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Lodge Cadder Freestone No 1584

 5 St Mungo Street, Bishopbriggs, G64 1QT

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Lodge Cadder Freestone No 1584 has now taken the first three steps in Freemasonry.

November 22nd 1961 can be considered the First Degree , when the Lodge was formally consecrated at Bishopbriggs memorial hall.

September 1st 1978. The Second Degree, the consecration of the new Masonic Halls at 5 Mungo Street.

March 10th 1982. The Third Degree, the consecration of the Lodge Cadder Freestone's Masonic Temple.

The timing of the present ceremonies couldn't be better, for it was in the month of March 1961, that the Lodge Cadder Freestone took its first tentative steps.

For some time there has been a feeling among local Brethren that a lively, expanding community like Bishopbriggs needed another Masonic lodge. Inspired mainly by Bro. John Black P.M 441 and George Phillips P.M 27, it was decided to test the water. A notice appeared in the local Post Office informing interested parties that a meeting would be held in the Memorial Hall on Wednesday, March 29th.

74 Brethren attended, and there was so much enthusiasm for the idea, there was never any doubt a new Lodge would be formed. The proposal was moved by Bro. Robert McCarroll P.M 1259. Approval was unanimous.

After further meetings, 120 founder members, among them 19 Past Masters, signed the Petition to Grand Lodge.

At the same time there was much groundwork to be done. Cash was raised, furnishings and fittings donated.

Another pressing matter was a name for the Lodge. the committee favoured Cadder St John. But Bro. John Clarkson P.M 570 suggested "Cadder Freestone".

The significance of the name was that in the late 1800's, there were several freestone quarries in the Bishopbriggs area (freestone is a soft, malleable type of stone). All this was explained by Bro. Clarkson, whose trade, appropriately, was a stonemason. The name and background were perfect. Cadder Freestone it was.

Then the crest.  It had to incorporate so much of what the new Lodge was to stand for. So there was the Bishop’s Mitre to tie in with Bishopbriggs, which was once Church land. The Roman Eagle connected with Romans, who once occupied this district and were skilled operative masons.

The Ashlars and Mallet gave a link with the freestone quarries. The Boar’s Head, once a banqueting dish, signified the hospitality of the Lodge. The Square, Compasses and Thistles need no explanation.

And so the foundations were laid and Lodge Cadder Freestone No 1584 was formally erected and consecrated on November 22 1961, by Bro Ernest Noakes, Provincial Grand master of Glasgow.

For those who like a little nostalgia, the dinner menu that November evening, complete with comments, was – Scotch Broth (All sprung from the same stock); Sole a la Balmuildy (Food for thought); Cadder Pie (Fit for Freestone Founders); Ruffian Melba (That last and greatest trial); and coffee (Nothing now remains).

The new lodge, with Bro John Black as the first Right Worshipful Master, wasted no time in getting down to Masonic work. The opening degree was for Mark Masters. This was mainly for the benefit of several founder members who were from English Lodges.

Next came a First Degree, ands it’s interesting to note that of the first five candidates who came forward, two, Walter Bell and George Ward, went on to become Masters of the Lodge. Walter has another distinction. His is the first new name on the Cadder Freestone roll (No 121).

Visitations were always a highlight of the young Lodge’s meetings in the Memorial Hall and most colourful of all was in 1964 when the Virginian Craftsmen were guests. The American’s weren’t qualified to do degree work, but instead exemplified a Degree, carrying out the ritual dresses in the costumes and uniforms of the American War of Independence.

As the Lodge matured and built its traditions, a feeling began to grow that maybe they should have premises of their own, a Masonic Temple. The feeling gathered strength around 1975 and was perhaps given a nudge forward when rent for the memorial Hall was increased from £3 to £18.

So the search began. The Gospel Hall in Crowhill Road was looked at as well as the old West of Scotland Rubber Company works.

Then it was heard that the premises of J. Fraser, Builders, in St Mungo Street, were available. Here was the perfect site. Just an ordinary house and garden plus a stretch of land, but with the potential to develop first a social club then eventually, the whole purpose of the exercise, a Masonic Temple.

A deal was quickly struck with Mr Fraser and from July,1976,the new home of Lodge Cadder Freestone was 5 St Mungo Street, Bishopbriggs.

All this, of course, needed money to buy and extend the property. Loans were negotiated through the bank and brewers.

But the Lodge had to find over £8.000 itself. Interest-free loans from Brethren were requested. Various money-raising ventures like "Buy a Brick" were tried. Slowly but surely the cash target was reached.

The complete plans for the Lodge Cadder Freestone of the future were drawn up and passed. And the foundation stone of the new buildings was laid by Bro Brian G. Brown, Provincial Grand Master, on October 23, 1976.

That was a memorable day. Before the ceremony, for the first time ever, a Masonic Parade was held through Bishopbriggs, and many sister Lodges sent representatives.

Incidentally, if future generations ever come to re-develop the present buildings, they'll find a bit of history with the foundation stone. On that October day when it was laid, coins of the realm, a daily newspaper, Masonic treasures and other significant items were buried with the stone and will remain there as long as it does.

With the ceremonies over, now was the time for volunteers to come forward to help with the building. There was no shortage of tradesmen or willing helpers.

Work soon started. Phase One was the conversion of the original house into a social club with, at first, the old living room being used as a lounge. The start was made there simply because money was needed to pay for the project and what better way to generate cash than via a social club?

The building programme went along nicely. Although there were set backs here and there. At one stage, as foundations for the main hall were being dug, underground water was discovered. For a time you might have thought the Lodge had invested in a duck pond. But that problem was overcome.

Then one day the local fire brigade had to arrive in a hurry after a helper was over-zealous with his rubbish fire and set alight some nearby bushes. Red faces all round!

All the while the Lodge continued its Masonic work and activities in the community. Joint functions continued to be held with the Catenian Circle in aid of the mentally handicapped, and there were other fund-raising efforts for several charities.