1933-1983

By its 50th year, the Lodge had long established itself in the Province. Its financial affairs were on a sound basis. Meetings were well attended – a marked contrast from the early days. Sporadically, the Lodge was affected as was everyone and everything by the poor state of the economy in the 1930’s. It is interesting that in this period Grand Lodge had not yet placed any limit upon the number of candidates receiving a degree at any one time. The minutes indicate that sometimes 30 or more were initiated, passed or raised in one evening. More than one degree might be conferred at one meeting.

By 1933, the Lodge was truly identified with the local area. Many of its Brethren were businessmen in Whiteinch e.g. Bros. Gow, McEwan, Mechan. Some were involved in local politics the most prominent of whom was Baillie Smith. The new Burgh Hall, the interior design of which had been constructed for masonic purposes, established a very close link with the Burgh of Partick. Information about this may be seen in the earlier chapter describing the Lodge’s move to the Burgh Hall. There was also a very special relationship with Whiteinch Parish Church, since its Minister, the Rev. David Ness, M.A. was for many years the Lodge’s Honorary Chaplain.

In 1935, Bro. W. Dunlop Brown, Provincial Grand Secretary of Argyll and the Isles on a private visit to Glasgow discovered that the Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow was visiting his Mother Lodge, i.e. 683. He attended with them and recorded his satisfaction at seeing the progress which the lodge had made since his initiation in 1891.

During the 1930s, after meetings instead of the traditional Masonic harmony, whist drives were often held to raise funds to purchase regalia, crockery etc. In 1939, on the occasion of the Bi-Centenary of Provincial Grand Lodge, funds were raised by all of the Lodges in the Province for this purpose. A Bi-Centenary Steward was appointed – Bro. Walter Collins, P.M. Baillie W. Smith, P.M. was Convener of the special P.G.L. Committee organizing the celebration. A Dinner was held in the St. Andrew’s Halls on 6th February, 1939. The R.W.M. Bro. Duncan Ewart along with the R.W.M.s of 3bis and 1346 replied to the Toast to the Daughter Lodges proposed by Bro. the Earl of Lauderdale. At the next meeting of the Lodge, he was complimented for his speech and for having maintained the high standards of 683 by his P.M.s.

The War Years 1939-1945 saw meetings moved to a Saturday afternoon. Two degrees were conferred in an afternoon putting a strain on candidates, Office-Bearers and Brethren. The Post-War years saw Freemasonry flourish throughout the Province and the country as a whole. It was not uncommon for 300 to 400 to attend Installations and an average of over 100 to attend regular meetings. Some of the older P.M.s recall that it was often impossible for them to find a seat in the East because so many P.M.s were active members. An important and enjoyable feature of the period 1946-1953 was the annual Christmas party held for the children of the Brethren. These were organized by Bro. David Henderson P.M. whose skills as a Senior Steward were par excellence and parties were attended by 150-200 children.

In 1956, the 6 (now 7) Lodges whose charters had been granted in the West of the Province established closer links. Bro. G. Marshall R.W.M. Lodge Kelvin Partick No. 1207 along with the other R.W.M.s formed the Western District. Various joint activities were embarked upon, most of which continue to the present day – sporting competitions, a joint Annual Divine Service, a Degree by the 7 Masters. In 1981, St. John Whiteinch was the host Lodge and a Special Meeting took place on 26th September, 1981 at which a Deputation from Lodge Allegiance, Brussels No 1465 was received. The 7 Masters conferred the Entered Apprentice Degree upon Bros. J. McPhail, J. Omand, and J. Glen. 200 Brethren were present and a Dinner followed. In attendance also were the Provincial Grand Master Bro. William Fleming and a Deputation from Provincial Grand Lodge. Grand Secretary Bro. E. Stuart Falconer accompanied the Deputation. At the harmony, various gifts were exchanged. Wardens’ Columns and Western District plaques were presented to Bro. William J. Cartwright R.W.M. of Lodge Allegiance, who during the meeting had been made an Honorary Member of St. John Whiteinch. In return, he presented to 683 a magnificent painting of the Grande Place in Brussels.

For many years, the Brethren had looked forward to possessing a Temple of their own. The realization of this was hastened by the closure of the Burgh Hall in 1964. The Scotstoun Institute, Fore Street, Scotstoun was purchased and for many months Brethren work hard at making it suitable for the mystic craft. It was consecrated on 22nd August, 1964 by the Provincial Grand Master Bro. Ernest Noakes. However inflation and rapidly rising costs made it increasingly difficult to support and maintain. In May 1980, it was sadly vacated by the Lodge which then moved to Lodge Western’s Temple.

 

It is perhaps unfair to select an outstanding Right Worshipful Master during this period, or even Past Master. The Lodge was very well served over many years by Bros. John Stewart Henderson, P.M. as Secretary. His predecessor Bro. John French also had served in this office faithfully. Bro. Walter Collins was Treasurer for over 30 years and likewise Bro. John S. Williamson was Benevolent Fund Treasurer for 25 years. The debt owed by the Lodge to these Brethren is immeasurable. As Master, Bro. John B. Rankine might be considered to have been outstanding. He was Junior Warden in 1952-1953 but ill health prevented him from progressing further at this time. A temporary recovery in the 1960s allowed him to occupy this high office. His ceremonial work was of the highest standard and was regarded as such throughout the Province. His qualities as a man and a Mason was undoubted. Unfortunately he passed to the Grand Lodge above before we could all learn from his example.

During these years, the Lodge has had the privilege of having sponsored the following Lodges:-

Lodge Kelvin Partick No. 1207 5th February, 1920
Lodge Western No. 1346 6th May, 1926
Lodge Knightswood No. 1445 3rd November, 1949
Lodge Tower No. 1523 1st November, 1956

It is our hope that by such sponsorship we have helped in some small way to spread the cement of brotherly love.

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