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Bro Alex More - Our Senior Past Master

It was with a great deal of expectation that a small, but nonetheless extremely distinguished,

delegation of No XII Past Masters – Bros Kenny Morrison, Alistair Glenny and me (Iain White) - travelled from South to North on Monday 9th November.  The destination was Luncarty in deepest Perthshire.  The journey of exploration was to visit No XII’s Senior Past Master Bro Alex More at his home in Luncarty. 

Bro More was in the Chair of No XII when I joined in 1974.  I can recall few things about my Entering but I so remember Bro Alex’s imposing figure in the East, his voice still characterized by his Caithness upbringing and him saying at the end that he was sure that No XII’s new Entered Apprentice would be pleased that ‘His Father is now his Brother.’  You see my Dad, Bro Harry White of Lodge Greenock St John’s No 175, was there on the evening and he and Alex knew one another very well as teachers of Technical Education.  My Dad finished his career as Assistant Rector of Castlehead High School in Paisley and Alex as a lecturer at Strathclyde University in the Faculty of Education.


We were indebted to Bro Alistair whose consummate motoring and navigational skills got us to the previously unknown streets of Luncarty and, after a wee bit of footering, to big Alex’s monobloc drive.  We were strangers in town.  I had flashbacks to the Clint Eastwood films of my favourite genre – the spaghetti Western – as we approached Alex’s door with neighbours’ curtains twitching and the hombre next door giving us a quizzical look. However, all was well as the door opened and we were met by big Alex, just as we remembered him and giving us the warmest of welcomes.

It was 4 hours that flew by as we ranged through a discussion that took us back to No XII and Greenock in the 1960s and 70s, Alex’s many interests beyond freemasonry and the sad period of ill health and recent passing of his wife Mary. We helped Alex get up to date with local ‘worthies’ of our mutual acquaintance and heard many amusing tales of Alex’s escapades as a part-time house builder of some distinction and expertise.  In amongst all of this he cooked us a delicious 3 course lunch which we all enjoyed.

Alex is a fit and active 89 year old (90 in three months) who would put shame to many who are twenty or thirty years his junior.  We left him around 5pm sharing the hope that he will be able to visit us in the Saloon at a Lodge meeting sometime soon. 

Bro Iain White PM

Remembrance Sunday 2015


No XII was represented by the RWM and brethren at the Remembrance Service at Greenock Cenotaph in the Wellpark on Sunday 8th November.  RWM Bro Allan laid a wreath on our behalf and joined RWM Bro Eddie Ross of Lodge Greenock St John’s No 175 on a very miserable day.

Charity Burns Supper – Speakers Confirmed!

The 2016 Charity Burns Supper will be in the Town Hall on Saturday 27th February.  Bro Alasdair Hendry of Lodge Cumberland Kilwinning No 217 will propose the Immortal Memory.  The Toast to the Lassies will be from Bro Duncan McFadyen PM of Lodge Glasgow Kilwinning No 4.

The 2015 event was a huge success and over £6,000 was raised on the evening for local charities.  We are grateful to all of our supporters and look forward to seeing you again next year.

Details of tickets will be announced soon and they will be available from Bros Alan Beck IPM and Iain White PM.


Masonry Universal

So there I was, minding my own business.  It was the October school holiday week.  I was standing on the beach –Praia Santa Eulalia - just outside Olhos D’Agua on the Algarve.  The sun was shining.  Most of the family was relaxing on the hired sunbeds and Kirsty and I were down at the waterside.  She was strengthening the seaward defences of a hole in the sand and trying to keep the tide at bay.  I was splitting my time between watching the waves roll in and listening to the wonderful, therapeutic sound that they were making and supervising Kirsty’s efforts.

IainWhitAlgarve02It was then that I heard the words, ‘Is that Mr. White there?’  I turned to the direction from which they had come, not knowing what to expect.  The Special Branch come to arrest me from my sunshine retreat or a beach guard anxious to collect the rental money for the sunbeds?  It was neither of these.  In fact it was something far more unlikely.  It was my old friend and fellow Past Master from Renfrewshire West, Bro Ian McPherson of Lodge Doric Kilwinning No 68, holidaying in the same area.  It’s a small world if not a sight for sore eyes ...

Alan D Beck IPM is honoured by Lodge The Prince’s No 607

This Monday (2nd November), our IPM, Bro Alan D Beck, will be installed into the Chair of King Solomon in his affiliate lodge, The Prince's No 607 at their home in the Masonic Temple, 3 Mafeking St, Glasgow (off Copeland Rd, just behind Ibrox Stadium).  The meeting starts at 530pm.

Bro Alan was already an honorary member of The Prince's when he affiliated to the lodge just over a year ago to "help out". As we understand it, Bro Alan is the third member of No XII to affiliate to 607, following in the footsteps of Bro Robert Lyons Scott PM in the early 20th Century and Bro Iain White PM in 2013. Bro Alan will be installed into the Chair by Bro Iain, assisted by Bro Bobby Shaw PM. On the evening of installation, our own RWPGM, Bro James P Livingstone, will deliver the Toast to the Lodge and RWM Bro Allan I MacFeate will lead the deputation of the visiting brethren. It is hoped that as many brethren as possible will support Bros, Alan, Iain, Jim and Allan on the evening.

Brethren willing to drive, or wishing a lift, should contact Bro Bob Crossan WJW

£1500 presented to Sir Gabriel Wood’s Mariners’ Home

The photograph above is of RWM Bro Allan I MacFeate with Stephen Bradley, the General Manager of the Mariners’ Home, as he accepts the cheque from the No XII Charity Drive.  The photo appeared in a recent Greenock Telegraph along with the short article below.

“As freemasons, the brethren of Lodge Greenock Kilwinning No XII have the concept of helping those in need at the heart of all that they do.  This is reflected in the importance placed on the annual charity drives. Recently Right Worshipful Master Bro Capt. Allan I. MacFeate presented a cheque for £1500 to Stephen Bradley of Sir Gabriel Wood’s Mariners’ Home.  Each year, No XII’s Master has the opportunity to nominate the good causes that will be supported by the Charity Drive.  Naturally enough, the choices made reflect his interests and connections.  It was no surprise when Bro Capt. MacFeate, as a retired master mariner, nominated the Mariners’ Home. 

The widow of Sir Gabriel Wood founded the home as the result of a bequest left by her husband on his death. He had been Commissary General of Accounts for Canada.  The son of a Greenock merchant, he was born in Gourock in 1757.

The foundation stone of the Mariners’ was laid in October 1850, with full Masonic Honours, by Sir Michael Robert Shaw Stewart, 7th Baronet of Greenock and Blackhall who was a member of No XII and, at that time, Provincial Grand Master of Renfrewshire West.  Opened in 1854, the Mariners’ has been extended and refurbished over the years and is now held in trust by the British Sailors’ Society and administered by a local volunteer committee.  The Committee was delighted to receive the handsome donation for the benefit of the residents and to assist with its good work.

This year the brethren of No XII will distribute over £7000 and more presentations are yet to be made. 

Lodge Greenock Kilwinning No XII is Inverclyde’s oldest organisation having been instituted on 27th December 1728.”  

Recently our own Bro Ivan Scott PM moved to live at the Mariners’ and he tells me that he is settling in well and enjoying his new surroundings.

Freemasonry in Washington DC

Bro James McGregor (the Elder) has given me some great information and photos from his visit to the USA.  Jim said, “While on a sightseeing holiday in Washington D.C. in going to visit all the usual places like the White House ,Capitol Hill, the Lincoln Memorial etc,etc. I came across this little gem (or perhaps not so little).  This building is a must see for any Brother visiting the capital. It reminds me of the "The Tardis" - a lot bigger and better in the inside than it is on the outside. Other than the pics that I have enclosed, the guide who was taking us round gave us some great information. For example, there is a small flag with the square and compasses on it that belonged to astronaut Buzz Aldrin.  He took to the moon in 1969 and brought it all the way back.  It is displayed in the museum along with many more fascinating items.”

After the piece by Bro James McGregor (the Elder) in the last edition of Twelve Talk, I (Bro Iain White PM) received the following from Bro Alex Galbraith. “The article from James McGregor was most interesting. Perhaps the brethren would be interested to know that I have attended many meetings in the House of the Temple in Washington DC over the years representing Scotland - especially on Saturday, 22nd August 2015 when I was a guest of the Southern Jurisdiction USA at the Centennial rededication ceremony of the House of the Temple which is their headquarters.

It is a wonderful building and also houses the second largest Robert Burns library in the world after the Mitchell library in Glasgow.

The rededication was a spectacular event with over 600 present. It was a beautiful sunny day and following the rededication the guests enjoyed a garden party in the gardens at the rear of the building. I have enclosed a couple of photographs if you wish to use them. The first photograph is in the Executive Director’s Office and is the framed flag Jim McGregor refers to - the one taken to the moon. This is seldom seen and was part of a special exhibition as shown in the second photograph.”


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