The Glasgow Star Lodge No. 219










 Historical Notes of "The Glasgow Star Lodge" No. 219

The Glasgow Star Lodge No. 219 as we know it today began proper on 3rd August 1807, when a charter was granted by the Grand Lodge of Scotland to Lodge Star.

During the time the Lodge was chartered the Craft in Scotland was going through a difficult period. One of the reasons for this was the passing of Secret Societies Bill in 1799. Freemasonry was exempted from this Bill providing that Lodges declared upon oath, before a Justice of the Peace, that they were Freemasons. The wording of the clause legalising their continued existence however was in such a form as to apparently prohibit the setting up of new Lodges. The Grand Lodge of Scotland got round this difficulty by re-issuing the Charters of Lodges no longer active. Lodge Star was therefore given the Charter of dormant Lodge No. 164 and given the number 286 on Grand Lodge Roll.

In 1907 Lodge Mother Kilwinning rejoined Grand Lodge and the inclusion of Lodges Charted by Mother Kilwinning on Grand Lodge Roll caused considerable confusion. In 1816 a re-numbering of Lodges took place and Lodge Star was given the number 214. This was finally changed in 1822 to 219. George 111. Was reigning monarch, and his son George, Prince of Wales (later George 1V) was Grand Master of both Scotland and England. Francis, Earl of Moira, was acting Grand Master and Sir John Stewart, of Allanbank, was Provincial Grand Master of the Under Ward of Lanarkshire (which included Glasgow)

It is unfortunate that the early records of the Lodge were destroyed by fire and we only have the story of our beginning as handed down from Past Masters of bygone days. It would appear that the Lodge held its first meetings in an Inn in Anderston which in those days was a small village on the outskirts of Glasgow. Just how long the Lodge continued to meet there is unknown. The first and third Mondays of the month are known to have been the regular meeting nights since as far back as 1857 (the Lodge Jubilee year) in that year an agreement was made to rent the Lodge-rooms of The Glasgow Kilwinning Lodge No. 4 at 87 Main Street Anderson. The original letter from The Glasgow Kilwinning Lodge dated 4th May 1857 and signed by J. Flemington, Depute Master giving details of rental terms, is still in the Lodges possession. The terms were: Rent £10 annually, plus a portion of the bills, i.e. gas, water and coals. It is also worth noting that St. Andrews Chapter No.69 were to pay only £2 annually, plus a similar portion of overheads, on account of its connection with Lodge Star. Lodge Commercial No.360 were also tenants at 87 Main Street, but in 1862 decided to lease property from the City Union Railway Company at19 Croy Place, Glasgow. It would appear that both Lodge Commercial and Lodge Star had found difficulty in paying the rent to Lodge Glasgow Kilwinning, and Lodge Star agreed to sub-lease Lodge Commercials new premises, where it remained until about 1870. (Lodge Commercials lease from the Railway Company was not renewed in 1874 as Croy Place was to be removed to make way for the building of St. Enoch's Station) The oldest existing minute of the Lodge to hand is dated 14th April 1871, and was recorded at St. Marks Hall 213 Buchanan Street, which the Lodge rented for about 3 years. The brethren at that time, determined to have a Lodge-room of their own, formed a motion that suitable property should be sought and purchased. On 11th August 1873 Lodge Star met for the first time in premises of their own at 12 Trongate, on the first floor of the old Tolbooth building at Glasgow Cross. Surely an ideal historic landmark of the city in which to have our first premises. (Only the Tolbooth steeple now remains. The buildings were removed in 1911).

Bro. Joseph Wilson, (R.W.M. 1872-74) was one of the petitioners the Charter of Lodge Clydesdale No. 556, in 1874 along with some brethren of The Bridgeton and Glasgow Shamrock and Thistle Lodge No.275. Both these Lodges came to meet at Star Lodge-rooms and a friendship was formed with them that still exists today. Without doubt a period of prosperity began for the Lodge at Star Lodge-rooms Trongate. The Lodge-rooms were re-decorated in 1882 (presumably for the 75th Anniversary Celebration) and in 1891 fitted with new furniture. That same year a presentation of a Master Masons Jewel, Apron, Case and a Purse of Sovereigns was made to a Brother before he departed to Brisbane.

Until that point it can be seen that the Lodge had travelled eastwards on the North side of the Clyde and never strayed far from the great river of our city. On the night of 22nd May 1893 the R.W.M. Bro. Hugh Osborne said to the brethren "As this is the last meeting of the Lodge to be held by us here (i.e. 12 Trongate) having taken premises at 4 Carlton Place, I hope that the Star of the East will shine as bright with us in the South as it has done hitherto" Bro. Peter McDonald, an office bearer of the Lodge (R.W.M.1895-97) owned business premises at 4 Carlton Place and, by virtue of an agreement between him and the brethren, Lodge Star met in suitable accommodation there for the first time on 10th July 1893. It would appear that some difficulty arose in getting the use of a Committee Room at 4 Carlton Place, and many of these meetings were held next door at 6 Carlton Place. At that time the home of the Scottish Football Association and meeting place of Lodge Clydesdale. Further problems arose over payment of rent at No.4 and on 3rd June 1901 Lodge Star moved out and joined Lodge Clydesdale at No.6.

The association with Lodge Clydesdale was further cemented in 1902 during Bro. James Somerville's term as R.W.M. when an agreement was formed between both Lodges creating a joint concern known as the "Glasgow Southside Temple" Property was purchased at Nos. 26 and 30 Abbotsford Place, consisting of two large main door flats at a total cost of £2970. A hall was built on existing land behind Abbotsford Place by Bro. Wm. McNeil R.W.M. of Lodge Clydesdale (an Honorary Member of 219 under a joint committee. The new temple was consecrated on 19th December 1903 by Provincial Grand Lodge at a joint meeting opened by R.W.M. of 556 and closed by R.W.M. of 219. So began probably the most settled period in the Lodges history, as this was to be its home for 57 years. Many of the brethren today can recall with pride the many happy occasions enjoyed at Abbotsford Place. The décor of the temple and adjacent rooms and the Lodge furniture were admired by all who saw it.

The year 1907 heralded the Centenary celebrations of the Lodge and probably the longest lasting meeting in its history. The Lodge was opened on the evening of 2nd August: Provincial Grand Lodge were received and a Re-Dedication Ceremony took place. The Lodge was then called from Labour to Refreshment and a few hours of harmony prevailed. At 2am. On 3rd August the Lodge was recalled to Labour, when a considerable number of brethren were affiliated. The Lodge was closed about 3am. That year it was decided to change the name to "The Glasgow Star Lodge" and introduce a new Lodge crest (the one in current use)

The 125th Anniversary celebration took place in 1932, when Bro. George Lightfoot was R.W.M. and a dinner was held that year at the C'adora. The Lodges Sesquicentary (150th) Celebration was held in 1957 during Bro. William MacMillan's term as R.W.M. in the Freemasons Hall 100 West Regent Street, when the late Bro.The Right Honourable The Earl of Eglinton and Winton T.D. D.L. B.A. Depute Grand Master (Grand Master 1957-61) headed the Grand Lodge deputation and Re- Dedication Ceremony was conducted.

In 1960 the long standing partnership with Lodge Clydesdale was dissolved in the same friendly spirit as it had begun. The property at Abbotsford Place had become very run down and Lodge Clydesdale decided to purchase the vacant Victoria Place Baptist Church at 138 Butterbiggins Road. Soon afterwards the brethren of our Lodge decided to move to Lodge Clydesdale new halls as tenants.

The original Lodge Roll must also have been destroyed in the fire, as No.1 on the present Roll is Bro. James Campbell, who was Master in 1851 and gives his date of initiation as 1839.
The next number assigned is 1.1/2, possibly to the Lodge Secretary and brother responsible for compiling the new Roll (as the date of the initiation is given pre. 1851) The Roll proper begins with brethren initiated in 1851 at No.2 and continues un-interupted until the present day. Bro. Thomas Halket (R.W.M. of Lodge St. Marks No.102) has the distinction of being made the first known Honorary Member of the Lodge on 11th June 1869. From 1872 until 1935 with a few exceptions, it was the custom on the occasion of the annual Provincial Grand Lodge Visitation, to confer Honorary Membership on all Provincial Grand Lodge office bearers in attendance. During that period it was conferred on 177 brethren. Notable among these in 1896, was Bro. Sir Hector Munro P.G.M. of Ross & Cromarty. Since 1935 Honorary Membership has only been conferred to nine brethren, viz. Sir A. B. Swan (P.G.M. of Glasgow) Jas. S. M. Grieve (P.S.G.M.) Wm. King Gillies (Grand Secretary) Leonard Melrose (Grand Treasurer) Dr. Douglas Radford (G.S.W.) Alex F. Buchan (Grand Secretary) Charles J. Hume (S.W.1102) William Love (P.M.1566) and Brian G. Brown (P.G.M. of Glasgow).

Many eminent men have occupied the Chair of the Lodge. Unfortunately, details of Masters from 1808 until 1840 (1833 excepted) are unknown. Bro. William Scobie was the longest serving Master, having occupied the Chair for six consecutive years from 1842 until 1848. An oil painting of Bro. John Spencer, Master in 1852 who was a well respected citizen and businessman in the City, hung proudly on the wall of Abbotsford Place. Bro. Hugh Osborne (R.W.M. from 1892-93) served the Lodge as a Past Master for over 50 years. The Master from 1911-13 Bro Matthew W. Montgomery, later became Lord Provost of the City of Glasgow (1924-25) Prior to the Great War (1914) it appears to have been customary for the Master to serve at least 2 years. Since that time only two Masters have served more than one year ---- Bro. Major Archibald Terris (1935-37) and Bro. Frank Moir (1964-65 and 1974-75) many are noted for their service to Grand Lodge and Provincial Grand Lodge. Notable among these were Brothers R. M. Battison as Grand Senior Warden and Harold A. Browne J.P. C.A. Substitute Provincial Grand Master. The oldest serving Past Master Bro. F. Elliot Dobie (R.W.M. 1946-47) celebrated his 95th birthday (1982) and has the distinction of being a Past Substitute Grand Master. Many are noted for their sterling service to the Lodge, Bro. William Buchanan (R.W.M. 1948-49) was by all accounts, a fine ritualist and served as Lodge Secretary for 16 years until his death in 1969. His Brother, Edward is the present day Treasurer and has been for the past 25 years. As a token of appreciation for Bro. Buchanan's outstanding service the brethren presented him with a commemorative jewel and carriage clock at the last Installation meeting. The youngest brother to occupy the Chair has been Bro. John McCabe (R.W.M. 1966-97 who was 24 years of age. The oldest living member of the Lodge Bro. M Grossman (97) was initiated during the Centenary Year (1907) and was a regular attender at Lodge Battlefield No.1258 of which he was a Founder Member Bro. Grossman celebrated 75 years as a member of the Craft in 1982 by being made an Honorary Member of Lodge Montefiore No.753.

The Glasgow Star Lodge has had the pleasure of being one of the Sponsor Lodges for the Charters of three Lodges, the oldest of which is Lodge Montefiore (1888) The other two being Lodge Langside No.955 (1903) and Lodge Oatlands No.1005 (1906) There are some other points of interest that should be included. The Lodge regalia has changed colour over the years. In 1848 it was orange and blue: in 1881 light blue and in 1896 changed to the present dark blue. A Masonic Apron that was found in the belly of a cod in the old fish market in 1847 by Bro. Torbet, then Lodge Tyler, is still in the Lodges possession. Of prime interest to the brethren is that the Lodge Minute dated 28th February 1881, refers to the 82nd Annual Festival of the Lodge. Should that have been the case, then the Lodge must have been working in 1799. An advertisement in the Glasgow Evening News of 1891 makes reference to Lodge Stars 92nd Annual Festival and would appear to support the previous assumption.

It is not possible to do justice to the many important events, or prominent brethren, that have gone before us, in such a short address. Therefore, failure to comment on any of these is due to the limited information available at the time of writing, the short time available to compile these notes, or oversight on the part of the writer. However, one thing is certain, our brethren of the past, whether having occupied the Chair, or held office, or simply attended our meetings, played their part in securing the future of our Lodge, and we can in all humility, be justifiably proud of their achievement.

Acknowledgement: Thanks to Past Master Bro. Bill McPherson for collating the history of our lodge. He was the Right Worshipful Master on the 175th Anniversary of the Lodge.







Right Worshipful Master 'John George Craik' and Past Masters of The Glasgow Star Lodge on November 16th, 1908.

click on the photo for a larger image


Past Masters of 219


2005-06 Stuart E. Taylor

2004-05 Stuart E. Taylor

2003-04 Samuel K. Hodgson Jnr

2002-03 William B. Smith

2001-02 William B. Smith

2000-01 Samuel K. Hodgson Jnr

1999-00 James Martin

1998-99 Frederick McGregor

1997-98 Mark Trainer

1996-97 James T. McCallum

1995-96 David W. Glasgow

1994-95 Peter W. Murphy

1993-94 Peter W. Murphy

1992-93 David W. Glasgow

1991-92 Stewart M. Aitken

1990-91 Peter W. Murphy

1989-90 Neil Cunningham

1988-89 William D. Ross

1987-88 William D. Ross

1986-87 William M. Gow

1985-86 William Martin

1984-85 George Hodgson

1983-84 Samuel K. Hodgson Snr

1982-83 Joseph Caldwell

1981-82 William MacPherson

1980-81 Kenneth M. Graham

1979-80 George Stewart

1978-79 George Ramsay

1977-78 David C. Shillinglaw

1976-77 Andrew McArthur

1975-76 Robert S. M. Stewart

1974-75 Francis Moir

1973-74 Neil Cunningham

1972-73 Robert Elder

1971-72 Dennis Kersh

1970-71 James B. Murdoch

1969-70 William H. Gow

1968-69 Hugh Miller

1967-68 John Dempsey

1966-67 John McCabe

1965-66 Sylvestor Morgan

1964-65 Francis Moir

1963-64 John W. Haddow

1962-63 Richard McCulloch

1961-62 Alexander L. Forrest

1960-61 *John Gow

1959-60 John MacDonald

1958-59 George Meechan

1957-58 Alexander M. Caldwell

1956-57 William McMillan

1955-56 Donald P. Sturrock


































1921-22 *George Brown

1920-21 *William T. Tannar

1919-20 *William Law

1918-19 *John Murdoch

1917-18 *William Phoenix

1916-17 *Chaskel Gerson

1915-16 *James Stewart

1914-15 *Benjamin P. Macintosh

1913-14 *Matthew W. Montgomery

1912-13 *Matthew W. Montgomery

1911-12 *George F. Elliott

1910-11 *George F. Elliott

1909-10 *John George Craik

1908-09 *John George Craik

1907-08 *John George Craik

1906-07 *John Graham

1905-06 *James Weir

1904-05 *John Reid

1903-04 *John Reid

1902-03 *James Somerville

1901-02 *Walter Crichton

1900-01 *Walter Crichton

1899-00 *Thomas Yuill Paterson

1898-99 *Thomas Yuill Paterson

1897-98 *Peter McDonald

1896-97 *

1895-96 *Stewart McNicoll

1894-95 *Hugh Osborne

1893-94 *Hugh Osborne

1892-93 *Robert Henderson

1891-92 *Robert Henderson

1890-91 *Robert Henderson

1889-90 *George Dick Miller

1888-89 *George Dick Miller

1887-88 *George Dick Miller

1886-87 *John Ramsay

1885-86 *David Mearns

1884-85 *David Mearns

1883-84 * James Carson

1882-83 *John Morgan

1881-82 *John Brand

1880-81 *David Mearns

1879-80 *David Mearns

1878-79 *Jasper Martin

1877-78 *Jasper Martin

1876-77 *John Morgan

1875-76 *John Morgan

1874-75 *Joseph Wilson

1873-74 *Joseph Wilson

1872-73 *John M. Davidson

1871-72 *John M. Davidson

1870-71 *George Smith

1869-70 *Robert Livingston

1868-69 *Robert Livingston

1867-68 *Robert Livingston

1866-67 *Robert Livingston

1865-66 *George Aitken

1864-65 *George Aitken

1863-64 *Hugh Rankin

1862-63 *George Johnstone

1861-62 *George Johnstone

1860-61 *W. R. D. Gascoyne

1859-60 *W. R. D. Gascoyne

1858-59 *Hutcheson Campbell

1857-58 *Robert Black

1856-57 *William Wright

1855-56 *James Campbell

1854-55 *James Campbell

1853-54 *Robert Black

1852-53 *John Spencer

1851-52 *James Campbell

1850-51 *James Campbell

1849-50 *James Brown

1848-49 *William Scobie

1847-48 *William Scobie

1846-47 *William Scobie

1845-46 *William Scobie

1844-45 *William Scobie

1843-44 *William Scobie

1842-43 *James Russell

1841-42 *John Fairns

1807-1840 No Record