Montrose and District Probus Club met last Tuesday in the George Hotel with vice-president Fred Jack in the chair.
The speaker was Iain McIntosh who gave a potted history of Montrose from his examination of Masonic Minutes. Montrose has one of the oldest lodges in Scotland, founded in 1713 long before the formation of the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1736. The Masons helped the poor and had encouraged education, a fact recently recognised at the 200th anniversary of the foundation of Montrose Academy.
The Masons had also been involved in the building of the Kinnaber Bridge in 1770 and the first Montrose Bridge in 1795. Many famous people had been members of Montrose Lodges including Hercules Coutts of the banking family who went on to found a shipping company in Maryland, Sir James Duke, later to become Lord Mayor of London, and members of Robert Burns’ family, some of whom had been active in India, Russia and Afghanistan.
Mr McIntosh also recounted how the local lodges had been prepared to support both sides in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745!
A vote of thanks was proposed by Angus Lindsay.