Though a 'young' Lodge, Burns Immortal has now ammased 30 years of history as a Lodge.  This is currently being edited into a book for the members, but here is some of the pages in their rough draft format.  All enquiries please contact the secretary.

At the end of 2008 I was making my statistical report as Secretary during the Lodges AGM at the November meeting.  We had just reached the landmark of 300 on the roll and both the number of affiliates and initiates to the Lodge was now greater than that of the Founder Members.


At the Regular meetings of the Lodge there are still 4 or 5 Founder Members who attend regularly and, as the Lodge entered its 30th Year, I felt suddenly that it was important to start to chart the Lodges history while we still had the opportunity to question and interrogate those brethren who were there at the start and ‘lived the history’.


In compiling this document my first port of call as always is the Official records of the Lodge – The Minute books, Petition books, Installation Programmes and Attendance book where the history has been pain stakingly recorded by my predecessors as Secretary down the years.  Their attention to detail has preserved the facts and we are indebted to their vigilance in producing this history of the Lodge.  The full listing of Secretaries is given within this book but for the meantime I acknowledge the work of my Brethren and predecessors Robert Wasson, Jim Dickson, Jimmy Haddow, Peter Horn, John Wilson, Jim Baird and Peter Smith for their work.



I also thank James Baird PM for the foreword which he wrote for the book and the Founder members and Past Masters who reviewed the Years and checked their memories against the recorded word.


The Concept and Birth of a True Burns Lodge

Where brithers’ be for a’ that


A Foreword by Bro James B Baird PM 1730


In the mid 1970’s a number of brethren of the Burns Ilk came to the conclusion that the town ofHamilton and surrounding area needed a ‘Burns Lodge.’


The concept of a Burns Lodge within theHamilton area was first conceived by Brother Frank Elliot Dobbie PM, PSGM and Brother James (Jimmy) Haddow PM.  Their aim was to form a true Burns Lodge and the pair met, over a dram of course, to decide what form the Lodge should take and what the name of the Lodge should be.


With dram in hand and thoughts of the Bard in mind the toast was to the Immortal Memory of Scotia’s Bard Robert Burns, the reply from, we believe, Elliot Dobbie was ‘aye to Burns Immortal’.


They both looked at each other and the name of the new Lodge was apparent to both of them.


A Petition was made for the Erection of a new Lodge within Lanarkshire Middle Ward and at a Convocation of the Provincial Grand Lodge it was the Provincial Grand Junior Warden Bro David GF Steel PM of Lodge Bothwell Brig 1229 who proposed that a warrant be requested for the new Lodge, this was seconded by Brother Alex Dick PM Lodge Hamilton Kilwinning No 7.  Both David and Alex were Founder Members of The Lodge and served as Right Worshipful Masters in 1984 and 1982 respectively.


The Distinctive Regalia (Shepherds Check) was chosen and the decision on the Ritual was introduced in a foreword written By Jimmy Haddow:



Lodge Burns Immortal No. 1730

Ceremonial Work


The contents of this booklet are an attempt to take time by the forelock and avoid the unwanted confusion which would arise when working each of our degrees would almost be unrecognisably dis-similar dependant on who was ‘on the floor’.

Signs and steps would be different one meeting to another; instructions to Candidates and ‘cross patter’ between Office Bearers would leave one Brother with no idea of what was going to be asked or how he was expected to reply.


The Lectures will give adequate scope for the Brother who may wish to express himself individually and provide a refreshing change from parrot presentation.  For this reason, the lectures in this booklet are abbreviated, merely showing how each part of the degree dovetails into the whole.  The signs etc are not modelled on the working of any one of the 40 Lodges from which our founders’ members list is made up, but no brother should feel that he has too far to depart from the usages of his Mother Lodge.


This is a fair average form of ceremonial work, abbreviated in parts in order that we can stay awake and proceed smartly from the classroom of Masonry with its chequered floor to the laboratory of our craft in harmony where we ‘souther’ what we have been taught in the Temple.  It is expected of Founders and Affiliates that where their Mother Lodge usage and Burns Immortal drill are at a variance they will remember the adage ..’When in Rome………’


This is our Lodge – in no way a Burns flavoured off shoot of any particular Lodge, nor a neutral venue for splinter groups tae get inta wee huddles.



The list of founding members and Office Bearers included many well known names within and outwith Freemasonary including;


George Young, Captain of Scotland and Glasgow Rangers FC (who gifted the Tylers’ sword); John Paton the Glasgow Rangers Chairman (who donated the Altar Bible), Robert Shearer another Rangers Captain and Frank Elliot Dobie the Choir Master of Glasgow Cathedral.


There were many other gifts from well wishers including Bro Martin Pretorius from South Africa who donated the Founder members plaque, W Warrington PGJD of Lanarkshire Upper Ward who donated the Office Bearers jewels; Bro Ferguson from Lodge Robert Burns in Durban, South Africa also donated the square and compasses and Bro David Middleton donated all the printing and stationary.


The Consecration took place on Saturday 5th January 1980 and thus it all began…


Ceremony of Consecration


Charter was granted on the 1st November 1979 and the Erection and Consecration was called on Saturday 5th January 1980.  The Provincial Grand Master of Lanarkshire Middle Ward Brother Robert Thomson Sime performed the Ceremony assisted by Brother Reverend J Stanley Cook BD, Senior Provincial Grand Chaplain.


The Provincial Grand Master then installed Brother Alistair Armstrong as the first RWM of the Lodge and Brother Alexander MacGregor, Depute Provincial Grand Master (first Honorary Member of the Lodge) installed the subordinate Office Bearers, resulting as follows:




            Depute Master               William Brownlie

            Substitute Master           Frank Dobie


            WSW                            James Dickson

            WJW                             Alexander Dick


            Secretary                      Robert Wasson

            Treasurer                      Douglas Middleton


            Chaplain                        George Ogg

            Almoner                        Robert Ogg


            Senior Deacon               William Sommerville

            Junior Deacon                George Blockley


            Inner Guard                   David GF Steel

            Bible Bearer                  John Paxton


            Senior Steward              James Haddow

            Junior Steward               Samuel Moore

            Junior Steward               Thomas Crossley


           Tyler                             William MacCallum



The Ceremony and subsequent Harmony / Burns Supper which followed took place within theHamiltonTown Hall,Auchengramont Road,Hamilton.


Installing Masters


1980     Robert T Sime (PGM)                  Alexander MacGregor DPGM


1982     George Ogg (7)                          Robert Ogg (7)

1983     James Haddow (668)                  William Joyce (1228)

1984     Allan Campbell (948)                  George Ogg (7)

1985     Robert Ogg (7)                           Douglas Middleton (668)

1986     Eric Devlin (1636)                      John D McGhie (551)

1987     David GF Steel (1229,1730)       George Ogg (7)

1988     Robert Ogg (7)                           Peter Horn (1730)



1990     James Haddow (668)                 Alan Lockhart (306)

1991     AS Mudie (391)                         William H Vickers (1730)

1992     Allan Campbell (948,1730)        William H Vickers (1730)

1993     James Haddow (668)                 William H Vickers (1730)

1994     Steven Forster (1034,1386)       John D McGhie (551)

1995     Allan Campbell (948,1730)        David GF Steel (1229, 1730)

1996     Allan Campbell (948,1730)        John D McGhie (551)

1997     Allan Campbell (948,1730)        David GF Steel (1229, 1730)

1998     David GF Steel (1229,1730)       David Greenshields (1288)

1999     Peter Horn (1730)                     Thomas G Cooper (1288)


2000     David GF Steel (1229,1730)       David Greenshields (1288)

2001     Thomas G Cooper (1288,1730)  John D McGhie (551)

2002     David GF Steel (1229,1730)       Thomas G

2003     Thomas G Cooper (1288,1730)   John D McGhie (551)

2004     David GF Steel (1229,1730)       Thomas G Cooper (1730)

2005     Hugh Craig (599)                       John D McGhie (551)

            Alan Morris (8962 EC)

2006     David Greenshields (1288)          John D McGhie (551)

2007     James B Baird (1730)                 David GF Steel (1730)

2008     David W McMorris (1730 Thomas G Cooper (1730)

2009     Thomas G Cooper (1288,1730)    David W McMorris (1730)

2010     Gordon Mather (557,1730)          David W McMorris (1730)

2011     Thomas Feeney (306)                David W McMorris (1730)

2012     David W McMorris (1730)           Gordon Mather (557, 1730)

2013     Gordon Mather (557,1730)          Thomas G Cooper (1228, 1730)





2018      Gordon Mather (557,1730)         David W McMorris (1730) 




The following are a sample of years that have been edited and are ready for the book....



 The last day of the first month was the date for the Installation on Saturday 31st January.  The snow had fallen heavily the night before but that did not effect the attendance as 126 brethren signed the sederunt book to see David W McMorris installed as the 24th Master of the Lodge in the Lodges’ 25th Anniversary Year.

 Provincial Grand Lodge was headed by J Wood SPGM and David GF Steel PM and Thomas G Cooper PM carried out the Installation duties with their usual and now expected high degree of skill and experience.

 The Office Bearers for the year were as follows:


RWM     David W McMorris                      Alm       Alasdair Mathieson PM

IPM       Alan J Welsh                              SD        James Webb

WSW    Alasdair R Craig                         JD         Tom Rarity

WJW     Alasdair M Dunlop                      IG         James B Baird PM

DM       John C Brown PM                       Chap     Thomas G Cooper PM

SM        G Mather                                   BB        Alan Whittaker

Sec       Peter Smith PM                          Pres.     Graeme Riley

Trea.   Ian Thomson                             St’d       Eric W Bowie

Tyler     Alan Lockhart


In the year 3 petitioners were received but no new initiates came into the Lodge, tragically Mr David Clark had cleared the ballot but passed away due to ill health before his initiation.

 Affiliates:  Bro. Thomas Sloan

 Honorary Members:       Robert Cooper, Charles McCormack.

                                    Kenneth D Kennedy (Provincial Grand Master)


The Meeting of the Burns Lodges was this year in Dundee with 1788 as the hosts.  Due to some discussion on the format of this meeting the hosts carried out the degree on their own with DW McMorris leading the deputation of Burns Lodge Masters and commenting on the ritual.  This was the last year that Lodge Robert Burns 440 would take part in the Burns Lodges Meetings, with Burns Immortal due to host the meeting in 2005.


The October Meeting saw a Rededication Ceremony of the Lodge and Dedication of our new regalia to mark the Lodges 25th Anniversary.  The Provincial Grand Master of Lanarkshire Middle Ward lead the deputation into the Lodge and carried out the Ceremony with Provincial Senior Grand Chaplain Bro. Reverend Peter Price and Provincial Junior Grand Chaplain Bro Tom Davidson.





The Ceremony of dedication being completed, Provincial Grand Master Bro Kenneth D Kennedy was invited to receive Honorary Membership of the Lodge, which he gratefully acknowledged.  The Provincial Grand Master was then obligated by Bro David GF Steel PM before retiring with the Lodges thanks.


The harmony which followed was well attended and the brethren were entertained by Bro Gordon Mather SM 1730 (PM 557) and Bro. James Clark PM 557.


 Rededication Ceremony (l to r)

 Bro Alan J Welsh IPM, Bro John C Brown DM, Bro Rev Peter Price PGSC, Bro Kenneth D Kennedy PGM Lanarkshire Middle Ward, RWM Bro David W McMorris, Bro Tom Davidson PGJC, Gordon Mather SM 1730 and PM 557, David GF Steel PM 1730, 1229 and PPGSW.




The venue was again Uddingston as Bro. Gordon Mather became the 28th Master of the lodge at the start of its 29th Year.  Bro Gordon is a Past Master of Lodge Blantyre Kilwinning No 557 where he also serves as Secretary.  After years of entertaining the brethren at our Burns Suppers Bro. Gordon – who is steeped in the Burns’ tradition - affiliated to the lodge in 2002 and was Substitute Master for Bro D McMorris in 2004.  He was SM again in 2006 before taking the office of Senior Warden in 2007.


145 Brethren gathered to see the Installation Ceremony including the Provincial Grand Master Bro James L Jack who supported the Provincial Grand Lodge deputation which was headed by Bro William Perry, SPGM.


The Installing Masters were then introduced and Bro Gordon installed into the chair by RWIM Bro David W McMorris on his first outing as an Installing Master. Bro Thomas G Cooper installed the Office Bearers for the 4th time in Burns Immortal (where he has also installed 2 masters).



 Bro Alasdair Mathieson PM on receiving the lodges first Distinguished Service Membership


(Back row) William Craig, PGL Secretary, William Perry SPGM, Stuart McEwan PPGSW

(Front)   James L Jack PGM, William Jackson HM, Alasdair Mathieson PM, Gordon Mather RWM and Bro William Smith RWMBlantyreKilwinning No 557

The Office Bearers were installed for the year as follows:


RWM     Gordon Mather                           Alm       Alasdair Mathieson PM

IPM       James Webb                              SD        Thomas G Cooper PM

WSW    Eric W Bowie                             JD         William Morris

WJW     James DH Lees                          IG         James B Baird PM

DM       David GF Steel PM                      Chap     Peter Smith PM

SM        Robert Gordon                           BB        Peter Reddy

Sec       David W McMorris PM                 Pres.     Alasdair R Craig PM

Trea.    Arthur D Lindsay                       

Tyler     Alan Lockhart


It was a busy year for the Lodge, with 3 candidates who had been initiated in November 07 eligible for their FC, MM and MMM degrees in the Year.  There were also 3 brethren who passed the ballot for affiliation in the year and 3 honorary members – the first of whom was Bro William Thomson of 557 in March.


Sadly, it was also a year where a number of beloved brethren passed away.  Alastair Armstrong the first Master and Jim McAlpine (2nd treasurer) had not been at the lodge for a few years but were well remembered by the brethren.  Our second master Bro James Dickson also passed away in this his 80th year and a degree in his memory at Lodge Darvel 971 with Burns Immortal and The Duke of Hamilton 1636 was barely over when we learned of the death of Bro Robert Gordon - Substitute Master.


The lodge made an official visitation to Blantyre Kilwinning in May to confer the MM Degree. This was reciprocated at the August meeting was in many ways a highlight of the year, with RWM welcoming his Mother Lodge to confer the MM degree on 3 of our candidates.


On the same day Honorary Membership was bestowed on Brothers James L Jack PGM and Bro William Jackson PM of Lodge Livingstone Stonefield 599 (see photo on previous page).


Bro James L Jack was taken by surprise as he was at the lodge to celebrate a milestone as its first Distinguished Service Membership was bestowed on Bro Alasdair Mathieson PM of 1730 – and a member of Blantyre Kilwinning 557 naturally!


78 brethren were in attendance for that meeting, which reflected on the popularity of RWM Bro Gordon Mather and Past Master brother Alasdair.


Initiates:           Angus G Reid, William J Brown, John MacSkimming

Affiliates:           Edward Feeney, Ian H Duncan

Bereavment:     A Armstrong, J McAlpine, Jim Dickson PM and Bob Gordon SM.