The History of Lodge St Servanus No. 771

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

The 1980s


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The Eighties

The Masters and Office Bearers in the eighties continued in the same vein as their predecessors of the seventies, a furtherance of dignified, solid, efficient degree work at meetings, looking after and improving the Lodge premises as necessary, raising money for the Lodge and charitable causes, receiving, welcoming and extending hospitality to the members of Sister Lodges, and generally displaying mature judgement in all their undertakings.

In May 1980 the Lodge was honoured by a visit from the most Worshipful Grand Master Mason Brother Sir James W. McKay, who accompanied by Grand Lodge Office Bearers installed R.W.P.G.M. Brother Alexander Whitehead in office—this particular highlight went off very well and the Master and Office Bearers at that time felt that their hard work in ensuring that the Lodge looked and was at its best, had been justified.

Minor setbacks do occur from time to time and I am reliably informed that at an Annual Dance early in the eighties a gas problem in the village of Menstrie caused poor pressure in our gas supply. This resulted in the meal, carefully planned and timed, to be put back for two hours—despair? not a bit of it, it was decided to dispense Lodge Hospitality (which had been planned for later in the evening anyway). This proved to be a popular decision and the evening was voted a tremendous success.

At times, particularly in recent years, a higher attendance of brethren at regular meetings would have been welcomed but there can be little or no criticism when it comes to collecting for charity and in particular participating in the sponsored walks. These walks were another source of gathering income for charitable causes and taken up with enthusiasm and energy by Lodge St. Servanus in the eighties.

The Lodge property being very well placed at the foot of the Ochil Hills makes a hill walk to or from the Lodge a practical and distinct possibility—across the hills nine miles away is the village of Blackford and for the past nine years a walk from there to the Lodge has become an Annual event. The charity to benefit from the Sponsored Walk is selected by the current reigning Lodge Master after, I have no doubt, consultation and deliberation.

Transportation to Blackford is willingly and voluntarily provided for the hill walkers by older and less able brethren whose days of walking nine miles over rough terrain are finished. Many Lodge members and their friends plus children set out on this walk and return to the Lodge for a splendid lunch and all, despite being tired, experience a tremendous sense of achievement and raise hundreds of pounds. Coinciding with this hill walk is a shorter "stroll" for the ladies, wives of members, girlfriends and smaller children. They all enjoy this walk from Logie to the Lodge a distance of five miles. They similarly are transported to Logie, and like the men they are sponsored. It really is a great fun day for all the family. Now where has the money collected gone?

Records indicate that somewhere in the region of £16,000 has been donated this decade to bodies such as Strathcarron Hospice, The Baby Unit at Stirling Royal Infirmary, The Forth Valley Health Board to purchase specific apparatus, The Diabetic and Spina Bifida Association, The Multiple Sclerosis Society and a group catering for physically handicapped children.

Daring to be immodest, for just a sentence, can we not say to the critics of our movement "is it not credit worthy and part justification for being a mason that so much money is donated annually to reputable and deserving causes from the hard work and efforts of a Lodge such as St. Servanus?"

Fifty year certificates were presented to the following:

Bro. J. Dewar P.M.
20 April 1981
Bro. D. Hunt
20 April 1981
Bro. T. Greig
16 November 1981
Bro. D. Lyon
16 November 1981

It was a family occasion on 8th December, 1984 when Senior Warden Brother Derek McCall was installed as Lodge Master by his brother Past Master R.H.McL. McCall who headed a team of three installing Masters, the others being Past Masters F. McGhie and T.S. Paterson.

During the period under review 109 members of Lodge St. Servanus were elevated to Grand Lodge above, amongst them were the following Past Masters, Rogers, Comrie, Chalmers, Jackson and very recently Tommy Rough. They are all remembered with affection, brotherly love and appropriate grace and humility by many of today's Lodge membership.

Minuted also are tributes to friends of the Lodge who have passed over. They include Past R.W.P.G.M. Brother Angus Campbell, W.S.P.G.M. John Gordon, Brother George Gornall P.M., Past Masters McLean and Forrest of Lodge St. John 187 Carluke, Brother Douglas Thomson, Lodge Fingal Dingwall 318, Past P.G.M. of Stirlingshire Brother Wm. McKay Clegg and affiliate member and Past Master Cyril Turner who became quite a 'character' in our Lodge.

The Master and Office Bearers work hard and with enthusiasm, and understandably they 'run' the Lodge. Normally each year they change their role consequently they acquire new skills and have different duties to perform but not so the Organist and Almoner and perhaps one should just mention them.

The musical contribution adds tremendously to any meeting and it is so easy to take for granted the skill and artistry of the masonic musician—Lodge St. Servanus over the years has reason to be proud of the skills and accomplishments of their Brother Organists.

The Lodge Almoner in addition to reporting regularly on needy and sick brethren does a considerable amount of work outside the Lodge at hospitals, attending funerals, comforting distressed relatives, organising presents as appropriate and generally being Lodge Welfare Officer. Work as this requires certain skills, and we have been very fortunate in our choice of Almoner over the years.

Two centenarians Brother Wm. McKenzie and Wm. Bean celebrated their hundredth birthdays in 1985 and 1989 respectively and received suitable and appropriate presents from the Lodge.

During this decade 375 meetings in all took place. They ranged from Regular and special to small meetings when decisions relating to benevolence were made.

A minute dated 4th September 1989 reads as follows "a letter from Grand Secretary was read inviting the Lodge to recommend a Brother who would be acceptable as a nominee for the Office of R.W.P.G. Master of Stirlingshire which will become vacant in May 1990. On the motion of the R.W. Master seconded by P.M. Brother A .S.F. McGhie it was unanimously agreed that the name of P.M. Brother C.T. Wyse be sub­mitted to Grand Secretary".

At the end of this historical sketch it surely is most fitting that the last named person therein should be Colin T. Wyse as no one represents Freemasonry and all it stands for more than this man. Eulogising would embarrass him, suffice to say let us hope he succeeds in becoming the next Provincial Grand Master Mason of Stirlingshire.




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