Dunoon Masonic Lodge

History

The first steps towards the foundation of a lodge of Freemasons in Dunoon took place on the 14th of February 1834 when a meeting was held in the town.  The old minute book states:

“At a meeting of friends, friendly to the establishing of a Masonic Lodge at Dunoon the following was subscribed”

The following 17 names were then appended:

N. Niven J. McAulay R. Patrick
D. Mercer R. Laird J. Timney
A. Iver J. Harvie A. McLaren
R. Lindsay F. Millar W. Meikle
J. McLaren J. Pattison N.Douglas
W. Nicol G. Clydesdale

Over the next few weeks further names were added to that list and monies were raised to the grand sum of 29 pounds, 7 shillings and sixpence.  Application was made to the Grand Lodge of Scotland on the 20th of March 1834 for permission to form the lodge.  This application was endorsed by Lodge Greenock St. John’s No. 175 and Lodge Mount Stuart (Kilwinning) Greenock No. 70 (113).  The latter of these lodges is sadly now defunct.

A letter granting the lodge permission was received on the 5th of May 1834 and Lodge Dunoon Argyle No. 335 was born.  Note the different spelling of Argyll that was used by the lodge at that time.  This spelling can still be seen on the inscriptions on some of the office bearer jewels.

The first elected office-bearers of the lodge were:

R.W.M. Bro. James Hunter of Hafton
W.S.W. Bro. John McArthur Moir of Milton
W.J.W. Bro. James Robertson
Secy. Bro. Jas Pattison
Treas. Bro. Robert Lindsay
D.M. Bro. Neil Niven
P.M. Bro. Thos Henderson

Very little is known of the Lodge during these early years, but it is known that it met fairly regularly to initiate candidates and carry out masonic business.  The Lodge began to meet less frequently through the 1840s and was in fact declared dormant between 1843 and 1853 although there is documentary evidence that the lodge continued to operate, albeit less frequently, during that period.

The lodge was officially reponed in in March 1853 and has operated continuously in the town from that date until the present.  At the meeting of March 23rd 1853 a beautiful silver mounted maul was presented to the lodge by Bros. Muat and Jamieson for use by the R.W.M.  This maul has been wielded by every master of the lodge from that day until the present.

Over the years the Lodge has met in varying premises within the town including the houses of individual members in the early days.  Other venues have included the Wellington Hotel (now demolished and replaced with flats), the Eagle Inn (now the Victoria Bar), the Unionist Club Halls in Hillfoot Street and the Burgh Hall in Argyll Street.  On October the 5th 1898 the Lodge received permission from the Provincial Grand Master to hold occasional meetings at Innellan.  This practice continued with varying levels of regularity until 1949 and the consecration of Lodge Innellan & Toward No. 1435. On March the 31st 1926 a special meeting was convened to lay and consecrate the foundation stone of the new Masonic Hall at 145 Argyll, where the Lodge meets to this day.

The lodge is now over 175 years old and continues to serve Dunoon and its surrounding communities to the very best of its abilities and we very much hope it will continue to do so for the next 175 years.

 

This brief excerpt of the Lodge history is compiled from the wonderful book “The History of Lodge Dunoon Argyll No. 335″ written by Bro. John D. MacFarlane, Past Master of Lodge Newton Mearns No. 1706 and a much loved member of Lodge Dunoon Argyll.

A small number of copies of this book are still available for purchase from the Lodge Secretary.

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