On 28th April 1971 the Minute Book shows:
“’This day a luncheon was held within the Masonic Hall, South Queensferry, on the occasion of the visit of the Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason Brother David Liddell-Grainger of Ayton C.St.J, DL, FSA (SCOT) at the commencement of his tour of Lodges within the Province prior to the installation of Brother Dr Ian Thomson, MB, CHB, as Provincial Grand Master of Linlithgowshire at Bathgate that evening.”
The Minute Book was signed by all those present:
D Liddell-Grainger, Grand Master Mason
Ian H Thomson, DGM, Provincial Grand Master, Hon Member 548
Robert Wolrige Gordon, JGW, PGM Aberdeenshire East
Alex F Buchan, Grand Secretary
Ken Byers, Grand Treasurer, PGM
Lanarkshire , MW
E Stuart Falconer, Assistant Grand Secretary
Alexander Pennycook, IPPGM – Grand Marshall
William Sloss, Second Grand Standard Bearer
and Provincial Grand Secretary
of Fife & Kinross
James Milne, DPGM Linlithgowshire, PM 548
Robert S Beveridge, PGSW
Archibald Mathieson, PPGSW, PM 548
Alex Fraser, RWM 548
William Walker, IPM 548
J Young, DM 548
John G Colquhoun, SW 548
Nicol Smith, PM Secretary 548
Robert Leil, Steward No 1 548
Alex Fraser, MM 548
Richard Cook, MM Victoria 73
(Lachine, Que. Canada)
DE Cunningham, MM 1294 (Chef)
HJ Mackay, MM 145 (Waiter)
On 28th November 1972 a letter was read from the West Lothian’ County Council informing the Lodge that the premises had been listed as of special architectural or historical interest under the Town and Country Act 1947.
On 25th September 1973 the degree was worked by the reigning Masters of the Province of Linlithgowshire.
This concludes the highlights the first 100 years of the Lodge history as gleaned from the record books. Lodge St Margaret has always had a close association with the Royal Navy and, in fact, of the first 300 petitions received, no fewer than 146 came from the Navy. We have records of naval brethren visiting Lodges throughout the world. Bro R Dalby, Chaplain of HMS Galatea, became RWM of the Lodge from 1895 to 1896. He was, in fact, prevented from officiating in the Chair due to the exigencies of the Service. Also during the early petitions there were a considerable number from engineers, platers, donkeymen etc working on the construction of the Road Bridge. In later years, during the construction of the Forth Road Bridge, several workers joined Lodge St Margaret. The construction of the Road Bridge made it far easier for inter visitation with Lodges north of the Forth which had hitherto been dependent on the ferryboat services.
In addition to Naval personnel, Army and Air Force personnel stationed in the vicinity during two World Wars swelled the ranks of the Lodge. In fact, since its constitution in 1874, Lodge St Margaret has welcomed 1105 members. Our oldest known living member is Bro RE Millar who was initiated in 1915. Bro Millar moved his business from South Queensferry to Winchburgh and found it rather difficult cycling to and from the meetings at South Queensferry. He affiliated to Lodge Kirkliston Maitland, No.482 and became a Past Master of that Lodge. In recent years he was appointed Honorary Grand Marshall of the Grand Lodge of Scotland.
In looking back let us be thankful for the faithful service of so many of our members. In looking forward let us be confident that Lodge St Margaret will continue to flourish.
Continuing on the next 25 years
With the 4th February 1974 being the Centenary of the founding of the Lodge a rededication service was held in the Masonic Hall on the afternoon of the 9th February.
On this occasion the ceremony was conducted by the Grand Lodge of Scotland headed by Bro Dr Ian H Thomson, Past Depute Grand Master ably assisted by Grand Chaplain.
In the evening a celebration dinner was held in the Rosebery Hall where the usual toasts were heartily pledged and warmly responded and a most enjoyable evening was brought to a close by the company singing Auld Lang Syne.
Earlier in the day the deputation from the Grand Lodge of Scotland were hosted to lunch by Bro Provost James Milne MM and Bro John G Colquhoun IPM, Senior Baillie in the Burgh Chalmers. After lunch the party enjoyed a visit to the Burgh Museum.
In gratitude for this hospitality and to further cement the relationship between the Lodge and the Burgh, the Brethren presented a commemorative seat to the Council. The seat is located in Nivensgreen Garden, Station Road overlooking the bowling green.
It may also be of note that the cost of a pint of beer was 15p and a nip of whisky 17p during the Lodge’s Centenary year.
On the 13th March 1975 the Lodge was opened for the funeral service of Bro George Byers, Sword Bearer. The Brethren of the Lodge assembled and proceeded in procession to Queensferry Parish Church where the funeral service was officiated by the Reverend John Carrie, Parish Minister and the Reverend J Arnold Fletcher, Provincial Grand Chaplain.
At the Installation of Officer Bearers of the Grand Lodge of Scotland on the 27th November 1975 Bro James Milne PM had the honorary rank of Grand Architect conferred on him by Bro Captain Robert Wolrige Gordon of Esslemont, Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason in recognition of his eight years as Depute Provincial Grand Master of Linlithgowshire.
On 28th September 1976 Bro Richard Edgar Millar MM of Lodge St Margaret No 548 and PM of Kirkliston Maitland 482, 548’s oldest living member was presented with a Distinguished Service Diploma to mark his 60 years of service to Freemasonry by Bro Robert Donaldson RWM.
On 8th November 1979, Bro John Thomson, on behalf of his parents, presented his Mother Lodge with his family bible. This bible is still being used by Brethren of 548 to take or renew their vows.
It was with deep regret that the Lodge was informed of the passing to the Grand Lodge Above of Bro Richard Edgar Millar on 25th November 1977 who was initiated in 1915. At the time of his death Bro Millar was the Lodge’s oldest member.
The Provincial Grand Master Bro Rev William Hume was made an Honorary Member of the Lodge on the 24th October 1978. This was followed one week later when Bro Thomas Millar, Lodge St Mary No 31, and Bro Robert Kirkwood, Lodge Heart of Midlothian No 832, were conferred Honorary Membership by Bro Robert Summers RWM in recognition of their renovation work in the lower hall.
On 9th February 1979 Bro Alexander Fraser PM was installed as Provincial Grand Master of Linlithgowshire by Bro Charles Robert Wolrige Gordon of Esslemont. This is the highest honour ever bestowed on a brother of Lodge St Margaret.
At the annual communication of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Linlithgowshire on the 6th February 1981 Bro Alex Fraser, Provincial Grand Master conferred the rank of Honorary Senior Provincial Deacon upon Bro James Small in appreciation of his long and faithful service to his Mother Lodge.
On 21st September 1979 the Lodge was honoured by a large deputation from Lodge Sternan Erbach No.3 of the United Grand Lodge of Germany who has a close connection with Lodge Ancient Brazen No. 17, one of our sponsor Lodges.
At the regular meeting on the 10th November 1981, Bro Derek Milne, Substitute Master, on behalf of the Management Committee, informed the Brethren that the financial package required to alter the premises and form a social club as previously displayed and discussed had been approved. The Brethren, by a large majority, proposed that the alterations should proceed.
On the 24th November 1981 Bro James Milne PM was presented with the regalia of Past Depute Provincial Grand Master and Bro James Small with a collaret and jewel of an Honorary Senior Provincial Grand Deacon for their services to their Mother Lodge.
From May 1982 until September the alterations to the Lodge premises were carried out comprising a committee room, ladies and gents toilets on the ground floor and kitchen, bar and lounge area at the west end of the main hall. The cost of the alterations was £40,000.
Before, during and after the extensive alterations the following Brethren of the Lodge gave sterling service: Bro Derek Milne RWM, Bro Robert Summers PM, Bro Alex Fraser PM, Bro William Walker PM, Bro Alexander Tulloch PM, Bro James Milne PM, Bro Donald Cameron SM, Bro David Lloyd JW, Bro Morris Ellard – Treasurer, Bro Kenneth Cooper JD, Bro Jim McDonald IG, Bro Tony Lynch – Jeweller, Bro David Leil – Architect, Bro Alex Irving – Tyler, Bro Tom Chmylowskyj, Bro Colin Walker, Bro John Patterson, Bro Arthur Kennie, Bro James Simpson, Bro George Dalgliesh and numerous other Brethren.
The official opening of the St Margaret Social Club premises by Bro Alex Fraser, Provincial Grand Master took place on Thursday 28th October 1982.
On the 23rd November 1982 two Lewis members Gary Donaldson, son of Bro Robert Donaldson PM and Fraser Summers, some of Bro Robert Summers PM, had the Entered Apprentice Degree conferred on them during which Bro Tom Ogilvie PM of Lodge Trafalgar No.223 gave the lecture on the Lewis Stone to the delight of all present.
At the installation meeting on the 14th January 1983, the Lodge was honoured by a deputation from the Grand Lodge of Scotland, headed by Bro JM Marcus Humphrey of Dinnet, Right Worshipful Depute Grand Master.
During the summer of that year, Bro Derek Milne RWM, headed a party of forty Brethren, wives and two children to Kenya. During their three week stay in Mombasa the Brethren attended the installation at Lodge MacKinnon No.1531 when the RWM replied on behalf of the visitors at the Festival of St John. They also visited Lodge Kenya Gate No.4851 (English Constitution).