Lodge Nethan St. John No.1289
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A Brief History
On the 15th December 1921, a meeting was held at the Bent (School/Cottage/Farm?) with the object of forming a Lodge in the district. Brother James Walker, Master Mason of Lodge Clydesdale No.551, and headmaster at the Bent School was appointed Chairman.
It was Minuted that good wishes were read from Lodge St. John No.20, Old St. John No.21, St. Thomas No.306, Newlands No.949, and The Operative Lodge of Dumfries No.140. Please note the early connection with this Lodge, probably through a member of 140 who came to live in our area during the first World War, namely Bro. Hamilton Jackson, who affiliated to 1289 and became R.W.M. in December 1928 and again in 1932.
It was also Minuted at this meeting that the only nights available in the Church Hall were the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month.
Suggestions for a name were: Lodge Nethan, Lodge Braehead St. John, and Lodge Union. On Saturday 17th December 1921 another meeting was held, the business being the completion of the Petition for submission to our sponsor Lodges, St. John No.20 and Union No.244. It was also decided at this meeting that the name of the Lodge would be Nethan St. John. The R.W.M. appointed at this meeting was Bro. James Walker, and the initiation fee was to be five guineas.
From such humble beginnings the Lodge was formed, small in numbers but with great enthusiasm.
The first landmark celebrated by the Lodge was the 25th anniversary, on the 24th May 1947. The R.W.M. Bro. William Dempster presided. Present at that meeting was Bro. Hugh Neilson, in the office of Junior Warden. The minute states: "the brethren retired to Blackwood Welfare Hall, and the evening was spent in song and story, and many a Masonic toast was proposed and responded to." It was at this meeting that P.M. Bro. Crawford and Bro. Ferguson of St. Marks Lodge at Glasgow No.102 presented the Lodge with our Senior Warden's gavel.
On the 6th May 1972, our Lodge celebrated its 50th anniversary, R.W.M. Bro Duncan Fraser presided. Also in attendance that day was the Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason David Liddell-Grainger of Ayton accompanied by our own P.M. Bro. George B. McRae, Grand Steward. The Re-dedication ceremony was carried out by P.M. Bro. Hugh Neilson, Provincial Grand Chaplain.
On the 25th September 1974 the unthinkable happened, a letter was read from the Kirk Session asking us to vacate the Kirk Hall. Lodge St. John No.20 Lesmahagow kindly offered us the use of their premises, and Bro. Jim Hamilton also offered us the use of the function suite of his restaurant. A proposal was also made to seek the use of the O.E.S. Hall. After much discussion, it was agreed to accept Bro. Hamilton's offer and the first meeting took place there on 19th February 1975. Unfortunately, due to ill health Bro. Hamilton was forced to sell his premises and after only nine months, we were looking for a meeting place. This time the Lodge moved to the O.E.S. Hall and we were grateful to the Nethanvale chapter for this sanctuary.
Shortly after this, the Lodge became joint owners of the premises, eventually becoming sole owners, with a very amicable arrangement having been reached to the benefit of the Nethanvale Chapter and the Lodge.
An extensive refurbishment was carried out by the brethren of the Lodge with a Re-Dedication ceremony taking place in October 1992 by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Lanarkshire Upper Ward
P.M. Bro. James D. MacLean P.P.G.M.