|LODGE ALBERT LOCHEE 448, DUNDEE, SCOTLAND|
|History of the Lodge from 1931 - 1994|
On the 28th October, 1931 the new halls were consecrated. The report next day in the Courier & Advertiser read -
Dundee Mason’s New Halls
Lodge Albert’s Premises Consecrated
An Ambition Realised
The new Masonic suite erected by Lodge Albert (No. 448) at Tullideph Road, Lochee, was consecrated by Bro. Thomas Lyell, M.C., Provincial Grant Master of Forfarshire, last night.
So great was the desire on the part of the brethren of the Lodge and members of other Lodges to take part, that admission had to be restricted to ticket-holders, and many who came to the hall in hope of “finding a corner” had to be disappointed.
In carrying out the ceremony of consecration, the following Office-Bearers of the Provincial Grand Lodge, assisted the Provincial Grand Master:- Past Provincial Master, A.J. Ramsay, Dundee; deputy acting P.G. Chaplain, William Harvey, Dundee; substitute P.G.M., James Macrae, Dundee; S.W., C.J.S. Samson, Monifieth; J.W., Ernest Watt, Montrose; Secretary, H.H. Souter, Montrose; Treasurer, D.M. Burdon, Dundee; Director of Ceremonies, John T. Dickson, Dundee and Director of Music, P.G., Organist, William Whyte, Friocheim.
In the course of an impressive consecration oration, Bro. William Harvey said he sometimes thought that the purpose of such an oration as that was not so much a mark of the fact that a new building was being set aside for the use of Masonry, as to give them an opportunity of rededicating themselves to the great work in which we are engaged.
For after all, Masonry is not a matter of temples, beautiful though they might be. Neither was it a system of signs and grips and words, honoured as these might be to the brethren.
Masonry was an influence in the lives of men - an ideal to be pursued by all who would be true to their highest nature, by all who were anxious to further the kingdom of God upon Earth.
It was the great virtue of Masonry that while it recognised no creed in religion or code in politics and was deaf to the demands of every sect and faction, it was constantly active in promoting the great principle of Brotherhood which was common to them all, and surely now more than in these days of stress and turmoil was the mission of Masonry something in which earnest men might engage.
At the moment the world was sick unto death. If it was to be saved from utter destruction it would be by the exercise of just those qualities that were woven into the weft of the ancient craft - loyalty to God, to King, and to the Commonwealth.
Following praise and prayer, the Provincial Grand Master and his Office-Bearers formally consecrated the temple to the interest and practice of Freemasonry, by the sprinkling of corn, in token of the divine goodness in the liberal provision made for all our wants, temperal and spiritual, with wine as one of the symbols of strength and gladness, with oil as the emblem of joy and peace which should fill all hearts on the completion of every work of importance.
Before the party proceeded to the spacious dining hall, Bro. J.R. Nicoll, R.W.M. of the Lodge, said that the ceremony they had just witnessed marked an important event in the life of Lodge Albert. It must be a unique event for the officers of the Provincial Grand Lodge to take part in the laying of the foundation stone, as they had done last November, and perform the consecration ceremony during their term of office.
This was the first temple in Dundee to have been built from the foundation, and the brethren of the Lodge should feel proud, after many years of speaking about a house of their own, to know that they had at last got their wish.
The minutes go on to record that -
Thereafter a pleasant evening was spent in harmony, the usual loyal and patriotic toasts proposed, congratulatory speeches by P.G. Master and a varied programme of songs and orchestral music which was greatly enjoyed and highly appreciated.
Three days later, on Sunday 1st November, a Thanksgiving Service was held in Lochee West Church. The Lodge was opened, then adjourned, and the brethren of the Lodge along with the brethren from Sister Lodges in the province, were marshalled by Bro. D. Milne and proceeded in processional order to the Church, where Bro. Hugh M. Agnes, M.A. of St. David’s North Church, preached an inspiring sermon from II Peter, Chapter 3, Verse 17 on “Steadfastness”, exhorting the brethren to be true to their obligations.
On 5th November, David Traill Bruce became the first mason to be initiated in the new temple. He was the son of Past Master D.H. Bruce.
Despite the sterling work he had done during his year in office, R.W.M. John Nicoll could not rest on his laurels. At the annual nomination of Office-Bearers he was opposed for a second term in office along with the Junior Deacon and Organist. Bro. Nicoll won the vote by 74 votes to 42. His opponent hadn’t been on the list of Office-Bearers before, and as far as I can see, never appeared again.
There did not seem to be any real progression to the chair in these days. Usually if you served as Junior Warden and Senior Warden you made the chair, but not always.
The man who followed John Nicoll into the chair came straight from being a committee member only, and the man who had served as Bro. Nicoll’s Senior Warden went no further. This may well have been as a result of the depression, but seems strange today.
Hall lets began to flourish with the help of “snappy” ads on the benefits of the hall advertised in the Evening Telegraph.
Chairs for the Master and Wardens were presented to the Lodge by P.M. H.F. Stewart, P.M. George Smith and P.M. B.S. Paton of Lodge David No. 78. These are still in use.
In May 1933, Lodge Scone and Perth visited to work a third degree. A monthly whist drive and dance became a regular feature about this time.
In January 1934, the R.W.M. received Honorary membership of the Masonic Club, an honour granted to all R.W.M’s in the province then.
It was about this time that names of brethren who I’ve known personally began to appear in the minutes.
The nomination and election in 1934 was the first time for many years that there were no contested offices in the Lodge.
During 1935 and 1936, fund raising efforts took many forms. A special performance by the Muirhead and Birkhill Musical Associates was held in aid of the Building Fund.
A Diddling Competition was a big success in 1936.
On 20th August, 1936, Jim Adams and Robert Clapperton went through their first degrees together.
Jim would later install Robert’s son, Bert into the chair of the Lodge in 1984. Jim should also have installed our present Master, Ian Clapperton, but died the previous year. His installation was carried out by Bro. Bert.
Another point of personal interest for me was the presentation of a Past Master’s jewel to Stewart Wilson on 28th January, 1937 when I was just nine days old. That jewel was later presented back to the Lodge by Stewart’s daughter, Jean Harvey, and was the jewel presented to me when I became Immediate Past Master!
The first mention of war appeared in the minutes in 1938. Brethren joining the colours were to hand names to the Secretary so that a Roll of Honour could be prepared.
As war approached, the members agreed that meetings would carry on whatever!
The war years were necessarily quiet years for the Lodge. Votes on various decisions taken in the Lodge showed that numbers at meetings were small.
In February 1940, a Bro. Henry Vale was welcomed back on leave. He had been a C.P.O. on H.M.S. Ajax at the Battle of the River Plate, and later gave a talk to the members of that great battle with the German battleship Graf Spee.
The war featured often in the minutes. In September 1940, an application was received from Ancrum Road School to use the small hall as a classroom.
Applications were also called for fire watches for the Hall during air raids.
Due to the difficulty in filling offices because of the crisis, the office-bearers for the 1941-1942 session were elected and recommended by a committee for the first time.
The 1941 Provincial visit commended two Albert members for their long service - A.F. Reoch, P.M. who had been Treasurer for 16 years, and R.K. McKenzie who had served 22 years as Secretary.
In June that year, a Lodge flag day was arranged as part of the Dundee Masons effort to buy an ambulance.
The R.W.M. between 1941 and 1943 was George D’All. George was still very active in the Lodge when I first joined. He was a great character, and soon took Bert Innes, Harry Scott and myself under his wing. One of the first men in Scotland to survive a broken spine, he passed a lot of his love of the craft on to us.
On 11th February, 1943 a Mr George Lawrence came before the Enquiry Committee. At time of writing, George is one of our oldest and most respected Past Masters.
There was no official Provincial visit that year due to travel restrictions caused by the war. For the same reasons attendances were often small.
Much doom and gloom was also recorded in the minutes with members being killed and injured around the world, but there were bright moments too.
On the last meeting of the year, the R.W.M. announced that he had just heard that the Secretary, R.K. McKenzie had “entered the bonds of matrimony”. Nobody had known until he had entered the Lodge that evening. The Master instructed that the Lodge’s best wishes for a long and happy life for the new couple should be recorded in the minutes. The
Secretary duly obeyed, then closed the minute with the words “And so say all of us”! Funny lads these Secretaries!
The Provincial visits resumed in 1944, and mention was made of a loan of £350 from the Benevolent Fund to the Building Fund. This was against Grand Lodge laws, and repayment should be made as soon as possible. OOPS!
As 1944 progressed, there was a steady pick-up in attendances and candidates. A Welcome Home Fund was set up, as it obviously became evident that the war would not last much longer. Whist drives and other social functions began to return to swell the fund, and members of the Forces, on leave, were regularly welcomed back into the Lodge.
In July 1944 communications from Lebanon Lodge No. 191 New York, and from the Army and Navy Masonic Service Centre, Norfolk, Virginia, reported on visits from Bros. David C. Taylor and James S. Sprount. In September a letter from David Taylor described another visit he had made to Lodge Justincian, New York.
David still likes to write. Several collections of his poems in the Lochee dialect have been sold for the benefit of heart charities over the past few years.
I’m hoping I might get a small poem from him for this book!
The Burns Supper in January 1945 sounds like a grand affair, as the social side of the Lodge began to build up again. The Immortal Memory that year was given by the redoubtable Rev. Harry Andrew of Gilfillan. Harry was later made an honorary member during a night of Toasts, Songs and Recitations. No doubt the Toast to Absent Brethren was a stirring one that evening.
The matter of the loan made from the Benevolent Fund to the Building Fund was again mentioned on the Provincial Visit. The loan had been reduced, but further attention should be given to it. The Treasurer finally announced that the loan had been fully repaid, on Nominations night in November, so that blot had finally been erased from Lodge Albert!
As had happened after the 1914-1918 war, there was a tremendous upsurge in interest in the craft. Candidates came thick and fast, and were going through seven at a time. Inter-Lodge visits sprang up again. Harmonies resumed after meetings. A Social Committee was formed for the first time since 1939, and a Lodge Dance took place in May.
In April it was announced that a Bro. Arthur Suttie had been released from a German P.O.W. camp, and was back in Britain. Later that year, he gave a talk in the Lodge on how Freemasonry had been kept alive in the prison camp right under the noses of the guards.
Grand Lodge held a Thanksgiving Service for Victory in Edinburgh. The craft was in a vibrant state again.
Challenge Whist matches between Lodges were popular at this time, and Lodge Albert were winners of the Whist Cup in 1946.
P.M. Lamond and his team worked Mark degrees in a number of Lodges during the year.
The Lodge continued to prosper. Thirty seven members received their Mark Degrees in November, with a further 19 going through in the following March, which gives some idea of the numbers coming in.
The upsurge in interest also showed in the 1946 Nominations and Elections, when there were two nominations for Master, three for Junior Deacon and five for Inner Guard. W.Y. Smith was defeated by Jim Robb as Master, but there did not seem to be any animosity as P.M. Smith missed only a handful of meetings during the two years which Bro. Robb had as Master.
The 1946 installation was carried out by P.M. Richardson, a member of Lodge Albert, who was Past Substitute Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of All Scottish Freemasonry in India.
In April 1947 a Welcome Home Dinner was held for brethren who had served in the war. Life Membership Certificates were presented to 61 members, and tributes paid to all serving members. Two minutes silence was observed for Bros. Harrison and Ross who had not returned.
In May Bro. W. Beharrie proposed that the Lodge should close during the summer, and for the first time there was a recess between June and September.
A new heating system was installed in the Hall at a cost of £53. 10s.
Food parcels were received by various Albert members, courtesy of Australian Freemasons. An Albert member, now living in Australia was behind the gifts.
A Lodge Summer Drive to Loch Lomand was a big success, and four buses were immediately booked up for the 1948 drive to Ayr!
In February 1948 a report was put before the Property Committee of damage incurred during a Dundee Tiger’s Supporters Club dance in the Halls. Windows and chairs had been broken, and the trellis gate at the front door wrenched off. The Supporters Club admitted liability and agreed to pay for repairs. The Committee recommended that this be accepted, and that further lets should be granted as long as there was no further rowdiness! Sounds like a good night to me!
At a May meeting, an apology for absence was recorded on behalf of a Bro. Peter Smith. Apparently Bro. Smith had found his retirement rather boring, and had therefore taken a job on board ship, and was now on his way to America!
At the 1948 nominations in November, George McRae Webster was elected as Secretary, a job which he carried out until his death in 1982, with tremendous enthusiasm, eventually being recognised by Grand Lodge with Honorary Grand bible-bearer rank.
During the Burns Supper in January 1949, the last three Masters of the Lodge received their Past Master’s jewels. This was the first time since the war that these had been manufactured.
Over 240 brethren took part in a Special Church parade in April, marching from the Lodge to St. Luke’s Church in Lochee, behind the 6th Company B.B. Pipe Band. Fifteen lodges were represented.
In June, the first application for use of the halls by No. 3 Shed, Corporation of Squaremen was made.
During this session Bro. John C. Adamson was heartily congratulated on becoming Lord Provost of Dundee.
George Webster’s minutes had now reached an immaculate standard. Carefully detailed, with clear marginal notes they are a pleasure to read.
George was a real worthy, and Lodge Albert became a big part of his life. It was unusual for him to miss any meeting, and he always maintained that if his minutes were all right, the working of the ceremonies afterwards would be okay too!
A large deputation of Lodge Albert members attended a Divine Service at Rattray West Church, Blairgowrie, under the auspices of Lodge St. John No. 137 on 18th May, 1950. During the Fifties many lodges held such services, which were well supported.
On the 18th May, Lodge Albert held such a service. The Lodge was opened at 5.15 p.m., then adjourned and the various Lodge deputations were assembled in appropriate order and preceded by the 6th Co. Boys’ Brigade Pipe Band, marched to Lochee West Church. The minute goes on -
R.W.M. Jim Adams read the lesson, and soloist was Bro. Andrew Petrie of Lodge St. David No. 78. After a most impressive service the Brethren, consisting of approximately 200, returned to the Lodge. The Master thanked the representations of 18 lodges, then the Lodge was closed in due and ancient form.
The collection that day amounted to £14 0s. 6d. Out of that amount £2 7s. 6d. was spent on printing hymn sheets. The balance went to St. Ninian’s Church Restoration Fund. At the next meeting a donation of £2. 2s. 0d. was made to the Boys’ Brigade Pipe Band, who in their turn also presented that amount to St. Ninian’s.
At that same meeting 17 brethren received their Mark Degrees in the Lodge. Quite a fortnight!
A monthly Scottish Country dance became a feature in the social calendar in the Autumn of 1950, and these were well supported.
The Lodge was buzzing! Lodge Glamis No. 99, Lodge St. John Blairgowrie No. 137 and Lodge Lour No. 309 all worked degrees in the Lodge that autumn. In turn Lodge Albert worked a degree in Blairgowrie and Glamis. In the same spell two whist challenges took place against Lodge Thistle and Lodge Caledonian, and two bowls matches were played against the staff of West Green Hospital.
At the nominations meeting in November 1950, Robert Cable was elected Master. He was too ill to attend the installation ceremony, and the Office Bearers were installed in his absence.
1951 started on a sad note. At the first meeting it was announced that Bro. Cable had passed away that afternoon. He was buried with full Masonic honours on 15th January, and at a meeting on 18th January, Jim Adams was re-elected for another year. On 8th February, he was re-installed into the Chair.
At that same meeting P.M. George Lawrence received a special mention in the Lodge for his sterling work as M.C. at the monthly Scottish Country dances!
In April the R.W.M. Jim Adams suggested instruction classes be held on Sundays. Any Brother could attend. No further mention was ever made of these, so we don’t know how successful they were.
The Lodge’s Divine Service drew an even bigger crowd this year. Over 250 brethren from 20 lodges marched to the Service in St. Ninian’s Church, Methven Street.
On 16th August the first applications for entry into the Masonic Home in Dunblane were called for.
In November, Jim Adams gave way to Tom Don as R.W.M. after two extremely eventful and incident-packed years in the chair.
Revised bye-laws were passed in the Lodge in February 1952. The Installation day was moved to the last Saturday in November, with Nomination and Election two weeks before. At a later date, the last meeting in October became nominations day, as it is now.
Three months mourning for the death of King George VI, a Past Grand Master, was ordered by Grand Lodge. Lodge altars were to be covered in crepe, as were all jewels of Masters and Wardens of Daughter Lodges. No lodge social functions were to be held until the Memorial Grand Lodge of Sorrow at the end of the month.
The first mention of the Masonic Year Book also appeared around this time.
On 14th August, 1952, Bro. Robert Kidd proposed that the names of brethren taking part in the working of degrees should be recorded in the Lodge minutes for record purposes. The names of those taking part in that evening’s degree were so recorded and this has been the practice since then.
Open Nights twice a year on meeting nights began at this time. These consisted of a social and dance after the meeting.
The last meeting of the year took place on Christmas Day. Wives must have been most understanding in those days!
After the 1953 Burns Supper P.M. Jim Adams suggested that future Burns Suppers should
be open to wives and friends.
In April P.M. Wm. Burden received the Lodge’s good wishes on leaving to live in Cheam. Bro. Burden, R.W.M. in 1924-26, was Substitute Provincial Grand Master. As a parting gift, he donated the Mark Master’s stone, used in our Mark Degree today. Sadly P.M. Burden did not have long in Cheam, his death being reported in August.
Light refreshments were now served after every meeting in the Lodge, and were much enjoyed by the brethren.
The Secretary’s report for 1953 gives some idea of how busy the Lodge was. There had been 32 regular meetings and 1 emergency meeting. There were 23 initiates and 1 affiliate, compared with 22 and 2 the previous year. The Property Committee met three times, Social Committee five times and the Enquiry Committee ten times. Lodge Albert office bearers certainly earn their corn!
In January 1954, the Lodge accepted an invitation from Lodge Progress to attend Divine Service in Gilfillian Church. This service became a regular occurrence each year until the death of Ifor Howell John, minister of that church, in the eighties. Ifor was a P.M. of Lodge Progress.
In August a letter from Provincial Grand Lodge advised that a letter received from the Grand Lodge of Puerto Rico, appealing for assistance towards the building of a Masonic temple there, should be disregarded and not read in open Lodge.
That year Lodge Albert was defeated by one shot in the final of the Lyell Bowling Trophy, their best performance yet.
Bye laws were changed so that meeting nights were now the second and fourth Thursdays each month except July and August. The third Thursday was later used as a regular social evening.
The Lodge received particularly glowing reports during the Provincial visit of 1955. It seemed even the piano had made a profit!
During the meeting on 13th January, the Reverend Harry Andrew dedicated the Lodge’s new carpet.
The Burns Supper in January 1956 was the first where the ladies attended.
The ladies were coming more and more into the life of the Lodge, and the Order of the Eastern Star gifted curtains for the Lodge windows.
The members were obviously forward looking for in May 1956, the R.W.M. George Lawrence formed a Centenary Committee to arrange for the celebration of 100 years of the Lodge in 1965. An appeal for funds was made to all members, and a ladies sub-committee was formed to assist with the running of fund raising events. A Sale of Work opened by the Hon. Lady Lyell of Kingoodie raised over £108. This was the first of many such events which took place over the next nine years.
The friendship with Lodge Lour was now firmly cemented. Visits were exchanged regularly, and two invitations to the Annual Dance of Lodge Lour were received each year - and still are!
Of the twelve brethren who received their Mark Degrees on 28th March, 1957 two were to become Masters of the Lodge - Alexander Muir Garty and David Dysart McLagan. Bro. McLagan would later become Provincial Grand Master of Forfarshire.
Candidates were again coming thick and fast, usually going through in batches of five. Twenty two new members joined in George Lawrence’s first year as Master.
In June the Lodge members voted that the Master and Wardens should attend the Grand Lodge meeting in August and put an amendment to Grand Lodge’s suggested rise in fees - the annual test fee 10/- instead of the proposed £1, and Life Membership £5 instead of proposed £15. That amendment was defeated.
A film about “Ault Wharrie” the Masonic Home in Dunblane was shown in the Lodge on the night of the A.G.M.
A Bro. James Adams died on a voyage from California in April 1958. Bro. Adams had last visited the country 32 years before and had been looking forward to a visit to his mother lodge.
P.M. Willie Watson represented the Lodge at the opening of the Scottish Masonic Home, Randolph Hall, Dunblane on 2nd August by the Countess of Eglinton and Winton.
A deputation from Lodge Albert attended the 150th Anniversary of Lodge Forfar and Kincardine No. 225 in August.
A pamphlet entitled “The Entered Apprentice” was introduced by Grand Lodge in September that year. Since then a copy of this pamphlet has been presented to each initiate into the Lodge.
William W. Whyte took over as R.W.M. in November 1958 and the meeting due to fall on Christmas Day was actually cancelled that year!
The Children’s’ Christmas Party had become a regular feature in the Lodge diary, always organised in plenty time, well attended and obviously enjoyed by all.
The Secretary’s annual report in December showed that during his two years in the chair, George Lawrence had initiated 49 candidates.
Lodge Panmure No. 299 Arbroath, worked a degree in Lodge Albert for the first time in February 1959.
In April that year a letter from Grand Lodge advised its disapproval of tombola and similar games as a method of raising money. Changed days now with our bingo, bandits and race nights!
The availability of the book “What Robert Burns owed to Freemasonry” was advertised in the Lodge in May.
In September the Lodge was represented at the Centenary Dinner of Lodge St. John No. 137, Blairgowrie and later in October at the working of an Exhibition third degree in that lodge by the Glasgow Travel Association who had recently toured the U.S.A.
The installation in 1959 was held on a Saturday for the first time.
A degree by the Past Masters of the lodge had now become a regular occurrence each year.
The 50’s ended on a happy note with Bro. Donald Grant Munro having Distinguished Service Membership conferred upon him.
The highlight of the Sixties was obviously to be the celebration of the first hundred years of the Lodge, for which the brethren had been preparing for a number of years.
Bro. Ernie Edwards, still a regular attender in the Lodge was the first initiate in the Sixties.
The Lodge’s first golf competition was arranged for March 1960, but had to be cancelled at the last minute. It was a great year for the Lodge bowlers however. For the first time they won the Lyell Trophy. The Lodge’s own bowling competition was once again won by Bro. John Cosans who won the trophy several times.
There was tremendous competition for offices in October 1960. There were two nominees for Junior Warden; two for Senior Deacon; three for Junior Deacon; two for Director of Ceremonies; three for Marshall; two for Standard Bearer, and no less than five for Inner Guard!
In December, the R.W.M. Bro. Herd also took on the duties of Social Convenor, despite protests that this was too much for one man. It proved just so when he gave up the Convenership in February 1961. There was a hint of a little bit of tension in the Lodge about this time.
Early in the year a letter from the Masonic Kilties from New Jersey was received, suggesting that they should work an Exhibition third degree for the Lodge in August. In a blaze of enthusiasm the Lodge booked the Caird Hall for the degree, and the Marryat Hall for the dinner to follow. But as time passed their sights lowered a bit, and finally it was decided that Lochee West Church Hall should be used for the degree, and the Albert Halls for the dinner.
In April Lodge Solomon No. 197 from Fraserburgh worked at third degree in the Lodge and invited Lodge Albert to return the compliment in Fraserburgh in April 1962.
It was minuted that a half bottle of whisky be raffled at the P.G.L. visit, the first time spirits had been raffled in the Lodge. Drink again caused a split at a Cafe Chantant arranged for May. Several brethren said that people moving about during the performance of the artists spoiled the entertainment and that the bar should not be opened. Surprisingly, this was carried!
Around this time, a proposal that the Lodge should have regular meetings on the first, second, third and fourth Thursdays was also defeated. This too was surprising, since by means of Special Meetings, they were usually working on these Thursdays anyway.
The first meeting after the recess was the visit of the Masonic Kilties. It sounded like a wonderful evening.
The Masonic Kilties, led by Worshipful Bro. William Aitken were piped into the Lodge by three pipers. The degree they worked was in two sections, each section chaired by a different Master - P.M. Aitken running the first section and P.M. Robert Sunran chairing the second part. There was a Senior Master of Ceremonies and a Junior Master of Ceremonies, likewise a Senior Steward and Junior Steward among the working officers. Ten craftsmen played a part in the second section of the degree, and one man was listed as a “Seafaring Man”.
A collection was taken in aid of the Masonic Homes Fund, then the brethren returned to the Albert Halls for a dinner and harmony.
The Nomination and Election in 1961 went quietly. Not one office was contested.
With the centenary year drawing closer, a football sweep and a “Stop Watch” Card Raffle were started to augment the funds. A circular was also sent out to all members requesting donations.
In April 1962, the brethren travelled to Fraserburgh to work a third degree in Lodge Solomon No. 197.
A large deputation attended the consecration of the new halls in Dura Street of Lodge Camperdown No. 317.
In May a deputation from Lodge Springhill No. 1198, Glasgow worked a third degree in Lodge Albert. The Master, David Fraser, had been the man who organised the Masonic Kilties visit.
Hugh Robertson one of the stalwarts in Dundee F.C’s one and only league-winning team, became a Lodge Albert member during the session . A few months later, Craig Brown, Scotland’s present manager also became a member. Alec Stuart and Sandy Davie were two other footballers to join the lodge.
The Rennie Bowls Trophy was won by Lodge Albert’s James Niall and Bob Hay. On the day the trophy was brought into the Lodge, it was proposed and seconded that -
The trophy should be filled with refreshment and passed round the brethren!
Around this time Willie Forbes took over as caretaker and there were many comments in the minutes about the excellent manner in which he carried out his duties. Willie is now resident in Menzieshill Home and will be 100 this year.
In January 1963, P.M. Willie Watson was installed as Substitute P.G. Master under the new P.G. Master, David J. Worsley. The Lodge moved their regular meeting to a Tuesday night so that the brethren could attend the installation on the Thursday. This took place in Gray’s Rooms with a dinner thereafter in the Royal Hotel. The ceremony was conducted by Bro. Lord Bruce, Grand Master Mason.
In June an invitation to work a third degree was received from the Lodge of Old Aberdeen No. 164. This began an exchange of visits which continues to this day.
On 27th June, 1963, Bro. James G. Duncan was congratulated in open Lodge on becoming the father of a bouncing baby boy. You should see the baby now!
Once again Lodge Albert won the Lyell Bowling Trophy.
In November, Bro. William Suttie stood down as Treasurer after 23 years service. Alex. Stewart took over and along with George Webster formed another formidable team, running the Lodge’s business.
On the day of the Installation, Bro. Suttie was presented with a wrist watch for himself and a floral brooch for his wife.
In April 1964, Grand Secretary Alex. F. Buchan gave a lecture on “Freemasonry in Scotland” at a special meeting. In the summer, Lodge Albert once again won the Lyell Trophy! It was becoming a habit.
Throughout the year a steady stream of candidates were initiated, social events were well attended and finances were gathered in towards the Centenary celebrations to be held the next year.
Andrew Smith received a Distinguished Service Diploma after fifty years in the Lodge.
Six children from the Dundee Orphanage were invited along to the Children’s Christmas party. This practice continued for several years.
Inter-lodge visits had settled into a regular pattern by 1965. Lodge Tay Union No. 273, Lodge Solomon No. 197, Fraserburgh; the Lodge of Old Aberdeen No. 164, and Lodge Lour No. 309 were regular participants. There was a steady flow of candidates and tickets for Lodge social events were snapped up quickly.
The Centenary Committee were now meeting regularly as arrangements were formed for the celebrations. Surprisingly the Lodge voted not to have a Divine Service to mark the event.
Lodge Albert were represented at a Divine Service in the Parish Church, Forfar at the invitation of Lodge Forfar Killwinning No. 10, to celebrate the Tri-Centenary of the granting of the town charter.
It was a time for celebrations. During the year representatives also attended the Jubilee celebrations of Lodge Dundee St. Mary No. 1149, and the Bi-Centenary of Lodge Glamis No. 99.
A golf outing was finally held. The venue was Kirriemuir and it proved a great success. A similar outing was suggested for August.
The Lodge bowlers again excelled themselves. To mark the centenary Lodge Albert completed a hat-trick of wins in the Lyell Bowling Competition.
All the organisation finally came together on the 6th November, 1965. The minutes of the meeting held that night in the Angus Hotel began -
On this day, Saturday Sixth November, Nineteen Hundred and Sixty Five, Lodge Albert No. 448 celebrates its centenary.
R.W.M. David McLagan presided, and thirteen Past Masters of the Lodge were in attendance. Alex. Garty was Senior Warden, Donald McNaughton Junior Warden, John Douglas Senior Deacon, David F. Gordon Junior Deacon, James Mitchell Inner Guard and the brethren signed special tyle sheets to mark the occasion.
A deputation of the representatives of sister lodges was admitted, then one from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Forfarshire, led by the Provincial Grand Master Bro. David Worsley, C.A., and finally the Grand Lodge of Scotland deputation, headed by Bro. Lord Bruce, Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason.
After the singing of the 23rd Psalm, and scriptive readings, the Act of Rededication was carried out, terminating with the Threefold Blessing incorporating Hymn 601. Bro. Lord Bruce then addressed the brethren, wishing Lord Albert every success in the future.
Before the Prayer of Thanksgiving, the brethren sang Paraphrase 2 and the proceedings ended with the Benediction and the National Anthem.
After the Lodge was closed a dinner followed in the Claverhouse Suite of the Hotel. The Toast List was as follows -
The Loyal Toast - D.D. McLagan, R.W.M.
The Grand Lodge of Scotland - James Adams, P.M.
Reply by M.W. Grand Master Lord Bruce.
The Provincial Grand Lodge of Forfarshire - Alex. Thomson, P.M. Grand Marshal.
Reply by David Worsley, R.W. Past Grand Master.
Our Noble Selves - David Swankie, I.P.M. Lodge Lour 309.
Reply by R.W.M.
Our Guests - Alex. M. Garty, W.S.W.
Reply by Ernest Reynolds, R.W.M., The Lodge of Old Aberdeen No. 164.
Absent Friends - William Watson, P.M., Substitute Past Grand Master.
Tylers Toast - William W. Whyte, P.M.
Over 200 sat down to the dinner, during which a cheque for £100 was presented to Lord Bruce for Grand Lodge Benevolent Funds.
The pride fairly oozes out of George Webster’s minutes of that evening. It must have been a marvellous night for the brethren present.
A few weeks later, the Lodge was in the midst of its installation ceremony once again, and at the A.G.M. the following week, a letter from Grand Lodge instructed that in future the ancient penalties would be deleted from the obligations. The retiring Grand Master Lord Bruce had recommended this and Grand Lodge had approved.
What had been a memorable year for Lodge Albert closed with an invitation from Lodge Kyle Kildrum No. 1602, Cumbernauld, for the R.W.M. and office-bearers to work a Mark Degree during 1966. The Lodge was certainly well travelled.
Just how far travelled the members had become was shown by a letter received in January 1966 from Edson Lodge No. 68, Edson, Alberta, informing the Lodge that Bro. John Thomson initiated in Lodge Albert on 3rd January, 1906 and a Charter Member of Edson Lodge was to receive his Sixty Year Bar from the Grand Master of Alberta.
Besides the now regular visitations mentioned earlier, Lodge Ancient No. 49 exchanged visits with Lodge Albert this year and Lodge St. David No. 78 also worked a degree.
In September the Lodge ran a bus to the “Ault Wharrie” Masonic Home in Dunblane. After a tour of the Home they took a number of the residents for a bus run and a meal at a local hotel.
An application by Lodge Caledonian No. 254 to hold their meeting in the Albert Halls was turned down due to lack of storage space.
During the year the Inner Guard of the Lodge, a Bro. James Mitchell was replaced. Bro. Mitchell had not been present for a number of weeks and had not replied to the Secretary’s enquiries. Bro. David K. Macintosh was elected to the post. At the same time William Forbes took over as Tyler, an office he held several times in the following years.
After the recess the members set about constructing a new bar and store. All the work was carried out by the brethren of the Lodge.
In November, Alex. Garty became R.W.M. In his two years in the chair David McLagan had initiated 51 new masons. The Lodge continued to prosper.
Early in 1967 Grand Lodge advised that the Masonic Homes Board had been giving serious thought to a third Masonic Home in the grounds of “Ault Wharrie”. The cost would be £100,000. Lodge Albert donation of £100 from their centenary celebrations had been marked down for this fund, and later a further £200 was presented.
The R.W.M. Alex. Garty took part in a reigning Master’s degree in Lodge Lour No. 309. The collection that evening went towards the Grand Master’s appeal, and when it was sent to Grand Lodge it was revealed that just two months after the Grand Master’s original appeal, over £65,000 had already been pledged towards the project!
Monthly dances at the Lodge proved popular this year. Admittance was always by ticket only and this rule was strictly adhered to. Some brethren, turning up without tickets had been turned away.
In March 1968 a large deputation from Lodge Albert attended the installation of the New Provincial Grand Master William H. Sharpe. The ceremony was carried out by the Grand Master Mason Bro. Major Sir Ronald Orr-Ewing. A dinner followed in the Castle Hotel.
The 150th Anniversary of Lodge Tay Union No. 273 fell this year. A special third degree was arranged worked by various reigning Masters, including Alex. Garty.
In May a Distinguished Service Diploma was presented to P.M. Alex. Reoch for his long service to the Lodge. Bro. Reoch was R.W.M. between 1912 and 1915 and later served as Secretary for 16 years.
Around this time Jim Rattray’s name began to appear in the minutes as organist. He became organist officially that November.
In July a small fire was started in the kitchen by two people who had broken into the Halls. The Fire Brigade attended and little damage was done.
On 14th November, R.W.M. Alex. Garty presented the title deeds of the halls to the Lodge. The final £500 Bond had been paid off, and at last the halls were ours!
Once again the Children’s Christmas Party seemed to be an uproarious success. The Scottish Society of Mentally Handicapped Children also held their Christmas Party in the halls that year, and have done so ever since - always with free use of the hall from the Lodge.
A certain amount of niggling was again creeping into the Minutes. There was an argument about the correctness of the Nomination and Election of the Inner Guard, which required a letter from Grand Lodge to settle it. Then the Junior Warden elect, who had not yet been installed, sent a letter saying he would not after all be taking up the office. He was the brother of the Inner Guard involved in the previously mentioned debate. It was later decided that a Past Master should occupy the Junior Warden’s office until the 1969 Nominations.
A letter was received from Grand Lodge in appreciation of the magnificent effort of the Scottish Lodges in raising the money for a third Masonic Home at Ardnablane. More than enough money had been raised and the furnishings of the lounges in the home had been gifted separately.
P.M. Cecil Black and P.M. R.B. Kidd received fifty year diplomas in April. Cecil Black was R.W.M. from 1926-1928 and was the prime mover in beginning the search for new premises.
Bro. Sydney T. Martin presented a trophy to be played for by the Bowlers of the Lodge and this competition is still one of the highlights of activities in the recess.
The Royal Masonic Home at Ardnablane was officially opened by Lady Orr-Ewing in September. P.M. David McLagan represented Lodge Albert at the ceremony.
The Seventies started with agreement finally being reached on the Lodge meeting every Thursday of the month, except the first Thursday, and that the Installation evening should be the last Saturday in November. It had taken a long time.
During his annual visit, the Provincial Grand Master William Sharpe, paid tribute to the work done by P.M’s McLagan, Watson and Don, who were in office in Provincial. The P.G.M. received honorary membership of the Lodge that evening.
A further attempt to get a Lodge of Instruction running in Lodge Albert again failed to get any support, and several trivial arguments were recorded in the minutes, giving the impression that there was a certain amount of antagonism among certain members at that time.
W.J.W. David Mackintosh was removed from office after failing to turn up at a number of meetings, without sending apologies.
Bro. Sydney T. Martin presented the Martin Cup for annual competition by the bowlers of the Lodge, a competition which is still a highlight in the summer months today.
A letter of congratulations was sent to James Lyon, a Lodge Albert member living in Yonkers, New York who had received his 50 year pin and diploma in a New York Lodge.
Around this time there seemed to be a rush of members taking out Life membership. Over 30 were presented in March and April.
The Burns Supper in January 1971, led to a stream of complaints from brethren. The Toast to the Lassies, by a well-know Dundee worthy, had contained vulgar and crude passages, most unsuitable for a mixed company. The R.W.M. apologised to the brethren and their friends. The gentleman’s speech had not been vetted before the night. The man would certainly not be invited back!
The Lodge was saddened by the death of P.M. William Watson in January. Bro. William Watson had been R.W.M. between 1929-1930. He had been a Substitute Grand Master of Forfarshire, a Grand Steward and Proxy Master of Lodge Ruwenzori No. 1652 in Kilembe, East Africa. A memorial service was held in the Lodge on 28th February, where P.M. Jim Adams paid a moving tribute to a man who had been a stalwart of the Lodge for many years.
In March, Lodge Dundee St. Mary No. 1149 worked a third degree in the Lodge. The retrospect charge that evening was given by Bro. Peter Cram, now Provincial Grand Master of Forfarshire.
In September, the William Watson Golf Trophy was presented to the Lodge for annual competition.
John L. Addison, P.M. 250 who was a regular visitor to Lodge Albert sent greetings from Linden, New Jersey, giving details of the Lodges he had visited out there. John was to become a regular attender in the Lodge, eventually affiliating, and this was the first of many such visits he made to America, where he was eventually made an Honorary Past Master of Cornerstone Lodge in Linden.
A regular progression to the Chair had now evolved in the Lodge. Office-bearers in 1972 were W.S.W. Albert Robb, W.J.W. Eric A.G. Brown, S.D. Duncan Erskine, J.D. Alexander J. Lees, I.G. George L.R. Cairns, Sword Bearer William Wallace, in rotation the next seven Masters in the Lodge.
The R.W.M. Bro. John Douglas suffered a heart attack at the beginning of the year, and a number of past masters substituted for him in his absence, in particular Alex. M. Garty. His I.P.M. Donald McNaughton did not seem to attend at all.
On one occasion P.M. Garty worked the whole of a second degree himself, because of the shortage of office-bearers present.
I had the pleasure of seeing Alex. speaking in the Lodge for many years. He had a remarkable memory. At times it appeared photographic, and he could deliver almost any charge at a moment’s notice - a boon to any masters left in the lurch by anybody due to deliver a charge not turning up.
On the 20th April 1972 a serious complaint was made in the Lodge by P.M. David McLagan. Apparently at the last monthly dance, stewards had removed glasses from tables while the brethren were up dancing, which - wait for it - still contained some drink! The blaggards!
After the next dance P.M. McLagan also complained in open Lodge, that a brother had been reluctant to leave at the end, and hoped that this would not be repeated.
There were to be many similar pieces in the minutes in years to follow, and many amendments to proposals by Bro. McLagan, that gave the impression that he kept a beady eye on all goings-on in the Lodge. Later I met the man and found this was indeed so! The sight of David McLagan, rising to his feet, and pushing his glasses back on his nose, with the opening words “Right Worshipful Master, in my considered opinion ...” struck fear and dread into many a Mason!
The Lodge just failed to win the Lyell Trophy this year, losing in the final to Lodge St. Thomas No. 40 by one shot.
At an initiation in the Lodge in September, the apron charge was delivered by Bro. Wm. Green of Lodge St. David No. 78 to his son who was joining the Albert.
A break-in at the Halls in early October led to a small amount of cigarettes and spirits being stolen.
At the Nomination and Election, the returning R.W.M. John Douglas, now recovered, paid special tribute to P.M. Alex. Garty for the extra work he had undertaken during the year, due to the R.W.M’s illness.
Albert Robb now moved into the Master’s chair.
Reading the minutes now became an even greater pleasure, since I could now put faces to all but a few of the office-bearers and many of the brethren.
Three men were apprehended on the roof of the halls on New Years Eve 1972. They had been removing copper sheeting.
It was decided to hold club evenings’ on the first Tuesday of the month for a trial period. These proved popular for a number of years.
On 13th September 1973, P.M. John L. Addison of Lodge Union No. 250, Dunfermline affiliated to the Lodge. He was to be a regular attender until his death in 1995.
Several members attended a special meeting in the Marryat Hall to witness a third degree Exemplification by the Robertson Fellowcraft Club of Ohio, U.S.A.
Eric A.G. Brown took over as R.W.M. in November 1973. Albert Robb had initiated fourteen new members in his year in the chair. This had been around the average intake for two or three years now.
1974 began with a letter being received from New South Wales, advising that a Lodge Albert member living there had fallen on hard times and was in need of benevolence. The matter was passed to Grand Lodge for investigation. By the time further information was received back from New South Wales, the brother in question had obtained work, and was no longer in need of help!
In a letter from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Forfarshire giving the date of their annual visitation, it also added that the working of a degree should be witnessed. This was an innovation.
Unfortunately, due to the sudden death of Bro. Douglas Gerard, the Provincial Grand Master, the meeting was moved to a later date, and no degree was worked. As far as I can remember such a request has not been made again, and these visitation have been for business only.
The Lodge was on a high once again. Twenty one candidates were initiated. The Lodge was visited by Lodge Lour No. 309, Lodge St. Andrew No. 814, Pitlochry, The Lodge of Old Aberdeen No. 164 who worked third degrees. In turn the Lodge visited Lodge Airlie No. 286 to work a third degree, and Lodge Roineach Mhor No. 1308 for a second degree. A deputation also visited Lodge Union No. 250, Dunfermline to witness a third degree, and a deputation from Corsterphine St. John No. 788 visited Lodge Albert to witness a second degree.
Monthly lodge dances were popular, as were the Club Nights on the first Tuesday of each month. A summer picnic took the children of members to Kirriemuir, and a Coffee Morning and Sale of Work in November, run by the wives of the members, raised over £500. A successful Christmas Draw was held, and for the first time the Senior Brethren were entertained to a special Christmas dinner in the Lodge, when their Christmas parcels were presented to them.
A large deputation also attended the Installation of the new Provincial Grand Master, Stephen Gavin Fisher in November in the F and K Halls.
In the midst of all this, on 26th September, an apology was received from one, Ian Munro, who had been due to be initiated that evening. The minute reads - Mr Munro had a slight accident today.
In actual fact I had fallen off a ladder that morning, breaking my right wrist, and severely bruising my left side and left leg.
I managed to crawl to the door in answer to a ring at the doorbell. Outside was an insurance agent, flogging accident insurance of all things, who eventually drove me to the D.R.I.
To this day my wife maintains that this was all a message from God, warning me not to get mixed up with the Masons!
In November, George Webster received a wrist watch from the brethren to mark his 25th year as Secretary, and on the same evening, John L. Addison was wished well as he set out for another six week Masonic sojourn in America.
I finally received my first degree on 9th January 1975, and remember being completely astonished by the amazing welcome I received. There was such a tremendous atmosphere in the Lodge, you couldn’t help but be impressed. This was something I was really going to enjoy.
The matter of splitting Forfarshire into two provinces was again raised in 1975. Lodge Albert voted unanimously to keep the one Provincial Lodge and this proved to be the overwhelming wish of all the lodges in the Province.
P.M. Jim Adams retired from his work in the summer and set off for a six month holiday with his family in Australia.
Eric Brown’s second year in the chair proved just as successful as his first. There were 22 initiates in the year, and two Mark Degrees were worked.
Several Lodges were visited - Lodge St. Andrew No. 814, Pitlochry; Lodge Lour No. 309, Forfar; Lodge Ancient No. 49, Lodge Camperdown No. 317, and The Lodge of Old Aberdeen No. 164, where degrees were carried out.
An annexe for storage purposes was added to the Lodge, the work being carried out almost entirely by lodge members. The dining room was redecorated and the Caretaker’s room refurbished.
Again the monthly dances were well supported. The Annual Dinner and Dance was a big success in the Leisure Centre in October. The annual Burns Night was again a very popular evening.
William Cochrane and David Robertson ran the social side in those days with great success.
In November, Duncan Erskine took over as R.W.M. with the Lodge in tremendous shape.
A fine ritualist, Duncan was, and I believe still is, the youngest R.W.M. to take the chair in Forfarshire. The Lodge continued to thrive under his direction. Duncan’s was the first installation ceremony I had witnessed, and I can remember being so impressed by the performance of the installing team - P.M. Tom Don, P.M. David McLagan and P.M. Stewart Brown (254). The dinner and harmony that followed were also memorable!
Another 22 candidates were initiated in Duncan’s year in the chair. It was a busy year.
In all there were 27 Regular Meetings and 1 Special Meeting. The General Committee met once, the Property Committee six times, the Enquiry Committee seven times, the Social Committee six times, the Club Committee twice, and the Benevolent Committee once. This is now a pretty typical programme for a year in Lodge Albert, and office-bearers devote a large portion of their time to the Lodge.
The social side was in high gear at this time. Monthly dances were a feature, and on one occasion there was a complaint about too many people attending these functions. Past Master McLagan - who else? finally proposed that numbers should be restricted to 100, and this rule is still in force today. Three special Cabaret Dances and a Charity Dance also took place, and the Annual Dance once again took place in the Leisure Centre, Club nights continued to be well attended.
The 100 Club had now become popular, and was providing a lot of revenue for the Lodge.
The profit from the Charity Dance, along with many other donations enabled the Lodge to present an electric wheelchair to Carol Macwhinney, a patient in Strathmartine Hospital.
The Lodge made the usual visits during Duncan Erskine’s year in the chair. One to Lodge St. Andrew No. 814, Pitlochry stands out in my memory. It turned out to be a real marathon.
Lodge Albert worked the degree in the Town Hall, then the company retired to Scotlands’ Hotel for a meal and harmony. However, nobody had told the bus driver about the arrangements. He returned to the Town Hall around midnight, and found it in darkness. For some reason he assumed we had made our own way home, and took the bus back to Dundee.
It was some time before we realised that something was amiss. A series of phone calls eventually got hold of the driver who returned to Pitlochry for us
The upshot was that the Tyler’s Toast was finally given around 4.30 a.m. and we returned to Dundee after that.
George Cairns met his wife going out to work, and Alex. Garty made the acquaintance of his milk boy for the first time. I fell sound asleep at my desk around noon! It was a visitation to remember.
P.M. Tom Don had now reached the office of Provincial Grand Senior Warden, and at the Grand Lodge meeting in November, our Secretary, George Webster was awarded the Honorary Grand Lodge office of Bible Bearer, a well-deserved tribute.
In November, Alexander Lees took over as R.W.M. with the Lodge in tremendous shape.
In February 1977, P.M. Tom Don vacated his office as Provincial Grand Senior Warden, and the Provincial visit to Lodge Albert, the P.G. Master, Stephen Gavin Fisher thanked him for his long and faithful service to Provincial Grant Lodge. He also complimented P.M. David McLagan for his work as Provincial Grand Treasurer, P.M. Don was then presented with the apron and jewel of a Past Provincial Grand Senior Warden.
At the same meeting Secretary, George Webster was presented with his Diploma as Honorary Grand Lodge Bible Bearer.
The Albert Angling Club held its first outing in May. This was the first of many outings, and over the next few years the club was to go from strength to strength.
The annual prize-giving dance became one of the highlights of the year, and the helpings of salmon served on that night always reflected the number of fish that the members caught during the year. I can’t remember which year it was, but seemingly the long dry summer made fishing conditions dreadful all over. The menu that year consisted of steak pie!
A memorable outing took place on Friday, 27th May, when a large deputation of Lodge Albert members travelled to Lodge Union No. 232, Glasgow to witness a raising in that Lodge. One of their candidates was comedian Billy Jeffries, and the harmony that followed was one of the finest I’ve ever attended. A bus load of very happy Albert members made an early morning return to Dundee, refusing the offer of a police escort out of the city.
Regular dances were again well supported, and the 1977 Charity Dance raised a large donation for the Dundee Gardens Centre for the Handicapped. £50 was also donated to the new Broughty Ferry Lifeboat Fund.
On 29th September the General Committee passed by a very small margin, a motion to recommend to the Lodge that a gaming machine should be installed into the Lodge for a trial period. I remember that this recommendation caused harsh words in the Lodge and after a fiery discussion was only carried by 41 votes to 32 with 7 abstentions. Several members, including one Past Master hardly attended the Lodge after the decision was made. In retrospect the members appear to have taken the right decision because the money raised over the trial period by this machine gave a quite important boost to the financial strength of the Lodge, when it was really needed.
The bi-annual exchange of visits with the Lodge of Old Aberdeen No. 164, had become another highlight of the Lodge year. On our visit to Aberdeen we’d normally leave Dundee at ten or eleven in the morning. While the ladies had a shopping spree in the afternoon, we would work a degree in the Aberdeen Lodge. In the evening would follow a dinner and dance, either in the Temple in Crown Street, or in some other hotel in the city. The festivities usually lasted well into the evening when a tired but happy bus-load would journey back to Dundee, with perhaps a stop at a late-night chipper in Montrose to round off the day!
The Aberdeen visit to Dundee was on similar lines, and I remember one Aberdeen bus having to return to Dundee from half way along the road to Forfar when it was realised that a certain Bro. Myles from Lodge Albert was still on the bus! He’d thought they were going home by the coast road, and meant to get off somewhere near Douglas!
In December 1977, came the first invitation for Lodge Albert to work a degree in The Glasgow Star Lodge No. 219. This too soon became a bi-annual event, similar to that with the Lodge of Old Aberdeen, and similarly enjoyed by the brethren and ladies!
Twenty six candidates had been initiated during Sandy Lees’ year in the chair. Degrees had been worked in Lodge Dundee St. Mary No. 1149, Lodge Lour No. 309, Lodge Camperdown No. 317 and Old Aberdeen No. 164. We were visited by Lodge Camperdown No. 317, Lodge Roineach Mhor No. 1308, and Lodge St. David No. 78 who worked degrees in the Lodge.
Bowling, golf and domino competitions were all well supported, and dances and social evenings were ever popular. The annual Burns Night in January was a highly successful evening, and tickets for this were always at a premium.
The Children’s Picnic was held at Lintrathan this year, and their Pantomime visit in December had been another uproarious success, while the Senior Brethren enjoyed a fine Christmas Party.
George Cairns took over as R.W.M. in November, and while he inherited a thriving lodge, rising costs all round were causing some worrying trends in the finances. Money would have to be watched carefully. I got the impression that we may well have overstretched our finances, with our charitable work at that time.
A new heating system was installed into the Lodge. The biggest part of this was financed by donations and interest free loans from members. Many of the other organisations using the halls also gave generously. A number of money raising events were organised, and the Lodge overcame what had been a sticky time financially.
Visits were made to Lodge Progress No. 967 to work a second degree, Lodge Roineach Mhor No. 1308 for a second degree and to The Glasgow Star Lodge No. 219 where an initiation was worked. Later in the year we visited Lodge St. David No. 78 to work a second degree. Three Lodges visited Lodge Albert to work second degrees - Lodge Lour No. 309, Lodge Progress No. 967 and The Lodge of Old Aberdeen No. 164. In all 25 more members were initiated.
Other highlights of the year included the naming and dedication ceremony of the new Broughty Ferry lifeboat - Spirit of Tayside by H.R.H. The Duke of Kent, where Lodge Albert was represented by George Webster.
As the financial problems cleared, plans began to take shape to build a new bar and increase the kitchen space.
The Lodge was saddened by the death of P.M. Tom Don in September. R.W.M. in 1951-1953, Tom had climbed the masonic ladder in Provincial circles, and had reached the rank of Provincial Grand Senior Warden.
William Wallace took over as R.W.M. in November 1978. His time as Master started with a bang. His first degree was worked in front of the Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason, Captain Robert Wolridge Gordon of Esslemont, on a memorable Saturday in December. The Grand Master was accompanied by Grand Secretary E. Stuart Falconer and Grand Marshall Robert C. Lamont.
On 11th January 1979, a deputation of Canadian Masons visited the Lodge to witness a degree. All were curlers on tour in Scotland, who had written to Grand Lodge asking to see a degree in a Scottish lodge. Grand Lodge has sent them to Lodge Albert. A letter was later received from Lord Elgin, thanking the lodge for its co-operation.
Several brethren attended the unveiling in the F and K Halls, of four masonic panels, and heard a lecture by the artist, David Paris Craig.
Plans were now underway for the extension to the bar and new kitchen, and many of the lodge members gave their time working on the project.
On the personal note, the degree on 17th May was a proud one for me when my son Roderick was one of three Lewis’s to be initiated, and I did his apron charge. The other two candidates were Stewart Beharrie and Donald Shaw. The final charge was given by Donald’s uncle, Jack Chalmers, a P.M. of Lodge Royal Thistle No. 1338, Edinburgh.
A mention of a Club Night in early June, when a hypnotist was the entertainment, brings back memories of a hilarious night when many of the members and their wives, displayed talents even they did not know they had!
The tragic death of Lord Mountbatten of Burma and young servicemen in Sligo and Ulster was marked by a minutes silence at the first meeting in September.
The local School for the Deaf benefited from the proceeds of the Charity Dance this year.
The Lodge bowlers excelled themselves winning the Lyell Trophy once again. Skip was Alex. Robertson, with William W. Whyte, David Baxter and John Hendrie.
Willie Wallace’s first year in the chair produced another 25 initiates into the Lodge in 29 meetings. It had been another busy year, finishing off what had been a remarkable decade.
As the Eighties progressed, candidates began to be a bit thinner on the ground. Rising costs caused increases in fees, and unemployment began to bite in the area.
In contrast in the Aberdeen area, as the oil business flourished, so did Freemasonry, and candidates in that region were still in plentiful supply.
At the first meeting in 1980, John L. Addison gave another long talk on the lodges he had visited during another long sojourn in New Jersey. Freemasonry was a big part of John’s life.
The Lodge continued its now familiar pattern of a Burns Supper in January, monthly dances, the odd club night, the summer picnic, bowling, golf, dominoes competitions in the recess, charity dances and regular inter-lodge visits. Attendances were slightly down and a couple of dances were later cancelled, but the lodge still seemed in a healthy state.
On the 31 January, Neil C. Gow led a deputation from Lodge Dalhousie No. 679 to work a third degree in Lodge Albert. Neil was a member of Lodge Albert. He had affiliated to Dalhousie in the Seventies and had a meteoric rise to the chair in the Carnoustie Lodge. I remember that being a fine night!
Work on the extension to the bar and kitchen progressed steady during the year. The minutes record that the greatest part of the work was done by members in their own time at very little cost to the lodge.
The extension was officially opened by the R.W.M’s wife Beryl on the 2nd September, at a special club night attended by over 200.
On the 11th September, the Rev. Ifor Howell John, P.G. Senior Chaplain dedicated new lodge regalia, in a most impressive ceremony.
Club nights at this time were very popular and on several occasions popular T.V. panel games were initiated such as “Play Your Cards Right”. A Mr and Mrs night in particular was a big success. David Robertson had taken over once again as Social Convenor.
A large turnout of lodge members cheered the lodge bowlers to a double victory in the finals day of the Provincial Bowling competitions in September. Skip Alex. Robertson and his rink of William W. Whyte, John Hendry and David Baxter retained the Lyell Bowling Trophy and in the Rennie Pairs competition P.M. James Kidd and Harry Smith came out on top.
On 13th November, it was proposed that Bro. Peter Sinclair P.M. No. 164 and an Honorary Member of Lodge Albert had been appointed R.W.P.G.M. of Aberdeen City.
At the installation ceremony in November, P.M. David McLagan was presented with the rank of Honorary Grand Lodge Junior Deacon in appreciation of his service to the craft.
Bro. Sydney F. Rollo was then installed into the chair of the lodge by P.M’s Eric Brown, David McLagan and Duncan Erskine.
In a second very successful year in the chair, William Wallace had initiated 20 more new members.
During the year degrees had been worked in F and K Halls No.225, The Glasgow Star Lodge No. 219 and Camperdown No. 317.
Lodge Dalhousie No. 679, Lodge Lour No. 309, Lodge Roineach Mhor No. 1308 and the Lodge of Old Aberdeen No. 164 had all worked degrees in Lodge Albert in what had been another busy and enjoyable year.
On 28th February 1981 a large deputation travelled to Aberdeen for the installation of P.M. Peter Sinclair of the Lodge of Old Aberdeen No. 164 as Provincial Grand Master of Aberdeen City by the Grand Master Mason Sir James McKay.
In March, Bro. Alfred Donovan gave an interesting lecture on Freemasonry in the Lodge. He gave thanks to many individuals who had given him access to many records and minutes held in various offices in the city, which had entitled him to build up a history of the organisation of the Craft in the City and the eventual granting of Charters to Lodge Operative No. 47 and Lodge Ancient No. 49.
Reading the minute of 26th March 1981 again brought back to me the special abilities of P.M. Alex. Garty. In the middle of a third degree that evening, Senior Deacon Bert Innes was called out of the lodge suddenly due to the illness of a relative. I remember Alex. Garty rising from his seat and taking the Deacon’s rod out of Bert’s hand. He then carried on with the degree where Bert left off. He never missed a word!
Twenty four candidates took their Mark Degree at the meeting on 30th April. The Mark Master was P.M. Eric Brown.
A profit of £188 from a Charity Dance held on 8th May was passed as a donation to St. Columba’s Church, Cobdon Street, Lochee.
St. James Operative Lodge No. 97 from Edinburgh worked a second degree in the Lodge on 21st May. A fine friendship had been struck between our two Lodges since the affiliation to Lodge Albert of Jim Shaw, a member of St. James. Lodge Albert members had made several visits to the Lodge in Edinburgh, but the Lodge would not work a degree in St. James until 1989, due to a rule in their constitution at that time which did not allow visiting lodges to work degrees.
The Albert Angling Club continued to thrive and each succeeding Master became Honorary President of the Club during his term of office.
An invitation from Lodge Lour No. 309 to work a degree in Forfar on 7th October had to be turned down reluctantly. During that week Lodge Albert had its own meeting on the 8th, the Fishing Club Dance was on the 9th and the office-bearers were working a degree in Aberdeen on the 10th. R.W.M. Syd Rollo was having a busy time!
In September the matter of a fruit machine came up again. One had been tried for a short period during George Cairns term of office, with some success, but had not been followed up. Despite some opposition it was decided to try another for a year. This time it was here to stay.
Honorary membership of the Lodge of Old Aberdeen No. 164 was conferred on R.W.M. Syd Rollo and Secretary George Webster during the Lodge’s visit to Aberdeen in October.
Although membership later in the 80’s began to fall, initiates this year increased. Syd Rollo’s first year in the chair saw 30 candidates initiated. Second degrees were worked in the Lodge by The Glasgow Star Lodge No. 219, and St. James Operative No. 97. Lodge Albert worked degrees in Lodge Dalhousie No. 679, The Lodge of Old Aberdeen No. 164 and Lodge Lour No. 309.
1981 ended with another letter from P.M. John L. Addison on yet another visit to New Jersey, and a rousing Hogmanay party in the Halls.
In January 1982, Bro. Sid Martin presented a golf trophy to be known as the William Y. Smith Trophy to the Lodge. This was an additional golf trophy to be played for by Father and Son or any two blood brothers of the Lodge.
A busy social calendar was again planned by the Social Committee; including monthly Saturday dances, to Thursday evening Socials, a regular Friday club night each month, with a special Family Club Night at Hogmanay. The party in 1981 had obviously been enjoyed.
As usual the R.W.M. and his wife attended the annual Lodge Lour dance in Forfar, and the Ladies Night at the Lodge of Old Aberdeen. Both these nights had been attended by Lodge representatives for many years, and indeed still are. If you add the annual Fishing Club dance and the O.E.S. anniversary dance, plus all the Lodge functions, the Master had a busy social life.
A P.A. System was purchased for the Lodge from the profits of the 100 Club.
P.M. John L. Addison received a 50 year gold token and a 60 year gold wreath from Corner Stone Lodge No. 229, Linden, New Jersey, authorised by the Most Worshipful Grand Master of New Jersey, Bro. Herbert N. Boyd. He was heartily congratulated in the Lodge on this unique award.
During the recess a large deputation of Lodge Albert members attended the 175th Rededication Ceremony of The Glasgow Star Lodge No. 219, by the R.W. Past Grand Master Captain Robert Walridge Gordon of Esslemont.
I remember this being a rousing evening, commencing with a hilarious incident when the Past Grand Master discovered he was wearing brown shoes with his morning suit, and did a quick change with the Glasgow Star Tyler, Alexander Urquart seconds before he entered the Lodge in procession.
The Toast to the Glasgow Star Lodge that evening was given by the Grand Librarian, Bro. D. Keith Kerr and was an excellent one. His position as librarian gave him access to Grand Lodge records and his history of the Lodge was memorable.
He referred to many items of lodge memorabilia, the strangest of which was a masonic apron, found in the belly of a cod in the old fish market in 1847 by Bro. Torbet, the Lodge Tyler.
In September, P.M. David McLagan became Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Forfarshire. David had been Provincial Treasurer for 16 years and now relinquished that office. P.M. Eric A.G. Brown now took up that position, Lodge Albert was well represented in Provincial Lodge.
The installation of Provincial office bearers took place in Lodge Albert and I was among a large deputation from the lodge who enjoyed another fine night!
The Lodge reached the final of the Lyell Bowling Trophy once again that year, but were beaten in the final by Lodge Bruce.
A trophy purchased by Lodge Albert members and named the Anson Martin Bowls Trophy was presented to Lodge Roineach Mhor No. 1308, for annual competition between our two lodges. The trophy was in memory of Anson Martin, a member of the Downfield Lodge and a good friend to Lodge Albert.
A large deputation from the lodge also attended the Centenary Celebrations of Lodge Dalhousie No. 679 on 6th November. The ceremony was carried out by the M.W. Grand Master Mason Sir James W. McKay.
Syd Rollos’ second year in the chair had been another busy one. There had been 22 initiates and 2 affiliates, with visits to Roineach Mhor No. 1308 and The Glasgow Star Lodge No. 219. The Lodge of Old Aberdeen No. 164 visited us in October to work a third degree.
The usual dances, club nights and social had been held during the year, but there had been the odd cancellation and support had dropped slightly, all coinciding with a rise of unemployment in the area, and a general rise in the overall cost of freemasonry. This was to worsen as the eighties progressed.
On the 27th November 1982, Kenneth G. Chisholm was installed into the chair by P.M. Eric A.G. Brown, P.M. Duncan Erskine and P.M. William Wallace. I remember this being another memorable night which became known as the Tartan Installation. Ken was a keen piper and wore the kilt on many occasions. To his surprise, most of his office bearers turned up in the kilt that evening and made it a very colourful night.
Sadly, I’m writing this just a couple of week’s after attending Ken’s funeral at the terribly young age of 54, a tragic loss to his family and many friends.
Early in the year a request from Lodge Progress to share our halls had to be turned down, as other organisations already rented the halls on the evening required.
P.M. William W. Whyte presented a miniature replica of the Master’s Chair to the Lodge. It was later decided that this Chair should be presented to each Master of the lodge and kept in his home during his term of office.
After the Mark Degree in January it was announced that P.M. Eric A.G. Brown was leaving the district to take up residence in the Stirling area. He was also relinquishing his office as Provincial Treasurer. P.M. Brown had been a great servant to Lodge Albert for many years and at a special Club Night he was presented with a set of masonic glasses and wished well for the future. The R.W.M. Ken Chisholm said he was sure that freemasonry would still play a big part in P.M. Brown’s life. This proved to be very true.
P.M. Brown affiliated to Lodge St. Servanus No. 771 in Alva and became the R.W. Master of that Lodge in 1989, the very important year before the Lodge’s centenary. This was a tremendous achievement, necessitating the learning of a different ritual over a fairly short period of time. I certainly remember some most enjoyable visits to Alva during that time, with the harmonies after the installations being of a highly memorable nature.
A deputation from Lodge Albert made a special visit to Pitlochry in April to witness an American working of a third degree by Discovery Lodge No. 149, Northern Lights Degree Team from Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada.
The Lodge was also well represented at the 175th Anniversary ceremony of Lodge Forfar and Kincardine No. 225.
During the recess the first bowling competition for the Anson Martin Trophy took place between Lodge Albert and Lodge Roineach Mhor with Lodge Albert running out winners.
Although there was plenty going on masonically around the Lodge, the social side seemed to plummet this year.
There were no Club Nights or Monthly Dances held, although the Family Club Night at Hogmanay was well supported. The Annual Dinner and Dance was held in the Ballinard Hotel, but again through poor support, made a big financial loss.
The Burns Nicht was still a popular function and the odd games night took a trick, but overall the social side was disappointing.
Visits were made to Lodge Dalhousie No. 679, Lodge Lour No. 309 and the Lodge of Old Aberdeen, and we invited the Glasgow Star Lodge No. 219 to Lodge Albert, where the customary degree working was enjoyed, along with a social and dance afterwards with the ladies.
But with only eight initiates and no affiliates this was the poorest overall year for some time. Out of 28 meetings only 19 were held for the purpose of working degrees. All the funds showed a worrying deficit at the end of the year.
In January 1984 a deputation from Lodge Woodhall St. John No. 305 visited Lodge Albert to witness a third degree. Later that year an invitation was received from this lodge to work a second degree in their lodge in Bellshill. Unfortunately the candidate for that degree had to call off and the lodge was not opened. Instead the visitors from Lodge Albert were escorted on a visit to the Mausoleum at Hamilton and Strathclyde Park, returning to the lodge later for a meal and an enjoyable harmony.
Once again the brethren were being very forward looking and a number of raffles and money-raising efforts were begun with the 125th Anniversary celebrations in 1990 in mind.
Visits were made to Lodge Dalhousie No. 679 in April to work a third degree and to The Glasgow Star Lodge No. 219 in May to work a second degree. As usual on that occasion we were accompanied by the ladies and were entertained to an enjoyable social and dance after the degree.
Lodge Roineach Mhor No. 1308 worked a second degree in the lodge in May. The bowling match against that lodge in July for the Anson Martin trophy resulted in another win for Lodge Albert.
P.M. John Addison spent a further fifteen weeks in America and on his return reported on visits to 30 meetings in 11 lodges in the New Jersey area.
On 14th April fourteen brethren travelled to Sunderland to witness the affiliation of Charles Kennedy to St. Johns’ Lodge No 80. Chick’s work had taken him down to the Sunderland area. Happily he later returned to live in Dundee and at present is our Senior Warden.
Ken Chisholm’s second year saw 11 initiates coming into Lodge Albert. The lodge sporting events were well attended, but once again the social side was poorly supported. There were no club nights, apart from the Hogmanay Family Night. The annual dinner and dance returned to our own halls, but ran at a deficit of nearly £40 due mainly to late cancellations.
The younger members of the Lodge organised a Disco Night which made a small profit on the evening and the Senior Brethren’s Christmas Party was also a successful venture.
On 21st September our own P.M. David McLagan was installed as Provincial Grand Master of Forfarshire in the Albert Halls. The Installing Master was the Most Worshipful Grand Master Bro. James Marcus Humphrey of Dinnet, with a large deputation of Grand Lodge Office Bearers. A dinner followed in the Angus Hotel.
On 24th November Robert A. Clapperton was installed as R.W.M. by P.M. James Adams, assisted by P.M’s Eric Brown and Duncan Erskine.
The year ended on a sad note with the death of Bro. Alex. Stewart the lodge treasurer in December. Initiated in 1954, Alex. had been treasurer for the past twenty years.
George Lochhead was installed as treasurer at the last meeting of the year, an office he still holds in 1996.
It was later learned that Bro. Stewart had bequeathed £100 to the Lodge in his will. It was decided that this money should be used to procure special chairs for the two deacons, the secretary and the treasurer, with special plaques in memory of Alex. Stewart attached to them. The chairs were eventually donated by Bro. Gilbert Wilson, who also had them refurbished.
Later the members of Lodge Albert purchased a trophy in memory of Alex. Stewart, and this is played for each year by the bowlers of the lodge in a singles competition.
Bro. David Robertson took over as Social Convenor and made great efforts to get the social side of the lodge moving again. The first Club Night for some time took place in May and at the beginning of June the annual dinner and dance was held in the Inchture Hotel and was well supported.
Two further dances later in the year were also successful and in October a new venture - a wrestling show was a huge success. The show was arranged by Bro. David Kidney, then Scottish light weight wrestling champion, and the highlight of the show was his defence of his crown in the main bout of the evening. Another highlight was the enthusiasm of the R.W.M’s mother-in-law in the audience - it was quite a sight to see a full size wrestling ring in our main hall!
An inter-lodge dominoes competition also did well, with Lodge Roineach Mhor No. 1308 carrying off the trophy.
The lodge was represented in the P.G.L. Bowling Competition without success, but for the first time Lodge Albert had a winner in the P.G.L. Golf Competition when Bro. Brian Wicksted won the Rennie Trophy in the scratch competition. I remember this well - I marked his card!
We visited the Lodge of Old Aberdeen No. 164 in October to work a third degree with the usual supper and dance afterwards.
During the year we also had visits from The Glasgow Star Lodge and Lodge Lour.
In February a large deputation attended the 200th Anniversary Celebrations of Lodge Thistle Operative No. 158. In March a degree by reigning masters in Tayside was worked in Lodge Thistle Operative, and our R.W.M. Robert Clapperton carried out the duties of Inner Guard.
As the social side of the lodge took off again, donations to charities also increased.
A special raffle during the visit of the Glasgow Star Lodge, raised a big donation for the Bone Marrow Appeal Fund in London.
A donation was also given to local Councillors Farquar and Lynch, to sponsor them in the Dundee Marathon, proceeds to go towards taking a group of children to Lourdes.
Bro. Peter Milligan also took part in a sponsored walk from Perth to Dundee and helped Lodge Ancient No. 49 raise a large sum for the Ethiopian Famine Appeal.
In September Bro. John L. Addison once again reported on visits he had made to six lodges during another visit to New Jersey covering nineteen meetings this time. Not to be outdone, at the next meeting Bro. John Rodger reported on meetings he had attended during a stay in Kuala Lumpur - to Lodge Tullibardine No. 1118, Scottish Constitution; Read No. 2337, English Constitution; Santosa No. 7661 E.C.; Emerald in the East No. 830, Irish Constitution in Kuala Lumpur and Ailsa No. 1172 S.C.; Centenary No. 7626 E.C., Singapore No. 7178 E.C. and Stamford Raffles No. 7444 E.C., all in the Singapore area. Lodge Albert members were certainly well travelled!
We were also taking in several overseas candidates! One, Bro. Harbhajan Rehilhu was a real tongue-twister for the Senior Deacon - me - to deal with! He was one of 11 candidates admitted in Robert Clapperton’s first year in the chair.
It was suggested in October that a new design for our Mark tokens should be thought about and this was left to the members to come up with ideas.
The Lodge was saddened by the death of Bro. David Dysart McLagan on 14th June. David had been initiated on 15th November 1956 and was R.W.M. of the Lodge in 1964-1966. For some years he held the office of Provincial Grand Lodge Treasurer and was later appointed Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Forfarshire. On 21st September 1984 he was installed as Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master of Forfarshire in our own Lodge Rooms by the Most Worshipful Grand Master Bro. J.M. Marcus Humphrey of Dinnet. Just seven months later in April 1985 P.M. McLagan led the official Provincial visit to his mother lodge when, although obviously very ill, he determinedly carried out his duties. His funeral, with masonic honours was held on 19th June.
A forthright character, David was a man who spoke his mind. He was not always popular, but was an ardent Freemason and a tremendous servant to Lodge Albert.
At a General Committee Meeting in December 1985 several designs for the new Mark token were discussed and eventually it was decided that one, featuring Cox’s Stack and the Law should be submitted to the Lodge for approval. The brethren accepted the design, which had been created by P.M.W. Whyte.
A year tinged with a fair amount of sadness came to an end with the now traditional New Years Eve party.
A fire in one of the lights in the main hall early in January 1986 caused little damage. As luck would have it an O.E.S. meeting was in progress when smoke was first seen and the speedy arrival of the Fire Brigade soon had the outbreak under control. But we’d been lucky!
Another wrestling evening was held in March. Once again this was a sell-out and once again the R.W.M’s mother-in-law was in good form in the audience! A sing-song rounded off a very enjoyable evening.
The new Mark pennies were used for the first time in the Mark degree in April, chaired by P.M. Eric Brown.
A deputation travelled to Aberdeen on 26th April to carry out a third degree for Lodge St. George No. 190. One of the candidates was the brother of Douglas Balbirnie of Lodge Albert. This was another enjoyable evening and a great experience for the office-bearers working a degree in the big massive lodge room of the Masonic Temple in Crown Street.
Peter Milligan, our Director of Ceremonies, took part in another marathon walk early in May. This time his efforts raised a sizeable sum for the Orthopaedic Ward of Dundee Royal Infirmary.
In July the Lodge was stunned by the sudden death of our Secretary George Webster. George had been initiated on 8th January 1948 and in December of that year he was appointed Secretary of the lodge, a post he held until he died. He had been awarded the honorary rank of Grand Lodge Bible Bearer for his services to Freemasonry, and was well known throughout the province. Many tributes were received by the Lodge, including one from Grand Secretary, Bro. E. Stuart Falconer. George’s funeral, with full masonic honours, was held at Dundee Crematorium on 16th July. After the recess the Lodge held a special Memorial Service and P.M. Jim Adams delivered a fine eulogy in a moving ceremony.
George Lochhead took over as Secretary, combining his duties as Treasurer until the Nomination meeting in October.
The name of David W. McKenzie was recommended to the Lodge by Provincial Grand Lodge as the next Provincial Grand Master. After a long discussion in the Lodge, however,
it was decided that Bro. Loveraine James Watt Beatt should be our nominee for the post. Bro. Beatt was later elected.
A third wrestling show was held in the Halls in July and was again well supported. These evenings were great entertainment.
A deputation from Lodge Woodhall St. John No. 309, Bellshill visited the Lodge in September and was entertained to a Social Evening. The proceeds of the evening went to the parents of Dundee boy Craig Jackson, who was undergoing heart surgery in Guy’s Hospital, London, to assist in the cost of their stay in the city.
The 250th Anniversary celebrations of the Grand Lodge of Scotland took place in September.
The Re-dedication Ceremony was held on Thursday 18th, and incredibly no Lodge Albert office-bearer was present. In fact the Lodge held a regular meeting that evening and it was business only as the expected candidate had to call off at the last moment.
Why there was no representative at such an important meeting escapes me. In fact there was little mention of the celebrations in the minutes at all. We had to make do with a report from P.M. Neil Gow of Lodge Dalhousie.
The ceremony was held in Edinburgh at Ingleston with approximately 4,000 in attendance from every corner of the globe. The R.W. Grand Master, Bro. J.M. Marcus Humphrey of Dinnet was piped into the meeting by three pipers and the whole affair was carried out with much pomp and ceremony.
Also in attendance was H.R.H. the Duke of Kent, R.W. Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England and the R.W. Grand Master of Ireland.
The theme of the meeting was brotherhood and P.M. Gow reported that you could really sense the feeling of brotherhood when you looked around the huge company with so many races in attendance. 2,300 attended the dinner which followed.
On the same night as Bro. Gow gave his report, a lecture was given in the Lodge by Bro. David Paris Craig on the panels in Lodge Camperdown. Bro. Craig, the artist who painted the panels, explained the meaning of his work and answered questions from the brethren.
Robert Clapperton’s term of office had been a time of tremendous change in the Lodge. The long standing Secretary and Treasurer had both passed away, as had had Lodge Albert’s only Provincial Grand Master, David McLagan.
Robert Innes took over as R.W.M. in November. His Secretary was P.M. Syd Rollo and his Treasurer George Lochhead, and these two soon formed another formidable partnership in the Lodge boiler-house!
Everything seemed very new at the start of Robert Innes’s term in the chair. There was a new Secretary, a fairly new Treasurer and the Lodge had a new look about it altogether, with new tables and chairs for these two office bearers. The material to make the tables had been purchased from the proceeds of the will of the late Treasurer, Alex. Stewart and made by Bro. Ian Clapperton. The chairs, donated by Bro. Gilbert Wilson and re-furbished by Ian Clapperton, were suitably inscribed in memory of the late Secretary and Treasurer.
A new lodge organ and a gaming machine had been purchased by the 100 Club, along with four new dining room tables.
A mirror depicting the new logo on the Mark Penny featuring Cox’s Stack and the Law had been donated by John Ogilvie Signs Ltd. and placed above the Lodge Bar.
There were several new young members, all very keen, and competing to do charges on the floor. Nicknamed the “Young Mafia” these members were bringing a younger approach into the social side of the lodge and promised well for the future.
There was a new Social Convenor, Joe Devlin and with various functions planned, the Lodge looked set for a busy year.
P.M. Kenneth Chisholm was part of the Installing Board at the Installation of Lodge St. Davids’ No. 78, after which he was made an Honorary Member.
A deputation from the Lodge attended the Installation and Annual Burns Supper of Lodge Burns Immortal No. 1730 in Hamilton Town Hall. Over 250 had attended the function and the Burns Supper was of a very high standard. The deputation stayed overnight in Hamilton.
A coffee morning and the proceeds of a raffle raised £300 which was donated to the 250th Anniversary Fund of Grand Lodge.
At the end of February, Bro. Brian Day resigned his office as Inner Guard as he was joining the R.A.F. This was the first of a number of losses of younger members over the next few months, due to work commitments and changes in circumstances. The “Young Mafia” eventually dwindled away!
An incident at the bar between two brethren at the meeting on 16th April led to the eventual banning of one brother for two years. This was the first time in the history of Lodge Albert that such disciplinary action had been required. It was indeed a sad day for the Lodge and led to a lot of ill-feeling, which festered for some considerable time. A conciliating handshake might well have cut the matter off short, but alas, this was not to be.
The proposed Lodge Dinner and Dance in the Cliffburn Hotel had to be cancelled due to a lack of support.
The 250th Anniversary Appeal Fund of the Grand Lodge of Scotland came in for much criticism around this time. The target of the fund was a million pounds, and Grand Lodge wanted contributions from the Scottish Lodges in proportion to the number of masons on the roll of each Lodge. In Lodge Albert’s case this would have amounted to a completely impossible donation of £2,865.
Not surprisingly the whole business caused much animosity around the lodges.
Looking back in the minutes to a previous appeal for funds, at that time to build a new Masonic Home, Grand Lodge had been amazed at the response from the lodges. On that occasion the lodges had been asked for donations. This time a demand for funds was made and was not received well!
A Charity Dance in October raised £125 for the Baby Care Unit at Ninewells Hospital.
During the year there were 28 regular meetings. Of these 19 were held for the purpose of conferring degrees. Seven initiates were admitted.
There were visits from The Lodge of Old Aberdeen No. 164 to work a second degree; from The Glasgow Star Lodge No. 219 to work a third degree and from Lodge St. David No. 78 to confer a second degree.
In turn we visited Lodge Lour No. 309 to work a second degree and Lodge Roineach Mhor No. 1308 to work a third.
Bert Innes decided against going for a further year as Master, and on the 28th November Harry Scott was installed into the chair by P.M. David Nevay of Lodge Lour No. 309, assisted by P.M’s Alex. Garty and Sydney Rollo.
Two nights previously, along with Bro. Scott and Bro. Ian Robb, I had attended the Installation Ceremony of the Grand Master Mason, Bro. James Marcus Humphrey of Dinnet in Edinburgh and the dinner which followed.
While I had attended Grand Lodge Installations, this was the first time I had attended the Dinner and I was certainly impressed by the whole occasion. Main guest that day was Bro. Johan Mari Barents, Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand East of the Netherlands.
One of the highlights of the Grand Lodge Installation each year, is the last train home to Dundee, with carriages full of masons from Fife and points north aboard. It’s a very happy journey!
As we moved into 1988 several projects were under way among the Dundee lodges to raise money towards the Grand Master’s Appeal, now that their original propositions had been shelved.
A Grand Draw was arranged and on the 30th April a sale of work with all the Dundee lodges involved was held in the Marryat Hall. It was a huge success. Donations had been received from most of the Dundee lodges to swell the funds and the Grand Master was in attendance.
Our annual Dinner and Dance returned to our own halls and was well supported, making a small profit for the Lodge.
On the 28th May a deputation travelled to Glasgow to work a degree in the Glasgow Star Lodge No. 219.
This was a special night as the degree was the last ever worked in the premises at Butterbiggins Road, which was to be demolished. In fact, the demolition was due to start two days later!
Lodge Clydesdale who were the owners of the Halls, had already moved out the lodge furniture, so we had to make do with bits and pieces which had been left. The carpet was missing several black squares!
Nevertheless, it was a tremendous night and the singing of “Auld Lang Syne” and the National Anthem at the end of the dance which followed was particularly poignant.
That hall, which was shared by sixteen Glasgow lodges and other Masonic organisations, had housed many memorable evenings and it was sad to see it disappear.
The last degree in Lodge Albert before the recess was worked by a team of Past Masters - the first such degree for some time. P.M. Jim Adams took the chair.
The brethren were saddened by the death of P.M. Wallace’s son Richard in tragic circumstances on 22nd October. A fund was set up in memory of Richard and the money was later passed on to the boy’s school.
Harry Scott was elected for another year as Master in October. During his first year he had initiated 8 candidates and had no less than 5 affiliates.
Besides the visit to Glasgow Star the Lodge also worked a third degree in Lodge St. John Operative No. 105 in Coupar Angus.
In turn we received visitations from Lodge Lour No. 309 who worked a third degree; the Lodge of Old Aberdeen No. 164 who worked the Fellowcraft Degree and Lodge Tay Union No. 273 who also worked a second.
Plans were put into motion for the stocking of a jewel to mark the 125th Anniversary of the Lodge in 1990. Commemorative glasses were also to be produced.
Several brethren attended the Consecration of Lodge Ubique No. 1192’s new halls on 18th February and on 4th March the Lodge worked a third degree for Lodge Ubique
During the Provincial visit in April, the Provincial Grand Master, Bro. Loveraine J.W. Beatt intimated that the Province had raised 70% of their target towards the Grand Master’s appeal and said that if all Lodges donated a further £250, the target would be met. The Lodge agreed to meet this sum.
Later that month Bro. Rev. Dr J.J. Morrow sent a letter to the Lodge informing the brethren of the intended formation of a Burns Lodge in Dundee.
P.M. Cecil Black and his brother William Coupar Black were presented with their j70 year certificates by the R.W.M. Harry Scott during a visit to Cecil’s home, accompanied by myself (W.S.W.) and Peter Moir (W.J.W.). Both men were now over 90 years of age.
William Don won the H. Don Scott Bowls Trophy in the singles of the Provincial Grand Lodge Summer Bowls tournament.
A coffee morning in St. Luke’s Church in September raised £400 from which £250 was forwarded to the Grand Master’s Appeal. Bro. William Thain did a power of work for this function.
During the year 6 initiates were admitted into the Lodge and there was one affiliate.
Besides the visit to Lodge Ubique, visits were also made to work degrees in Lodge St. David No. 78, Lodge Tay Union No. 273 and the Lodge of Old Aberdeen No. 164.
In turn we were visited by The Glasgow Star Lodge No. 219 and Lodge Operative No. 47. Two mark degrees were also worked during the year.
The Annual Dinner and Dance this year moved to the Belmont Arms in Meigle and was a great success.
Harry Scott’s two years in the chair had been very busy with much time involved in raising funds for the Grand Master’s Appeal, which eventually reached its target.
The next two year’s minutes covering my own time in the chair, brought back a host of happy memories.
I took over on 25th November 1989 and was installed by P.M. John B. Whyte (225); P.M. William Young (1308) and P.M. Robert Innes (448).
During the ceremony P.M. Whyte presented my I.P.M. Harry Scott with a new jewel fashioned from a commemorative coin issued by the Grand Lodge of China. This is now passed on to each I.P.M. of the Lodge to remind him of the moments of “Chinese ritual” he has no doubt perpetrated during his time in the chair!
At the Installation dinner Jack also received a surprise presentation from P.M. Ian Keith (78) and P.M. Stewart Downie (319) - a commemorative book listing the names of all the Masters he had installed. Mine was the 55th installation Jack had carried out. Up to the end of 1995 he had done 83 - quite an achievement!
As he does with all Masters he initiates, Jack presented me with a Master’s gonk. Jack has manufactured these wonderful little figures bedecked in kilt, tammy and masonic regalia, for many years and they have gone to all corners of the world, including Canada, Malaya and Australia. I remember Bro. Brian Day reporting on finding one behind the bar in a German Lodge he visited.
Grand Lodge was still looking for money to top up their appeal fund. A levy of £100 was asked from each Scottish Lodge to help reach the million pound target and although not everybody was in favour, it was passed that Lodge Albert should contribute this sum. A comment from one brother was - “This is never ending, Right Worshipful Master!”.
In January a letter was received from Bro. John G. McLeish requesting that Lodge Albert support the petition to Grand Lodge of a lodge of Research and Instruction to be known as Lodge Discovery. This was agreed by the Lodge and I was one of a number of Lodge Albert members who later became founder members of this new Lodge.
On 1st February a large deputation from Lodge Albert and several other Dundee Lodges travelled to Dunfermline for a very special evening.
On that night P.M. John Addison, now 92 years old, and my Depute Master in the Lodge was presented with his 70 year diploma and commemorative jewel by Bro. Lord Elgin, Past Grand Master and Provincial Grand Master of Fife and Kinross in Lodge Union 250, John’s mother lodge.
John later did the tools charge in the second degree which followed and gave a long talk on his many experiences in Freemasonry.
At the harmony which followed that, Lodge Albert members took over and it was another evening to remember!
I.P.M. Harry Scott, P.M’s Duncan Erskine and Sandy Lees and Bro. Frank Yorke reported back to the Lodge late in February after visiting Lodge Star in the East in Enniskillin, Ireland, for their annual installation. They had received a tremendous welcome.
February had been a busy month. Besides our normal meetings, two visitations and a special meeting, I had also visited Lodge St. John’s Operative in Coupar Angus to witness I.P.M. Harry Scott receiving Honorary Membership.
The month finished with a lecture by David Paris Craig, the artist responsible for the F and K panels and his lecture team. The collection taken that evening was donated to the Masonic Homes Fund.
A Race Night early in March proved popular and another was arranged for later in the year.
The 125th Anniversary Committee were now beginning to put things together for the celebrations in November. An anniversary jewel had been designed and presentation glasses ordered.
A large deputation from the lodge attended the 100th Anniversary rededication ceremony at Lodge St. Servanus No. 771 in Alva.
Lodge Union, Dunfermline No. 250 worked the first degree before the recess and at that meeting I had the pleasure of presenting a Distinguished Service Diploma to P.M. John Addison, assisted by P.M. Jack Hastie of Lodge Union. It was a nice way to go into the recess.
A special football evening took place in the Lodge in September. Main speaker was Craig Brown, Scotland’s assistant football coach, later to take over as chief coach. Craig, a Lodge Albert member, was accompanied by Bob Valentine, F.I.F.A. referee, and aided by Alex Hamilton, former Dundee and Scotland full back, they gave the audience an interesting insight into various aspects of club and international football.
The proceeds of the evening was used to purchase a computer games system for the William Barclay Care Centre in Hilltown, Dundee.
A sponsored gliding event at H.M.S. Condor, Arbroath raised £250 for the Baby Care Unit at Ninewells Hospital.
Those taking part were Bert Innes, Jim Rattray, Douglas Gall, Ally McInnes and myself. Sponsors had to guess the combined time that we would stay in the air, and the winner was to have two free flights. P.M. Ken Chisholm was the winner, but I don’t think he ever claimed his prize!
All in all it was a busy year. Eleven brethren were initiated. We worked degrees in Lodge Ubique No. 1172, The Glasgow Star Lodge No. 219 and Lodge St. James Operative No. 97, in Edinburgh.
The visit to Edinburgh was an innovation. We were the first lodge to work a degree for this lodge for a number of years. They share the wonderful old lodge of Canongate, Kilwinning No. 2, the lodge featured on the famous painting of Robert Burns being installed as bard. The lodge rooms are still identical to the way they were in Burns’ time and it was a tremendous experience working a degree in these surroundings.
During the year we received visits from Lodge Tay Union No. 273, Lodge St. James Operative No. 97, Lodge Union, Dunfermline No. 250, Lodge St. John Operative No. 105 and in November, Lodge Coupar o’ Fife No. 19 worked a mark degree for us.
The latter visit had been an ambition of mine for some years - to have the lodge from my home town work a degree in my mother lodge while I was in the chair. This Lodge’s mark degree is well worth seeing.
The highlight of the year, however, was the 125th Anniversary and Re-dedication Service, with a dinner to follow on the 2nd November.
The ceremony was carried out by Bro. Brigadier Sir Gregor McGregor of McGregor Bart. Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason accompanied by Bro. Duncan M. Lowe, Bro. Arthur O. Hazel, Bro. Lt. Commander Richard S. Beveridge, Bro. Rev. Joseph J. Morrow, Bro. John H.G. Herrich, Bro. Iain S. Taylor, Bro. James S. Brown, Bro. Neil C. Gow and Bro. Norman Murray.
The deputation from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Forfarshire was headed by The R.W. Provincial Grand Master, Bro. Loveraine J.W. Beatt.
At the dinner afterwards, P.M. James Adams gave the toast to the Grand Lodge of Scotland, the toast he had also given at the Centenary celebrations.
The full toast list was -
The Queen - Bro. Ian Munro, R.W.M.
The Grand Lodge of Scotland - Bro. James Adams, P.M. 448
Reply - Bro. Brig. Sir Gregor McGregor of McGregor, Bart.
Provincial Grand Lodge - Bro. Harry Scott, I.P.M. 448
Reply - Bro. L.J.W. Beatt, P.G.M. of Forfarshire
Lodge Albert - Bro. Alister T. Tindel, P.M. Lodge St.David No. 78
Reply - Bro. Ian Munro, R.W.M.
The Visitors - Bro. Peter S. Moir, W.S.W. 448
Reply - Bro. Ronald G. Cruden, R.W.M. Lodge Forfar & Kincardine No. 225.
On the 8th November, to finish off the celebrations, P.M. Jim Adams chaired a Past Masters’ degree in the Lodge. The following week saw Lodge Coupar o’ Fife working the mark degree. It had been a tremendous few weeks.
The Installation Ceremony on 24th November crept up on us suddenly after all the festivities. Once again P.M’s Jack Whyte, Willie Young and Robert Innes did a magnificent job installing me in the chair once again.
An exciting year ended with a visit from The Lodge of Old Aberdeen No. 164 to work a third degree. That evening I had the pleasure of investing their R.W.M., Bro. Roderick Ferguson as an Honorary Member of Lodge Albert.
Roddy and I had come up through the offices together. At one time, after a terrible accident in which he lost a leg, it looked as if he wouldn’t make it to the chair, but Rod is a very robust character and he overcame this terrible blow with great determination and a great deal of humour!
As I had been warned by several past masters, my second year seemed to fly past in extra quick time.
There were eight new candidates during the year and the Past Masters worked a mark degree with P.M. Robert Clapperton in the chair.
The lodge was invited to work degrees in Lodge Camperdown No. 317, The Lodge of Old Aberdeen No. 164, and Lodge St. James Operative No. 97.
We received visits from Lodge Forfar and Kincardine No. 225, Lodge Ubique No. 1192, Lodge St. James Operative No. 97, The Glasgow Star Lodge No. 219, Lodge Lour No. 301 and Lodge Camperdown No. 317.
In April a bus load of residents from Sir James MacKay Home in Edinburgh were given a meal, drinks and entertainment on an afternoon visit to the lodge.
A Whisky Tasting by Bell’s gave a very convivial evening in the lodge later that week.
A large deputation attended the consecration of Lodge Discovery No. 1789 by the Grand Master. P.M. Ken Chisholm of Lodge Albert was the first master of the new lodge, and our W.S.W. Peter Moir became Senior Deacon.
Over £450 was raised at a Coffee Morning in the Lochee West Church in the summer, and once again Bro. Willie Thain did a power of work to make this a success. On the 19th September, my Deputy Master, P.M. John Addison, now 93 years old, gave the first charge in the first degree that evening. Unfortunately that was one of only two meetings I missed while I was in the chair, being laid low with flue. I was disappointed to miss that.
We suffered a big blow in October after our visit to Aberdeen. After a tremendous day during which we worked a third degree, then enjoyed an excellent evening with our wives and friends from Aberdeen, we were shattered on the Sunday to learn that our Senior Deacon, Peter Milligan, had collapsed and died on his arrival home from the outing.
Peter was an ardent Mason, well known in many branches of the craft. He was the reigning First Principal of Albert Royal Arch Chapter No. 503, the Secretary of Camperdown Cryptic Council and Royal Ark Mariners and was well known in many lodges. His death cast a big shadow over the lodge for some time.
It was certainly a sad note on which to finish my two years in the chair, a time I enjoyed immensely and which I’ll certainly never forget.
On 30th November, Peter Moir was installed as Master by P.M. Kenneth Chisholm, Alister Tindel (P.M. 78) and Neil C. Gow (P.M. 679). A proud guest that evening was his father, Peter Snr.
A sudden shortage of candidates cut down the degree working in the first three months of Peter’s time in the chair.
One second degree was worked in December and a third degree took place in January. On 20th February, P.M. Frank Welsh (679) gave a lecture of his masonic travels in America in the lodge. The following week a mark degree was held.
In March, Bro. Iver Ross, a member of the Lodge of Old Aberdeen No. 164, was brought down from Aberdeen, accompanied by a large deputation from that lodge and received his third degree from Lodge Albert.
In April, just as suddenly as they had stopped, the candidates began to flow again. It had been an unusual spell.
During the same time we had worked a second degree in Lodge Grange and on 16th May, an initiation was worked in The Glasgow Star Lodge No. 219. The Cabaret Dance held afterwards was a tremendous success with pop star Christian, who is a member of one of the Glasgow Lodges, the star turn.
A large deputation from the lodge also attended the 225th Anniversary Re-dedication and dinner held by Lodge St. Johns’ Operative No. 105 in Coupar Angus.
Our own social calendar had been a busy one. A Karaoke Night held in February was a big success, as was a Race Night held in March. A “Happy Hour” got this event off to a flying start! The Annual Dinner and Dace at the Belmont Arms was a sell-out.
On Sunday, 8th March, P.M. Cecil G. Black passed away after a long illness. Initiated in 1919, Master in 1926-1928, Cecil had been a stalwart of the lodge and was the prime mover in the erection of the Albert Halls.
Around this time our Ad Hoc Committee from the Grand Lodge of Scotland, began an enquiry into the state of Freemasonry at this time. Several meetings followed in various parts of Scotland, many quite fiery, as various ideas and grievances were aired. One meeting held in Lodge Scone and Perth No. 3 in May, had to be reconvened, as too many turned up and the halls just weren’t big enough to accommodate them!
For the first time in twenty years, a Special Summer Meeting was held on 9th July. Two candidates, brothers William and Ryan Percy were initiated. There was a large turnout with visitors from ten lodges and the evening was a big success.
An annual four lodge golf competition was held again this summer. Lodge Albert, Lodge Lour, Lodge Forfar, Killwinning and The Lodge of Old Aberdeen met at Forfar, when Aberdeen swept all before them, as they had also done the previous year.
The death was reported on 29th October of Bro. David Bruce, who had passed away in America. Bro. Bruce had been the first man initiated in the Albert Halls on 5th November 1931.
R.W.M. Peter Moir was called upon to chair a very difficult meeting in September, when the misappropriation of a large sum of 100 Club money came to light. The brother in question appeared before the Lodge. He had had severe personal and monetary problems which had led to the misappropriation.
After a lengthy and often fiery discussion, the lodge voted that under the circumstances the brother should be given time to repay the money.
This was accomplished in a short space of time and no further action was taken.
Naturally, this decision was not welcomed by all the members, but was passed on a democratic vote.
P.M. John Addison now aged 95, set out for yet another visit to America in November. He also hoped to attend an installation in the west of Scotland the night before he flew out! At 95, there was still no stopping him!
The working of a degree in Lodge Camperdown No. 317, and a visit from the Lodge of Old Aberdeen No. 164 in November, completed Peter Moir’s first year in the chair, during which five new members were initiated. He was re-installed for a second term in November by P.M. Ken Chisholm, ably assisted by P.M. Alister T. Tindel (78) and P.M. Neil C. Gow (679).
The death was announced in February 1993 of Bro. Peter Sinclair, Past Provincial Grand Master of Aberdeen City, a Past Master of the Lodge of Old Aberdeen No. 164 and an honorary member of Lodge Albert, a good friend to the lodge for many years.
P.M. George Lawrence received his 50 year diploma in the lodge in February and was warmly congratulated by the brethren. George is a loyal servant to Lodge Albert and still rarely misses a meeting.
In May P.M. Harry Scott donated a trophy for competition in an annual quiz night, the trophy to be known as the George D’All trophy in memory of another well loved Past Master.
The visit of the Glasgow Star Lodge on 12th June was cancelled at the last moment by our Glasgow friends. In its place the Past Master worked a degree followed by a dance and I had the pleasure of chairing that meeting.
The final charge in the second degree that evening was given by P.M. Alex. Garty and sadly it was the final charge that P.M. Garty ever gave, for he died two weeks later.
P.M. Garty had been a tremendous servant to the lodge. An adept ritualist he was always ready to assist in any way he could, standing in any office at a moment’s notice and rarely missing a meeting. At the time of his death he had been Tyler and Caretaker of the lodge and he was sadly missed. A Lodge of Sorrow was convened in the lodge on 31st October.
P.M. Jim Adams who had left his sick bed to deliver the tribute to P.M. Garty was too overcome to carry it out. The R.W.M. Peter Moir took over at a moment’s notice and delivered a very worthy tribute.
Twenty six meeting were held in Peter’s second year, and this year twenty of these were for the purpose of conferring degrees. Eight new brethren were initiated and there were two affiliations.
Visitations were made to Lodge Ubique and the Lodge of Old Aberdeen. In return we received visitations from Lodge Lour and Lodge Camperdown who both worked Fellowcraft degrees.
On 27th November 1993 Ian Robb became R.W.M. carrying on a family tradition. His father Jim had been Master between 1946 and 1948.
Ian’s installing board consisted of P.M. John B. Whyte (P.M. 225), P.M. Duncan Erskine and P.M. Robert Clapperton.
Bro. Sydney T. Martin resigned as Almoner in December due to ill health. He had held this office for many years and travelled many a mile to visit sick brethren. His very detailed reports on the illnesses of various brethren were a feature of his time in office!
A proposal was made in the Lodge that Lodge music should be taped in case the organist was ever absent, but this has never been followed up!
P.M. William Young (1308) gave an interesting lecture on Early Freemasonry in Dundee at the meeting on 17th February.
Several brethren attended the consecration of Lodge Camperdown’s new premises in Wellington Street. Lodge Camperdown had had to vacate their lodge in Dura Street, which was in the path of a proposed new road. Typically that building still stands today in 1996!
A special summer degree was convened on 16th June to accommodate the Fellowcraft Degree on Bro. Gary Pryce, a member of H.M. Forces. Again the summer degree seemed to go down well. It was well supported with visitors from ten lodges attending.
In September David Taylor, whose poems were raising a considerable sum for the Heart Foundation Charity, was installed as Bard in The Robert Burns Lodge of Dundee No. 1788.
On 26th September a deputation from Toronto No. 2 District, headed by R.W. Bro. Michael Wiengelt District Deputy Grand Master worked a Mock 1st degree in the lodge. It was an interesting degree and afterwards the visitors and their wives were entertained to a “Scots Night”, complete with full pipe band and a buffet meal!
The Canadian brethren were on a tour of Scotland and England. They had worked a degree in Lodge St. Nicholas in Aberdeen the previous night and two nights later were due to work another in Freemasons Hall in London.
Disciplinary action had to be taken by the Lodge once again, after a fracas between two members outside the lodge on 39th June. This time one of the members was suspended sine die. Despite taking appeals all the way to Grand Lodge, the sentence was upheld. It was another sad time in the Lodge’s history.
Four candidates were initiated in Ian Robb’s first year in the chair. Two mark degrees were worked by Past Masters.
There were two special meetings, the Summer degree and the visit of the Canadian Masons.
During the year we visited Lodge Lour No. 309 to work a second degree, Lodge Langside No. 955 to work a first and Lodge Camperdown No. 317 for a second degree.
The Annual Dinner and Dance returned to the Belmont Arms and was an enjoyable evening.
Ian Robb was reinstalled as R.W.M. on 24th November. Once again P.M. Jack Whyte (225), P.M. Duncan Erskine and P.M. Robert Clapperton did the honours.
Two well known Past Masters died early in 1995 - P.M. William W. Whyte (1958-1960) and P.M. Jim Adams (1949-1951). Both had been wonderful servants to Lodge Albert.
In May the lodge was further saddened by the death of P.M. John Addison. An affiliated member of Lodge Albert, John had been a Past Master of Lodge Union No. 250, Dunfermline in 1933. He affiliated to Lodge Albert in 1973 at the age of 74 and was a regular attender until the week before his death at the age of 96.
In August, details of an Enquiry Committee meeting appeared in the Minutes Book for the first time. Previously these had been recalled in a separate book, but Grand Lodge now required them to be contained in the Lodge’s main Minute Book.
A Lodge of Sorrow was held in September for three Past Masters - Bros. W. Whyte, Jim Adams and Albert Robb. It had been a very sad spell in the lodge.
Five more candidates were initiated in Ian Robb’s second year. We visited the Lodge of Old Aberdeen in October to work an Initiation. In turn we received two visitations from Lodge Camperdown who worked a first degree and Lodge Lour who worked a second.
Ian Clapperton was installed as R.W.M. in November 1995, in an excellent ceremony carried out by his brother Bert, assisted by P.M. Eric Brown and P.M. Duncan Erskine.
Up to the recess this summer he has initiated two new candidates and carried out a third degree in Lodge Lour.
As we go into the recess the brethren are looking forward to the usual bowls, golf and domino competitions and the annual quiz.
Two candidates await initiation when the lodge reopens in September. They will be the 3,065th and 3,066th admitted into Lodge Albert.
The first meeting after the recess in 1996 took place on 12th September, and celebrated the 100th birthday of Bro. Willie Forbes, a resident in Menzieshill House. Visitations from many Masonic orders had visited Willie, and our Secretary had handed over a bottle of Sherry with greetings from his many friends in Lodge Albert, where he had served for a number of years as Tyler.
P.M. Neil Gow was recommended by the Lodge for the office of Provincial Grand Master of Forfarshire. The office was eventually filled by Bro. James Brown. Bro. Neil became his Substitute Master.
Ian Clapperton was re-installed into the chair in November by P.M. Robert Clapperton, P.M. Eric Brown and P.M. Duncan Erskine.
Five initiations had been admitted in Ian Clapperton's first year. Three visiting Lodges worked degrees during the year - Lodge Camperdown, No. 317; Lodge of Old Aberdeen, No. 164 and Lodge Lour, No. 309.
The annual Burns Supper and the Senior Brethren's Christmas Party had been highly successful events, and the 100 Club, run by P.M. Peter Moir had also been a highly successful fund raiser.
Bro. George Lochhead retired after 15 years as Lodge Treasurer. The occasion was marked by the presentation of a Mackintosh Patrick print and flowers for Mrs Lochhead.
Lodge Albert was well represented at the 250th Anniversary celebrations of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Forfarshire, and at Lodge Camperdown's 200th Anniversary celebrations to commemorate the Battle of Camperdown.
Seven candidates were admitted during Ian Clapperton's second year in the chair and there was one affiliation.
The Lodge Bowling competition was a success at Baxter Park, and Domino competitions and Quiz night went well during the recess.
The Senior Brethren Christmas Party, changed to Saturday night, and combined with a Lodge Dance, proved very successful.
Bro. Charles Kennedy took over as R.W.M. on 29th November, 1997. He was installed by P.M. Peter S. Moir. assisted bv P.M. Duncan Erskine and P.M. Robert Clapperton
The refurbishment of the Dinning Room was completed in December, and the R.W.M. warmly thanked I.P.M. Ian Clapperton and Bro. Jim Duncan who had done all the joinery work. Also Bros. Ron Dorward and Richard Black, were the very able electrician and painter!
On 8th January, 1988, a notice of motion by P.M. Eric Brown, seconded by Bro Patrick Regan, re-instated the offices of Marshal and Standard Bearer which had not been used in the Lodge for many years.
The brethren were saddened by the death of P.M. George Lawrence on 9th January. George had been R.W.M. between 1956-1958.
The official opening of the re-furbished Lodge took place on 7th March with a buffet and drinks supplied by the Lodge.
Due to the application for renewal of the Lodge's club licence not being resolved in time, the Lodge was dry until early April - a desperate time for the members!
Bro. Walter Ross received his 50 years diploma at the last meeting before the recess, and was warmly thanked for his continuous support in regular attendance and his services to the Lodge building.
That evening the degree was worked by Past Masters, and chaired by P.M. Eric Brown, his first degree in the Albert since returning to live in Birkhill after 14 years in Alva.
A special summer degree, an innovation for Lodge Albert, was worked on 27th June by Lodge Broughty Castle, the Second Degree of Bro. William Styles.
Renovations during recess included the refurbishing of the main vestibule with pine walls and ceiling and new carpet. Temple lights were replaced with chandeliers obtained from the Angus Hotel. All work was carried out by members.
Bro. Charles Kennedy was re-installed into the Chair on 28th November, 1998 by P.M. Peter Moir assisted by P.M. Duncan Erskine and P.M. Robert Clapperton.
Seven candidates had been admitted in Chick's first year, and there had been one affiliation. Three brethren received their Mark Degrees. Of 27 meetings held, 20 were for the purpose of conferring degrees. This percentage would gradually fall over the next few years.
The minute of 14th January, 1999 reports that Bro. Ian Small had successfully undergone a double heart transplant operation. I take it that this should have read bypass!!
Lodge organist Bro. Jim Rattray, who had served as organist for over 30 years waspresented with the Honorary rank of Provincial Director of Music by the Provincial Grand Master of Forfarshire, Bro. James Smith Brown.
Early in September 1999, Bro. John Colville visited the Lodge for the first time since 1971! This was his first visit back to Scotland since he emigrated, and he commented to the many changes to the halls.
The Lodge dispensed with its gaming machine which had proved not to be a viable proposition.
A letter was received from the Lodge solicitors regarding the boundary between the Lodge and 4 Ancrum Road. It appeared that the Lodge occupied a small piece of land belonging to the few of 4 Ancrum Road. This was rectified by Mr Charles Kean the new owners of 4 Ancrum Road, with no expense to the Lodge, and only a small alteration to the rear boundary fence.
The members were deeply saddened by the death of P.M. Eric Brown on the 18th November. A stalwart of Lodge Albert for many years, Eric had been R.W.M. in 1973-1975. Then due to work commitments he moved to Alva where he affiliated to Lodge St. Servanus No. 771 and was R.W.M. of that Lodge in 1988-89. On retirement he returned to live in Dundee and once again attended Lodge Albert regularly.
Eric's death cast a shadow over the Lodge installation just a week later, which saw Bro. Patrick Regan take over the chair from Charles Kennedy. His installing board was P.M. Duncan Erskine, P.M. Peter Moir and myself.
Four initiates had been received into the Lodge during Charles Kennedy's second year, and five candidates received their Mark Degrees.
Two Life Members were made - Bro. Peter McCabe, P.M. of Lodge 1308, and Bro. Stuart Downie, R.W.M. of the Lodge of Old Aberdeen.
The Lodge continued with the "Lochee Lottery" instead of weekly raffles, which provides a regular income to funds.
INTO THE MILLENNIUM
R.W.M. Patrick Regan carried the Lodge into the 21st century with several social functions - the Burns Supper in January, a Country and Western Night in March, the Lodge dance at the Enverdale Hotel in May and a visit to Rosslyn Chapel in April.
The first candidate in the new Millennium was Bro. Stephen McKelvie who was initiated on 27th January 2000.
Several brethren attended the unveiling of new Masonic panels in Lodge Broughty Castle. The panels had been painted by P.M. David Paris Craig, the well known Masonic artist whose work also appears in Lodge Camperdown, Lodge Forfar and Kincardine and in his mother lodge in Newburgh.
Once again a summer degree was held when Bro. Henry Campbell received his Third Degree.
Lodge tables were replaced using moneys raised by Bro. Tom Miller through various raffles and fund raising schemes.
The lodge worked part of a Third Degree in Lodge St. Machar, 54, in Aberdeen, in September, which was well received.
R.W.M. Patrick Regan was re-elected into the chair on 25th November, 2000, and installed by P.M. Duncan Erskine, assisted by P.M. Peter Moir and myself.
In his first year Pat had six candidates and the brethren received the Mark Degrees. In all the Lodge met on 27 occasions of which 19 were for the purpose of conferring degrees.
Grand Lodge presented £230,000 to Rachel's Childrens' Hospice from funds raised by Scottish Lodges, a fact that was not even reported in our local newspaper!
A lecture on "The Broughty Castle Murals" by the artist P.M. David Paris Craig was given in the Lodge. He was assisted by P.M. Peter Moir and P.M. Douglas Forbes, and was greatly enjoyed by the brethren. The collection was donated to Lodge Discovery, who in turn donated it to the Scottish Masonic Homes.
In March, I had the pleasure of giving a lecture on the history of Lodge Albert to the members of Lodge Discovery. This lodge which had many of its founder members from Lodge Albert was now going strong.
The meeting held on 15th March, saw J.D. Peter Taylor take over as S.D. to guide his son. David through his first degree. Peter also carried out the Apron charge in an excellent degree.
The Dinner Dance took place in the Lodge this year, with a dinner and a cabaret featuring an excellent comedian. The event was well supported.
Pat Regan's second year in the chair saw four new members being initiated. Two Mark Degrees were held, one run by Past Masters with P.M. Erskine in the chair, and the other with the R.W.M. officiating.
Lodge Grange No. 1073 visited us in May and assisted in the working of a First Degree.
On 24th November, 2001, Bro. John Dorward took over as R.W.M. I had the honour and great pleasure of installing him, assisted by P.M. Peter Moir and P.M. Duncan Erskine.
One of John's first duties as R.W.M. was to present his 60 year diploma to Bro. David Taylor. In accepting, Bro. Taylor recalled many happy nights spent in Lodge Albert, having joined during World War II when many of the brethren appeared for their degrees in their wartime uniforms.
In his time Bro. Taylor had also produced several books of poetry, many of the poems being about Lochee, and had raised several thousand pounds for the Heart Foundation from the proceeds.
In January, 2002 an invitation was received for the Lodge to work a Mark Degree in Lerwick in March, 2003. Bro. John Fraser who was from the Shetlands, and Bro. Peter Taylor volunteered to co-ordinate the visitation and the brethren had over a year to look forward to the trip - and save up the pennies!
A Social Evening run in the Lodge by Bro. James Grant Duncan, Jnr. In February, raised £200 for the Web Trust charity.
A lecture on Masonic Aprons 4° to 30° was given by Bro. Bill Sinclair. Bro. Bill had spent a considerable time in Washington U.S.A. and his talk illustrated by slides proved most informative.
A new ice machine costing £500 was purchased from proceeds of the sale of football cards by Bro. Tom Miller.
At the meeting on 28th March, Bro. David Craigie Taylor was honoured with the presentation of the honorary office of "Lodge Bard" in recognition of his services to literature in the Lodge, particularly benefiting cancer charities from the sale of books oi his poetry.
Three new members joined during John Dorward's first year in the chair. The Lodge met on 26 occasions of which 9 were for conferring degrees. There were two Masonic lectures, and we visited Grange No. 1073 on 1st May to assist in the working of a Third Degree. Lodge Lour visited us in October to confer a Second Degree.
The Lodge was saddened by the death of Bro. Richard Black, who had carried out the duties of Chaplain for several years.
John Dorward was re-installed into the chair in November by P.M. Robert Innes, assisted by P.M. Harry Scott and P.M. Duncan Erskine.
After the installation the R.W. Provincial Grand Master of Forfarshire, Bro. George Golden Robertson invested Bro. David Craigie Taylor with the office of Honorary Provincial Grand Bard, and presented him with a certificate outlining his achievements in Masonry and his charitable works.
In January, 2003, Lodge Discovery applied for and were granted permission to use Lodge Albert for their regular meetings.
A Social Night was held to raise funds towards the cost of the trip to the Shetlands, as the long awaited visit drew nearer.
Lodge finances were giving course for concern, and brethren were asked to give thought to extending the uses of the premises. The halls should be advertised regularly in the press as suitable for car boot sales, etc. A pool table was suggested, and the holding of combined Masonic dinners and sports dinners could also be considered.
The long awaited trip to the Shetlands at last arrived on 4th March. The delegation consisting of over 50 brethren from Lodge Albert, Lodge Lour, Old Aberdeen and Ubique flew from Aberdeen. The team was led by P.M. Pat Regan, a last minute substitute for the R.W.M. whose mother-in-law, Mrs Ina Miller, wife of Bro. Tom Miller had died suddenly.
The brethren were met and warmly welcomed at the airport by members of Lodge Morton, Lerwick No. 89 and conducted to their hotel, and then on to the Lodge to work a Mark Degree. Bro Peter Taylor had the unenviable task of conducting 10 candidates around a very small Lodge room! The degree was well received and many congratulations made. A dinner followed which developed into a most enjoyable harmony. The hospitality was excellent.
Next day most of the brethren were taken on a conducted tour of the island, including a visit to Lodge Delting.
On the Saturday evening a Social Evening was held in the Lodge Social Club, attended by many of the brethren and family members.
An incident which occurred early that evening stands out in my memory. We were sitting enjoying a drink, when the door suddenly opened and at least 30 Elvis Presley's entered, and made their way to the hall upstairs where we had dined the night before!
It appears that the famous Up Hellya celebrations had ended the previous week, and the men had used Elvis Presley as the theme for their float in the procession. That evening was their "end-of-term" dinner where the theme for the next year’s procession was no doubt considered. It was certainly a sight to remember!
A tired but happy group flew back to Aberdeen on the Sunday night.
John Dorward's second year in the chair was a busy one. Out of 28 meetings held, only 8 were for Minutes and Business only. Seventeen were for working degrees, and one each for installation, nomination and election, and Provincial visitation.
Six new members were admitted. The highlight of the year was of course the Shetland visitation. The Lodge also worked a Mark Degree in Lodge Forfar and Kincardine, and a Third Degree at Old Aberdeen in October. In turn we received a visitation from Lodge Grange in May.
Bro. Edward Fleming took over as R.W.M. on 29th November, 2003.1 had the pleasure of installing him into the chair, assisted by P.M. Pat Regan and P.M. Robert Innes.
A slump in candidates made for an unusually uneventful spell in the Lodge. Three "mock" degrees were worked for the first time in years, and in an effort to create some interest three Masonic talks were given by P.M. Harry Scott, P.M. Peter Moir and Bro. John Black.
In all the Lodge met 28 times in 2003-2004. Five of these were for degrees. One candidate was admitted. It was a sticky spell.
The Lodge made one visitation to Lodge Grange on 5th May, 2004 to work a Third Degree.
In April a group of 20 brethren visited Lodge Tullibardine No. 1484 in Blair Atholl to witness a Third Degree, and to meet up with old friends.
Bro. Edward Fleming was re-installed as R.W.M. on 27th November, 2004 by P.M. Pat Regan assisted by I.P.M. John Dorward and P.M. Robert Innes.
A drop in Lodge attendances extended a worrying trend, as the dearth of candidates continued. With no candidates coming through visitors dropped off. To create interest four exemplification degrees were held, one by the Lodge of Old Aberdeen. A Mark Degree by P.M. Patrick Regan was held in March, when four brethren received theii degrees. P.M. Regan was assisted by P.M's Duncan Erskine, John Dorward and Robert Innes.
Two brethren received honorary membership - the R.W.M. of Old Aberdeen No. 164. Bro. George Craib, and P.M. David Doogan of Lodge Hilton St. Andrew.
Over the year 29 meetings were held. Only four of these were for conferring degrees. One candidate was admitted.
The Lodge had to tighten its belt. To save money, the practice of sending the R..W.M. and Wardens to attend the Grand Lodge installations was suspended. The Christmas gift to Senior Brethren was also stopped for the time being, although the Christmas Party still took place.
This party and the Burns Supper were the only two social functions during the year. The Lodge did not enter any of the Provincial competition, but during the recess we held our domino and bowls night.
Surprisingly a notable rise in collections began to show a great tribute to the hard core of regular attendances.
Bro. Joginder Singh Athwal was installed as R.W.M. on 26th November, 2005, by P.M, Patrick Regan, assisted by P.M. John Dorward and I.P.M. Edward Fleming.
Further exemplification degrees were held before the recess. Attendances seldom rose above 40, changed days for Lodge Albert, but those who did attend gave unstinting support.
The Lodge was greatly saddened by the deaths of two well-loved Past Masters, Bro. Harry Scott and Bro. Charles Kennedy, two dyed-in-the-wool Albert men. Another stalwart, Bro. Douglas Gansh, died suddenly while on holiday in Spain. It was a sad time for the members.