Bro. Kenneth Hamilton Ross - Master


It is a great pleasure and privilege to welcome you to the website of the The Lodge of Melrose St. John No. 1² which I hope you find both interesting and informative.

Our Antient Lodge has a long and distinguished history and is reputed to be one of the oldest Masonic Lodges in Scotland if not "The Oldest".  We believe that our Lodge Forebears were the Operative Masons involved in the building of Melrose Abbey founded in 1136, as well as numerous rebuildings of the Abbey in the subsequent turbulent centuries.

As Master of the Lodge, I can assure that any Brother who visits our Lodge will receive a very warm and fraternal welcome.  

Thank you for visiting the website and please visit again soon.

Kenneth H. Ross.

Right Worshipful Master

Message from the Master

As a COVID-19 Risk Assessment identified significant risks to us due to the size and configuration of our premises, the Lodge Brethren decided that no Lodge

meetings should be held for the 2021 - 22 Masonic year.

This would be subject to a further review by our members in January 2022.

Any changes to this decision will be communicated through the appropriate

channels by our Brother Secretary and posted on our Website.

Thank you for your understanding and continued support. Stay Safe!!

Kenneth Hamilton Ross


Collaborative Approch to Community Support

Broomlands Primary School is located in the Heart of the Scottish Borders, providing an excellent education provision for about 250 young learners. Further to a survey conducted by some of the Primary 7 Pupils, it was found that the majority of pupils wanted to see improved play equipment in the playground and voted to have Playground Climbing Frame Apparatus and immediately started fundraising under the name of “Project Playground”

The School has an active Parent Council, a small team of dedicated and committed parents and volunteers to support the school and pupils. Fundraising is part of the Parent Council’s remit, helping the school to purchase those nice to have items that the Local Authority is no longer able to provide, sadly, due to their program of fundraising activities being severely reduced because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Crisis, they have been unable to contribute to Project Playground at a level they would normally have been able to do so.

Freemasons in the Borders became aware of the project and decided to help. The Borders Youth Support Scheme, a scheme operated by the Provincial Grand Lodge of the Scottish Borders, donated £250, Lodge Kelso & Tweed No. 58 donated £250 and The Lodge of Melrose St. John No. 1bis also assisted by donating £200. Representatives visited the School on 12 October 2021 to hand over the £700.

Pam Guthrie, joint Chairperson of the Parent Council was delighted by the generosity of the Masons and thanked them very much for their support.

Pictured (L to R) Bro. Ken Ross, Master of the Lodge of Melrose St. John No. 1bis, Bro. Mick Todd, Master of Lodge Kelso & Tweed No. 58, Paula Lowrie, member of the Broomlands Primary School Parent Council, Amy & Lauryn from the School, Pam Guthrie, Joint Chairperson of the Parent Council, Bro. James Thom, Depute Provincial Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of the Scottish Borders and Bro. Bill Heaney, Past Master of Lodge Kelso & Tweed No. 58

Melrose Festival

Started in 1936, Melrose Festival is held in the third week of June to promote an interest in the life of the community and to remind us of Melrose's historical past. A Melrosian and a Festival Queen and Court lead the town are appointed annually during Festival Week and represent us at neighbouring town Festivals.

The Lodge of Melrose St. John No. 1bis has a longstanding relationship with the Festival as the Master and members of the Lodge meet the Melrosian along with his supporters during the Tour of Ceremonies at the site of the original Melrose Masonic Lodge at St. John's Wynd in Newstead.

The Lodge proudly gave a donation of £250 to the Festival which was very much welcomed during this period where their fundriaing activities have been curtailed.

Children 1st

Children 1st is Scotland’s National Children’s Charity. Providing practical and emotional support to children and families across Scotland to prevent, protect and support them to recover from trauma and abuse.

During this period where fundraising has been very much curtailed, The Lodge of Melrose St. John No. 1bis, is proud to give a small donation of £150 to this worthwhile charity, from which, so many children benefit.

Click on this link to read more about the great work they do:

Blooming Good Work

Melrose in Bloom's principal aim is to keep the town looking beautiful throughout the year, with floral displays for locals and tourists alike. It has a large group of volunteers who plant, weed, clean and water, the latter using “Rosie”, the group’s much-admired watering vehicle.  This year the group is helping the Beavers with their gardening badge and has encouraged a local toddlers’ nursery to plant and look after planters.

The Lodge of Melrose St. John No. 1bis has been a regular supporter of Melrose in Bloom and as a small token of appreciation gave a donation of £50 to aid the great work done by the dedicated volunteers.

Melrose & District Pipes & Drums

The Lodge of Melrose St. John No. 1bis has had a long standing relationship with Melrose & District Pipes & Drums as they have, for a number of years, lead our Torchlight Procession (Masons’ Walk) to Melrose Abbey immediately after our Annual Installation on St. John’s Day each year, sadly, with the exception of this year.

Due to the continued COVID-19 Crisis, their fundraising activities have been significantly curtailed this year so to show our appreciation the Lodge donated £100 to the band for which they were most grateful.

The Lavender Touch

The Lavender Touch first came to life in 2003, with the aim of helping to lend support to those living with cancer whilst dealing with the side effects associated with its treatment.

Since then, they’ve been credited with helping people through the most difficult times of their lives, through their complementary, locally-based therapists and treatments – along with the therapeutic and natural products they develop.

Despite first being met with scepticism, their complementary therapies are now tried-and-tested, and have become an important part of helping people through their cancer journey in the Scottish Borders; their referrals come through local healthcare professionals.

These days they’re run by four dedicated, unpaid trustees who are passionate about the services and products they provide, and pride themselves in the fact that a large percentage of money raised through fundraising goes towards patient care. This is so vitally important to us, and is achieved by keeping admin costs to a minimum.

Their mission now, more than ever before, is to raise awareness so that more people know they’re there, and that their therapeutic treatments and products are accessible for anyone living with cancer (and its side effects) in the Scottish Borders. No-one should have to suffer alone, and their service is completely confidential.

Bro. Ken Ross, The Right Worshipful Master of The Lodge of Melrose St. John No. 1bis, congratulated them on their efforts and proudly presented a cheque for £200 to aid the excellent work they do.

With fundraising activities being severely curtailed due to COVID-19 restrictions the donation was very much welcomed by the organisation.

TD1 Youth Hub

TD1 Youth Hub are a youth work organisation working with young people aged 11 to 25 year old.

They aim to be a young person centered organisation that respects, values and engages with young people to address their needs by offering support, guidance and opportunities to shape their own futures.

​Launched in January 2013, they operate from their base in Galashiels in the Scottish Borders. They are a registered Scottish Charity and reliant upon the support of our funders.

The Lodge of Melrose St. John No. 1bis is pleased to support this local organisation and the Right Worshipful Master, Bro. Ken Ross proudly presented one of their Youth Workers with a cheque for £200. With fundraising activities being severely curtailed due to COVID-19 restrictions the donation was very much welcomed by the organisation.


Borders Additional Needs Group (BANG) was set up over 17 years ago with the goal of supporting families in the Scottish Borders. It was set up by a group of parents who felt they would benefit from meeting together to share experiences. It grew quickly in the first 3 years and since then, BANG has added more resources and linked in with many organisations and services.

Through establishing these links, they now provide free music therapy, annual trips (Calvert Trust, The Yard, Alan Shearer Centre), organised events (Archery project, Summer Respite Camps, Silent Disco), parent carer days and provide signposting support. This support enables parents to have emotional support when needed and access to useful and relevant information such as; respite, finances, education support, funding and the latest government changes.

Another excellent charity doing some really worthwhile work. The Lodge of Melrose St. John No.1bis is happy to support BANG and recently gave a donation of £200. With fundraising activities being severely curtailed due to COVID-19 restrictions the donation was very much welcomed by the organisation.

Health in Mind

Everyone has the right to live a full and satisfying life. At Health in Mind they promote and raise awareness of positive mental health and wellbeing in Scotland.

They provide the tools, information and support to help people cope with life’s challenges and live the life they want to live. As a charity they rely on donations and volunteers to provide this vital support.

1 in 4 people will experience poor mental health in their lifetime,

They have a gap of around £7000 in their funding in the Borders area, so the recent donation of £200 from The Lodge of Melrose St. John No. 1bis will go a long way towards helping them continue to provide their vital mental health services.

With fund raising activities being severely curtailed due to COVID-19 restrictions the donation was very much welcomed by the organisation.

Hat-trick for Bro. Ken

On St. John’s Day, the 27 December, Bro. Ken Ross was installed as Master of our antient Lodge for a third time by Installing Masters Bro. Alistair Little PM and Bro. James Thom IPM who were ably assisted by Bro. Duncan Taylor PM who assumed the duties of Installing Senior Warden, Bro. Bruce Robertson, who was Installing Junior Warden along with Bro. Philip Titley PM as Installing Inner Guard. The Provincial Grand Master, Bro. John W. Blackie, presented the VSL to the Master.

Over 40 Brethren were in attendance including a Deputation from The Provincial Grand Lodge of The Scottish Borders, headed on this occasion by the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, Bro. John W. Blackie.

Following the Ceremony of Installation on a night which was very mild for the time of year, over 20 Brethren supported the Master on the Annual Torchlight Procession (Masons’ Walk) to the spectacular ruins of Melrose Abbey which was led by the Melrose Pipe Band. A brief Oration was delivered to the Brethren and many members of the public by The Master, Bro. Ken Ross. [click here to read the Oration]

Afterwards, 24 sat down for the Installation Dinner and Festival of Holy St. John in the George and Abbotsford Hotel and after a satisfying meal a number of toasts and speeches was heard [click here to view the toast list] which included the toast to The Holy St. John which was ably given by an informative Past Master of Lodge Peebles Kilwinning No. 24, Bro. Richard McCurdie PM. The toast to the Lodge was proposed by Bro. Mick Todd, Master of Lodge Kelso & Tweed No. 58. The Provincial Grand Master replied to the toast to The Grand Lodge of Scotland and The Provincial Grand Lodge of The Scottish Borders which was proposed by Bro. Brian Lawson, The Senior Warden. Bro. Stewart Clark PM, Master of the Coldstream Lodge No. 280, gave a reply to the toast to the Visitors which was proposed by The Junior Warden, Bro. Bruce Robertson.

On conclusion, The Master thanked everyone who had made the day such an enjoyable success.

The Masons meet the Melrosian

A print of The Old Lodge was presented to Ben Magowan the 2019 Melrosian, during the Traditional Tour of Ceremonies of the Melrose Festival at the site of the Original Masonic Lodge at St. John’s Wynd in Newstead on 22 June 2019 by Bro. Kenneth H. Ross, Right Worshipful Master of the Lodge of Melrose St. John No.1 bis.

On this occasion the Brethren were accompanied by members of the Galashiels Lodge No. 262.

Photo Credit:

© Douglas Hardie / Melrose Festival Executive

Honorary Grand Rank Presented

The Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, Bro. John W. Blackie, along with a small deputation of Commissioned Office-bearers of the Provincial Grand Lodge of The Scottish Borders paid a surprise visit to The Lodge of Melrose St. John No. 1bis at their Regular Meeting on Monday 3 December 2018. On this occasion the RWPGM had the personal pleasure and privilege in presenting Past Master and Lodge Secretary and also the Provincial Grand Secretary, Bro. Alistair W. Little with Honorary Grand Rank as Honorary Assistant Grand Secretary. A well respected Man and Mason, Bro. Alistair has dedicated many years of expertise to the craft and was Master of the Lodge in 1988-1990. In his capacity of Provincial Grand Secretary he was instrumental in the success of the formation of the new Provincial Grand Lodge of the Scottish Borders. Congratulations and Well Done Bro. Alistair – Very much deserved!

Celebrating 50 Years in the Craft

At the Regular Meeting of The Lodge of Melrose St. John No. 1bis on Monday 3 December 2018 Past Master Bro. Jim Thornton was presented with a diploma to celebrate Membership of the Craft for 50 years. Bro. Jim was Master of the Lodge 1976 – 1977. Pictured giving their congratulations is Bro. John W. Blackie, Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, Bro. Jim Thornton PM and Bro. Ken H. Ross, Master of the Lodge.

Presentation Made

The Master presents a cheque to the daughters of Bro. Brian Lawson (left) who have been raising money for Cancer Charities.

Muster of the Antient Lodges

On the 10th June 2017 the Ancient Lodges of Scotland Mustered at Lodge Scoon & Perth, No 3 and fifteen reigning Masters worked on the floor to initiate 2 new members into the lodge. The charity to benefit from the proceeds of the day is to be the Master Mason's charity, Prostate Scotland. Brothers Garry and Josh were welcomed into their ancient lodge. Pictured are the heads of the Ancient lodges, with the RWM of No. 3 and their RWPGM and the two new members. (In photo Front Row Right to Left, Bro Garry E.A., Bro J J R Logan (RWPGM), RWM No 3 (Bro Alexander Moncrieff) and Bro Josh EA. Second Row RWM Mother Kilwinning No 0, RWM The Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary Chapel) No 1, RWM Lodge of Melrose, St John No 1 bis, RWM Lodge of Aberdeen No 1 ter, RWM Lodge Edin Kilwinning No 2, RWM Lodge of Glasgow, St John No 3 Bis, On the stairs ascending PM Glasgow Kilwinning No 4, RWM Cannongate and Leith, L& No 5, RWM Old Inverness Kilwinning St John No 6, RWM L. Hamilton Kilwinning, No 7, RWM Lodge of Journeymen No 8, RWM L. Dunblane No 9, RWM Ancient Stirling No 30, RWM St David University Lodge No 36, PM Lodge St Cuthbert Kilwinning No 41, RWM St John Kilwinning No 57, WM The Scots Lodge 2319 (EC). and RWM The Lodge of Kirkaldie No 72.