THE LODGE FURNISHINGS
Many of the Lodge furnishings have been gifts from Brethren and visitors over the years. It seems appropriate that this section of the History should record these items in order that the brethren may appreciate their heritage and historical value.
This chapter has been split into two sections which are referred to as the 'Operative' and the Non Operative' furnishings.
1824 The oldest and most valuable item in the Lodge's possession is its charter, granted on the first day of November 1824 by The Grand Lodge of Scotland. In 1973 it was decided that the Charter - then 149 years old - should be left on the dais as continual rolling and unrolling was beginning to show some damage. A framed copy of the Charter now hangs in the Lodge, immediately to the right of the Junior Warden.
1870 On their return from the laying of the Foundation Stone at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in 1870, one of the deputation, Bro. E.L.Wilson, R.W.M., presented a handsome mahogany mallet and Senior and Junior Wardens' Pillars. These are still in use by the Lodge today.
1894 The pedestal upon which The Holy Bible rests was presented by Bro. James Currie to mark his retirement as R.W.M. after a period of eleven years. In the same year Bro. Currie also presented the Lodge with another pedestal, to be used as seen fit by the Brethren. This is listed in subsequent inventories as the Masters pedestal or dais.
1896 The furnishings were further enhanced when Bro. I. McIntosh of St. Ninians presented two pedestals to the Lodge for the use of the Senior and Junior Wardens.
1927 To mark his retirement as R.W.M. Bro. John Rennie presented two deacons wands.
1948 The Lodge Bible was presented in 1948 by Bro. John White who subsequently became Master in 1949 - 50. This is an old family style bible (circa 1875) that has recently been refurbished. No records exists as to the origins of the Square and Compasses.
1977 The Sword Bearer's ceremonial sword was made and presented by Bro. John Hennessy in November 1977. In accepting on behalf of the Lodge, the R.W.M., Bro. Robert Barr, suitably replied and thanked Bro. Hennessy for this gift which Bro. Hennessy was assured would be put to good use.
1987 The three lesser lights were made and presented by Bro. Harold Bedborough and Bro. Richard G. Buchanan. Both of these brethren subsequently became Master of the Lodge.
1992 The Lodge was presented with a hand carved table by Bro. Robert Robertson of Lodge Zetland No. 391. At the last count Bro. Robertson had presented some sixteen such tables to various Lodges. In accepting this table on behalf of the Lodge, the R.W.M. Bro. John Rankin congratulated Bro. Robertson on the quality of his craftsmanship and assured him it would be a very welcome and useful addition to the Lodge furniture.
1995 The working tools used for the reception of all candidates into the Lodge were gifted by Bro. James G. Duffin P.M. In accepting these on behalf of the Lodge, the R.W.M. Bro. James G. White thanked Bro. Duffin for this most generous gift.
The current Lodge Carpet was used for the first time on St. Andrews night 1995. The monies to purchase this carpet were raised by Brethren and visitors purchasing a carpet square for the sum of £10 with the four corners being sponsored for £25. A framed print of this carpet with the names of all who contributed to its purchase hangs on the South wall of the Lodge.
1997 The baton used by the Director of Ceremonies in carrying out his official duties was presented by Bro. James G. White P.M. The R.W.M. Bro. Alan Buchan, on behalf of the Lodge, thanked Bro. White for this fine gift.
1999 Having passed away early in 1999, the widow of Bro. James Collington P.M. donated his Past Master's jewel to the Lodge. As a permanent tribute to Bro. Collington, a member of 53 years standing (36 years as a Past Master), the brethren decided this jewel, presented to him in 1964, should form part of the Master's regalia and will now be worn by all future Masters of the Lodge.
Non Operative Furnishings
1868 One of the oldest items in the possession of the Lodge is an inlaid Mother of Pearl Japanese Jewel Box used for the storage of thevarious items required for the Mark Ceremonial. Whilst no record exists to indicate the origin of this fine piece of work, it is recorded in the Inventory of Lodge Property in 1868.
Also in that inventory was the Engraved Copper Plate for the Lodge Circulars or Summonses. The current whereabouts of this Copper Plate are not known.
1870 The R.W.M. Bro. E.L. Wilson presented a handsome and richly bound photo album enclosed in an Oak Box polished with brass inscription that reads 'Bruce and Thistle Lodge Bannockburn '312''. Whilst this fine album is still in pristine condition, it is regrettable to record that it has never been utilised as intended.
1893 Within this inventory of Lodge property, reference is made to "one Jute screen". This refers to the image of King Robert the Bruce on the printed screen that is situated on the South wall. This is a rubbing taken from the brass plate that was placed over the tomb of King Robert the Bruce.
The Latin text around this screen states that King Robert was re-interred in Dunfermline Abbey in 1818 and the brass plate was placed on top of his tomb in 1889, 560 years after his death. The picture above left hangs in the Lodge. The picture to the right is a copy of another rubbing depicting the complete plaque.
1915 During the Great War it was decided that a Roll of Honour be compiled of all members of the Lodge engaged in serving King and Country. This Roll of Honour hangs in the East of the Lodge.
1945 On his return from active service with H.M. Forces in 1945, Bro. Lieutenant Hector Livingstone presented the Lodge with a new gavel. This gavel was made of white stone obtained from King Solomon's Quarries and was described by Bro. John Turnbull, R.W.M., as "a unique and highly prized addition to the Lodge property". Whilst not in actual use, this gavel is stored with the implements used for the Mark Ceremonial.
1984 In recognition of the long association between the two lodges, the Brethren of The Thistle Lodge of Glasgow No. 87 presented a silver tray to Lodge Bannockburn Bruce & Thistle No. 312 and at the same meeting conferred Honorary Membership upon the R.W.M. Bro. Alex Buchanan. This tray is used on formal occasions such as Installations and other dinners.
1993 Upon returning from an overseas visit in 1993, Bro. William Bateman presented the Lodge with an inscribed Masonic Clock. This clock was a gift to the Lodge from his brother, a reigning Master in Canada. In accepting on behalf of the brethren, the R.W.M. Bro. Richard G. Buchanan charged Bro. Bateman to convey the thanks and appreciation of all at Lodge Bannockburn Bruce and Thistle to his brother. This clock is located on the South wall of the Lodge.
1995 The R.W.M. Bro. David Drysdale of The Lodge of Alloa No. 69 along with two of his brethren presented the Lodge with two perfect ashlars. In accepting these, the R.W.M. assured them that they would be placed in a prominent position at all meetings.
The Right Worshipful Master's Board that hangs in the East and bears the name of every Master in the Lodge's history was unveiled in 1995 by our senior P.M. Bro. James Collington. On that occasion the R.W.M. Bro. James G. White expressed the thanks of the Lodge to Bro. Collington for the unveiling ceremony and to Bro. Alex Buchanan P.M. for his efforts in having the board stained, varnished and written up with the names of the one hundred Masters to date.
1996 To mark the bi-centenary of the death of Bro. Robert Burns in 1796, Grand Lodge produced a limited edition set of 1,000 prints of the inauguration of Bro. Robert Burns as Poet Laureate of Lodge Canongate Kilwinning in Edinburgh on 1st March 1787. This is a copy of the original painting that hangs in the museum of Grand Lodge. The R.W.M. Bro. Alan Buchan purchased No. 312 of this print, signed by The Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason Bro. The Lord Burton, had it framed and presented to the Lodge. This now hangs on the South wall of the Lodge.
1998 Bro. Alan Rodger, P.M. of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No. 76 and an Honorary Member of '312' presented to the Lodge the framed Past Masters apron of his Grandfather Bro. James Rodger who was Master of '312' in 1937 - 38.
1999 The most recent acquisition in the Lodge was made in 1999 when Bro. Grahame J. Smith P.M. presented a limited edition numbered print of Bro. Robert Burns bearing a copy of the Bard's signature. This also has a Certificate of Authenticity signed by a direct descendant of Jean Armour. This print has now been framed and hangs in the East of the Lodge