(reproduced from the 75th Anniversary Souvenir of 1976 actual copies of the Anniversary documents excluding this text can be seen here)
"Days and moments quickly fly". So began the previous brochure of the lodge, produced in 1951 to mark our Jubilee celebrations, and we have now to record the passing of another twenty five years in the life of our Mother Lodge.
Archibald Russell, Robert Smellie, William Livingstone, David Watt, William Galbraith, John Lauder, John Kirk, Alex Anderson, Robert Grieve , John Reid and Jeremiah Taylor. These eleven names are the names of the brethren who met in Robb's Hall, New Stevenston on 9th June 1901and the result of that meeting was their unanimous desire to extend Freemasonry to the village. Accordingly they agreed to petition Grand Lodge to grant a charter for the formation of a new lodge, and at the same time to seek the permission of the then Provincial Grand Master to name the lodge "Robert King Stewart". This permission being received, and with the support of both Lodge "Woodhall St Johns" No 305 and Lodge "Livingstone St Andrew" No 573, Grand Lodge granted the charter on 6th November 1901. The lodge was consecrated on the 25th of February 1902 by the Provincial Grand Master Bro. Col. Robert King Stewart of Murdostoun, who was accompanied on that occasion by Bro. James Hozier, M.P. Grand Master Mason of Scotland.
From the inception of the Lodge the brethren had firmly in their minds the necessity of acquiring or building a Temple, and to this end, a building Committee was formed and met for the first time on 2nd March 1904. The Committee held a Bazaar, in aid of the Building Fund on 3rd July 1904 and some idea of the work and industry which had been put into this effort can be gauged from the fact that the Building Fund was increased by £405, a considerable amount at that time. February 8th,1909 was indeed a red letter day in the history of the Lodge, for on that day the present hall was opened and dedicated, only eight years after the institution of the Lodge. The Brethren assembled in Robb's Hall, where the Architect for the Contractors presented a golden key to Bro. Robert King Stewart. Thereafter the Brethren formed in procession and marched to the present building, when the New Hall was opened by RWPGM. The Dedication Ceremony was performed by the Provincial Grand Master, assisted by his Office Bearers and with the customary sprinkling of corn, wine and oil. Presentations and speeches followed, and the New Stevenston Brethren were heartily congratulated on this consummation of their efforts since the granting of the Charter.
1914 and War! the Roll of Honour shows that 26 members of the Lodge answered the Call to Service and that four Brethren made the Supreme Sacrifice. During the War years the Lodge continued to operate and despite the stress and strain of these difficult times, continued to wield an influence for good in the community. It is typical of the "Universality" of our Order that many brethren, upon their return, spoke of visits made to lodges in foreign parts during their term of service and recalled, with much pleasure, the real Mason's welcome that always awaited them.
The Lodge attained its majority on 9th December 1922 when the Provincial Grand Master, who had opened and consecrated our halls in 1909, was present at a luncheon held to celebrate the occasion. He expressed his deep interest in the Lodge and was pleased that it bore his name. He voiced his good wishes for the future prosperity of the lodge and said he was confident that it would always be one of the best in the Province. Words of wisdom indeed which are still being echoed throughout the Middle Ward of Lanarkshire.
Sir Robert King Stewart died in January 1931. His death was a great blow to the Craft ral and to the Lodge, which bears his name, the personal loss was marked by a period of mourning, which lasted six months.
September 1939 saw the world again midst the conflict of war and once again many brethren answered the call. A Comforts Fund was instituted in the Lodge and, in this way, the serving brethren were reminded of those Masonic Ties, which stretch over the four quarters of the globe. With the return of peace on 14 August, 1945 a United Thanksgiving Service was held in the Masonic Hall, Motherwell on the 26th August 1946. The service was held under the auspices of Lodge Nos.: 31, 305, 406, 427, 573, 919, 1096 and 1228 and the most impressive service has lived long in the memories of those who were present.
A most important event took place ion 21st April, 1948 when Bro. Smellie, son of the first Master of the Lodge, presented his father's Past Master's Jewel to the Lodge. This gift was suitably acknowledged in open lodge and each succeeding Master has worn it, being fully conscious of the great servant of the Lodge whose term of office it represents.
In 1951 the Lodge celebrated its 50th Anniversary when in November of that year, many functions were held which enabled the Brethren, and their families, to take part in the celebrations.
During the last 25 years the Lodge has passed through a period of consolidation with nothing of great masonic significance having taken place. One important exception to this statement was the restoration of the Instruction Class. in 1958, Office Bearers and Brethren met informally and began the class which, 18 years later, still meets. During that time many important brethren, from all parts have visited and spoken on many topics. Much benefit has been derived from the class meetings and it is hoped that it can continue and help maintain the high standard of degree work and brotherly love which exists in 919 today.
In November 1915 the Lodge decided that all "Harmonies" should run on the lines of temperance. However, 56 years later in November 1971 the Lodge decided to reversethat decision when after many years of effort and gentle persuasion by many different brethren, a license was obtained. The writer does not want to become involved in whether the correct decision has been reached or not but would merely that today we are the proud members of one of the most successful Lodges in the Province, both financially and masonically.
Throughout its 75 years of existence many Brethren have been better examples of freemasonry than others have and many have been pillars of the Lodge. In recent years, in 1971, Bro. Robert Copeland received the Honorary Grand Rank of Bible Bearer for his services in the formation and working of the Instruction Class and in 1975, Bro James Maxwell passed through the office of Provincial Grand Senior Warden after fifteen years of service to the Province.
Other brethren have served the Lodge for long periods in the capacities of Secretary, Treasurer and Almoner, not forgetting Tyler an office which Bro. Andrew Mackie has held for twenty five years.
These names are but a few of the great Brethren the Lodge and it is, therefore, our privilege to pay tribute to all Brethren, past and present, who, throughout the years, have given of their time and talents to keep alive the Spirit of Freemasonry in this area. May their selflessness and service act as a spur to all of us, in the years that lie ahead, to continue in the good work begun those 75 years ago so that, in time, the Brethren of tomorrow may say of us "Well Done Good and Faithful Servant".
Please contact Bro Nicoll Ross P.M. by email with your comments on this web site or for further information about Lodge Robert King Stewart No 919.