The History of Lodge St Servanus No. 771

The history of Lodge St Servanus No. 771 by Bro. Gordon N.S. Neave

A further ten years 1929-1939

 

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A Further Ten Years - 1929-1939

Intimation of the retiral of the Provincial Grand Master Dr. E.E. Dyer is recorded in a minute dated 5th November 1929 when Lodge St. Servanus was asked to subscribe towards his presentation—£3-3/- was donated. It was a great blow to freemasonry and the craft in general when it learnt of his death in a minute dated 15th December 1933 "Brother Dr. Dyer had held the office of Provincial Grand Master of Stirlingshire for the long period of twenty years and had done much to further the interests of freemasonry. In our Lodge he had always taken a very keen interest and was the first Honorary Member of Lodge St. Servanus".

The period under review discloses several deaths of Lodge members who particularly distinguished themselves in and out of office as masons of the highest standing. While recognising that death is not an attractive subject to dwell upon it surely is appropriate to mention in addition to Brother E.E. Dyer the following whose behaviour and presence on earth assures them of peace and tranquility in the Upper Lodge:-

Minute dated 9th September 1930
Death of Chaplain Brother Dr. J.A. Williamson. Initiated 1st December 1890—was Chaplain for a period of about 40 years.

Minute dated 4th November 1930
Death of Brother A. Baigrie PM. was the last survivor of the founders of the Lodge and had been a Master on four different occasions extending over a period of seven years.

Minute dated 7th April 1936
Death of Brother Ex-Provost John D. Minto and Senior Past Master Initiated 7th April 1890 and was Number One on the Lodge Register. I presume Minto Gardens in Alva was named after him during his tenure as Provost?

Bro. Benjamin P. Neil

A splendid example of the personable and dignified Master of the Thirties R. W. M. Benjamin P. Neil. Master for two continuous years 1935-37. Was a town councillor and subsequently a Baillie in Alva—had an interesting and varied career before retiring from the Postal Service in 1936.

 

Ball Ticket 1936

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Dr EE Dyer PGM
Right Worshipful Provinical Grand Master of Stirlingshire Brother Dr. E. E. Dyer was P. G. M. for 20 years between 1910 and 1930.

He was also the first honorary member of Lodge St. Servanus being granted that honour in 1920.

His Mother Lodge was Alloa No. 69.

 

Minute dated 4th April 1939
Death of Brother PM. Clark Initiated 1909 and who was Lodge Secretary for 26 years.
Death of Brother Taylor, PM. who was initiated 1914. He was the R.W.M. when the very successful bazaar contributed greatly to the Lodge's funds.

Another death minuted on 19th November 1929 was that of Brother the Right Honourable The Lord Blythswood KCVO DL JP Grand Master Mason of Scotland.

Whist drives, dances, cake and candy sales were regular fund raising pursuits over this period and despite "times of severe trade depression" as indicated in a minute dated 4th November 1930 the Lodge managed well financially. Day trips to Helensburgh and Garelochhead in 1936 and 1938 respectively were popular with Office Bearers, Brethren and their families. In a Hall and Properties Committee Meeting held in January 1938, mention is made of Brother Bean being appointed as the plumber to carry out such work as was necessary on the Lodge premises. This surely is the same Bean who celebrated his own centenary in 1989 in Alva and the oldest member of the Lodge today.

 

Bro. A. McPhail - Tyler in Lodge St Servanus from 1901 until his death in 1943. Initiated in 1897 served under 19 Masters and prepared 722 candidates for initiation.
A McPhail - Tyler

 

At the first meeting, after war was declared, the Lodge Secretary, let it be known that their property was ripe for commandeering and that this would take place shortly. He predicted correctly and in a minute dated 10th October 1939 it was stated that the military would take over in a day or two and that only part of the gent's cloakroom would be available for the storage of furniture. A small committee comprising Master, Wardens, Secretary and Treasurer were empowered to secure suitable accommodation and report back. This they duly did and on 8th November 1939 accommodation in the Good Templar Hall was ours at specific times at a cost of 6/6d for three hours for the use of the Upper Hall.

Later that month the position of the caretaker was considered but decisions relating to his/her functions in the wartime situation were deferred. The first meeting in the Good Templar Hall was held on the 5th December 1939. The Master referred to the conditions under which the meeting took place and "expressed the hope that the war might be speedily ended and that the spirit of Masonry will flourish and play its rightful part in World affairs". A sentiment shared I have no doubt by all present at that meeting.

Approximately 178 Regular and Special Meetings were held plus many Committee meetings, viz Hall & Property, Lodge, General and Enquiry.

 

The 2nd World War Years 1940-1945

 

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