Well, as I said last night, all good things must come to an end and I can't believe that my term in the chair at 482 has finally come to an end.
Being R.W.M. has been a privilege and a pleasure and it's been a truly fantastic two years. And of course, being in the chair when we returned to Kirkliston - our 'spiritual home' - really was icing on the Masonic cake.
I've had amazing help and support from all the brethren of the Lodge and our visitors have been fantastic. My thanks goes out to absolutely everyone concerned.
Special thanks go to our secretary Bro. Gordon Yeoman P.M. and our treasurer Bro. William Reddington P.M. for continuing to keep the Lodge running smoothly and oc course to my Depute Master Bro. Jimmy Stewart P.M. for all his help.
And the two years were topped off by an amazing 'greetin 'meetin when 92 brethren signed the attendance book!!
(When I say amazing, I am of course excluding my contribution to the harmony!!)
My final thanks goes out to all the Reigning Masters I met and worked with while out 'on the circuit'. The camaraderie was on-going and many new friends were made. Thanks guys.
What now I say? Well, I'm all set for my time as I.P.M. and wish our Master Elect Bro. Les Duff P.M. all the very best for his upcoming Installation and I look forward to supporting him during his term as our new R.W.M.
An what about the blog?? Watch this space ........................... !!
Didn't realise it was so long since my last post, so there are a few important things to catch up on.
A very important event took place at our last meeting when we initiated Donald Small into Freemasonry.
Bro. Donald is the first candidate we've had since I became R.W.M., but it's also very significant as he will be remembered as our first candidate since moving back to the village earlier this year.
As we have more applications 'in the pipeline', we're very hopeful that Donald will be the first of many new candidates for the Lodge.
There certainly was a special buzz in the air on the night and Donald wasn't the only one who was nervous!!
Bro. Donald will be passed to the Fellowcraft Degree at our next meeting on December 19th and raised at our first meeting in January, Wednesday 16th.
Alongside new members, we also hope to encourage members who haven't attended for a while back into the Lodge.
On the same night as Bro. Donald's initiation, we also held the nomination and election of Office Bearers for 2013/2014 at which time Bro. Les Duff P.M. became Master Elect.
We can now look forward to our Installation Ceremony on February 2nd when Bro. Les and his team of Office Bearers will be installed.
We were also delighted to welcome Bro. Craig Gordon as an Honorary Member at our meeting on November 7th. Since then, Bro. Craig has completed a remarkable three year term as R.W.M. of Lodge Dalhousie Bonnyrigg 720 and congratulations again to Bro. Craig on this achievement.
This being December, we are again in the middle of 'Installation Season' and the last event of the year take place this Saturday with the Annual Installation at Lodge Rosslyn St. Clair - but it all starts up again in January!!
Of course, on a very personal note, I have just three more meetings as R.W.M. and my greetin' meetin' will be a special meeting on January 30th.
As this is a five week month, we've invited deputations from Lodge St. John Fisherrow 112 and The Thistle Lodge West Calder 270 who normally meet the same night as us and it will be really good to catch up.
Well, come October, all Lodges will have begun the second half of the Masonic season and, good to say, I've already enjoyed several visits to Lodges in the Province.
As for 482, we've already had our AGM and last Wednesday had a 1st Degree that included an impromptu deputation from Lodge Hopetoun St. John 1232, headed by their Right Worshipful Master Bro. Hugh Paterson. Bro. Hugh is of course a Master Mason of Lodge Kirkliston Maitland.
Thanks again Brethren for coming along in such numbers. It was greatly appreciated by everyone at 482, as was every visitor who came along.
This coming Wednesday, 3rd October, sees our Annual Provincial visit so the Lodge will tyle at 7pm.
In terms of the Lodge setup, there is still some work to be done in respect of displaying photographs and items like the Past Master boards. This matter was discussed at our recent committee meeting and we now have ideas in place on how to proceed with this. We plan is to make a start as soon as possible.
There are two important upcoming dates. The first is on Wednesday October 24th when we'll be holding our first ever open night. This will of course be at Kirkliston Bowling Club and we hope to encourage visitors from the village to come along and see what Freemasonry is all about.
We also hope to attract 482 members who haven't attended for some time and also members of the craft who have perhaps moved to the area, but who do not presently attend any Lodge.
We have produced a leaflet to highlight the occasion and copies will be distributed around the village in the couple of weeks leading up to the event. A copy of the leaflet can also be downloaded from our 'HOME' page.
The second important date in question is Wednesday 7th November when I'll have the pleasure of conferring Honorary Membership on Bro. Craig Gordon, R.W.M. of Lodge Dalhousie Bonnyrigg 720. Bro. Craig is in his 3rd year as Master and it's sure to be a great night. Please come along if you can.
Well, the summer (if we can call it that!!) recess is over and the Masonic Season now gets pretty much back to normal.
For Lodge Kirkliston Maitland, our first meeting is on Wednesday 5th September and it's our A.G.M.
As such, it's a members only meeting with no Degree. However, I'd really like to see as many members as possible on the night, as we hear how the Lodge has done over the past 12 months.
There will be other matters to discuss of course and it is an important night in the 482 calendar.
Although we have been in recess, there was no shortage of meetings, as some Lodges do meet throughout the year.
August 22nd was such a night when Bro. Jimmy Stewart P.M.D.M. received Honorary Membership of Lodge Colinton & Currie 1029.
Congratulations again to Bro. Jimmy and thanks to all the brethren who joined our deputation. It was great to lead such a distinguished group on such an important occasion.
It was a full house at 1029 on the night, and the same could be said a couple of nights later at Lodge Dalkeith Kilwinning No. 10 for their annual 'Festival' meeting.
This was Bro. Andrew Smith's first meeting since being installed as R.W.M. and congratulations again to him and his team, with a special mention for Bro. Richard Carmichael who gave an excellent presentation of the Working Tools, his first time on the floor.
Of course, although the Lodge has been closed, things have been taking place 'in the background'. With the help of Bro. David Swan I.P.M. and Bro. Gordon Yeoman P.M., all the 482 photographs have been removed from Lodge St. John Corstorphine, along with the Past Master Boards. We'll be bringing everything back to Kirkliston in the very near future.
We must now look at the best was to display these items in Kirkliston and this was one of the matters discussed at our committee meeting on 13th August.
There were some very positive suggestions on how best to proceed with this and I look forward to working on these very soon.
In the meantime, I look forward to seeing as many 482 members as possible on Wednesday.
Well, most of the Lodges in the Province are about midway through their Summer Recess but there have still been events taking place.
First of all, we had the Family Barn Dance which marked the climax of the CCLASP fund-raising programme and during the evening, Bro. Brian Kerley, our Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, presented CCLASP founder Mrs Valerie Simpson with a cheque for £60,000.
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This was a tremendous result by the Lodges in the Province of Midlothian and in making the presentation, Bro. Brian said: "Members of the Province were greatly influenced by CCLASP and the work they do and it was a very special moment indeed when we presented them with the cheque.
We were very impressed by the donation given by the 'Secret Millionaire' and I have to say this spurred us on in our effort to raise as much money as possible.
Reaching £60,000 is way above our expectations and we are extremely humbled and privileged to have been able to assist this truly worthwhile charity in such a positive and committed way."
In response, Valerie Simpson said: "This is a truly remarkable amount, well above what we expected, and on behalf of CCLASP, I'd like to thank all the brethren of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Midlothian, as well as their families and friends, for a contribution that will provide holidays for children and their families."
If you haven't already seen them, there is a selection of photographs from the night on the Lodge website.
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Another big night was the Reigning Masters' Degree held at Lodge Dalhousie Bonnyrigg 720.
Almost 190 brethren signed the book and the Grand Master Mason was in attendance.
I think it's safe to say it was an excellent degree, one which the candidate will remember for a long time.
I really enjoyed taking part but I almost missed the event entirely!! It was the same day as the Olympic Torch was paraded through Broxburn and although I parked my car in a spot I thought was good for a quick get-a-way, I was proved horribly wrong!!
This whole part of the town was in complete gridlock and I eventually had to abandon my car. However, things died down a bit and I was able to make the dash to Bonnyrigg, arriving (thankfully) just before the candidate was about to go in.
Relief all round, as I would have been really disappointed to have missed out.
However, an important night still to come during the summer recess takes place on Wednesday 22nd August at Lodge Colinton & Currie 1029, who meet throughout the year.
On that night, Bro. Jimmy Stewart P.M.D.M. will receive Honorary Membership of 1029. This is a great honour for Bro. Jimmy and for Lodge Kirkliston Maitland and I intend to take a deputation to lend Bro. Jimmy our support.
The Lodge tyles at 7.15pm and I really would like to see as many 482 brethren as possible there on the night.
Finally, I have updated the Lodge web site with some dates for the new Masonic season and you can see these by clicking HERE.
Although 482's masonic season is officially over, the last two weeks or so have proved to be quite busy!!
However, it would be very remiss not to begin without thanking all the members and visitors who attended our last meeting and it's hard to believe that's half my second term as R.W.M. completed.
My sincere thanks goes out to everyone for their help and support, especially in our move back to Kirkliston. It was truly great to see everyone pulling together to 'make it happen'!!
And as I said on the night of our last meeting, I'd like to wish everyone all the best for a relaxing and well-earned summer break.
As I mentioned at the start though, there were quite a few Masonic meetings to attend in April.
On Saturday 22nd, we were at Lodge St. John Fisherrow 112. As they meet the same night as us, it was good to catch up with Bro. Douglas Hoy R.W.M. and all the Lodge brethren and to witness an excellent working of their unique version of the 3rd degree.
There was also a fine harmony to follow and and thanks to everyone at 112 for their hospitality.
On Monday, it was a visit to Lodge Royal Thistle 1338 for Bro. Tommy Doyle's greetin' meetin'. It was a bit of an emotional night for Bro. Tommy on his last meeting as R.W.M. and he enjoyed a full house as the brethren joined to thank him and wish him all the best.
The following night, it was a similar scenario for Bro. John Hardie, R.W.M. at Lodge St. Clair Edinburgh 349. Bro. John was marking the end of three years in the Chair of King Solomon so it was a special night for him as well.
On Friday 27th, we had a deputation to Lodge Kirknewton & Ratho No. 85 - a Lodge with whom we share a long association.
The most surprised person on the night was Bro. Les Duff P.M. who received Honorary Membership of No. 85 from Bro. Bob Potter R.W.M. for his contributions to the Lodge over the years.
He was about the only one present who didn't know this was going to happen and it was great to see him honoured in this way.
There were two other Honorary Members in the deputation, Bro. Peter Ritchie P.M. and Bro. Gordon Yeoman P.M.
Of course, there's no such thing as a free lunch, so Bro. Les had to making his usual contribution during the harmony that followed.
The presentations didn't stop there though as later on I had the pleasure of presenting a framed photograph to Bro. Bob on behalf of everyone at 482.
I was privileged to have been able to take part in Lodge Kirknewton & Ratho's 250th anniversary celebrations last year and the photo shows the Office Bearers who were in place at that time.
Thanks also to all at No. 85 for their hospitality in the harmony that followed.
Finally, on Saturday 28th, I attended a first-class ceremony at Lodge Liberton 1201 that saw Bro. Steve Johnson installed into the chair of King Solomon. Excellent ritual from Installing Masters Bro. Keith Black and Bro. Andrew Laven, both PM's of 1201.
My thanks to the brethren of 482 who came along to lend their support at these meetings.
There are still a few more meetings and events taking place in the coming weeks and months.
This Saturday, there's the Installation at Lodge Royal Thistle 1338, when Bro. Gary Sibbald P.M. will be proposing the toast to the Lodge.
The following Saturday it's Installation day at Lodge St. John Corstorphine 788 and the Friday after that sees the Installation at Lodge Dalkeith Kilwinning No.10.
On Saturday 2nd June, there is the Grand Family Barn Dance that marks the end of the CCLASP appeal and on June 13th we have the Reigning Masters' Degree taking place at Lodge Dalhousie Bonnyrigg 720 when the Grand Master Mason will be in attendance.
In Lodge terms, we hope to have some display items in place for the start of the new season and I'll post more on this in due course.
In the meantime, it's thanks again to everyone for all their help and support.
A good bit later than intended, it good to finally say a few words about the past weeks.
Our last meeting was a 3rd Degree and I was really pleased with how everything worked out on the night.
This was the first time we had worked a 3rd at our new home in Kirkliston Bowling Club and we took advantage of the additional space to work the degree in the 'old' style that we hadn't been able to do since we left the village.
Everyone did a great job on the night and my congratulations to all the Office Bearers - and indeed to everyone who took part.
The night before, it was both an honour and a privilege to help present a 40 year jewel to Bro. Hugh Paterson, R.W.M. of Lodge Hopetoun St. John 1232. Bro. Hugh is also a Master Mason of Lodge Kirkliston Maitland.
It's not the practise at 482 to mark 40 years service so being asked by 1232 to participate in the ceremony was a tremendous gesture indeed - and greatly appreciated.
Bro. Hugh had ne idea the ceremony was going to take place and was completely taken aback when Bro. Norrie Austin set the ball rolling.
Thanks again to all the 1232 brethren for allowing us to be involved.
My masonic visits have been somewhat curtailed of the past few weeks as I've had a surprising number of evening jobs.
However, I'm getting out as often as I can and tonight - Friday 13th (!!!) - it's the Provincial Grand Lodge of Midlothian Ball and I'll be attending with Janet.
It will be good to catch up with brethren from across the province.
Looking forward, next Wednesday sees 482's last meeting before the summer recess and this will be a 2nd Degree.
There are a few more meetings in the pipeline of course, not to mention Installations at Lodge Royal Thistle, St. John Corstorphine and Dalkeith Kilwinning.
There's also the last CCLASP event, the grand family barn dance on June 2nd and the Reigning Masters' Degree at 720 on June 13th.
Finally, I'd like to have said a bit more about the Masonic Facebook sites that have appeared recently but I really haven't had the chance to far to take a more involved look.
Not everyone is enthusiastic about this development of course - indeed some are totally indifferent to the entire concept!!
However, this is the 21st century and if we want to reach out to our 'target audience', this is one of the ways we need to go.
More next time methinks!!
What a night we had at the Edinburgh Masonic Club last Friday when £3000 was raised in aid of CCLASP.
A big congratulations to everyone who took part and who helped to raise such an amazing sum for such a deserving cause.
I was truly delighted to see so many 482 brethren there on the night and I think it's fair to say that we all had a great time.
Lodge Royal Thistle 1338 were behind the event, with help from ourselves and Lodge St. John Corstorphine 1338 and many congratulations to Bro. Tommy Doyle R.W.M. and his team at 1338.
Lodge Kirkliston Maitland played a high-profile part on the night with Bro. Gordon Yeoman P.M. as joint Master of Ceremonies being kept very busy the whole evening.
Top marks to Bro. Gordon who kept things running very smoothly.
Our very own Bro. Les Duff P.M. was in superb vocal form, with a string of classic numbers and a performance that must rank as one of his best ever. Well done Les!!
And let's not forget Phoenix Lane, the Scottish Rock/Pop band who's vocalist, Sarah Yeoman, is Bro. Gordon's daughter. The other members of the band are: Christine Munday - Bass, Colin Watson - Guitar and Reg McLennan - Drums. Well done guys, yet another great performance.
With the Family Barn Dance in June still to come, we can only speculate on what the final total might be but I think it's safe to say it will be impressive!!
I've uploaded a photo-gallery of 50 shots taken on the night and as you can see, we all had a great time!!
You can click on individual images to enlarge.
Another week gone and it's already hard to believe that just seven days ago we were in Colchester on our bi-annual visit to the Ostrea Lodge.
With our friends from Lodge Kirknewton & Ratho No. 85, we enjoyed another excellent visit to Essex and it was great to meet up with 'old' friends and meet new brethren.
We had a good flight down to Stanstead, followed by a short coach journey to Colchester.
What if this wall could talk!!
The George Hotel was the same as ever, with every footstep accompanied by the creaks and groans that are part of a building that dates back to the 14th century.
Looking at how the town's main street is now, the building sure has seen more than just a few changes over the years!!
And I didn't realize until this year that Colchester is the UK's first recorded town.
The Ostrea Lodge meeting was a bit different than usual as they had four candidates and they opted to initiate them two at a time.
Having entered the Temple as a deputation midway through the meeting, we saw two of the candidates initiated, but all four were part of a programme to attract entrants from university.
Oh to have four brethren of this age join 482 - or indeed freemasonry in general - on a regular basis!!
Along with Bro. Potter, R.W.M. of No. 85, I had the honour of replying to the toast to the visitors. And as I was also R.W.M. for the Ostrea Lodge visit to 482 last year, this completed an 'Ostrea Lodge Double' for me - a rare privilege indeed.
Of course, no visit South of the Border would be complete without a song from our resident artist Bro. Les Duff P.M. Bro. Les entertained everyone, first of all with the Dougie MacLean number 'Caledonia', followed - of course - by 'The Star O' Rabbie Burns, with all the Scottish brethren giving the chorus its traditional enthusiastic gusto!!
All in all, we had a great time and my thanks go to the brethren of Kirkliston Maitland and Kirknewton & Ratho for making it such a memorable visit.
We now look forward to welcoming the Ostrea Lodge brethren back to Kirkliston in 2013.
The new 482 carpet
The following week brought more good news with the arrival of our new carpet and it was great it arrived in time for our regular meeting on Wednesday.
This added a new dimension to our degree and is yet another important step forward for Lodge Kirkliston Maitland.
We still have some things to do but we're well on the way to making it look even more like 'home'.
The degree itself went really well, with a good number of visitors in attendance - and a big thanks to Bro. Hugh Patterson R.W.M. and the brethren of Lodge Hopetoun St. John 1232 for bringing such a large contingent on the night.
Our next meeting on March 21st will be a 2nd Degree.
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It was great that our first regular meeting in Kirkliston Bowling Club went so well and congratulations to all the Office Bearers for doing such a good job.
I have to confess, I was more nervous on the night that I was at my 1st meeting as R.W.M. 12 months ago!!
There was a good turnout of members and visitors and it was tremendous to see brethren who haven't been at 482 for some time taking their seats in the Lodge.
We must hope that this trend continues in the months that lie ahead. I really do think it will.
One notable group of visitors was from Lodge Buchan St. John 636, headed by their R.W.M. Bro. James Vaughan. Bro. James said that they had come along to welcome us back to our 'home' and this is particularly touching as 636 had to leave their home in Broxburn and now meet in Livingston.
Hopefully they too will manage to return to where they belong.
One very positive bit of feedback came from Bro. Derek Winchester R.W.M. of Lodge St. Kentigern Penicuik & West Linton 429.
When I visited 429 on the Monday after the Installation, Bro. Derek said - in open Lodge - that when he arrived for the Installation, it really was like walking into a Masonic Temple and I think we can all take reassurance from such a comment that all our work has been worthwhile.
This is exactly the impression we were aiming to achieve.
Finally, thanks and all credit to the members and visitors who helped put away all the furniture after the meeting. It was done in double-quick time - faster than I thought possible!!