The Saint John's Operative Lodge No.347
Rutherglen is separated from Glesca's
east-end by the River Clyde and boundaries onto Dalmarnock at the
Dalmarnock Bridge. Many eastenders during the demolition of our
tenements moved to the southside and still live in places like Rutherglen,
Cambuslang, Burnside, Castlemilk, East Kilbride etc.
The Saint John's Operative
Masonic Hall, Melrose Avenue, Rutherglen, G73
meetings 2nd & last Fridays
is very close to the hearts of all Freemasons
|Nov.2010 GlescaPal's admin man Norrie,
accompanied Neil Harper RWM of his lodge, to the
Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice
at Carlton Place, Glasgow, to present a cheque for £850 raised by
donations after some the lodge members cycled from Glasgow to
Edinburgh. Joyce Ross, from the hospice gave them a tour and
explained what they do for the patients.
Princess of Wales Hospice website
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50 year diploma presentation 12th Nov.2021
GlescaPals RWM Lodge Burnside 1361 with Bro.Norrie McNamee
|RWM The St.John Op. Lodge 347 Bro.W.Team PM with
RWM Lodge Burnside 1361, Bro.W.E. McArthur PM
Installation evening 26th Nov. 2021
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|The St.John Op. Lodge No.347 |
celebrated their 175th Anniversary on Saturday 11th Dec.2021
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|IPM of Lodge Burnside 1361 with
RWM The St.John Op. Lodge No. 347 at the 175th celebrations.
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|The St.John Operative lodge No.347 have been associated with Lodge Burnside from its beginning in 1928
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|History of 'The St. John's Operative Lodge No. 347'
compiled by Bro Ian Duncan P.M.
|The first minute book of the lodge is dated on St. John’s Day, 27th December, 1755 when the lodge met as ‘Rutherglen Kilwinning Lodge’.
The first Master was Patrick Fife and it was written into the minute
book that the lodge “be regularly convened and opened on every St.
John’s day yearly and thereafter quarterly”.
The minutes of meetings
were very brief in those days and records only that a meeting was held
and names of those attending. It is noted that the master was titled
the ‘Grand Master of the Lodge’ and not the Right Worshipful Master as
is the title today. Around the time of 1781 the lodge was know as ‘The Lodge of Rutherglen Free Operatives’ and
the minute of March 23rd records that the lodge ”gave out a Mark”
although it doesn’t state who the Mark was given to. The Master
of 1782, William Park called a meeting of the Lodge but then didn’t
turn up at this meeting so the Brethren fined him “two Shillings
Sterling.” which was a considerable amount of money in those days, also
a brother who didn’t attend the annual St. John’s meeting was fined for
“having no lawful excuse why he did not attend”, just as well that we
don’t carry out this practice today on all office bearers!!
The minutes start to give more information and on 5th December 1794
the minute records that a Brother Robert Rodger having been advance in
Masonry was raised to the degree of Master although the minutes still
only gave 5 or 6 lines of information.
The name of the Lodge appears to change on 27th December 1826 when the minutes states that ‘The Lodge of Rutherglen Free Operatives St. John’ met to celebrate the life of St. John the Evangelist but by 19th January 1827 the name has changed slightly to ‘The Rutherglen Free Operative St. John’s Lodge’ and
this minute shows the title of the master to be the R.W. Master. Later
that year on 30 March the lodge was honoured by a large deputation from
‘The Rutherglen Royal Arch Lodge in their clothing’ and these visits
are still an annual event to this day. By the time the lodge received it’s charter on 30th November 1846 the name appears as’ The Rutherglen St. John’s Operative Lodge’ with Bother James Croft as R.W.M. and met in the Council Hall in the burgh.
The first record of the lodge being known as ‘The St. John’s Operative Lodge Rutherglen’ was in the minute of 16th July 1847.
On 9th April 1851
the lodge met with the brethren of The Rutherglen Royal Arch Lodge at
ten o’clock in the morning and walked in procession from the town hall
to the Cathedral of Glasgow
where they met with other sister lodges where they heard an excellent
sermon preached by the Rev. John Leckie after which His Grace the Duke
of Atholl, Grand Master Mason, laid the foundation stone of the
Stockwell Bridge with all Masonic Honours.
The brethren travelled by train to Stirling on 24 June 1861 to assist in the laying of the foundation stone of the Wallace Monument
at Abbey grange and also in July 1862 the lodge met with sister lodges
to walk in procession to the United Presbyterian Church in Rutherglen
where the Rev. William Beckit delivered a suitable sermon before the
lodges attended the laying of the foundation stone of Rutherglen Town Hall by Bro. Sir Archibald Alison, Depute Grand Master of Scotland.
A ceremonial dagger was
presented to the lodge by Brother George McCall in September 1868 that
is still used in Entered Apprentice degrees today. In August 1874 the
brethren and ladies of Lodge St. Barchan No. 156 joined with our
members and ladies for refreshments then walked to Burnside for their
annual outing. The first hall dedicated for the use of
Freemasonry by our lodge had the Foundation stone laid in Cathcart
Street on 6 March 1875 when approximately 800 members representing 28
lodges plus Grand Lodge and Provincial Grand Lodge were present. The
Temple was consecrated in November 1875 by Bro. Colonel A. Campbell,
Provincial Grand Master.
The first lodge meetings to be advertised were in the Glasgow Evening News in 1894.
The first recorded Divine Service took place in Wardlawhill Parish Church on 14 June 1903 when over two hundred brethren joined the congregation for worship and in 1912 four hundred attended a joint Divine Service.
The Lodge donated £30 towards the building of the new Grand Lodge Hall in Edinburgh
in 1910. During the first World War the average attendance was 110 per
meeting with 30 meetings per year and 150 candidates. A number of
brethren were killed during WW1 including 2 PM’s and the IPM was
hospitalised in Egypt and later killed in action in France. At the
outbreak of World War two the Lodge Temple was taken over by HM forces
and we met in the WP church hall then in the ‘Rechabite Hall’. Bro.
Rev. P. Hamilton was among many brethren who were killed in action
Our contribution to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Renfrewshire East was
started by Bro. William Brough P.M. who was our first member to reach
Provincial Grand Senior Warden followed by Bro. William Scott P.M. as
PGSW in 1929, Bro. G. Hollinger in 1961 and Bro. D. McLelland was the
last brother to serve as PGSW. Bro. J. Ian Duncan was
commissioned as Provincial Grand Secretary by Bro. Frank Johnstone
In 1936 it was agreed to provide the PGL deputation with a steak pie
meal, cigarettes, twenty five cigars and liquor – the bill of which not
to exceed £2. Brother George Munn P.M. presented the Past Masters board
to the lodge on 14 September 1945 to mark the end of WW2. A Coat of Arms was designed and approved by Lord Lyon to mark our centenary in 1946.
installation was held in Rutherglen town hall and a church service the
following day in Stonelaw Church. Bros. J. Steel and R, Brown received
Honorary rank of Grand Lodge Bible Bearer. Bro. John Morrison
P.M. Honorary Grand Architect in 1965. Bro. W.A.C. McInnes
received Honorary Grand Director of Ceremonies in 1990 and Bro. J. Ian
Duncan received Honorary Grand Assistant Secretary in 2002.
The present Temple in Melrose Avenue was opened in 1971
and Bro. John Hunter was the first master to be installed in these
premises. The lodge premises have been upgraded on many occasions and
is in regular use.
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|13th Jan 1928 excerpt from 347 Minute book
referencing the petitioning of the new Lodge Burnside
Anyone with information on the Masons in Glesca's east-end, please get in touch.
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