St. John (Kilwinning) Largs 173

New Temple

In May 1909 the Brethren of Lodge St. John (Kilwinning), Largs, No.173 agreed to build a Masonic Temple on a site at South Croft, which had been offered by Bro. James Hunter.  The plans of the building were passed in October 1909, with Bro. David Harper, Solicitor, and for some years Lodge Treasurer, taking care of all legal matters.

By March of the following year agreement had been reached with the various contractors and it was decided that work should begin forthwith. 

The total cost of the new Temple was to be £977 11/3d.

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Arrangements were made for laying the Memorial Stone on Saturday the 7th of May 1910.  Programmes were printed, the town was decorated with an enormous display of bunting and everyone looked forward to a memorable occasion —but it was not to be.

On the morning of the 7th of May came news of the sudden death, during the night, of King Edward VII and the whole nation went into mourning.  All the bunting was taken down and the proceedings for laying the Memorial Stone were postponed until the evening of Monday 9th of May.

The postponed ceremony was of a very quiet nature due to the death of the late King.  The ceremony was conducted by Bro. Colonel L. G. Pearson, R.W.M. of Lodge Mother Kilwinning and R.W.P.G.M. of Ayrshire assisted by Provincial Grand Office-bearers. 

The arched entrance doorway to the Lodge, at the top of Frazer Street, has a keystone which bears a Masonic emblem and above it is the Memorial Stone.  A casket containing coins, papers, a sketch plan of the Temple, Lodge Bye-Laws and other Masonic memorabilia  was placed under the Memorial Stone.

The Temple was completed in September 1910 and the total cost to the Lodge of building and furnishing the Temple amounted to approximately £1250.

By April 1911 £600 of the total cost had been repaid  and Bro. Charles Lodder,P.M., offered to take a bond for the remaining £650. The Brethren then spent the next year making arrangements for a Grand Bazaar, to be held over two days on Friday 12th & Saturday 13th July 1912. The sum raised was £448-19-5, and the Lodge repaid £400 of the bond.

In December1915, partly as a result of the early years of the First World War, the Lodge found itself in financial difficulties and asked Bro. Lodder for an advance of another £45.  This enabled the Lodge to clear its other debts and leave the amount of the bond at £325, including £30 interest.

 By April 1911 £600 of the total cost had been repaid  and Bro. Charles Lodder,P.M., offered to take a bond for the remaining £650. The Brethren then spent the next year making arrangements for a Grand Bazaar, to be held over two days on Friday 12th & Saturday 13th July 1912. The sum raised was £448-19-5, and the Lodge repaid £400 of the bond.

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 In December1915, partly as a result of the early years of the First World War, the Lodge found itself in financial difficulties and asked Bro. Lodder for an advance of another £45.  This enabled the Lodge to clear its other debts and leave the amount of the bond at £325, including £30 interest.

Fifteen months later, on the 25th of March 1917, Bro. Lodder, P.M. , died at his home, Fonne-a-mara, on the seafront at Largs.  This is the large house just north of the present lifeboat station which later became known as Vanduara and has now been converted into flats.

During a Special Masonic Memorial Service, held on the 3rd of April, 1917,  an appreciation of Bro. Lodder was given, part of which reads :-

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”His ideal of Masonry was the attentive ear, the silent tongue and the faithful heart.  He thoroughly appreciated the efforts of the Brethren in the reduction of the debt of the Temple ; and, while he divulged his intention to none, he showed his appreciation of their labours when disposing of his worldly goods by granting a total discharge of his deed of conveyance.”

Thus the Brethren were in the fortunate position of occupying a beautiful new Temple entirely free from debt.

In his will Bro. Lodder had discharged a debt of more than £340.  The equivalent sum in 2010 would be about £35,000.

 

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