The Way We Were (2) No XII and The Scots Lodge No 2319 (EC)

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The Scots Lodge No 2319 meets in London and there have been links between it and No XII for many years. It all started with Bro Henry Sebbon Tibbles. Born on 4th November 1919 in Minster, by Sheerness (Kent), henry took his first degree in No XII during the Second World War on 10th November 1942. At that time he was in the Royal Navy and stationed locally. He spent all of the war years in the Navy, marrying Gourock girl Muriel along the way. When Henry returned to civvy street, the printing trade beckoned and he rose to the position of Company Director. Unfortunately for No XII, promotion took Henry to London, but XII’s loss was The Scots’ Lodge’s gain and he joined No 2319 (English Constitution) on 24th April 1969. Henry’s enthusiasm led him to be installed as Worshipful Master of The Scots’ Lodge in 1980. At this time, he brought a deputation up to the Town Hall when Bro Kenneth K Morrison was Master of No XII and very strong links between the two Lodges began to develop. These have been further cemented over the years by visitations to Greenock and London by The Scots Lodge and No  XII.

Photographs of some of the Scots’ visits North are featured below. In the first of these we see that very first visitation. From the left are Bros William W Irving PM, Alistair Glenny WJW, Henry S Tibbles WM No 2319 (EC) and Kenneth K Morrison RWM.


We move then to 1984, when Bro Alistair Glenny was RWM. Again, a deputation came from London and the brethren are in the two photos below. I am grateful to Bro Alistair Glenny PM for the coloured photo and to Bro Peter R Sinclair PM for the monochrome image. Past Worshipful Masters of The Scots’ Lodge, Bros Ian Rainford and Peter Niven were very helpful in assisting the identification of brethren from 2319



Finally comes the visit of 2012 when Bro Robert J Bain was in the Chair of No XII. The names in this photo were supplied, at the time of the visit by Bro Keith Ferries PM who, sadly, has since to the Grand Lodge Above. On this  occasion, the Brethren of The Scots’ Lodge were busy because the night before they had given an exemplification in Gourock at Lodge Firth of Clyde.


I am uncertain if more visitations North have taken place. If so, and you have a photo from back then, please either scan it and send it on to me or give me the original and I shall do the scanning. I am keen to document the  relationship between the two Lodges as fully as I can. To that end, in a subsequent issue I shall publish any photos I can gather together of visits by No XII to London. To that end, as above, I should be delighted to see any  photos that you have yourself from visits to the Metropolis.

Bro Iain White PM

The Way We Were

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TT101-004In the last edition of Twelve Talk, mention was made of the inception of what became the annual Bowls Challenge Match between No XII and 1121. It was away back in 1990 that it all started. After a little digging around at  home, I found the press picture and story which marked the launch of the challenge.

Bro John Paton and I were the respective RW Masters at the time and, as you can clearly see, we have not changed a bit in the intervening  27 years. Sadly, Bro Ian Miller, the presenter of the trophy, and Bob Richardson, The Ardgowan Club President have passed to the Grand Lodge Above. The photo was taken in front of the Clubhouse at Ardgowan.

It is worthy  of note that in 3 years’ time we shall have the 30th Anniversary of the Challenge Match. This is no mean feat these days and says a lot for the commitment of the Brethren in both Lodges. We should try to make the match in 2020 a real special occasion.

Bro Iain White PM

Bro Alex McIsaac and RFA Fort Grange

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Bro Alex McIsaac passed to the Grand Lodge above on 6th July and we had an obituary for him in Twelve Talk 98. He was remembered formally at our Regular Meeting as the gentleman and committed Freemason that he was.

I was doing some research into Bro RL Scott, arguably the most eminent Past Master of No XII. Amongst other things Bro Scott was a shipbuilder (Chairman of Scotts’ Shipbuilding and Engineering Company), a big game hunter, an adventurer, a swordsman of national prominence and a collector of arms and armoury. It was in the shipbuilding connection that I came upon a photograph taken in Scotts’ Engine Works around 1975. It depicted the team that had been principally involved in the construction of Engine No 833, built for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Fort Grange. There, clearly visible in the back row was Bro Alex McIsaac who, at the time, was a draughtsman in the Engine Works Drawing Office. Bro Alex is 9th, from the left, easily identifiable by his characteristic dark hair.


Fort Grange was laid down in 1973, by Scotts’ in the Cartsburn Dockyard, launched in 1976 and commissioned the next year. The ship saw her first war service during the Falklands War, and also supported British forces in the  Balkans alongside at the port of Split from at least 1994 till 2000, being based at Cervena Luka (North Port) an area just outside Split, Croatia. The lead ship in her class of fleet replenishment ships, Fort Grange was renamed Fort  Rosalie in May 2000 to avoid confusion with the (now-decommissioned) RFA Fort George, a change which was not universally popular. In May 2008 the ship entered a £28 million refit at Northwestern Shiprepairers & Shipbuilders' Cammell Laird yard in Birkenhead.

In August 2010, through the efforts of The Friends of Scotts’ Shipbuilders society she returned to Greenock to help commemorate the 300th anniversary, in 2011, of Scotts’. She was berthed at the container terminal and many people (myself included) visited her. In 2011 it was announced that her service life would be extended by two years to 2024; the Fort class will ultimately be replaced by the Fleet Solid Support element of the Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability programme. She spent early 2012 in the Caribbean and made a brief deployment to the Gulf of Oman in December 2012; she exercised in home waters and entered refit at Cammell Laird’s again in February 2014.

On a personal note, I recognise a number of the Scotts’ personnel in the photo because I worked with Scotts’ engineers at the Cartsburn Fitting Out Basin between 1971 and 1976 when on University breaks. At that time No XII  stalwarts Bro Jim Adams PM, Jock Irvine and Billy Davis also worked in the Cartsburn yard and would have been involved with the Fort Grange. Sadly, these 3 brethren are now in the Grand Lodge Above.


Bro Iain White PM

No XII Burns Supper – Entertainers Finalised Saturday 24th February 2018

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The Annual No XII Charity Burns Supper will be held in the Town Hall on Saturday 24th February 2018.
The Immortal Memory will be delivered by a good friend of No XII – Bro David Vennard PM
(left) of The Glasgow Kilwinning Lodge No 4. Bro David is an accomplished speaker and also delivers a mean poetic address. We have heard him before at the No XII Burns supper when he delivered Tam o’ Shanter in 2015. Bro David’s Immortal Memory will be interesting and informative.

The Toast to the Lassies will be by Bro Kenny Wilson of Lodge Ardgowan No 1425. Kenny is, of course, very well known locally be it for his work on the folk and entertainment scene with The Wherries, his involvement in the Scout Association as a former District Commissioner or his expertise on the Bass Drum many years ago in the Greenock and District Scout Pipe Band. I have spoken alongside Bro Kenny on many occasions and one thing that we all can be guaranteed of is a laugh!

By coincidence, we have another former Bass Drummer delivering Tam o’ Shanter and that is Bro David Docherty. David has affiliated to Lodge Firth of Clyde Gourock No 626 but his Mother Lodge is Lodge Rothesay St John No 292. Bro Davie comes from Rothesay and played the big drum in the Rothesay and District Pipe Band. I have also spoken with Bro Davie on several occasions and his Tam o’ Shanter is unique and incomparable.

A great night is in store and bookings will be taken very soon by either Bro Alan D Beck PM or myself (Bro Iain White PM).

Syllabus 2017 - 2018

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Just a short message to let you know that I have now published the syllabus for the rest of this session and it is available on the menu bar of the website or you can click here


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