After many months of planning the Five of Nine Clubs long awaited trip to Scotland started very early on Saturday 26th November so early in fact that the sun never appeared until the brethren had almost reached the lake district!
A number of nominated drivers had collected their passengers and at approximately 9am all of the members came together for breakfast at Tebay Services for a full ‘Scottish’ breakfast including Haggis! Suitably refreshed the brethren set off towards Glasgow finally all arriving safely around lunchtime and headed straight to the pub, only to sample the local cuisine of course…
Taxi’s arrived at the hotel at around 2:30pm and conveyed the brethren all suited and booted to the Masonic Hall, Uddingston the home of Lodge St Bryde no 579, here club members were given a very warm welcome from Past Provincial Grand Master James L Jack, his son R.WBro Stuart Jack Worshipful Master and current Provincial Grand Master William A Perry along with all the brethren of 579, once inside the clubs members had their eyes opened to the vast array of Scottish regalia on display with all sorts of coloured aprons and collars, the brethren managed to get a few photos with new friends and the incoming Worshipful Master, before the brethren were called to order.
At around 4pm everyone was asked to take their seats and it’s fair to say that the lodge room was packed to the rafters, once the Lodge was opened we were treated to a delight of incredible ritual, the kind that any holder of a silver matchbox would have been proud. Then the surprise, in Scotland ritual although similar to that of UGLE, it has its differences and this includes the Master Elect being taken from the lodge room to be installed elsewhere while his new office bearers were installed for him by one of the two installing masters. As the two installing masters do not necessarily finish at the same time the lodge is called off and the stewards come in with Whisky and Shortbread until everyone is back on track!
After the lodge meeting had finished, the club’s brethren converged in the bar where they discussed the masonic feast they had just witnessed. In both rooms the masonic experience was first class, watching how the brethren from across the province all joined together to celebrate this wonderful occasion, the installation of a new master.
The festive board was an experience never to forget, Lodge St Bryde had kindly laid on several bottles of wine, whisky and vodka for our members and we had a great time sitting down to dinner with a room full of Freemasons from all across the Country. Then came ‘Harmony’ where everyone from the Master to the Provincial Grand Master got involved singing songs and reciting poems to the entertainment of those assembled, Five of Nine Club members certainly held their own, with a rendition of Elvis’ ‘The wonder of you’ and the National Anthem! The fun continued on well into the small hours with the last few brethren leaving the lodge room at around 2:30am!
'And the Winners Are...'
Next morning nursing a few sore heads members headed off to the historic and somewhat mystifying Rosslyn Chapel, arriving here at midday after the morning service had finished, the Chapel which was founded in 1446 as a place of worship is an impressive sight. We were greeted by local Freemason and Rosslyn Chapel expert Peter Avent who gave the brethren an insightful guided tour of the chapel, its grounds and the nearby remains of Rosslyn Castle revealing many of the masonic secrets it holds. Members were in awe of what is one of the most incredible feats of stonemasonry you will find in the world and one of such historic significance that Kings and Queens have made journeys here, the two-hour tour ended in the crypt, many of the brethren now with more questions than when we started! We were left to wonder around the magnificent building and check out the visitor centre, this really had been the icing on the cake of a tremendous Masonic tour of Scotland.
The members of the club having witnessed first class masonry at Lodge St Bryde and then experiencing the historical magnificence of Rosslyn said their goodbyes and started the journey back home, everyone had a fantastic time and charged us to organise another visit next year!
By D. Thomas