(R.W.M. - 1943 - 1944)

For he that runs it well twice runs his race.
(Ode ––– Abraham Cowley)

After the initial years of the Lodge’s being were run, certain procedures was followed in filling the Masters Chair. After serving in each of the Warden’s Chairs, a brother served a year in the East, with merely a watching brief as Substitute Master. Everyone does not agree that this is a good thing, some being of the opinion that the relaxation after years of activity induces a languor which is not easily put aside, but we have tholed our years sitting back and think the experience well worth while.

The inroads made on our office-bearers by the exigencies of national service had upset the procedure, Bro. Crow going straight to the Masters Chair from that of Senior Warden, and during his year as Master the office of Substitute Master was filled by P.M. Bro. William Steele and Senior Warden’s Chair by P.M. Bro. D. M. Kerr, so that Bro. Jack Steele, as Junior Warden, was next in line for the Chair.

Bro. Steele, who was now living in Lenzie, and who found that he could not get the transport to and from the Lodge, also because of national service duties and work he had undertaken in connection with the Youth Movement, intimated that he could not entertain going forward at present. He concurred in the feeling that promotion direct from the Junior Wardens Chair was too precipitate, therefore it was agreed to ask Bro. James Purves to let his name go forward as the nominee of the General Committee. Bro. Purves indicated that h e would like to occupy the Chair during the twenty-first year of the Lodge’s existence and this was only the nineteenth, but it was put to him that there was no reason why he should not occupy the Chair during the twenty-first year also, so Bro. Purves gave his assent and his election followed in due course.

Bro. Purves was installed as Master on 24th November, 1943, his Installing Masters being Bro. Thomas Mason, P.M. , Lodge Scotia, No. 178, and Bro. D. M. Kerr, P.M. Lodge Riddrie No. 1340. In thanking the brethren for again entrusting him with the destiny of the Lodge Bro. Purves said that time had not diminished his love for the Lodge, and he promised loyally to carry through the duties of the office with the same energy and fervour as he had employed eighteen years ago.

P.M. Bro. G. K. Stewart, who had undertaken the duties of Treasurer for the past three years, was obliged to relinquish office because of pressure of business, so a new Treasurer, Bro. James Callaghan, was installed. Bro. Callaghan was pressed to accept the office and hoped he would be able to devote the necessary time to the work, but as he was on essential war service it was probable that his occupancy of the office would be of short duration. Bro. Stewart was thanked for the very valuable service he had given to the Lodge while we were “ sair beset. ”

Two deputations from sister Lodges were received into the Lodge. The deputation from Lodge Scotia, No. 178, was headed by the Master, Bro. C. Mayall, who took over the Chair during the working of the Third Degree by Bro. T. Mason, P.M., and offices-bearers of Lodge Scotia ; the same procedure was followed on the visit of Lodge Thistle, No. 78, the Master, Bro. W. Simpson, occupying the Chair, whilst Bro. D. Stewart, P.M., and offices-bearers worked a First Degree. In both instances the visiting Master gave the obligation.

P.G. Lodge Visitation took lace on 12th April, 1944, the deputation being headed by Bro. J. Martin Baxter, S.P.G.M.  Bro. Baxter congratulated the Lodge their perfect minute : he referred to the fact that some Lodges were initiating excessive number of candidates, and asked that special care should be taken in the enquires made regarding persons desiring admission ; he also appealed that strong support be given to the Glasgow Masonic War Hospitals Fund.

Bro. Pat Hay, inner Guard, had to relinquish his office on being transferred from Barlinnie by H.M. Commishoner for Prisons.
Bro. Captain W. James Sharp, serving in the Royal Artillery with the Mediterranean Forces, sent the Lodge a mallet made in Jerusalem from wood cut and stone quarried in the district. Bro. Sharp was thanked for this gift, which would be treasured by his Mother Lodge.
A concert in aid of the Servicemen’s Fund realised the sum of £33 2s. 11d. Through this effort and the usual generosity of the brethren we were able to keep up our usual three gifts in the year to our Servicemen.

On 24th June,1944, we lost, through death , No. 1 on our roll, Bro. W. Stevenson Cochran. We quote the obituary from the Glasgow Herald :

The death has occurred at his home, 3 Hatfield Drive, Kelinside, Glasgow, of Mr. William Stevenson Cochran, solicitor, a well-known member  of the legal profession in the city and a prominent personality in Scottish Freemasonry for many years. He was in his seventy-third year.
Mr Cochran was the son of the late Mr. William Cochran, writer, a former chairman of Glasgow Parish Council.
Education in Dennistoun Public School, Glasgow ; Abbey Park, St. Andrews ; and Glasgow University, he was assumed a pertner of the firm of William Cochran & Son, which had been founded by his father in 1870. He became sole partner on the death of his father in 1914, and two years later he amalgamated business with a firm of T. & R. Stout, the business being then carried on under the name of William Cochran, Stout & Dunlop.
Mr Cochran had been a Mason for forty-six years, having been initiated in 1898 in the Lodge of Glasgow St. John, No. 3bis, of which his father had been Secretary. His enthuisam soon carried him to the higher order of Masonry, and among other high offices, he was Past Substitute Grand Master, Grand Lodge of Scotland -- the third highest rank in Scottish Masonry. He was a Past Master of St. John, No. 3bis ; Secretary for many years of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow ; Pas Substitute Provincial Grand Master of Glasgow ; and for a long period Chairman of the Finance Committee of Grand Lodge. Among other varied interests and activites, Mr Cochran gave long service in the Trades House of Glasgow, and was Clerk to the Incorporation of Bonn makers and Dyers from 1912, and jointly with his son (Mr W. Douglas Cochran) since 1942.

Bro James Purves died on a Glasgow Infirmary on 5th July, 1944. He had been suffering from pain in the stomach, and it was decided to perform a major operation. The operation duly took place , but shortly afterwards Bro. Purves passed away.
 A special meeting of the Lodge was held to pay respect to the memory pf Bro. Purves. The service was opened with the 23rd psalm, and after prayer Bro. A. M. welsh, The Senior Past Master present, gave the oration and asked that the following resolution be engrossed in the Minute Book :

      Resolved that we, brethren of Lodge Riddrie and of sister Lodges in the Province of Glasgow met here to do honour to the memory of the late Bro. James Purves, P.M. 1340, P.P.G.S.W., place on record our appreciation of the great service he has done for Masonry in the West of Scotland in general and Lodge Riddrie -- of which he was the first Master –– in particular.
We desire to place on record the warm place he had gained in our hearts by his strict attention to any duty laid upon him, and feel sure his teaching of punctuality will ever be one of the golden rules of our Lodge.
We desire to offer our sincere sympathy to his sorrowing widow and daughters, and would like our Secretary to send to Mrs. Purves a copy of this minute of our appreciation of our late brother and her dearly beloved husband.

Representatives of Sister Lodges offered their condolences and letters of sympathy were read from Grand Lodge, P.G. Lodge, and numerous brethren.

The Senior Chaplain f the Lodge, Bro. Robert Morris, gave a short address, his theme being “Death,” in which he asked the brethren to appreciate the fact that death was not the end of all things, and that even on earth the name of Bro. Purves would be long remembered in Lodge Riddrie.

Bro. Purves had arranged the work of the Lodge to the close of the Masonic year. He had presided over fourteen meetings, and eight were still to be held.
Bro. A.F. Crow, I.P.M., conducted five of these meetings, the other three being under the mallet of Bro. W.R. Stark, P.M.

At the first Regular Meeting after the summer recess we had to lament the death of our second Master, Bro. James Fraser, J.P. Bro Fraser had been in poor health for a considerable time and passed on 11th August.
Bro. D. M. Kerr, the Senior Past Master present, paid tribute to the memory of Bro. Fraser on behalf of the Past Masters, office bearers and brethren.

He said that in his long association with Bro. Fraser he had found one of the most kind-hearted and lovable of men, who had devoted himself to the Lodge, being its Second Master, and for many years thereafter Benevolent Fund Treasurer. He asked that the Lodge place on record their deep appreciation of the long and faithful service to the Lodge given by Bro. James Fraser and the great loss sustained by his death.
He wished our sincere sympathy to be expressed to his wife and family in their bereavement, with the hope that the memory of one so kind and lovable may help to sustain them through the coming years.

Mrs. Fraser and family gifted to the lodge the late Bro. James Fraser’s Master’s Apron. It was decided that this should be the apron worn during the year by the Master, the original Master’s apron to be kept solely for use at Ceremony of Installed Master.
We also lost, through death, Founder Member Bro. A. W. McCuloch, and Honorary Member Bro. J. M Stewart, who was the measurer employed at the building of the Temple.

The final payment of our indebtedness to the Halifax Building Society having been made, the Title Deeds of the Temple were handed over to Bro. R. Murray MacGregor for safe keeping.

Forty-three intrants and one affiliate were received into the Lodge during the year.

It was agreed to put twenty-five guineas on deposit receipt to form the nucleolus of a fund so that there should be a suitable memorial in respect of our first two Masters. It was not decided what form this was to take, it being thought better to wait till the war was over and we were back in our own Temple before coming to any decision.

We got a fright when the news that F./L. Bro. D. Murray Kerr was missing came through, but after a week of anxiety everything came all right in the end.
Bro. Kerr was an R.A.F. instructor at a training school in Douglas, Arizona. One Saturday afternoon an Entertainment Officer was wanting to collect some films to give the boys a show. This officer had never flown, so Bro. Kerr offered to take him in a ‘plane, the officer immediately being accepted. The weather did not turn out as forecast ; a storm arose ; the ‘plane was blown off its course, and as darkness came on the occupants, in unknown country, had to bale out. They landed in Mexico, and after an adventurous time eventually got back to their unit. Whether they were put “ on the peg ” for being absent without leave or not we have been informed.
The war was now drawing rapidly to a close. The second front, for which so many ill-informed armchair warriors had “yapped ” was in being. The invasion of Normandy was a great feat of arms, and our victorious armies had now freed Paris and were pushing on.
A new German weapon-- was doing a substantial amount of damage in the south of England, but it could not have any effect on the ultimate conclusion.