Welcome Brethren To the Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No.76 250th Anniversary Issue.
Brethren, Welcome to the 250th Celebrations of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No.76 on receiving its Charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland. This has been a big year for us in Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No. 76. On the 21st of May we celebrated the 250th anniversary of the Lodge receiving its charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1759, and in order to commemorate that occasion the Lodge had a variety of events planned over the month, cumulating in the re-dedication of the Lodge on the 23rd of May. So, this issue of the Newsletter is dedicated to Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No.76, we hope that those of you who are not members of our Lodge will find the issue interesting, and might enjoy reading about our wee Lodge throughout the years. Some of the facts inside might even be new to our own Brethren. So wherever youâ€™re from and no matter have far away you hail, join with us in this unique occasion and help celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the Chartering our ancient and honourable Lodge holding under the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Lodge 76 website
Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No. 76 Timeline 1759 1759 1787 1800 1800 1822 1827 1859 1868 1879 1890
1892 1899 1909 1919 1927 1932 1959 1964 1979 2000
21st May, the Lodge receives its Charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland. 7th June, the earliest authenticated record of the working of the Royal Arch degrees in Scotland are contained in the Lodge 76 Minute Book. Robert Burns visits Stirling; Bro. Christopher Bell of Lodge 76 dines with him in the Golden Lion Hotel. Lodge 76 assists to consecrate Lodge Ayr St. Paul’s at the Guildhall. The first mention of the Chapter of Knight’s Templar in Stirling, holding a charter from Lodge 76. The Lodge sends a deputation to the laying of the foundation stone of the National Monument in Edinburgh. The Lodge is dormant for 2 years. 100 years, no centenary celebrations are recorded, the Lodge becomes dormant again. The Lodge reopens. A meeting is held to wind up the Lodge, and becomes dormant again, for 12 years. An advert by Brother James Brown appears in the local paper calling the brethren of Lodge 76 to a meeting to re-open the Lodge. Bro. Brown has paid the Lodge fees for the past 12 years and the Lodge resumes. The first Mark degree held. One of Stirling’s famous sons joins Lodge 76, William Harvey J.P. F.S.A. 150 years, again no celebrations are reported. The Lodge records that the Mark Master’s received a ‘farthing’ as their mark token. The Past Master’s board in the Lodge room is presented to the Lodge by the current Past Masters. Craig’s House is purchased by Lodges 76 and 30 for conversion into a Masonic Temple. The Lodge celebrates the 200th anniversary of receiving its Charter. Archie Blair elected Treasurer, and is presently the longest serving office bearer to hold one office in the Lodge. Craig’s House is sold. Lodge 76 has the distinction of electing the 1st RWM in the new millennium of all the Lodges holding under the Grand Lodge of Scotland, Bro. James Hall. The re-dedication and celebration of 250 years since Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No. 76 received its Charter in 1759.
The Old Lodge Crest To celebrate the 250th anniversary of the issuing of the Lodge Charter, the Lodge has produced a mark token, a mark key-ring and a Lodge jewel, each bearing the â€˜oldâ€™ Lodge crest, taken from the Stirling Arms, the old Royal Burgh Seal, a Wolf crouched on a Crag, shown on the front of this newsletter. This crest was used on the first Lodge jewel and has been revived by the Lodge in commemoration of the 250th anniversary.
The story of the Wolf of the Castle Crag is part of the folk-lore of Stirling, and today it still symbolises alertness.
There is the "Wolf Crag" in Port Street, of which we there is the following legend. During the reign of Donald V., near the close of the ninth century, two Northumbrian princes, named Osbrecht and Ella, had acquired by conquest all south of the Forth from Stirling, and toward the eastern coast. The town was under the rule of these AngloSaxons for some twenty-eight years. About the same period the Danes, under their magical flag, the "Black Raven," had visited Britain for pillage. Pursuing their depredations to the north, each town inhabited by Anglo-Saxons was as well guarded and watched as could be for the approach of these invaders. At the "South Port," a sentinel had been set; but, overcome with fatigue, he fell asleep on duty, and was awakened by the growl of a wolf which had left the woody wilds for a rock in the immediate neighbourhood. Getting roused in time to see some of the northern hordes on the advance, he at once alarmed the garrison, who speedily caused a retreat. The incident of the cries of the wolf having been regarded as a favourable omen, the rock received the name of "Wolf Crag." Mottoes had previously been introduced into England by the Saxons, and the Northumbrian Anglo-Saxons who ruled in Stirling adopted the design of the wolf recumbent on a rock as the armorial bearing of the town. In an ancient seal belonging to the burgh, it is understood that there are seen seven stars set in the sky, and the rock on which reclines the wolf is strewn with branches of trees, apparently indicative of the Druidical or Pagan idea of the deities specially superintending the affairs of this part of "Sylvae Caledonia."
The wolf is a good emblem. It tells of a long pedigree, of tenacity and the overcoming of odds, just like Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No. 76.
Meeting Places From its early beginning, Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No, 76 has had a nomadic existence and for the most part met in various taverns throughout the town, often the proprietors would be members of the Lodge, or, on agreeing to the Lodge to meet on his premises would join, and often one of the waiters would be admitted ‘gratis’ to act as the Lodge Steward at the meetings. But not all of the meeting rooms were licensed premises and the Lodge has met in a variety of places, from the first recorded meeting place of the Lodge to the present day. Featured here is a brief description of the places that the Lodge has met since 1759 till the present day. The Old Episcopalian Hall. The first recorded meeting place of Lodge 76 was in 1759 and is mentioned as ‘‘The Old Episcopalian Hall.’, this building at 56 Spittal Street started in the mid 17th century as the house of Robert Russell, provost of Stirling and later became the Episcopalian Chapel. At the beginning of the 20th Century it became a lodging house and is perhaps better known today as ‘Glengarry Lodge’, at onetime also known as the ‘Darrow Building’ built for Sir James Darrow in 1521. This old picture shows the house when it was a lodging house, after it was renovated in the 1950’s it became a council dwelling house, the building is still there to this day.
The Guildhall. Built between 1639 and 1649 with funds bequeathed by John Cowane a wealthy Stirling Merchant, the second recorded meeting place in the old minute book is the Guildhall in Stirling, and the Lodge would meet here for many years. It was the custom of the time after the election for the Brethren to have walked in procession with flambeaus (a pole dipped in wax and set alight as a flaming torch) from the Guildhall to a local tavern where they would have their supper and harmony.
John Sawer’s Tavern in Baker Street. Brother John Sawer’s in Baker Street was a tavern where the Brethren would retire to after their meetings in the Guildhall, the actually name of the Tavern is unknown as is the location, but we do know it was a public house and that the Lodge would rent a room to have their meetings in the establishment during the later part of the 18th century, until the Lodge moved its meetings to the Coffee House in Bow Street in 1785. The picture shows Baker Street at the end of the 19th Century, and these buildings are typical of the taverns at the time, Lodge 76 met in the building at the far right of the picture.
The Old Coffee House. The Old Coffee House was situated at 14 Bow Street, the entrance to which was by a narrow dark close and in 1745 during the rebellion it was the Headquarters for Bonnie Prince Charles’ and his officers, and it was in here the Prince awaited the surrender of the Castle. The Lodge began meeting there when it was owned by a Past Master of the Lodge Bro. Edward Christie in 1785 until the early part of the 19th century. It was described in this satirical poem in 1809. Here as I entered mark the vast surprise ! What marv'llous objects struck my wondering eyes ! Like fishing-nets, suspended cobwebs spread, From the black ceiling, almost touch'd my head ; Placards, advertisements, defil'd and torn, And filthy maps, the greasy walls adorn. This splendid room most lib'rally affords, Cover'd with baize, three nine-inch verdant boards ; And dirty candlesticks of purest brass,
The Saracen’s Head. The Saracen’s Head stood at the top of Friars Street, where this bar stands now, in fact there has been a bar/coaching house on this site for over 200 years. The Saracen’s Head was owned by Brother MacPherson who moved from the Old Coffee House, the previous meeting place. The Lodge would alternate between the coffee house, the Globe and Crown, the Guildhall and the King’s Arms during the early part of the 19th century.
Carmichael’s Tavern. The whereabouts of this Tavern is unknown, (however, there is a strong probability that it was the same Tavern as the next on this list) owned by Archibald Carmichael, who affiliated into Lodge 76 in 1804, in order to officiate as Head Steward. It was the custom of the time that the owner of the Tavern where the Lodge met held this office.
The Globe and Crown Inn. This was at various times known as The Crown Tavern, The Globe Inn, but was better known as the Globe and Crown Inn. It was located near to the top of King Street on the left hand side near where the entrance to the Arcade is. In 1808 the Lodge minutes record this as the meeting place, and the Head Steward as Archibald Carmichael. It not improbable that the Crown Tavern was locally known as Carmichael’s Tavern as was the case in Stirling at this time. The Lodge continued to meet here until 1825 when the Brethren moved back to the Old Coffee House until 1830, when the Master told the Brethren they were moving to The King’s Arms Tavern owned by John Grassom.
The King’s Arms Tavern. John Grassom was the landlord of this tavern, and joined the Lodge at the first meeting held here, which was situated at a location called Spring Gardens. During the time the Lodge met here, there was only a narrow lane from the foot of Friar’s Street passing along to where Murray Place is now. At the left hand side just past Station Road, there was an orchard called Spring Gardens, Grassom’s Tavern was there.
The Royal Hotel. This might surprise the Stirling readers of this pamphlet that there used to be a Hotel at the bottom of Friar’s Street at the left hand corner called the Royal Hotel. The entrance to the Hotel is just as you turn the corner from Friar’s Street into Barnton Street, seen in the centre of this picture. The building is probably better known is Stirling as the old Co-op building. The Lodge met there for a short time in the 1830’s.
The Stirling Arms Inn. Another Inn owned by a member of the Lodge, Brother Andrew Kerr the Stirling Arms Inn was in Port Street.
The Golden Lion Hotel. In King Street, Stirling, formerly known as Quality Street, the Hotel was formerly called Gibb’s Inn, then The Red Lion before becoming the Golden Lion. The Lodge met here for a number of years, as a succession of owners well all members of Lodge 76. It is here Bro. Robert Burns stayed during his visit to Stirling in 1787, and dined with a member of Lodge 76.
The Corn Exchange Hotel. At the corner of Spittal Street and Corn Exchange Road, there used to stand the Corn Exchange Hotel, sometime known also as the Exchange Tavern. The Hotel is the building to the centre left of this picture. During the time the Lodge met there, this was a very popular venue and was used to hold the great banquet after the laying of the foundation stone at the Wallace Monument, in 1861.
The Douglas Hotel. The Douglas Hotel building is still standing, straight opposite the Station Road above the entrance of the Crawford Arcade. The entrance to the Hotel proper was just inside the arcade to the right, which is still there. The Lodge only met here a few times, probably when their normal meeting place was being used or for emergency meetings of the Lodge.
The Masonic Hall, 27 King Street. The Lodge met here prior to becoming dormant in 1879 and again when it reformed in 1890. It later became a Billiard Hall. The entrance is shown in the centre of this picture and the Masonic Hall was most likely the two windows on the right hand side, above the shop front. This is still the original building. The lodge would use this entrance again when in the 1980â€™s it moved to the Spiritualist Church which located to the rear of this building.
The Masonic Hall, Thistle Street. Thistle Street no longer exists, but it was where the entrance to the Thistle Centre at Murray Place is, the Hall was on the left hand side. This can be seen in this old picture, the hall was at the bottom right hand side at the building shown here. The entrance to the Masonic Hall was just to the right of this one storey building.
The North Church Hall. Just along the road in Murray Place from the Thistle Street Hall, stood the North Church, the lodge met in the church Hall.. The tall building shows the church, on the left hand side was the Baptist church and In the foreground of the picture at the bottom right is the beginning of Thistle Street.
The Masonic Temple, Craigâ€™s House. After many years of meeting in a variety of places, Lodge Stirling Royal Arch along with Ancient Stirling bought this property and moved into their own Masonic Temple. Situated at the bottom of the Craigâ€™s in Stirling, this old building is still there.
The Allan’s School. During the War years, the Lodge had to vacate the Temple in the Craig’s and moved to the Allan’s School in Spittal Street, the Janitor was a member of the Lodge and acted as the Lodge caretaker. Once the war was ended, the Lodge moved back into Craig’s house and we would meet there quite happily until the late 1970’s when circumstances dictated that Craig’s House was sold.
The Masonic Hall, Bridge of Allan. The Lodge moved to Lodge Abercromby No.531 in Bridge of Allan whilst the Temple in the basement of Craig’s House was being converted into a Masonic Temple. The Lodge could no longer afford the upkeep of such a large building and the new owners leased a basement room to the Lodge, again this would prove to be unsatisfactory.
The Spiritualist Church, King Street. The Lodge moved here after giving up the lease on the basement at the Craig’s. However this was to be short-lived as the church hall was not suitable to the Lodge’s purpose, and soon the Lodge would pack its bags and be on the move once more! The Lodge room was at the top of these steep steps on the left hand side. After the meetings the visitors would be entertained in a room in licensed premises with the nearby locality such as the Crown Inn and the Golden Lion.
The Masonic Hall, Bannockburn. Lodge Stirling Royal Arch meets today at the Masonic Temple of Lodge Bannockburn Bruce and Thistle No. 312 a converted mill. This old picture shows the Royal George Mill which was built in the 1st quarter of the 19th century when Bannockburn was famous for its tartan weaving, and it is believed that Lodge Bannockburn attended the laying of the foundation stone of this very building. 100 years later lodge 312 bought the building and converted it into a Masonic temple. The Lodge is happy to meet in this wonderful building and have developed a great rapport with our landlords, Lodge Bruce and Thistle, long may it continue.
Stirling County Rugby Club, Stirling.
Last but not least, the Lodge met on Saturday the 23rd of May 2009 at Stirling Rugby Club to celebrate the 250th anniversary of receiving the Charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Pictured here is the Lodge from the North East corner.
There are many other places that the Lodge has meet over the past 250 years, although not all of them are recorded, such as the castle, public halls, various brethren’s houses in the town, drinking establishments and such like. Will the Lodge ever have its own premises? The answer to that is, unlikely, the way forward for towns such as Stirling and the surrounding district where there are 4 Lodges meeting, is to join together with other Masonic organizations and utilize their resources by combining together to meet in a “Masonic Centre.” However, where ever the Lodge and the Brethren have met in our nomadic existence the message of Freemasonry has always been the same and will continue to do so for the next 250 years.
Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No.76 1759 – 2009 According to local Masonic tradition, the first Mason’s Lodge in Stirling was said to be founded in A.D. 1147 by the Masters and Craftsmen who were attracted to the town by the building of the abbey at Cambuskennth. This however is a piece of romantic fiction which has been passed down through the years by members of the local Masonic fraternity in an attempt to ‘establish’ the antiquity of Freemasonry and the City on the Rock. Nevertheless, there would have been Masons employed at the construction of the Abbey, who, for the most part were itinerant workers travelling from place to place in search of work. These Craftsmen jealously guarded their skills and in order to protect their secrets from unqualified workmen, formed themselves into Lodges, from which they developed a system of signs and words which would enable them to recognise a genuine Craftsman seeking work. This mode of recognition passed from Mason to Mason by word of mouth, from generation to generation, and as the building of the Abbey’s, Churches etc would have taken many years, it is thought that some of the Masons would remain in the Town after their work was completed finding other employment for the local gentry and Town Council, as the skills possessed by these Craftsmen was in great demand. For the most part, there would not be many stone buildings of good quality in Stirling, and these Masons that stayed on in the town would find plenty of work for their skills in Masonry. Those Masons who remained in the Town would have enrolled apprentices who after many years during which the inner secrets of their Craft would have been taught to them, would become Master Masons and so the cycle would begin once again. These Craftsmen were known as Operative Masons and it is not surprising that no records of this Operative Lodge in Stirling exist, as the majority of the population of Scotland during this period were illiterate and the first authentic reference to a Lodge in
Stirling appears in a document called ‘The Second of the Schaw Statutes’ and is dated 28th December 1599, it states; 'Item, it is thought needful and expedient by my Lord Warden General, that Edinburgh shall be in all time coming as of before the first and principal Lodge in Scotland, and that Kilwinning be the second Lodge as of before is manifest in our old ancient writings and that Stirling shall be the third Lodge conforming to its old privileges.' It can be seen the Masonry was firmly established in Stirling in 1599 and that the Lodge in Stirling held a position of great importance being named by as the third principal Lodge in Scotland by William Schaw, Master of Works to the Crown of Scotland. The next reference to a Lodge in Stirling is to be found in 1628 in a document called ‘The Second St.Clair Charter.’ This charter was granted to Sir William St Clair by the Masons and Hammermen of Scotland, acknowledging that Sinclair of Roslin and his successors as their patrons and protectors and it is signed by the representatives of various Lodges in Scotland, the Lodge of Stirling being among them. Save for these two documents, the Schaw Statutes of 1599, and the St Clair Charter of 1628, we would never have known our ancient Brethren had gathered together in the Town, and as only 29 years separates these two historic documents, and the importance given to the Lodge on both these occasions, we must infer that the Lodge mentioned in them, is the same one, but when this Lodge ceased to be Operative and became Speculative, is not known, for there are no records of this transition. However, most Masonic historians believe this conversion to Speculative Freemasonry occurred in the first half of the 18th century when Lodge Stirling Royal Arch first saw light. Lodge Stirling Royal Arch was issued a Charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland who presided over all the Lodges in Scotland on the 21st of May 1759, there is no doubt the Lodge had remained independent from this body for may years previous and like so many other Lodges throughout the land, eventually opted to become a ‘regular’ and properly constituted Lodge of Freemasons. The membership at this time all resided in and about the Town of Stirling, and by examining the Guildry records of the period, we find that their names are mentioned as being Merchants and Professional people. Indeed all our early Brethren were either members of the Guildry or the Seven Incorporated Trades, and a great number of them sat on the Council, and as such, they had a great influence on the affairs of the Town and the common people. In fact, it can safely be said, that during the first 100 years of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch, the Town Council was never without a majority of Masons. Lodge Stirling Royal Arch took its name from Royal Arch Masonry and has amongst the oldest records of conferring this system of Freemasonry dating back to 1759, if fact
the Freemasons of Stirling can boast that the oldest Royal Arch Chapter in the World is to be found within the City and is almost certainly directly descended from Lodge Stirling Royal Arch. The earlier Stirling Rock Encampment held its charter from the Lodge. Like our forefathers Lodge Stirling Royal Arch has lead a nomadic life, meeting in a variety of places, one such meeting place was the Coffee House in Bow Street where the Lodge met for many years, it was in this tavern that Bonnie Prince Charlie is reputed to have spent some time whilst waiting to receive the surrender of the Castle before removing to Bannockburn House. From the first recorded meeting place to the present, the Lodge has held its meetings in a variety of establishments, such as, the Old Episcopall Hall, the Guildhall, Sawer’s in Baker Street, the Old Coffee House, the Saracen’s Head, Grassom’s Tavern, Carmichael’s Tavern, the Globe and Crown Tavern, the Royal Hotel, the Stirling Arms, the Corn Exchange Hotel, the Golden Lion Hotel, the King’s Arms Tavern, the Douglas Hotel, the Masonic Hall King Street, the Masonic Hall Thistle Street, the North Church, the Masonic Temple at the Craigs, Allan’s school, the Masonic Hall Bridge of Allan, the Spiritualist Church and the Masonic Hall Bannockburn where the Lodge meets at present. The beginning of the 19th Century saw the Lodge participate in a great number of public events, the laying of foundation stones of various new buildings in Stirling and also throughout Scotland. The Athenaeum at the top of King Street, the Corn Market, the High School, the New Bridge over the Forth, the Rail Bridge, the Grandstand at the Racecourse to name just a few. The Lodge played a leading role in a number of these events in the town. Later in 1964, the Lodge was participate in what would be the last large public gathering of Freemasons in the Town, with the laying of the foundation stone of the plinth for the statue of King Robert the Bruce at the Borestone. Lodge Stirling Royal Arch has had many ups and downs during its history, not the least of which, the Lodge has been dormant three times, the first occasion this happened was from 1827 to 1829. The second time this was to happen was from 1860 to 1868, this time the reason was the non-attendance of the Brethren, which had been steadily getting worse since 1850, and came to a head in 1859 when the Lodge stopped working altogether. All was well for a few years, until in 1878 the Lodge again became dormant. This time the Secretary of the Lodge wrote to each Brother advising them of a meeting to be held to wind up the affairs of the Lodge. The let of the Hall was given up and all the furniture sold and disposed off. The selling of the Lodge’s possessions show that the members of the Lodge did not expect the Lodge ever to open again, this was the final nail in the coffin, and with the exception of a few books, some scraps of paper and one or two artefacts, Lodge Stirling Royal Arch has very little left of its proud heritage and antiquity. The Lodge was to remain dormant until 1890. The Lodge has continued from 1890 to the present day without the fear of being dormant again, and in 1959 held its bi-centenary, then, on the 23rd of May 2009, Lodge
Stirling Royal Arch celebrated the 250th anniversary of it receiving its Charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland, a momentous occasion for the Brethren of the Lodge. Lodge Stirling Royal Arch is one of Stirling’s oldest organizations, helping along with its sister Lodge in the Town, Ancient Stirling, to serve the needs of the Freemasons within the City on the Rock. The Lodge is rightly proud of its heritage, of the many people who have passed through its portals and its place is Stirling’s history. Here’s to the next 250 years! J. Stewart Donaldson. Lodge 76 Historian.
Lodge Stirling Royal Arch Office Bearers 23rd May 2009 15
The Minute of the 250th Anniversary Celebrations Stirling Rugby Football Club Bridgehaugh Park Stirling 250th Anniversary Celebrations – Rededication Ceremony Saturday 23rd May 2009 Opening The Lodge being opened in the Entered Apprentice Degree, Bro. Alexander Morton Right Worshipful Master in the chair welcomed all the Brethren of 76 in to the Lodge and thanked them for their continued support especially on this occasion, the 250th Anniversary of the Chartering of Lodge. He then gave the many visitors a warm welcome into the Lodge and invited all Reigning Masters to join him in the low East. He then gave permission for any Brother with any discomfort to remain seated during the Ceremony. Present Bros. William McGuire Worshipful Senior Warden, James T Andrew Worshipful Junior Warden, James F Fisher Immediate Past Master, David McG. Gillespie Past Master (Secretary), Bro A Blair (Honorary Grand Lodge Assistant Treasurer) Treasurer. Past Master’s: - Paul G Miller (Depute Master), James C Peoples (Substitute Master), Ian McIntosh (Director of Music), William Reid (Bard), Matthew Gibb (Almoner), John J. Kemp (Tyler) Allan Rodger Bruce J Kinnear, Allan Malcolm, Ronald Bateman, Barry Bryce, William Brown, Robert D A. Forsyth, and other Officer-Bearers namely: - Robert Taylor (Chaplain), Paul J V. Syme (senior Deacon), Stewart Forsyth (Junior Deacon), Robert Kerr (Marshal), Jonathan Frickleton (Architect), Christopher P. Miller (Jeweller), James Syme (Bible Bearer), Peter Shaw (Sword Bearer), J. Stewart Donaldson (Distinguish Service Diploma) Historian, Dafydd Cuthbertson (Inner Guard), Gordon Bayne (Senior Steward), William J S. Peoples (Junior Steward) and Michael A. Hering (Junior Steward) Minutes As this was a special meeting and there were no regular minutes or correspondence to deal with, The Right Worshipful Master requested that the Bro Secretary read an extract from the charter from the first minute recorded in the Lodge’s original minute book dated 21st May 1759 Quote: - To all and Sundry to whose knowledge these presents shall come greeting, whereas upon application to the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons for the Kingdom of Scotland by Alexander Young, Malcolm Gillespie, James Willison and Duncan Bachop Master Masons. Daniel Ferguson and Alexander Craig Fellows of Craft, James Anderson Apprentice and others, Free and Accepted Masons, residing in and about the Town of Stirling. Praying the Grand Lodge would issue a patent under
their seal constituting and erecting the petitioners into a Regular Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons by the name and title of the Stirling Royal Arch. The Grand Lodge granted warrant for expeding the under written patent of constitution and new erection under their seal in the petitioners favours. Know ye therefore that the Most Worshipful and Right Honourable Alexander Earl of Gallaway, Grand Master of Scotland afore said have constituted erect and appoint the Worshipful Brethren above named, and their successors in all time coming to be a True and Regular Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons under the title and designation of the Stirling Royal Arch, and appoint and ordain all regular Lodges to hold, own, and respect them as such, Thereby giving, granting and committing to them and theirs successors full power and authority to meet, assemble and convene as a Regular Lodge, and to admit and receive Apprentices, pass Fellow Crafts and raise Master Masons upon payment of such composition for the support of the Lodge as they see convenient. And to Elect and choose Masters, Wardens and other officers annually or otherwise as they shall occasion, recommending to the Brethren aforesaid to reverence and obey their superiors in all things lawful and honest as becomes the honour and harmony of Masonry.
Order of Procedure The Lodge was passed to the Fellowcraft Degree and then Raised to the High and Sublime Degree of a Master Mason. A deputation from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Stirlingshire headed by the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master Brother John McKenzie was admitted into the Lodge Room under the crossed wands of the Brother Deacons. They were warmly greeted by the Right Worshipful Master and invited to join him in the East. The Right Worshipful Master then tendered the fealty and the gavel of the Lodge to the Provincial Grand Master and the Provincial Grand Lodge of Stirlingshire and invited him to say a few words to the assembled Brethren. The Provincial Grand Master intimated that he was glad to be present at this memorial occasion and that this special day was blessed with so many present from within and outside the province. He welcomed all visitors into Stirlingshire especially Brethren from out with the province and Constitution, and hoped they have an excellent day here with us. The gavel was then presented back to the Right Worshipful Master. A deputation from the Grand Lodge of Scotland headed by the Right Worshipful Depute Grand Master Brother Archibald M. McGown was admitted into the Lodge Room under the crossed wands of the Brother Deacons. Brother Archibald McGown introduced and his deputation who included, Bro. David Wishart Substitute Grand Master, Bro Kenneth D. Kennedy Past Depute Grand Master, Bro. Reverent John Jenkinson Past Substitute Grand Master, Bro. Alexander Whitehead Past Depute Grand Master and Bro. George Preston Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies. They were
each warmly greeted by the Right Worshipful Master and invited to join him in the East. The Right Worshipful Master then tendered the fealty and the gavel of the Lodge to the Depute Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland and invited him to carry out the Ceremony of Rededication. The Right Worshipful Depute Grand Master Brother Archibald M. McGown thanked the Right Worshipful Master for the gavel and for the fealty to Grand Lodge which was in no doubt. He firstly tendered an apology from the Most Worshipful Grand Master Bro. Charles I R. Gordon of Esslemont who was on another Masonic Business and wished it recorded he sends his good wishes. The Depute Grand Master stated that it was his great pleasure to be here representing Grand Lodge especially as he has lots of fond memories between Stirling Royal Arch and his Mother Lodge Burnside 1361 in Rutherglen. He then invited Bro. Kenneth D. Kennedy Past Depute Grand Master and Bro. Alexander Whitehead Past Depute Grand Master to take over as Worshipful Wardens from the Regular Office Bearers. The Ceremony of Rededication began as printed in the Programme: Opening Praise The Brethren will sing Psalm 23 – Tune: Crimond The Lord’s my Shepherd, Ill not want, He makes me down to down lie In Pastures green: he leadeth me The quiet waters by.
Goodness and mercy all my life shall surely follow me: And in God’s house for evermore My dwelling place shall be.
Scripture Reading given by Bro. Rev. John Jenkinson Past Substitute Grand Master acting Chaplain. Act of Rededication Obligation taken on behalf of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No.76, and its Brethren by Bro. Alexander Morton Right Worshipful Master The Three-fold Blessing The Brethren will sing Psalm 122 – Tune: St Paul Verse 6. Pray that Jerusalem may have Peace and felicity: Let them that love thee and Thy peace Have still prosperity. Blessing from the South Brethren:
So mote it be.
Verse 7. Therefore I wish that peace may still Within Thy walls remain And ever may Thy palaces Prosperity retain. Blessing from the West Brethren:
So mote it be.
Verse 8. Now for my friend’s and brethren’s sake Peace be in thee: I’ll say And for the House of God our Lord I’ll seek Thy good always. Blessing from the East
So mote it be.
Address by the Depute Grand Master The Brethren will sing Paraphrase 2 – Salzburg Verse 1 & 2 O’ God of Bethel! By whose hand Thy people still are fed; Who through this weary pilgrimage Hast all our fathers led: Our vows, our pray’rs we now present Before thy throne of grace; God of our fathers! Be the God Of their succeeding race. Prayer of Thanksgiving Brethren:
So mote it be.
Verse 5 Such blessings from thy gracious hand Our humble pray’rs implore; And thou shalt be our chosen God, And portion evermore. Benediction Brethren:
So mote it be.
The Depute Grand Master returned the Emblem of Authority to the Right Worshipful Master Bro. Alexander Morton and asked the Regular Wardens to take charge from the Worshipful Wardens from Grand Lodge.
The Right Worshipful Master thanked the Depute Grand Master for gracing us with his presence today; he added his thanks and congratulations to the Grand Lodge Office Bearers who officiated at today’s ceremony. A collection was then taken for the Benevolent Funds of Grand Lodge which amounted to the sum of £365.00. The Depute Grand Master and Deputation from the Grand Lodge of Scotland then retired under the crossed wands of the Brother Deacons. An invitation was extended by the Right Worshipful Master to the deputation and to remain behind for Lodge hospitality, which was graciously accepted. The Provincial Grand Master and Deputation from the Grand Lodge of Stirlingshire then retired under the crossed wands of the Brother Deacons. A similar invitation was extended by the Right Worshipful Master for the deputation to remain behind for Lodge hospitality, this too was graciously accepted. Before closing, the Right Worshipful Master then extended fraternal greetings and Lodge Hospitality to all Brethren and Visitors. There was a visitor reply and fraternal greetings exchange from Bro James Bolton Right Worshipful Master of Lodge Ancient Stirling No.30 on behalf of the many visitors here today. The Lodge was closed in due and ancient form. 250th Anniversary Celebrations – Banquet and Festival Alexander Bro Morton Right Worshipful Master in the chair welcomed everyone to the Celebration Banquet and introduced Bro Tom Paterson Past Master of Lodge St. Servanus 771 Alva our Toast Master this evening. He in turn introduced his top table. As our special guest Provost Fergus Woods had to leave early he was asked to speak to the Brethren assembled. The Provost of Stirling Fergus Woods First of all I would like to thank Lodge 76 for inviting me to this historic occasion and landmark in its history not only for its existence for more than 250 years but in its place in our Royal Burgh now City Status. I am very proud to stand here before you not as a Brother but as a local historian who loves everything to do with City of ours and its inhabitants. This Lodge and Freemasonry has been around a very long time and it’s wonderful that the City of Stirling has a Lodge with so much history attached to it. I felt right at home here today as, as I look around the tables I recognise many faces whom I know from other walks of life. I do not wish to ramble on as I see the girls are ready to
serve food, so I will finish off by congratulating Stirling Royal Arch for reaching this milestone and thank you once again for inviting me today. Grace Bro. Rev. John Jenkinson Past Substitute Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland and acting Chaplain. Top Table Bro. James C. Peoples Past Master of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No.76 Bro. David Wishart Substitute Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland Bro. Kenneth D. Kennedy Past Depute Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland Bro. Rev. John Jenkinson Past Substitute Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland and acting Chaplain. Bro. David Brown Immediate Past Master of the Athole Lodge No.384 Kirkintilloch Councillor Fergus Woods Provost of the City of Stirling Bro. John McKenzie Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master of Stirlingshire Bro. Alexander Morton Right Worshipful Master of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No.76 Bro. Archibald M. McGown Depute Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland Grand Superintendent MEC Hugh Edmond MBE of the Provincial Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Stirling and Clackmannan Bro. Peter Smith Past Master of Lodge Ancient Stirling No.30 Bro. Alexander Whitehead Past Depute Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland and Honorary Member of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No.76 Bro. George Preston Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies of the Grand Lodge of Scotland Bro. Tom Paterson Past Master of Lodge St. Servanus No.771 Alva. Bro. James F. Fisher Past Master of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No.76 The Menu Country Style Pate with Oatcakes
Scotch Lentil Broth
Rib Eye of Beef, Baby Potatoes in Oatmeal with Chefâ€™s Selection of Vegetables
Selection of Cheese and Biscuits
Bro. Alexander Morton Right Worshipful Master
Bro. Alexander Morton Right Worshipful Master
Grand Lodge of Scotland
Bro. James F. Fisher Past Master
Right Worshipful Master, Right Worshipful Depute Grand Master, Grand Office Bearers, Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, Provincial Grand Office Bearers, Reigning Masters, Past Masters, Worshipful Wardens, Brethren All. It is my pleasure this afternoon to be out of the kitchen. It is also my pleasure and honour to propose the first toast of the evening which is to the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Brethren there is a great danger when proposing toasts, which is to be on your feet too long, it has happened in the past in 76 usually at Installations. And to exemplify this, a true tale. Our Lodge Historian who will remain anonymous was in the 31st minute of a particularly laborious phillibuster of a speech one evening, brethren were already sleeping, some pouring petrol over themselves others were preparing cyanide capsules when suddenly an empty bottle of 1964 Chateau neuf de Pape came hurtling towards the top table from the dining area aimed at the Historian. Unfortunately it missed him and struck Past Master Willie Reid square on the forehead, as Willy was sliding down his chair (WTBAPFHF) he was heard to murmur hit me again somebody I can still bloody hear him! Brethren there seems to be a need for human beings to unite into large groups to attain their collective needs, for example the United Nations has 192 states who came together to promote world peace and stability which has largely worked since inception. NATO, member States came together to combat the threat from the Soviet Union, and likewise the Warsaw Pact to protect them from the supposed NATO threat. The TUC working people from all trades and professions came together to fight for human rights and equality in the workplace, which again was in the most very successful. There are many more examples. However in 1736 the good and great of Freemasonry in Scotland collected all the Lodges in the country and formed the Grand Lodge of Scotland headed on the first occasion by the Grand Master Mason William St Clair of Roslyn. For fear of the ChĂ˘teau Neuf de Pape I will fast forward to the present day. The Grand Lodge of Scotland today have 32 Provincial Grand Lodges, 25 District Grand Lodges abroad, 3 Grand Superintendenceâ€™s and 16 Lodges abroad directly governed by Grand Lodge from Edinburgh, in all some 30,000 Masons (who do not attend). All run by the new Grand Master Mason Brother Charles Ian Robert Wolridge of Esslemont and a few helpers. The new Grand Master is a young man with a teenage family (I hope he has plenty of money for University) and I am sure he will make his own personal mark on Scottish Freemasonry. Unlike the previously mentioned organisations Grand Lodge can go back 273 years which is proof that our coming together in 1736 was hugely successful in promoting,
cultivating and sustaining our wonderful organisation and all its good works throughout the world, for which today we are truly grateful. Today Brethren, we have the great pleasure to have in our midst Brother Archie McGown The Most Worshipful Depute Grand Master. We were obviously slightly disappointed when the Grand Master Mason “dingeyed” us! “Stirling Ancient Royal Arch 76”, “never heard of them”? Just joking” our disappointment was short lived when we heard that Archie an old and dear friend of the Lodge was leading the deputation from Grand Lodge. We can remember Archie before he was famous, Lodge Burnside came to Stirling decades ago in a 45 seater what a night! I won’t mention the “Buck Fast” and the surgical support? And to conclude Brethren we wish the new Grand Master Mason, his team and their families the health, prosperity and the inspiration to guide us for their term of office. Brethren, The Grand Lodge of Scotland coupled with the name of Bro. Archibald McGown the Right Worshipful Depute Master Mason. Reply
Bro. Archibald McGown the Right Worshipful Depute Master Mason.
Right Worshipful Master, Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, Distinguished Brethren and Brethren All. It is with great personal pleasure to be present today to participate in celebrating the 250th Anniversary Celebrations of Stirling Royal Arch No.76. In looking at the unusual title of Royal Arch, I found 11 Lodges in Scotland with that particular wording in the name, I have had an association with your Lodge through my Mother Lodge Burnside 1361 over many years and I have always been impressed by the manner in which your Lodge conducted its business and the working of its Ritual. By a coincidence I also have a connection with another 3 Craft Lodges with Royal Arch in its title, Cambuslang 114, Rutherglen 116 and Pollockshaws 153. Some Brethren have raised how the Royal Arch name continues in Craft Lodges, in the 1800 Grand Lodge wished to separate Craft Masonry from Royal Arch and other Degrees but it was not until 1817 that Grand Lodge only recognised 3 Degrees and Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter was formed and while Royal Arch working was therefore banned, Lodges were able to retain their original name if so desired. In 1759, Stirling was quite a prosperous place with a Lodge already established, the main industry was working of wool fabric and if we realise that there was no rail or water transport everything went by road. The vast majority of the population never ventured beyond Bannockburn, and some never the town. However Grand Lodge managed the reverse recently having ventured out of Edinburgh in February this year to hold a very successful communication here in Stirling.
1759 was a vintage year, the birth of Robert Burns but of more relevance to us today the consecration of Stirling 76. Also in 1759 the famous Guinness brewery is founded in St. James Gate, Dublin. Also William Pitt the younger was Prime Minister. And William Wilberforce a British politician and philanthropist was born and lastly the composer George Frideric Handle died. I know that you will be hearing about the Lodge later this evening but I would like to look at your Bi Centenary Celebrations in 1959 when the Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason of the day the Right Honourable Earl of Eglinton & Winton led a large deputation of Grand Lodge Office Bearers to conduct a service of rededication. In his address to the Brethren, he said and I quote “Freemasonry would never die because of its sure foundation in Lodge 76 setting out in its second 200 years with the assurance that in the past they have built well and he hoped with the assurance that they would continue to build well”. I can do no better than continue to express these sentiments today and add that so long as the sun riseth in the East and seteth in the West as we would wish the blessing of God to attend using all our labours. Brethren we must be ever mindful that Masonry is not an institution; the Lodge is not a building, Freemasonry is defined by what Masons do and how Masons act. In this time of celebrating 250 years of the Lodge and of our National Bard I will leave you with his words to the sons of “Auld Killie” within your dear mansion may wayward contention or withered envy enter. May secrecy round be the Mystical bond and brotherly love the Centre. In closing the Depute Grand Master forwarded the good wishes from himself, his deputation and in particular the Most Worshipful Grand Master and then presented a portrait of the Grand Master to the Right Worshipful Master and to the Brethren of the Lodge. Provincial Grand Lodge of Stirlingshire Bro. James C. Peoples Past Master Right Worshipful Master, Provost of Stirling, Right Worshipful Depute Grand Master, Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, Distinguished Guests and Brethren all. I am absolutely delighted to be chosen to propose the Toast to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Stirlingshire on this very important day in the history of Stirling Royal Arch No.76. Brethren it is often said that you never forget the North East Corner in your First Degree, or, perhaps the Graveside scene in your Third Degree. I personally would also include the lasting impression made on me as a young Mason when I first witnessed a Provincial visitation, the atmosphere was electric. Here was surely the epitome of Power and Authority. I have since learned of course that Provincial exists not to be dogmatic and dictatorial but to lead by example, providing direction and support, stimulating Brotherly love and
yes, when necessary instilling discipline. I am no longer overawed by Provincial but my respect for the Provincial Grand Master and the tremendous effort put in all of the Office Bearers continues to grow with each passing year. Brethren, the first Provincial Grand Master to supervise the Province of Stirlingshire exclusively was Brother John Callander of Craigforth from 1745 to 1747. the Lodges under his jurisdiction were: • • • •
Lodge Torphichen Kilwinning No.13 Bathgate. Lodge St John No.16 Falkirk. Lodge Ancient Brazen No.17 Linlithgow. Lodge Ancient Stirling No.30
His successor as Provincial Grand Master was Brother Alexander Dalmahoy and to his commission was added: •
The Lodge of Dunblane No. IX
The Province has 28 Past Provincial Grand Masters and our reigning Provincial Grand Master John McKenzie all who have worked very hard to make sure our Province is one of the best in Freemasonry. Om the 1st February 1802 Brother Major James Mayne of Powis Lodge was appointed Provincial Grand Master and in 1804 he had 15 Lodges under his jurisdiction. In 1827 Linlithgow which had been part of a joint Province with Stirlingshire became a separate province. The earliest recorded laying of a foundation stone for a Lodge within the province was in 1762 for the Lodge St John No.16 in Falkirk. The laying of the foundation stone of the new bridge over the Forth at Stirling on 8th September 1831 proved to be a splendid occasion. The Masons marched in procession from the Guild Hall through Stirling to the site of the bridge. Each of the Masonic Lodges was preceded by a band. The day of the foundation stone was of the Coronation of William IV and it was announced at the ceremony that the bridge was to be called the King William the Fourth Bridge. The ceremony was performed by Brother William Murray of Touchadam, the Depute Provincial Grand Master. On 3rd August 1854 the Provincial Grand Master laid the foundation stone of the new High School of Stirling. The site was the corner of Spittal Street and Academy Road and the school buildings have since been converted into the Stirling Highland Hotel. As usual a cavity within the foundation stone contained in addition to the copies of newspapers and coins, a list of subscribers and civic authorities, the Masonic calendar and pocket book for 1854. The Grand Lodge annual circular for 1854 and a role book of the members of Grand Lodge at 1st May 1854.
It is particular interesting to note the denominations of the coins included sovereign, half sovereign, crown, half crown, florin, shilling, sixpence fourpence, threepence, twopence, penny, halfpenny, farthing and half farthing. The last being equivalent to 1,920 part of the present pound. The Lodge of Alloa No.69 celebrated its centenary on 14th November 1857 when the Provincial Grand Master conducted the ceremony of rededication. In 1858 only six Lodges in the Province were in full working order, two were dormant and several had become extinct during the previous half century. Monday 24th June 1861 was a historic day for the Town of Stirling and Freemasonry in Scotland. On this day the 547th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, the foundation stone of the Wallace Monument was laid on the Abbey Craig at Causewayhead, Stirling in the presence of the Grand Master Mason Brother the 6th Duke of Athole. Other foundation stones were laid at the new Sheriff Court House in Linlithgow in 1863, the Municipal Buildings in Alloa in 1872 and the Dobbie Hall in Larbert in 1900. The Dobbie Hall gifted by Brother Major Dobbie had its foundation stone laid in full Masonic fashion by the Grand Master Mason, Brother the Honorable James Hozier. Another Masonic mark on the town of Stirling is the Christie Clock standing at the junction of Melville Terrace and Park Terrace. This was presented to the Town Council by Mrs. Ellen Christie, widow of Brother George Christie Provincial Grand Master and former Provost. The story of this clock has been kept alive by the untiring efforts of Brother Tom McDonald, Past Master of Lodge Abercromby No.531 who presented a picture of the clock to the Grand Lodge of Scotland at its historic meeting in the Albert Hall Stirling earlier this year. Coming up to date the Provincial Grand Lodge of Stirlingshire celebrated its own 250th Anniversary in February 1995, the Provincial Grand Master at that time being Brother Colin T. Wise who I am happy to say is present here today is a Past Master of Lodge St Servanus No.771 and was installed as Provincial Grand Master by the Grand Master Mason, Brother Sir Gregor McGregor of McGregor on 12th May 1990. Brethren, I was delighted when Brother John McKenzie became our present Provincial Grand Master in June 2005, having previously served as Senior Provincial Grand Warden and Provincial Grand Chaplain. He was initiated into Lodge Loch Lomond No.1483 in 1973 and has been Master of that Lodge on three occasions. He has made his mark in many ways and last year reintroduced the Annual Provincial Divine Service, a great coming together in worship for Lodges throughout the Province.
I am sure you are all well aware that Provincial Grand Lodge is extremely busy attending Visitations and Installations, and innumerable social events, Divine Services, Visits to other Provinces and Grand Lodge. Not to mention the Brethren attending their own Lodges and also other Orders in which they may be involved. Brethren would you please charge your glasses, be upstanding and join with me in the toast to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Stirlingshire coupled with the name of the Provincial Grand Master, Brother John McKenzie.
Bro. John McKenzie the Right Worshipful Provincial Master of Stirlingshire
Right Worshipful Master Bro. Archibald McGown, Right Worshipful Master Bro. Alexander Morton and Distinguished Brethren all. May I first off all thank Past Master Bro James Peoples for your excellent toast to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Stirlingshire on this the 250th Anniversary of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No.76. It is indeed an honour and a privilege to reply on behalf of the Provincial Grand Lodge here today in the premises of Stirling County Rugby Club and I will try to show that the Provincial Grand Lodge of Stirlingshire is in touch with the brethren of the province. 1759, the year Robert Burns was born, the year the government gave permission for the free distillation of grain to make whisky, the year Arthur Guinness built his brewery and off course the year Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No.76 was consecrated by the Grand Lodge of Scotland. A lot has changed in 250 years, but one thing that hasnâ€™t changed is the drive and determination of the brethren who have been the life blood of this lodge throughout the two and half centuries since it was constituted. Great credit must go these Brethren who had the foresight to form this Lodge. It could not be easy in the mid eighteenth century to travel any distance, Brethren would have to walk or go by horse to attend meetings, and a journey from such as Edinburgh would be akin to a trip to London today. I mention foresight of the early Brethren and it is indeed fortunate that the minute book from time was presented and must give a valuable insight into the early meetings and the make up of the Lodge members. I was interested to note that Brethren were merchants and local business men and many sat on the Town Council. The Lodge met in various Taverns throughout the Town where the landlords was admitted free so that he could provide food and drink on meeting nights. Is this still the case Immediate Past Master Jim Fisher? This of course was when masons and Masonâ€™s Lodges were accepted and respected in their local communities and were often in attendance or involved at many civic occasions, such as the laying of the foundation stones at many of the Grand buildings
which were being built by the operative masons of that time. Sadly the same does not apply today and although we will never return to those halcyon days, we must strive as masons to promote all that is good about this marvellous order of ours. The Provincial Grand Lodge of Stirlingshire is the link between the daughter lodges of the Province and Grand Lodge, and I and my Commissioned Office Bearers and in fact any Provincial Office Bearer past or present are willing to listen and help whenever we can. As for myself I am just glad I am the Provincial Grand Master at this time and not in the eighteenth century as a round trip of anything between 60 and 100 miles most weeks in the winter would have been nigh impossible. That I said I totally respect the office of Provincial Grand Master, I also totally respect the brethren of the province, and hopefully they return respect in me. My dearest wish is to see all the Lodges in the Province prosper, because after all without the daughter lodges there would be no need for provincial Grand Lodge. The provincial Grand Lodge fund raising for various charities through our golf and bowls competitions and the Reigning Masters Degree, last year raised almost £6,500. £3,500 has been collected from the Reigning Masters Degree and the Golf with the bowls still to come, which of course your Lodge Right Worshipful Master entered for the first time last year and was the winners. I am looking forward to this year’s competition to see if you can defend your title and next year maybe you can get two golfers to enter that competition for the first time and who knows you may win that as well? At all the presentations to the various charities I have endeavoured to obtain the fullest press coverage so that we can promote all that is good about Freemasonry in Stirlingshire. In this the year of the homecoming it is right that I look to Robert Burns for inspiration in the “Tree of Liberty”. He wrote Like Brethren in a common cause We’d on each other smile, man And equal rights and equal laws Wa’d gladden every isle man Brethren our common cause today is to celebrate 250 years of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No.76 and it is right that we celebrate this momentous occasion but it is tinged with a little sadness as it would have been great that to have the late Past Master and Past Provincial Grand Senior Warden Bro. Willie Scott who was Senior Warden of this Lodge at your Bi-Centenary in 1959 with us today, but I am sure he will be beaming down on us with a glass in his hand saying well done Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No.76. I first started to attend this lodge when they met in the top floor of the Spiritualist Church on King Street and have had many enjoyable occasions in their company. When preparing this reply I thought about the old couple sitting down to breakfast, when the old man raps the wife’s knuckles with a teaspoon, “what’s that for she asks”?
50 years of rotten sex he replied, she picks up the frying pan and wallops him over the head with it, “what’s that for he yells”? Knowing the difference she said. What’s that got to do with this reply, well nothing really, but it did remind me that the Brethren of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No.76 certainly know the difference, they surely make that difference by example not just in the Lodge Room with their 1st, 2nd, 3rd Hospitality and Degrees but also at harmony with their renowned “Three Degrees”. Right Worshipful Master Bro. Alexander Morton, it has been a great delight to have been here, I know that you had a few problems such as double bookings with the Harley Davidson Bikers but in true 76 Style you just revved up the engine and you have done a “wheelie” good job. Past Masters Bro. Paul Miller, Jim Fisher and their Staff have coped magnificently, thank you all. I will finish with some lines by Edgar Guest For it isn’t the marble, it isn’t the stone Nor is it the brass columns appeal By which shall the worth of our temple be known But by something that’s living and real. You may live with rarest of marble each wall And with gold you may tint it – but then It is only a building, if it, after all Isn’t filled with the spirit of men
The Spirit of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No.76 is strong as ever as you move on to your 251st year, so Right Worshipful Master Bro. Alexander Morton on this special occasion I wish you sir, your Office Bearers and your Brethren every happiness and delight for the future, I hope you have enjoyed this memorable day. I would thank Past Master Jim Peoples once again for his toast, and you Brethren for the manner you received it. Visitors Toast
Traditional by the Master and Wardens RWM WJW Bro. James T. Andrew – what message do you bring from the South?
Peace to those who enter. RWM WSW Bro. William McGuire – what message do you bring from the West?
Harmony to those who remain.
And safety to those who depart Brethren “our visitors” – Count Wardens Count
Bro. Peter Smith, Past Master Lodge Ancient Stirling No.30
Right Worshipful Master, Right Worshipful Depute Grand Master, Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, Worthy Top Table Guests, Past Masters, Worshipful Wardens and Brethren all Thank you Right Worshipful Master and Worshipful Wardens for your Traditional “Visitors Toast”. It is very different to a lot of the usual visitors toasts you would normally hear, but very fitting that it was performed this evening on this special occasion, as it is very traditional in your Lodge to use that toast and I’m reliably informed it’s almost as old as your Lodge. I have heard it before at your Installations and as I say, it’s very fitting to use it this evening. It’s a great personal honour and privilege to be asked to reply to this toast on behalf of your visitors and a great honour for my own Lodge too, and I sincerely hope that this kind gesture cements the friendship between the two Stirling Lodges even stronger. There are a great number of visitors in attendance this evening from all over the country, a distinguished deputation from the Grand Lodge of Scotland, headed by the Right Worshipful Depute Grand Master. An excellent deputation from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Stirlingshire headed by our own Provincial Grand Master. The Grand Superintendent of the Provincial Royal Arch Chapter of Stirling and Clackmannanshire and many well travelled brethren from near and far. In fact a look at the attendance book informed me that some 45 lodges were represented at the meeting covering 16 different provinces working under 4 different Constitutions. It must be very gratifying for the brethren of 76 to see so many people make the effort to come along and support you on this special occasion. When people look at the Lodge records and attendance book in 20 or 50 or even 100 years time, all these visitors will be part of the history and celebration of the day. And when the Brethren of 76 think of this day, the visitors who attended will be part or their thoughts and memories. It has been said time and time again the visitors are the life blood of Freemasonry and I think there are three key ingredients in attracting visitors. Firstly you must always receive a very warm welcome when visiting a Lodge, secondly the work performed must be done professionally, sincerely and with dignity and decorum, and thirdly, the hospitality afterwards is always warm and friendly. Having visited your Lodge regularly for years I can assure the Brethren of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No 76 that they are excellent at all three, which is why so many of us keep coming back, and I suppose the biggest compliment I can give you is that I feel just as at home sitting in your Lodge as I do in my own. I’m particularly pleased to see the Provost of Stirling in attendance this evening and I know you are a great supporter of local organisations and are very interested in the
history of Stirling. You are a great supporter of the Guildry of Stirling and were instrumental in the troops marching through the City on their return from active service and its fitting you are here also to support Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No 76 on this special 250th anniversary, which is also very much part of the history of Stirling. Indeed in the last few years, Freemasonry in Stirling has reached several milestones, with the Stirling Rock Royal Arch Chapter celebrating its 250th in 1993, my own lodge Ancient Stirling celebrating its 400th in 1999 and now Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No. 76 celebrating its 250th anniversary in 2009 and I’m delighted to say that the Provost of the day was present on all three occasions and as I said before, its very fitting as all these bodies are steeped in the history of Stirling. The Provost is also known as Stirling’s second most photographed person in the Stirling Observer. Brethren we are honored, we also have Stirling’s first most photographed person in the Stirling Observer here too, Jim Fisher PM of 76, Is there any truth in the rumour Jim that you are to have your own column there soon? On behalf of all the visitors I would once again like to thank the Brethren of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No.76 for all the hard work and planning which went into make today such a roaring success, the years of committee meetings etc made sure that today ran smoothly and the tokens and mementos which we received will always remind us of today. We as visitors have the easy part to play today, we just turn up and sit back and relax knowing that other people have done all the hard work and organising. Also the meal we received was excellent with first class service by the staff and out thanks go to the waiting staff and bar staff of the Rugby club. Right Worshipful Master, Worshipful Wardens, South and West, on behalf of your distinguished and well travelled visitors I thank you for your excellent toast.
Stirling Royal Arch No.76 Lodge No.384, Kirkintilloch
Bro. David W Brown Past Master, The Athole
Right Worshipful Master, Provost of Stirling, Right Worshipful Depute Grand Master, Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, distinguished brethren and brethren all: It’s a great honour to be invited to propose the toast to any Lodge, particularly on such an auspicious occasion as a 250th anniversary celebration. In Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No. 76, it’s a particular challenge, as this Lodge has its own distinguished Historian, in the shape of Bro. Stewart Donaldson, ready to scrutinise the historical content of your toast. But, on top of this, it’s a great personal pleasure for me to be able to undertake this duty in a Lodge where I have so many good friends. The earliest reliable record of a Lodge in Stirling is the Second Schaw Statute of 1599, which describes it as ‘the third Lodge’ of Scotland. Insufficient evidence survives to establish whether this Lodge existed continuously to become the present Lodge Ancient
Stirling No. 30, which was certainly in existence by 1708. However, we do know that, in 1738 and again in 1758 or 1759, approaches were made to the Grand Lodge of Scotland to have a second Lodge chartered in Stirling. The latter attempt was successful and, as a result, Lodge Stirling Royal Arch received its charter on 21 May 1759. Bro. Alexander Young was its first Master and its original number was 93. Later, it was 71, then 72 and finally 76. It is the oldest of the eleven Scottish Lodges containing the name ‘Royal Arch’. For the record, the others are no. 114 in Cambuslang, 116 in Rutherglen, 122 in Perth, 153 in Pollokshaws, 195 in Milton of Campsie, 198 in Maybole, 314 in West Kilbride, 320 in Ardrossan, 321 in Alexandria and 424 in Hawick. Brethren who’ve attended Lodge 76’s Annual Installation have probably heard plenty over the years about the ‘blast o’ Januar’ win’ that ‘blew hansel in on Robin’, that is, Bro. Robert Burns, in 1759 and of the opening of the Guinness brewery in the same year. But what happened here in Stirling in that year of 1759 - 250 years ago? Was the Lodge founded, or was it simply chartered? Are they one and the same? No, Brethren, they are not. Research by Bro. Stewart Donaldson using Masonic, burgh and other records, has established that the Lodge was almost certainly founded some time earlier, to work Royal Arch and Knight Templar degrees. On that basis, it’s quite likely to have been known locally as the ‘Royal Arch Lodge’, the brethren simply formalising this name when petitioning for their charter. Several early minutes of this and other neighbouring Lodges support the idea and it seems significant that any office bearer of the Lodge was, until 1824, required to be a Royal Arch Mason. There is no time to delve further into to this issue now, but if you would like more information, please purchase Bro. Donaldson’s history of the Lodge, published on CD. In 1800, the Grand Lodge of Scotland issued a firm reminder that Lodges must comply with the Unlawful Societies Act of 1799, which allowed only Masonic Lodges conferring no more than the three craft degrees to practise. The Lodge then ceased to work the non-Craft degrees. What happened then is best discussed elsewhere, but suffice to say that the additional degrees did not disappear and other Grand bodies were later formed to oversee them. Bro. Donaldson’s research into Stirling’s burgh records has shown that the early Brethren were all either Members of the Guildry or of the Seven Incorporated Trades and that many of them sat on the Town Council. For at least a century, most of the Provosts were Masons – often Masters or Past Masters - and Masons made up the majority of Town Council’s members. Stirling was also a garrison town and the Lodge began to attract military personnel from the various regiments based at the Castle. In its early years, the Lodge met mainly in taverns, including the Coffee House in Bow Street, the Saracen’s Head in King Street, Grassom’s Tavern, Carmichael’s Tavern, the Globe and Crown Tavern, the Royal Hotel at the foot of Friars Street, the Stirling Arms in Port Street, the Royal Exchange Tavern and Corn Exchange Hotel at the foot
of Spittal Street, Gibb’s Inn in King Street (now the Golden Lion Hotel), the King’s Arms Tavern and the Douglas Hotel. Normally, the landlord would be admitted into the Lodge free and in return he would act as Lodge Steward and also look after the Lodge’s belongings. Other meeting places include the Old Episcopal Hall, the Guildhall, Sawer’s house in Baker Street, the Masonic Halls in King Street and Thistle Street, the North Church, the Masonic Temple in The Craigs, Allan’s School, Lodge Abercromby No. 531’s Hall in Bridge of Allan and the Spiritualist Church or ‘Spooky Hall’ in King Street. The Lodge now meets in the historic Royal George Mill owned by Lodge Bannockburn Bruce & Thistle No. 312, with which Lodge 76 has a very close fraternal relationship. All this movement emphasises that a Lodge is a body of Masons rather than a building. During the 19th Century, the Lodge participated in the laying of foundation stones for several buildings in and around Stirling, including the Athenaeum at the top of King Street, the Corn Exchange, Stirling High School and the road and rail bridges over the Forth. But there was a notable exception - the Wallace Monument, designed by Bro. John Thomas Rochead of Lodge St Mark’s, Glasgow, No. 102. Sadly, Lodge 76 was not one of the many which attended the ceremony, as it was effectively dormant. Through the course of the century, it had three dormant periods, making up a total of no less than 22 years. Indeed, the Lodge could have died altogether in 1878 had not the Master, Bro. James Brown, himself made the payments necessary to keep 76 on the Grand Lodge Roll until he could reconstitute it, which he achieved 12 years later in 1890. In the 20th century, the Lodge built up a formidable reputation for Masonic education. Bro. William Harvey, who was initiated into the Lodge in 1899 and rose to become Provincial Grand Master of Forfarshire, was a Masonic author and teacher of world renown. Bro. T. W. R. Johnston PM, important locally as a Masonic author, delivered in 1927 a masterful lecture on Masonic education, which has much to teach us today. This scholarly tradition has been carried into the 21st century by Bro. Stewart Donaldson, who has taken great pains to ensure that his work, as well as that of Bros. Harvey and Johnston - and that other distinguished Masonic author from 76, Bro. James Fisher – is readily accessible on CD and on the Lodge website. Brethren, in today’s programme, you will see photographs of the office bearers in this anniversary year. Among them, you will find distinguished brethren who have given many years of dedicated service to Freemasonry in general and Lodge 76 in particular. But, just as significant, you will also see enthusiastic young brethren holding important offices, and it is to these brethren that I would like to direct my closing remarks. I hope that in 2034, there will be another gathering such as this, celebrating the Lodge’s 275th Anniversary and that at least some of today’s young office bearers will be present, looking back with pride on what they have achieved for the Lodge in the intervening period. For it is you, the younger office bearers, who must take this fine old
Lodge forward into the next 25 years of its history and make your mark in maintaining, and enhancing, its long and distinguished reputation for excellence in all things Masonic. Brethren, I would now ask you to be upstanding and to join with me in a toast to Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No 76, coupled on this occasion with the name of Brother Alexander Morton, Master of this fine old lodge in its 250th anniversary year. Reply
Bro. Alexander Morton Right Worshipful Master
Brother David, when I saw who was proposing the toast to Stirling Royal Arch No.76, I knew it would be both informative and thought provoking. In this sir you have not disappointed. It is obvious that the amount of work, time and research you have put into your toast to the Lodge, has been great! For this you have my own humble appreciation and I am sure the Brethren of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch are also very grateful for your most eloquent words. This Lodge has been in existence through some of the most historical events in British history. When the Lodge was granted its charter in 1759 there were still living, people in this borough who had taken sides in the rebellion led by Bonnie Prince Charlie. We were already ten years chartered when both Napoleon Bonaparte and Arthur Wellesley Duke of Wellington were born; they were to meet at Waterloo. The Charge of the Light Brigade, Balaclava, the Thin Red Line. These historical facts from history no doubt took place with Masonic Brethren participations. I mention only a few to give a sense of history that Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No.76 has seen. David on behalf of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No.76, I would again like to record my sincere thanks for your toast.
Bro. Matthew Gibb Past Master firstly intimated that the collection gathered earlier today at the rededication ceremony amounted to the sum of £365.00. A cheque to this sum was presented to the Deputy Grand Master for the Benevolent Funds of Grand Lodge. Bro Archibald McGown Deputy Grand Master suitably responded with his personal thanks. Brother Gibb then requested that the Brethren rise and give a “Silent Toast” to departed Brethren, Friends and Family. Entertainment Bro. Thomas Paterson Past Master Lodge St. Servanus No.771 Alva Bro Thomas Paterson firstly thanked the Brethren who gave their undividing attention during all of the toasts and replies as it makes all the difference to the Brethren who were carrying out a speech. He then provided the Brethren with an entertaining and
light hearted conclusion to what has become a memorable day to all who attended on this special day. Closing Remarks
Bro. Alexander Morton Right Worshipful Master
Right Worshipful Depute Grand Master Bro. Archibald McGown, Grand Office Bearers, Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master Bro. John McKenzie, Provincial Grand Office Bearers, Right Worshipful Masters, Past Masters, Worshipful Wardens and Brethren all. To you Sir, (Depute Grand Master) and to you Sir, (Provincial Grand Master) thank you both for gracing the Lodge with your presence here today. As we near the end of our 250th Anniversary Celebrations may I thank you one and all for attending today. It is you, all who have made this such a happy, enjoyable and memorable occasion for everyone associated with Stirling Royal Arch No.76. Special thanks go to Past Master Paul Miller for his organisational skills for this day would not off happened in the way it has. To Past Master Jim Peoples for the arrangement of the gifts and mementoâ€™s. To Past Master Jim Fisher for his humble but honest fare, Past Master Ian McIntosh for his musical accompaniment and Piper Bro. Graeme Fraser of Lodge Bannockburn Bruce & Thistle No.312 for his services throughout the day. To all of the Brethren of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch for the unending assistance on making this day possible. To all of the Past Masters of the Lodge who got us to this point, to the Brethren who donated raffle prizes and a special word of appreciation must go to our Catering and Waiting Staff who worked tirelessly for no wages but simply because they are family members of Masonic Brethren here today, unsung heroesâ€™ and heroines all. Once gain thank you for honouring us with your presence today and I hope all was to your satisfaction and that you had an enjoyable day with us. On your departure, please carry our best wishes and safe journey home and I hope to see you all again when we resume in September. Auld Lang Syne and National Anthem Bro. Past Master Ian McIntosh Director of Music and Bro Alexander Smith Past Director of Music.
Bro. Paul G Miller Past Master Event Secretary
In May 2009, Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No.76 in Scotland celebrated the 250th anniversary of receiving its Charter from the Grand Lodge of S...
Published on Aug 1, 2009
In May 2009, Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No.76 in Scotland celebrated the 250th anniversary of receiving its Charter from the Grand Lodge of S...