Benevolence and Charity


Shining through the records, however presented, is the fact that Lodge Bannockburn Bruce and Thistle has been ever-mindful of charity - with top priority always being given to the less fortunate brethren, in sickness or other distressed circumstances, their widows and orphans.

The Brethren of the Lodge have always been ready and willing to give a practical token of their sympathy to those in distress. Whilst it would neither be possible, nor desirable, to recount every instance of benevolence recorded within the minutes, certain events are worthy of specific mention.

1907  On request from Lodge Iowa in Canada where he was then residing, the Lodge agreed to pay for the medical treatment of Bro. Thomas Bartram, a member of Lodge Bannockburn Bruce and Thistle, who was afflicted with typhoid.

1908  The Lodge made an Annual Donation of one guinea to Glasgow Royal Infirmary, the sum having been set at the level required to "entitle the Lodge to one patient". This donation was made on an annual basis up until 1939.

1909  A payment of £5 to the widow of Bro. George McCormack to enable her to start a small business to support her family.

1913  Two guineas were donated to the 'Star of the East' Lodge No. 880, Ionian Islands, Greece, under the Grand Lodge of England, on behalf of brethren of that Lodge who had been made homeless after an earthquake.

1914   During the Great War Years a number of donations were made to various causes including the Belgian Refugee Fund and the Provincial Grand Lodge of Stirlingshire fund for the endowment of a bed at the new National Hospital.

During this period the Lodge of course also looked after its own. Donations were made for the comfort of Prisoners of War such as Bros. John Wilson and William Cook, members of Lodge Bannockburn Bruce and Thistle.

In addition the Lodge sent Christmas Parcels to all members engaged in active service.

1921  £5 towards a communal soup kitchen in Bannockburn.

1922  The Lodge lost three members, Brothers John Barlow, John Hunter and W.S.W. William Lennie in the Plean Pit explosion. £10 was donated to the Disaster Fund and provision made for the widows and families.

1939  It was unanimously agreed to make an annual donation of two guineas to Stirling Royal Infirmary and to cease the annual donation of one guinea to Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

1953  A donation of £5 was made towards the supply of a television and wireless set for the use of the patients at Bannockburn Hospital.

1967  The sum of £200 was donated towards the third Masonic Home at Dunblane.

A donation of £15 was made to the two Boys Brigade companies in the village.

1981  Such was the poor state of the Lodge's finances, that for the first time in recorded history it was decided to regrettably decline all external charitable appeals. The Lodge, however, continued to make its annual donations to the Grand Lodge and Provincial Grand Lodge Benevolent Funds as well as the Masonic Homes.

Whilst the ability to make charitable donations was curtailed, this did not prevent the Lodge assisting the community whenever possible.

1982   A Prize Bingo night was organised to raise funds to purchase a special hearing aid for a local child.

A donation of £100 was made to the Plean Wheelchair Fund which had been established for two needy persons, one of whom was a brother of Lodge Bannockburn Bruce & Thistle.

1988   The Lodge Members and the patrons of the Social Club donated sufficient funds to purchase chocolate Easter Eggs for the residents of Bannockburn Hospital. This has been repeated every year since then, when the R.W.M. accompanied by Office-Bearers and Honorary Member Bro. Alex Smith have visited the hospital on Easter Sunday to personally hand out the eggs to the elderly residents and to give a small harmony in the lounge.

The first of what has become Lodge Bannockburn Bruce and Thistle's Annual Charity and Cabaret night. This event, organised by the Junior Deacon Bro. John Rankin, raised the sum of £220 which was donated to the Local Handicapped Children Fund.

Since 1988, Bro. John, (now a Past Master), has run this event on an annual basis, raising in excess of £6,000 for local charities thanks to the generosity of the Artistes who give of their time free of charge and the support of the Lodge Members and Social Club patrons.

Bro. Alex Buchanan P.M. also organised a sponsored walk in aid of local charities. This event raised £265.

1989  The Annual Inter Lodge Sports Night raised £150 which was donated to Bannockburn Hospital. This is an ongoing event with local charities being the recipients of all monies raised.

The second Annual Charity and Cabaret night raised the sum of £453 for The Whins of Milton School.

1990  £100 to the Stirling Royal Infirmary Heart Machine Appeal. This was augmented by a further £100 raised in the Inter Lodge Sports Night held later in the year.

1996  The Lodge donated the sum of £1,100 to the Dunblane Appeal. This money was raised by Lodge Members, visitors and patrons of the Social Club who supported a Gentlemans Smoker. All in attendance proved to be extremely generous on that occasion. This event had originally been intended to assist with funding for the Lodge's 175th Anniversary in 1999.

The Ladies Section have always been very involved in supporting the Lodge in whatever way possible such as organising raffles, prize bingo nights and Ladies Nights.

One of the most recent examples of the Ladies fund raising ventures to benefit the community was in May 1999 when the Ladies of the Lodge raised the sum of £762 for the support of a young girl suffering from a serious respiratory illness. These monies were raised by various events including the running of a Prize Charity Bingo night.