( R.W.M. 1939 - 1940

His limbs were cast in manly mould
For hardly sports or contest bold ;
His ready speech flowed fair and free
In phrase of gentlest courtesy.
(“ Lade of the Lake ” 5555–– Scott)

Bro. WILLIAM STEELE was born in Dennistoun in 1899, and spent his childhood days in the district, going to Haghill School. On leaving school he was apprenticed as an electrician engineer, but the 1914-18 War came along and the apprenticeship was cut short by Bro. Steele joining the Machine Gun Corps. At the conclusion of hostilities he joined the family concern of John Steele & Sons, Ltd., sanitary ware manufacturers, of which he is now a Director

    So far we have had golfing Masters and bowling Masters, but in Bro. Steele we had a sportsman of varied tendencies. He was a member of Alexandra and Crow Wood Golf Clubs, Whitevale Bowling Club, and Dennistoun Baths; his bias, however, was towards golf.

     Bro. Steel joined the Lodge in the first year of its existence and, although he was a hard worker behind the scenes, he did not take office till 1934, being installed Junior Steward in that year. So well did he fill the office that he was asked to carry on for a further year. He then filled the offices of Senior Deacon, Junior Warden, Senior Warden and Substitute Master.

     He was installed as Master on 22nd November, 1939, his installing Masters being Bros. James Purves, P.P.G.S.W., and David M. Kerr, Past Masters of Lodge Riddrie. Eighteen meetings were held during the year, at which 13 intrants were received into the Lodge.

     During the reading of the minute at the first Regular Meeting of the year the Secretary was taken ill, and the duties of the office were undertaken by Past Master Bro. D.M. Kerr.

     Bro. Steele headed deputations to Lodges Stepps, No.1213; Bishopbriggs, No. 1259; The King's Park, No. 1386; and Scotia, No. 178

     At the meeting of 11th September it was reported that Bro. A.M. Campbell had been posted missing. His ship had left Cape Town on 16th June, and had not been sighted since.

     Bro. Atwood A. Miller, an initiate of Lodge Riddrie, was congratulated on being elected Master of Lodge Waltham Cross, No. 5359 (English Constitution)

     As troops had been posted to Mossbank School we granted them on one evening each month the use of the hall and all our entertainment appurtenances so that they could have a social evening.

     The annual function to commemorate the founding of the Lodge was held on the 9th of February. This was the last function of the kind to be held for many years. Owing to the prevailing conditions the whist drives, dances and children's party were abandoned. The choir was temporarily wound up, the Choir Treasurer, Bro. A.T. Bond, lodging the sum of 31s. 3d. in the bank until it would be needed again

     Three founder members of the Lodge passed away : Bros. Wm. Sutherland, Syd Harrison, and R. Curwen. An initate, Bro. J.W. Grant, was unfortunately killed in a road accident.

     As the local school had been requisitioned we granted the use of the halls for educational purposes from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily to Mr. T.D. Edwards, Headmaster of Riddrie School.

     P.G.L. Visitation took place on 13th March, 1940, and was headed by Bro. James S.M. Grieve, J.P., Subs. P.G. Master. In his address to the brethren BRo. Grieve referred to the Lodge finances and congratulated the I.P.M., Bro. Milner, on his successful year he had had. He then spoke of the new Grand Lodge Laws and explained that these Laws now become the Bye-Lays of all Daughter Lodges, who must hand a copy to every initiate. Bro. Grieve commented upon the work being carried out by the Masonic War Hospitals Fund, and appealed to the brethren for all support possible

     As certain addenda was necessary to the Grand Lodge Laws, applicable to our own Lodge, a committee, comprised of Bros. W. Steele, D.M. Kerr, G.S. Dick, J. Purves and James Fraser, was formed to carry through the required additions and place them before P.G. Lodge for approval. The only important difference from the existing Bye-Laws is that the Annual Test Fee is reduced from 7/6 to 5/-.

     A Serviceman's Fund was started and it was hoped if it was well enough supported to send each Serviceman at home 10/-, and each on service overseas 20/-, three times a year.

     We had a visit from Bro.D.B. Galloway, and the opportunity was taken to present him with a founder Member's Jewel for the excellent work he carried out as Benevolent Fund Treasurer and a mark of the esteem in which he is held by us all.

     Owing to the conditions of his health Bro. W.R. Stark had to resign from the office of Secretary. Bro D.M. Kerr, who had stepped into the breach at the time of the Secretary's breakdown was asked to carry on. and was duly elected and installed in the office of Secretary, the position which he had so capably filled in the early days of the Lodge

     The following is an exert from the Minute of the Regular Meeting of 27th March, 1940 :

                The Master, Past Masters, Office Bearers and Brethren desire to place
                on record the long and faithful service given to the Lodge by Bro. W.R.
                Stark in the office of Secretary. His devotion to his duties, his genial
                and loveable nature endeared him to every member of the Lodge; and in
                his minutes and report she has bequeathed a monument of efficiency which
                will ever serve as a beacon to his successors.

                Lodge Riddrie was thrice blessed in having such capable Secretary,
                and to him will go much of the credit for the success attained by the
                Lodge during the eleven years he held that office.

                It is with regret that we see Bro. Stark demit office and trust
                that his health will improve and enable him to attend the Lodge and
                give us the benefit of his advice.

     Bro. George S. Dick,Ttreasurer, rejoined the Army and was posted to the Pay Corps. His office was taken over ny Bro. G.K. Stewart temporarily, but at least to the end of the year.

     So far, the war had not been going well for us. In April there was the ill-fated landing in Norway and in May and June the evacuation from France. The Germans had over-run Norway, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg and France. In June, 1940, Mussolini thought the time was ripe to show what a fine warrior he was. His programme was to take Malta, Alexandria and Cairo and with the Suez Canal under the denomination of the Italian Navy, he would have broken the backbone of the British Empire