WELCOME to the website of the Provincial Grand Lodge of The Scottish Borders, I trust that you will find it both interesting and informative.
It fills me with great pride to have been appointed as Provincial Grand Master in June 2020, sadly, the Global Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic continues to cause disruption to everyone's daily lives, including all our Masonic activities. It is encouraging, however, that there does appear to be some positive progress being made and some of the restrictions are now being relaxed.
It may take some time to get back to "normal" Masonic activities, however, the health, safety and welfare of everyone is our priority and we will take the time required to create a safe and inclusive environment.
I have been so proud of how all the Lodges have interacted with their members and also continued with their Fundraising and Charitable activities.
To Freemasons who manage to visit our Province, you will be assured of a warm welcome.
Bro. Andrew E. Forsyth
Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master
The health, safety and welfare of our members and visitors is our priority and with that in mind we appreciate that circumstances of each individual Lodge will differ and some may take longer to get fully up and running than others and we appreciate your patience and understanding during this period of recovery. Likewise, we may find that some meetings are cancelled at very short notice
PGL CALENDAR & DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
As you can imagine, the Provincial Calendar has been put under a bit of strain recently.
PGL 275th Anniversary - Saturday 20 August 22 in Kelso
PGL COVID-19 Pandemic Memorial Service - to be held on Saturday, 17 September 22 in Hawick
PGL Annual Communication (Nomination and Election of Office-bearers) - Friday 18 October 22 within Lodge St. Ebbe No.70 tyling at 7.30pm
PGL General Committee Meeting - Annual Statutory Meeting - Monday 15 August 22 (Venue TBC)
CHARITY FUNDRAISER - LODGE PEEBLES KILWINNING No. 24 On Wednesday 25th May, Lodge Peebles Kilwinning No. 24 are holding a Special Meeting tyling at 7.30p.m. to Initiate a new member into the Lodge. After the meeting there will be a Harmony with live music during which, Bro. Robin will have his hair cut off as part of his fundraising towards Children in Ukraine and he hopes a large number of brethren will be able to attend and give him their support for this worthwhile cause.
CHARITY FUNDRASIER - GOLF COMPETITION - Details TBC
SPECIAL NEWS FEATURES
Thank you to all our NHS, Front-line and Essential Workers who have been busy during the Pandemic!!
"Coronavirus in Scotland"
PGLTSB "100" CLUB
April 2022 Draw
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 .
Prostate Scotland has been the chosen charity of Grand Lodge for some time now and Freemasons under the Scottish Constitution have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for this great cause and we're aiming to "Make it a Million"
"THAT'S AULD NEWS"
Use the link below to find some of our historical news stories and articles.
It was an incredibly busy time at Regular Communication and Installation of Elected Office-bearers on Friday 20 May which was held in the premises of the Hawick Lodge No. 111. The Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, Bro. Andrew Forsyth, opened Provincial Grand Lodge and welcomed a distinguished deputation from the Sister Provinces headed by the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master of Dumfriesshire, Bro. Robert Jess.
The Provincial Grand Master’s first duty of the evening was to Install our Junior Provincial Grand Chaplain, Bro. Gary Duff, as he was unable to attend the Installation of the RWPGM and Commissioned Office-bearers in September last year.
The Depute Provincial Grand Master, Bro. James Thom and the Substitute Provincial Grand Master, Bro. Stewart Clark, had the pleasing duty of installing the Elected PGL Office-bearers and Investing the Lodge Stewards respectively.
The RWPGM then presented a Certificate of Service to Bro. A. W. Johnstone (PM No. 1119) who became the latest Past Provincial Grand Senior Warden of the Province.
It was an added pleasure for the RWPGM to symbolically present Bro. J. W. Blackie, IPPGM, with his Past Provincial Grand Master’s Regalia which was purchased with donations from the 17 Daughter Lodges in the Province.
Both the RWPGM and the IPPGM were delighted to give very special presentation to Bro. Henry Noman Watson Donald (PM No. 856), Past Senior Provincial Grand Chaplain in recognition of his 20 years of dedicated service as Provincial Grand Chaplain in both the PGLs of Roxburgh, Peebles and Selkirk Shires and The Scottish Borders. Bro. Norman highlighted that it had been a pleasure and privilege to have served on the Commission.
Honorary Rank of Provincial Grand Senior Warden was conferred on Bro. Douglas Fergie, The Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master of East Lothian by Bro. J. W. Blackie, IPPGM. Bro. Dougie has had a close connection with our province for a number of years and played a major part in the creation of the Provincial Grand Lodge of The Scottish Borders.
On conclusion of the meeting, the Brethren retired to Lodge St. James BURA No. 424 where a buffet was enjoyed along with brief toasts and speeches.
A cheque for £200 was presented to the RWPGM from The Hawick Lodge No. 111 and Lodge St. John Selkirk No. 32 in contribution to Grand Lodge’s “Make it a Million” scheme in aid of Prostate Scotland.
Finally, Past Provincial Grand Master, Bro. Jim Brown (PM No. 424). was presented with his 50 year diploma by the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, a great milestone to have reached. Bro. Jim recalled memories of his Prosper and Seconder as well as those who supported him in his early years of Freemasonry.
Sunday 8 May saw the return of the PGL annual Bowling Tournament after an absence of two years. This year, the event was hosted by The Buccleuch Bowling Club in Hawick. There was a good representation and a great mix of abilities. It was the "A Team" from Lodge St. James BURA No. 424 that came out on top on the day, closely followed by the team from Lodge St. John Jedburgh No. 104 who collected the Joe Lamb Memorial Shield. The members of the club provided a great meal afterwards followed by a raffle held in aid of the Grand Lodge of Scotland's chosen charity, Prostate Scotland, which realised over £200.
Pictured: The RWPGM presents Bro. Jimmy Williams with the Tournament Trophy.
An event inspired by Bro. R. Wilson PM of Stow and Peebles. "HLI Band and Friends - busking for Ukraine". An excellent example of Freemasonry in the community - 4 brethren took part - Bros. R. H. Wilson PM, J .D. Robb PM, H. White and G. C. Reid. The people of Peebles generously supported the event with donations totalling £564.
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.
The Master of the Lodge of Melrose St. John No. 1bis, 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 (1bis, 58, 70, 111, 280 and 424) 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
Master of Lodge St. John Jedburgh No. 104, Bro. Tony Turnbull, had the pleasure of presenting a Cheque for £500 to Bro. Jim Sykes in aid of the Hawick Dementia Cafe.
It was a busy night for the Master and Members of Lodge Dunse No.23 on 10 November 2021.
Those who lost their lives in the First World War were remembered and a poppy wreath was laid in their memory.
Bro. John Utterson was presented with a Distinguished Service Diploma in recognition of his many years of commitment and dedicated service to the Lodge.
Bro. John Iain Turnbull and Bro. William Purvis were presented with their 50 Year Jubilee Diplomas to mark their great milestone in the Craft.
The Margaret Kerr Unit (MKU) adjacent the Borders General Hospital in Melrose is a purpose-built specialist palliative care unit serving the population of the Scottish Borders. They have eight comfortable rooms with spaces and gardens for patients, families and friends to relax and receive support. They also see patients within the unit as an outpatient.
The team look after patients whose symptoms are complex, working with them in their home, community hospitals or care homes as well as the Borders General Hospital and the MKU.
They are very grateful for all the ongoing donations, which allow us to develop services to improve care for all our patients in a community or hospital setting.
In memory of Bro. Tommy Grieve, who was the Reigning Master of the 100-year-old Lodge Whiteadder No. 1245, a sum of £1, 000 was donated to the Margaret Kerr Unit by the Lodge. Tommy was in the Care of the Margaret Kerr Unit when the Lodge had its very last meeting before its closure. Tommy’s health at the time did not allow him to attend the meeting which he was so much looking forward to. Sadly, Tommy passed away a short while later.
This generous donation will help others benefit from that expert care provided by the unit.
Pictured (l to r) are: Rachel Partakis (Junior Doctor for the unit), Becky Smithson (GP with specialist interest in Palliative Care) and Ruth Cossar (Palliative Care Physio).
Peebles Burgh Silver Band was established in 1834 and currently sits in the Fourth Section of the Scottish Brass Band Association Championships. They perform regularly throughout the year playing on the march at local engagements, indoor and outdoor concerts and in competitions.
The Band rehearses twice weekly in their Band Hall in the middle of Peebles High Street under their Musical Director, Peter Holmes – Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7.15 pm to 9.15 pm.
Peebles Burgh Youth Band, for their learners of all ages, also rehearses on a Tuesday evening – 6.00 pm until 7.00 pm under the baton of David Robb.
Prior to the Annual Installation Meeting of Lodge Peebles Kilwinning No. 24, on 23 October 2021, The Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, Bro. Andrew E. Forsyth, presented a cheque for £250 on behalf of the Borders Youth Support Scheme in support of the Band's Youth Section.
Lodge St. John No. 280 in Coldstream recently donated £100 to the Coldstream Medical Centre. The cheque was received by Dr. Fiona Morton from the Master of the Lodge, Bro. Stewart Clark PM. Also pictured are Dr. Sarah Beatty from the Medical Centre and Bro. Peter Greenwood, Secretary of Lodge St John. The money will be used for items that are not available from the NHS and which will benefit patients.
The Henderson Park Viewpoint in Coldstream has long been a favorite for views over the Tweed and an excellent place to “sit and let the Tweed carry your troubles away”. After many years of neglect a local couple, Fiona and David Shepherd, asked the council to let them resurrect the Park and Viewpoint and this was readily granted.
Over the last year the Viewpoint has been extensively cut back and replanted and future work includes ambitious plans to complete the remainder of the park, including a sensory garden. The local Primary School will be involved and they will bury a Time Capsule.
Lodge St. John No. 280 are delighted to assist in this work with a donation of £100 towards the cost of the renovation.
Pictured receiving the cheque from the Master of the Lodge, Bro. Stewart Clark, are Fiona and David Shepherd.
Little did Logan Smith realise when he was seeking some sponsorship that the Provincial Grand Lodge of The Scottish Borders would come to his aid. His initial request was from Lodge St. John, No. 280 who took his case to the Borders Youth Support Scheme (BYSS). He required support for travel and accommodation for National and International competitions, which were not all covered by his sponsorship from a bike team.
As a talented and up-and-coming rider, Bro. Stewart Clark took his case to the BYSS. Logan completed the application himself and impressed the decision panel who awarded him £500.
Well done Logan who received the cheque from the Master of the Lodge, Stewart Clark and Secretary, Peter Greenwood.
The photograph was taken from the newly refurbished Henderson Park viewpoint, which has also received support from Lodge St. John, No. 280.
Broomlands Primary School in Kelso 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
After 100 years it was the very last meeting of Lodge Whiteadder No. 1245 on 9 September 2021.
Further to this sad farewell, on 2 October 2021, the Lodge Amalgamated with Lodge Dunse No. 23 and a Special Ceremony was held to mark the occasion. [READ MORE]
It was an evening of recognising some great milestones at Lodge St. John Coldstream No. 280 on the 21 September.
Two well respected and well known Brethren celebrated 50 years in the Craft. The Right Worshipful Master, Bro. J. Stewart Clark PM, had the pleasing duty of presenting Bro. Bob Mathieson PM, whose Mother Lodge was Lodge Blackadder (Greenlaw), with a 50 Year Certificate and Jewel and Past Master Bro. Gavin Knox PM, proudly presented Bro. Alec Young PM with his.
The Master Elect of Lodge St. John Kilwinning No. 57 (Haddington) was in attendance to pass on congratulations on behalf of No. 57 as this was Bro. Young’s Mother Lodge.
The Right Worshipful Provincial Master, Bro. Andrew E. Forsyth, who was there for his visit, was proud to have witnessed these presentations and recognised the dedication and commitment these two Brethren have not only given to the Craft but also to the Lodge and congratulated and thanked them both.
Congratulations and well done Bob and Alec!!
Bro. Eric Hoare, Right Worshipful Master of Lodge Dunse No. 23, had the greatest pleasure of presenting Bro. William Douglas Smith with his 60 Year Diploma on the evening of 14 September 2021. This was also the evening of the PGM's visit.
The RWPGM, Bro Andrew E. Forsyth, was delighted to have witnessed the occasion and congratulated Bro. Smith on reaching this fine milestone in his Masonic Journey. Congratulations and well done Bro. Smith!!
On the evening of Friday 10th September 2021, where full safety measures were observed, a small but distinguished deputation from the Grand Lodge of Scotland, headed by the Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason Bro. William Ramsay McGhee, accompanied by The, Grand Secretary, The Grand Senior Warden , Bro. G .R. J. Donnelly Past P. G. M., Acting Junior Grand Warden and The Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, visited the Tait Hall in Kelso on the occasion of The Installation of Bro. Andrew E. Forsyth, Past Master of Lodge Kelso & Tweed No. 58, as Provincial Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of the Scottish Borders. Bro. Andrew was appointed Provincial Grand Master of our Province on 11 June 2020, however, due to the COVID-19 Crisis, his installation had been understandably delayed. [READ MORE]