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.
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.
That's the only way to describe our 2012 Installation, the first meeting in our new home at Kirkliston Bowling Club.
It truly was a memorable occasion and I extend my sincere thanks to everyone who attended on the day.
The 87 members and visitors witnessed an excellent ceremony and my thanks and congratulations go to Installing Masters Bro. Gordon Yeoman P.M. and Bro. David Swan I.P.M. and all the Installing Team: Bro. Stuart White P.M., Bro. Les Duff P.M. and Bro. William Reddington P.M.
The Festival of St. John saw a series of first class toasts and replies and we were well entertained by our artistes: Bro. George Veal from Lodge St. John Corstorphine 788, Bro. Alan Banks from Lodge Kirknewton & Ratho No. 85 (and an honorary member of 482) and Bro. Walter Renton from Lodge Dalhousie Bonnyrigg 720.
For me, it proved - once again - to be a very emotional night. I didn't really think I'd experience the same feelings '2nd time around' but I was very wrong!!
This may of course have been enhanced by the fact that this was out first meeting in Kirkliston Bowling Club bu, nevertheless, my emotions were very high indeed.
And it would be very remiss of me not to thank everyone at Kirkliston Bowling Club for their help and I'm sure we'll continue to work together to our mutual benefit.
As for the Lodge itself, I couldn't believe how great it looked and I don't think we could all be blamed for giving ourselves a wee pat on the back for putting it all together in such a short space of time.
With the last of the dividers only delivered on Friday, it was very close to the wire. And when we combined the dividers and display systems with our Lodge furniture, I think it was a case of 'job done'. I really do think that everyone was impressed with what we had done.
We will be adding some enhancements, principally some photographs and other Lodge information but we can now do this in a much more relaxed fashion.
I am truly honoured and very proud to have again been installed as Right Worshipful Master and I extend my grateful thanks to every member of the Lodge for allowing me this great privilege.
I will continue to do everything I can to further the interests of the Lodge.
Thanks again brethren.
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!!