Preamble . . .

Lodge Dramatic was founded on August 2nd, 1875, ''for the profession . . . by the profession.'' And the profession in question was that of acting. The number of the Lodge could have been 570, for the petition for a charter was submitted to Grand Committee three months before that of Lodge Kenmuir. The petition was, however sent back to Provincial Grand Lodge ''for a report thereon'' and after a delay of three months and the allocation of No. 571, Charters for both lodges were granted on August 2, 1875.

When the petition first came before Provincial Grand Lodge, the Senior Provincial Grand Warden said he could see no objections to signing it, on condition that the entrance fee be not less than 3 guineas, (although our Charter says that the cost shall be not less than £1/1/6) and that the Lodge should not be open after midnight and that no office bearer should be appointed who was not resident in Glasgow.

Lodge Dramatic was the first Lodge in Glasgow, maybe even in the UK to open as a ''daylight'' Lodge. Later on Lodge Anima (Glasgow) No. 1223 opened as a daytime lodge for a long number of years, to serve the Cinema industry, since then Lodge Meridian No. 1609 in Edinburgh and more recently Lodge Meridian  No.1779 in Hamilton have been chartered.

In fact Lodge Dramatic members were at the forefront in founding No. 1779, with various members being founder members and including Bro. Ben Gunn as the Founding Master.

The First Hundred Years . . .

Lodge Dramatic was granted it's Charter on Monday, 2nd August, 1875, and from the 1st minute book we read that at the second meeting of the Office-bearers (there is no mention of the first meeting), which was in Bro Barbour's home, 35 Renfrew Street, Glasgow, on August 5th 1875, present were Bro William Dobson, Bro James Houston, Bro S Vallance, Bro Harry  W Jackman, and Bro William Barbour.

At this meeting many issues were decided, including which hall to rent, and of course all the equipment required to hold a Lodge. Most of this was borrowed to begin with from other Lodges.

There was also a 3rd and 4th meeting of Office-bearers at which many brethern were proposed for afilliation.

However, and I quote from our Charter, ''a petition was presesnted in the name of Wiliiam J. E. Dobson, Charles Groves, Harry Wilson Jackman, Robert S. Smyth, John Mills, Joseph M'Gregor, William Barbour, and others.''

''Proposing persons aftermentioned, to be the first Office-bearers, thereof, viz, :_William John Edgar Dobson, Right Worshipful Master; Charles Groves, Depute Master; William S Vallance, Substitute Master; Willam Sievewright, Senior Warden; Henry Wilson Jackman, Junior Warden; William Barbour, Treasurer; Duncan Campbell, Secretary; Joseph M'Gregor, Senior Deacon; Robert S Smyth, Junior Deacon; etc, etc.''

These were of course only proposals, and in fact, not all these Brethern went on to hold the offices proposed.

The first Regular Meeting of the Lodge was held in St. Mark's Hall, 213 Buchanan Street, on Wednesday, August, 18th, 1875. The first Master was Bro. W. J.  E. Dobson, a comedian, and the office-bearers included four members of the Theatre Royal staff, the box-office keeper, the scenic artist, the gas engineer and the bill inspector.

Previous to the opening the Depute Provincial Grand Master gathered the Office-Bearers round the Altar and read the Charges and adminstered the Oath De Fideli. The Lodge was then duly opened by the RWM, ably assisted by all those present.

Many Bretheren were afilliated that day, and one of them, of the was Bro. David Reid, who later became Grand Secretary. In 1875 he was Master of Lodge St. Andrew, Glasgow No 465, and at the age of 21 is believed to have been one of the youngest masters in the history of Scottish Freemasonry.

At the same meeting our first 2 applicants, a Mr Donald Noble, aged 25, a machine maker, and Mr William Forsyth, a lithographer, were initiated into the Lodge By Bro David Reid,  little did we know that this was to mark the start of the Lodge's long association with the printing industry.

At the Regular Meeting on the 2nd of February, 1876, Mr George Burnett, a sailor, is the first candidate to receive all 3 degrees at the same meeting! This was to have further repercusions for the the Lodge at a later date.

1876 was quite a year for Glasgow and beyond, William Quarrier opened the City Orphan's Home  in February to house 400 youths, later that year he purchased the small estate of Nittingshall, between Bridge of Weir and Kilmacolm for £3650. We all now know it as one of the Scottish Freemason's Homes.

In June of that year General Custer was defeated at the Battle of Little Big Horn, and in October, HRH the Prince of Wales (later to become Edward VII), was in Glasgow to lay the foundation stone at the new Post Office (GPO as we knew it) in George Square. This was attended by more than 8000 Freemasons, from all over the country, and included brethern from Lodge Dramatic.

At the Meeting on October 4, 1876, there appears to have been a bit of a fall-out? The RWM Bro Dobson, while fullsome in his praise of the Senior Warden, Bro Henry W Jackman, and was happy to leave everything in his hands while he was away on business in Edinburgh. However it would appear that that was not the case.

The meeting of Office-bearers to nominate the Brethern for offices for the following year sees Bro Jackman nominated as RWM, in between times we have the Consecration of the Lodge. This is all a  bit confusing because, Bro Dobson is Installed by the PGL of Glasgow, then they retire and it is at this point RWM Dobson remarks that he does not think that Bro Jackman is suitable for the chair.

The Office-Bearers meeting on Friday November 10th at 4pm, the minute book shows there to be a bit of an argument, this meeting has been called to sort out the Nominations problem, and various Brethern decline offices including the Senior Warden.

The Regular meeting on 15th November with the notable absence of both RWM Bro Dobson and Bro Jackman, the Office-Bearers are finally elected, with Bro Jackman elected as RWM.

Further on in the minutes of the Installation meeting on December 5, 1877, the RWM states that he is delighted to be RWM again (this is the 2nd time) and as it happens he is the youngest Master in the Province.

His previous year had not been without problems, particularly the fact that many brethern had not turned up to meetings, a reference to the previous year's nominations meeting.

The Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow's Visitation on 2nd March, 1878, we are given a warning about what is to come regarding the business of doing 3 degrees at one meeting!

The first Harmony Meeting is arranged for March 7, 1878, at 11.00pm! During this meeting, an annonymous  brother presented for the (delectation) of the Brethern 2 cases of champagne!

In the beginning, the customs at Lodge Dramatic differed more than somewhat from accepted Grand Lodge rules. For instance, it was written into Lodge bye-laws that contrary to Grand Lodge law, honorary affiliates should be able to hold office and attain the Master's chair. How this managed to get past Grand Lodge remains a mystery. But pass it did! For many years, too, the Lodge candidates were voted for by a show of hands.

In fact what actually happened was that the candidates were in the adjacent, a show of hands  was taken,  if all was ok, the gentlemen were prepared and received their Degree (s).

At a Regular Meeting on 21st September, 1883, a communication is read from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow, calling on the bretheren to attend the laying of the foundation stone at the building of the new municipal buildings, (the City Chambers, as it became).

This ceremony took place in George Square, on Saturday, 6th October, 1883.

The meeting on 12th May, 1887, is a sad one for all, the RWM Bro Sievewright, announces the death of William J E Dobson, the founding Master of the Lodge, we had permission to hold a masonic funeral.

The next day, members meet at the Lodge rooms, then after a short funeral service walked to the St Andrews Halls, after a masonic prayer etc, the brethern march to the Western Necropolis (Maryhill), where a masonic funeral and tributes take place.

16th December, 1887, as was not uncommon is these days, if the RWM was absent another RWM would take charge of the Lodge, on this day it was Bro John Gillespie, RWM of No. 347.

At the same meeting the Mark Ceremonial was worked by the Shamrock and Thistle Chapter No. 87, they were led by PZ Bro George Muir, again this was not an uncommon situation.

It was not until 1887 at a Provincial Visitation that the attention of the Lodge was drawn to the fact that voting should be by ballot.

The Lodge had their first Regular Meeting in the new premises, on Thursday, 14th June, 1888, AT 2.30pm, it was actually called The Masonic Rooms, 30 Hope Street, the factors were Lodge Commercial No 360. We were there until everybody had to move due to the extension of the Central Station, with the new Low Level platforms.

The attention of the Province is called when the death of the Provincial Grand Master of Glasgow is announced, he was Sir William Pearce of Govan, however this is overshadowed in Dramatic by the death of William Barbour PM, a Founder Member.

Nothing surprises me regarding our Lodge, on 29th December, 1890 an emergency meeting is called at 10.30pm, the bretheren work an EA Degree on 4 candidates, then they do a FC degree and  a MM on 4 different bretheren.

However, there was to be another, bigger thorn in the flesh of Grand Lodge! This was the practice of the Lodge to confer three degrees in one day. Grand Lodge had banned this practice prior to 1875, but had left powers in the hands of Masters so that they could in an emergency confer more than one degree on the same day. These powers were meant to cover members of HM Forces who might be posted abroad at short notice and, in each case the reason for doing this had to be entered in the minute book!

The practice became the rule rather than the exception in Lodge Dramatic. After many appeals Grand Lodge withdrew the concession in 1897 and stated that there be two weeks between degrees.

The then Master Bro. E. T. de Banzie in 1896 protested that many of our members who received all their degrees at the one time went away knowing more about Freemasonry than the average man who waited the prescibed time.

He protested  ''Lodge Dramatic depends  on and was founded expressly for a class of people who cannot always regulate their movements in conformity with the orthodox laws formed  for the average individual. Actors and musical men are not average men.

''They are men  who require special gifts to pursue their studies and must have retentive memory's. It is not unusual for an actor to learn a play in a single night. Surely he can get up a whole degree?''

He appealed for a special dispensation, for the Lodge, but this was refused.

The Lodge appears to have been in a bit of trouble through lack of funds, because according to the minutes 2 brethern had agreed to pay the outstanding rent for the previous meeting place.

The debt owed to the factors was 4 guineas or £4/4 or £4.40.

The RWM Bro Sieivewright at the next meeting bemoaned the fact that so many of the brethern of the lodge were engaged at the International Glasgow Exhibition (it was actually called The International Exhibition of Industry, Science and Art) that this was having a big effect on the attendances.

There was a circus company based in Glasgow and the Lodge had many of the acts as members, and on 12 December, 1888 5 gentlemen from Henglers  circus were initiated, they were all part of an equestrian team, the circus remained in Glasgow until it closed in 1924.

It was quite common apparently for a brother from another Lodge to be passed or raised  at Lodge Dramatic even though it was not his Mother Lodge, and the first mention of this was when a brother Robert Agnew  from Lodge St John's Rutherglen No 347 recieved his MM degree, because he was leaving the city that week.

The Lodge was opened  in the 1st and passed to Harmony, after a few hours had been spent and it being past high twelve, the Junior Warden would call the Brethern from Refreshment to Labour again, and the Lodge was closed.

Because of the state of the lodge funds a concert was organised, and this was going to take place in the Waterloo Rooms.

This building was originally  the old Wellington Church who had moved to Hillhead. In 1910 the Alhambra theatre was built on the site, which was on the corner of Wellington Street and Waterloo Street.

February 1889 is an eye-opener, the Lodge is opened as normal a ballot is taken, then a gentleman is initiated, then the Provincial Visitation takes place, after the Deputation retires the Lodge then have a 2nd and 3rd.

It is then announced that a Harmony meeting will be held at 11.00pm that night!

The new Treasurer finally presents his report which shows that the Lodge is now clear of all debt and has a surplus of £21/0/2, and that during the year the Lodge had an outlay of £87/13/6.

In 1891 the Lodge 'changed it's colours' from pale blue to dark blue.

On November 26 1891 there is the first mention in the minute books of Bro John Graham of Broadstone, he was Provincial Grand Master of Glasgow at this time, and on that date he not only attended the Lodge, but he Installed Bro J C Mcdonald as Master, he then carried on and Installed the rest of the Brethern.

The Regular meeting on 28th January, 1892, the RWM informs the bretheren about the details of their Annual Festival to be held on Monday, 15th February, 1892, the details as follows, 7.30 Dancing, 10.30 Supper, 1.30 Tea, then Dancing till 3am., I can only surmise that the members were not working the next day!

In December 1892, there is the first mention of the move to 48 Sauchiehall Street.

At the Regular meeting on 10th March, 1892, the members agreed to enrol the new Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason of Scotland as a member, according to Grand Lodge Law No 18! He is the Right Honourable The Earl of Haddington.

The Regular meeting on 16th February, 1893, the RWM and the members agree to sign the lease for the new meeting place at 48 Sauchiehall Street, this lease is for 10 years.

The first meeting and consecration of the new halls takes place on 28th June, 1894. At the same meeting  a silver mallet is presented to the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, also present among the dignatories is Sir Charles Dalrymple, the MWGMM of Scotland, later in 1895 he received Honorary Membership.

During his address to the RWM Bro McKean, he reminds him that only one degree should be worked at a meeting, unless there are special reasons to differ, and that these reasons should be clearly minuted. He wishes the Lodge well and tells them that the next Provincial Visitation will be in new and commodious premises. Of course things carry on as normal regarding degrees.

This is a reference to the Lodge's move to 48 Sauchiehall Street, since Glasgow is about to re-build  the Central Station in parts, by adding new platforms, and by adding a low-level part to the station. It was changed again in 1901-1905.

So the Central Station opened in August 1879, and the low-level opened 1896, the Central Hotel opened in 1883 and was extended  along with the station in 1907. (The first long-distance television pictures were transmitted to the hotel by John Logie Baird on May 1927).

A lot of work had to be done in the new premises, dias have to be built for the Master and Wardens, and the whole place has to be painted. The final move date is the Regular meeting on 12 July 1894, but the Consecration of the new Lodge rooms is on 28 June 1894.

The Consecration as it is today was a grand occasion, and the ceremony is perfomed by Bro John Graham of Broadstone PGM, assisted by PGL  Chaplain whose oratory on matters of the Craft is impressive. PM Bro E T de Banzie had organised a choir and orchestra and the service was carried out with great dignity.

After the ceremony of Consecration, Bro Wm McKean RWM begged the indulgence of the members and visitors, as he had some very important business to perform.

He then in a very able and elegant manner presented Bro John Graham of Broadstone with a very beautiful silver mallet as a token of the fidelity and loyalty of the members of Lodge Dramatic  to the PGM.

The PGM in replying, thanking the Lodge stated that the ground on which this building now stood at one time belonged to him! And that he had the pleasure of attending the laying of the foundation stone for the Royalty Theatre which was laid by Bro S L Toole.

The mallet was recently acquired, prior to the Lodge Centenary by an antique dealer who kindly notified Provincial Grand Lodge, and thus gave us the opportunity of re-gaining possession of this historic artefact. (see Image Gallery). 

The Regular meeting on October 11, 1894, hears of a petition from the Religous and MilitaryOrder of Knights of Rome and Red Cross of Constantine, Glasgow, Conclave No 3 for the use of the hall to hold their meetings, this was accepted with a rent of 10/- per meeting.

At the Regular meeting on 22nd November, 1894 at 2.30pm PM Bro E T de Banzie was installed as RWM for the third time, he was installed by RWPGM Bro John Graham of Broadstone, who also installed the Office-bearers. A Harmony meeting was opened at 10.30pm, which included a deputation of 41 visitors from Lodge 'Gael' No 609, headed by RWM Bro John R Whyte PGSB.

January 10, 1895  RWM de Banzie announces that in his capacity of RWM he has accepted a proposal  from the Princes Lodge No 607, to rent the premises for a period of time.

The Master told the brethern that No 607 was an exclusive lodge and felt that it would be a good proposal. If they were happy with the accomodation they would follow in the footsteps of the PGL of Glasgow and become tenants of the Lodge.

At the same meeting it is intimated that the Lodge is to hold  a series of Instruction classes.

The Emergency Meeting which was called  on the 15th May, 1895, saw the RWM Bro de Banzie introduce to the brethern PM Bro Edward Terry, an Honorary Member of the Lodge. Bro Terry was a Past Grand Treasurer of the Grand Lodge of England. I quote from the minutes ''in his own art he stands alone, when playing ''Kerry'' or the inimitable ''Captain Ginger.'' He was one of the very few who had raised the the profession out of that state of ragabondage so popularly associated with the itinerant actor.''

Bro Terry lives in Barnes, where he is well-known for his generousity and sincerity, his Mother Lodge is St Albans, No 29. In replying to the RWM's remarks he thanked all at Lodge Dramatic and recounted some of his recent travels which included Australia, India and Ceylon and he was delighted to report  that these Lodges were prospering under the auspices of the Scottish Constitution.

There was a further novel first for the Lodge on 16th January, 1896 when a French initiate called Lucien Reuland, a musician,  received his EA Degree at the hands of the Lodge, the whole degree was interpreted by Bro Louis Demeure from Glasgow Kilwinning No 4. It must have been a long afternoon!

At an Emergency Meeting on Tuesday, 18th February 1896 at 2pm after having a 1st degree, the Lodge was raised and Bro Lucien Reuland was instructed in the secrets of said degree, again in French!

Bro Demeure from GK No 4 again translated the degree, ably assisted by Bro T M Cunnigham and F T Rodriguez who also spoke French, and at the March meeting Bro T M Cunningham was given Honorary Membership of our Lodge.

The meeting on October 8th was adjourned after the business was taken care of, to allow all ''loyal'' masons to attend the laying of the memorial stone at the new Glasgow Bridge, now known as the Jamaica Street Bridge. The Glasgow Bridge opened in 1899.

The Regular meeting on 14th January 1897 sees a proposal that the 2nd and 4th Thursday meetings should be held alternately at 2.30 and 7.30, to allow the commercial members to attend more regularly, this of course had to be agreed with PGL regarding an alteration to the bye-laws.

On Thursday 28th January 1897, along with 5 other candidates Mr Harry Lauder, aged 26, and residing at 52 Dundas St, Glasgow, occupation comedian, receives his EA degree, he was passed on 11th February, and raised on 25th February, by Bro W Barclay PM of Lodge St Vincent Sandyford No 553.

The next mention of him is when he is installed as Bible Bearer at the Installation  on 23rd November 1899, he also takes part in the Harmony at the same meeting!

At the Regular meeting on 10th August 1899, we find another unusual event!

The Secretary reads applications from 13 gentlemen from the US of A, they are all employed in various jobs from ticket collectors to trapeze artists at the famous Barnum & Bailey's Circus and Show billed as ''The Greatest Show on Earth'' which toured the whole of America, Great Britain and Germany from 1891 to 1900.

They were in Scotland from 1897 untill 1899.

During this time they were in various parts of Scotland, and according to their tour route they were in Motherwell on 30th August 1899.

The 13 gentlemen received their EA Degree on the same date  at 11.00pm at night.

The following month the show is in Aberdeen, where the same brethern receive their Fellowcraft Degree at the hands of Lodge Bon Accord No 669, (unfortunately they do not have a website, so no more information is available at the moment).

In Glasgow the show performs from 25-29th September, and the Lodge has an Emergency Meeting on the 29th (not uncommon at that time) the purpose of which was to confer the 3rd Degree and the Mark Ceremonial on the same 13. The meeting commenced at 11.30pm.

The early minute books have many interesting tales to tell. On April 19, 1876, a Count de Rocheton, PM of a French Lodge in Constantinople (now Istanbul), addressed the brethern in French. It was translated by a PM from the English constitution . . . Harmony meetings, for which Dramatic is now famed, first started on January 17, 1877 . . . The first Mark Ceremonial recorded took place on January 11, 1883 . . . The Lodge of Instruction, which plays such an important part in Dramatic's year, had it's foundation laid in 1884 when the RWM Bro  E. T. de Banzie gave a talk on the History and Objects of Freemasonry . . . In the early '90s the Lodge received a visit from Bro. Henry Irving's Dramatic Company.

There were other, perhaps less famous visitors, and one such is described by author Neil Munro, writing about Glasgow in the 1890s in his book ''The Brave Days''. . . 

Of the buildings adjoining the station on the south I can recall but three. One was St Columba's Gaelic Church, to which I went on occasional Sundays. There was also a nondescript flatted building in which, inter alia, Masonic Lodge held its meetings, mainly for gents of the theatrical profession and other distinguised public entertainers.

Tom Cannon and the Terrible Turk were in Glasgow at the height of the wrestling boom and one day were put forward for their first degree in Lodge Dramatic. During the preparations  in the ''adjacent'' the goat must have either butted  the Terrible Turk in the ribs, or the ritual must have scared him, for I saw a TERRIFIED Turk dash out of the Lodge and up the street for the Wellington Bar, still unpossessed of grips and passwords and sorely in need of a mother's consolation.

In 1904, it is recorded that Mr James Booth, a music-hall artiste from Lancashire, became a life member of the Lodge, his stage name was George Formby. He was the father of the more well-known musical entertainer.

In the minutes from 1909, it is noted that a certain A E Pickard affiliated to the Lodge from Lodge St Kentigern No 976. The older brethern of the Lodge will remember him as the 'penny millionaire.'

But back to the minute books . . . turning the pages to Thursday March 2, 1911, we find recorded the initiation of George Gordon Jefferson, the manager of the Metropole Theatre. Although Jefferson was well-known in Glasgow, it was his son who was to find world-wide fame . . . as Stan Laurel, perhaps one of the best comic actors of the screen.

At the Regular meeting on Thursday March, 30th, 1911, Bro Harry Bawn (Alfred William Henry Beales) RWM of the Chelsea Lodge No 3098 (EC) addressed the brethern regarding the degree.

Lodge Chelsea was at that time a relatively young Lodge being consecrated in 1905, it like Lodge Dramatic was formed by the theatrical brethern in London. It is also a 'daylight' Lodge and at that time only took in members of the profession, unlike our Lodge.

About the same time Grand Lodge announced that the laying of the Memorial Stone at the new Freemason's Hall in Edinburgh would take place on April, 28th, 1911, with full Masonic Honours. The Lodge decided that the Wardens would represent the Lodge at this historic event.

The Installation meeting on December, 7th, 1911, and the brethern are delighted to hear the Lodge has won the Captain Speirs Golf Trophy for the first time, the players were Bros Cox and Firth.

On Thursday, 11, January, 1912,  at the Regular Meeting, 4 brethren were initiated, 2 of them being Muslims used the Koran, Lhassan Houssein and Ahmed Houssein, the other 2 initiates used the VSL. Lodge Dramatic has always been world-wide in its interests and members. We have had initiates from as far away as Japan and degrees  have frequently been  worked in French and German.

At the Installation Meeting of Bro G F Fleming on December 5, 1912, a very old masonic apron was presented  on behalf of Bro John G Crichton to the Lodge. The apron dated from 1815, and was of sheepskin, with the lamb's wool in it's original state! It was suitably framed and inscribed.

I personally remember this item, but have no idea where it is now.

On September 4, 1913, a gentleman named Vezio Pescucci was initiated. The degree which was conducted by Bros R L Wylie IPM, and S B Hay PM, and was translated  from Italian by Bro Godenzi, a brother of the Lodge.

It is noted that on October 31, 1913, the RWM Bro Lester, and PM Bro Walton from Lodge Chelsea No 3098 (a daylight lodge in London) attended.

Bro J K Stothert PM presented the Lodge with a beautiful silver case in which to hold our Charter. This was at the Regular meeting on November, 13, 1913. The cylindrical case is still in use today, so it is now over 100 years old. Bro Stothert had previously presented the Lodge with our golf trophy, naturally called the Stothert Trophy.

The first mention of the Great War is in the minutes of August 13, 1914, when it is decided to cancel the Lodge golf competition for the Stothert Trophy.

It was a surprise to me to find that the Lodge held a Regular meering on December 25, 1913, they worked a 1st Degree that day, followed by a MM Degree.

The next meeting on September 10, we are told of several members who are now on active service. Bro Captain E G Tidd PM, Bro Sarg Alex Cameron SM, Bro John C MacLeod Ben Fund Treasurer, Bro W Robb, Dir of Ceremonies, Bro D Lamond, Bro James Gordon, Bro James Watters, Bro Sarg/Major Maitland RAMC, Bro James Louden. Several other brethern had volunteered and expect to be called up shortly.

In October 1914 letters are received by the Lodge from the front from Bro Corporal Thomas McDougall and Bro David Donaldson Naval Brigade--both brethern being in good health and spirit. There are now more than 30 members of the Lodge on active service.

The Regular meeting on December 24 1914 the Lodge receives Christmas Greetings  from  Bro J C MacLeod and Bro H Leslie Bennett, both of course fighting on the front. At the same meeting we hear of the death of Bro Max Grundt which occured at Moncazou, at Angers in France where he was a  civilian POW. Also the Lodge could not help his widow as she had been interred as an enemy alien.

January 28 1915, fraternal greetings are received from the front from Bro Sarg/Major W E Maitland RAMC, Bro Corp John C MacLeod RE, and Bro Pvte Frank C O Wheatley RAMC.

The Lodge at this time is still doing 2 degrees in the one day! On April 1 1915, 3 brethern receive their MM degree, then they join 7 others to receive their Mark.

The regular meeting on August 12  1915 it is intimated that 2 brethern have lost their lives on active service.

Bro Captain E George Tidd in the Dardinelles, Bro James Waters in France.

September 9 1915 we hear that PM Bro R L Wylie reported wounded, but would make a good recovery, Bro Archiebald Goold reported safe after being missing in action. Bro D Lamond is awarded the DCM in the field and is safe and well.

October 7 1915 the Lodge receives fraternal greetings from Bro Antonio Rossi who is on active service with the Italian army.

At the  Regular meeting on March 9 1916, a motion proposed By RWM Bro Wm Rose is passed by the Lodge, after 'some interesting exchanges', to hold a matinee  or similar entertainment under the auspices of the Lodge. The funds raised to be applied for the relief of permanently disabled soldiers and sailors who were Freemasons and belonged to the Province of Glasgow. 

The sub-committee set-up includes  Bro George G Jefferson, father of Stan Laurel, but due to protracted correspondence with the PGL the performance was delayed for some time.

The Regular meeting on June 8 1916 we are informed of the death of Bro A G Daily's 17-year-old son who was lost by the sinking of the Black Prince at the Battle of Jutland, and in August Bro Sam Hay PM and Secretary reports the death of his son in action in France.

On October 12 1916, the Lodge gave a hearty welcome to Bro A M Smith PM 683 who was one of Lodge Dramatic's oldest members, being initiated in 1876.

Mention is made this year of the name Goudielock, a name which became famous for the publishing of many Masonic books and rituals.

November 23 1916 notice is given of the death of Bro Charles M C Baptie, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, killed in action in France. At the same meeting Bro R L Wylie PM is welcomed back to the Lodge after serving for two years in Egypt and Gallipoli, he gave a very interesting talk on his experiences and how he had met up with Bro Lieut Alexander Cameron and Bro Sarg D Lamont who both sent good wishes and fraternal greetings to their Mother Lodge.

On Thursday, September 14 1916, Grand Lodge enacts that ''no brethern of alien enemy birth or nationality'' shall attend Lodge meetings until a peace treaty has been signed.

At the Regular meeting on 25  January 1917 the Lodge receives a letter from Brother Harry Lauder thanking the brethern for their sympathy with him on the loss of his son, who fell in action France.

Over the last few years I am amazed at the number of Italians who joined the Lodge from various walks of life, most were resident in Glasgow, but there was a huge amount of gentlemen, a number of them from the ''profession'' but also from other work who lived in different parts of the country who became members, maybe this was common practice, I don't know!

Since the Great War  began the Lodge has received many, many letters from our brethern  who are in action on many fronts. Despite this they saw time to send these letters wishing the Lodge fraternal greetings, some even sending donations. In fact it is recorded that a brother sent two 5 franc notes to go to the benevolent fund.

On July 13 1917 Bro Duncan Lamont DCM, RE, returns to the Lodge on leave from Egypt, he is warmly welcomed back to the Lodge.

In August 1917 an interesting letter is received from a Mr Charles A T Baylis ''who was desirous of becoming a member of the craft,''  he wished to be inititiated into Lodge Dramatic where his father and grandfather had been initiated on the 1st September 1875. This gentleman eventually got his wish and joined at a later date.

In September of that year Bro John H A McIntyre a MM from Lodge No 0 applied for affiliation, he was successful, and became Master in 1919.

At the Regular meeting in October 1917, it is intimated that Bro William Penman had received the Military Medal for gallantry in the field. The Brethern were delighted that one of their number had won this award.

I  know that people say that everything is relative, so with that in mind at the AGM of the Lodge on 22nd November 1917, the various Lodge funds were as follows:-

General Fund Balance....................£914/3/11

Benevolent Fund...........................£338/3/11

Building Fund................................£187/12/9

The total value of the Lodge Funds, furniture, jewels, securities and cash was put at £1460/5/8, todays value (2014) is 37 times that value, I will let you work out these figures yourselves, but it is a significant amount of money.

It is reported at the Regular meeting on December  13 1917, that Bro Chassan Houssein had died from wounds he received in action.

December 27 1917, Bro George William Olley, missing in action, believed dead, Bro Stewart, died in hospital of wounds he received.

The Regular meeting on February 14 1918, is opened as normal, is then raised, and 2 brethern receive their third, the Lodge is then reduced to receive a Deputation from the PGL of Glasgow, headed by W Depute Provincial Grand Master Bro Alex Bruce, on the occasion of the PGL Visitation, the usual masonic business is taken care of and the Deputation retire.

Following this a Mark Lodge is formed, and 10 brethern are received, it had already been decided not to have a Harmony after this meeting owing to the shortage of goods----a full day!

The Lodge,  is forced to leave the place they had called home for 25 years,  this is due to the fact that the YMCA had planned alterations to the property, and the premises would not be suitable for a Masonic Lodge. The Lodge decides, after much discussion to move to the Central Halls, 25 Bath Street, Glasgow. The move is to be as soon as possible, and before the end of May.

A new lease is signed after much negotiation for the Lodge to move late May, the rent is £50 per annum. Lots of work is required for the new premises, a new carpet 12' x 12'  is ordered from Wylie & Lochhead at a cost of £5/8, it is also agreed to have the same company  to price the cost of 200 working aprons.

 The last meeting in Sauchiehall Street was on May 23, but the move to Central Halls was delayed because the military authorities were still in occupation. After discussion with certain military people, no exact date was found, but the Lodge had to leave the premises. The Lodge property was stored at Cathcart and insured for £300. We then moved on a temporary basis to 100 West Regent Street.

Thursday October 10, saw the consecration of the new Lodge room at Central Halls, and another chapter of the Lodge's history was about to begin.

As usual in the our Lodge, things were done differently, on the same day the Lodge was moving they called a special meeting in 100 West Regent Street, the usual business is taken care of and the Lodge then confer a third degree!

Then at 1.00pm the first meeting of the Lodge in the new premises takes place with the Consecration of the new Lodge rooms.

The PGL of Glasgow deputation which is huge, is headed by Bro A A Haggart Speirs of Elderslie, Provincial Grand Master of Glasgow.

At this time I should point out that at that time the Senior Warden became Substitute Master before being elected Master the following year, this is not uncommon these days, although we do things differently.

November 14 1918, it is reported that Bro Pvte John Ednie, 2nd HLI has been reported killed in action.

It is very noticeable when looking at the old minute books that it is usually one Brother who  confers the whole degree, apart from the Installation Ceremony

At the Regular meeting on April 29 1920, 40 brethern were advanced to the rank of Mark Master Mason, 36 brethern from the Lodge and 4 visitors.

1935 was the Lodge's Diamond Jubilee, and we find that the Lodge flourished between the wars. The Roll Book now regarded as a classic, already contained many famous names, including Sir Harry Lauder, George Formby senior, and W. P. McAllister (Doodles the Clown).

But due to the travels of our theatrical brethern, the stalwarts of the Lodge were the brethern from the newspaper industry.

Two of them deserve a special mention here. They are the late Bro. Hugh McCreadie, a Bard of whom the poet himself would have been proud of, and the late Bro. Fred Clayton, an exceptional degree worker and dedicated Mason. To them goes the Lodge's thanks for their research in the preparation of this short history.

By this time the Lodge had moved again, this time to Butterbiggins Road, the home of Lodge Clydesdale.

A short history it must unfortunately be, and it's forward to 1968. It was then that Lodge Dramatic had the unique occasion of Bro. L. J. Bell, Master, naming his father as his Depute . . . and the following year installing him into the Chair of the Lodge.

No record of the Lodge would be complete without a mention of the late Lex McLean. Lex was the traditional Glasgow comic, but he had friends and admirers the world over. He was a brother and friend to the Lodge for many years, and it was often thanks to Lex and his colleagues, including ''the dodger,'' PM Alec Rodger that Dramatic's harmonies were such a success.

Many well-known Glasgow acts have performed for the brethern over the years including Ron Dale, the Alexander Brothers, Glen Daly, Helen Randell, Andy Cameron to name but a few. The Lodge is indebted to these professionals, and also to Bro. Ben Gunn PM, who sadly is no longer with us, and Bro. Kenny Paton both working hard to bring these acts to the Lodge.

In 1971, the Lodge received a supreme accolade with the first visit to the Lodge of the Most Worhipful Grand Master Mason of Scotland, Bro. David Liddel Grainger of Ayton. In the short space of 18 months, the Grand Master Mason, who impressed everyone in his travels with his quiet and kindly nature returned to the Lodge, this time to become an Honorary  Member.

This ceremony was carried out only two weeks after the same honour  had been conferred on Bro. Adam Ferguson, Provincial Grand Master  of Glasgow, and Bro. John McC. Russell, Junior Grand Warden and a Past Provincial Grand Master of Glasgow.

In 1974, the Lodge took a major blow when the Scottish Daily Express closed in Glasgow, causing many of our members to look elsewhwere for work, this had a knock-on effect at the Lodge, and although we were lucky to get some back, it caused problems for a number of years. 


The Second Hundred Years . . .

1975 was a huge year for Lodge Dramatic when Bro. Thomas Crawford McAdam  PM, became our Centenary Master, T. C, as he was known by all was first in the Chair in 1960, Tom was a stickler for all things right, and if anyone on the floor did not know their part . . .  Oh Dear! The look was enough (changed days). He was instrumental in putting together ''the Workings of Lodge Dramatic.''

T. C. was also a great supporter of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow and was PGL Director of Ceremonies during the 250th celebrations, an office he carried out with great dignity, after many years as an office-bearer, he was eventually Commissioned, and became a Substitute Provincial Grand Master, in my opinion this was nothing more than he deserved, and the Lodge was very proud of him.

On the 11th September, 1975 a Deputation was received from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow headed by the PGM Bro Brian Brown, their purpose was to dedicate ''new  furnishings and regalia'' given to the Lodge.

A month later on 7 October the Lodge received another Deputation first from the PGL of Glasgow headed this time by Past Provincial Grand Master Bro Adam Ferguson, after they were admitted, a Deputation was received from The Grand Lodge Of Scotland  headed by the Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason Bro Captain Wolrige Gordon of Esslemont (his son is now MWGMM of Scotland at the time of writing).

Their purpose was to re-dedicate the Lodge. Before closing the Lodge, the RWM Bro TC McAdam conferred Honorary  memberhip on the Grand Master.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the Brethern adjourned to The Trades House of Glasgow, for The Centenary Dinner and Harmony, we all enjoyed ourselves with fantastic cabaret ably organised by PM Alec Rodger.

In June 1976, the Rev David Hogg was initiated into the Lodge, he was destined for high office! And to that end he was very quickly commisioned as PGL Chaplain. He was also in Grand Lodge, but his life was very quickly cut short and we lost another very able Brother.

1976, November, we hear of the death of another of our Brethern, that of Bro FEC Holdsworth, Claude as he was known.

He was initiated in London and later became a member of Lodge Dramatic, he was RWM in 1947, and was a founder member of Lodge Meridian No 1609, Edinburgh, he was sorely missed by both Lodges.

At a regular meeting on 9th December, 1976, Johannes Edvaldsson a professional footballer, from Iceland, who played at the time with Celtic FC was initiated into the Lodge, he was not the last! In 1979, Roddie McDonald who also played for Celtic was initiated, later,  Bro Danny McGrain MBE affiliated from Partick St Mary's, No 117. They all  joined Bro Tom McAdam who had joined much earlier.

The Provincial Visitation in February 1977, saw the Substitute Provincial Grand Master, Bro John Saxelby present Bro RH McKinnon PM, with a Jubilee Diploma, and also congratulated him on receiving an MBE in the New Year's Honours List.

In November 1977, Bro TC McAdam intimates to the Brethern that our silver gavel has been valued at £250.

Another well-known Brother in the name of Ben Gunn, affiliated to the Lodge in 1979 from Cambuslang Royal Arch No 116.  Ben went on to do a fantastic amount of work for charity, Lodge Dramatic, the PGL of Glasgow, and Grand Lodge are indebted to him for his hard work! Sadly another Brother gone to the mansions above.

Later in 1979, Bro James Walker PM and Secretary received a Diploma for Distinguished Service to Lodge Dramatic, and the craft from PGM Bro Brian Brown.

In the same year the Lodge becomes heavily involved in the UNICEF Concert in Aid of the International Year of the Child.

In September 1980, Bros Tom Huxtable and Iain Urquhart won the PGL of Glasgow Captain Speirs golf competition, this was the first win of this magnificent trophy since 1911. They managed to get to four finals altogether, winning twice. As always the final was held at Glasgow Golf Club, and in these days it took 7 or 8 rounds to win.

It was fitting that PGL Substitute Master Bro Ian T McKenzie presented the trophy at Bro Urquhart's Installation, since the boys had beaten him and his partner on the way to the final.

The Regular meeting on September, 9th 1982, sees the RWM Bro Iain Urquhart confer Honorary Membership on the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master Bro William Fleming, following this the PGM took part in the second degree by Obligating four brethern.

Earlier that year discussions had taken place regarding moving premises again, and at the Regular Meeting on 11th November, the Lodge voted to move to Lodge Neptune's premises in Clifford Street, Glasgow.

Under the stewardship of RWM Bro James McNaught (big Jimmy), the Lodge held it's first Regular Meeting on 13th January, 1983 in Clifford Street.  Fittingly RWM Bro William McLean, Master of Lodge Neptune No 419 attended this meeting, welcomed us to our new home, and congratulated us on being their first tenants.

The Installation meeting  in December, 1984, Bro Andrew Wilkie was installed as RWM, with 270 signing the book! This was probably one of the biggest ever attendances in Lodge Dramatic's history.

At the Regular meeting on March 13th 1986 a report was given by Bro T C McAdam (Almoner) of a visit to Southport in the company  of RWM Bro Allan Martin, to present to Bro Arthur Jacobson (aged 92) a diploma to commerorate his 60 years in Freemasonary.

The Regular meeting on 8th May 1986 saw RWM Bro Allan Martin welcome the Depute PGM of Glasgow, Bro Henry Jeffrey into the Lodge, the purpose was to present PM Bro John McA Clyde with a Diploma of Distinguished Service membership.

RWM Allan Martin also reported that at the PGL Quarterly, it had been announced that PM Bro James Walker had been presented with  the Diploma of Honorary Grand rank of Senior Deacon.

He also gave a report that the Lodge were runners-up in the PGL  of Glasgow Tri-Am Golf competition and presented Bros Tom Huxtable, Ben Gunn and PM Iain Urquhart with their trophies.

At the Regular meeting on 14th May 1987, PM James McNaught (wee Jimmy) was presented with a Diploma for Distinguished Service to Lodge Dramatic.

The Regular meeting on December 3rd, 1987, sees the Installation of Bro Thomas J Gunn (Ben), this was attended by a very large turnout of brethern and the deputations were as follows.

Bro William C Shepherdson PGM of Glasgow, Bro Henry Jeffrey PGL Depute GM, accompaning them was Bro Angus McInnes PGM of Dumbartonshire, Bro John Dorricott PGM of the Middle Ward of Lanarkshire, Bro John McL Sneddon Substitute PGM of Stirlingshire, and a Deputation from Grand Lodge headed by Bro Brian G Brown MBE Past Substitute Grand Master, also from Grand Lodge were Bros Malcolm Dow, William Blackwood and William Fleming.

I am sure this fine turn-out was in recognition of Ben's charity work both inside and outwith Freemasonary, and was thoroughly deserved.

The Lodge won the PGL of Glasgow Tri-Am Golf competion in May 1989 which was played at  Pollok Golf Club.

The Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow celebrated their 250th Anniversary on May 6th and 7th 1989, and the Lodge was proud to be part of it. Office-bearers of PGL included PM Bro TC McAdam  Director of Ceremonies, Bro David Hogg PGL Chaplain, and Stewards Bros John M Urquhart and John McA Clyde, also taking part was PM Bro James Walker who held the Honorary Grand rank of Senior Deacon.

On Saturday 6th May, the Anniversary Luncheon took place in the City Halls, Glasgow, attended by the reigning Masters of the Province, members of PGL and the Grand Master Mason, Bro Brigadier Sir Gregor McGregor of McGregor.

In the afternoon a service of Re-Dedication took place, and in the evening an Anniversary Dinner was held in the City Chambers. This was attended by 400 brethern and included the Lord Provost of Glasgow Mrs Susan Baird.

On Sunday 7th May, a Service of Thanks-Giving was held in Glasgow Cathedral, brethern and their wives celebrated this, in a service conducted by the Reverand Bro William J Morris, thereafter everyone adjourned to the City Chambers for a buffet, and a Civic Reception.

RWM Bro Angus W Campbell reported that on Saturday 14th October 1989, he along with other members of the Lodge attended the Erection of a new Lodge named Lodge Meridian No 1779.

At this Installation Meeting Bro Thomas J Gunn was installed as the Founder Master, many  of Dramatic's members also joined this new daylight Lodge.

The Regular meeting on December 7th  1989, hears a report from PM Bro Allan Martin  regarding the PGL of Glasgow Quarterly Communication, he reports that PM Bro TC McAdam had been Commissioned as a Substitute Provincial Grand Master, not only a great honour for Tom, but for the Lodge. At the same meeting PM Bro Edward G Lamont was installed as Jeweller.

The Installation meeting of Bro John Borland on December 6 1990, sees RWM Bro Bob Gordon welcome into the Lodge the Deputation from the PGL of Glasgow headed by Subsitute Master Bro TC McAdam, this was another first for our Lodge.

The Regular meeting on June 13th 1991, we have another first! RWM Bro John Borland welcomes into the Lodge deputations from our sister lodges Lodge Meridian No 1609 (Metropolitan District) and Lodge Meridian No 1779 (Lanarkshire Middle Ward) both these Lodges like ourselves meet during the day.

Later the same year PM Bro Bob Gordon was installed as RWM of Lodge Meridian No 1779, by  PM's Bro Andrew Wilkie and Bro Angus W Campbell, both from Lodge Dramatic.

On September 10 1992, the Lodge was saddened to hear of the passing of PM Bro John McA Clyde, a very much respected member and a personal friend. Messages of condolence came from many other lodges and the PGL of Glasgow. John Was a PM of repute and a very skilled Mason, particularly as Instruction Master.

At the Regular Meeting on January 13 1994, it is announced by PM Bro TC McAdam that on this day in 1944 PM Bro James Walker joined Lodge Dramatic, he had been a member for 50 years! Bro James had been initiated on this day, and was Master in 1948, he also held the office of Secretary for 24 years. Previously he had been awarded Honorary Grand Rank of Senior Deacon by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow. 

Bro McAdam wished that the Lodge apply to the Grand Lodge of Scotland for a Jubilee Certificate to comemorate this fine achievement, and this was warmly welcomed by the Bretheren of the Lodge.

On the occasion of the Installation of Bro John McL Ross, on 1 December 1994, Bro James Walker PM presented PM Bro TC McAdam with the Past Substitue Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow regalia, consisting of an Apron, Sash and Collar in recognition of Bro McAdam's service to the Province as a Sub for the previous 5 years.

Bro McAdam suitably replied.

At the Provincial Grand Lodge Visitation on February 10, 1995, Depute Provincial Grand Master Bro George AL McEwan presented PM James Walker with his Jubilee Certificate.

At the same meeting PM Bro Allan Martin was delighted to inform us that Bro T C McAdam had been honored by the Grand Lodge of Scotland with the Honorary Grand Rank of Senior Deacon.

On Thursday 28th, September, 2000, a Special Meeting was called, the purpose of the Meeting was the Re-Dedication of the Lodge on our 125th Anniversary.

A Deputation from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow, headed by the Provincial Grand Master Bro Robert R Best was welcomed into the Lodge by RWM Bro Angus W Campbell.

Bro Gordon B Armstrong PGL Chaplain commenced the Ceremony, then called on RWM Bro Angus W Campbell to take the Obligation on behalf of the members of Lodge.

After the ceremony, the PGL Chaplain  gave the Three-fold blessing.

The RWPG Master Bro Best addressed the Brethern and talked about the history and the changes to Glasgow and to Freemasonary over the last 125 years.

The PGL of Glasgow Annual Visitation on February, 8th 2001, was preceeded by the Lodge  bestowing Honorary Membership on Bro George A L McEwan, Past Provincial Grand Master of Glasgow.

The Regular Meeting on 14th June, 2001, sees RWM Bro Angus W Campbell present 2 esteemed Past Masters to the Brethern, in the persons of Bro Donald F McKellar and Bro T C McAdam, the purpose of this was to present them with Grand Lodge of Scotland Jubilee Certificates (50 years), both Brethern suitably replied.

On March 14th 2002, it is announced that PM Bro Angus W Campbell, a much-loved, and respected Brother had passed to the Mansions above. Brother Gus had had a heart-attack one month earlier, and was making a good recovery when he was taken.  This was a huge blow to the Lodge.

Today Lodge Dramatic  remains as it has always been, a friendly and lively Lodge, where members and visitors mix easily. But as always, they remain precise in their work and decorous within the Temple.

The members  like to think that over 100 years of unbroken connection with the stage and the acting profession have imbued us with a sense of not only of tradition, but also of the very necessary discipline which surrounds the ''profession.''

Although the vocations of the membership are now more varied than ever, our pride and interest in matters ''Dramatic'' are as alive now as they were in 1875 when all this began.


More to come Brethern!