Rights of Entered Apprentices and Fellowcrafts

The Special Committee upon the right of Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts to speak and vote upon lodge questions presented the following Report:-

" Your Committee find that there is diversity both of opinion and practice among lodges and brethren upon the question under remit. In many lodges Entered Apprentcies and Fellow Crafts are permitted to vote upon so important a matter as the admission of candidates, and in some they are nevertheless excluded from the exercise of the same privilege in all ordinary lodge matters. It has been established that Grand Lodge has sanctioned lodge bye-laws which expressly excluded all but Master masons from either speaking or voting upon lodge questions, - and those of Ancient Brazen, Linlithgow, presnetly under review by the Laws Committee, contain a rule to that effect. In the Constitution and Laws of Grand Lodge, however, there is no rule by which Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts are debarred from either speaking or voting on their respective degrees.

" In the opinion of your Committee, it is desirable that greater uniformity of practice should be established, and that both Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts be regarded as "probationers" and therefore disqualified from exercising the full privileges of Master Masons."

James Middleton, Convener.

The Report was unanimously approved.

Research from Bro. Alistair Henderson IPPGM

Grand Secretary submitted a Report based upon replies to the following queries addressed by order of Grand Committee to the Home Lodges:- "Does your lodge meet in premises licensed for the sale of excisable liquors? Could premises other than licensed be obtained without serious difficulty? What fees are charged for initiation?

After discussion, the following Resolution moved by Brother Caldwell and seconded by Brrother David Hume, was unanimously adopted:- "Grand Committee having taken into consideration the answers received relative to the number of lodges that meet in licensed premises, while not disposed to lay down a hard and fast line on the subject, recommend to Grand Lodge to enjoin all lodges to take the earliest opportunity for meeting elsewhere, - and instruct Provincial Grand Masters to report annually to Grand Lodge the changes in unison with such injunction that have been made in their respective districts during the preceding year."

Research From Brother Alistair Henderson IPPGM

The Grand Lodge of Scotland has 11 active Lodges with the words "Royal Arch" in their title, viz.:

76 Royal Arch, Stirling  chartered 21/5/1759

114  Royal Arch, Cambuslang  chartered 6/2/1769

116  Royal Arch, Rutherglen  chartered 21/3/1769

122  Royal Arch, Perth  chartered 5/2/1770

153  Royal Arch, Pollokshaws  chartered 3/2/1783

195  Caledonian St John Royal Arch, chartered 2/5/1796

198  Royal Arch, Maybole  chartered 6/2/1797

314  Royal Arch, West Kilbride  chartered 2/5/1825

320  St John's Royal Arch, Ardrossan chartered 6/2/1826

321  Bonhill and Alexandria St Andrew's Royal Arch chartered 6/2/1826

424  Border Union Royal Arch, Hawick chartered 31/8/1868
This apparent inconsistency is due to events in the late eighteenth century when Freemasonry evolved into its present forms and was also influenced by the great social and political upheavals at the turn of the century.
Prior to 1800, many Lodges worked Royal Arch, Knights Templar and other degrees, although to give precise numbers and other details would be impossible due to many old minutes being missing. However, there are
 5 good examples of these mentioned in Masonic histories and other sources.
One of the earliest English Masonic records, the "Sheffield Papers", "prove" that Royal Arch Freemasonry was practised in Scotland at an early date, and this may be inferred from the names given to several Lodges where it was the desire of members to practise Royal Arch Freemasonry in the Lodge in addition to Craft degrees and those papers specify: Maybole Royal Arch Lodge 254 (now 198) being formed in 1797 for the very purpose of practising Royal Arch and Knight Templar Masonry within the Lodge.

There was tension in the Lodge that night. A proposal to change the By-Laws explained the much higher than normal attendance. A Past Master of more than twenty years, who few of the current officers had ever seen, rose. He represented an unknown quantity; both factions – pro and con - were tense. With measured politeness the elderly Past Master requested the Worshipful Master’s permission to speak. What a deep, golden voice! A voice that commanded respect and full attention. Even though this was the only time I ever heard this man speak, the rich tones are still full in my memory.
“Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.”
This wise Mason, after a long absence from his Lodge, had once more served the principles of Masonry well. The outcome of the vote was set into its proper perspective. Harmony, unity, brotherhood prevailed. Psalm 133 is the first of many quotations from the Holy Bible which the new Mason hears. The recitation of this scripture lesson accompanies each candidate as he begins his Masonic journey. For the vast majority of Masons, only the first words of this Psalm are memorable. There is little written to help the Mason increase his understanding of this short psalm.

In almost every organisation the transference of authority by the presiding officer to his successor in office is accompanied by some ceremony. It may be nothing more than the President of the Golf Club removing from his own shoulders the badge of office and his placing it, with a few appropriate words, upon the shoulders of his successor. The inauguration of a Lord Provost, the enthronement of a Bishop and the induction of a Judge are naturally more elaborate. The coronation of a Sovereign is probably the epitome of Installation Ceremonial. It is but natural, therefore, that the installation of the Master of a Lodge should be accompanied by an appropriate ceremonial—and so it is. In this paper it is hoped to give some brief account of the history of the Installation Ceremony and to remind all the Brethren of the qualities to be looked for in the Master of a Lodge.

 It must be clearly understood that the Ceremony of Installed Master is not, under the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, a Masonic degree. There is no such thing as the Degree of Installed Master. The Grand Lodge of Scotland recognises a Ceremonial of Installed Master and Law 85 states the conditions under which it may be conferred.