Earlston’s Lodge of Ercildoune 1119 celebrates its centenary on Monday, and plans a church service and parade later this summer.
The Grand Lodge of Scotland will perform a rededication ceremony in the Masonic Hall next Saturday (May 18) afternoon, marching in their full regalia from the hall to the Red Lion Hotel afterwards for dinner.
Right Worshipful Master Ricky Lynch says the Lodge is special: “You’ve got the collective fellowship of everybody else and different lodges in different parts of the country, and you make friends. It’s social.
“We do do other things; I can’t go into that, but for me it’s a big charitable society. Anybody can ask to join. It’s not shady and mysterious stuff, we’re here for people.”
Primarily, the Lodge gives money to charity, he said, but in common with others around the country, membership locally has declined. “There are more things for people to do nowadays. Before, they had the Masons – and everybody met at the Masons,” said Ricky.
The school janitor has been a member for 21 years and Master twice, the first time 10 years ago. “It was a family thing. My father Edward joined, so I followed suit. It was curiosity to see what was going on,” said Ricky.
The Earlston Lodge was formed from members of Lodge Dunse 23 (Duns), Lodge St Luke 132 (Lauder) and Lodge St John 1bis (Melrose).
Master Lynch’s deputy, Ritchie Grierson said: “The founding Master was the then Earlston Parish Church minister, the Reverend Norman Keith, and a photograph of him taken in the manse garden with the first office bearers and visitors at the consecration of the Lodge hangs in the Lodge. Pocket watches, long beards and top hats seemed to be the order of the day.”
The Lodge initially met in the large church hall in Earlston, but now meets twice monthly from October to May in the Masonic Hall in the village Square.
Master Ricky said: “There are so many Masons in Earlston they wouldn’t all fit in the hall. We’re hoping this year some of them will come back and support us to help keep the club going. Lodges do so much good for not just the community, but all over the world. We really want to keep it going.”