24th July 1949 - 9th February 2020

Bro Alistair Glenny PM

In fond memory by Bro. Iain White PM.

It was a great shock when we heard that Bro Alistair Glenny had passed to the Grand Lodge Above in the early hours of Sunday 9th February in Inverclyde Royal Hospital after a short illness. Alistair’s sad passing came just after he had been out in Penang, Malaysia for his annual sojourn to visit his daughter and her family. It is all the sadder, if that is at all possible for the family, and for No XII, that this came a mere 8 weeks after his brother Jack, also a Past Master of No XII, had lost his battle with illness.
“The Glennys” were brought up in Greenock’s Bow Road and Alistair attended Greenock High School after successfully negotiating his Qualifying Exam at Lady Alice Primary. Whilst in the High School, Alistair was a keen footballer and played in a very successful team, shown below as McMillan Cup Winners. His Winner’s Medal is also shown (right)
McMillan Cup Winners 1963
Back: Alistair Glenny, Ronnie Hawthorn, Eddie Strachan, Donald Blair, Russell Brown, Ronnie Rodger.
Front: Craig Lapsley, Billy Aitken, Ian Samuel (Captain), John Piggott, and Robert Gilmour
Article created from Twelve Talk 129 item by Bro Iain White PM

Alistair had the idea in 2018 that, in keeping with making things different for folk and raising interest levels, we should have a degree where all floor work was done by former pupils of Greenock High. Thus, the ‘High School Degree’ came into being. It was a very successful evening, with a big crowd in attendance and where the degree team FP members were all resplendent in High School ties. Alistair was proud of being a ‘High School boy.”

In his youth, Alistair was an enthusiastic Scout being a member of the famous JJ Swan’s 45th Troop that met in the hut on Robertson Street, Greenock. He moved through the ranks and became a leader in the troop before transferring to help out at the 33rd Renfrewshire. I first met Alistair when I was a youngster in the 45th Troop, and he was one of the leaders. I remember him taking us on camping weekends to Everton in Inverkip and teaching us scout craft. We had a good laugh and learned a bit too!

The photo above has Alistair as a Patrol Leader at a 45th Summer Camp in the 1960s. The inspection is being conducted by Scouter Jim Bell.

Alongside, the photo is enlarged showing (I think) from left Gordon Chalmers, Patrick McQuade, unknown and definitely PL Alistair

At around the same time, he had become bass drummer in Greenock and District Scouts Dunrod Pipe Band and then the Greenock Burgh Pipe Band. Both bands won numerous prizes in Grade 4 in the 1960s and Greenock Burgh was promoted to Grade 3. I was a piper in the Greenock Burgh with Alistair as was Bro Hector Macphail PM.
When he left Greenock High, Alistair joined one of Greenock’s premier, long established garages West Renfrew Motors in Brougham Street, just at the corner of Campbell Street. He served his apprenticeship as a coach painter and this led him to great success in the motor trade, later working for paint manufacturers and travelling the length and breadth of the UK.
Bro Alistair was Initiated into No XII on 19th September 1972, Passed on 3rd. October 1972 and Raised on 7th November 1972. He served as Right Worshipful Master, very successfully, between 1983 and 1985. I served in his team as Senior Deacon and I remember his work as being clear, proficient and precise.

Alistair with his brother at Jack’s Installation into the Chair in November 1981. This was Alistair’s favourite photo with Jack.

Below is Alistair’s photo from his own Installation Programme 2 years later

On left, Bro Alistair Glenny RWM, immediately after being Installed into the Chair of King Solomon on Tuesday 15th November 1983
In recent times, Bro Alistair was a great servant to the Lodge, applying his talents, character and personality to various roles and tasks. He was, for the past few years, Lodge Almoner and this was a role that was particularly suited to him. Being a man who had empathy with, and sympathy for, others who were having a struggle with their health, his kindness, care and consideration meant that his visits, phone calls, cards and flowers were much appreciated. His ready wit would cheer folk up greatly. Indeed, it was Alistair who came up with the idea of having special cards printed (on right) that could be sent out from the Lodge.
Alistair’s suitability for the Almoner’s role was further recognised when he took up that position for the Provincial Grand Lodge of Renfrewshire West. He was very committed to discharging his duties conscientiously and well as was humanly possible. This was further recognised in November 2017 when he was given the Honorary Grand Rank of Almoner by the Grand Lodge of Scotland. I would doubt that anyone ever deserved it more.
Alistair applied his practical skills to the benefit of No XII, refurbishing the 3rd Degree Altar, The War Memorial Altar, the RWM and Wardens pedestals and, most recently in the summer recess of 2019 the Deacons Rods and Candlesticks and the old Wardens’ Columns. Examples of his handiwork are in the photos.
I was never aware of Alistair being asked to do anything for the Lodge that he did not happily agree to. He would often volunteer when something needed done. Since his brother’s illness, Alistair conducted Divine Services and Remembrance Ceremonies at the Lodge. Also, he would fill in for any absent Office Bearer at the drop of a hat.
Like me, he had a keen interest in the history of No XII and had done a lot of research into Bro Alexander Drummond, RWM of No XII in 1738 and Scotland’s first Provincial Grand Master. He used this information to great effect at our Installation Ceremonies and he was preparing a PowerPoint that was to be the basis of a lecture on the Drummonds for us. In the past few years, Alistair would help me conduct the Inventory of the Lodge artefacts and prepare the report for the Annual Meeting. We would go into the Town Hall and spend a morning on the task. I thoroughly enjoyed these mornings. It was Alistair’s company really and, if we hadn’t done so much blethering, the job could have been done in half the time. He was such good company and would have me in stitches as we looked at various relics and they brought back happy and humorous memories from the years gone by.
Alistair lived in a house with a beautiful view over the river and he was a regular contributor to the Greenock Telegraph, sending in photos of ships sailing past his window with a wee story about each.
Alistair is survived by his wife of almost 50 years, Lynette, daughters Gillian and Jennifer, his sons-in-law Simon and Kevin and 5 grandchildren. All of them he loved dearly.
We shall all miss Alistair. He was a kind, generous, caring, compassionate, talented and humorous man. He was a very knowledgeable Freemason and would be always up for passing that on through anecdotes, stories and reminiscences. The Three Grand Principles on which our order is founded are Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth and Alistair fully embodied all of these. If the world had more folk like Alistair around, it would be a much better place.
Bro Iain White PM
Alistair took ill on his way home from Penang. Each year when he visited, I looked forward to the reports and photos that he would give me for Twelve Talk. Indeed, we had been communicating via WhatsApp during his break this year. He was really looking forward to Addressing the Haggis at the Burns Supper of Lodge Scotia No 1003, one of the many that he visited each year, and he did a great job. He made many masonic friends there over the years. One such is Dr. Kenneth Khoo who sent a beautiful message to Lynette. I asked his permission to reproduce it in Twelve Talk. He has readily given this. I shall include this in the next edition of Twelve Talk.