The History Of Lodge St Anthony No 154
As written by James Glennie PM
St. Anthony Lodge of Freemasons is, apart from the Kirk, the oldest organisation in Inverurie. It is also the oldest masonic lodge in the Province of Aberdeenshire West.
In 1783 the members of a Union Society in Inverurie decided to form a masonic lodge.
On the 26th of December 1783 the interim Worshipful Master, George Bruce, received a licence from The Grand Lodge of Scotland granting their wish. The name of the Lodge to be 'The Lodge of St. Anthony'.
On the 27th of December 1783 Anthony Earl of Kintore was elected Right Worshipful Master with George Bruce as his depute.
On the 16th of August 1784 the Lodge received its charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland.
In 1788 the Brethren bought a 'rigg' of land which was the east-most part of land belonging to Crosslet Croft. The croft was situated at the north end of the 'Ball Green' or Market Place as it later became known. With the land the masons acquired an inn and several other buildings. It was behind this inn, which became known as 'The Mason Lodge Inn', that they built their first hall.
Many years later the old inn became known as the Gordon Arms Hotel which is now known as 'Edwards'. This hall was the meeting place of Lodge St. Anthony until 1838 when for reasons, not entirely clear, they sold the entire property and divided the proceeds amongst the members.
In 1872, after a space of 33 years, a meeting of Inverurie and Aberdeen Freemasons was held in the Kintore Arms Hotel when it was decided, mainly due to the efforts of a Captain Charles Hunter, to 'repone' (revive) the dormant Lodge St. Anthony. Permission was granted by the Grand Lodge of Scotland which also, after some dispute, allowed the Lodge to use its original number, No 154, granted in 1784.
The reponed Lodge met in a disused Methodist Chapel situated at the bottom of Jackson Street on land now occupied by No 5 High Street. However, in 1881 the owner gave notice of his intent to demolish the old building which prompted the Right Worshipful Master, Henry Lumsden of Pitcaple, to move that a new Masonic Hall be built at a cost of 475 pounds for the site and building. The foundation stone was laid with full Masonic Honours on the 23rd of July 1881.
In 1902 the hall was extended to accommodate the growing membership. The extension doubled the length of the building and allowed the creation of the large meeting hall which is still in use today. Land for the extension was gifted by Bro. Alex. Stott who owned the Banks of Ury Hotel.
In 1925 disaster struck when fire badly damaged the building. However, within a year the hall had been repaired and things returned to normal. Needless to say there has been no repeat of the calamity down to the present time.
In 1984 Lodge St. Anthony No154 celebrated its bi-centenary (1784-1984). That it has survived for this great length of time is due largely to the hard work and enthusiasm of successive Masters, office-bearers and members. Down through the years they have ensured that the present lodge buildings have been kept in good repair and in constant use, providing accommodation not only for the Masonic fraternity, but also more recently, for the local Baptist Church who rent the upper floor