The Freemasons’ Magazine And Masonic Mirror, Volume 18 – January to June 1868.
(April 18th 1868)

Erection and Consecration of the Granite Union Lodge.

On Tuesday, the 10th ult., a ceremonial possessing considerable interest for members of the Masonic brotherhood, took place at Dalbeattie, where a new lodge, which has adopted the appropriate title of the "Granite Union," was erected and consecrated by Bro. Lauderdale Maitland, of Eccles, Prov. G.M. of Dumfriesshire, assisted by his office-bearers.

It appears that some months ago it occurred to several members of the Craft resident in Dalbeattie that a lodge might be formed with advantage in that place, and accordingly a petition, duly supported by the qualified office-bearers of neighbouring lodges, was forwarded to the Grand Lodge of Scotland, praying for a charter of constitution. This it was agreed to grant, but pending its preparation a working letter of authority was issued for the erection of the lodge, and in consequence of the Prov. G. Lodge of Galloway (of which the Earl of Stair is Master), not being at present in working order, the Provincial Grand Master of Dumfriesshire as representing the Grand Master Mason of Scotland was authorised to perform the ceremony of constituting the lodge.

The brethren, to the number of upwards of 100, assembled in the Town-hall, at two o'clock, when the Grand Lodge was opened. There were present deputations from the following lodges :—St. Cuthbert's, Kirkcudbright; Thistle, Dumfries; Quhytewoollen, Lockerbie; St. John's, Castle-Douglas; St. John's, Thornhill; St. John's, New Abbey ; and St. Clair, Glasgow. Bro. L. Maitland, acting Grand Master, presided, being supported by Bros. Henry Gordon, S.A.G.W.; and Jas. Sloan, J.A.G.W.; and his other office bearers in the Provincial Grand Lodge of Dumfriesshire.

The lodge having been constituted in the highest degree, the P.G. Sec. read the letter of authority empowering Bro. Maitland to preside, after which the acting Grand Chaplain read the opening prayer—the responses being given by the brethren. A hymn by Haydn performed on the harmonium by Bro. Gooden, P.G. Conductor of Music, was followed by the reading of the 133rd Psalm by the acting Grand Chaplain, after which a short but impressive and instructive oration on the nature and objects of Masonry was delivered by Bro. Thompson, of St. Clair Lodge, Glasgow. The anthem, "When earth's foundation first was laid" (music arranged by Bro. Gooden), was then sung to the accompaniment of the harmonium—by Bros. Riddick, Gooden, and Smith.

The acting G. Secretary read the letter of authority from the Grand Lodge of Scotland sanctioning the erection of the "Granite Union" Lodge (No. 480), after which the jewels, clothing, &e., of the new lodge were produced, and the Master and other office bearers elect were presented to the Acting G. Master. After praise and prayer, followed by solemn music, during which the members of the new lodge did homage to the Grand Lodge, the Acting Dir. of Cers. solemnly proclaimed the erection and creation of the new lodge. An appropriate anthem having been sung by the choir, the Acting Grand Master delivered the installation address and charge, after which the office bearers of the new lodge took the oath of fidelity and were invested with the respective jewels of their office.

The following are the office bearers:—Bros. Robert McKinnell, R.W.M.; John I. Meldrum, D.M.; John McKay, S.W.; John Innes, J.W.; Wm. Milligan, Sec; Alex. Grant, Treas.; Harry Smith, Tyler. An address to the installed office bearers was delivered by the Acting G. Master, which was followed by the induction of the newly-installed Master. The 100th Psalm having been sung, the Chaplain pronounced the benediction, and the Grand Lodge was closed.

The Granite Union Lodge was then, at the request of the Acting Grand Master, opened by Bro. Campbell, R.W.M. of St. John's, Castle Douglas, Bro. W. McGowan, of St. Cuthbert's, acting as S.W.; J. Gordon, of St. John's Castle, Douglas, as J.W.; and Maxwell, as Depute Master. There being several candidates for initiation in the new lodge, that impressive ceremonial was most ably worked by Bro. J. Blackie, the esteemed R.W.M. of St. John's Lodge, No. 104, Jedburgh.

At five o'clock the brethren, to the number of 100, dined together in the Town-hall. Bro. Maitland presided, supported by Bros. Pike, Robert Martin, Campbell, McKinnell, Wm. Martin, Jones, &c.

After the Provincial Grand Lodge and the other visiting brethren had left per train, the following junior office-bearers were elected in the Granite Union : Bros. A. Clark, Substitute M.; A. McGowan, Chap.; M. C. Smith, jun., and James Ritchie, Deacons; G. Ritchie and J. B. Aitken, Stewards; W. Kerr, Standard Bearer; A. Milligan, I.G.; . John Hair, Outer Guard.