The origin of this our Mother Lodge, can be traced back as far as 4th February 1814, when it is recorded in the minute book of Lodge Operative No 47 "that the Caledonian Society of Dundee had resolved to form themselves as a regular Masonic Lodge and had requested assistance from Lodge Operative to do so"
Accordingly, 9 members of the Caledonian Society were admitted to Lodge Operative these being the designated office bearers of the proposed new Lodge. (Minutes of Lodge Operative 47 regarding Caledonian members)
From that date until the 2nd May 1814 when The Caledonian Lodge Dundee No 330 was chartered, no fewer than 42 new Masons were made and these were the founding members of the Lodge as we now know it. At this point, must therefore thank Lodge Operative for their immense efforts in bringing to fruition Lodge Caledonian from the ranks of the Caledonian Society.
Also Lodge St David No 78 who recommended to Grand Lodge to grant and charter in favour of the proposed new lodge. Lodge Operative's fees for this excellent service amounted to the princely sum of £18 and 7 shillings. Also indicated that the rent being charged to the new lodge for the first year was four guineas. Also recorded was the actual dedication of the new lodge on 24th June 1822 at which the following Lodges were present.
St Regulus Lodge, Cupar
Airly Lodge Kirriemuir
Caledonian Lodge Dundee
Lodge Tay Union, Wormit
Lodge Forfar & Kincardine, Dundee
Thistle Operative, Dundee
Lodge Ancient, Dundee
Lodge Operative, Dundee
Lodge St Thomas Arbroath.
A Collection was taken and realised the sum of £34.2.6 which was donated to the local Asylum (situated in the Stobswell Area of Dundee) A harmony was held in the Caledonian Hall at 8pm that evening. Also retrieved is a book of Rules and Regulations of The Caledonian Lodge dated 1815 which makes interesting reading. Rule 15 indicates "members speaking disorderly, swearing, or behaving in a turbulent and unruly manner, and who will not submit to being called to order, at any general or committee meeting, shall for the first offence pay sixpence fine, two shilling for the second, five shillings for the third, and if he still persists in that contumacious turbulent temper and behaviour, tending to sow discord and schism among the members, he shall be expelled the Lodge Given this rule, it might be that most of us would be skint or expelled if it was still in common use. However it is not recorded if this set of rules was ever rescinded, so as far as I know, they are still relevant.
Interest grew out of discovery of a Master Masons certificate dated 12th February 1844 ... this was for Lodge Caledonian 258 and was signed by the then Right Worshipful Master Bro Wm Paterson, WSW J. Morrison , WJW W Gibson and the Secretary Bro A.C.Ogilvie. This document was in favour of Bro John McNiel
Allied to this discovery was a M. M's., certificate of 1869 for Bro James or Jacobus Farquharson and the Lodge number in this case was as now.. 254
The original number allocated by Grand Lodge was in 1814 No. 330. Stemming from this Grand Lodge was approached but as records at that period were not kept as they are now they could not furnish me with a list of Caledonian Past Masters, indeed in a letter from Grand Secretary to me dated 19th July I was informed that until 1869 no records of Installed Masters was kept and even then the list was incomplete as late as 1875.
Neither could they throw little light as to why the number was 258 as late as 1844 but he was able to tell me that in 1816, only two years after being formed, we were allocated Number 247.
Further numbering took place in the year 1822 and although this appears to have been an unofficial number for administrative purposes we then became 258. In 1826 the last enumeration took place in 1826 and we were allotted the number we have to-day No 254.
It seems likely that the seal with 258 upon it was commissioned sometime after 1816 when the Lodge was numbered 258 but before 1826 when we became 254. Because of costs involved when Lodges had to pay for their own Certificates being printed and sealed it is not unreasonable to believe that Caledonian continued to us these seals and certificates even after 254 became the official Number for the Lodge.
The records of Grand Lodge for the earlier period leave much to be desired and, as I have said, they could shed little light upon who our Past Masters could be. Over to Provincial Grand Lodge of Forfarshire.
Iain McIntosh Sub PG Master, himself an interested party in history, very kindly looked up the minute books of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Forfarshire and came up with almost all of the Missing Masters, - no pun intended.
Unfortuately there are no minutes available for the period 1823 to 1854 but by a process of elimination and supposition we are fairly confident that the list we have is accurate.
I had to do some research for the period 1899 to 1910 and as we have no minute books for this period I was able to pick up the names from a Petition Book which the Masters had to sign at that time.
We know that the Master in 1823 was William Sturrock, we know that the Master in 1844 was William Patterson, we also know that the Master in 1854 was R.D. Pryde and from then on the records are complete.
By Bro's Rev. David Taylor PM and Andy Angus PM
Lodge Caledonian 254
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