HISTORY OF THE LODGE

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE FIRST 100 YEARS OF LODGE ST COLUMBA, GOVAN No 729 by PM JOHN W ANDERSON.

The idea of forming a new Lodge in Govan, first began when a number of Brethren came into the District to work in the Shipyards and Factories.

These Brethren formed a Committee, and they first met on October 20th 1885.

They were mostly members of Lodge St Andrew No 465, and Lodge St Clair No 362. After many Committee Meetings, it was decided to plead for a Charter to the Grand Lodge, naming the Lodge St Columba, Govan.

The name originated from the Church of St Columba, Govan, which could be seen from the Masonic Temple in Burndyke Street, where the committee met. Eventually the Grand Lodger granted our Charter on 10th May 1886 and our Lodge was born.

FOUNDER MEMBERS

The undernoted Brethren were the original Founder Members of Lodge St Columba, Govan No 729.

Four Members of Lodge St Andrew No 465, and Three Members of Lodge St Clair No 362.

John Fyfe, James Mills, William Robertson, James Barclay, Alex Campbell, Alex McDonald and John Montgomerie.

After studying the Lodge Minute Books etc, I would like to put on record, that from the very beginning we received the upmost kindness and assistance from the Past Masters, Office Bearers and Brethren of Lodge Govandale at Govan No 437, even inviting us to share their meeting place in the Masonic Hall, Burndyke Street, Govan, which we did until in 1918, when the two Lodges moved to the newly built Govan Town Hall at Merryland Street.

THE FIRST REGULAR MEETING.

The first meeting of the Lodge was held on 10th May 1886 in the Masonic Hall, Burndyke Street Govan, which was owned by Mrs Cosserr the Printers of the Govan Press. At that meeting Forty-Two Brethren were affiliated to Lodge St Columba, Govan No 729. Most of these Brethren were from Lodge St Andrew No 465 and Lodge St Clair No 362. They voted to decide the Lodge Colours, Thirty Seven voted for Maroon, Nineteen for Blue, so it was decided that Maroon would be our Colour.

We salute the Brethren of yesteryear faithfully and somewhat anxiously, for as automation takes command of our day and our Generation, no doubt it could be possible to present the next 100 Years with less exacting research, and at the same time reflect more realism and detail.

Every step that we take, truly imparts we are Masons indeed, who study the Arts, with each Member striving to characterise men who are faithful and ever so wise.

THE OFFICE BEARERS OF LODGE ST COLUMBA, GOVAN No 729 IN THE FOUNDING YEAR 1886.

JOHN FYFE

RIGHT WORSHIPFUL  MASTER

JAMES BARCLAY

DEPUTE MASTER

JAMES CURRIE

SUBSTITUTE MASTER

DANIEL SPROUL

WORSHIPFUL SENIOR WARDEN

JAMES LUKE

WORSHIPFUL JUNIOR WARDEN

GEORGE STIRLING

SECRETARY

JOHN DALLAS

TREASURER

JAMES BUCHANAN

CHAPLAIN

WILLIAM ROSS

SENIOR DEACON

THOMAS WEST

JUNIOR DEACON

WILLIAM LIVINGSTON

ARCHITECT

SAMUEL McLINTOCK

JEWLER

WILLIAM CAMPBELL

BIBLE BEARER

DANIEL LAMONT

SWORD BEARER

DUNCAN McCORMACK

STANDARD BEARER

DAVID MOYES

DIRECTOR OF MUSIC

DUNCAN BROWN

PROV GRAND STEWARD

JAMES ALSTON

SENIOR STEWARD

MALCOLM LOGAN

JUNIOR STEWARD

JAMES ADAMS

INNER GUARD

JOHN TEMPOLEMAN

TYLER

POINTS OF INTEREST 1886 - 1986

The following points of interest are extracts taken from the Lodge Minute Books etc, over the past 100 Years.

10th May 1887 : Lodge celebrates the First Anniversary with Dinner and Smoker attended by over 100 Brethren. This was repeated over the years as the Lodge gained in strength and Membership.

4th April 1890 : Wardens' Columns and 3rd Degree Emblems presented to the Lodge by Bro Dr Strathearn and Bro Neil Darroch. 

8th January 1892 :  PM James Currie, the 2nd Master of the Lodge died very suddenly.

20th December 1894 : Office Bearers Photographs and Masonic Plaque presented to the Lodge, unfortunately they seem to have been lost during the passing of time.

23rd January 1900 : Local Lodges decide to raise Initiation Fees from £2 to £3. Collections for Boer War Fund to assist our Brethren in the Forces.

1901: R.W.M. intimated the death of Queen Victoria, Lodge in mourning, Lodge invests £ 500 with Govan Burgh and Masonic Hall Company of Glasgow.

1902 : Lodge ran concert in aid of the Brethren injured in the Ibrox disaster. Corination Service to Govan Parish Church.

20th September 1902 : Lodge St Columba, Govan No 729 assist at the laying of the Foundation Stone of the Pearce Institute, Govan by Sir William G. Pearce.

11th August 1903 : Elder Park Library opened. Local Lodges were represented at the opening.

1902 - 1908 : During these years the Brethren of the Lodges in the Glasgow Province came close together by inter visiting, not only to confer Degrees, but for sporting activities and also socially. This has carried on to the present day.

12th May 1908 : Beautiful carved Mallet made from a beam of the original Lodge Room of Lodge Mother Kilwinning was presented to the Lodge by Bro. J.campbell. This has since been lost to the Lodge. Govan Burgh Band engaged for the Lodge Divine Service. Lodges 437 and 729 agree to instal electric lighting in Masonic Hall, Burndyke Street.

9th April 1909 : First apology found minuted. June : Desk, Alter and Columns presented by Right Worshipful Master, Bro. R. Robertson.

May 1910 : R.W.M's Gold Chain purchased. P.M's agree to add links every year at their own expence. The R.W.M.'s Gold Chain of Office, Desk, Alter and Wardens Columns are still in use at the present day.

20th October 1910 : Enquiry into the character of candidates was first instituted.

4th Auigust 1914 : First World War and many of the Brethren answered the call. Many never returned.

1914 - 1918 : Relief War Fund and Roll of Honour instituted. Local Lodges raise funds to purchase Red Cross Ambulances for War work.

1916 : Lodge 437 and 729 book the Lyceum Theatre for Concert in aid of War wounded.

February 1917 : R.W.M. Bro. William McCartney survives the sinking of S/S Calufornia by " U " Boat.

1916 - 17 - 18 - 19 : These were very busy times for the Lodge.

In 1916 - 103 Entrants were made, In 1917 - 128 Entrants were made, In 1918 - 152 Entrants were made, In 1919 - 181 Entrants were made.

1918 : Lodge moved to the New Govan Town Hall where we still meet today.

1918 : Bro. R. Anderson of Lodge St Columba, Govan No 729 is awarded the D.C.M.

June 1992 : Local Lodges treat War wounded Brethren to Dinner and a Concert in Govan Town Hall. First Installation Programme Instituted.

1926 : Over 100 Brethren emigrate in search of work due to the severe depression. 

1930 - 1938 : This was a very sad period for our Lodge. Ten P.M.'s died and also many of our Brethren.

1939 : Second World War declared and again many of our Brethren joined the forces.

1943 - 1944 : Lodge start many fund raising schemes for servicemen.

7th May 1946 : Diamond Jubilee of Lodge St Columba, Govan No 729 celebrated by dinner in Marlborough House, Shawlands.

April 1947 : Gifts presented to wounded Brethren and Brethren returning to the Lodge.

1952 : R.W.M. intimated the death of King george V1. All Lodges in Scotland were in mourning for three months.

1953 : Corination of Queen Elizabethg 11.

January 1954 : Lodge notified that Six of our Brethren who had emigrated to other Countries have acheived the distinction of being Installed into the Chair of their adopted Lodges.

1957 : Lodge visited by an American Lodge from Trenton, New Jersey, who confered an exemplification of the 3rd Degree. So great was the demand from the Brethren to see this, that we had to book a large hall for the occasion. How many ? Over 800. Trenton Lodge present a beautiful Illustrated Bible to the Lodge. This Bible is used at the Installation of the R.W.M.

March 1962 : Steward's Jewel presented to Bro. Andrew Tweedle for long service, 25 Years as Provincial Steward.

January 1971 : Second Ibrox disaster. 66 died and over 200 injured among whom were some of our own Brethren and friends.  

23rd January 1979 : Provincial Grand Master, Bro. Brian Brown, visits the Lodge for the purpose of presenting P.M. Bro. Alan Gibson with his Past Provincial Grand Senior Wardens Jewel.

1982 : Lodge Centenary Fund Instituted.

10th May 1986 : Lodge Centenary.

ADDRESS TO OUR BRETHREN.

Brethren May 10th 1986 is probably the most important date in our Masonic Calendar. One Hundred Years ago our Charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland was presented to the Lodge. That very same Charter is still in use today. There have been many changes since that great day and I am happy to say that the spirit and enthusiasm shown by our early Brethren through the years is still very much in evidence today. Brethren, our duty is now to the future. We owe a great debt to the Brethren who have passed the Lodge into our hands. Today with so many other attractions, our job is much harder. Therefore I appeal to you to support your R.W.M. and his Office bearers and work with a determination to keep Lodge St Columba, Govan in the forefront of Free Masonry in this Provence and a Lodge to be proud of.

I would like to take this opportunity of thanking all our Brethren and friends, past and present, who have helped to make this, our Centenary Year a very pleasant milestone in our long andf illustrious history.

Fraternally yours.

John W. Anderson. P.M.

            Office - Bearers 1985 - 86

Bro. Harold F. Goodwin

Right Worshipful Master

Bro. Duncan C. Robertson

Immediate Past Master

Bro. John Anderson P.M.

Depute Master

Bro. William Watson P.M.

Substitute Master

Bro. Fredrick Littlejohn

Worshipful Senior Warden

Bro. Brian Horne

Worshipful Junior Warden

Bro. James Clark P.M.

Secretary

Bro. John Weir P.M.

Treasurer

Bro. Abel S. Gray P.M.

Almoner

Bro. John McKenzie P.M.

Chaplain

Bro. Alexander Docherty

Senior Deacon

Bro. John Aitken

Junior Deacon

Bro. Duncan C. Robertson P.M.

Director of Ceremonies

Bro. William Dunlop Sen.

Architect

Bro. Robert Clark

Jeweller

Bro. Donald Mcneil

Bible Bearer

Bro. James Milton

Sword Bearer

Bro. Thomas Robertson

Director of Music

Bro. Thomas L. Robertson

Organist

Bro. James McCall P.M.

Marshall

Bro. Robert Rae

Standard Bearer

Bro. David Freeburn

Inner Guard

Bro. Donald McCorkindale P.M.

First Steward

Bro. Gerald Yuill P.M.

Tyler