After the opening of the new Hall in Vulcan Street, the Lodge went from strength to strength. In that year 141 Initiates joined the Lodge -----A record up till that time.
One of the major criticisms of the Hall today is that the Lodge should have been on the first floor with the Club rooms on the Ground floor to allow access for unsteady Brethren(perhaps through infirmity, age or alcohol !). To understand why the Lodge is this way you have to understand the thinking for the design of the building itself.
- The Lodge was built on a gap site and had to comply with certain restrictions laid down in the Title deeds. The constrictions of the site also necessitated the two halls are at right –angles to each other and the East in the Temple is actually in the North!
- The Lodge was not built as A Temple and clubrooms –it was built as a hall comprising 2 Temples designed to hold 350 Brethren. I assume one to hold 100 Brethren (Ground Floor) and one to hold 250 (First Floor). Remember also that the bar, the bar store and the fire escape did not exist at that time and as such there was a lot more space in the upper hall and in the adjacent and store downstairs.
Other interesting features of the in the design of the hall was the provision of a dumb-waiter which conveyed food from the kitchen directly to the upper hall (I imagine the stairway would have been really busy most meetings), the inclusion of a crypt (complete with cast iron arch, gas light and drain) under the floor of the Ground floor Temple (for the use of the Royal Arch) and a cupola located in the “East” of the lower hall.
The opening of the Vulcan Street Hall was to herald a real boom time for the Lodge.
1909 TO 1914
The first regular meeting held in the Hall at Vulcan Street was on 24/03/09. Bro. A Grant RWM opened the meeting after which the Brethren sang the first and last verse of the 100th Psalm. The Master then “welcomed Brethren to the new Hall of the Lodge and hoped that many fraternal friendships would bee found in the Hall and that the Hall was a credit to Lodge Kenmuir.”
At this meeting the Rev John Duncan was installed as Chaplain, 2 Brethren affiliated, 10 candidates received their 1st Degree (by Bro. A Grant) and 14 Brethren received their 2nd Degree (by Bro. R Kirkland). The meeting concluded at 11.45 PM and was attended by 161 Brethren----The names of whom are all listed in the Minutes including Bro. JC Howat Senior.
Another Meeting was also held just six days later on 30/03/1909.
It is interesting to note that both of these Meetings were actually held before the Hall was consecrated,
The consecration ceremony of the Halls actually took place on 31/03/1909 and coincided with the PGL Visitation. The first part of the ceremony took the form of a meal held in the lower hall for the Provincial Grand Master, Bro. AA Hagart Speirs, The Provincial Grand Lodge Deputation (comprising 27), the Hall Committee, Office Bearers and Bro. Laird the Architect of the Halls. At the conclusion of the meal Provincial Grand Lodge opened the Meeting
(Gibson 13 Sauchiehall St Grant 631 Alex Parade) in the Large Hall and carried out the work of consecration, after this the Deputation retired to the small hall and consecrated that hall. They then returned to the upper hall and declared that both halls were consecrated to Freemasonry.
A presentation was made to the Provincial Grand Master in the form of a framed copy of the Memorial Stone laying ceremony----This is in all probability the same photograph currently on display in the Lodge (although there are two photographs taken from the same vantage point). The Provincial Grand Secretary received a copy of J Marwicks book “On the Clyde and Clyde Burghs”
Provincial Grand Lodge then closed the meeting and retired, at which Point Lodge Kenmuir opened the meeting and PGL, were readmitted to carry out the PGL Annual Visitation. Apologies were tendered on behalf of The Most Honourable The Marquess of Tulibardine and Bro. A McInnes Shaw, The Lord Provost of Glasgow. This meeting concluded at 11.45PM.
At the following meeting on 14/04/1909 Bro. Alex Brown presented the Lodge with a clock. I do not know if Bro. Alex was concerned about the length of time that meetings were taking---but I suppose this could be the case given the time the previous Meeting had concluded!
Once again the Lodge arranged the Annual Service to be held in Cowlairs Church in June and an evening cruise on Loch Long and Loch Goil was also arranged for the same Month.
The first time the”Dead March” was played in the Hall was on 28/04/1909 to mark the passing of Bro. A Turner with the Brethren standing to order.
The first Mark Degree held in the Vulcan Street Hall was on 19/05/1909 when 59 received the Degree at the hands of Bro. A Grant. It is interesting to note that it is a Bro. A Grant who confers the Mark Degree in Lodge Kenmuir today (Not the same one I might add!)
A sporting success was recorded at the meeting on 08/09/1909 when Bros. Howie, Campbell, Gibbs and McIntosh reported on winning the Graham Bowling Cup.
Mixed fortunes were reported at the meeting on 10/11/1909 in the Form of Bro. Kirkland having been made a Magistrate of the City of Glasgow, but sadly that Bro. Gibson was now quite frail and had been awarded an Annuity from Grand Lodge.
The election meeting was held on 24/11/1909 at which 79 initiates were recorded for the year. This was considered to be quite good taking into account the “depressed condition of traid in the District”. The Treasurer gave the Financial Report;
General Fund £387 16 1 ½
Building Fund £289 11 8 ½
It was noted that the Building Fund ”included expenses, which we will not incur again for a long time—Foundation Stone and Hall Consecration being about £50”. It was also noted that expenditure on the Building project to date had been £1796-10-0 and it was decided that in future the Hall Account would be kept separate from the General Fund—A procedure still done today. The Secretary gave his report
Meetings Attendance Average
22 Regular 2537 115
9 Special 834 9 1/2
Bro. Grant was elected as Master and Installed at the meeting on 8/12/1909. At the same meeting a ballot for 4 candidates was declared not clear and required individual ballots for each which were subsequently declared clear.
Bro. John Law was present at the meeting on 23/02/1910---35 years after being the first Master or Charter Master.
At the meeting on 9/03/1910 the Hallkeepers wages were increased from £20 to £26 reflecting the increased volume of work. The Hallkeepers job was now completely separate from the Tyler’s Office. At this same meeting Lodge Kenmuir showed its Benevolent side when it was recorded that “Bro. Fleming was sent home incurable and he had a family of 5”.Immediately the Lodge granted £5 to the Brother and put motions forward to secure funds from Grand Lodge and Provincial Grand Lodge for the family. Unfortunately Bro. Fleming had passed away by the next meeting.
Sadly the meeting on 27/04/1910 was the last one at which Bro. A Grant was present. The meeting on 11/05/1910 was opened with Bro. R Watson IPM in the Chair and the following minute was recorded.
“Bro. R Watson IPM referred to the very depressing circumstances under which they were met in having to lament not only the death of our Sovereign King Edward VII and Patron of Scottish Freemasonry after a very short illness but also the sudden death of our esteemed RWM Bro. Alexander Grant who was with us at our last meeting. He was a Brother honoured and respected by all the Brethren, earnest and zealous in his labours for the furtherance of the prosperity of Lodge Kenmuir, The Lodge was very much indebted to him for carrying through the arrangements for building the hall in which we now meet and that the sympathy of the Brethren be recorded in our minutes and an extract sent to Mrs Grant and Family”
The “Dead March” was played and as a token of respect the cruise was cancelled and no harmony was held at the meeting which was closed at 8.20 PM. Bro. Grant has been the only Master, as far as we know( as Minutes do not exist for 1875 to 1879) to have died while serving the Lodge in the Chair.
Quite understandably following this, the Lodge entered a period of doldrums with the main emphasis being on Degree work. However the meeting on 10/8/1910 once again showed the Lodges Benevolence when it awarded a grant of £5 to the widow of Bro. Tibbert to pay her fare home from America. At this same meeting it was agreed to photograph the successful bowling rink, the Office Bearers and Committee---Alas this photograph has not survived.
Some interesting changes were made to the Byelaws on 14/9/1910 when it was decided that
- In order to be the RWM—the candidate for this office must be a Member for at least 12 months.
- Initiation Fees were increased from £3-3-0 to £4-4-0.
- Any applications for Benevolence from Test Fee Members must be approved by 2/3 of a vote before being considered.
Bro. Briggs PM, the Hall Treasurer, gave the following report at the Meeting on 26/10/1910:
Loans from Members £ 938-0-0
Donations £ 7-4-0
Lodge Funds £1281-7-1
Expenditure on Hall £2056-8-8
Furnishings £ 155-19-7
Bro. Briggs also reported that all funds used from Benevolence would be repaid at 2-½ % interest per annum---This would not be permitted today! Bro Briggs continued as Hall Treasurer.
After their exceptional and fruitful work the Hall Committee was officially discharged at the Regular meeting held on 9/11/1910. At this same meeting the emoluments for the year were discussed and the following agreed upon:
Director of Music £2-0-0
It is interesting to note that the Tyler received more than the Treasurer did.
The Secretary gave his annual report at the meeting on 23/11/1910 and commented on the following:
Initiates for the year 140
22 Regular meetings Attendance 2574 Average 117
14 Special meetings Attendance 908 Average 64
At this same meeting Bro. W Robertson was elected to serve as Master and duly installed on 14/12/1910.
At the meeting on 28/12/1910 a Notice of Motion was put forward that “ A Memorial Stone be erected in the Hall in memory of our late RWM Bro. Alexander Grant (cost not to exceed £5) and a grant of £1 be sent to the Bolton Colliery Fund Disaster”. This disaster occurred on 21st December 1910 when a gas explosion in the Pretoria pit in Bolton when exploding gas caused the roof to collapse killing 338 miners with only 3 survivors.
At the meeting on 8/2/1911 Grand Lodge announced that only 2 Degrees would be permitted at each Meeting. The year 1911 continued quite uneventfully with the main points being a cruise on Loch Lomond with”Chapter Margaret” (with the proceeds of £2 being equally split) and that Bro. John Law was unable to attend meetings due to ill health; another interesting point was that Provincial Grand Lodge wrote to all Lodges reminding them that “all licensing Laws must be obeyed.” Pity.
At the AGM on 25/10/1911 the Secretary’s emolument was increased to £10-0-0 (by a majority of 78-46) and the Treasurers remained the same at £5-5-0(by a majority of 44-29)!
The Secretary gave his report, which contained some very interesting figures
21 Regular Meetings Average 122
11 Special Meetings Average 91
Total Attendance 3579
Lowest Attendance 46
Highest Attendance 243
I would assume that meeting with an attendance of 243 would have been held in the upper hall as I do not believe the lower hall could hold this number—not even in 1911! Bro. Robertson was re –installed as Master on 22/11/1911.
A curious case was reported in the Lodge at this time when a Bro. James Carson (or Wilson) was intimated as being extremely ill in USA. Lodge Kenmuir asked Lodge Memphis No. 118 to visit him---they found him in a “dying condition” and immediately granted him $50, as he was penniless. As it turned out this paid his funeral expenses and Lodge Kenmuir reimbursed Lodge Memphis.
In 20/8/1912 the Lodge decided to put forward a Notice of Motion to purchase new clothing for the Office Bearers of the Lodge and at the meeting on 11/9/1912 it was decided to puchase the following
“22 aprons at 20/-
22 collars at 2/6
3 pairs gauntlets 25/-
Existing jewels to be used”
At the same meeting Bro. J Carruth JW presented the Lodge with an altar cloth.
It was with sadness that the Lodge noted the deaths of Bro. Neilson and Bro. Rev. D Rollo of Springburn Parish Church in October 1912.
An interesting record is contained in the Minute of 30/10/1912 in that the Lodge was urged to write to the Prime Minister to support a clause in The Government of Ireland Bill proposed by the Marquis of Tullibardine regarding the Freemasons of Ireland under this Bill. Today it is hard to believe that Freemasonry would attempt to have such a direct influence on Government Policy---Changed days.
The Treasurer gave his Annual report on 13/11/1912
General Fund had increased by £262-14-2
Benevolent Fund had increased by £31-18-5
Outstanding Loans (Members) £400-0-0
Paid Loans (Members) £528-0-0
Hall Account increased by £67-10-6
The Secretary also gave his report
22 Regular Meetings Average 135
6 Special Meetings Average 108
Total Attendance 3294
Lowest Attendance 25
Highest Attendance 247
Bro. Crawford was elected to serve as Master on 13/11/1912. At the following meeting a complaint was made that the election of the Junior Warden an 3 other Office – Bearers was not conducted in the proper manner: There were 3 candidates for each Office and only one vote was taken and the Brother with the highest votes declared the winner, even though they did not have an overall majority. One Brother in the Lodge contacted Provincial Grand Lodge who ordered that a re – election takes place on 11/12/1912 with the Installation to take place on Christmas Day 1912( not surprisingly the only time an Installation occurred on Christmas Day !) I will bet that that Brother was not too popular! This re-election was duly done with no changes to the outcome of the ballot.
Another first for Lodge Kenmuir occurred on 8th January 1913, as it was on this date that the Lodge held 2 meetings;
Meeting No.1. A special meeting was held from 6.35 till 7.50PM at which Bro R Watson PM conferred the Third Degree.
Meeting No.2 A Regular meeting was held from 8.00 till 11.45PM at which the First Degree was conferred by Bro. J Scott DM and the Second Degree was conferred by Bro. G Carruth.
So why were two meetings held on the same day? The reason was to get around the Grand Lodge Law that no more than 2 Degrees can be held at any one meeting. Therefore as Lodge Kenmuir wished to confer 3 Degrees they required 2 Meetings!
The Provincial Visitation on 12/2/1913 recorded that the number of initiates for the year was 141---More than the current qualified Membership of the Lodge.
Some alterations to the Byelaws were made at this time. The main changes being
- The Lodge would Nominate and Elect at the same Meeting ( A practice still done today)
- The Initiation Fee was increased to £4-4-0
- Every second meeting would be run on strict Temperance Principles.
At the Annual Meeting on 22/10/1913 Bro. Crawford was Nominated and Elected to serve as Master for the ensuing year. At this same meeting the Lodge donated £2-2-0 to the coal pit disaster in Wales.
The Treasurer gave his Annual report on 12/11/1913
General Fund had increased by £105-10-10 ½
Benevolent Fund had increased by £37- 3-0
Hall Account increased by £114-0-0
The Secretary also gave his report
22 Regular Meetings Average 135
13 Special Meetings Average 77
Total Attendance 3844
Bro. Crawford, Master, presented the Lodge with a Bible, Square and Compass at the meeting on 26/11/1913 which Bro. W Robertson IPM accepted on behalf of the Lodge.
The meeting on 28/1/1914 marked a milestone in Lodge Kenmuirs history when the first Temperance Harmony was held and “it was attended by a very large number of Brethren and visiting Brethren when a very pleasant evening was spent in song, toast and sentiment”
The Lodge received a recommendation from the Hall Committee that a fireproof safe be built in the space at the back of the dais. I assume that the area referred to was the Masters room located behind the East. However I do not know if the safe was ever installed or for that matter if it is still there----perhaps some day we will find out.
The Lodge considered buying cases for the Office-Bearers to carry their aprons in and a Notice of Motion was put forward---This was defeated. No cases!
The Lodge held its last meeting before World War 1 on July 8th 1914 and there was no indication at that time in the minutes of the impending War that would change the World and Freemasonry forever.