Select Page

Aberchirder Masons

Lodge Marnoch has held a ceremony each January to install its Master. This selection of photos covers the period from the late 1950s to the mid-1970s.

Above: Lodge Marnoch, late 1950s
Back (l to r): Kenny Chisholm, Willie Thom, Dod Morrison, Jim Legge, Dod Clark, Dod Chalmers, Robert (Bingo) Bremner, George Skinner.
Front (l to r): Peter Watson, Leslie Beattie, Ian Stephen, Leslie Anderson, Hans Hardie, Sandy McKinnon.

Above: Lodge Marnoch, 1973
Gerald McDonald installed as Master for the first time by Provincial Grand Master of Banffshire George MacGregor from Banff, January 1973

Back (l to r): Donald Youngson, Neil Sutherland (Banff), Sandy Milne (Banff) , Peter Lawrence, Dick McKenzie, Ian Stephen, Leslie Anderson, ? , ? , ? (all Macduff).
Middle (l to r): Hugh Youngson Snr, Robert Bremner, Kenny Chisholm, Hans Hardie, William Rennie, Tom Burnett-Stuart, Ritchie Findlay (Portknockie), Hugh Munro.
Front (l to r): Dod Duncan, ? (Macduff), Bill Smith, George McGregor (Banff), Gerald McDonald, ?, Dodie Chalmers, Edward Walker, Tom McKechnie (Buckie).

Above: Lodge Marnoch, 1973
Gerald McDonald and his office-bearers at the same meeting.

Back (l to r): Robert Bremner, Dick McKenzie, Ian Stephen, Leslie Anderson
Middle (l to r): Kenny Chisholm, William Rennie, Tom Burnett-Stuart, Hugh Munro
Front (l to r): Hans Hardie, Bill Smith, Gerald McDonald, Dodie Chalmers, Edward Walker

Above: Lodge Marnoch, 1975
Gerald McDonald installed as Master for the third time, January 1975

Back (l to r): Kenny Chisholm, Tony Esslemont, Ian Barclay, Edward Walker.
Middle (l to r): Bruce Gardiner, Ian Steven, Willie Duncan, Leslie Beattie, Jim Fraser , Peter Lawrence, Robert Bremner, Hugh Munro, Geordie Niven.
Front (l to r): Bill Smith, Hans Hardie, Gerald McDonald, Leslie Anderson, Doddie Morrison, Tom Burnett-Stuart

Above: St John’s Operative Lodge, late 1970s
Office-bearers of St John’s Operative Lodge No.92, after installation in the late 1970s of new RWM Donald Youngson (3rd from left, front row). Also from Aberchirder in the front row are Peter Lawrence is (1st left) and Donald’s father Hugh Snr (2nd left).

Lodges present a token, of standard design, to every member who attains his Mark Degree as his wages for his industries and skills. Many lodges have chosen to have their own designs of token produced, and Lodge Marnoch is unusual in having two versions of its own token. Gerald McDonald, who was installed as Master in 1973, explained:

“The top one was the first exclusive one we had struck around 1978 by Ivor Marcovich of Houston, Glasgow. He sold over 200 to the collectors’ club to distribute to collectors worldwide and we had about 250 made in the first run and I think 150 in a second run. I posted many of them to all corners of the world and our own members bought them. Sadly Ivor died and we didn’t get possession of our die as he held it to do reruns as necessary. Then in the 1990s we asked Victoria Regalia to produce one for us but as you can see it isn’t like the first one, which was the envy of all the lodges because of its uniqueness of design.”
A basic activity of masonic lodges is to distribute benevolence to widows of members and indeed to members who are in need of financial assistance. However they also work for the benefit of the community and over the years Lodge Marnoch have donated to many local organisations and individuals.
Howeverin 2019 when Gerald looked back to the 1970s when he was installed as a Master, he was not optimistic about the future of Lodge Marnoch:
“We used the big hall in those days but as the attendances dropped we moved through the back for comfort and economy. Now we are struggling to get the required seven to allow us to open the meeting. This is common throughout the whole organisation as there are no young local lads interested – too busy with other things I’m afraid. And if the Church Hall is sold off we have no idea where we can meet if it should be demolished – as will all the other organisations in the community.”