The Second World War altered the Lodge just as the First World War had done in 1914-1918. At the outset of the Second World War, despite the Lodges own problems, the Lodge supported the War effort in every way it could. During the course of the War, Candidates once again became plentiful and Lodge attendances doubled, which certainly helped the Lodges financial status.
On the downside, however, the Hall was now beginning to become a greater liability as maintenance expenditure increased as Hall lets decreased (due to the restrictions of the War). Due to the increased affluence the Lodge was able to set aside a reserve fund of £1000 (£500 in 1943 and £500 in 1944) to deal with maintenance problems.
The Lodge concluded this era in 1945 far healthier in all respects than it had entered it in 1939.
The first Meeting after the Declaration of War took place on 27/9/1939. The first casualty of the War was recorded at this meeting – Bro. Pithie who was killed on HMS Courageous. The Provincial Grand Lodge was very active at this time in respect of the war; The last Regular Meeting of the Lodge had been cancelled by PGL on account of the War and the PG Secretary had also issued a letter to all Lodges granting them permission to hold Lodge Meetings earlier or on Saturdays in order to comply with National Emergency Regulations.
The Lodge was also active in the War effort with Bro. Ward presenting a jar of sweets to be raffled and a donation of 10/- to start a free gift scheme to benefit Members of 570 serving with the Forces.
At the next Meeting on 11/10/1939 the free gift scheme proved very popular and a second collection was uplifted to help finance this- This raised 16/7 against the first collection (for Benevolence) which raised the sum of 8/4. As a mark of respect the Provincial Grand Lodge Whist Tournament was cancelled due to the War.
The Lodge held its AGM of 1939 on 8th November and opened with the traditional wreath laying ceremony to commemorate the Brethren who fell in World War 1—Bro. Pithies name was also appended to this list as the first casualty of World War 2. The Lodge also marked the passing of Bro. W Robertson PM(1911 &1912)
Bro. W Russell was elected as Master and duly installed on 22/11/1939. At the Installation a letter was read from the Provincial Grand Master asking for assistance for the Glasgow Masonic War Hospital Fund. The Lodge also continued to raise funds for the Soldiers Fund, with sweets being sold at the Meetings and the Social Committee was charged “to consider ways of raising money for the Soldiers Fund.” Of course sweets are still sold at Lodge meetings today by Bro. Robert James PM –this time for the Childrens Christmas treat!
The Meeting on 24/1/1940 marked the passing of Bro. W Shields PM.
The Lodge continued with its normal business during the War and it decided to advertise only in the Evening Times to save costs , and organised a bus tour in March of 1940 at a cost of 4/- per head.
Candidates for the Lodge were beginning to increase can be seen from the Meeting on 29/05/1940 when 23 received the Degree. Once again, in terms of Candidates, a World War had been productive for the Lodge.
This increase in Candidates necessitated more Special Meetings to confer Degrees as can be seen from the Meetings held on 11/9/1940 when a First Degree was conferred at the Regular Meeting at 7.30PM and a Second Degree was conferred at a Special Meeting (with different Candidates) at 9.30PM. At this Regular Meeting a letter was read from Bro. Lt Leslie Ward serving in the RASC sending greetings to the Lodge and advising the Brethren on his promotion.
The AGM on 13/11/1940 began with the report of 2 deaths – Bro. G Milne who had been killed in action, and Bro. D Cererar (also of Lodge Tyee No 66 British Columbia) who had been killed in an accident. Once again there was no Secretary’s Report appended to the Minutes detailing the work of the Lodge in 1940.
Bro. Porter was Nominated and Elected as Master. He was duly installed on 27/11/1940. At this same Meeting the Lodge minuted its thanks for the work of Bro. S Brown who had stood down as Secretary at the last Meeting, and Bro. Morrison once again took over this Office.
A Meeting was held on Christmas Day 1940 at which it was reported that 22 Brethren serving with the Forces had each been sent 10/- from the Soldiers Fund. The addresses of a further 5 were still to be confirmed. The following Meeting recorded 17 letters of thanks from the Servicemen including one from Bro. J Howat Jnr.
The Lodge still took part in Visitations and on 26/2/1941 Lodge St Mungo No 27 conferred a First Degree and on 26/3/1941 Lodge Bishopbriggs No 1259 also conferred a First Degree.
Elements of the War still surfaced in the Minutes with the Lodge donating £2-2-0 to the Glasgow Herald Clydebank Relief Fund following the blitz , and the Lodge increased its Contents Insurance in the light of the War Damage Act 1941. The Masters Chain, however, was not insured due to the cost of the premium.
Candidates were plentiful for the Lodge as 40 were Marked on 12/6/1941.
The Meeting on 13/8/1941 marked the passing of Bro. King PM.
The Secretary’s Report made a welcome return to the Minutes on 12/11/1941.
21 Regular Meetings 1459 69 Average
12 Special Meetings 207 27 Average
The strength of the Lodge at this time was
Life Members 1204
Test Fee Members 154
The Soldiers Fund at this point in time stood at £9-18-9 , and £80 was paid out to Annuitants of the Lodge.
Bro. A Scott was Nominated and Elected as Master and on a further vote it was agreed that the Installation Harmony be “wet”. New ByeLaws were also approved.
Bro. A Scott was Installed as Master on 26/11/1941 by Bro. G Carruth PM PPGJ and Bro. Black PM PPGBB.
Despite the War the Lodge continued with various social activities with a theatre outing to the Theatre Royal on 23/1/1942 at which 250 seats were booked (120 at 5/6 and 130 at 5/- !) which proved a great success.
A donation of £2 was given to an appeal for an ambulance for the people of Cowlairs Area on behalf of The Air Raid Precautions Department, Civil Defence Ward No 9. A further £30 was also given to the War Distress and Relief Fund at the Meeting on 11/3/1942.
Lodge Southern Cross No 1243 conferred a Second Degree on 10/6/1942 and Lodge Kelvin Partick No 1207 conferred a First Degree on 14/9/1942.
On 9/9/1942 a letter from Provincial Grand Lodge detailed a list of supplies provided to patients in Military and Naval Hospitals from Fundraising. A letter was also received from Bro. Laws advising the Lodge that “ he had come safely through the Battle of Madagascar”
Two Visitations took place within 3 days- on 26/10/1942 and 28/10/1942- with Lodge St Enoch Tannochside No 1288 conferring a Third Degree and Lodge Oatlands No 1005 also conferring a Third Degree. Bro. W McFaull IPM headed the Degree Team for Lodge Oatlands and was rewarded with Honorary Membership for his work.
The AGM for 1942 was held on 11/11/1942 and the Secretary gave the following report.
21 Regular Meetings 1632 78 Average
32 Special Meetings 1520 49 Average
This marked an increase of almost 1400 attendances on the previous year and an increase of 26 Meetings on the previous year.
The strength of the Lodge at this time was
Life Members 1256
Test Fee Members 122
During the course of the year 50 Degrees had been conferred-
40 Brethren were now serving with the Forces , all of whom had been sent 10/- from the Soldiers Fund.
Due to the increased workload of the executive Office-Bearers of the Lodge and the fact that the Lodge were once again pulling in Initiation Fees and making the General Fund healthier , the emoluments were increased to ;
However the Hall Fund showed a deficit due to the number of lets being down owing to War restrictions and the boiler had to be replaced at a cost of £94-15-0.
Two Brethren stood for the Office of Master, Bro. W Daniel and Bro. C
Smyth with the former being successful. The Installation took place on 25/11/1942 and was witnessed by Deputations from 1198, 1330,1259 as well as Bro. Tibbell PPGSW of Malta (EC).
At the Meeting on 13/1/1943 the Lodge gave donation of £2-0-0 to the Church of Scotland Hut and Canteen Committee for HM Forces. The Lodge also set up a reserve fund of £500 from the General Fund to offset deficits in the Hall Fund. The reason for this being the Lodge was quite wealthy at this point due to the large increase in Candidates culminating in a healthy General Fund. However the income of the Hall was down due to Wartime restrictions and more money was required for maintenance. The solution therefore was to set up a reserve fund to offset any deficits.
At the next Meeting the Lodge recorded the death of Bro. R Steele PM(1929). At this same Meeting Bro. David Coutts was initiated – probably the son of a previous Secretary.
Given the Wartime rationing Bro. J Wright Treasurer came up with a bold idea—to have a “herring and tatties night as he had been promised both”! However he didn’t reveal the source of his supply! The Lodge took to this idea and the Social Committee was empowered to organise this. The same Committee also organised a Military Whist drive, which was also a great success.
The Provincial Grand Lodge Visit was quite late in 1943 – not taking place till 14th April. At the same Meeting the Lodge awarded a donation of £2 to the Minesweepers Literature Fund. This helped to purchase a library for HMS Hantonic for which the Lodge was thanked for their help.
Bro.Hutcheson was welcomed into the Lodge on 28/4/1943, being an Engineer in the Merchant Navy. That same night the Lodge sold copies of a poem entitled “The Desert Rat” for 3d each with proceeds going to the soldiers Fund.
The Meeting on 12/5/1943 held mixed news – it recorded the death of Bro. John Crawford PM(1913-1914) and it also contained congratulations to the Master Bro. W Daniel on being made an Honorary Member of Lodge St Mungo No 27.
The Lodge received a visit from Bro. Wright WSW of Lodge Ionic, New Orleans USA on 18/4/1943.
At this point in time the Lodge starts a new Minute Book which runs from 22/9/1943 till 23/11/1946. However this book has not worn well—It was obviously water-damaged and this obliterated large sections of text. The book was further damaged by dry rot, which not only spread between the pages but permeated through them, thus causing more damage. Despite this I have tried to extract as much information as possible.
The AGM was held on 10/11/1943 at which the Secretary presented his Report ;
21 Regular Meetings 1932 92 Average
17 Special Meetings 814 48 Average
During the course of the year 32 Degrees had been conferred on 80 Initiates. Bro. G Callendar was Nominated and Elected as Master.
On 12/1/1944 it was reported that Bro. W Russell PM(1940) had passed away.
The Lodge had an interesting discussion at the Meeting held on 22/3/1944. Apparently one of the standard questions asked at the Enquiry Committee Meeting was “Are you a Presbyterian?” The Lodge considered changing this to “Are you a Member of a Church?” After what appeared to be a lively debate, a vote was taken and it was agreed that status quo remain in place.
The Lodge received a request from a proposed Lodge in Inchinnan asking if Bro. George Marshall was in good standing with 570—Perhaps this Brother became a Founder Member. At this same Meeting on 25/10/1944 it became necessary to transfer a further £500 to the Reserve Fund to offset a further deficit in the Hall Fund.
The Lodge held its AGM on 18/11/1944 at which the Secretary gave his Report ;
21 Regular Meetings 2161 103 Average
31 Special Meetings 1426 46 Average
This represents an increase of over 800 attendances on the previous year and an increase of 14 Meetings on the previous year.
During the course of the year 54 Degrees had been conferred on 116 Candidates.
The strength of the Lodge at this time was
Life Members 1408
Test Fee Members 172
Bro. John McLeod was Elected as Master on 18/11/1944 and duly Installed on 27/11/1944.
On 14/2/1945 a letter was received from the Officer in Charge of the Military Ward in Stobhill Hospital thanking the Lodge for inviting 9 Patients to the Lodge Burns Supper, which they had thoroughly enjoyed.
On 28/2/1945 the Lodge gave a further £2 to the War effort, this time to Soviet Aid.
On 9/5/1945 “Bro. J McLeod RWM made reference to Victory in Europe and as a token of thankfulness the Brethren were upstanding and sang the 100th Psalm and The National Anthem.”
There was no official reference to Victory in Japan (that I could find anyway given the state of the Minute Book) but a Meeting was held on 8/8/1945 (the day after Hiroshima had been nuclear bombed. This was also the day which Russia declared war on Japan since they were just about to surrender) and no reference is made to the imminent end of War in the Minute book.