( R.W.M. 1941 - 1942 )

A city clerk.
(“ Sea Dreams ” -55-- Longfellow)

The meeting of 12th November, 1941, was the last to be held in our Temple; the permission to hold our Regular Meetings there having been withdrawn by the Air Force Authorities.

     The Moderator and Session of St. Enoch's Hogganfield PArish Church came to our aid, and we were given the use of the upstairs suite of halls. We could not expect to take all our furniture with us, but thankful to be allowed to take the neccessities.

      We had to clear all our furnishings out of the Masonic Hall, however, and were grateful to Bro. Alex. Robertson for thakin charge of the pianoforte, to Bro. W. Steele for storing two hundred and fifty small chairs and one Deacon's Chair, and to Bro. D/L/ Grant for taking custody of the forty card tables.

     Bro. W.R. Stark was installed as Master on 26th November, 1941, his Installing Master being Bros. James Purves, P.P.G.S.W., and James Fraser, J.P., both Past Masters of Lodge Riddrie. Bro. Stark was the first initiate of Lodge Riddrie to be installed into office, being ellected Organist in 1926, a position he filled for two years; he then occupied the office of Director of Music, Junior Warden, Secretary (for eleven years) and Substitute Master.

     Bro. Stark was born in January, 1890, was educated at the Hermitage School, Helensburgh, and Christ Church School, Waterloo, Liverpool. He entered the service of Macfarlane, Lang & Co. in 1903, and is still on their clerical staff.

     He has played at most games without attaining any great success, but has medals for running and football, having played for Rockbank Junior Football Club in Glasgow. He is a member of Crow Wood Golf Club, of which he was captain in the year 1938; he also fishes-- the sole sport of his declining years.

      During the 1914-18 War Bro. Stark served in the ranks of the Royal Scots and King's own Scottish Borderers, having the honour to serve as a commissioned officer in the latter regiment.

      As Bro. D.M. Kerr's Home Guard duties precluded him from retaining the office of secretary, Bro. A.T. Bond (who had with entire satisfaction to the brethren held junior offices since 1934) was installed in that office. We have on several occasions in these chronicles written of unique occurrences; this was another one of them. The Master and Secretary were born within a few hours of each other, Bro. Stark in Bellshill and Bro. bond in London

     The man power of the Lodge at this stage will be noted in the fact that at the meeting for recommending brethren to fill the various offices there were no nominations for six of these offices, while four Past Masters agreed to fill junior posts. Although the average attendance for the year's meetings was fifty-one, some of the attendances were very scanty, and on one occasion the MAster was the sole occupant of the dias-- the only time this has happened during the life of the Lodge.

     Twelve meetings, the lowest number since the Lodge's inception, were held during the year, at which 16 new members were initiated.

     Funds were very low at the begining of the session and it was neccessary to arrange for an overdraft to pay current bills, but before the year was ended all the accounts were showing balances on the right side. The Serviceman's Fund also was very low, with less than £5 on hand, but through the generosity of the brethren, especially Bro. D.M. Kerr, who donated fifteen guineas, and Bro. G.K. Stewart, who donated six guineas, the usual three gifts were sent to the brethren on service.

     Several of our Serviceman were Test Fee paying members, and it was felt that it would be unfortunate if, through circumstances over which they had no control, they became "not in good standing." It was agreed, therefore, that Test Fees would not be expected from serving brethren for the duration of the war, and the neccessary financial arrangement be made through the General Account.

     We lost through death three founder members, who had, each in his own special way, been of great assistance to the Lodge : Bros. Robert Dickie, P.M. 442, W. Kirkpatrick, and Charles Steele.

     P.G.L. Visitation, headed by Bro. Campbell Miller, S.P.G.M., was received into the Lodge on 11th MArch, 1942. In his address to the brethren, Bro. Miller refered to the healthy condition of the Lodge, especially in view of the serious times through which we were passing. He asked brethren to note the fact that many Sister Lodges in the middle and Far East had ceased to function and that most of the brethren there must have lost everything they have possessed; in view of this he strongly appealed to the brethren to bear these facts in mind when next subscribing to Grand Lodge Annuity Fund. We were sorry to hear that the P.G.M., Bro. J. Marr Grant, who is one of our honorary Members, had been complelled to relinquish his office owing to ill-health, and hoped he would soon regain his usual health and vigour. It was unanimously agreed that we recommend to Grand Lodge Bro. J.S.M. Grieve to fill the office of P.G.M. of the Glasgow Province.

     The war was still going on. The Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbour and Germany and Italy had declared war on the U.S.A., who wre now brought in as active paticipants. The end of 1941 and begining of 1942 were days of calamity, Hong Kong and then North Singapore falling into enemy hands. In North Africa General Rommell had started on his desert drive, which was halted on 13th July at El Alamein. Rommelle's round-about and rapid retreat rang a glad note to what we hoped was the turning point in the war.