The History of Lodge St Servanus No. 771

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

The next four years 1946-1949


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The Next Four Years - 1946, 1947, 1948 and 1949

The primary impression gained from the minutes, in this post war period, was the considerable number of applications received from potential masons and in turn the large number of acceptances to the Craft. At one stage early in 1946 when sixteen applications had been received at a regular meeting there is a minute which reads "it was decided meantime to entertain no more applications". This did not last for long, however, and a few months later having 'caught up' and dealt with the waiting list, applications were again received and looked after as appropriate.

It was at this time also (early 1946) that mention is made for the first time of a large deputation from Lodge St. John No. 187 Carluke visiting and conferring the M.M. degree on seven brethren. This would appear to be the beginning of a very special relationship between the Carluke and Alva Lodges. As one reads the minutes right up to the present day, there have been regular 'comings and goings' between the two Lodges, not only to enhance and work at the Craft but also to socialise and become involved in friendly and sporting activities.

Financial matters were raised and discussed by all committees in open Lodge. At the Annual General Meeting in December 1946 the Auditors, Past Masters Anderson and Greig congratulated the Treasurer on his
report and on what they considered the finest balance sheet in the Lodge's history—an aggregate balance of £1,281-5/5½d. I note that in 1947 this balance was further raised to £,1435-14/8½d. The receipt of approximately £500 from the Military for damage done during the troops occupancy of the Lodge was "noted with satisfaction" by the Halls and Property Committee. Considerable benevolence was distributed during this period and there was no shyness in recording who received same.

Money, usually a guinea, was subscribed regularly to a variety of charities. It was also the Lodge's donation, many years later towards a gift for Brother Lord Bruce now the Earl of Elgin, Substitute Grand Master at that time, on his marriage. Always giving, it was nice that nine needy Lodge brethren received a parcel of food from Grand Lodge Victoria in Australia. This was the ration to St. Servanus, the distributors being Provincial Grand Lodge.

Hall lets have always been a useful source of income and the after war years were no exception. Varying parties and individuals hired the hall, from the Alva Youth Club two nights a week to the Brother who taught dancing three nights each week at a rental of £35 per annum. Annual dances, whist drives and prize draws were the acceptable fund raisers, although at this time functions were frequently held in one of the local hotels. The Alva Old Man's Treat became a regular feature and the Master and involved Office Bearers were constantly urging Brethren (not without success) to be generous and give liberally to this worthy cause.

A first mention of a Master and Past Master's Association was intimated (for interest purposes only) at a Regular Meeting held on 15th November, 1948.

A minute from a meeting in October 1946 activated the formation of the 771 Social Club for members of Lodge St. Servanus only, the subscription after considerable argument and debate to be 5/- per annum. It might be appropriate to mention that a few years later November 1950 the Master at that time intimated "that the 771 Club was now open to all members of the Craft and that there was no membership fee entailed".

The Lodge's first Almoner Brother W. Gibson was elected to this office in March 1949. It is interesting to note that our present worthy Almoner Brother W. Swarbrick became a master mason six months prior to Brother Gibson's appointment.

In all, 160 meetings were held ranging from a small committee organising benevolence, to a large Regular Meeting during the period under review.


The Fifties


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