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 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.
Brian W. Lawson
Right Worshipful Master
In December 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic forced the Lodge of Melrose St. John to break with hundreds of years of tradition when it was unable to hold its Annual Installation of Office-bearers and Celebration of St. John the Evangelist on 27th. December.
From as early as 1685, some 335 years ago, the Lodge minute books contain references to arrangements for the Festival of St. John. Similarly, the earliest reference to the procession on St. John's Day - the Masons' Walk - is contained in a minute dated 27 December 1745. Not even two World Wars prevented the Mason's Walk from being held annually for 275 years - but the COVID-19 pandemic did.
A Business meeting of the Lodge was held on Monday, 7 March 2022, the first Lodge meeting held in just over two years and was attended by The Provincial Grand Master of The Scottish Borders, Brother Andrew Elliot Forsyth. The Office Bearers for the forthcoming 2022 – 2023 Masonic year were elected with Brother Brian William Lawson becoming Master Elect.
The Lodge took the opportunity this year to hold its Installation of Office-bearers in the Corn Exchange, Melrose on Saturday 25th. June (near St. John the Baptist Day) tyling at 5pm. The meeting was followed by the Masons' Walk to Melrose Abbey and finished with a short informal harmony.
Thank you to all our NHS, Front-line and Essential Workers who have been busy during the Pandemic!!
"Coronavirus in Scotland"
THE GRAND LODGE OF SCOTLAND
Based at 96 George Street in Edinburgh, The Grand Lodge of Scotland has been representing Freemasons working under the Scottish Constitution since 1736 .
The Provincial Grand Lodge of The Scottish Borders looks after the 16 Lodges within the Borders. Their website has a wealth of information about the Lodges within our Province.
On 25 June 2022, the Lodge broke with hundreds of years of tradition and had its Installation of Office-bearers. For many years our Installation has traditionally been held on "St. John's Day", the 27th of December and the only change to that is that it has been held on either the 26th or 28th of December if the 27th fell on a Sunday.
The Global Coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused much disruption over the past two years and has caused many changes, this, coupled with a number of other reasons, prompted the Lodge to try having it's installation in the Summer.
Brother Lawson, who lives in Galashiels, was initiated in to our antient Lodge in February 2009 and has steadily progressed through the Offices and was elected as our Master in March 2022. Brian is also a Provincial Grand Lodge Steward.
101 brethren attended the meeting which was held in the Corn Exchange and the Installing Masters were Bro. George Donnelly, a Past Master of Lodge St. Ebbe No. 70 and a Past Provincial Grand Master as well as being an Honorary Member of the Lodge of Melrose St. John No. 1bis, along with Bro. Duncan Taylor, a respected Past Master of our Lodge.
On conclusion of the Installation Ceremony, Melrose Pipe Band led 67 brethren on a Masonic Procession (Masons' Walk) to Melrose Abbey where a short Oration was delivered by our Immediate Past Master, Bro. Kenneth H. Ross.
66 Brethren returned to the Corn Exchange for an informal harmony to further celebrate the Master's installation.
The Master, Bro. Brian Lawson, (centre) is pictured with his Installing Masters, Bro. Duncan Taylor (left) and Bro. George Donnelly (right) in the grounds of Melrose Abbey
Congratulations and all the very best of luck Bro. Brian
One final piece of Masonic Business our Outgoing Master had to attend to at the Installation Meeting on 25 June 2022 was to confer honorary membership of our Lodge on Bro. John W. Blackie. (AKA Jock)
Bro. Jock is a Past Master of the Galashiels Lodge No. 262 and the Immediate Past Provincial Grand Master of the The Provincial Grand Lodge of the Scottish Borders, a well respected Man and Mason with a vast knowledge and experience of Freemasonry has been a great supporter of our Lodge and its members.
The privilege and pleasure of conferring honorary membership fell on Bro, Kenneth H. Ross, a very pleasing last duty as Master of the Lodge before our new Master was installed later on in the Meeting.
Congratulations and Well Done Bro. Jock - very well deserved!
On Saturday 25 June 2022, Bro. Ken Ross, had one final duty to attend to as Master of the Lodge, which was to meet the 2022 Melrosian, Douglas Crawford, at the site of the original Melrose Masonic Lodge in St. John's Wynd in Newstead. This was on the occasion of the Melrose Festival Traditional Tour of Ceremonies marking the end of a successful Festival Week, where the Melrosian was presented with a print of the Old Lodge
Later on in the day, it was our Installation at which Bro. Brian W. Lawson was installed as RWM of our antient Lodge
June 22 :: Photo(s) Credit: © Douglas Hardie / Melrose Festival Executive
A Business Meeting of the Lodge was held on Monday, 7 March 2022. This was the first Lodge meeting held in just over two years.
The Office-bearers for the forthcoming 2022 – 2023 Masonic year were elected with Brother Brian William Lawson becoming our Master Elect.
Brother Brian will be installed at the Melrose Corn Exchange on Saturday, 25th June 2022 tyling at 5.00pm.
In December 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Lodge to break with hundreds of years of tradition when it was unable to hold its Annual Installation of Office-bearers and Celebration of St. John the Evangelist on 27th. December.
From as early as 1685, some 335 years ago, the Lodge minute books contain references to arrangements for the Festival of St. John. Similarly the earliest reference to the procession on St. John's Day - the Masons' Walk - is contained in a minute dated 27 December 1745. Not even two World Wars prevented the Mason's Walk from being held annually for 275 years - but the COVID-19 pandemic did.
The Lodge is taking the opportunity this year to hold its Installation of Office-bearers in the Corn Exchange, Melrose on Saturday 25th June (near St. John the Baptist Day) when Bro. Brian will be installed as our RWM, followed by the Masons' Walk to Melrose Abbey and finishing with a short informal harmony.
All the best of luck Brian!!
Border Women's Aid is a voluntary organisation comprising of a dedicated group of women who support women with a mission of supporting women to live empowered lives free from domestic abuse in all its forms, embracing the values of Equality, Respect, Commitment, Trust. Their vision is simple - having a community where all women & children can be safe and strong.
Our Master, Bro. Ken Ross, was keen to support this very worthwhile cause and with the help and support from Provincial Grand Lodge and a number of generous Lodges in the Province raised £1, 900.
The BWA said "we are thrilled about this and so very grateful that our service is being talked about and supported in this way".
To find out more about the great work this organisation does, please click on the image or download more information by clicking here
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
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 the Town at neighbouring 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 fundraising activities have been curtailed.
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: https://www.children1st.org.uk/
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.
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 2020 & 2021
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 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 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.
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.
On St. John’s Day, the 27 December 2019, 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.
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 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.
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