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.
Click to enlarge
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.
Click to enlarge
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.
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.
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!!