Lodge St. Andrew Livingston Station No. 1587

Copyright © 1998 - 20134 Lodge St. Andrew Livingston Station  No. 1587 All rights reserved.

            Revised Tuesday 21st. January 2014.

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 Livingston Station

Masonic Yearly & Benefit Society

The former shale mining village of Livingston Station may not have boasted a lodge until the early sixties, but for many years before the formation of Lodge St Andrew No. 1587 there existed in the close knit community, a strong masonic connection.

Included among the Pre-war organised activities of free­ masons residing in the village was the Livingston Station Masonic Yearly and Benefit Society that was formed in 1928. The Society had a dual purpose in that it provided a savings club with an annual payout, and that benefits were paid to members, who through sickness or injury were unable to attend their places of employment.

Membership was confined to freemasons, irrespective of what lodge they belonged to, and the founder officials and committee members, all well known Livingston Station names, were printed on the rule book as follows:

President

John Kerr


Vice President

Alexander Hunter


Secretary

Andrew Wardrope - 2 Mid Street, Livingston Station


Treasurer

John Reid - 32 Main Street, Livingston Station, by Mid Calder


Auditors

John Hunter and Robert Young


Committee

William Easton, John Heggie, Thomas Heggie, Thomas Kerr, David Loch, William McCutchion (Senior), Archie Shanks, John Williamson, Alexander Purdie.


To keep himself in benefit each member of the Society was obliged to pay an annual fee of one shilling, and sixpence per week thereafter. Benefits paid to those unable to attend their work were nine shillings per week for the first nine weeks, six shillings per week for the next ten weeks and then three shillings per week to the end of the first year. Should any member continue to be off work after one year his case was considered at a special meeting of the committee.

A code of rules governed the workings of the Society and on joining each member was presented with a copy of the same. Most of the regulations and conditions were straightforward and would have been acceptable in the majority of organisations. Strict conditions however existed with regards to benefits, and although they would not be acceptable today they show the limitations of movement and activity put on those receiving injury or sickness compensation at that time.

They included that,

Any member found imposing on the Society by receiving sick aliment when the same is not due to the extent received, shall forfeit all sums of money he may have paid into the Society. Any member knowing of another member imposing upon or defrauding the Society, and not giving information to the Committee, shall be fined the sum of Two Shillings and Sixpence. If any member be found fighting or quarrelling, or of the taking of intoxicating liquor has been the evident cause of bringing trouble on himself, no aliment whatever will be allowed.

No member, while receiving benefit from the Society, shall do any kind of work, or take part in any kind of diversion, amusement, or recreation. Any member going beyond four miles from his residence without the permission of the Committee, or without a line from his doctor authorising him to do so, shall not be entitled to aliment for that week. He shall not be allowed to go to a public house, nor drink to intoxication, nor be out of his house or lodgings earlier than six o'clock in the morning nor later than ten o'clock in the evening from the first day of April to the last day of September, nor before eight o'clock in the morning nor after seven o'clock in the evening from the last day of September to the first day of April, unless the Committee decide that the member's case requires an extension of time. If any or all of these offences be proved against him, he shall be suspended from all the present benefits and be deemed unworthy of the Society's allowances. All members to pay full contributions when receiving benefit for one year only."

Conduct at meetings of the Society were also covered in the rules in the following terms,

Should any member attending any meeting of the Society whatever appear under the influence of liquor, the President may require him to leave the meeting under a penalty of Threepence. Any member wishing to address the meeting must speak through the chair, when he will be allowed to speak twice upon any motion, the mover of the motion having the right to reply. Any member, from whatever cause of pretence, refusing to be in order by the President, and being found quarrelsome, or guilty of profane, swearing, and improper language, shall, for the first offence, pay a fine of Threepence, and for, a second offence Sixpence, and for a third he shall be expelled from the meeting."

   

This article first appeared in the Provincial Grand Lodge of Linlithgowshire's masonic magazine "The Provincial" in the 1985 edition.

The article concerns an item of local masonic history and is deemed worthy of a "reprint" on the Lodge St. Andrew website. The article is "reprinted" with the kind permission of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Linlithgowshire

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