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                                                        PAGE 8


The 'swinging sixties' brought prosperity to the area once more, due in no small measure to the British Motor Corporation (B.M.C.) in Bathgate. Freemasonry, without doubt, reaped the benefits. Within the space of nine years, four new lodges were consecrated in the Province of Linlithgowshire (1587,1601,1614 and 1658) the first operative lodges for over forty years. Following much correspondence, 374 became sponsors once again to the second of the four newcomers - Lodge Lord Bruce No 1601. A letter was read on 12th September 1963 by our secretary Bro Alex Finch inviting the members of 374 to the 'Consecration and Erection Dinner' of 1601 in Whitburn Miners Welfare Hall (although held in Seafield Institute Hall on 16th November).


Six months later on 26th March 1964, RWM Bro William Pilmer headed a large deputation of 1601 brethren into 374 to confer the First Degree at the invitation of our own RWM Bro John Henderson and the members of the lodge. Our ties remain to the present day.


At the time of writing all of the brethren of 374 look forward to the visit of the MW Grand Master Mason Bro Sir Archibald D. Orr Ewing to join in our 150th year celebrations. It's eagerly anticipated that he will be the first ever Grand Master to grace the lodge by his presence. Technically, however, this is not entirely accurate. On Friday 28th May 1971 our own RWM Bro Alistair Forrest, along with a number of PMs and members of the lodge, welcomed the Grand Master Mason Bro David Liddell-Grainger and his distinguished deputation consisting of the Depute Grand Master Bro Doctor Ian H Thomson, who was also at the time PGM of Linlithgowshire, JGW Captain Robert Wolrige, Grand Marshall Bro Alex Pennycook, Grand Secretary Bro A J Buchan and Assistant Grand Secretary Bro Stuart Falconer.


There being no signatures in the attendance book, as this was part of a 'whistle-stop' tour of Lodges in Scotland by the GM and his entourage to view the ongoing refurbishments within the building which included our new lounge. On leaving, the deputation, as minuted by our secretary Bro Harry Paxton, 'expressed their delight at the work that had been done and about to be done on the premises'.


The late spring of 1981 would bring the beginning of a new chapter in our history. On Saturday 7th May our RWM, the effervescent Bro Anthony M B Russell, opened the lodge and welcomed the brethren present to our 125th year anniversary celebrations. There being an exceptionally large attendance the lodge was extended into the lounge downstairs and the small lounge adjacent to the Temple. The ceremony was relayed to these rooms by means of closed circuit television. Bro DOC Charles Woodhouse PM then retired and introduced deputations from Lodge Blackfriars, Newcastle 7556 E.G.; the Reigning Masters of the province and the Masters of our sponsor lodges, Bro T Watson No 236 and Bro C Kennedy No 270. The D.O.C then presented Bro George P Calderwood MM 374 who was also a PM of Lodge Long Beach, California No 327 who then presented the RWM and the brethren of 374 with a beautiful ornate gavel which he had crafted from a piece of black walnut with a suitably inscribed gold band to commemorate our 125th anniversary. Bro Calderwood also made a presentation of a cheque for £100. The Grand Lodge of Ireland were also represented in the persons of the local minister Bro Rev C McCurdy PM. A large and distinguished deputation was then introduced from the PGL of Linlithgowshire headed by their RWM Bro Alex Fraser. Following the usual formalities Bro Fraser ably assisted by Provincial Grand Chaplain Bro Rev William Sutherland carried out the ceremony of re-dedication of the Temple and the lodge furnishings in an 'impeccable manner'. At the conclusion of the ceremony the brethren made their way to Fauldhouse Community Centre where they enjoyed an excellent dinner followed by an evening of song, toast and harmony.


The official festivities and celebrations having ended many of the brethren decided to return across the road to the lodge for a 'nightcap'. Shortly after arriving back they received a visit from a member of the local constabulary just to remind them that as they left in the wee sma' hours of the morning that the village would be asleep and requested kindly to keep the noise down. The officer was then offered a small 'refreshment' of his choice which he duly declined on the grounds that he had many hours to go on duty. Well, legend has it that just two hours later the same officer stood in the middle of the floor, his chequered hat in one hand, a large glass of his favourite tipple in the other, singing at the top of his voice 'I'm Nobody's Child'!





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