THE '312' SOCIAL CLUB
In common with most other Lodges, Masonic transactions alone do not raise sufficient funds to cover the running costs of a Masonic Hall.
The upkeep and maintenance of the building coupled with ever increasing costs for heating, lighting, insurances and rates has placed a serious financial burden on all Lodges owning their own hall.
For these reasons many Lodges have found it necessary to operate Social Clubs with the specific objective of assisting the Lodge to retain its own premises - Lodge Bannockburn Bruce & Thistle being no different.
The origins of the Social Club are unclear with little reference appearing within the Lodge Minutes. The '312 Social Club' appears to have been in operation since the late 1950's. The Club at one time seems to have been run by a Committee and indeed had its own bye-laws.
In the late 1950's and early 1960's a number of serious disagreements are recorded in the Lodge Minute Books regarding the operation of the Social Club, in particular the line of responsibility for all Social Club financial matters. Provincial Grand Lodge's opinions were sought on various occasions. It appears that these arguments and disputes 'petered out' as opposed to being fully resolved with Votes of Confidence, Motions and Counter Motions being raised both in Open Lodge and at Committee level.
Throughout the 1960's and early 1970's the Social Club appears to have been relatively busy and in so doing generated a significant amount of income to the Lodge in its struggle to make ends meet.
This prosperous position, however, came to an end in the late 1970's with both the Lodge and Social Club finding things increasingly difficult. In order to reduce the Rates Bill the decision was made to close the Lower Hall in 1982.
It was around this time it was determined that the Social Club would be organised by a Social Club Committee consisting of all Office Bearers of the Lodge under the Chairmanship of the Master.
The Social Club continued to utilise the Middle Hall and by 1985 had turned an annual loss into a profit. Whilst a dip in income was experienced in the mid 1990's the Social Club has been consistently profitable since 1985 and has contributed greatly to the upkeep of the building.
As we approach the new millennium the decision has been made to form a 'new' social club entitled 'The Bruce & Thistle 312 Social Club' with its inaugural meeting having taken place in July 1999. This new set up will ensure that the Social Club is run directly by its elected committee and members. Its Constitution is designed to keep abreast of the complex licensing laws with various types of Membership now available. What has not changed is its principal objective of fully supporting Lodge Bannockburn Bruce & Thistle No. 312 in all its activities. The first Chairman is John Rankin with John Davidson as Vice Chairman, both Past Masters of the Lodge.
When the time comes to write up the Lodge History for its 200th Anniversary in 2024 it is hoped that a very profitable and enjoyable account of the first 25 years of The Bruce & Thistle 312 Social Club will form part of that history.