Freemasonry began in Dalmellington in the year 1864 when the blast furnaces at Waterside and the various pits were opening, bringing great employment opportunities and attracting workmen from all over Scotland, some of these men were already Freemasons and they soon set about forming a Lodge in the village.
The first recorded Minute
Dalmellington 1st April 1864
A meeting was held in “David McBlane’s” for the purpose of taking into consideration the propriety of forming a Masonic Lodge in the village, the following brethren being present, John Scott, John Bain, John McWhirter,John Taylor, James Bruce, Andrew Nicol, David McBlane, Charles Malcolmson, and John McMurdo.
John Scott occupied the chair, those being present being of the opinion that steps should be taken to form a Lodge, the first thing to be considered was how to raise funds to enable us to procure a charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland, so we might carry on our Masonic labours in a lawful manner.
John Bain, John McWhirter, James Bruce, and David McBlane were appointed to call on gentlemen in the neighbourhood for the purpose of obtaining subscriptions, and report by the next meeting, which will be held on the 23rdApril. John McWhirter was appointed interim secretary and instructed to write to John Hunter Esq. Burnfoot, requesting him to take the office of Right Worshipful Master.
John McWhirter Secy. John Scott Chairman.
[This is an exact account of the first minute in the Lodge minute book]
The second meeting in David McBlane’s on the 23rd of April 1864 must have dampened some of the enthusiasm of these founder members, as only £2- 15-0d had been collected, and Mr. Hunter had declined the office of Right Worshipful Master, [Mr. Hunter was a member of St. Thomas No. 201 Muirkirk].
Undeterred by these setbacks, the brethren wanted their application put before Grand Lodge on the 1st of May 1864. Bro. John Bain and Bro. David McBlane put up the rest of the money required, to allow the application to be sent to Bro. David Murray Lyon at the Advertiser office in Ayr, who had agreed to take it to Edinburgh, he also offered to procure the necessary signatures and he would assist them all he could.
The following office-bearers were then elected,
R.W.M John Scott
D.M John McCartney
S.M Alex McCartney
W.S.W James Bruce
W.J.W John Taylor
Tres. John Bain
Secy. John McWhirter
S.D Gilbert Williamson
J.D James McKinlay
Tyler John McMurdo
Some of the office-bearers elected had not been recorded at the first meeting, which suggests that there were many Freemasons living in the area at that time, many of whom were possible employed at the “Iron Works” which was in full production at that time! And no doubt all of these Brethren were united in a common bond of forming a Masonic Lodge in Dalmellington.
Permission was granted from Grand Lodge, and a meeting of office-bearers was called on the 6th of May 1864, the secy. John McWhirter intimated that he had received a working warrant from Grand Lodge through Bro. David Muray Lyon, it was therefore agreed to meet on Wednesday the 11th May 1864 and open a Lodge in due form.
11th May 1864
Present were Bro. John Scott R.W.M., Bro. James Bruce W.S.W., Bro. John Taylor W.J.W., Bro. John Bain Treas., Bro. John McWhirter Secy., Bro. William Robb Tyler, also present were Bro. William Henderson, Bro. Andrew Nicol and Bro. David McBlane.
Mr. John Lorimer. Draper, Dalmellington, aged 20yrs., proposed by Bro. John McWhirter, seconded by Bro. John Scott R.W.M., was entered an apprentice.
Also at that meeting it was unanimously agreed that the Lodge colours be Blue! The procuring of jewels and regalia was discussed, but no decisions were taken, the next meeting to be on the 18th May, the Lodge was then closed.
The Lodge carried on under the Working Charter until 20th January 1865 when the Lodge was consecrated by RWPGM Bro. Hugh Conn who also installed the RWM and Office-bearers for that year. Afterwards, the Brethren in full regalia and accompanied by the Waterside Flute Band, marched round the streets of Dalmellington before returning to the Black Bull, where 80 Brethren sat down to dinner.
The Lodge was holding meetings in the various public houses in the village:- David McBlanes, Doon Tavern, Black Bull, Cross Keys, The Snug, and the Eglinton Arms.
It carried on like this until 1896, when the Cross Keys Inn was purchased for £150. The new premises needed many alterations, to raise funds for these alterations, a Bazaar was held in the Church Hall which raised £292-16 which allowed the improvements to take place.
The new Lodge was consecrated by RWPGM Bro. Matthew Arthur and his Office-bearers on 21st October 1899; this was to be the home of the Lodge for the next 75 years.
In 1965 a building in the Main Street was purchased by the Lodge, and after six years of hard work by volunteer labour our present Lodge was ready for use.
The first meeting of the Lodge in our newly refurbished premises at 52 Main Street RWM Bro. J Buchanan presided.
At the first meeting on 7th April 1971 Honorary Member Bro. Norman Gordon of Granite Union No. 480 presented a book marker for our V.S.L.
The year of 1971 proved to be a very busy year for the Lodge, on the 1st of May R.W.P.G.M. Bro. Gregor Grant consecrated and dedicated our new premises, on that occasion Bro. Gregor Grant was made an honorary member, one of our own members Bro. Alexander Johnstone was obligated and commissioned as Provincial Substitute Grand Master, in July the Provincial Grand Lodge held their Summer meeting in Dalmellington, indeed the then Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason Bro. David Liddell Grainger made an informal visit to our Lodge on Saturday the 29th of May. The year we moved to our new premises we received many gifts “Columns and Rests” Bro.Matt Anderson, “Bible” Bro. W Johnstone P.M.433, “Mallets” Bro. R Lawrence P.M. 133, “Bible Marker” Bro. N Gordon 480 H.M. 433, “ Square and Compasses” Bro. A Johnstone P.M. 433.
In 1975 the Lodge applied for permission to open a Social Club, which has now proven to be an asset to our fund raising ventures, “the club” has been upgraded many times since it opened, and funds from the same has allowed us to enjoy the comfort of a fine Lodge Room.
True to Masonic principles Lodge 433 raises and distributes benevolence to many local organisations, as well as donating to Masonic charities, the Bro. Almoner ensures that our own Brethren are well looked after. The Lodge takes part in all the local parades and celebrations held in the Village, The Lodge is 148 years old and it has survived two world wars and is an integral part of the local community, soon we will be celebrating our 150 year Anniversary, it is hoped that we will continue to go from strength to strength and continue to be part of the history of our Village