the Lodge weenjoy today. I am sure I convey the thoughts of everyone, when I warmly wish the Lodge every prosperity and happiness in the future. May Lodge St Andrew No. 814 continue to prosper and all its members have but one aim, to work together in Brotherly Love and Unity, ever practising outwith the Lodge those excellent precepts which are taught within it. I extend my thanks to Bro. Peter A. L. Williamson P.M. for compiling the History of the Lodge and wish R. W.M. Ronald S. Black and the Brethren every success in this, their Centenary Year. Geo. C. D. ScottPast Provincial Grand Master of Perthshire West.49 Castlehill, Doune. 1995.
Lodge St Andrew No. 814
A HISTORY OF LODGE ST ANDREW No. 814
In the beginning a meeting was held in Scotlands Hotel, Pitlochrie on the 14th December, 1894 of those masons wishing to form a Masonic Lodge for Pitlochrie. Dr R.W. Irvine was called to the chair. Present were Wm Skinner, A. Robertson, Ch. Bruce, G. Flight, Vietch, Burns, Scotland Snr and Scotland Jnr, Livingston, McLennan and Menzies. Apologies were received from Simms, (Moulin) and Stuart-Merchant. The meeting appointed Mr Menzies, Secretary. A Petition was signed according to the Grand Secretary’s instructions and the same was forwarded to Col M. Stirling as P.G.M. of Perthshire West. This concluded the business. Signed Finlay Menzies (Secy) A. Robertson (RWM).
22nd January, 1895
A meeting of Masons was held in Scotlands Hotel on the 22nd January, 1895, Dr R. W. Irvine presiding. It was arranged that Mr Veitch, Treasurer, and Finlay Menzies, Secretary, should call on petitioners and collect the amount of charter. The Raising of money for working tools etc to be considered at a future meeting.
30th January, 1895
A meeting of Masons was held in Scotlands Hotel -Mr John Scotland presiding. It was agreed that a working committee be appointed; proposed by Mr Simms and seconded by Mr Scotland. The committee was to be: Gould, Veitch, Skinner, Secretary ex officio. It was also proposed that the 42nd Tartan be the colours of the Lodge, however an amended proposal by R. R. Kinner and seconded by Mr Flight that the colours should be the Athole Tartan, was carried.
It was also carried that the Affiliation Fee should be l0/- Initiation Fee £2-2/- Annual Subscription 2/6.
Office-bearers were elected as follows:-
R.W.M. A. RobertsonD.M. Wm. SimmsS.M. Dr. IrvineS.W Wm. SkinnerJ.W. Geo. FlightS.D. A. McLennanJ.D. Scotland. JnrI.G. M. BruceSecretary F.E. MenziesTreasurer J. VeitchChaplain Rev. D. Macalister DonaldSteward Scotland. Snr
The Charter was received from Grand Lodge dated 7th February, 1895.
The first meeting of Lodge St Andrew No 814 was held on the 11th February, 1895 Br Dr McCallum presiding in Scotlands Hotel. It was agreed that pedestals be made for a cost of 22/- to 28/ -each. Br McLennan should provide aprons; ten or twelve to be trimmed with Athole tartan and that other necessary articles should be ordered from Kenning of Glasgow. Br Flight donated a Bible; three mallets were ordered from Mr Jay. Dr Irvine donated the emblems of mortality; and the permanent use of an engraved sword was given by Br Gould.
It was moved by Br Skinner and seconded by Br Menzies that the name of the new Lodge should be St Andrew, Pitlochrie.
Laws & Bye Laws:- It was moved by Br Veitch and seconded by Br Menzies that these should be printed according to a copy sent by Br Col Stirling of Kippendale. It was also agreed that a loan of £50.00 be borrowed from the Bank of Scotland. This loan was to be negotiated by the R. W.M. Br Robertson and the Treasurer Br Veitch. Fourteen members were to adhibit their signatures to this agreement.
At a meeting held on 6th March, 1895, Col Stirling presiding, it was agreed that it was unsuitable for Lodge No 14 Dunkeld to hold meetings to work Freemasonary in Pitlochrie but it was agreed that Lodge Dunkeld should have the use of the Lodge Rooms to finish the Apprenticeships made by them.
On the 7th March 1895 at 11.30 am in Scotlands Hotel the Lodge was opened. Eight Brethren were initiated. P.M. Swan, Blair Atholl, presided assisted by C. Murray Stewart R.W.M. Dunblane No IX. At 1.30 pm P.G.L. opened a meeting at which Col Stirling presided. Br Robertson No. 814 was then installed as R. W. M. A deputation from G.L. was then admitted when the Earl of Rosslyn erected and consecrated the Lodge of St Andrew No.814. The Lodge was then closed and after a dinner attended by local dignitaries and members of Lodges No.14 and 152 Dunkeld, a procession headed by the Pitlochrie Pipe Band, marched to the Railway Station where G.L. and P.G.L. departed on their way.
Thus Lodge St Andrew, Pitlochrie No.814 came into being.
During the first few years, in fact up to 1900, 67 members joined the Lodge. The Lodge had also been putting aside money with the intention of building its own Masonic Temple, however, it was noted in the minutes at the P.G.L. visitation on 17th February, 1898 that £100 of this money be used to secure the Right of having the Lodge held in the New Public Hall.
On the 18th May, 1899 the Lodge met in Scotlands Hotel and after an Initiation Ceremony, presided over by R. W.M. Br W. Skinner, they were joined by the P.G.L. of Perthshire West, Lodges No 14 and 152 Dunkeld, No 276 Tay and Lyon and No. 657 Aberfeldy.
The Procession, headed by a Pipe Band, marched by way of the Main Street and Moulin Road, to the Public Hall. Br Sir Alexander Muir McKenzie P.M. Lodge No.14 performed the laying of the stone in Masonic Style and was presented with a silver trowel and rosewood mallet in remembrance of the occasion.
The Lodge noted the death of P.G.M. Col Stirling of Kippendale on 14th February, 1899 and a copy of this minute was sent to his widow as an expression of sympathy.
The Lodge held its last meeting in Scotlands Hotel on Thursday April 12th, 1900. The R.W.M. Br W. Skinner proposed a vote of thanks to Br Scotland, a founder member of the Lodge, for all the real masonic spirit shown by him in his dealings with the Lodge. The next meeting was held in the Public Hall on May 4th, 1900.
During the next few years the Lodge progressed steadily. Life membership was introduced at a meeting held on 15th March, 1905 and the fee was set at 25/- that being the equivalent of ten years Test Fees. At the P .G.L. Visitation in 1912 headed by P.G.M. Major C. Murray Stewart, 166 new members had been initiated into Freemasonary. It had, however, only 45 members on the roll, this being put down to a fresh exodus to the colonies. On October 19th, 1914 it was proposed that the meetings be held monthly instead of fortnightly as so many of the members and office bearers had been called to military service, however, this was not carried. The last meeting was held on 22nd March, 1915 and no further minutes were kept until after the war. At this time there had been 185 members initiated into the Lodge.
On January 27th, 1919 the Lodge met again in the Lesser Hall and intimated that no Brothers be appointed until those absent on military service returned and, still holding meetings once per fortnight. At a meetmg held on 27th February, 1923 it was proposed to form a committee to consider the question of building a Masonic Temple. In the meantime the Lodge was continually putting money into improving the Lodge furniture. New candlesticks, made of oak, were ordered in February, 1925 also apron cases and R.W.M.s collar jewel. On the 17th January, 1927, Mr George Sinclair, Sawmill Cottage, Pitlochry was initiated into Freemasonary by Br. C.H. Newton R. W .M. On that night the collection for the benevolent fund was 18/3. A new carpet was ordered in 1933 and during all this time the Lodge was competing in various sporting activities, however, the results are not recorded. The exception is in 1936 when the bowling rink skipped by P.M. T .S. Donald won. Annual dances continued to be successfully held. Many visiting Brethren attended the Lodge and members of Lodge St Andrew reported on numerous visits to Sister Lodges both within and without the Province. In 1935 it was intimated that G.L. would require about £5,000, to cover the expenses which would be incurred in celebrating its bi-centenary and a contribution of 1/- from each member was suggested. Also in 1935 the R.W.M. Br Wm. Martin intimated that the amalgamation of the Dunkeld Lodges No.152 operative and St Johns No.14 was to take place and asked for a large turnout of Brethren to this ceremony which would result in the United Lodge of Dunkeld No.14.
Despite the declaration of war the Lodge carried on as usual with meetings still being held every fortnight. In 1941 the first Canadians started to join the Lodge. They were mainly members of the Canadian Forestry Corps and continued their association for many years. They were mainly stationed at the “Black Island Camp” Blair Atholl during their wartime service. The Lodge made various and significant financial contributions to the war effort during this difficult period in our history and those who were not serving in the forces strove to keep the Lodge running in as normal a manner as possible. On the 16th February, 1945 the Lodge Jubilee was celebrated. 482 members had joined the Lodge since its conception. The Lodge was opened by the R. W. M. Br G. B. Watson. The P.G.L. deputation was admitted, headed by the P .G.M. Br Alfred Morris. The G.L. deputation was then admitted headed by Br the Rt Hon The Earl of Galloway R. W. D.G.M. and assisted by the G.S.W. G.J.W. The Grand Secretary, the J.G.D. and the Grand Tyler. The R. W .M. remarked that also present that night was Br Peter Gould the only surviving founder member of the Lodge. He then conferred honorary membership on Lord Galloway. The Depute Grand Master then conferred a Grand Lodge Diploma with the Honorary Rank of Grand Bible Bearer on P.M. Br T.P. Donald in recognition of his services to the Craft. All the Brethren then returned to Scotlands Hotel where a “Jubilee Dinner” was held. Business continued as usual. A substantial contribution of £50 was made to the cost of a new maternity ward in May 1945.
On Monday 4th November 1946, Mr George Whitton was initiated into Freemasonary by R. W. M. Br George Watson and so began a most illustrious career. Br. Whitton’s next mention in the minutes, apart from being passed and raised, was on 16th December, 1946 when he reported on a visit to the United Lodge of Dunkeld No.14. Br Whitton then continued his career in the Lodge with great distinction to become R.W.M. in 1955. His career in P.G.L. was exceptional in that he was P .G. Treasurer from 1961-1988 a total of 27 years. He was then appointed P.G.S.M. from 1989-1993. On 23rd February, 1947 a notice of motion was put to the Lodge – that the Test Fees be raised from 3/6 to 10/-. All other fees were raised proportionally and Life Membership was to be discouraged. This was carried at the meeting held on 21st April by a majority of 14 for to 8 against. An amendment by G. Whitton that the life membership be 20 times the test fees was carried. It was also carried that 21 years consecutive I payment of Test Fees should warrant automatic life membership.
It was decided at the business meeting held on 20th December, 1948 to hold a special collection to acknowledge all the help and co-operation given by Miss Stewart of Scotlands Hotel to the Lodge. This resulted in the presentation, to Miss Stewart, of a silver cigarette box at the dinner to celebrate the Festival of St John, held, in Scotlands Hotel, after the installation meeting held on Tuesday 28th December, 1948. In 1949 the question of building a Lodge Room again arose, this having been shelved in 1924, the cost then being considered prohibitive. A building fund was now started and it was agreed that the collections taken at all meetings except those for the 1st degree should be put into this fund. The Lodge continued its usual business during the following years, participating in masonic Sporting and Social events, and contributing generously to various appeals. On the 25th June, 1951 a special meeting was called at which it was announced that a letter had been received from Messers. C.C. Stuart Ltd. agreeing to lease a piece of land adjoining Scotlands Hotel for a nominal Sum of £1 per annum for the use of a Masonic Temple. The estimated cost of materials for the building of this Temple was put at about £400 plus extras for furnishings. Br. M.H. Young offered to provide building materials, this most generous offer was accepted by the Lodge. It was agreed, on Br. Whitton’s proposal, to accept the offer of Lease for a period of ten years. A special committee was then formed to pursue this matter. Once again business continued and on 19th May, 1952, at a special meeting it was agreed to order materials and commence work on the New Temple.
At the installation held on 15th December, 1952 it was intimated that the Brethren from Blair Atholl were investigating the possibility of forming a new Lodge; and it was agreed that this should be fully discussed at a future meeting. At the meeting held on 5th January, 1953, the Master informed the Brethren that he and his wardens would, probably, be asked to sign the petition for a Charter to be Granted by G.L. to the new Lodge in Blair Atholl and was given permission to do so by the members.
At a meeting held on 20th April, 1953 Br. Sam Allan was affiliated to the Lodge from Lodge St John 192. Br. Allan was to have a distinguished career both in this Lodge and in P.G.L. rising to P.G.S.W. On Monday 7th December, 1953 the R. W.M reported on having attended the consecration of Lodge Tulliebardine 1484, carried out by P.G.M. Br J.F. Halley; who also installed the R.W.M. and office bearers. A meeting held on 18th October, 1954 again addressed the shortage in the Building Fund. It was decided to augment this by holding a ladies sale of work. A motion to borrow £150 from the General Fund was also approved. On 15th December, 1955, Br. J. Campbell, Secretary since 1935, was honoured by the Lodge for hard work and long service. A presentation of a watch and Jewel was made by the P.G.M. Br. James Halley.
1955 was also the year in which Br. T.R. Donaldson joined the Lodge. Br. Donaldson had a most distinguished career in the Lodge being R.W.M. in 1973/75 and 1978/79 He also was a distinguished member of P .G.L. holding the rank P .G. Steward in 1977 and P .G.B.B. in 1983 and was later Secretary of this Lodge. Another Brother initiated around this time was Br. W.H. Black Snr who joined the Lodge in 1963. He also attained the rank of R. W.M twice, 1969/71 and 1977/78. He also had a most distinguished career in P.G.L. rising to P.G.S.W. in 1986. He has another exceptional distinction. His two sons, Br. W.H. Black Jnr and Br. R.S. Black also attained the rank of R. W.M and his son-in-law, Br Alan Rae is the present S.M. In 1960 Br. J.I. McIntosh joined the Lodge. He was later to become Treasurer in 1975 and is still Treasurer to this day. The Lodge continued to work its business in due form and in 1961 -635 members had joined the Lodge.
On the 17th April, 1961 at a Regular Meeting the following communication was read:- (abridged) ” From Scotlands Hotel” – “You are required to remove from the two storey building, i.e. the Temple belonging to C.C. Stuarts Ltd. in terms of the “minute of lease”. Reasons for the leasers, who wished to develop the property, were given and various offers of alternative terms of lease were made. At the meeting held on 8th May, 1961 it was agreed to continue the lease for its remaining five years. Discussion over this matter, and its final conclusion, continued and at the meeting held on 4th February, 1963 it was decided that the Lodge should return to the Public Hall. At a special meeting held on 11 th March, 1963 all the various financial options were discussed at length, and it was decided to accept the compensation of £320 offered by C. C. Stuarts Ltd. The last meeting in the Temple was held on 15th April, 1963.
The R. W .M. Br. S. Allan remarked that whilst the Lodge had started, and grown in strength, with meetings held in the Lesser Hall, those who had voluntarily given so much time to the furnishing of the Temple should not be forgotten. At this time there were 645 members. Meetings continued in the Lesser Hall, the first being held on Monday 21st December, 1963. The meeting due to be held on the 16th December, 1963 was waived as the Lesser Hall was due for decoration, although the Brethren of Lodge Tulliebardine 1484 had most – kindly offered the use of their Lodge, however, owing to transport difficulties this generous offer was declined. At the meeting held on 6th April, 1964 it was decided, after much discussion, to hold Regular Meetings only once a month and not every fortnight as had previously been the case.
At the Regular Meeting of 16th January, 1967 a special donation was made in respect of a request from G.L. towards the cost of building a third Masonic Home in Dunblane.
In 1972 J.S.R. Condie joined the Lodge and in the following years he worked his way up through all the various offices and was R. W .M. in 1981-83. In 1991 the Lodge was in need of an experienced Brother to become Master. “Ian” offered his services and again became R. W .M. for the years 1991-93 thus making him the longest serving Master, along with P.M. J. Dean and P.M. T. McAnally.
The business of the Lodge continued comparatively smoothly during the next decade; contributions to local and outside, benevolence being made. The children’s Christmas party and entry into various sporting events being carried out as usual. In April, 1980 a third degree was worked in the Lodge by Lodge St David No 78. This was a great success and thoroughly enjoyed by all present.
The Lodge acquired new regalia for the office bearers in 1982. Br T .R. i Donaldson P.M. was most influential and industrious in obtaining the necessary tartan and in having the aprons, sashes and collaretts made up.
Vistitations by Brethren continued unabated and many more visitors were welcomed into the Lodge. On Monday 5th April, 1982 Lodge St David No.78 again returned to the Lodge this time to work a first degree and again this was a great success. On Monday 4th April, 1983 a visit from the “Northern Lights” degree team from Discovery Lodge No.149 of Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada took place. They worked a Master Masons Degree to the American Ritual. Many visitors were present including a deputation from P.G.L This meeting was an unqualified success and the performance of the degree team truly memorable. Two hundred and sixty Brethren were present; representing thirty eight Lodges. Afterwards a supper was held in Scotlands Hotel which was attended by 172 Brethren; many presentations were made, toasts drunk, and fine harmony enjoyed by all present. On the 3rd April, 1989 a third degree was worked by Lodge Albert No.448 with great success, 10 visiting Lodges being represented. At this meeting a donation of £100 was given to the local “Heart Start” appeal and after a raffle had been held this was made up to £320.
In 1983 the “200 Club” was started bringing a useful income to the Lodge and in 1984 a fund was started to provide funds for the Centenary year in 1995. At the meeting held 2nd December, 1991 it was decided that the most generous 1 legacy left to the Lodge by the late Br Hugh McGregor who joined the Lodge in 1978 and was Lodge Secretary, 1978-1980, should be carefully invested in – Treasury Stock.
The Lodge has continued with its Regular Meetings, new members joining, and, unfortunately, others passing to the G.L. above. Many problems, most minor, but some larger have arisen. These have been overcome as, no doubt, they will be in the future. The present number of Brethren who have joined the Lodge since 1895 stands at 776. The Lodge has completed its first hundred years and looks forward, with keen anticipation, to the future, believing as it did when it started, in the principles of Freemasonry, “Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth”.
Acknowledgments Very many thanks are due to Mrs E. Egglishaw and her daughter Ann for their help and advice in preparing and printing this small history. A great debt is also due to the past secretaries who by their careful keeping of the Lodge minutes have made it possible.