Miscellaneous Items


This section of the book recounts a number of entries in the minute books which for varying reasons are worthy of recording.

During the 1800's the Lodge was opened for the transaction of all business coming before it and for the entrance of candidates. The Lodge then went from Labour to Refreshment, under the guidance of the Bro. Junior Warden, when Harmony was conducted.

This might explain the poetic and light hearted manner in which the Bro. Secretary recorded the closing of the Festival of St John meetings in 1866 and 1867. On both occasions the Festival was followed by a Masonic Ball. After the last dance the Brethren returned to Labour in order to close the Lodge.

1866   It was recorded that "the dancing thereafter commenced and was kept up with great spirit by the Brethren till the Doric Pillar was on its level when the Lodge was closed in due and ancient form".

1867   "The Lodge was put under the care of the Junior Warden when the Brethren enjoyed the balmy influences of the Sunny South and were thereafter called from Refreshment to Labour when the Lodge was closed in due and ancient form".

1870's In the late 1800's through to the 1920's, an annual inventory of the Lodge's possessions was taken, the contents of which are very interesting and portray the times in which the brethren lived. Included within the various inventories were 38 Toddy Ladles, 34 Toddy Tumblers, 43 Dram Glasses and 3 Spittoons!!

1874   With the approach of the Lodge's 50th Anniversary, the Lodge Committee deemed it inadvisable to have any public demonstration such as a torchlight procession or parade. Instead it was agreed that any celebration be held back until the evening of Winter St.John.

On 29th December 1874 the Lodge celebrated its 50th Anniversary with Bro. George Watson R.W.M. toasting the success and prosperity of Lodge Bannockburn Bruce and Thistle No. 312. The R.W.M. also gave a short historical sketch of the Lodge to the assembled Brethren. In closing he stated that "The Lodge has had its years of adversity as well as its years of prosperity but the latter had fairly predominated and he hoped that its career in the future would show an equally fair balance on the prosperous side when summed up at the expiry of another fifty years"

1877   The proposal by the Grand Lodge of Scotland to raise fees was discussed within the Lodge at which time it was agreed that if carried "it would virtually prevent any candidates coming forward, the present fee being already sufficiently high".

1902   A telegram was sent to Her Majesty Queen Alexandria at Buckingham Palace expressing that "We, the Brethren of Bruce & Thistle Lodge No. 312 tender our heartfelt sympathy to you in the present illness of our Beloved Patron of Scottish Masonry". This was a reference to King Edward VII, whose portrait to this day still hangs within the Lodge. A subsequent reply was received from Buckingham Palace that "The Queen thanks the Brethren of the Bruce and Thistle Lodge No. 312 for their kind sympathy". Whilst the minute does not record the illness sustained by King Edward VII, his biography records he had an appendix operation in that year.

1942   The Lodge Secretary Bro. John G. Wilson P.M. was called up for active service in the Royal Air Force. Bro. Wilson was thanked for his long service to the Lodge as an Office-Bearer, Master, Past Master and Secretary.

On Christmas Eve Bro. James Wilson R.W.M. expressed the hope that "before the next Christmas season came round, the present Great World War would be brought to a successful finish by a glorious victory for us and our Allies and that our brethren presently serving in the forces would return safely home again and join with us in the celebrations of victory and a lasting and permanent peace".

1943     Bro. James Wilson was installed as R.W.M. for the fourth successive year.

1946   Bro. Pentland F.C. Black, Chaplain of the Lodge and Minister of Cowie Church, was thanked for services rendered to the Lodge upon his leaving to take up a new charge in Arbroath.

1947   Two Past Masters of the Lodge, Bros. James Wilson and James Plank conferred the Entered Apprentice degree on their sons Bros. George M. Wilson and James Plank Jnr.

1972   Bro. James S. Gardner was installed as Master - a ceremony observed by his father Bro. William Gardner, a member for 50 years.

1973   It was proposed that the Re-dedication Service be held in the Masonic Hall on Friday 1st November 1974 and the 150thAnniversary Ball in Dunblane Hydro on 8th November 1974.

The R.W.M. Bro. James S. Gardner presented Fifty Year Membership Diplomas to twelve Brethren, one of whom was his father Bro. William Gardner. The other brethren were Bro. Henry Leitch (61 years); Bro. Roderick S.Kerr (54 years); Bro. George Penman (54 years); Bro. Charles Whitfield (54 years); Bro. Robert Stevenson P.M. (53 years); Bro. Harry Stevenson (53 years); Bro. William Lochiel (52 years); Bro. Angus Mulroy (52 years);  Bro. Thomas Ross Wighton (51 years); Bro. Thomas Walls (51 years); and Bro. Charles L.Martin who received his Diploma from his son, Bro. P. Martin, a Past Master of the Lodge.

In December 1973 Bro. James Alexander Smith was installed as R.W.M. of the Lodge and became the reigning Master for the 150th Anniversary Year.

1981   Bro. Andrew Lindsay Cuthill was initiated into the Lodge, following in the footsteps of his father, four brothers and two brothers in law. Four of these Brethren progressed to become R.W.M. of the Lodge, namely Bros. William Cuthill (1986-87); Harold Bedborough (1987-88); Andrew L. Cuthill (1990-91) and Richard G. Buchanan (1992-93)

1984   The R.W.M. Bro. Alex Buchanan composed a song entitled 'My Father Was A Mason' in honour of Freemasonry in general and Lodge Bannockburn Bruce & Thistle in particular. The words of this song are printed at the beginning of this book.

1986   In August 1986 the R.W.M. Bro. Alexander Buchanan held a Reigning Masters Degree, the first time such a meeting is recorded in the Lodge Minutes. The Masters who assisted Bro. Buchanan were from Lodges Ancient Stirling No. 30; Stirling Royal Arch No. 76; Abercromby No. 531; St.John Tulliallan No. 598 and Buchlyvie No. 1268.

1990   Bro. William A. Smith was presented with his 50 year Diploma by the R.W.M. Bro. Gilbert Clarke.

1994   In December 1994 the Lodge held a Reigning Masters Degree with the Masters of Lodges Ancient Stirling No. 30; Alloa No. 69; Stirling Royal Arch No. 76; Zetland No. 391; Abercromby No. 531; St.Servanus No. 771; Ben Cleuch No. 782; Craiginnan No. 850; Clackmannan No. 1303 and Camelon No. 1456 all assisting the R.W.M. of Bannockburn Bruce and Thistle to confer the E.A. degree on one candidate. This is only the second recorded such meeting in the Minutes of the Lodge.

During this meeting the R.W.P.G.M. Bro. Colin T. Wyse presented Bro. James Collington P.M. with his Diploma on his appointment as Honorary Grand Jeweller of The Grand Lodge of Scotland. On behalf of the brethren of the Lodge, the R.W.M. Bro. James G. White invested Bro. Collington with an inscribed collar and jewel which Bro. Collington stated he would wear with pride.

1995   Bro. Alex Smith, an Honorary Member of '312', had the rank of Honorary Provincial Grand Organist bestowed upon him by the Provincial Grand Master Bro. Colin T. Wyse. This was a well earned honour conferred upon a brother who had assisted many Lodges over a number of years.

The Lodge was greatly honoured when in June 1995 the R.W.M. Bro. James G. White was invited to reply to the toast "The Daughter Lodges" delivered by Bro. David D. Laing W.S.P.G.M. at the Dinner following the Installation of the new Provincial Grand Master Bro. John McLeod Sneddon.

Six months later in November the Lodge and the Province were further honoured when Bro. White was invited to reply to the toast "The Daughter Lodges" delivered by Bro. Arthur O. Hazel at the Festival of St. Andrew following the re-installation of Bro. The Right Honourable The Lord Burton, the Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason. The Festival was held in The Sheraton Hotel, Edinburgh with some 400 brethren in attendance.

1996   On March 14th 1996 the Lodge observed one minutes silence in memory of the 16 infant school children and their teacher who were killed by a gunman at Dunblane Primary School the previous day.

In September 1996 the R.W.M. Bro. Thomas McGown Cochrane presented 50 year diplomas to Bros. James Collington P.M.; Robert Barr P.M.; A.Scott; A.Beattie; W.McPherson and A.McAughtrie. In presenting the diplomas the R.W.M. thanked these brethren for their support over the previous 50 years and expressed the hope that they would all be with us for many years to come.

1997   In September 1997 the Lodge observed one minute's silence in memory of Diana Princess of Wales who had been killed in a car accident in Paris. The R.W.M. Bro. Alan D. Buchan visited the offices of Stirling District Council where he signed the Book of Condolence on behalf of the Brethren.

1998   In December 1998 Bro. Alexander Don was installed as R.W.M. of the Lodge and became the reigning Master for the 175thAnniversary Year.

1999   In March 1999 the Lodge visited The Royal Scottish Masonic Home at Ault Wharrie, Dunblane. A demonstration of the E.A. degree was worked by the R.W.M. Bro. Alexander Don and his Office Bearers. This visit was greatly appreciated by our Senior Brethren and the desire was expressed that this visit would be repeated in the future.