Lodge Rutherglen Royal Arch No.116 Celebrates 250th Anniversary

On Saturday 23rd March 2019 the Brethren of Lodge Rutherglen Royal Arch No.116 – the oldest Lodge in the Province of Renfrewshire East – celebrated the Lodge’s 250th Anniversary with a Re-Dedication Ceremony in the Masonic Temple at Queen Street, Rutherglen.

To mark this auspicious occasion RWM Bro. Thomson G. Hare and his Brethren warmly welcomed many esteemed guests including Bro. John F. Herrick, Substitute Grand Master Mason, who led a Deputation from the Grand Lodge of Scotland and Bro. Neil Fraser, Provincial Grand Master of Renfrewshire East and his Deputation from Provincial Grand Lodge.

A very impressive and moving Ceremony of Consecration and Re-Dedication was performed by the Substitute Grand Master and his Brethren from Grand Lodge superbly orchestrated by Bro. William “Bud” Gauld, Grand Lodge Director of Ceremonies.

This was followed by a reception hosted by South Lanarkshire Council Provost, Ian McAllan who delivered a speech giving a brief account of the Lodge history.

Provost McAllan congratulated the Lodge on achieving this milestone in its existence and paid tribute to the Lodge for the thousands of pounds it has donated to charities and good causes over the years.

These include David Walker House, Erskine Hospital, Yorkhill Royal Hospital Hospital for Sick Children, The Beatson Oncology, The Cleft Kip and Palate Association (Clapa) and Rutherglen West and Wardlawhill Church. The Lodge’s largest single donation of £1000 was given to the Indonesion Tsunami Appeal in 2004.

The Brethren then retired for dinner, toasts, speeches and responses and capped the day off with an evening dance accompanied by wives and partners.

The first meeting of the Lodge was recorded on 27th December 1768, St John’s Day, to elect Office Bearers for the ensuing year.

The Charter at this stage had still not been granted, but the following week (6th January 1769) the RWM Elect, Bro. James Park, and his Office Bearers instructed the Secretary, Bro. William Jackson, to proceed to the Argyle Lodge in Glasgow with a petition seeking a recommendation from them for a Charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland. This was granted and on 21st March 1769 Lodge Rutherglen Royal Arch was instituted.

It is worthy of note that in 1769 King George the 3rd was on the throne, the Duke of Grafton was Prime Minister, Captain James Cook discovered New Zealand and Napoleon and the 1st Duke of Wellington were born.

The Tolbooth, or what was then known as the “Old Jail” built in 1766 seems to have been the first meeting place of the new Lodge although it is recorded that several other meetings were also convened in the Master’s and Secretary’s homes.

However, on the 21st March 1898 the Lodge moved to its own custom-built Masonic Temple at 24 Queen Street, Rutherglen, where a Consecration Ceremony was performed by Major F.W. Allan, Depute Provincial Grand Master of Renfrewshire East.