HISTORICAL SKETCH, LODGE RANDOLPH NO 776,

BUCKHAVEN, FIFE, SCOTLAND

100 years to 125 years

By Brother Wm B Rocks, Past Master 776


Following on from the 100 years Centenary Rededication Ceremony, the Lodge continued to operate as normal meeting in the Denbeath Miners Institute. However the start of the 1990 season did not show the Lodge in a good light as at the meeting on 6th September the Lodge began the new Masonic season by reading out a letter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland informing us that one of our Brethren had been expelled from the Scottish Craft. (A reminder to be diligent at prospective candidate’s enquiry meetings). The Lodge worked a Fellow Craft Degree where one Entered Apprentice was passed to that degree.

The second regular meeting of the season following the Centenary Rededication Ceremony a Master Mason Degree was worked by Elgin’s Lodge at Leven No.91, one of Lodge Randolph’s sponsor Lodges, this brought to an end the centenary celebration program.

November Four Brethren from Lodge Salfire No.1505 travelled through from Glasgow to visit the Lodge. On that occasion the RWM of Lodge Safire presented our RWM Bro. Knox and the Lodge with a plaque to commemorate our centenary year.

January 1991 the Lodge held a business meeting where the RWM Bro. J Knox advised the Brethren of the serious situation the Lodge was in finding Brethren to take up offices within the Lodge. If volunteers did not come forward before the next annual elections we may have a situation where the Lodge could not fill the offices of RWM, Treasurer, Deacons and several other offices.

1st March 1991 the Lodge presented a Distinguished Service Certificate to Bro. Wm Johnston PM Secretary in recognition of the many years of service he had given to the Lodge.

In May 1991 the Lodge Committee discussed several issues causing concern such as the lack of numbers willing to attend visitation to Lodge Salfire No.1505, still no Brother coming forward to volunteer to take the office of Treasurer and the increasing costs to accountants for auditing the Lodge books. It was decided to approach the Provincial Grand Lodge of Fife and Kinross to ask for alternatives. Provincial Grand Lodge has been carrying out the annual audit of the Lodge books for a number of years.

October 1991 discussions took place on the concerns of the Lodge not having a bar at the meetings and the Brethren having to go downstairs to the social club for refreshments then bring them back up stairs. Would it be better to approach a neighbouring lodge with a view to rent alternative accommodation?

Sunday 1st November 1992 a deputation met with Brethren of Elgin’s Lodge at Leven No.91 to discuss the possibility of Lodge Randolph sharing the premises of Elgin’s Lodge at Leven. A set of proposals were drawn up for a probationary period of 2 years following which further discussions would take place between Lodges.

Friday 4th December 1992 the Lodge held a charity karaoke some of the proceeds to be donated to the Cameron Hospital.

17th December 1992 the notice of motion to relocate the Lodge to the premises of Elgin’s Lodge at Leven at the start of the 1992 - 1993 season was discussed and voted on, the Brethren overwhelmingly voted in favour of relocating.

April 1993 the last regular meeting in Denbeath miners welfare a mark degree worked by lodge St. Kenneth No.1441, five candidates were advanced to the Mark Degree that evening, four Lodge Randolph Brethren and one Brother from Lodge St. Kenneth No.1441.

June 1993 the lodge visited and worked a Master Mason Degree at Caradoc lodge No.4749 in Durham.

The Lodge held a karaoke charity night where the money raised was donated to Randolph Wemyss Hospital.

7th April 1994 the lodge was opened and the usual business conducted then adjourned awaiting the late arrival of the candidate for the Entered Apprentice Degree who had been held up.

7th May 1994 a special meeting was held where Caradoc Lodge No.4749 of the English Constitution, headed by Bro. Richard Speckman Worshipful Master. Lodge Caradoc took up the offices and raised the lodge to the Master Mason Degree, then worked the Raising Degree. The differences in the style of raising the lodge and working the degree were much appreciated by all the Brethren present. Bro. Speckman thanked the RWM Bro. Eddie Armour for the invitation and allowing him to work the Degree in a foreign country which raised much laughter.

6th October 1994 the Lodge presented a Distinguished Service Certificate to Bro. Alexander S H Ritchie PM in recognition of the many years of service he had given to the Lodge.

6th November 1995 it was pointed out at a committee meeting that the firemen’s bell was not donated by Lodge Salfire No.1505 but merely presented by them. The bell was actually donated by Bro. Kinnell. It was agreed that Bro. Kinnell be allowed to fit a plaque to the bell stating this fact.

Thursday 21st March 1996 Lodge Montrose Kilwinning No.15 from the province of Forfarshire, Headed by RWM Bro. John Gordon, visited the Lodge to work a Degree. The Degree worked was the Mark ceremonial with Bro. Ian Coull PM taking the office of Right Worshipful Mark Master.

April 1996 the Lodge made a donation to the Dunblane appeal following on from the Dunblane School Massacre which was one of the deadliest firearms incidents in UK history, when gunman Thomas Hamilton killed sixteen children and one teacher at Dunblane Primary School near Stirling, Scotland on 13 March 1996, before committing suicide.

5th September 1996 the Lodge was visited by Bro. Keith McLeod a Past Master of Sir Wylie Norman Lodge No.97 Brisbane Australia who presented the RWM Bro. D Watters with a 75th anniversary medal of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland and a history of the last 100 years of Sir Wylie Norman Lodge.

On the 24th October 1996 the Lodge travelled to Montrose and worked a Fellow Craft Degree at Lodge Montrose Kilwinning No.15.

Saturday 12th October at the Installation meeting the retiring Master Bro. Dougie Watters presented the Lodge with a Decanter for the master’s dais, which was to replace the old whisky bottle, used to hold drinking water that had been used for a number of years. This was done as a mark of respect from him to the Lodge.

9th January 1997 the first meeting of the New Year the lodge was opened adjourned for 15 minutes after the business had been concluded to await the arrival of the candidate who had been held up.

February 1997 Bro. E Armour PM reported that the revised Lodge Randolph Ritual was now completed. The Ritual had been rewritten as most of the ritual previously had been handed down to Brethren by word of mouth and it was suggested that our own ritual be written down for the benefit of the Brethren.

May 1997 the secretary was instructed to write a letter of thanks to Elgin’s Lodge at Leven for the use of premises for the funeral of Brother Douglas Immediate Past Master.

Saturday 13th September 1997 the Lodge held a special meeting when Lodge Lodden Bridge No.8968 of the English Constitution, headed by Worshipful Master Bro. Howard Whittaker visited and worked an Entered Apprentice Degree.

In October 1997 on the occasion of the annual visitation by the Provincial Grand Lodge the deputation was headed by The Right Honourable the Earl of Elgin and Kincardine, K.T, C.D, LL.D Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master. 

Saturday 11th October 1997 the annual Installation meeting had to be held in the premises of Lodge Balfour Melville No.809 Wellesley Road Methil due to the fact that Elgin’s Lodge at Leven had been double booked.

5th March 1998 the Lodge conferred honorary membership on Bro. John Ednie a Master Mason of Lodge Balfour Melville No.809.

Right Worshipful Master Bro. Michael Connelly was taken ill and was unable to attend meetings of the Lodge.

May 1998 the Lodge travelled south of the border and conferred a Master Mason Degree at Lodge Loddon Bridge No.8968

5th November 1998 the Lodge received a visit from Brethren of Parkgate Lodge No.776 Co Antrim Northern Ireland Irish Constitution. A crystal gift was presented to the Lodge by Worshipful Master Bro. Gordon Robinson Parkgate Lodge No.776 Co. Antrim; a plaque was presented to our Irish visitors.

17th February 2000 the lodge voted in favour of relocating to the premises of Lodge Balfour Melville No.809 in Wellesley Road Methil

Several of the Brethren of the Lodge travelled to Northern Ireland to visit Lodge Parkgate No.776 Co Antrim. The Brethren visited the Lodge meeting on the Friday and spent a very enjoyable and harmonious weekend away with their wives and partners.

Thursday 7th September 2000 the Lodge relocated to Wellesley Road Methil to the premises of Lodge Balfour Melville No.809. The Lodge still meets there today.

15th November 2001 the Lodge presented a Distinguished Service Certificate to Bro. Lawrence Brunton Elder in recognition of the many years of service he had given to the Lodge.

January 2005 the Lodge responded to an appeal to raise funds to help after the devastating tsunami struck in Sri Lanka.

A presentation was made by the Lodge to Bro. Bill Johnston PM who had resigned the previous year as Lodge Secretary. Bro. Johnston had held office in the Lodge for over 42 years the last being secretary but was forced to resign due to ill health. He unfortunately passed away in the summer of 2005.

26th March 2006 the smoking ban came into effect in Scotland resulting in Brethren having to leave the Lodge premises after the meeting if they wished to smoke.

6th April 2006 Bro. Sydney Milne Past Master of Lodge Balfour Melville No.809 was awarded Honorary Membership of the Lodge.

26th January 2008 Immediate Past Master Bro. Wm Rocks appointed as Provincial Grand Lodge Steward.

The Lodge purchased a new carpet for the start of the 2009 – 2010 season. The old one which had been donated by the ladies committee in 1964 was becoming very worn with holes beginning to appear.

Saturday 30th June 2012 Bro. Wm Rocks Past Master was installed as Worshipful Substitute Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Fife and Kinross.

20th December 2012 the Provincial Grand Master visited the Lodge to confer Honorary Grand Rank on Bro. Charles Smith Past Master who was awarded with the rank of Honorary Grand Treasurer.

January 2013 Immediate Past Master Brian Meechan was appointed as a member of Provincial Grand Lodge Committee.

18th April 2013 the Lodge receives a new copy of the Volume of the Sacred Law, which is dedicated by the Provincial Grand Master Bro. Rev Andrew Paterson.

27th April Bro. Lawrence Elder is awarded the rank of Honorary Provincial Grand Marshal at the statutory communication of Provincial Grand Lodge.

15th January 2015 a new set of gavels was presented to the Lodge for use by the RWM, WSW and WJW by Bro. Wm Rocks PM who remarked that the gavel in use by the RWM had been presented to the Lodge on 7th October 1897 by Bro. Tom McKee PM of Lodge Balfour Melville No.809 and had undergone several repairs over the years.

29th January 2015 a special meeting was held in the Lodge to pass to the Fellow Craft Degree Bro. Stephen Wann, who was a serving fire-fighter. The RWM Bro. Bill Foster himself a serving fire-fighter invited Brethren from around the province of Fife and Kinross to work the Degree. Brethren who were all serving or retired fire-fighters.  The collection that evening was donated to the Grand Lodge chosen charity Prostate Scotland.

The Lodge started to plan for the 125 year rededication celebration which was held on 19th September 2015. The rededication was carried out by the Provincial Grand Master Bro. Rev Andrew E Paterson and Office-Bearers of Provincial Grand Lodge. He also dedicated the Lodge Regalia and two new Wardens Columns and a Collection Box which had been donated to the Lodge by Bro. Wm Rocks PM.

The Lodge was now 125 years old