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                                                    PAGE 6


Many of the brethren would be initiated, passed or raised while home on leave from the forces. One such member was a Mr George Deans Grant, a professional footballer who resided at 49 Croftfoot Drive, Fauldhouse. Bro Grant was initiated into freemasonry on 26th August 1943. Less than 5 months later on 13th January 1944 RWM Bro George Hamilton intimated to the brethren that Bro Grant, one of our youngest members of our lodge, had been killed in action on the 'Italian front' on 6th January. The RWM asked the brethren to be upstanding and observe a minute's silence then afterwards stated they had received a letter from the late brother's wife thanking the lodge for their sympathy.


In 1943, outwith the war, the lodge would sustain the loss of two well known PMs. Bro William Wood and Bro John Hardie, two of the central characters in the long running dispute of the ownership of the lodge. Both well worthy of a mention and a place in our history.


The end of the war would see an upsurge in candidates, a situation similar to the servicemen returning from active duty in 1919. It seems the lodge gave the brethren a meeting place where they would once again have the camaraderie and companionship, and no doubt regale in stories, of their time in battle.


Chief Petty Officer William Robertson was one of those servicemen returning from active duty with the Royal Navy. Willie was initiated in 1946, he then relocated from Scott Place in Fauldhouse to Broomhouse, Edinburgh some time later, where he affiliated to The Edinburgh Defensive Band Lodge No 151, and became Master thereof in 1962. Willie never forgot his Masonic roots. On the evening of 17th November 1962, at the invitation of the RWM Bro David Swan and the members of 374, he headed a 30 strong deputation of 151 brethren to confer the third degree on two candidates. Willie's recollection of the evening is of the heavy snow which hampered their journey on a double decker bus back to the Capital. It took almost exactly 35 years to reciprocate the working visit. On the evening of 18th November 1997 the RWM of the E.D.B. Bro Dougie Sneddon welcomed our RWM Bro William Steel and his large deputation from 374, including the IPPGM Bro Jim Hilditch (HM 374) in his capacity as PM of 927 who also played a part in our labours, to confer the First Degree. Our deputation travelled into the Metropolitan District (now P.G.L. of Edinburgh) that evening in the knowledge we were on the thresh-hold of something special. Lodge St John Crofthead Fauldhouse No 374 became the first lodge in the 215 years existence of 151 to be invited to confer a degree. At the close of the historic meeting Bro Steel, in reference to the lodge’s connections through PM Willie Robertson, presented the RWM and brethren of the E.D.B. with an engraved quaich to commemorate the occasion. The previous year, on 26th September 1996 at a regular meeting in 374, well over 100 brethren representing over 20 lodges gathered to pay tribute to the great man in celebration of his 50 years in freemasonry.


A deputation was also present from P.G.L. headed by the RWPGM, Bro Jim Hilditch, who had the great pleasure of presenting Willie with his 50 year diploma. (well symbolically anyway, as it hadn't arrived in time!). It was a great personal honour for myself to be invited by our RWM Bro Jim Crawford to say a few words to Willie and present him with an apron and sash as a small token of our esteem and respect from the members of 374. The harmony which followed was held in the temple rather than the lounge, such was the demand from the brethren to join in the further tributes. We even had a special glass put aside at the top table so that Willie could place his false teeth in when he was singing! Now in his 88th year, and Chaplain of the lodge, his dedication remains unswerving.


Some of our members were local prominent businessmen. Bro Thomas Hume, who served as master in 1947/48, was the village grocer for many years and his store at Eastfield, although now operating under different owners, is still commonly known as 'Humes' store'. After demitting office as master he still remained active within the lodge. He is survived by his family who still reside within the village and his namesake grandson Tom who still attends the lodge.




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