History of West Calder Chapter XXIV. Free Masons, Free gardeners, Penny Savings Banks, Gas
Company, and Co-operative Store
When man to man. the world oer,
Shall brothers be and a that.
There are two Masonic
lodges in West Calder.
I. The old or Thistle Lodge, No. 270, was constituted, 13th March,
1818, and has a prosperous history.
Up to .December, 1877, the Friendly Society and Masonry were
conjoint under one management. But to meet the requirements of the
Friendly Societies Act, the two have been conducted separately. The
membership at present on the roll of the Society is 133, with its
finances in a prosperous and satisfactory state.
The entrants to the Lodge are over 6OO maembers since the date of
constitution. R,W.M,, Bro. William Millar,
II. The new or Star
of Addiewell and West Calder Lodge, No. 635, was started some six
years ago and continues to prosper. R.W.M., Mr Bruce.
When Adam delved and Eve span,
Who was then the gentleman?Old Quiz.
I have been favoured
with an interesting account of the two Lodges of Free Gardeners in
West Calder, from which I extract the following particulars:
I. Olive Lodge Friendly Society.
(Brother George Anderson, R.W.M., 1885.)
Founded, May, 1867;
Charter granted by Western Grand Lodge, 6th December, 1867. First
office-bearers, Robert Russell, R.W.M.; Stewart Gilchrist, S.W.;
Philip Docherty, J.W.; Robert Gilloh, secretary; Alexander Beveridge,
treasurer; George Hamilton, S.S.; Robert Graham, J.S.; J. L. Brown,
S.K.M.; David Wilson, J.K,M.; James Close, S.TJ. ; Robert Jones, J.U.;
Alexander Brown, officer.
In April, 1868, when an attempt was made to join the Eastern and the
Western Grand Lodges, West Calder voted for the Union thereof, but
the marriage never took place as the contracting parties themselves
could not agree.
In July, 1868, printed rules were issued for the guidance of
members; and registered, according to Act of Parliament, by Carnagie
Ritchie Esq., reg. of F.S., Scotland. These rules were amended and
re-registered in August, 1882 by J. Balfour Paul Esq., assistant
This Lodge can boast that its oldest member or father, Bro. Robert
G:llon, was, for two yearsMay to May 1883-5M.R.W. Grand Master of
the Western Lodge of Free Gardeners, Scotland, of which he is now
Dep. Master and Bro James Dick, Senr. Warden.
The funds of Olive Lodge F.S. are upheld by an annual payment of 13s
per member; and, the benefits are regulated as follows 4s per week
for first week of illness ; 8s per week for next twelve; 4s for next
thirteen ; and 2s per week as long as a member continues unable to
Members, 181; accumulated fund, £319 18s 7d.
II. St, Joseph Lodge.
(Bro. James Dick, Ht. W. King, 1885.)
Founded, May 1873 ;
and adds to its title the honour of Knights of Gethsemane and Sons
This lodge has also a Friendly Society, the funds being upheld by an
annual payment per member of 6s 6d or just half the amount charged
by the Olive Lodge, while the benefit to members in case of illness
is correspondingly lower.
Membership, 57 ; accumulated fund, £21.
Penny Savings Banks.
One in West Calder,
open every Monday evening from six to seven oclock in the Public
School. Another at Addiewell in the Hall there, open on Mondays from
seven to eight p.m. Both are under the National Security Penny
Savings Bank, Glasgow. Their last reports were issued, 25th April,
1885, which I regret I have not before me.
In 1871, gas was
introduced to West Calder, which had now begun to assume the
dimensions of a town. In the above year, the leading men of the town
formed a company registered as West Calder Gas Coy., Limited.
Capibal, £2,000 in 2,000 shares of £1 each.
This company arranged for the supply of gas from the works of
Youngs Coy., Addie-well, the quality of whipji is considered
fairly good ; but the price to consumers deemed somewhat high
being 6s 8d per 1,000 feet.
Still the Gas Coy. had a severe struggle before they were able to
pay their own shareholders any dividend, owing chiefly to ..the
great outlay for pipes, &c. Now, however, they are paying 3f per
cent.not a bad dividend in these hard times.
West Calder possesses
one of these popular Working Mens Establishments, for the purpose
of purchasing provisions arid clothing of all sorts, as well as many
other articles in ordinary use, at the lowest possible prices
whereby to save the labour and on cost of middlemen.
The importance of the West Calder Cooperative Society, Limited
(established, June 1875; and whose operations have been increased
and extended at various dates since), can be seen at a glance from
the following official figures:Share capital, £4,588; membership,
696; annual business (1884-5) over £36,000, including small branch
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