History

The Temples

THE TEMPLES

The Lodge did not always have its own premises. In the early days most of the meetings, which were not as numerous then as they now are, were held in members' homes. On other occasions meetings were held in various hostelries including "Sister Denovan's Crown & Thistle Inn" at the Newmarket end of the town. Latterly meetings were held in the Old Town Hall prior to the present building being purchased. This chapter recalls the locations of Lodge meetings throughout our history.

1860   Four years after coming out of a period of abeyance, the members of the Lodge took the decision to meet in a Lodge Room as opposed to members' houses.

 

One of the premises rented and in use for many years as a Temple was the building at the corner of Main Street and Kirk Wynd, near the old Ladywell Church, later the Murrayfield U.F. Church.

 

During the first meeting in the new Lodge Room, in November 1860, Bro. Rev. Thomas Smith was made an Honorary Member of the Lodge. Available records suggest Bro. Smith was the first Brother to be so honoured by the Lodge.

1865   Due to the Lodge Room being too small, the Festival of St. John and Masonic Ball was held in the suite of rooms belonging to the R.W.M. Bro. Alex Wilson.

1899   At the close of the nineteenth century, the Lodge considered the building of a new Temple instead of renting a Lodge Room. The eventual decision, however, was to rent instead of purchase.

1903   After some lengthy negotiations with the Town Hall Committee, the decision was made to rent the upper storey of the Old Town Hall with the first meeting in these premises being in February 1904. This was to be the Lodge's regular home (war years excepted) for some 20 years.

1914   The Lodge premises were taken over by the Military Authorities upon the outbreak of The Great War. They were required for use by the Territorial Army. The Lodge made arrangements to meet within a local hotel.

1924   In this, the Lodge's Centenary Year, the brethren were in the midst of negotiations to purchase the Royal George Mill in order to convert it into a Masonic Hall. A number of events were organised to raise the necessary funding, not just for the purchase of the premises, but also the cost of renovations.

In August 1924 the Lodge concluded the purchase of the Mill for the sum of £110. Internal rebuilding and alterations were to add a further £600 to this sum. To this day the Lodge meets within these premises.

1925   Due to the concerted efforts required to finance and purchase our own premises, the Lodge decided against holding a Thanksgiving Service and Dinner in the Centenary Year. It was agreed that any celebrations would be delayed to coincide with moving into the New Masonic Hall at which time both the Lodge Consecration and Centenary would be celebrated.

This was duly realised when, on the 24th April 1925, the new Temple was consecrated by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Stirlingshire. This was followed by a Centenary Dinner.

The first meeting to be held within the new premises was on 2nd May 1925 at which time a letter was read out from Lodge Carron 139 enclosing a cheque for the magnificent sum of £11 for the Building Fund. This sum was raised by the Brethren of Lodge Carron who held a Whist Drive and Dance to assist their Sister Lodge.

1939   In September the Lodge premises were taken over by the Military Authorities upon the outbreak of The Second World War. The building was required for the accommodation of evacuees. Arrangements were made to meet in Bannockburn Public School.

1946   In anticipation of the Lodge moving back into the Masonic Hall upon its release by the Military Authorities, the minute of 11thApril records a very special vote of thanks to Honorary Member Bro. John Blyth, Headmaster of Bannockburn Public School, for the excellent arrangements made for all Lodge meetings over the past six years. Bro. Blyth had "always been most courteous, obliging and helpful, and spared no effort for the comfort and accommodation of the Brethren". Gratitude was also expressed to Bro. Blyth for "his services at the organ so willingly rendered at all the Lodge Meetings".

In October a communication was received from the Quartering Commandant, Perth, informing the Lodge that the Masonic Hall was to be released from requisition on 16th October.

The meeting of 14th November 1946 marked the happy occasion of the Lodge returning to the Masonic Hall, New Road, Bannockburn following the de-requisition by the Military Authorities who had been in occupancy since July 1940. This was also the occasion of the Annual Visitation from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Stirlingshire. The Provincial Grand Master Bro. Col. A.R. Bain congratulated the Lodge on its return to its own premises and expressed the hope that never again would it be found necessary to take over the premises for war purposes. This meeting was attended by 185 brethren comprising of 14 from Provincial Grand Lodge; 30 visiting brethren and 141 members of Lodge Bannockburn Bruce and Thistle.

1950   The R.W.P.G.M. Bro. Thomas Pitcairn congratulated the Brethren on the repair and renovation of the hall subsequent to its release by the Military Authorities.