Poignant Evening at Erskine Home

The Lodge of Erskine No.1566 held its now traditional annual special meeting in Erskine Home, Bishopton, on Wednesday, 19th September.

A large turn-out of Brethren from within and out-with the Province attended the meeting which had the added significance of it being the 100th anniversary year of the end of the Great War in 1918.

The Lodge was opened by RWM Bro. Ronnie Armstrong who welcomed a Deputation from PGLRE headed by RWPGM Bro. Neil Fraser who thanked the Lodge of Erskine for organising these special meetings at the home of veterans.

Bro. Dr. Iain McPhee, Bro. Rev, Robert Craig, Bro. Gordon Michie, RWM Bro. Ronnie Armstrong and PGM Bro. Neil Fraser

The speakers for the evening were introduced by PSPGM Bro. Dr. Iain McPhee a PM of The Lodge of Erskine who stressed that all the money raised at the event would go directly to the Erskine Home Recreation Room where the meeting was being held.

It was fitting that the main speaker of the evening was Bro. Gordon Michie, Head of Fundraising at Poppyscotland who spoke of the historical and on-going links between Freemasonry and the annual Poppy Appeal.

He told how Field Marshall Earl Haig – a member of the Craft – had set up the first poppy factory in England with his wife, Lady Haig, following suit with a factory in Edinburgh.

Bro. Michie, a PSPGM of the Province of Fife and Kinross and whose Mother Lodge is Lodge Earl Haig No.1260, also spoke of the involvement of Admiral of the Fleet, Lord Jellicoe who became the second President of the Earl Haig Fund and was also a Freemason.

The meeting was told of the strong on-going links in Scotland with the Field of Remembrance where Poppy Crosses are laid annually by Freemasons and whjch has raised £90,000 since 2012.

RWM Bro. Ronnie Armstrong presenting the cheque to Craig Berry, Erskine Recreation Events Coordinator.

Currently the Masonic motorcycle group The Widows Sons are on a Tour of Remembrance every Province in Scotland with wreath-laying ceremonies along the way and Bro. Michie paid particular tribute to the large turn-out of Brethren from Renfrewshire East during the recent ceremony at Paisley Cenotaph.

Bro. Michie also spoke of the much-needed support that Poppyscotland gives to veterans and their families and the difficulty of sometimes convincing those that needed help that it was all right to ask for it.

Earlier, Rev. Bro. Robert Craig, Past PGLRE Chaplain, gave a fascinating talk on Freemasonry Under the Jackboot dealing particularly with the Nazi occupation of the Channel Islands.

Following the speakers, Bro. Ian Wood PM revealed that through the money raised on the night and an earlier Ceilidh held by The Lodge of Erskine a total of £2,200 had been raised for the Recreation Room.

Donna Kilpatrick thanks PGM Bro. Neil Fraser for the donation of £2,200,

Accepting this from PGM, Bro Neil Fraser, Erskine Homes Care Assistant, Donna Kilpatrick, warmly thanked the Brethren for their generosity.

In a separate presentation, RWM Bro. Ronnie Armstrong, handed over a £100 donation towards the Poppyscotland appeal to Bro. Gordon Michie.

The evening ended with the Brethren being invited to partake of Harmony refreshments provided by Erskine Home.

Photographs taken by DPGM Bro. Robert McPhee.