The first 25 years

This is a brief retrospect of the past 25 years of the Lodge.

In the early months of 1975 Bro. Bob Bryant, a Past Master of Lodge Albert Edward No. 592 and Bro. Bill Stevenson of Lodge Union No. 332 approached several brethren in the area about forming a lodge in the Mearns District. The response was very favourable and the Provincial Grand Lodge of Renfrewshire East was contacted regarding how to apply for a petition to form a new lodge and with tremendous help and guidance from Bro. A Hutchison (Thorntree No. 512), Provincial Grand Depute Master and Bro. A Murray (St. John Busby 458), Provincial Grand Secretary, the wheels were set in motion and meetings were held as often as were required, the name of the Lodge and the colours, along with the office bearers for the first year were decided. The Lodge colours would be blue and the office bearers were as follows:

OFFICE BEARERS 1975–76

R.W. MasterBro. Robert Bryant (P.M. 592)
Depute MasterBro. John Wallace (P.M. 307)
Substitute MasterBro. George Rice
Senior WardenBro. Alex Crawford
Junior WardenBro. James Kidd
SecretaryBro. William Stevenson
TreasurerBro. James Gibson
AlmonerBro. Angus Gifford
Senior DeaconBro. Graham Humes
Junior DeaconBro. David Anderson
Inner GuardBro. Kenneth Graham
ChaplainBro. David Graham
Director of CeremoniesBro. Robert Kirkwood
JewellerBro. Thomas King
ArchitectBro. William Jamieson
Bible BearerBro. Hugh McDonald
Sword BearerBro. Robert Noble
Director of MusicBro. Duncan Keegans
MarshalBro. David Sutherland
Standard BearerBro. John Renwick
President of StewardsBro. David Mitchell
First StewardBro. Andrew Humes
Second StewardBro. Matthew McQuaker
TylerBro. Matthew Kelso

The Lodge would meet on the first and third Thursday of each month from September to May inclusive. It was decided after much discussion to ask Lodge St John Busby No. 458 and Lodge St Conval Giffnock No. 1359 to be our sponsor Lodges.

We received the necessary petition from the Provincial Grand Secretary on 21 August 1975 which would require the signatures of all founder members complete with their respective Lodge numbers and Lodge constitutions so that their names will appear on the Charter of the new Lodge.

A meeting was held on 18 September 1975 for the signing of the petition, collection of clearance certificates and founder member fees of £30 per person. The main hall, committee rooms and kitchen in the Fairweather Hall were booked from September 1975 to May 1976 for our meetings and Saturday 29 November 1975 was booked for the Consecration Ceremony and Installation of Office Bearers.

A lot of hard work was put in by the Office Bearers deciding the ritual and learning all the parts they would be doing in the opening and closing of the Lodge plus their parts in the Degrees.

Our Charter was granted by Grand Lodge on 6 November 1975 and on Saturday 29 November 1975 Lodge Newton Mearns No. 1706 was consecrated by the late Bro. Ralph Denholm, Provincial Grand Master of Renfrewshire East with the late Bro. Robert Bryant of Lodge Albert Edward No. 592 as the first R.W.M.

In the first few years after being formed our Tuesday evenings were spent at the Waterworks on the edge of Fenwick Moor where Brother Bob was in charge and we carried out our rehearsals and instruction class etc. without any disturbances. During those years a lot of effort was put in by the Brethren running fetes, raffles, dances, Burns Suppers and anything else we could to build up our funds, but as we all know, in this area there was no way we could buy land for building but the money in the fund has stood us in good stead over the last few years when our finances were a bit tight.

The Lodge was dealt a huge blow on 25 October 1986 when Bro. Bob Bryant P.M. was carried to the Grand Lodge above. Some of our Brethren seemed to lose heart after this and founder members kept dropping off. As with other Lodges we have gone through a sticky patch but thanks to the Office Bearers who have been in office the last few years we have pulled through and things look brighter for the future.

Alex Crawford P.M. & Founder Member of Lodge 1706

Bro Bob Bryant's spirit lived on with the annual presentation of a trophy for Masonic Excellence. This trophy was awarded to that Brother whom the Lodge felt had contributed most to the Lodge over the previous twelve months.

At the Annual Installation in November 2005, Lodge history was made when Bro Muhammad Din was installed as Right Worshipful Master of the Lodge, the first Moslem ever to attain this rank in the Province of Renfrewshire East.

Installation, November 1978

Installation of RWM William McLeod in 1981

Installation of RWM John Fleming  in 2004, accompanied by Bros Tony O'Neill, Tom Edgar and Billy McLeod (left to right)

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