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.
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!!
Lodge Kirkliston Maitland 482
After helping to set up for our Installation Ceremony, I couldn't resist 'putting pen to paper' and comment on how great it is to see our Lodge set up.
I tried to imagine how it might look but I wasn't quite prepared for the feeling I experienced when I saw everything in place.
Although I'm really looking forward to the ceremony, I can't really believe it's actually is happening - and this is exactly the same way as I felt last year!!
I never really thought I'd see our own Lodge furniture and artefacts again - never mind actually use them - so today will be extra special for so many different reasons.
I hope everyone enjoys the ceremony and the Festival of St. John and I look forward to seeing brethren we haven't seen for a while.
I'd like to thank all the 482 brethren who came along to help this morning and for all the work that's been done in making this day happen.
It will, I'm sure, be a tremendous occasion.
As we have new moved back to our 'spiritual home' - and have a new Lodge web site, I thought this was a good time to incorporate my blog into the site. The former posts are still in place for now and can be found here.
A lot has happend since my last post but with all the additional work involved in our move to Kirkliston Bowling Club, I'm a bit behind schedule.
I was really disappointed to have missed our last meeting in Corstorphine, especially as it was a joint degree with Lodge St. John Corstorphine 788 and, of course, Bro. Camy Stewart I.P.M. was receiving honorary membership.
However, with Janet unwell, my place was at home and my thanks again to Bro. Gordon Yeoman P.M. for stepping in at a very late stage - and to all the Office Bearers from both 482 and 788 who took part in the degree.
So now it's full steam ahead for our Installation this Saturday, February 11th and I have to say I'm really looking forward to the ceremony - and to being R.W.M. of the Lodge for another year.
The past 12 months have gone really quickly and I've enjoyed every moment. I'm sure the next year will follow the same pattern and I can only thank the brethren of 482 once again for allowing me this honour.
Installing Masters are Bro. Gordon Yeoman P.M. and Bro. David Swan I.P.M. Where Gordon is an 'old hand', the is Bro. David's first time as Installing Master and I'm sure the ceremony will be one to remember.
As I said, we've had a busy time but all the original Lodge furniture is now in place and, until our new carpet arrives, we're delighted the brethren of Lodge Kirknewton & Ratho No. 85 have agreed to loan us theirs in the meantime.
We've added a few more modern display items to the mix and when we set everything up for our rehearsal last night, it was a really good feeling.
We aslo have a backdrop for display in the East which shows the mural from our former premises in the village. The image for this was pieced together from various photographs by Bro. W. Raymond King P.M. and many thanks to him for his patience in putting this together.
I think it will be more than a bit nostalgic to see it in place but it's a sight I never thought I'd see again.
The 'room dividers' we ordered were delivered today and will be in place for the Installation and I look forward to welcoming members and visitors to the ceremony and to the Festival of St. John that follows.
Now that we've moved back to Kirkliston, we've had more than a few members say they'll be returning to the Lodge. I really hope they do and help take 482 from strength to strength.
Next job is to set up for the ceremony and this will be done on Saturday morning at 8.30am.
To coin the old phrase, 'many hands make light work' and I'm hoping a good few brethren will come along to lend a hand.
I'll be back soon!!