The First 80 Years
1910 - 1918
Lodge Elgin and Bruce No. l077 was the first Masonic lodge in the twin villages of Limekilns and Charlestown with the sponsor lodges being Lodge St. John No. 26 and Lodge Union No. 250. The Lodge was chartered on 3rdNovember 19l0 and was consecrated on 26th November 1910 in the Queen's Hall, Charlestown. A rent was paid to the village hall committee for use of the premises to carry out Masonic business.
There is no known record to show who the brethren were that wished a lodge in the area but it must be assumed that the first principal office-bearers were the brethren desirous of a lodge.
The name of the Lodge must have been taken from the Elgin family's name who own a vast estate in the area and reside at 'Broomhall, Charlestown. The head of the family is The Earl of Elgin and Kincardine and his eldest son is Lord Bruce - hence the name Elgin and Bruce. The colour of the Lodge regalia, again we assume. is taken from the background of the flag of Saint Andrew and is a popular Masonic colour in Scotland.
The ceremony of consecration was carried out by the Provincial Grand Master of Fife and Kinross, Bro. H. H. Brown. On the completion of the ceremony the first R.W.M. Bro. John McRobbie, occupied the chair of King Solomon and the following brethren were affiliated: Bro. Wm. Black. Bro. John B. Boyd, Bro. Joshua Craven. Bro. James Froud, Bro. Peter Jack. Bro. Joseph Kay and Bro. Wm. McIntyre. The R.W.M. then installed the first office-bearers of the Lodge who were:
Bro. George Bishop D.M
Bro. William Black S.M
Bro. Alexander Campbell W.S.W
Bro. James Froud W.J.W
Bro. James Purves Secretary
Bro. John B. Boyd Treasurer
Bro. Ebenezer Hood Chaplain
Bro. William McIntyre S.D
Bro. Peter Jack J.D
Bro. Joshua Craven I.G
Bro. Joseph Kay Tyler
There were deputations present from the following sister lodges:- The Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary's Chapel) No. 1, Lodge Saint John No. 26, Dunfermline, Lodge Union No. 250, Dunfermline, Lodge Thane of Fife No. 78l, Cowdenbeath, and Lodge Trafalgar No. 223, Leith.
On completion of the business the Lodge was closed in due and ancient form by the R.W.M., Bro. John McRobbie. The brethren then retired to the Elgin Hotel, now known as Camsie House, to celebrate the occasion. All the brethren and sponsors of the Lodge spent a most enjoyable and harmonious evening in song and sentiment, and finally departed after the singing of "Auld Lang Syne•.
At a special meeting, held on Tuesday 29th November 1910, the following candidates were initiated into the mysteries of Ancient Freemasonry:- James Jack, Philip Lumley, John MacGregor, John Pitblado Morton, Robert Paterson, John Taylor and Charles Wilson Watson. These were the first joining members of the Lodge. Bro. Morton was the "Broomhall" estate factor, Bro. Lumley was the head gardener at "Broomhall" and it is possible that Bro. MacGregor was the tenant of the Elgin Hotel. They paid an initiation fee of three pounds ten shillings and annual test fees of three shillings. It is interesting to note that the initiation fee was more than the average week's wages at that period of time.
At the same meeting the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month, from September to May, were chosen as the regular meeting nights with the Lodge tyling at 7:30 p.m.
From 26th November 1910 to the 27th November 1912, Bro. John McRobbie occupied the chair of King Solomon. Bro. James Purves. the first Secretary. vacated his office at the 191l installation of office bearers in favour of Bro. John Donnelly.
At a regular meeting, held on 3rdFebruary 1912,a petition was read out by the Secretary from Edward James, Lord Bruce. His proposer and seconder were Bro. John Donnelly. Secretary. and Bro. John MacGregor. After passing the enquiry committee, and with the ballot being all clear in open lodge, Edward James. Lord Bruce was initiated on the 17th February 1912, passed on the 5th March 1912 and raised on the 30th March 1912. He was the first of the Bruce family to join the Lodge whose names were incorporated into the name of the Lodge.
In those days it was quite common practice to work a degree. have a recess of ten minutes, and then proceed to work another degree. This practice carried on for many years - even up to World War II.
At a regular meeting, held on 7th September 1912, a motion was proposed by Bro. Peter Jack and seconded by Bro. A. Campbell that the meeting night be changed from Tuesday to Wednesday as this would be more suitable for all the brethren. This was unanimously carried by the brethren in open lodge.
During the latter half of 1912 it was suggested to the brethren that they vacate the Queen's Hall, Charlestown, in favour of the King's Cellar, Academy Square, Limekilns. This was unanimously agreed by the brethren. This would be beneficial by saving rental fees paid for the Queen's Hall.
The King's Cellar was largely restored by the 9th Earl of Elgin with the intention of making it available as a meeting place for members of the Episcopal Church who now formed an increasing part of the population of the locality.
However, when the 10th Earl (then Lord Bruce) joined the Lodge he suggested a shared use. Consequently, the annexe which houses the staircase from ground to upper floor was made in true Masonic tradition.
For at least fifteen years, until the R.N. Dockyard went to 'care and maintenance', the King's Cellar was regularly used both as a lodge and, on Sundays, as an Episcopal Chapel.
Bro. J. Mitchell, Tyler, succeeded Bro. Lumley as head gardener at "Broomhall· and was also a member of the Episcopal Church. He therefore, attended as caretaker to both church and Lodge.
The last meeting to be held in the Queen's Hall, Charlestown, was on 9th October 1912 at which a M.M. degree was worked.
A regular meeting was held in the King's Cellar, Limekilns, for the first time on the 12th October 1912. Bro. John McRobbie, R.W.M., occupied the chair of King Solomon. Invitations had been sent to various sister lodges and certain prominent brethren. These invitations were accepted and supporting the R.W.M. Bro. John McRobbie, in the East. were Bro. H. H. Brown. Provincial Grand Master of Fife and Kinross. Bro. Gibson, I.P.M. The Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary's Chapel) No.l. Bro. Laird. R.W.M. Canongate and Leith. Leith and Canongate No.5. and many other brethren. On the opening of the Lodge the
R.W.M. called upon Bro. Secretary to read a communication from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Fife and Kinross authorising the removal of the Lodge from the Queen's Hall. Charlestown. to the King's Cellar, situated in Academy Square, Limekilns. R.W.M. Bro. John McRobbie gave any brother the opportunity to protest against the move but as no brother did protest R.W.M. Bro. John McRobbie declared that the Kings Cellar would be the acknowledged meeting place of Lodge Elgin and Bruce until time and circumstance should provide a different one.
A special meeting was held in the Masonic Temple, Limekilns. on the 28th December 1912 at 5 p.m. for the installation of the R.W.M.. Bro. Lord Bruce. and his office-bearers. The installation ceremony was carried out by Bro. H. H. Brown. Provincial Grand Master of Fife and Kinross, assisted by Bro. Gordon, Provincial Grand Secretary, Bro. J. Blyth and Bro. T. Campbell. On completion of the ceremony Bro. Lord Bruce R.W.M. thanked the Installing Board for the efficient manner in which the ceremony was carried out and the brethren for electing him to this high office. The Lodge was then closed in due and ancient form. The brethren retired to the lower hall for a social evening where the tables were furnished with food and refreshments to suit the occasion. After the speeches and songs were rendered by various brethren. a most enjoyable evening was brought to a close at9 p.m. with the singing of the traditional "Auld Lang Syne·.
At a regular meeting on the 15thSeptember 1914 it was unanimously decided, with acclamation on the proposal of Bro. Black. seconded by Bro. Kennedy. to record in the minutes the pride and gratification of the brethren in the fact that R.W.M. Lord Bruce, office-bearer sand brethren had responded to the call of King and country to take up arms against the common enemy Germany. The Lodge wished them well. trusted the hostilities would not last too long and bade them a speedy return to their loved ones and the Lodge.
Bro. Sir Alexander Gibb was installed into the chair of the Lodge on the 8th December 1914. He later attained the rank of Substitute Grand Master Mason of Scotland.
Bro. Gibb had been initiated on the 12th April 1913, passed on the 30th April 1913 and raised on the 14th May 1913. He received his mark on the 17th April 1913.
During the 1914-18 war many of the office-bearers had to vacate their installed offices due to military service and war work of national importance both at home and abroad. The Lodge managed to function by filling all the various offices, as circumstances permitted, with brethren of the Lodge.
A special meeting was held on the 16th September 1918 with D.M. Bro. Peter Jack in the chair. In attendance were 47 brethren of the Lodge and 14 visitors who witnessed an E.A degree. On the completion of the degree and Lodge business the brethren were invited to join in a harmony in the lower hall. After various speeches and replies were given D.M. Bro. Peter Jack presented a P.M. 's jewel to P.M. Bro. Brigadier Sir Alexander Gibb. Before presenting and pinning the jewel on the worthy Brother's chest ,Bro. Jack referred to the excellent achievements Bro. Gibb had fulfilled during his term of office as R.W.M. He commented on his mirth and geniality and, above all, his undoubted love of Freemasonry. Bro. Gibb, in a well executed reply, thanked Bro. Jack and the brethren for the great honour they had bestowed on him. He stated that this was the third honour he had received with pride. The other two were presented to him by His Majesty King George V- namely the K.B.E. and the C.B. (Bro Gibb was R.W.M. from 1914 to 1916). He was a member of the family of Easton Gibb, consultant civil engineers, and the main contractors who built the naval base at Rosyth. This was considered one of the finest civil engineering feats of its time.
During the Great War (1914-18) arrangements were made to send parcels to the brethren in the armed forces, and to those who were prisoners of war, through the Dunfermline Prisoners of War Committee. The Lodge's contribution towards this fund was three pounds and ten shillings per month and was supported by the lodges in the district.
Concerts were also arranged by the daughter lodges in the Dunfermline area for the renewing and maintaining of surgical instruments in use at the Dunfermline and District Hospital. These concerts were well supported by the brethren in the district and were held in the Dunfermline Opera House. which was demolished many years ago to make way for the Kingsgate Shopping Mall.
It was with great relief that the brethren learned that the hostilities had ended and peace would return to the countries that had been engaged in the long and bitter struggle. The brethren of the Lodge looked forward to the day when they could welcome back the brethren into the Lodge who had been away serving their country. However. they were saddened that some, who had paid the supreme sacrifice, would not be returning to join them in their Masonic activities.
At the installation held on the 8th January 1919 Bro. Peter Jack was installed into the chair of King Solomon. The Installing Masters were
P.M. Bro. Colonel The 10th Earl of Elgin and 14th Earl of Kincardine assisted by Bro. Joseph Inglis, Provincial Grand Master of Kincardineshire and Past Grand Warden, and Bro. James D. Gibson,
P.M. The Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary's Chapel) No.1 and Past Grand Architect. The Installing Board were introduced to the Lodge by Bro.
J. Craven. Director of Ceremonies. On completion of the Installation ceremony, Bro. Peter Jack R.W.M. thanked the Installing Board for the capable and dignified manner in which they conducted the ceremony and, to the brethren, for electing him to the highest office a lodge can confer on any of its members. Bro. Colonel The Earl of Elgin and Kincardine P.M. suitably replied for the Installing Board and said it had given him great pleasure installing such a worthy brother into the chair of King Solomon. He was sure the office-bearers and brethren would give him all the support he so richly deserved.
He then read, to the brethren. a newspaper cutting he had in his possession intimating that a member of the Lodge, Bro. Sapper Adam Archibald, had been awarded the highest military honour that the country could bestow on any of its citizens. namely the Victoria Cross.
1919 - 1945
A Roll of Honour was completed in 1919 with the names of the brethren who had served in the Great War. This is on display at the entrance to the Lodge room. At a committee meeting, held on the 7th November 1919, it was unanimously agreed that the committee recommend. to the brethren of the Lodge, that the Lodge purchase marble memorial stones for the late P.M. Bro. John McRobbie, the Lodge's first R.W.M., and Bro. Morton, Treasurer, at a cost of £46 each: the lettering on the same to be remitted with power to P.M. Bro. Lord Elgin. This recommendation was accepted by the members of the Lodge. A photograph in the Lodge shows P.M. Bro. Lord Elgin at the dedication ceremony.
Lord Bruce, on the passing away of his father, the 9th Earl of Elgin and 13th Earl of Kincardine, succeeded to the title and became known as the 10th Earl of Elgin and 14th Eart of Kincardine. In 1921 he was again installed into the chair of the Lodge. At the same time he was the Provincial Grand Master of Fife and Kinross and the Grand Master Mason of Scotland - truly a unique position in Masonic circles and one of which the Lodge was, and is, justifiably proud.
Several years later (namely at the coming of age of the Lodge) it was unanimously agreed that a celebration should take place to mark the 21 years since the Lodge had received its charter. Bro. Lord Elgin, along with Past Masters of the Lodge, were invited to work a M.M. Degree to mark the celebrations. An invitation was extended to the Grand Master Mason of Scotland and his office-bearers to join the Brethren and to witness the working of the degree.
The meeting took place in the King's Cellar on the 2nd January 1932 at 3:30 p.m. with a harmony following at the Queen's Hall, Charlestown, the price for the harmony was 3/6d per person.
At the meeting Bro. Harold Foster F.C. was raised to the M.M. Degree by the Past Masters of the Lodge, headed by Bro. Lord Elgin P.M. The R.W.M., Bro. Sidney G. Cucksey, welcomed a delegation from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Fife and Kinross headed by Provincial Depute Grand Master Bro. B Middleton. The R.W.M. called the three senior Past Masters (Bro. Lord Elgin. Bro. Sir Alexander Gibb and Bro. James Froud) to the centre of the Lodge saying he was given to understand that outside the door of the Lodge stood a deputation from the Grand Lodge of Scotland headed by the Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason. Bro. Lord Belhaven and Stenton. The three Past Masters then retired and. on returning into the Lodge, P.M. Bro. Lord Elgin introduced the Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason of Scotland and his delegation to the brethren of the Lodge. The R.W.M. Bro. Sidney G. Cucksey came to the centre of the Lodge and
escorted the M.W. Grand Master Mason of Scotland to his seat in the East. The R.W.M. called upon Bro. Lord Elgin P.M. to come to the East, accept the gavel and proceed with the degree work. The following Past Masters filled the various offices:
P.M. Bro. Lord Elgin R.W.M
P.M. Bro. Sir Alexander Gibb D.M
P.M. Bro. William Black S.M
P.M. Bro. James Froud W.S.W
P.M. Bro. Joshua Craven W.J.W
P.M. Bro. Robert stark D of C
P.M. Bro. Alexander Moss Chaplain
P.M. Bro. Peter Jack S.D
P.M. Bro. Robert Wallace J.D
P.M. Bro. James Beveridge I.G
The acting R.W.M. and office-bearers then proceeded to raise Bro. Harold Foster to the M.M. degree. On completion of the degree Bro. Lord Elgin P.M. asked the installed R.W.M. to accept the gavel and thanked him on behalf of the Past Masters for allowing them to work the degree on this momentous occasion. The brethren retired, on the closing of the Lodge, to assemble in the Queen's Hall. Charlestown. to celebrate the coming of age of Lodge Elgin and Bruce in dinner, wine and song, The R.W.M. closed the Harmony Board with the brethren singing• Auld Lang Syne, and the National Anthem at 11:00 p.m. No doubt the present day brethren must think that this was an early hour to close the harmony but it should be remembered that in 1932 motor cars were not the accepted mode of transport among the brethren as they are today. As the majority of the brethren came from the Rosyth area their means of getting from Rosyth to Limekilns/ Charlestown and back again was by walking. This was a distance of approximately six miles return - a good reason for the early closing of the harmony.
During the years of the depression, 1932-38, the Lodge still managed to receive candidates and work the established degrees. During part of this period of time Bro. James Beveridge P.M. was Secretary and all the enquiry and general meetings were held in his house at 12 Kings Crescent, Rosyth. This was most convenient to the brethren on the committee who lived in Rosyth - thus saving a long walk to Limekilns. On the 13th September 1939, just after the outbreak of the Second World War, the regular meeting had to be cancelled due to the Lodge being commandeered by the local authorities for the A.R.P. (Air Raid Precautions). There were no meetings during October, November and December 1939 as the Lodge rooms were unavailable.
A meeting took place, of the general committee, in an ante room of the King's Cellar to discuss how the Lodge could reopen its meetings. Bro. Lord Elgin P.M. came to the assistance by offering a large room in "Broomhall" which would suit the purpose of holding meetings. Bro. Lord Elgin P.M. suggested that Bro. Secretary write to the Provincial Grand Secretary asking for permission to hold nomination, election and Installation on the 14th February 1940. It was also agreed that a deputation meet Provincial Grand Lodge to explain matters and, if possible, get their permission so that a circular could be printed and issued. On the 29th February 1940 Bro. Secretary met the Past Grand Master and stated the Lodge's request. The Past Grand Master said that he had been in communication with the Past Provincial Grand Master who was pleased to hear that an effort was being made to open the Lodge again. He stated he saw no reason why he should not give his consent and wished the Lodge every success. Bro. Lord Elgin P.M. was thanked, on behalf of the Lodge, for his assistance in the matter and for his kind gesture in offering the Lodge a room in "Broomhall" to hold the meetings.
A regular meeting was held in "Broomhall" on the 14th February 1940. R.W.M. Bro. Harry Heritage thanked Bro. Lord Elgin P.M. for the use of such a splendid room to hold the meetings.
A minutes silence was observed on behalf of the following brethren who had paid the supreme sacrifice for their country:
Bro. Webb - who had lost his life on board H.M.S. Exmouth due to enemy action. Bro. Webb was a keen and worthy Freemason and a son-in-law of the R.W.M Bro. Harry Heritage.
Bro. Roxburgh- who lost his life on board H.M.S. Royal Oak at Scopa Flow.
Bro. Stone - R.N.V.R ( Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve )
The election of office-bearers was then carried out with committees recommend actions being sustained. The office-bearers were elected en-bloc. P.M. Bro. Lord Elgin then installed Bro. Harry Heritage into the chair of King Solomon and then the brethren into their respective offices. On completion of the installation ceremony Bro. Lord Elgin P.M. said he was quite willing for the Lodge to continue at "Broomhall" until time and circumstances permitted the Lodge to return to the Kings Cellar. Bro. Lord Elgin P.M. very kindly invited all the brethren present to partake of tea. Apart from the office-bearers there were three brethren in the body of the Lodge. Bro. Lord Elgin P.M. then supplied transport for the brethren who lived in Rosyth. It is worth noting that the nominations, elections and installation were all held on the one night.
From the 14th February 1940 until the 19th June 1940 the meetings were held in "Broomhall· with various brethren filling the offices. due to the pressure of war work, while Lord Elgin stood in for the R.W.M. as required.
A regular meeting was held in" Broomhall" on the 28th February 1940 when an E.A. Degree was worked. On the completion of the degree Bro. Harry Heritage R.W.M. invited Bro. Earl of Elgin P.M. to occupy the chair of King Solomon. Bro. Earl of Elgin P.M. then gave a most interesting account of the strength, fidelity and comradeship of Freemasonry throughout the world.
In his remarks he quoted a particularly eminent Brother who took his E.A. Degree in Wales ,his F.C. Degree in England and his M.M. Degree in South Africa during World War I. During that last meeting some of the brethren present were regarded as the enemy during that period of time. They were conducted to the meeting blindfolded and were returned in a similar state. It is logical to assume that they were prisoners-of -war billeted in close proximity to the Lodge.
A general meeting was held on the 2nd September 1940 to discuss a more permanent place to hold the meetings since it was impossible to know how long the war with the Axis powers would last. After all the kindness shown by Bro. Earl of Elgin P.M. in allowing the Lodge to use his family's ancestral home was only a temporary arrangement during a critical pertod .
Bro. Secretary intimated that he had not received any written reply in response to his letter to A.R.P. Headquarters, Dunfermline, regarding the Lodge's return to the "King's Cellar". At an earlier date Lodge St. Margaret's Hope No. 1184 had cordially invited Lodge Elgin and Bruce to use their lodge rooms at Admiralty Road, Rosyth. It was agreed to accept the kind invitation of St. Margaret's Hope No.1184 to use their lodge rooms. Bro. Secretary was instructed to write to the Secretary of No. 1184 to thank them for their kind offer. It was also decided that due to the long hours the brethren had to perform on work of national importance it would be more convenient to hold the meetings on a Friday night instead of a Wednesday and at 8 p.m. instead of 7.30 p.m. Bro. Secretary was instructed to write to the Provincial Grand Secretary of Fife and Kinross for permission to alter the meeting days and times. Permission was duly granted for the alterations.
The last meeting to be held in "Broomhall" was on the 19th June 1940. At the close of the meeting the R.W.M. thanked Bro. Earl of Elgin P.M. for the use of his home. His kind gesture had been much appreciated by all the members of the Lodge.
The first regular meeting was held in St. Margaret's Hope No. 1184, Admiralty Road, Rosyth at 8 p.m. on the 13th September 1940.
At 2.30 p.m. on the 12th January 1941 the brethren of the Lodge gathered to pay their last respects to and lay to rest with full Masonic honour in Rosyth Old Churchyard, Bro. Peter Jack P.M. Bro Peter was a founder member of the Lodge and a past member of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Fife and Kinross. There was a good representation from the brethren of the Lodge. daughter lodges and the Provincial Grand Lodge of Fife and Kinross. The brethren proceeded in the proper manner to the churchyard (Limekilns). Leading the procession was Bro. John MacGregor. Tyler, and the brethren followed as befitting their Masonic rank. The pall-bearers were four in number: three were sons of the deceased brother (namely Bros. P. Jack, A. Jack and T. Jack) and the fourth was Bro. The Earl of Elgin P.M. The service at the grave side was conducted by Bro. Robert Stark P.M. in a most impressive manner and great credit and thanks were due to him for the duties he performed.
At a general meeting held on the 23rd February 1942 it was intimated that the lodge rooms of St Margaret's Hope No. 1184 had been commandeered by the authorities and was to be used as a school (as all the local schools were being used by the armed forces). This meant that both No. 1184 and No. 1077 had to look for new premises. It was decided that Bro. Secretary should write to the Secretary of Lodge St. John No. 60, Hill Street. lnverkeithing. seeking permission to use their lodge rooms. It should be pointed out that Lodge St. John are now in different premises. A quick reply was received from the Secretary of Lodge St. John No. 60 saying the request was acceptable to its members. They trusted that their lodge rooms would not be commandeered by the authorities. The rent was five shillings (25p) per hour.
During the Lodge's stay at the premises of No. 1184 the various offices were filled by the brethren that were available. There were many times that visiting brethren had to fill an office and help in the ritual work. While the Lodge was working in St. Margaret's Hope's premises. there were several times during the working of a degree when the air raid siren sounded. The meetings were stopped right away and the brethren left the lodge rooms as quickly as possible. The ironic fact was that on leaving the lodge rooms there was no place to go to as there was no air raid shelter in the immediate vicinity that could accommodate all of the brethren. Consequently, the brethren could only stand and watch the searchlights trying to locate the enemy planes. When the all clear was sounded the brethren returned to the lodge and finished the degree.
The first meeting of the lodge to be held in the lodge rooms of Lodge St. John no 60, was on the 23rd February 1942.
A committee meeting was held on the 24th March 1942 at 12 King's Crescent, Rosyth for the purpose of arranging a Masonic funeral for the late Bro. Samuel Thomas Porter(Past Substitute Master). This must have been held in the morning (although there is no indication of this in the minutes) since the funeral was held on the afternoon of the same day. R.W.M. Bro. Richard McNicol Tombs opened, passed and raised the Lodge and then adjourned it. The brethren then congregated at Bro. John Bell's house in Rosyth which was in close proximity to Bro. Porter's house. The brethren clothed themselves in full Masonic regalia and marched to the deceased brother's house. The pall-bearers were Bro. Tombs R.W.M., Bro. Heritage I.P.M., Bro. McKay R.W.M. (Lodge 540, Crossgates), Bro. Lewis P.M., Bro. Bell P.M. and Bro. Beveridge P.M. After their initial duties they, along with the other brethren, then marched up Bach march Road, Rosyth, where they boarded a bus for Douglas Bank Cemetery.
The service was carried out by Bro. Tombs R.W.M.
The brethren then returned to lnverkeithing to resume and close the Lodge
As 1945 came in the War in Europe was quickly coming to a close. A number of buildings that had been commandeered for emergency services were slowly being handed back to their rightful owners. March 1945 saw the release of the King's Cellar to the Earl of Elgin from the local authorities. When the news was received, preparations were made to return to the Lodge rooms. Before a return was possible, a great deal of work was required to be carried out on the Lodge and the committee rooms. The brethren soon rallied to this task despite the shortage of materials needed.
On the 31st March l945 Lodge Elgin and Bruce returned to the King's Cellar to work a degree. The R.W.M. was Bro. Alexander McDonald. After an absence of five years, due to the War, the Lodge was back in familiar surroundings - with a gas-lit fridge and heating supplied by an antiquated coal-fired boiler which fed hot water to pipes in the Lodge room. This system had to be put into operation twenty-four hours before a meeting to generate enough heat for the comfort of the brethren and candidates in winter. The Lodge's 'Graveside' is, in fact, the hearth of the great fireplace by which the upper story of the building was originally heated. Only after the decision to create the 'Graveside' did the 10th Earl of Elgin have to decide how to try and heat the building- hence the outside boiler and the central heating pipes.
It is not widely known that Bro. Jimmy WIison, blacksmith at Charlestown, made the wrought iron candelabra at the request of Bro. The 11th Earl of Elgin who introduced electricity to the Lodge.
When one reflects on the War years with the blackout, rationing, restricted travel and many other handicaps it reflects great credit on all the lodges that they managed to continue during this traumatic period in our history.
The Lodge's annual Installation Ceremony on the 12th December 1945 was followed with a meal but, for obvious reasons, the tables could not be furnished as the Lodge would have liked.
As cars were a thing of the future and public transport was not convenient the brethren from the Rosyth area found that walking was the best form of transport. On these occasions a voice would hail from the darkness with a cheery ·Good night brethren. This would be one of the more affluent brothers returning home on his old bicycle.
It should be pointed out that there was no cup of tea at the end of a meeting since tea and sugar were still on the ration list.
It is unfortunate that we do not have an accurate record of all the brethren of the Lodge who paid the supreme sacrifice. It was most difficult to keep an account of the brethren with the exception of those who stayed locally. A number of initiated brethren, during this period, were in the Royal Navy and when they were posted away from the area it was difficult to keep intouch with them if they did not keep in touch with the Lodge. On the 11th November every year a wreath is placed on the local War Memorial. by a member of the Lodge, in remembrance of those brethren of the Lodge who lost their lives.
1946 - 1990
The year 1946 saw the release of the young men from the armed forces and an upsurge in applications for membership into the Lodge. During 1946-47 fifty-three candidates were admitted into the Lodge. This large number meant that many special meetings had to be worked. Special permission was received from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Fife and Kinross for the Lodge to work a regular meeting on a Wednesday followed by a special meeting the following Wednesday.
As a result of the large number of brethren who were coming to the Lodge from Rosyth (including many visitors who were with the Royal Navy) enquiries were made about the possibility of hiring a bus from Rosyth to Limekilns. This was successfully negotiated with Alexander and Sons. The number of members and visitors requiring a bus necessitated the booking of a double-decker. A charge of two shillings was made to each brother for the return trip.
On many occasions the driver was Bro. Hugh Cameron. a member of Glamis Lodge No. 99. With the introduction of the bus, and with rationing becoming a little easier. It was now possible to offer all the brethren a cup of tea after the meetings. This was greatly appreciated, especially in the depths of winter. since the brethren then had to get back into the bus which. by this time. had been standing for several hours in very cold weather. The back of the bus was fully open to the elements and there was only one small heater downstairs - which did not work. If Bro. Hugh was the driver then the Dunfermline brethren were taken as far as the bus depot in Dunfermline. Only on one occasion did the brethren have to cancel a meeting because of the weather - in this case a snowstorm. It was during the very bad winter of 1947. A group of brethren and candidates gathered in Parkgate. Rosyth, at the usual departure point waiting for the bus which failed to arrive. A telephone call to the inspector on duty at the bus depot informed us that due to the snow, which had been falling heavily all day. The road to Limekilns was impassable. Some of the brethren suggested that, as the candidates were present. enquiries should be made to see if it was possible to hold the meeting in the lodge rooms of Lodge Rosyth No. 1159 with their permission. Bro. Frank Melville R.W.M. was not convinced that it would be permissible - even under such extreme circumstances. To satisfy himself and together a ruling Bro. Frank Melville R.W.M. telephoned the Provincial Grand Master, Bro. The Earl of Elgin. After having the circumstances explained to him Bro. The Earl of Elgin advised, that as it was a special meeting, the meeting should be cancelled. The bus was used for a number of years until cars became a more common mode of transport.
At a regular meeting held on 28th January 1948 a petition was read by the Secretary from Lord Andrew Douglas Alexander Thomas Bruce, residing at "Broomhall", Dunfermline, for admission into the Lodge. His proposer was Bro. The Earl of Elgin P.M. (Past Grand Master and Provincial Grand Master of Fife and Kinross) and his seconder was Bro. Sir Alexander Gibb P.M.
An enquiry meeting was held on 24th March 1948 with Bro. Frank Melville I.P.M. presiding. Lord Bruce was present with his proposer but, unfortunately, his seconder was unable to attend. However, Bro. Gibb P.M. submitted a letter of apology coupled with a strong recommendation in favour of the petition.
The committee recommended that the petition be put to the Lodge.
At the regular meeting held on 14th April 1948 a ballot was held for Lord Bruce and was found to be clear. At the end of the same meeting Bro. Frank Melville I.P.M. intimated that Bro. George Hay, the Lodge's Junior Steward, had left to emigrate to Toronto, Canada. The great service he had given to the Lodge was recognised and appreciated by all the brethren.
Grand Secretary's Minute pertaining to the meeting held in the King's Cellar on 1st May 1948:
'The R.W.M. Bro. J. Vass welcomed a deputation from the Grand Lodge of Scotland headed by Bro. The Right Honourable The Earl of Elgin and Kincardine K.T,Right Worshipful Past Grand Master Mason, accompanied by Bro. R.H.F. Moncrieff T.D., Past Substitute Grand Master, Bro. Doctor Alexander F. Buchan, Grand Secretary, Bro. W. King Gillies, Past Grand Secretary and Bro. Melrose. Grand Treasurer. As a token of fidelity to the Grand Lodge of Scotland the R.W.M. tendered the gavel. the emblem of authority, to Bro. Lord Elgin. who accepted the gavel and occupied the chair of K.S. Bro. Lord Elgin thanked the Master and brethren for the cordiality of their welcome and as the Master had important work to perform he returned the gavel to the R.W.M. to carry on the working of the degree. As the business of the evening was the initiation of Andrew, Lord Bruce, Bro. Lord Elgin requested permission from the R.W.M. to act, on this occasion, as Junior Deacon. This request was received with great acclaim by the R.W.M. and brethren of the Lodge.
The Deacons retired and were readmitted along with the candidate Andrew, Lord Bruce who was initiated into the rights, lights and privileges of Ancient Freemasonry. At the close of the ceremony fraternal greetings were conveyed to the R.W.M. from the deputation The Grand Lodge of Scotland also from many Masters and brethren of the English and Scottish constitutions.
Thereafter, the Lodge was closed in due and ancient form by the R.W.M. and the brethren adjourned to the lower cellar for a harmony. Bro. Lord Elgin presided over the Harmony Board and intimated that it was with deep regret that Bro. Sir Alexander Gibb, Past Substitute Grand Master and P.M. of Lodge Elgin and Bruce No. 1077, was unable to be present at the initiation. The harmony that evening was provided by Bro. Sir Alexander Gibb.
A special meeting was held on 20th July 1948 with Bro. Frank Melville I.P.M. presiding. The Lodge was opened in the E.A. degree then passed to the F.C. degree. Bro. Lord Bruce was then passed to the
F.C. degree. At the close of the meeting Bro. The Earl of Elgin thanked the brethren for the very encouraging way they had received his son and extended to him the Right Hand of Fellowship. The Lodge was then closed.
At a special meeting held on the 4th November 1948 Bro. Lord Bruce was raised to the degree of M.M. Distinguished brethren present at that meeting were a deputation from The Provincial Grand Lodge of Fife and Kinross (headed by Provincial Substitute Grand Master Bro. Wilson), a deputation from The United Grand Lodge of England (headed by the Most Worshipful Assistant Grand Master Bro. Brigadier General Darrall), a deputation from The Grand Lodge of Scotland (headed by The Grand Master Mason of Scotland Bro. Lord Galloway) which included Bro. Dr. AF. Buchan (Grand Secretary) and Bro.J.S.M. Grieve (Past Depute Grand Master and Grand Chaplain). Bro. The Earl of Elgin (Past Grand Master Mason) worked the degree with prayer being conducted by the Provincial Grand Chaplain.
At the annual installation meeting held on the 8th December 1950 Bro. Lord Bruce was installed into the chair of King Solomon in his Mother Lodge.
A combined deputation was received from The Provincial Grand Lodge of Fife and Kinross and The Grand Lodge of Scotland.
The Installing Masters for this very auspicious occasion were Bro. The Earl of Elgin (Past Grand Master Mason of Scotland), Bro. A. Buchan (Grand Secretary) and Bro. J. Wilson (Substitute Provincial Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Fife and Kinross).
A special meeting was held on the 6th June 1951 with R.W.M. Bro. Lord Bruce presiding. The R.W.M. stated that it was a great pleasure to see such a splendid gathering of brethren to welcome the visiting brethren of Librarius Lodge No. 6966 on the roll of The Grand Lodge of England. The Lodge was raised to the M.M. degree when the deputation from Lodge Librarius was introduced and presented by the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master Bro. The Earl of Elgin. At the end of the meeting Bro. Harrod, of Lodge Librarius, thanked the R.W.M. far the hearty welcome they had received and for the opportunity of seeing a Scottish lodge at work. This was not only their first time in Scotland but, being a newly farmed lodge, it was their first visit to any lodge as a deputation.
It was understood that only professional librarians were eligible to become members of Lodge Librarius.
From 1952 until 1960 the Lodge continued to prosper with a regular inflow of candidates.
The year l960 was to be a memorable one in the history of the Lodge
as the 3rd November would mark the 50th anniversary of its charter. It was decided that this milestone would be welcomed with a special celebration. At an early date in 1960 Bro. Archie Cumming R.W.M., along with his office-bearers, commenced to make preparations for the celebrations and re consecration of the Lodge. Great credit must be given to all the brethren for their untiring efforts during the preparations.
A special meeting was held on the 3rd November 1960 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the Lodge. Bro. Archie Cumming R.W.M. presided over a large gathering of brethren from lodges throughout the province. In his opening remarks the R.W.M. stated that he had visited Bro. J. Purves who was a chartered and founder member of the Lodge. Bro. James N. Purves was unable to attend this important occasion but said that his thoughts would be with the Lodge and of that memorable day in 1910. He wished everyone a happy and successful evening. Bro. James gifted his Grand Lodge Diploma and his Lodge apron to the Lodge. These items were framed and hung in the Lodge.
The R.W.M. presented the Lodge with a set of Square and Compasses, in solid silver, to be placed on the Volume of the Sacred Law.
The Lodge was raised to the M.M. degree and a deputation from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Fife and Kinross, headed by Provincial Grand Master Bro. Lord Bruce, was received.
A deputation from the Grand Lodge of Scotland, headed by the Grand Master Mason of Scotland Bro. Earl of Eglinton and Winton, was also received. Other members of this distinguished deputation were Bro. Alex F. Buchan (Grand Secretary) and Bro. Rev. John A Taylor (Junior Grand Chaplain).
The ceremony of rededication was carried out by Bro. Rev. Taylorassisted by Bro. Rev. William Paterson and Bro. Rev. Craigie Hood.
Dinner was served in the lower chamber when 105 brethren sat down at the harmony board. The following toasts were given and replied to:
The Queen and The Craft R.W.M
The Grand Lodge of Scotland Bro R.C. Dawson
Reply The Earl of Eglinton and Winton
The Provincial Grand Lodge
of Fife and Kinross Bro colin Campbell P.M
Reply Bro Lord Bruce P.G.M Lodge Elgin and Bruce
R.W.M. Bro. R.C. Dawson
The Earl of Eglinton and Winton
Bro. Colin Campbell P.M. Bro. Lord Bruce P.G.M.
Bro. Alex Buchan (Grand Secretary) R.W.M.
supported by Bro. Earl of Elgin Bro. F.R. Melville P.M.
Bro. Thomas Greenwood (R.W.M. Lodge Union No. 250) Bro. Rev. William Paterson
A vote of thanks. to the brethren who had entertained with songs and stories, was given by Bro. Roy Falkenstien D.M.
During the dinner a birthday cake, which had been presented by Bro. William Simpson (Organist), was piped in by Provincial Grand Piper Bro. Mackay and presented by Bro. Lord Elgin P.M.
During the early months of 1985 the general committee decided that the l 0thNovember l 985would be the commemoration day for the 75th anniversary of the Lodge and that this event would be marked by a celebration. After much discussion on the matter Bro. Earl of Elgin P.M. invited the R.W.M. and committee members to "Broomhall" for a talk on the celebrations. It was decided to invite the Provincial Grand Lodge of Fife and Kinross to work a F.C. degree on. or as near to, the original date as possible. This would be followed by dinner in the lower chamber.
The Lodge received confirmation from Provincial Grand Secretary that Provincial Grand Lodge would work the degree.
It was also agreed that the Lodge would purchase new mark coins and to present one to each of the brethren present at the celebrations. Three designs were submitted and it was decided that the most appropriate design was the one that depicted the Lodge building.
At the commemoration meeting Bro. Sutherland R.W.M. welcomed the deputation from the Provincial Grand Lodge and stated that it was nice to see Bro. Earl of Elgin P.M. back in his Mother Lodge once again.
Bro. Earl of Elgin thanked the R.W.M. for the kind invitation to him and his office-bearers to work a degree in Lodge Elgin and Bruce.
An excellent dinner was enjoyed in the lower chamber after the meeting.
The year 1990 saw a rather unique event in the Lodge's history. Four blood brothers-Stuart. Callum, Craigand Douglas Mcivor-submitted petition forms for initiation into the Lodge.
It was a proud moment for their father Cand proposer). Bro. Gordon Mcivor. and their uncle (and seconder). Bro. Harry Mcivor. to see them initiated into the Lodge. Their late grandfather. Bro. Harrysen was Lodge organist. It should be known that . for many years. organ music was present during the degrees but due to dampness the organs had to be replaced every few years. Perhaps in the future this problem will be overcome and. once again. organ music will enhance our degrees.
To Be contiuned.....