Lodge St. Bryde No. 579 was Chartered by The Grand Lodge of Scotland on 7th. February 1876.
We have continually met in Uddingston since that date and our Lodge has in its possession a complete minute which traces not only the history of the Lodge but importantly the history of our village and the surrounding area.
Our present Masonic Hall was built in 1924 and is one of the finest examples of a building of its type in Scotland.
During the weekend 6th. to 9th. May eight Brethren from our Lodge made an historical visit to Hazebrouck Communal Cemetery in Northern France to pay our respects to one of our Brethren who fell in the Great War.
Bro. Stuart Jack, Right Worshipful Master has been researching Lodge
St. Bryde Members who had served in the Great War and after much effort
has identified 26 Brethren who served and 4 who made the ultimate
sacrifice. Our trip which had taken Bro. Stuart Jack over two years to
research and plan, centred on Bro. Thomas Robertson.
Bro. Thomas Robertson was born in Dunfermline in September 1889. He attended Uddingston Grammar School where he won distinction. He followed his father James Robertson`s footsteps and was Initiated into Lodge St. Bryde on 10th. January 1912 age 22, occupation—Bank Clerk living at Mayfield, Bellshill Road.
His studies progressed and he passed various exams and became a member of the Bankers Institute. A new life beckoned in Canada and he
emigrated later in 1912 to take up a position with the Bank of British North America at Brandon, Manitoba. On arriving he joined the Presbyterian Church in Brandon and also joined the local militia where he served for two years.
At the outbreak of war he volunteered for the Canadian epeditionary Force and enlisted in 15th. Battalion, 48th. Highlanders of Canada. He arrived in France in February 1915 with the First Canadian Contingent and was stationed at Langemarke near Ypres in Belgium.
After two months at the front, on the morning of 26th. April 1915 , he was severely wounded by enemy shell-fire while in action in what was to be know as the Second Battle of Ypres.
He died later in the day in the Casualty Clearing Station in Hazebrouck where he had been taken. He was buriedwith others from his regiment
in the local town cemetery.
The eight Brethren, Stuart Jack,RWM, Andrew Jack, DM, Andrew Nisbet, P.M., SM, Bryce Morrison, WSW, Duncan Mulholland, WJW, Jim
Muircroft, Chaplain, Alex Hamilton, P.M. and James Jack, P.M. Sec. gathered at the graveside with our tour guide. Bro. Stuart Jack, RWM
read a detailed account of Bro. Robertson`s life, Bro. Andrew Nisbet, P.M., S.M. Recited, For The Fallen, They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.
Bro. Jim Muircroft, Chaplain recited, Flanders Fields by John McCrae a minutes silence followed, which was broken only by a lark singing ! This was a fitting tribute as Lt. Col. John McCrae was a Canadian doctor who was posted at a Casualty Clearing Station where Thomas Robertson possibly passed through. He wrote his famous poem on 3rd. May 1915 only a week after Thomas died.
Our guide took us to other important places of interest, Hazebrouck German Cemetery where over 40,000 German soldiers are buried, Hill 60, Essex Farm and Passchendaelle.
We attended the Menin Gate Memorial Ceremony at 8 p.m. and its difficult to describe the emotions felt as a Dutch Pipe Band marched down the road to play at the Memorial which takes place every Evening at 8 p.m.
We were having Dinner close to the Menin Gate in Ypres when a local historian approached us with more information on our Thomas Robertson which was in a book that he had, and incredibly—a photo !