300 years of tradition ...

Celebrating 200 years: The lodge's bicentenary celebrations in the Municipal Buildings in 1913'Contributed photograph
Celebrating 200 years: The lodge's bicentenary celebrations in the Municipal Buildings in 1913'Contributed photograph

A MONTROSE Masonic lodge is this year celebrating its place as one of the oldest in the country and the world.

Lodge Montrose Kilwinning No 15 was formed in 1713 during a turbulent period in Scottish history, just six years after the union of Scotland and England and shortly before the establishment of the Hanoverian monarchy and the ensuing failed Jacobite uprising of 1715.

A key moment in its history was in 1736 when the Lodge played a main role in the organisation and establishment of The Grand Lodge of Scotland which is the governing body for Scottish Freemasonry worldwide.

The lodge has survived two Jacobite uprisings and two world wars, maintaining a positive influence in the town and beyond. In the past, members also commonly played a role in the laying of foundation stones and construction projects such as at Melville Gardens and the North Esk Bridge.

There were also strong ties with another local institution, Montrose Air Station, the centenary of which is being marked this year. After the base opened in 1913, many airmen joining the Lodge with the connection continuing up to the station’s closure in the 1950s.

To mark the tercentenary, the lodge has organised a series of events including an anniversary dance at the Mercantile Golf Club on April 12 and, on April 15, the opening of a new exhibition at Montrose Museum. Entitled ‘Masons and Montrosians’, it will offer an interesting insight in to the world of freemasonry in general and the history of the Montrose lodge in particular.

It will also highlight the part the lodge has had on both the town and the townspeople over the last 300 years.

In its role as a fund-raiser, the lodge has adopted Montrose Day Care Centre as its charity for this year and David Provan, lodge master, said “a significant donation” will be made to the centre later in the year.

He said: “Throughout its history the lodge has supported many local and national charities. In this special 300th anniversary year the lodge is delighted to support Montrose Day Care Centre.

“A voluntary organisation which provides social care for older people enabling them to remain living in their own homes, the centre offers a wide range of activities. The team are extremely hard working and dedicated individuals, well deserving of our support.

The lodge’s main celebration will be held on November 9, when the lodge will host a special anniversary ceremony within the Montrose Town Hall which will be attended by a large number of Freemasons from all over Scotland and beyond and promises. It will be conducted by The Grand Lodge of Scotland and it is anticipated that Iain Wolrige Gordon, Grand Master Mason will also attend. The ceremony will be immediately followed by a celebratory dinner which is being held within The Park Hotel.

n Further information about Lodge Montrose Kilwinning No 15 is available on its website at www.mkl15.co.uk.