On the evening of Thursday 13th September, after much deliberations and negotiations, and at a cost of £600, the members of 374 would move back to their spiritual home in Bridge Street and would draw a line under an important chapter in our history.
Possibly one of our most unusual election nights occurred during our time in the Co-op halls whereby we had literally a head to head election with two brethren. On 8th December 1921 the present RWM Bro James McGuire, on being informed the WSW would not be progressing, expressed his desire to carry on for another term in office. Another PM of the Lodge, Bro James B McDonald, was also nominated and so a vote ensued. The two brethren in question then retired from the lodge with IPM Bro Henry Boyd occupying the chair. The votes taken by ballot were then counted and the results were declared as — Bro McGuire, 50 votes — Bro McDonald, 50 votes. Bro Boyd, acting RWM, then unenviably had the casting vote which he gave in favour to Bro McGuire. Bro Alex Cochrane then enquired if it was in order for a presiding official other than the RWM to give a casting vote. It then required the Bro Secretary to read Grand Lodge Law No. 43 which stated that the RWM or Presiding Official had a deliberate and casting vote. The two brethren were then re-admitted and the result announced. Bro James B McDonald then 'wished to become the first to congratulate the RWM on his re-election and, although he had been defeated in a close fight, he would support him to the best of his ability' - Here's to brotherly love!
The Rev Bro Charles Watson's installation as Chaplain in 1921 would, in some ways, reflect freemasonry's relationship with the Church. The local minister would remain in office for many years and conduct the appropriate affairs of the lodge. The brethrens obvious affiliation to their respective places of worship would be highlighted by the many church and Masonic divine services they attended accompanied frequently by our visiting brethren and more often than not headed by the Crofthead Brass Band. The Rev Bro Watson's duties would also extend to funerals many of which would be, at the deceased's brothers' request, with full Masonic honours requiring the
Lodge to have full control over proceedings.
The early part of the last century would see one brother literally monopolise the ceremony of installation. Bro Robert Gould PM (whose occupation was listed in the roll book as a traveller) held sway as principal or senior installing master for an incredible 31 years (1907-1938). At our annual meeting (installation) in December 1927, Bro James Graham (secretary) stated he had received a parcel from Bro Gould containing a letter for each of the brethren present in celebration of his 21st year as installing master and has asked the RWM permission to hand them round, which was granted.
Bro Gould's gift to the brethren was none other than a photo of himself in Masonic regalia!
Likewise, prior to the close of the meeting, PM William Wood on behalf of the lodge presented
Bro Gould with a case of cutlery, a case of fountain point pencils, an umbrella and a wallet of treasury notes as a token of esteem for his services as installing master for the past 21 years.
War would once again play a major role in our history. There is however, due to the unknown whereabouts of many our records, a lack of detailed minutes of the 1939/45 conflict. The first mention we have minuted is from 25th March 1943 with RWM John Mill presiding.
Secretary Bro J Kinniburgh read a letter requesting a donation to provide books for the 'men of the mine sweepers!'.