Lodge Bon Accord, No. 669 was sponsored by St Machar, No. 54 and St George, No. 190 and chartered 1882. The first meeting of the Lodge was held in the Masonic Hall, 12 Exchange Street on the 4th February 1882, when it was consecrated by the Aberdeen P G Lodge. At a Meeting held on 4th November 1908 it was intimated that Bro. Whitelaw, I P M had presented the foundation stone for the New Temple on behalf of the Lodge Bon accord for which he was cordially thanked by the R W M and P G M on behalf of the Building Committee. On 18th November 1908 it is minuted that the Lodge took part in the Procession in laying the Foundation Stone of the New Temple and that the Lodge defrayed the expenses of the after meeting.
The first meeting in the New Temple was held on 11th January 1911. At a Meeting on the 8th February 1911, it was moved that the New Temple be vested in trust to the P G M and the Grand Superintendent of Royal Arch Masonry in Aberdeenshire. RWM Bro Heath had a very successful term of office. One year alone he had 83 candidates and about 62 meetings and his services were suitably rewarded by the Brethren. (added by ADM)
A short resume of the History and Life of Lodge Bon accord No.669 from its Consecration on the 4th February 1882 to its Jubilee Year, in 1932 by Brother R T Wood at the Jubilee Dinner held in the Douglas Hotel on 27th December 1932.
Well Brethren, I need not say for what purpose we are assembled here tonight, for you will all know we are celebrating the Jubilee of our Mother Lodge, Bon accord No. 669. Now I suppose as R W M, it is my duty to give a slight resume of the history of the Lodge from its formation in the year 1882.
I find in going over the Minute Book, first a Declaration by the Earl of Marr and Kelly that a Petition was presented to Grand Lodge on the second day of February 1882 in the name of Andrew Scott, James Milne, Alexander E Merson, James Johnston, John R Alexander and others, praying the said Grand Lodge to grant a Charter of Constitution and Election in the usual form for holding a Lodge under the name of Bon accord, Aberdeen and proposing the following persons to be the first Office Bearers there off, namely,
Andrew StottR W M John Barclay Treasurer
James Milne D M Robert Ogg Secretary
Alexander E Merson S M John R Alexander Senior Deacon
James Johnston W S W Samuel Fyfe Junior Deacon
John Stephen W J W Vacant Inner Guard
David Campbell Tyler
The Petition with the necessary certificates having been produced was duly considered by Grand Lodge. They were pleased to ordain a Charter to be issued in the usual terms, and it was specially ordained that no Candidate should be initiated for a less sum than £1. 2. 6 Stg. And that at least the sum of 11/6 be transmitted to Grand Lodge for each Candidate so initiated. This was duly signed by the following Office Bearers of Grand Lodge, viz The R H Walter Henry, Earl of Man and Kelly, M W G Master Mason of Scotland, Sir Michael R Shaw Stewart of Greenock and Blackhall, Bart, R W Past Grand Master Colonel Sir Archibald C Campbell of Blythwood, Bart, R W D G Master T Shaw Stewart, Esq, R W S G Master. The R H George Arden, Earl of Haddington, R W S G Warden, The R B H Gairie C Campbell, Earl of Breadalbane, R W J G Warden and D Murray Lyon, R W G Secretary.
The first meeting of the Lodge was held in the Masonic Hall, 12 Exchange Street on the 4th. February 1882, when it was consecrated by the Aberdeen P G Lodge Bro. Edward Savage, Sub. P G M acting as P G Master in the unavoidable absence of Bro. Dr. Robert Beverage, P G M. The Office Bearers were then installed and the R W M then initiated five candidates and Bro. Robert Harvey was appointed Inner Guard, an office which was not filled among the first set. I find then at the close of these proceedings the R W M Bro. Stott entertained the P G Lodge and Brethren present to supper in the hall, 130 sitting down to supper. Then followed a list of the original of chartered members of the Lodge amounting to some 60 names.
On the 8th February, the Lodge purchased 20 Shares of the Aberdeen Masonic Hall at a cost of £15 this being the first financial transaction recorded and on the 16th, a set of By Laws was prepared and unanimously passed and approved by the Aberdeen City Prov, Gr. Lodge and then Bro, John D Stephen presented a Sword to the Lodge for which he was cordially thanked. Now Brethren, I find a very interesting entry in the Minute Book here. This is that on the 29th. April 1882, the New Market Buildings were Burned down about an hour and a half after the Lodge had closed on that evening and as the Minute Book was there on the business premises of the Secretary, Bro, Ogg it was burned and accordingly it became necessary to prepare the statement which has been compiled from authentic documents and duly certified and signed by the R W M Bro, A Stott. I find at this stage of the Minute it was a common occurrence for Brethren to be passed and raised on the same evening.
Then comes a very interesting sideline. The Secretary Bro. Ogg owing to business reasons, tenders his resignation, which was accepted with regret, then the R W M proposed as an affiliate, Bro. Mc Connachie, P M of St. Machar No. 54 which was agreed to and then S W proposed W J W seconded the nomination of Bro. Mc Connachie to the post of Secretary, which was unanimously agreed to.
Here at a meeting on 31st. May the R W M presents a handsome box of working tools to the Lodge, for which he received a hearty vote of thanks. At a meeting on 28th of October 1882 it was agreed to send the R W M and his two Wardens to Grand Lodge to celebrate St Andrews day, the amount of their expenses being £4.10.0. At this meeting held on 25th November, 1882 Bro. Edward Savage D P G Mater at the time and who was presiding Office Bearer of Provincial Grand Lodge at the time of consecration of our Lodge and who had rendered valuable service to the lodge on many occasions, and who had always taken a deep interesting in its wellbeing was, on the motion of the R W M, seconded by the S W, admitted by acclamation an Honorary Member. Bro. Savage was then introduced to the Lodge, the Brethren being upstanding and receiving him in due form. The R W M expressed great pleasure they had in making him an Honorary Member and asked him to accept and wear the P M Jewel until they were in a position to have a regular P M of their own. Bro. Savage suitably replied for the great honour conferred on him. Then we have the first St John’s day celebration held in the Palace Hotel, tickets 4/-, the Lodge to defray the cost of the wines.
Then they resolved to hold their first Annual Re-union which took place in the form of a Ball at a cost of 12/6 the couple. Now we come to the last meeting of their first year. 2tth.December, St. Johns night, when they held their Annual Meeting and Election of Office Bearers, Bro. Stott being elected R W M for a second time. The salaries for the current year were then fixed. The Treasurer getting 5 guineas, the Secretary 8 and the Tyler 9. For the year past, the Treasurer got 2 guineas, the Secretary 5, and the Tyler 7. The Lodge was then closed, and the Brethren supped in the Palace Hotel sending and receiving deputations from the Sister Lodges.
Abstract of the income and outgoings for the first year
50 Original Members @ 3/6 £10.10.0 Charter £10.10.0
3 Initiations @ £2 12.6 152. 5.0 Paraphernalia 75. 9. 4
2 Affiliates @ 13/- 1. 6. 0 Rent 10.13. 4
1 “ @ £2. 2. 0 2. 2. 0 Postage 3. 0 .7
3 Demits 5. 0 P G L Assessments 2. 0. 0
2 Life Members 1. 0. 0 Deputation G L 4.10. 0
Interest 7.10 Printing 11. 1. 7
Diplomas & Registrations 58 @ 11/6 33. 7. 0
Sundries 2 . 2 .10
Shares 15 . 0. 0 Treasurer Hands ? 1 . 2
£ 167 .15. 10 £167. 15. 10
On the 7th March, 1883,The P G Lodge with Dr. Beveridge in the Chair visited the Lodge and witnessed the raising of three Brethren to the third degree for which they were duly complimented by the P G M, the Books and everything being found properly kept and in accordance with the Constitution. On the 2nd May the Lodge held a Concert on behalf of the Royal Infirmary, the result being a balance of £37 which was duly handed over to the treasurer thereof. At the end of the second year, there were 45 candidates and a balance of £28.13. 2. The Annual Meeting held on the 27th.December 1883 and Bro, A Stott was re-elected to the Chair. I find that a Bro. Sargent, as an artist, had volunteered to paint the R W M`s portrait, the Lodge cheerfully accepted this service and the portrait was presented to the R W M on the 23rd. January, 1884 by the D M with many valedictory terms for the great interest he had always shown and for his enthusiasm in Bon accord Lodge, to which Bro. Stott suitably replied
On 12th November 1884, this being his fiftieth birthday, the R W M invited the Brethren present to refreshments at his expense. At the Annual meeting 28th.December 1885 Bro. James Johnston, D M became the R W M. Bro. A Stott becoming the first P M, and on his retiral being presented with a Dining Room Clock for his Labours as the Founder and first R W M of the Lodge. At this meeting, it was resolved that the Lodge would gift its patronage to John H Cook`s Circus.
On 28th February 1886, the R W M received an Order from P G Secretary suspending Bro, A T Mc Connachie, P M of Lodge 54 and Secretary of the Lodge from all Masonic privileges by command of the P M. Dr. Beveridge. At the next meeting on 26th May Bro. A M Byres was appointed pro. term. In this year, the Lodge sent a team to the Wapinschaw to compete for the Masonic Trophy which they were fortunate enough to win and the team were granted Jewels by the Lodge.
At the annual meeting in 1886, Bro. Johnston did not seek reelection and Bro. James Milne was elected to that Chair, Bro. Barclay, Treasurer, Bro. Mc Connachie as Secretary.
On 25th, May1887, the Lodge held a Concert in aid of the Extension Fund of the Royal Infirmary and handed over a sum of £15.15.00 at that time. On 7th December 1887 the R W M reported that he along with the Treasurer and Secretary had been ordered to attend the Imperial Hotel before the Committee of Grand Lodge and to bring along for inspection the Lodge`s Charter, Books, etc. The Lodge expressed its strong disapproval of this proceeding of Grand Lodge as being unconstitutional holding a meeting in a Public House especially as they had a Masonic Hall. There is a Minute from G Secretary praising up the keeping of the Minute Book as keeping a faithful record of all the Lodge transactions. The Minute bears the statement that the Treasurer though summoned, neither appeared nor sent in his Cash Books. At the Annual Meeting, 27th December1887, Bro. Milne did not seek reelection and Bro. Mc Gregor was appointed R W M Bro. Mc Connachie Treasurer, and Secretary left vacant.
In the Minute, 18th January 1888, I see the name of a well-known personality admitted as an affiliated member from Lodge 54 that is Dr. Maitland Moir, a well-known figure to me in my youthful days. On 23rd. June 1888, another communication was received from Grand Lodge expelling Bro. Mc Connachie from Freemasonry altogether and Bro. A M Byres was elected Secretary and Treasurer combined, pro. term.
At the Annual Meeting on27th December 1888, Bro. Mc Gregor was re-elected R W M, William Thomson, Treasurer and William Mc William Secretary.
Some controversy arose here about the Masonic Trophy never having been handed over, as the Lodge had won it three times in succession at the Wapinschaw and about a sum of £23. 5.0 which the past Secretary had failed to account for, this being instructed to R W M Treasurer and Secretary to see into it. The Treasurer then reported he had received the trophy money £16.
At a meeting on 6th November 1889, I see Bro. James H Forsham R W M of St. Nicholas Lodge was admitted an affiliate member on 27th December1889, Bro. Mc Gregor was re- elected to the Chair, Bro. McMillan Secretary and Bro. Ewening Treasurer. The Treasurers accounts showed a deficiency of £4.8.4
On the 10th December,1890 Bro. Mc Combie R W M of St. Andrew Lodge and the S W Secretary, the admission of Dr. Russell as a member of St. Andrew Lodge. He was then prepared, initiated and passed to the second degree for which Bro. Crombie, R W M of St Andrew Lodge duly thanked the R W M and Brethren of Bon accord. About this time a Bazaar was inaugurated by Grand Lodge in the aid of their Benevolent F and a copy of a letter from the W G M is engrossed in the minutes thanking the Brethren and their lady friends for their hearty support and co- operation there etc.
On the27th December 1890, Bro. Jamieson was elected to the Chair and the Treasurer’s statement showed a surplus of £3/13.3. 21 candidates were initiated and 2 affiliates.
In the Minutes of 15th April 1891, the R W M intimated that they had been instrumental in getting a grant of £5 from Grand Lodge to a widow of Bon accord for which they received the widow’s grateful thanks. On 28th December,1891 Bro, Jamieson was re-elected to the Chair and the Treasurers statement showed a surplus of £12.0.4 the previous Master receiving a handsome Gold Hunting Lever Watch for the services as R W M for the years 1888- 1890.
On 16th Mar 1892, it was agreed to give a donation towards providing a present for Lady Campbell and a bust of Sir Archibald, the G.M.M for the grand Lodge. On the 19th October, a revision of the By Laws took place, the Organist being incorporated a member of the Standing Committee and a rule relating to banking transactions, the R W Ms. name being necessary in connection with same. On 27th December 1892 Bro. Jamieson was reelected to the Chair and the Treasurers Statement showed a surplus of £10.15.10 I wish to refer here to a matter that had been taking place since the formation of the Lodge. I find a lot of meetings where there were no candidates when they formed the Lodge into a Lodge of Instruction, one of the brethren acting as a Candidate and one of the Degrees being worked and I may say I considered it a very profitable way of spending an evening instead of only opening and closing the Lodge.
On the 18th January,1893, a letter was received from P G Lodge intimating the resignation of Bro. Lord Saltoun from the P G Lodge Membership and asking Lodge Bon accord to send a deputation to G Lodge in support of Bro. James H Forsham, D P G M. this being heartily agreed to. It is interesting that six delegates were sent, and they were granted a guinea each for their expenses. At the meeting on 27th December 1893 Bro A Duguid was elected to the Chair and the financial statement showed a surplus of £15.10.0
The Minute of 19th December1894, states that the Lodge gave a grant of £1.1.0 to the Children`s Christmas Tree and this was supplemented by Bro A Stott P M with another £1.1.0. On 27th December1894 Bro D A Duguid was reelected to the Chair, The Treasurers statement showing a surplus of 4 pence. At this meeting, the last R W M Bro. Jamieson was presented with a Silver Tea and Coffee Service, an Oak Tray and Biscuit Box for his services during his term of office
At the Meeting held. On 16th January 1895, it was proposed and agreed to that in future the Charity Box be sent round. The first collection was taken on the 10th. April 1895 and realised 1/7½.d. Minutes of the 28th September contains a record of the R W M Bro. Duguid being complimented on his promotion as Superintendent of the Joint Railway Station.
27th December 1895 Bro. R A Duguid was re- elected to the Chair the surplus this time being 19/7d. 16th. January 1896 Grand Lodge new rule was intimated that no candidate for initiation shall be advanced from the degree of entered apprentice to that of Fellow craft, or raised from the degree of Fellow craft to that of Master Mason at a shorter interval than two weeks between each degree .At a meeting on 26th. May the financial position of the Lodge seems to have been troubling members for it was agreed to open an account with the North of Scotland Bank and to have an overdraft of not more than £20, that the R W M, Treasurer and Secretary being surety for their term of office only and this was agreed to 28th. December 1896, Bro Duguid was again elected to the Chair and the brethren refused to pass the balance sheet because some documents had not been entered therein. This was agreed to be done on the next circular which then showed a deficit of £15/10/8
At the Meeting on 13th January 1897, a letter was read from Bro. Thomson in Yeokhama enclosing a cheque of £5 for the Benevolent Fund for which he was heartily thanked. At the Meeting 3rd.November 1997 it was intimated the Lodge had been successful in getting a grant of £5 each for two widows of the Lodge from the Grand Lodge of Scotland, the first time I have seen any notice of such a thing. On 27th December1897 Bro, James Robertson was elected to the Chair and the Treasurer showed a deficit of £12/1/6
On the 27th December 1898 Bro Robertson was re-elected and the Treasurer showed a surplus of£9/19/11 ½.
A motion was carried on 22nd February 1899 that the Mark Degree be conferred on the Brethren who requested it. On the 8th March, a meeting was held presided over by Bro. Duguid as R W M assisted by Bro. Walker of St. Clement Lodge, when the degree was conferred on practically all the office bearers of the Lodge. On the 15th November 1899, a letter was read from Grand Lodge ordering a special collection to be taken in all Daughter Lodges for the Grand Lodge Annuity Fund on St. John`s Day or at the Installation of Office Bearers, when it was agreed to put round the Charity Box and send the contents of it. On 27th December1899 Bro. Robertson was re- elected to the Chair and treasurer showed a surplus of £18-0 -01/2P.
On the 24th January 1900 the death is recorded of P M Bro. Andrew Stott and the Minute of the Lodge bear out what a wholehearted interest in the Lodge and all its functions he had in the amount of candidates he brought forward. At the Annual Meeting on 27th.December 1900 Bro. Robertson was re- elected to the Chair. I have no word of a financial statement this time.
A letter was read from the Grand Secretary on 6th February 1901 ordering all the Lodges into mourning on the death of Queen Victoria. On 27th November1901, a deputation was sent to Bro. Bisset asking his consent to stand for the Chair, to which Bro Bisset agreed providing he had the assistance of the present R W M. and the P M. Annual Meeting on 25th December 1901 Bro Bisset was elected to the Chair. At St. John`s Supper on 27th. December Bro. Robertson P M was presented with a marble clock for his four years’ service as R W M.
Bro. Bisset served in the Chair for three years. There was nothing of an outstanding nature during his reign and he was warmly complimented by P G M for the high standard and efficiency of his Lodge.
Bro. R Whitelaw took the reigns on 18th January 1905 and served for three years. During his term of office, the question of the New Temple was brought up and after several discussions it was agreed to grant the P G L £200 free of interest.
1908 Bro A Hunter was appointed to the Chair. At a Meeting held on 4th. November 1908 it was intimated that Bro. Whitelaw, I P M had presented the foundation stone for the New Temple on behalf of the Lodge Bon accord for which he was cordially thanked by the R W M and P G M on behalf of the Building Committee. On 18th November 1908 it is Minuted that the Lodge took part in the Procession in laying the Foundation Stone of the New Temple and that the Lodge defrayed the expenses of the after meeting.
At the Annual Meeting on 16th December 1908 a Circular Deliverer was appointed at a salary of £10.10.0 this to include postage, this office having been formerly discharged by the Tyler.
On 16th May 1910 the Secretary intimated his resignation on leaving for abroad and Bro. G E Wood was appointed. On the 28th December 1910 Bro. Charles Heath was installed as R W M.
The first meeting in the New Temple was held on 11th. January 1911. At a Meeting on the 8th February 1911, it was moved that the New Temple be vested in trust to the P G M and the Grand Super. of Royal Arch Masonry in Aberdeenshire. Bro Heath had a very successful term of office. One year alone he had 83 candidates and about 62 meetings, so that you see he had a very busy time, but his services were suitably rewarded by the Brethren.
Bro, William Sharp was installed to the Chair 7th January 1914. Bro. William Slora was installed to the Chair on the 3rd January 1917. At a Meeting on 20th.November 1918 it was agreed to present Mrs Robertson a sum of £50 as a testimony to the great and zealous work carried out by her husband, Bro. Robertson P M. Bro. Slora retired from office in December 1919, and Bro. Peter Mitchell was installed in his place.
On 9th May a Memorial Service was held in honour of the Brethren who made the supreme sacrifice in the Great War, the Sermon being preached by Bro .Rev. Lawson Mac Currach.
Bro. Simpson was installed R W M on 28th December 1921. The most outstanding event in his reign was that the Lodge gave a donation to P G L to help in endowing a bed in the Royal Infirmary.
Then we have Bro. H Pirie, who served for three years and in his term of office P G L celebrated the Centenary of its existence, and we, in conjunction with the other Lodges in the Province, helped to present them with a Jeweled Maul as a memento of the occasion.
Then we have Bro. Robb who served three years. In his term of office, we had a revision of the By Laws of the Lodge and brought them up to date.
Now I came on the field and have entered on my third term of office. During my term there has been nothing of an outstanding nature.
During the fifty years of our existence, I find thanks to Bro .J Pirie, who supplied me with the figures, that we have spent something like £2000 in Benevolence. Now Brethren, an institution which can do that stands for some good in the world, even although it was for no other purpose.
Now Brethren, this is a short synopsis of some of the events that have transpired during the last fifty years of the Lodges existence. It began with nothing; at the present time we have funds to the tune of £1227.3.11 in the C fund and£1906.16.9 in the Benevolent Fund. Now that shows Brethren that we as a Lodge have made good progress. We cannot deny that we are facing lean times but it is our earnest wish that they will pass away and at the end of another fifty years the then Master may be able to say they have carried on the good work, spent as much in Benevolence and doubled the Reserve Funds of the Lodge.
Now Brethren in conclusion let me thank you for your patient hearing of my rather rambling statement with the hope for a good and successful period in the year that lies ahead of us. Brethren be upstanding and long life and success to our Mother Lodge Bon accord No. 669.