History

Lodge St. Andrew Kilmarnock No. 126

History Chapter 2

"A State of Total Darkness ..."

Lodge 126 History
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LODGE HISTORY COMPILED FROM THE RECORDS 1771 - 1994
BY BRO. ROBERT GHEE LODGE SECRETARY
TO MY MOTHER LODGE
ST. ANDREW KILMARNOCK NUMBERING ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY SIX
ON THE ROLL OF THE GRAND LODGE OF SCOTLAND

Sadly there is a break in the records from 1836 - 1852. We can only assume that these records have been lost. It is understood that over this period the Lodge did meet this has only been handed down verbally. There is some indication that some senior members of the Lodge around 1912, were emphatic that the Lodge did meet and gave testimony that they had spoken to old brethren who remember the Lodge meetings. We mourn the loss of 16 years of our masonic history and the great treasures that will remain hidden in the annals of Lodge St. Andrew.
A minute is recorded on the 30th November 1852. The anniversary of St Andrew and the election of office bearers. The meeting took place at brother William Caldwell's St. Marnock Street.
Extract
30 - 11 - 1852
"The brethren paid their quarterly accounts, the meeting went on in the greatest harmony and was visited by a deputation from St. James Lodge and like-wise from St Clements Riccarton, the usual toasts and songs were gone through, the meeting broke up at 11p.m. and the brethren retired to their respective homes." The above minute records a visit from the St. James Lodge, this was St. James Nethertonholm Kilmarnock instituted in 1818 which held the number 274.
28 - 3 - 1853
"A meeting of emergency was held on Monday 28th March for the purpose of sending delagates to the provincial meeting Br. Patrik Thomson and brother David Brown were appointed and to receive eight shillings for expences." Signed Ambrose Cuthbertson Secy. For a number of years the Lodge led a nomad existance moving their meeting places from members houses to local inns. Three well known hostels are mentioned as meeting places of the Lodge "The Turf Inn", "The Shaw Inn" (which was situated in regent street) and "The Black Bull Inn". At this time it was not uncommon that brethren from one local lodge be affiliated to an other local lodge as the following extract records. 26 - 11 - 1853
"Afterwards brother James Wood, Robert Wood and Robert Hynes of St. James Lodge Netherton Holm No 274 was solemnly affilliated into this body viz St Andrews Lodge Kilmarnock No 126."
Signed Ambrose Cuthertson Secy
The above extract is also unique that it records the number 126 for the first time as the number of Lodge St Andrew Kilmarnock.
The numbering of lodges is indeed complexed, there was much confusion and many inaccuracies by Grand Lodge in assigning numbers. There has always been a great respect and esteem placed by members of all lodges to their lodge number. It would be appropriate that a short passage be included regarding the history of this complexed subject.
It is not known with any certainty when the Grand Lodge of Scotland first assigned numbers to the Lodges on her roll. In the first two minute books of the Grand Lodge of Scotland her daughter lodges are invariable referred to by their names. It is not until we come to the fourth minute book (as the third minute book is lost) that we find Lodges referred to by their numbers as well as their names.
From the evidence at present available it would deem that numbers were assigned to lodges between the years 1756 - 1769. On the 21st March 1769 a charter of confirmation was issued to the lodge of Lesmahagow and the charter states that this lodge was No22 on the roll. The first printed roll of lodges holding of the Grand Lodge of Scotland assigns the number 3 to Lodge Kilwinning Scots Arms which was certainly dormant in 1756. From this it may be presumed that numbers were assigned at least by that date if not before it.
The minutes of Grand Lodge state that in 1737 the Lodges were placed upon a roll in order of seniority, this roll cannot now be found but it is probable that it formed the bases of the numbering scheme, at the time when it was first introduced. Certain Lodges which are known to have been chartered do not appear to have carried numbers at any time and it must be presumed that they were no longer active, when numbers were first assigned as the first roll was made up in 1737.
To use that date as being the date of the first enumeration although already said numbers were probably not assigned to lodges until as late as 1756. The first enumeration 1736 - 1756 remained in use until 1816, with certain changes which took place in 1809. The changes of 1809 were due to the return to Grand Lodge of Lodge Mother Kilwinning and the addition to the roll of the daughter lodges under her jurisdiction. This took place in May 1808 and as part of the agreement between Grand Lodge and lodge Mother Kilwinning the latter lodge was placed at the head of the roll with the number "0". The Kilwinning subordinate lodges were placed at the foot of the roll until such time as the roll could be revised and these Kilwinning Lodges accorded a position in it in accordance with the dates of their Kilwinning Charters. There is little doubt that Grand Lodge fully intended to purge their roll in 1809 but the passing of the secret societies act seriously interfered with that intention.
This act permitted the continuance of Masonic Lodges in the United Kingdom but the wording of the clause legalised their continued existence was so framed as to apparently prohibit the setting up of any new Lodges until the passing of a later secret societies act the Grand Lodge of Scotland adopted the procedure of re-issuing the charters of Lodges which were no longer active. The legality of this is open to some question for in at least one case Grand Lodge re-issued a charter which had been lost to a military lodge in the seven year war, it must be clearly understood that in re-issuing these dormant charters the Grand Lodge did not re-issue the numbers. As has been mentioned the Kilwinning Lodges were place at the foot of the roll in 1808.
On the 1st February of that year Grand Lodge issued a charter with the number 299 to Lodge St. Andrews Paisley, the seven Kilwinning lodges were assigned the numbers 299 to 305 inclusive. This 1809 enumeration remained in use until 1816. In 1816 another enumeration was carried out by officials of Grand Lodge in a some-what lax manner. They retained on the roll a number of Lodges that were dormant and removed others which were still active. This may have been due in part to the difficulties of communication in those times. It is certain however that this enumeration caused a good deal of trouble and by 1822 we find yet another series of numbers in use. In 1826 a final and lasting re-numbering of lodges took place and this 1826 enumeration is the one currently in use.
It should be noted however that between 1826 - 1848 all lodges chartered were assigned two numbers one on the 1826 roll and another on the 1809 roll. With these constant changes some lodges have had as many as five different numbers.
Lodge St. Andrew Kilmarnock being one.
Our charter bears the number 165 dated 20th May 1771.
In 1809 this changed to 166.
In 1816 it became 124.
In 1822 it changed to 125.
Finally in the year 1826 we became Lodge St Andrew. Number 126 on the roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland.
The following minute bears witness to the government of the Lodge and the positive steps taken by the then leaders.
5 - 12 - 1853
"A committee meeting was held on Monday 5th December when it was moved and passed that brother Boswell King be suspended for misconduct from his office as Tyler for the ensuing year, and brother R. Woodburn was duly elected in Brother King's stead. Brother John. G. Malcolm resigned his office as senior warden and brother James. R. Wallace was installed into the vacant office. Brother Malcolm was then duly elected Chaplain after harmonising a short time the Lodge was closed at 10p.m."
Signed William Caldwell Secretary
As to what incited the above actions our minutes are once again silent. One of the very early presentations made to the Lodge is recorded as follows.
30 - 1 - 1854
"The monthly meeting was held on Monday 30th Jany the Lodge was opened in due form when brother William Dick presented the Lodge with a handsome chest for to hold the Lodge clothing, jewels, ect. A vote of thanks was returned to him for the gift. The Lodge was closed at the usual hour."
Signed William Caldwell Secy
The following event is uniquely recorded in its frankness.
Extract 13 - 2 - 1854
"A meeting was held on Monday 13th Feb. The Lodge was opened in due form when a letter of resignation was received from our R.W.M. on account of severe sickness, the resignation was not accepted but to mark our esteem for him as a mason and master of this Lodge we consider it our duty to keep him in his situation for the remainder of the year."
Signed William Caldwell Secy
During this period the Lodge room was to move once again this time to Mr Douglas of the Black Bull Inn. Reference has been made on two occasions in our history to Lodge bye-laws, unfortunately there is no record left of these documents. From the records we do know that adherence to these was ambiguous and were obeyed only when it was convenient, each member was a law to himself. Now times were changing so that the attitude of Lodge members, they were aware that new laws were required to govern the Lodge.
There was no doubt that an awareness had grown of their functions as masons in society and began to take a more serious view of their duties as members of the craft. So much so that at the monthly meeting of the Lodge on the 24th June 1854. It was approved that three brothers of the Lodge Bro. Wallace, Bro. Malcolm and Caldwell be appointed to draw up a code of bye-laws for the better regulation of the Lodge. The records show that the new bye-laws were presented to the Lodge at the quarterly meeting on Monday 28th August 1854.
The new laws contained seven headings:
Entry of Candidates, Embezzlement of Funds, Relief to Distressed Brethren, Law of Affiliation, Laws of Lodge Duty, Election of Office-Bearers and General Laws.
The new laws were unanimously approved. To read these bye-laws today we must salute these early law makers, their great fore-sight not only produced laws befitting their time, but many of which have survived into our present bye-laws.
It is now interesting that Lodge St. Andrew had formed a close relationship with the newest of the Kilmarnock Lodges, Lodge Netherton Holm No274. Scattered through the minutes are records of inter lodge visits, many of lodge Netherton Holm members regularly attended our lodge meetings, this may have encouraged many to affiliate to our lodge.
A Sequel to the above.
Extract 28 - 8 - 1854
"A petition was received from Brother Casey of St. James Netherton Holm No 274 for a little support, the petitioner being in distress circumstances. The brethren subscribed liberally and the donation was gratefully received by brother Casey."
Signed William Caldwell Secy
Financial difficulties still continued to press heavily upon the lodge.
Extract 21 - 9 - 1854
"A meeting was held on Thursday 21st September to consider the state of the funds of the lodge. The lodge was opened in due form when a subscription was opened in aid of the funds of the lodge so as to meet any extra outlay which might be required on the anniversary of St. Andrew, when the brethren present subscribed liberally according to their abilities."
Signed William Caldwell Secy
The next minute speaks for itself.
18 - 1 - 1855
"A meeting was held this evening in the hale of the Victoria Inn having changed our place of Lodge meeting in consequence of some dissatisfaction expressed by the brethren as to the conduct of the propritor of our former place of meeting."
Signed Robert Wood Secretary
It was a long established custom that fees paid by entrants were used indiscriminately most of which went to pay for the long harmonies that followed meetings. Many old customs within and outwith the Lodge were now incompatible with the changing times. Lodge St. Andrew was fortunate in having members and office bearers who were deeply conscience of their commitment to the well being of the lodge. Changes were required especially the economical management of the lodge funds. Bold men took bold steps well knowing that many of the steps would be unpopular an extract from the following minute contains a then momentous step so effective and far sighted that it still stands today.
2 - 4 - 1855
"A motion was made by brother John Malcolm that all moneys here-to-fore spent as dues on the making of master masons be entirely abolished and that all such moneys should go to the lodge funds. After a good deal of discussion it was put to a vote of the brethren then present when the said motion was carried by a majority, and ordered to be recorded in the minute book of the lodge."
Signed Robert Wood Secretary
As today's members we must be justly proud as we read the following extract.
16 - 4 - 1855
"On the motion of brother David Brown that considering the shockoned circumstance of our worthy Tyler on account of his wifes illness we should as brothers cordially assist him in subscription being opened for that purpose. It was very liberaley responded to by the brethren and the proceeds handed over to him."
Signed Robert Woods Secretary
"Charity suffereth long, and is kind, charity envieth not, charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things, charity never faileth."
An abrupt period of financial stability must have been reached, consideration was being discussed on the purchasing of new regalia. The records show a great caution by the lodge members in implementing this expenditure, it took three lodge meetings of "Considerable Discussion" before it was approved that four brothers of lodge be appointed to inquire into and give a report to the brethren of the cost. It was also approved that collars be adopted instead of shashes, three prices were to be given, a price for silk, a price for velvet, and a price for cord.
The conclusion to the above is recorded in the following extract.
25 - 6 - 1855
"Bros. Brown, Malcolm, Tait and Phillips, having given in their reports about the new clothing it was resolved that cordeed ribbon collars be adopted and that the aprons stand over to another time. 17 yds of corded ribbon was ordered for the collars from the Albion Clothing establishment Edinburgh. No other business being brought forward the lodge was closed in due form."
Signed Robert Wood Secretary
While a spirit of order and propriety was coming more into evidence within lodges there was still brethren who held allegiance to old ways and continued to hold clandestine meetings and make masons. A unity also existed between lodges in erradicating the lawlessness as the following records.
2 - 7 - 1855
"A meeting was held this evening when the lodge being opened in due form, bros. Sammie, Findlay and Bisset passed degree of fellow craft and in consequence of Br Bisset expecting the route for the crimea he was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason. A deputation from St. James lodge Netherton Holm No 274, visiting this lodge for the purpose of consulting upon an illegal meeting of the craft partly belonging to Kilmk and partly to Louden Newmilns No 51 which took place on the evening of 25th June in the house of John Law baker and spirit dealer guard lane Kilmk. For the purpose of initiating the said John Law into the honble order of free masons. It was resolved that the Grand Lodge should be made acquainted with the circumstances in order that the Kilmk lodges may know how to proceed with the case. No other business being brought forward the lodge was closed in due form at the usual hour."
Signed R. Wood Secy.
A sequel to the above. The records tell us that the response by Grand Lodge was a demand for five shillings. The cost of enquires which would require to be made on the forwarded petition. There is no doubt that the lodge brethren were aggrieved at this reply. The minute dated 17th September 1855 records.
Extract 17 - 9 - 1855
"Attention was then directed to a communication from the secy of the Lodge anent the petition from lodge 126 concerning illegal transactions that had occured in Kilmarnock from it. The lodge learned that the fees on said petition was five shillings which the treasurer was instructed to pay immediately, and the brethren were surprised at the fact that they should have to pay this sum over and above five shillings and six pence for each entrant and five shillings yearly for lodge dues and still have to purchase justice when required. The brethren then agreed that the Grand Lodge act with the petition as they see fit at the same time pleading ignorance of Grand Lodge laws in not forwarding the fees before that time, and that St. Andrews lodge No 126 will give Grand Lodge all information of illegal transactions that come under their notice and let Grand Lodge prosecute as they think fit as the brethren of No 126 have neither the funds nor the will to buy justice at the rate they are led to believe it would cost them, as it appears from Grand Lodge Laws."
Signed R. Wood Secy
"The secretary was instructed to send a copy of the minute of the meeting to Grand Lodge Clerk as the best means of expressing the sentiments of the brethren of St. Andrews No126. In this matter and likewise to state that freemasonry in Kilmarnock had been considerably hurt by their transactions."
Signed R. Wood Secy
There is no further reference to this prolonged chapter in the minute books, the silence may have been deliberate or the importance was overtaken by greater issues. The initiation of the military was continuing.
Extract 17 - 10 - 1855
"A meeting was held this evening in the lodge room when the same being opened in due form Sergent Alex Murray 78th Highlanders was duly initiated."
Signed R. Wood Secy
In keeping with the above minute reference is made in the following extract of military service.
Extract 20 - 11 - 1855
"Brother Philip McMillan then proposed the health of Alex Montgomerie, Esq of Annick Lodge on his attaining the rank of Captain in his majestys 10th Regt of Foot. Brother McMillan having served in his company as sergant during the campain against the Sikhs in India and fought by his side at the battle of Sobraon. The brethren cordially acceded to the same and pledged a bumper (A cup or glass filled to the brim when toasting a guest) with ale the honoured to his deserved promotion from Lieutenant, the Lodge was then closed in due form at the usual hour."
Signed Robert Wood Secy
Benevolence and charity is again record.
Extract 15 - 1 - 1856
"A meeting was held this evening in the Lodge room when the same being opened in due form" "The case of Br Thomas Docherty was laid before the meeting , he being at present very ill with dropsy and unable to attend his usual employment and the brethren considering that he was an old and faithfull brother deem him entitled to their warmest sympathies all the brethren present subscribed liberally towards his assistance."
Signed John Malcolm Secy.
From a brand of knowledge from the past it appears that a letter was read out at the meeting held on the 24th July 1856 from the R.W.M. of lodge Mary's Chapel Edinburgh No1. Br McCowan who was also the representative of the Grand Orient-De-France calling on the brethren to aid in contributing towards a fund to assist French brethren who had suffered during the French revolution, the records show that the lodge members supported this appeal and "subscribed liberally" Meetings of the Lodge were still being called when it suited a particular situation or purpose, there was still no controlling legislation on calling meetings or the limit of degrees conferred at the same meeting. The following minute records such an incident.
4 - 8 - 1856
"A meeting was held on Monday evening 4th August for the purpose of entering Charles Hartley travelling exhibitor. The lodge was opened in due form when on account of the candidate having to leave the town the next day he was accordingly entered, passed and raised to the sublime degree of master mason. The evening was spent in the greatest harmony and the lodge closed at the usual hour."
Signed John Malcolm Secy
The nomadic movement of Lodge meeting places continued for reasons unknown to the George Hotel, which was the most prodigious building and hotel in Kilmarnock (Who's owner was a Brother Alex Stewart). We do know that at the meeting held on the 4th October 1856 that a vote of thanks was given to Bro. Brown the innkeeper of the Black Bull Inn for his kindness and his attention he had
given to the Lodge brethren since the Lodge assembled in his premises which proved that the move was amicable. A new progressive attitude was coming into existance within the Lodge new reforms were being established.
Extract 11 - 11 - 1856
"It was also resolved that for the future all authorised deputations from this lodge to sister Lodges receive two thirds of hire of machine from the lodge funds." From the same meeting the minute continues: "And to guard against unworthy persons being initiated or affiliated into it I move that before any person be initiated or affiliated their respective names be read over the ordinary meeting before their initiation or affiliation and a vote be taken at the meeting following the one they have proposed at and the vote to be taken by ballot."
Signed John Malcolm Secy
The above illustrates once again the fore-sight that the then lodge leaders had and within themselves had the knowledge to make reforms that has with stood the passage of time as many of these are still practised today. At a meeting held on the 20th November 1856 it was agreed that the lodge seek permission from the town magistrates to hold a procession throughout the town at the lodges annual festival of St. Andrew. At the same meeting it was also agreed that a new bible be purchased as the old one through age being nearly illegible. The above statement is so worthy of a place in our history as the old bible mentioned had been continually used since the birth of the lodge in 1771. It was printed by Alexander Kincaid of Edinburgh a famous printer of these times. The bible is still in existence and in fair condition, it remains the honoured treasure of this old lodge. Permission was granted from the magistrates to hold annual procession which was attended by a large number of visiting lodges, an extract from the minute describes this event.
2 - 12 - 1856
"After the prelimmary toasts being gone through the brethren was arranged in order of procession, Junior lodges first and proceeded by Kilmarnock operative printers brass band under the leadership of Br Fyfe. Marched down Portland street, King street, Titchfield street and Glencairn street, when they returned again and on passing provost Dickies house they halted when the band played "God save the Queen", on reaching the relief church the procession turned up St. Marnock street, Bank street, round the monument of Sir James Shaw and thence to the Lodge room."
Minute Unsigned
Europe at this time in our lodges history was still unstable. The French revolution had created a new influence through out Europe. Hungary now demanded its independence from all other Slav nations, it's new leader Lajos Kossuth who was (understood to be a brother of the craft) became its leader gaining independence. History shows that this was short lived he was overthrown by Austria and fled to Britain where he was welcomed as a popular leader. History records "There was much in Kossuth himself, as well as in his cause to attract the enthusiasm of popular assemblages. He had a strikingly handsome face and a stately presence. He was picturesque and perhaps even theatric in his dress and his bearing. He looked like a picture, all his attitudes and gestures seemed as if they were meant to be reproduced by a painter. His great eloquence had won its way into the hearts of the people, and in the course of his itinerary he made a visit to Kilmarnock, and was presented by the magistrates and council of the burgh with an address of welcome. The next minute shows the part St. Andrew Lodge No126 played in the public presentation to the liberator.
15 - 12 - 1856
"A meeting was held to consider the propriety of giving his excellency M.L. Kossuth a cordial reception on his visit to Kilmarnock (understanding him to be a brother) when it was resolved that we meet him in full mason procession on a deputation of the brethren proceeding to meet the members of the committee of managerment they very kindly gave us permission to take precedence of the other bodies who were walking and next to the magistrates and themselves it was then appointed to meet in the lodge room at one o'clock when the bishopfield band would meet us and head the procession to the market when along with the other bodies we would take our order in the demonstration. The secretary wrote to this effect inviting the brethren of Ayr St Pauls No204 and other Lodges in Ayr as also Dalry, Kilwinning, Irvine, Troon and Stewarton Lodges to join us in case they came to Kilmarnock to witness the proceedings. The Lodge then closed at the usual hour."
Signed R. Wood Secy
Clandestine initiations were to continue despite the many warnings given and made by the lodge.
24 - 2 - 1857
"The monthly meeting was held this evening when it was moved by Br John Hendrey and seconded by Br Wood and unanimously carried that Br John Killin and the other members who assisted be summoned to appear before a meeting of the lodge No126 to answer for their conductin initiating 3 candidates in the house of Br Hugh Wales on the night of the 18th inst. In direct opposition to the resolution of the 12th. It was then considered whether the candidates should be considered legally made when it was proposed and carried that the obligation be given them again when it was accordingly administered to Boyd, Grier and Donald McDonald, who were then declared Ent. Apprentices of our honourable order, the lodge was then closed by our worthy depute master in abence of our R.W. Master who was lying very seriously indisposed, after brothers Daniel Borland, Mosses Laird, and David Marshall had passed fellow craft."
Signed R. Wood Secy
A sequel to the above.
The minute dated 3rd March 1857 records that Bro. Killin (mentioned above) the lodge senior Warden appeared before the lodge brethren and apologised for his conduct to the satisfaction of the brethren. In today's light the great indifference shown by the lodge to this serious demeanour only conveys an incongruous past to our present. The following extract is unique and well worthy of preservation, not for it's historical content but for the unusual profession of the candidate.
Extract 28 - 4 - 1857
"The monthly meeting was held this evening when Duncan McMillan's Ventriloquist was proposed by Br Brown sec by the R.W.M." At the same meeting it was agreed that Bro. Wm. officer of Marys Chapel Edinburgh be appointed Proxy Master to represent our lodge at the Grand Lodge of Scotland. The minute continues and refers to one of the great fundamental decisions made by the Lodge leaders. At the meeting dated 9th May 1857 it was proposed and agreed that an altar be acquired. This was undoubtedly an enormous step by our lodge fathers. Religious feelings were strong, Ayrshire had suffered hard during the covenanters and the persecution by the Episcopalian authorities . There were many who's wounds were deep and carried scars to give any alliance to an alter carried a stigma and no doubt was considered a popish practice.
Never the less on May 26th 1857 the alter was used for the first time in Lodge St. Andrew. We of today regard the alter as a masonic symbol, we take every good man by the hand lead him to the alter, we point to the open V.S.L. and urge that he directs his way through life by the light he shall find therein. Ayrshire was now experiencing a touch of prosperity after many years of uncertainty and hardship, it brought with it a new dimension that was added to masonry the need for a social aspect to be cultivated. The following minute records with great eloquence "A day to remember".
20 - 8 - 1857
"A number of the brethren with their wifes and sweethearts left this morning for Troon and joined with the Ayr and Troon Lodges thence proceeded to Ardrossan for the Earl of Carrick S.S. hired for the occation and was there joined by the Lodges from W.Kilbride, Stevenson, Dalry and Ardrossan, thence proceeded Rothesay where the different Lodges having formed in procession accompanied by our brethren of Rothesay St. Johns Lodge, promenaded the bay then proceeded into the interior of Rothesay Castle where the different brothers with their wives and sweethearts parted in quest of refreshments having all again joined on the steamer, she then proceeded round the Kyles of bute who's magnificent scenery was highly appreciated by the brethren, she then proceeded to her different destinations and all of the brethren we are happy to say arrived at home safe after having a most delightfull day the weather having been highly propitious."
Signed R. Wood Secy
The next short minute speaks for its self.
25 - 8 - 1857
"The keys of regalia having gone missing no monthly meeting was held this evening."
Signed R. Wood Secy
The bye-laws of the lodge were again to be altered for what reason the minutes are silent.
What is recorded is that a meeting held on the 27th October 1857 that the bye-law which enact that the R.W.M. or Wardens be ineligible for election for more than two years consecutively except by the unanimous voice of the brethren be annulled, this was agreed to. It is worthy of note that the R.W.M. Bro. Wm. Caldwell who had reigned for two years was to continue as R.W.M. for a further five years. There now comes months of quiet and to all appearances life within the lodge had come to an orderly existence, candidates were coming forward and the stability that the lodge meetings were continuing and being held in the George hotel. There were also signs of prosperity the Lodge as the minute dated 29th December 1857.
It was proposed and agreed that a lodge flag be purchased, on the 21st June 1858. The flag was first presented in the lodge very little is recorded on its design or its appearance other than it was made of silk and by the minute must have carried some detail as a brother Donnelly was congratulated for his workmanship. Bro. Donnelly had presented two designs for the flag, the brethren were so delighted with both designs that it was unanimously approved that the flag was to carry both one on each side. Sadly the records are empty as to the form or manner of design what a great legacy and treasure this would have been today.
10 - 3 - 1858
"The R.W.M. read out an invitation to the lodge brethren to attend the laying of the foundation stone to the new Grand Lodge hall in Edinburgh, this was to take place on the 24th June 1858". This event of great importance to Scottish free-masonry is recorded by the lodge scribe thus.
24 - 6 - 1858
"On this eventful morning, the brethren (as according to resolution passed at the meeting on the 3rd curt) mustered at 6am twenty-eight brethren being present in full masonic costume. The train left at 6.20am and arrived in Edinburgh at 11.20am on leaving the train the brethren assembled in the Caledonia Commercial hotel, and on getting themselves properly clothed, marched in procession to holyrood palace, where they were put into their proper place in the line of procession by the grand marshall. The R.W.M. and Wardens of each lodge being present at the opening of the Grand Lodge on the Grand Lodge being opened, the masters and wardens joined their respective lodges and the procession moved off, led by an advance guard of the 16th Lancers and band. There were 3 to 4 thousand brethren present, and their appearance in full costume, jewels, flags, etc. was brilliant and imposing. The streets were lined by lancers and militia (Shropshire) which enabled the brethren to proceed without inconvenience. The procession advanced up the Canongate and High St to St Giles church where a sermon was preached by the Grand Chaplain Br Arnot. Sermon being concluded the procession moved down the mound, along Princes St until they arrived at George St where the foundation stone was to be laid. The procession being halted, the Grand Lodge with the R.W. Masters and Wardens of each lodge assembled in the enclosure when the stone was laid in due form by the most worshipful Grand Master, his grace the Duke of Athol, accompanied with a salute from the artillery in the castle. The procession was then reformed and proceeded down to holyrood where the Grand Lodge was closed. The brethren having again met in the hotel, to pack up the jewels, clothing, etc. which being done, each took his departure to see the town as they thought best. The train left at 8.30pm and we arrived all safe at 1.30am on the following morning, the brethren are highly gratified at the successful termination of the days proceedings".
Signed Wm. Caldwell R.W.M.
Once again bills came tearing into the lodge and they found themselves in sore straits. At the regular meeting held on the 27th August 1858 the R.W.M. announced that due to the purchase of lodge clothing and regalia the lodge funds were almost depleted and intimated that a subscription sheet had been placed on the lodge table to put the treasurer in funds. The records show that the brethren subscribed in a very liberal manner. The following short and direct.
26 - 10 - 1858
"The usual monthly meeting was called for this evening but very few brethren having come forward the lodge was not opened."
Signed H. Shaw Secy
The minute dated 16th November 1858 closes with the following footnote.
"It was like-wise resolved that two small flags be got to put over the R.W.M. chair and Brs Cogan and Kernahan were appointed to provide the same."
Signed A. Shaw Secy
To what these flags alludes or to their design is lost in the abyss of our history, no further mention is made in the records of these embellishments. The annual festival of St. Andrew was once again celebrated in style, the minute recorded has much flair and poetic vocabulary.
Extract 30 - 11 - 1858
"The town was artistically decorated and it presented a most ellegant appearance. The seats of the R.W.M. the S.W. and J.W. were surmounted with arches of evergreens woven with the most delicate taste, in addition to this there was suspended from the ceiling over the chairs of the R.W.M. and Senior and Junior Wardens, Masonic emblems covered with gold tinsel, and hung round with a great number of variegated lamps, the evening was spent in the greatest harmony enlivined by strains of sweetest melody from an efficient band composed of brethren belonging to Kilmarnock. Songs and toasts went round with great spirit untill the legal hour of closing when the deputations retired and the lodge was closed in due form. The Brethren all apeared in full masonic costume. This was one of the most brilliant and numerously attended demonstrations that has been held in connection with the Lodge St. Andrew for upwards of 40 years, the brethren of this body alone having turned out upwards of 60 members. The total brethren in attendance would be upwards of 100."
Signed Hugh Shaw Secy
To the reader of today it may be disappointing that the first mention of our national bard "Robert Burns" enters our minutes on 6th December 1859, when it was proposed "that Lodge St. Andrew would commemorate the centenary of Robert Burns, The Ayrshire Poet" There is no record that he ever paid the lodge a visit, though the name of St. Andrew Kilmarnock must have been known to him, it is possible that some of our earlier members knew him, as Burns was a frequent visitor to Kilmarnock. The following minute records this historical first Burns Supper to the memory of Robert Burns.
25 - 1 - 1859
"This being the centenary aniversary of the national bard ("Burns"). A great number of the brethren of Lodge St. Andrew and St. Clements who joined on this occassion met in the George Hotel and partook of a scrumptious supper. The room was decorated with flags and banners and various masonic ensignia, above the R.W.M. was a striking likeness of the bard. The brethren all appeared in full masonic costume. After the cloth was removed the lodge was opened by the R.W.M. Caldwell and Brs Cogan and Kerrohan as wardens the usual loyal and patriotic toasts were given and the queens anthem was sung by the brethren standing after which "The immortal memory of burns" was pledged most enthusiastically, other toasts and songs followed by several of the brethren and all together provided a very happy evening."
Signed Hugh Shaw Secy
At this point in time the lodge was represented in Grand Lodge by a proxy master, a brother by the name of Officer who resided in Edinburgh. Owing to Br Officer being elected as warden in his own mother lodge he had to resign as our proxy master. He recommended to the lodge a friend, a Bro. Rodgers who would accept the position as Lodge St Andrew 126 proxy master. This was put before the lodge on 29th March 1859 and was approved by the lodge.
The minute dated 20th April 1859 records that candidates fees "For all three degrees","The sum of one pound six shillings and six pence was payable, if a diploma was requested an additional cost would have to be paid."
At the lodge meeting held on 30th September 1859 it was intimated that the monument in honour of General Neill would be inaugurated at Ayr, with masonic honours. It was agreed that the lodge would attend. The lodge was now beginning to gain a substantial prominence and attracted visitors from all over Ayrshire.
The annual festival of St Andrew held on the 29th November 1859 records that over 250 brethren attended. The record speaks for its self, the fathers and members of the lodge must have felt a legitimate pride. The lodge was now well established and growing in conjunction with its increased knowledge. As already mentioned there are many mysteries hidden within the lodge minutes. They created their own myths and speculations. The following extract is a epigraph from one of these mysteries.
Extract 31 - 1 - 1860
"The R.W.M. then called the attention of the brethren to the case of Br Alexander Hawthorn, as several complaints had been made relative to his connection with the lodge, who stated that he could find no fault with Br Hawthorns conduct in the Lodge, yet the source from which he derived his livelihood could not be overlooked, and after some discussion on the matter the secretary was instructed to write Br Hawthorn and requested him for the good of the craft that he break off his connection with the lodge."
Signed George Brown Secy
For the past few years the Lodge had enjoyed the stability of having a consistent meeting place in the George Hotel. This was to change by the following extract.
Extract 30 - 3 - 1860
"The R.W.M. then called the attention of the brethren of the removal of Bro. John Muir from the George Hotel to the Crown Hotel and said Br Muir had paid great attenshon to the brethren of St Andrews he suggested that if the brethren were agreable the night, remove likewise to the Crown, the brethren were agreable and settled that our next meeting would be our last in the George Hotel."
Signed George Brown Secy
To enlighten the reader of today Bro. John Muir was recorded in the lodge register as a (waiter) and must have been employed in the George Hotel and for reasons unknown took up employment in the Crown Hotel. Adherence to protocol was still being used in an ambiguous manner, all three degrees were still being conferred on candidates at the same meeting, this was usually carried out if the candidate was leaving the town or leaving the country. A consciousness to establish a propriety of decorum within the lodge is recorded in the following extract.
Extract 28 - 9 - 1860
"That he thought it proper that a portion of every meeting night should be taken for that purpose for the benefit of the brethren."
Signed George Brown Secy
The above alludes to a proposed suggestion that some instruction be given to members who may seek election as lodge office bearers, to the respective duties of their elected office. This was warmly accepted by the R.W.M. and brethren. No further mention of this matter is recorded in the minutes, what further action was taken history is mute. While a spirit of order was more in evidence an extract from the minutes records the triviality and most casual manner a decision was made to move the lodge meeting place.
Extract 25 - 12 - 1860
"It was proposed by Br Thomson and seconded by Br Taylor that seeing Br John Muir was leaving the Crown Hotel. The lodge be removed to the George Hotel and that our next monthly meeting be held there."
Signed John Currie Secy
Once again
30 - 4 - 1861
"Usual monthly meeting, owing to the short attendance of the brethren the lodge was not opened."
Signed John Currie Secy
28 - 5 - 1861
"Usual monthly meeting, few brethren being present and no business to transact the lodge was not opened."
Signed John Currie Secy
At the meeting dated 5th June 1861 a communication was received from Grand Lodge with an invitation to attend the laying of the foundation stone of the Wallace Monument to take place at Stirling. The R.W.M. intimated that he would consult with the railway company station master at Kilmarnock regarding travel arrangements by train. To the present day reader a journey from Kilmarnock to Stirling would be of little significance, to brethren of 1861 this presented the most protracted journey, the lodge as a body had ever contemplated.
We must appreciate that the railway system in existance was limited, the first passenger train between Kilmarnock and Glasgow only commenced in 1843. Never the less the lodge was to attend this ceremony.
Items of interest on the above. It was agreed that the Tyler's fare be paid out of lodge funds, as he would be in charge of the lodge regalia. The rods belonging to the lodge was to be painted for the occasion. The train would leave Kilmarnock at 6.30am and the fare 5 shillings.
An interesting presentant took place at the regular meeting dated 6th November 1861.
Bro. Philip McMillan a Bro. of the lodge presented a sword, it is said that this weapon was used by a covenanter at the battle of Drumclog in the year 1679. This artifact is still held by the lodge today.
There must have been a decline in members attending lodge meetings, this is acknowledged in the following extract.
Extract 26 - 2 - 1862
"That we send invitations, letters of our meetings to all the brethren once every three months to whether in arrears or not for the purpose of having better attended meetings."
Included in this minute was a detailed inventory of the lodges possessions and by today's standards we must condescend that lodge St Andrew was affivent in possessions.
Inventory as follows. "Charter and tin case, one alter cover, three desks and covers, two wardens battens, four mallets, two alter cushions, eight silver jewels, twelve satin jean aprons, ten leather aprons, nine old aprons, two swords and sheaths, three candle sticks, one lodge seal, one engraved plate for invitation letters, one small compass, one small square, two bibles, two old books, one minute book, one treasurers book, one copy of Grand Lodge laws, one snuff box with engraved plate, one tin box for holding aprons, two wooden boxes for holding aprons, eight committee rods painted, two flags and staffs, two banners and spear points, three ensign flags, five union jack flags, one glazed cover and roller for flags, one blue flag, tassels and spear head and staff, six ornimtal pillars, three orniment arches, six iron brackets for arches, one bust of Burns, one burst of Scott, one bust of Byron, three brackets for busts, one ornimtal gilt compass and square, one ornimtal gilt plumband level, two ornimtal gilt squares, one ornimtal bee hive, four ornimtal stucky figures, ornimtal gilt letter of name of lodge and number, one hot water urn, two heaters, one portrait of lord Loughborough and frame."
It is with regret that the above masonic treasure does not exist today. A sudden and un-expected problem was to be presented to the lodge.
30 - 4 - 1862
"This being the monthly meeting the lodge was opened in due form by the D.M. owing to the R.W.M. having left the town for Australia. At this meeting their was to have been an R.W.M. election but Br Agnew objected to an election at the same time saying it is the Past Masters duties to fill the chair untill the regular night, the election did not take place."
Signed J. Stewart Secy
The above illustrates how versatile the lodge accepted a crisis, it also exemplifies that lodge members were conversant with the rules that governed the lodge. A further step of advancement was to be made by the lodge at a meeting held on the 5th November 1862. The first appointed lodge auditors were recorded. This may have been the first signs to promulgate the financial obligations of the lodge, this may indicate that a quite prosperity was being felt by the lodge. As stated in our earlier records it was the custom of all lodges at this time to issue their own form of diplomas. Grand Lodge had over ruled this old tradition by making it mandatory that all diplomas be issued by and from Grand Lodge in Edinburgh. There must have been refrained discussions within the lodge mostly by the order and senior members who wished to have these diplomas.
This extract records the response.
Extract 25 - 12 - 1862
"It was also proposed to petition the Grand Lodge of Scotland to make the diplomas of those masons that were made before the new act was passed at two shillings and six pence, the same as they are at present."
Signed Robert Richmond Secy
We can only hope that the above was favourably accepted by Grand Lodge, as no further mention is made in the records on this subject. Since the lodges humble beginnings it has always nurtured one of our societies great principals "Relief" as the following extract records.
Extract 29 - 12 - 1863
"A proposition was then made by Bro. Taylor secy and by Bro. Aird that a pitition be forwarded to Grand Lodge for assistance to Bro. Boswell King who is in a very destitute condition."
Signed Robert Richmond Secy
This was the first recorded appeal made by the lodge to Grand Lodge for benevolence on behalf of a brother. It also proves that procedures were now in place for such appeals to be made. What ever circumstances prevailed at this time they were neglected as the next minute records, not only does it contain a vocabulary of great flair but creates an environment of success and happiness.
13 - 2 - 1863
"This being the evening fixed for the supper and ball upwards of thirty of the brethren with their wives and sweethearts met at a third past eight o'clock in the George assembly rooms, music being commenced the brethren tripped in on ther light fantastic untill eleven o'clock when Bro's Walker announced supper, the brethren then retired and partook of supper which was served up in Bro. Walkers usual excellent style, a short time being passed in pleasant conversation and a few songs being sung. The brethren again retired to the hall where dancing was resumed and carried out till an early hour, when the brethren retired to their respective homes highly satisfied with the evenings enjoyment."
Signed Robert Richmond Secy
Free masonry must have been an integerial part of the community contributing to most major public celebrations, on the 26th February 1863 the lodge agreed to join the towns procession to celebrate the marriage of the Prince of Wales to take place on the 10th March 1863.
Extract 10 - 3 - 1863
"The brethren intending to join the procession met in the George Hotel at 10 o'clock am about 46 of them came forward and after getting themselves clothed marched to the field and joined the rest of the procession."
Signed Robert Richmond Secy
Lodges were still experiencing a freedom of propritary from Grand Lodge, candidates were still being initiated and receiving all three degrees at the same meeting, there is no records recording Grand Lodge forbidding this practice, if there were the lodge choose to ignore it.
Extract 6 - 5 - 1863
"Mr James Russell commercial traveller was initiated an entered apprentice, passed fellow craft and raised to the sublime degree of a master mason."
Signed Robert Richmond Secy
The lodge once again was honoured in receiving an interesting and unique gift a relic of our national bard "Robert Burns".
A sequel to the above
Extract 21 - 5 - 1863
"According to the arrangement of last meeting the lodge was opened this evening to entertain Br McWhinnie, before leaving this country for New Zealand. The lodge being called from labour to refreshment and after some toasts had been made the R.W.M. proposed the health and prosperity of Br McWhinnie which was responded by the brethren with great enthusiams, after this Br McWhinnie presented the lodge through the R.W.M. with the mallet which was used in St Davids Lodge Tarbolton when our national bard Bro. Robert Burns was made a free mason. After the lodge had shown their appreciation of the gift it was settled that it should be placed on the table every night that the lodge met and also a small silver plate with a suitable inscription should be placed upon it."
Signed Robert Richmond Secy
It is apparent that the lodge supported a strong kinship with its members and an appreciation and willingness to compromise to circumstances which would render a greater good.
Sequel
1 - 7 - 1863
"A friendly meeting was held this evening to bid farewell to brother Ramochaw, who was leaving for New Zealand, where he was presented with a gold chain with masonic emblems as appendages, as several friends not belonging to the brotherhood were disirous of being present that they might testify their respect for Br Ramochaw the lodge was not opened, to afford them an opportunity of being present."
Signed Robt Agnew Secy
The above minute opens many points for speculation who was brother Ramochaw? There is no mention of this brother in the lodge register as a member. What influenced the lodge to hold this special meeting? And the indulgence on such a fine presentation, sadly this epitome remains a mystry in the lodges past.
New attitudes were being adopted by the lodge concerning its possessions, it was agreed that these be protected and cared for in a more secure fashion. The lodge authorised the purchase of a chest and a tin box for the secretarys books, and the lodge name and number be painted on them at a cost of two shillings and six pence.
The records now show that a request was made to the Rev John Thomson to become an affiliate member of the lodge with a view of becoming the lodge chaplain. Rev Thomson accepted this request and was installed as lodge chaplain on the 5th November 1863. This was the first minister of religion to hold this office.
It is worthy of note the first time this office is mentioned in the minutes was 30th November 1810 and was designated "Priest". Two years afterwards the name was changed to Chaplain. The first recognition of payment to the lodge secretary for his services is recorded on the 25th September 1863 when it was approved that the secretary receive one pound per annum.
Inconsistency still existed, the sudden calling of meetings, which were referred to in the minutes books as emergency meetings most of which were to carry out degrees in a some what hurried fashion to candidates who were leaving the town or the country.
The following is recorded.
Extract 22 - 10 - 1863
"Every corner of the George Hotel being full the meeting was held in the house of Br Crichton's"
Signed Robt Agnew Secy
In today's light the following would indeed be inconceivable, the passing of time has erased this blunt request. Extract 30 - 10 - 1863 "A letter from Br Boswell Piery was read by the R.W.M. asking a loan of 12 shillings. Br Philip McMillan proposed and Br R. Crawford seconded that he get 6 shillings as a gift instead."
Signed Robt Agnew Secy
What may now with some degree of propriety be called an annual report by the lodge secretary.
Extract 5 - 11 - 1863
"During the year there have been 32 intrants and 4 affiliations, 10 of these having left the town and 4 of them the country, farewell meetings were held with Brs Remocham, Symington, Black, Muir, Harvey and McWhinnie. A supper and ball in connexion with this lodge on the 13th of Feby and a grand procession on the 10th of March in honour of the marriage Prince of Wales, thirty of the brethren attended the ball and forty six the procession, all things taken into account the lodge is in a florishing state with good prospects."
Signed Robert Agnew Secy.
Although the lodge records at times may indicate a some what reservatory attitude to Grand Lodge, which may have been influenced by distance. There allegiance as masons supporting one of the great tenets of the craft, brotherly love is recorded in our minutes on the death of the right worshipful Grand Master of Scotland the 6th Duke of Athole. The lodge decided that the then chaplain of the lodge Bro. Rev. R. Thomson would be invited to attend the funeral lodge to be held in Edinburgh at the lodges expense. It is also worth recording that the Ayrshire lodges response to a memorial service on behalf of the Grand Master, to be held on Sunday 6th March 1864 in the St Marnock parish church Kilmarnock. This service to be conducted by our chaplain Bro. Rev. R. Thomson. The records show that over 2,000 brethren attended this service with many having to retire owing to the capacity of the church. A letter of condolence was also sent by the lodge to the duchess of Athole, which is recorded in the lodge minutes. The next minute of importance was the recording that the lodge would send a deputation at the laying of the foundation stone of the parish church at Cumnock.
For the second time within recent years another great welcome was offered by Kilmarnock to a foreign liberator "Guiseppe Garibaldi" the great Italian leader. Arrangements were made to give him a civic welcome St Andrews 126 agreed at a meeting held on 31st March 1864 "That if Garibaldi visited Kilmarnock the lodge would take steps to have a masonic meeting with him". History reveals that the above visit never matured, complications arose and political diplomacy decreed he should leave the country.
The next item of importance, in so far as the masonic life of the lodge is concerned is contained in the undernoted minute.
8 - 8 - 1864
"A special meeting was held to-night for the purpose of taking into consideration the propriety of raising the lodge to that of a Royal Arch. It was unanimously carried that the secretary be instructed to write the Grand Lodge and obtain the necessary information."
Signed R. Fyfe Secy
The result is apparent from the next minute of September 29th 1864 they had received the information required from the Grand Lodge and after "A great deal of discussion" it was agreed "That it be left over for a time".
It is worthy of note however, that up to this period the Mark Degree had never been conferred in St. Andrew Lodge 126 on the minute of October 27th 1864 it is stated the R.W.M. was instructed to write brother Lyon Ayr, enquiring if he would be kind enough to come up and assist in conferring the "Mark and Chair" degree, which the lodge had resolved to adopt from this date.
Thus our lodge now reached the consummation of a properly constituted one, though all these years the reader will have noticed a gradual process of evolution from primitive conditions to a highly ordered form. This may really be termed the climax to all those varying circumstances which had surrounded the progress and fortunes of 126.
It may be mentioned in connection with this matter that the first Mark degree meeting was held on 13th February 1865.
This history while primarily referring to our lodge contains within its borders many peculiarities reflecting the mannerisms of the respective secretaries from whom we are indebted for the data we have had to work on. Their eccentricities in drawing up minutes are also wordful and varied. It has been our pleasure to draw the readers attention to some of their vagaries, not in a spirit of superiority, but as giving us a very human insight into the times in which they lived individualism is writ large in these records, and while the early minutes state in their own homely and inimitable manner the ups and downs of the progress of the lodge. As masons we appreciate that free masonry is a subject that presents more features of interest and more channels of thought for students investigation than any other topic in the world.
An extract contained its own ambiguity known only to brethren of that time.
Extract 26 - 1 - 1865
"Their being a deputation from St Johns No22 present consisting of the R.W.M. , D.M. Poet Laureat and Br Blair"
Signed Robt Agnew Secy
The flair and elegance of the following minute is most worthy of inclusion, the metophoric wording is surely a reflection of contentment which was expressed so ably by Bro. Robert Agnew the then lodge secretary.
17 - 2 - 1865
"What may now with some degree of propriety be called the annual ball of St. Andrews lodge, came off this evening the brethren with their respective partners began to assembled about half past eight o'clock, the music struct up about nine when the company led by Mrs and Bro. Buchanan marched into and around the hall to the tune of the merry masons, then a reel was formed followed by the other dances on the programme which was keenly kept up untill about half past ten when the bell rang for supper. Exercise having produced healthy appetite, the call was cordially responded to and those who had but recently been whirling in the giddy mazes of the waltz so lightly as to seem etherial devoted themselves with such earnestness to the substantialities of life as to prove that they were no airy phantoms but possessed a real corporeal existence and that in whatever respect they might resemble the chameleon it was not in the character of their food.
Of the character of the supper it was superfluous to speak. Br Walkers style of cuisine being too well known to require any eulogy. When the cloth was withdrawn tumblers and glasses were replenished, "The Queen", "The Grand Lodge of Scotland","The Grand Lodge of England and Ireland" and the "Army and Navy" coupled with the halth of Bro. D Brown were given in succession there followed presentations to two brothers of the lodge Bro. D. Brown and J. Thomson with masonic jewels which were subscribed for by the lodge brethren.
The scribe had also seen fit to mention with great elegance and politness this token of gratitude "Honourable mention ought also to be made of one of the young ladies who favoured us with one song at the supper table and another in the ballroom, but as she may not be emulous of having her name immortalized on the pages of a masonic minute book I refrain from recording it here" This memorable minute concludes "By this time the young people were impatient to return to the ballroom to which they marched in order as they had retired from it when dancing was resumed and kept up with spirit untill about six o'clock. Everything being said and done in the spirit of brotherhood and in such a manner as became both men and masons., may we have many more such happy meetings."
Signed Robt Agnew Secy
The following extract records a parable type ending to a lodge minute.
Extract 19 - 4 - 1865
"Being a special meeting there was no routine business brought forward, but an hour was spent very happily in that light which only those who have been blind can see afterwards. The lodge was closed in due form by the S.M.
Signed Robt Agnew Secy
Although the lodge was still experiencing financial restrains the harmony within the lodge grew, their masonic principals were never sacrificed as the following records.
20 - 4 - 1865
"The lodge being met again this evening the R.W.M. in the chair masonry does not corrispond with amassing funds to lie dormant but in doing good as we have opportunity with the meand at our disposal it was proposed by Br Gall and seconded by Br Russell that as Wm McCammore our newly initiated Br is about to leave his native land in search of that health which he had lost in his too ardent pursuit of knowledge, and as amongest his dificulties "Financial ones" may occupy an important place. It would be commendable and quite a masonic act to return him so much of the fees as come into our own lodge retaining only so much of them as are required by the Grand Lodge for enrolement and diploma, carried by acclaimation. Br McCammore was then passed fellow craft and raised to the sublime degree of a master mason. Br Hugh Young being about to sail to South America in the same ship with Br McCammore a few of the brethren in a hurried manner resolved upon presenting him with some memorial of his mother lodge all who could be called upon gave cordial responce and the memorial took shape in the form of a "Gold Pin" with masonic divice and a golden circle having the compasses and square in the centre. Round the circle was engraved this inscription "Presented to Br H. Young from his mother lodge 126 April 20th 1865"
This business to Br Young, with the twenty one shillings to Br McCammore were presented by the R.W.M. in suitable language. Br Young and Br Cammore feelingly replied and after the usual harmonising the lodge was closed in due form by the S.M."
Signed Robt Agnew
For the benefit of the reader very little is known of the two above mentioned brothers.
Bro. William Cammore was the Rev William Cammore who had a licentiate in theology.
Bro. Hugh Young is an enigma. The records record that his designation (draper). He had never held office in the lodge and was only initiated in December 1864. As to why he was given such a profuse presentation the records are mute.
Extract 4 - 5 - 1865
"The R.W.M. read a letter from Neptune Ardrossan 442 asking a deputation to the consecretion of their lodge on Saturday 6th May 1865, resolved to send one."
Signed Robt Agnew Secy
At the meeting held on the 11th August 1865 includes two items of interest. A candidate by the name of George Huchison was proposed at this meeting was seconded and received all three degrees there after "As he was leaving the country". An appeal was read from Grand Lodge for a contribution towards the "Wallace monument fund". The lodge agreed to contribute two pounds.
Extract 22 - 8 - 1865
"The lodge met this evening to hear an invitation from St. Mungo's Mauchline to assist in laying the foundation stone of a parish school. Br Agnew and Br Gall sec. The invitation be accepted."
Signed Robt Agnew Secy
Once again we see the calling of an emergency meeting as a convenience.
Extract 15 - 9 - 1865
"The lodge being duly constituted Br P. Smith proposed and Br Bussbi seconded that Mr Wm. Sutherland be admitted to the mystries of masonry, no objection being made and as he was only here on a visit from South America where he was to return immediately he was admitted to the three degrees at one meeting."
Signed Robt Agnew Secy
From time to time there appears in the records tribute to a brother of the lodge. At a meeting held on the 2nd October 1865 a masonic jewel was presented to a brother John McCracken. The R.W.M. on presenting this jewel stated . "That while Br McCracken had never been a very demonstrative worker for the "order" he in his own quite way he had perhaps done as much for masonry as more fussy brethren."
Signed Robt Agnew Secy
Little is known of Bro. John McCracken other than he was a (detective officer) his deed and his labours which merited this presentation will forever remain silent unrecorded in the annals of our history. The minute does record "that he was a quiet man who shunned notoriety, an epigraph of many lodges but who's labours surely lighten up the past, we of today admire and claim inheritance to his works.
The road of progress has many turns, the brethren of lodge St. Andrew had over the years acquired a great inward strength, they were able to over come the many disappointments which are doted through out our records, one of which is as follows.
On the 25th December 1865 the lodge agreed that a grand soiree, concert and ball be organised for masons and their friends . It was an indication that the lodge was enjoying some peace and harmony. The venue for this grand event was to be the corn exchange hall in Kilmarnock, a venue of great size and importance. A committee was set up to organise the artists and music, it was agreed that a great deal of advertisement was to be given to this event. A great disappointment was to follow, what was envisaged to have been a great social event turned into disaster.
It seems that lodge St John No22 had objected in not being consulted with the arrangements for this event. Feelings must have been running high, as lodge 22 contacted the provincial Grand Lodge, for reasons unknown the provincial Grand Lodge supported lodge No22 and proclaimed that if lodge St John was not to become a partner in this event provincial Grand Lodge would with draw its support to this event. The records show that lodge St Andrew "Stuck to its guns" and went ahead.
On the 15th February 1866 the grand soiree, concert and ball took place, the soiree and concert was a great success, the ball a complete disaster. Provincial Grand Lodge and lodge St John had persuaded all the sister lodges in the province to stay away, never the less the records show that dancing carried on until 5am.
A sequel to the above.
The records show that a fifteen pound loss was incurred from this event. A paradox completes this episode, on the 7th March 1866 a committee meeting was held to determine the final accounts of this venture.
The secretary adding the following footnote to his minute.
"For the information of his successors the secy thinks it due to himself to say that he had nothing to do with either the tickets or the accounts."
Signed R. Agnew
As to the circumstances allowed the following event to take place, the records are silent. Lodge St Andrew had been given the charter of lodge Glencairn Kilmaurs for safe keeping. We can only speculate that lodge Glencairn Kilmaurs had become dormant. Like most institutes lodge St Andrew was not immuned from discord, from time to time there were some in our ranks who sought out injustices that were of their own imagination, such manifestations were to appear, at a meeting on the 19th April 1866 brought a period of great animosity within the lodge.
The records now show that lodge St Marnock like lodge Glencairn Kilmaurs had for some time become dormant, its charter was also to be in lodge St Andrews possession. It seems that there had been many enquiries from members of lodge St Marnock to Grand Lodge to resuscitate their lodge, this was resisted greatly by some office bearers and members of lodge St Andrew, so much so that a special meeting was called on the 25th April 1866, to air the many grievances that existed between the members of lodge St Marnock and lodge St Andrew. It must be said that lodge St Andrew at this time had become the foremost lodge in Kilmarnock and no doubt some members may have carried a spirit of vanity.
By the minute of the meeting many voices were heard at times the love and harmony of the lodge was not characteristic with masonry. Many brethren of lodge St Marnock could be absorbed into lodge St Andrew. It was intimated at this meeting that some members of lodge St Marnock had written to Grand committee and been granted a new charter, bearing the number 115. This was to cause a great uproar, one brother standing up and shouting that if Grand committee had given this new charter it was unconstitutional only Grand Lodge could issue charters. It appears that the festering sore continued until the 14th February 1867 when lodge St Marnock was resuscitated and given the number 109. A defiant motion was passed by the lodge on the 15th May 1867 to be raised at the August meeting of Grand Lodge, "That lodge St Marnock be put to the bottom of the roll", the motion was doomed to failure and remains buried in oblivion.
So ends an episode in our history, we of today may say lacked masonic spirit, but any criticism expressed today would be a judicious opinion, the recorded facts are important and should not be left hidden otherwise we would be guilty of a great injustices to these early brethren. Today the brethren of lodge St. Andrew and lodge St Marnock exist in complete unity and masonic brotherhood.
As a sequel.
At a meeting held on the 1st November 1866 it had been agreed that the charters of lodge Glencairn Kilmaurs and lodge St. Marnock held by lodge St Andrew be returned to Grand Lodge. Reform and improvements within the lodge for better government were still pursued. At a meeting held on the 9th November 1866 it was approved for the first time that all candidates be balloted , and that one black ball would debar a candidate. At the same meeting the question was again raised on lodge expenses, money was still being spent in a indiscriminate manner, old traditions being hard to break, as the following confirms.
Extract 15 - 11 - 1866
"Resolved that on and after this date the expenses of the committee meetings be defrayed out of the lodge funds at least to the extent of "one round" first a/c five shillings and ten pence."
Signed Robt Agnew Secy
The extent of lodge St Andrew Kilmarnock popularity is shown by the attendance at the lodges annual festival held on 28th November 1866 the records show that 75 lodge members attended with 155 visiting brethren. Deputation's were received from Kilwinning No0, Newmilns No51, Kilmarnock No22, Riccarton No202, Troon No86, Stewarton No127, Tarbolton No135, Mauchline No179, Cumnock No230, Ayr No138, Dalry No290, Irvine No149.
It maybe worthy of note that two of the above lodges no longer exist and sadly are removed from the roll of Ayrshire lodges, Lodge St Mungo Mauchline No179 and Operative Ayr No138.
The usual toasts were given and enthusiastically received by those present, altogether the festival passed with great friendship and reflected great credit upon the brethren of lodge St Andrew. Once again we are struck with the originality of the writers of the minutes, the records inserted in this history are not intended for ridicule but give an index to the men who were secretaries at this time. The next extract no doubt unconsciously written and totally alien to the lodge workers of today.
Extract 27 - 3 - 1867
"An application from Bro. Simpson and Smith was read asking the loan of thirty shillings from lodge funds, the answer was direct "That all the lodge funds are required"
Signed Robt Agnew Secy
Our records again bear witness to the perpetual dogma that was ever present, the unpaid fees of candidates. Strong action was again promised on defaulters. The harshness of the following extract gives an insight to the exhausted patience of the lodge leaders.
Extract 5 - 9 - 1867
"That the secretary be instructed to intimate to all those who are owing their initiation fees that if not paid to him within fourteen days from the date of said intimation that legal proceedings will be taken for its recovery."
Signed Robt Agnew Secy
On the 24th September 1867 the lodge received an invitation to assist at the laying of the foundation stone of the new fever hospital and infirmary in Kilmarnock. On the 11th December 1867 an unusual invitation was received. This was from the provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow to their annual festival. The records show that a vote was taken if the lodge should send a deputation and if so they should pay their own expenses. An amendment was raised that if a deputation was to attend the lodge would pay their third class train fare. The amendment was carried.
An unusual request is now made to the lodge for what purpose the records are silent.
Extract 24 - 3 - 1868
"The R.W.M. read a note from Blair Lodge Dalry requesting the loan of lodge St. Andrews flag."
Signed J. Watson Secy
An invitation was received to assist at the laying of the foundation stone of the new Newton on Ayr mission church on Friday 5th June 1868. A further invitation was received to assist at the laying of the foundation stone of Lainshaw Railway viaduct over the Annick Water on the 3rd August 1868. The following minute contains a number of anomalies.
15 - 3 - 1869
"The lodge met this evening the R.W.M. in the chair, on the lodge being opened, Br John Armour proposed and Br Robert Torrance of Troon Navigation seconded Mr Mathew Mackie, Galston as a candidate, which was agreed to and carried that he should be brought into the lodge and initiated and passed and raised as he was about to leave the country. He was brought in and put through the three degrees and his diploma handed over to him the same week, after refreshment the lodge was duly closed by the S.W."
Signed John Watson Secy
On the 15th April 1869 the lodge received an invitation to assist at the laying of the foundation stone to the museum erected by Mrs Coats of Paisley. The lodge agreed to attend. This took place on Monday 26th April 1869. A minute recording that a number of lodge brethren left Kilmarnock railway station at 11am for Paisley. Great credit must be given to these earlier brethren who showed great devotion and commitment to their lodge duties. As the records show deputation's were continually being invited to public events, these included the laying of foundation stones, and the opening of new public buildings, many of which took place during the working week. This undoubtedly meant the loss of work and loss of earnings. Never the less through out the lodges history the brethren have kept unimpaired and an abiding sense of duty which has been handed down and entrusted to the present.
At the annual election meeting held on Wednesday 3rd November 1869 Doctor James McAllister a local Doctor was elected R.W.M. It has always been the custom that on the night of the lodges annual festival the lodge room was highly decorated.
The following minute makes the exception.
Extract 23 - 11 - 1869
"The committee met tonight and after due consideration agreed to recommend that no decoration be gone into for this season which would be a saving of about three pounds, other arrangements as formerly"
Signed John Armour jun. Secy.
The festival was duly held on Tuesday 30th November 1869. The lodge scribe recorded a full minute of this annual event. Two lines of which are not only worthy of recording but show his literary dilettante, "The brethren enjoyed themselves as only the sons of light can do untill the hour of high twelve"
Signed John Armour jun. secy.
At a meeting held on Wednesday 21st December 1870 the R.W.M. made a few remarks on the new lodge in Hurlford receiving a charter from the Grand Lodge in Edinburgh. For the next year the lodge existed in an orderly fashion peace and harmony reigned to all appearances the life of the lodge was now assuming a more reasoned and orderly continuance.

The lodge was now about to celebrate its centenary very little is recorded in the minutes regarding the preparations for this unique event. The first recorded meeting held to consider this forth coming event was held on the 15th March 1871. Where a committee was elected to oversee this event. Great faith must have been placed on these brethren to carry out this momentous task in such a short time. It would have been a great legacy as well as a great insight to the lodge if records had been recorded on the many aspects of these arrangements. History records that the centenary and festival meetings were "outstanding" showing great credit to all the members of lodge St. Andrew No126.

So ends chapter two.

To: The brethren of my Mother Lodge, in compiling this history my first intention was to go into as much detail as possible, but the language and style in which our history is recorded would have been a mammoth task. Since the work I embarked upon was aimed for the Lodge reader I had to be restricted by length.
The dictate of the above imposed the most difficult decision in my endeavours, what should be included and what should remain hidden in our records. The choice made with much difference was individual.
The History of Lodge St. Andrew, though individual touches many facets, references are made to the town of Kilmarnock and the harsh social conditions that surrounded the Lodge in the early years. The ravish of wars and their aftermath left their influence on our minutes.
The extracts I have recorded are in the original phraseology taken from the minute books. The spelling penned by the scribes remain unaltered, any alteration would be a false imitation of their minutes.
I have tried to tell in plain language what I myself have learned from our records and give an interest to the brethren who have not had the opportunity to study this great heritage that we today are the custodians. If, unwittingly, I have transgressed in any interpretation of these records, or in any way offended, I offer my sincere apologies.
R. GHEE.

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