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The late Bro George P Calderwood's anniversary gift to the lodge would merely scratch the surface of this remarkable man's generosity towards 374. Although a resident of California for a large part of his life his affinity towards his mother lodge never diminished. His frequent return visits would also invariably be accompanied by a handsome cheque for lodge funds. The ornate gavel he presented at our 125th was a part of a gift which included our two wardens' columns and two collection plates, all of which are still used at our meetings. At a meeting on 13th November 1997 Bro Secretary, James B Gilmour Snr, read a letter from Bro G P Calderwood's Family Trust in Long Beach, California wishing to bequeath, as part of his legacy, $5,000 to 374 funds. This overwhelming gesture was, needless to say, accepted by the members of a grateful lodge.

 

The Lodge building, since its completion in 1863, has undergone many internal and external alterations and refurbishments. By the late 1970s the members decided they had literally 'outgrown' their original purpose built Temple. On Wednesday 11th November 1981 Bra Adam Boyd PM informed the management committee that, following many months of discussions, he was now in possession of plans for the new extension to the building which had been passed by the WLCC Building Committee and proposed commencement, all things being in order, will be March 1982. A quote was then accepted from Nethan Valley Construction Limited for the supply and construction of the timber framed kit. Money to finance the project was a major issue. Funds of the lodge were not sufficient enough to cover the costs of the extension. A substantial loan was then obtained by the RWM Bro Jim Hendry and the trustees of the lodge from Dryburgh Breweries. The members of the lodge also contributed with jumble sales, buy a brick, sales of work and sponsored darts matches. They were also responsible or excavating the foundations on Saturday 5th April 1982. PM Adam Boyd informed the committee that by undertaking this work themselves they had saved the lodge in the region of £5,000. The members resourcefulness was shown by a small dumper truck that assisted them for the duration of the project then sold on for the same price they purchased it! The voluntary work of the members of 374 cannot be understated. Without their assistance the lodge would have been perilously close to financial ruin. This is probably best summed at a management committee meeting on 26th January 1983 when it was decided that all donations to charities be suspended until at least the end of the current year and letters go out to all members, on Bro W Francis' (treasurer) advice, requesting contributions due to the present financial situation of the lodge.

 

The following evening brought the curtain down on our old temple as it hosted its last regular meeting. RWM Bro Andrew Smart, in his closing remarks, stated it was the 'end of an era'. DOC Bro Charles Woodhouse PM, in reference to the RWM's brief resume of the lodge, added that it was

'his belief that the future history would be as successful as the past'. The members' departure did not necessarily sound the 'death knell' for the upstairs temple, it still remains to this day an integral part of the building. The small multipurpose function room is still used at our annual Installations by our Installing Board. It has also, over the years, served many organisations including our Royal Arch Chapter No 286.

 

Our inaugural regular meeting of the new temple took place on the 10th February 1983. Two weeks later on the 24th the RWPGM Bro Alex Fraser and his large deputation were welcomed into the lodge by our RWM Bro Smart on the occasion of their annual visitation. On concluding his report Bro Fraser congratulated the Lodge on the erection of their beautiful new temple praising 'all who had worked so hard and efficiently to complete this task in such a short space of time', and stated that 'the temple is indeed a credit to the Lodge and a feat of which they can be justifiably proud'. He also announced that he would return to consecrate the new temple on Saturday 26th March.  The PGM did return on Saturday 26th March to conduct the 'Ceremony of Consecration' where the minute book records that Bro Fraser and his deputation entered the temple in procession. He then took up the Chair and opened Provincial Grand Lodge in due and ancient form. Our RWM, Bro Smart, was then presented to Bro Fraser.

Bro John Graham, a MM of 374, was then presented in his capacity as Grand Superintendent of Provincial Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Linlithgowshire (the late Bro Graham's son Royce is also a PM of 374). The PGM once again, ably assisted by Bro Rev W Sutherland PG Chaplain carried out the 'Ceremony of Consecration' in their usual impeccable manner,  at the conclusion of which the brethren sang the second paraphrase.  Bro Fraser's contribution to our new temple would not end with his endeavours at our consecration. A stonemason by trade he is also responsible for the beautifully crafted commemorative stones embossed in the temple wall which he generously

gifted to the members of 374.