LODGE St. JOHN Bucksburn No. 795
©2022 (All Rights Reserved)

The last minute recorded at AUCHMILL is dated 3rd June 1896.and the following meeting was of BUCKSBURN 795 on 9TH September 1896, still at the Albert Hall.
At this meeting it was decided to ask the Grand Lodge to allow the name of St John Auchmill to be changed to St John Bucksburn, although there is no record of why this was done or of any previous discussion, it appears that this title was in regular use.
At the Annual General Meeting of 27th December 1898, it was agreed to again search for a meeting place.

The AGM of 27th December 1900 appointed a committee and they identified seven sites for consideration and produced detailed plans of the building and internal accommodation, estimated cost was £550.
The first Sod was cut on 7th December 1901 by Brother Arthur Farquhar RWPM. The brethren met at the Albert Hall and marched in procession to the ground near Gilbert Terrace, (St Johns Road didn’t exist until the Lodge was built) and as was reported in the Aberdeen Daily Journal on 9th December 1901. Extract from Newspaper
Aberdeen Daily Journal Monday December 9 1901
Cutting the first turf
An Interesting and impressive ceremony took place on Saturday afternoon, when in connection with the new Masonic Hall which is about to be built, the first sod was cut by Brother Arthur Farquhar, RWPM. The Masonic Brethren of Lodge St. John Bucksburn (795) met at the present lodge room Albert Hall and after being marshalled by Bro. Robert Stephen DM they marched in procession to the ground near Gilbert Terrace where the new building is to be erected. An impressive service was conducted and was attended by a large number of ladies and gentlemen. The prayers were offered by Bro. Rev. J. Wiseman.
Bro. Farquhar on cutting the first turf referred to the story of the man who built his house on the sand and stated the hall would not be likely to share the same fate because the contractors would dig down till they found a firm foundation. He trusted that when the building was finished it would stand firm against every wind and thus reflect credit on the contractors who had been entrusted with the work and in whom they implicitly placed their confidence.
Three cheers being given for Bro. Farquhar. The company adjourned to the Albert Hall where they were entertained at a cake and wine banquet at which Bro. Stephen DM presided in the absence of Bro. John Macgregor RWM. Apologies for absence were intimated from Colonel Lumsden RWPGM for Aberdeenshire West. Bro.AM. Gordon of Newton DPM, Bro. John White, Bro. John Macgregor RWM and Bro D. Davidson one of the trustees of the Lodge. All these gentlemen wished success and prosperity to St. John Lodge and to the hall for which they had cut the first sod.
The Chairman in giving the toast of the King and the Craft said that all freemasons were loyal patriotic men. (applause) The toast was enthusiastically pledged, the company singing God save the King.
The Chairman then gave the toast of The Queen and other members of the Royal Family, which was also heartily responded to. The Chairman in proposing The Imperial Forces referred to the War in South Africa and said that there was hardly a family in the empire that was not connected in some way or other with South Africa. He coupled with the toast the name of Lieut. Col. Grassick one of the Brethren. (applause). Lieut. Col. Grassick said he had great pleasure in replying. The war had been a very serious one and there was little prospect of its ending yet. He referred to the enthusiastic send-off that the soldiers got when leaving for South Africa and added that many of these brave fellows had fallen at duties post. He returned hearty thanks on behalf of the Imperial Forces. (applause)
Bro. Petrie Old Aberdeen Lodge proposed the toast of St. John Lodge 795. He said the name of St. John Lodge, although not an old Lodge, had been well spoken of during the few years of its existence (applause) It was only seven years ago since the Lodge form existed and the march of progress that St. John Lodge had made was unique. He did not suppose there was a Lodge in Scotland that had done the same work that St. John Lodge had done during that short time. (applause). Masonry had been making rapid strides and he believed there were about nine thousand more new members made in Scotland this year than had been created in all other years and he was sure St. John Lodge had added greatly to that number. (applause) As St. John Lodge had entered on a new era he might be allowed to direct their attention to the past work of the Lodge. The pioneers who formed it and who were present must, he was sure, feel highly satisfied that the great and glorious work they commenced had had such a splendid record of progress (applause) The cutting of the first sod had been done by Bro. Farquhar the first RWM of St. John and that Brother must feel a great pride in seeing the Lodge prospering. (applause).
He wished the Lodge even more prosperity it had had in the past. (applause).
Bro. P. Lamb S.W. whose name was coupled with the toast thanked Bro. Petrie for the kind manner in which he proposed the toast, and those present for the way in which they responded. (applause)
The Chairman then proposed the health of Bro. Farquhar RWPM who had cut the first sod, and who had been the first RWM of the Lodge. When he (the chairman) joined the Lodge, he looked forward to the day when there would be fifty members but now there were ninety. (applause). The foundation of that prosperity was laid by Bro. Farquhar when in office. (applause). He had much pleasure in presenting him with the spade used in cutting the turf.(applause).
Bro. Farquhar suitably replied and then proposed the toast of the Contractors that they placed the work with the utmost confidence in the hands of the various contractors. (applause).
Brother Burnett who has the mason work and whose name was coupled with the toast replied that they would give the freemasons as substantial a building as they could wish for (applause)
The Chairman in a happy speech proposed “The Ladies” and on their behalf Bro. Smith replied.
Bro. Rev. J. Wiseman proposed “The Stranger Brethren” Bro. Blake RWPM of the Operative Lodge of Aberdeen responded. Brother Petrie proposed the health of “The Chairman” and the toast of “Bon Accord” being enthusiastically pledged the proceedings were terminated.
During the evening songs were rendered by several of the company present.
 The inscription on the silver plate and the spade presented to Bro. Farquhar was as follows,
 Presented to Brother Farquhar on the opening and the cutting of the first sod Masonic Hall St. John Lodge no.795 Bucksburn 7th December 1901
 The arrangements were efficiently carried out by a committee of which Bro. W. E. Grassick was convener

PM Farquhar was the first RWM of the Lode and there were 296 members.

Consecration arrangements were made for 9th August 1902 and it was agreed that the Provincial Grand Lodge would hold their Annual Meeting immediately after the Consecration Ceremony, the minutes of the event read “within the Masonic Hall Bucksburn on Saturday 9th August 1902 the Provincial Lodge of Aberdeenshire West entered the Lodge opened in due form by Brother Colonel Lumsden RWPGM, supported by Chaplain Brother Rev L. Wiseman and others.
The Consecration of the Lodge Room was carried out by Col Lumsden and Office Bearers .as laid down in the Constitution and Laws of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. At the end the RWPGM complimented the Lodge on having attained such a building and wished them every success in their undertaking.
The first St John Lodge meeting in their new Hall was on 13th August 1902 which was described as being “very graceful”
The balance sheet for the year ending December 1902 showed the works and furniture paid totalled £581.7s 10p.At this time the Lodge had 157 Brethren paying 2s 6p (12 1/2p) Annual dues.
The Lodge continued to operate successfully until just after the 100 year Centenary celebrations when some serious Financial irregularities were discovered which led to the Charter being removed by Grand Lodge, after a lot of hard work by some of the more dedicated members the Lodge re-opened in 1995 and by holding Social events and fund raising events since then the Lodge has fought back to being one of the wealthiest Lodges in the Province, and at the time of writing  a new Fire escape door has been added and the seating in the Lodge re-covered. All was going well with a steady flow of candidates and reasonable attendances at our meetings when in March 2020 a Corona Virus Pandemic hit Great Britain and all socialising and meetings of people (incl Freemasonry) were banned by the Government. When the meetings stopped and the lockdown hit us PM Bro Will decided to make a start to transfer our members details in the Petition books on to the Grand Lodge new Data Base. He started from the present time and worked back eventually to the first meeting in 1893, a total of 3513 members were added to the Data Base (incidentally he was the first Secretary in Scotland to achieve this)
During this exercise many interesting facts emerged, some of which I will share with you,
From 1st September 1946—July 1947 they had meetings every week with 7 candidates at a time and put through over 100 candidates that season.
On 4th December 1946     6 candidates got their 1st Degree
On 10 December 1946     7 candidates got their 1 st Degree
On 12th December 1946   5 candidates got their 2nd Degree
On 18th December 1946  6 candidates got their 2nd Degree
On 24th December 1946   7 candidates got their 2nd Degree
On 26th December 1946   4 candidates got their 2nd Degree
On 2nd January 1947         6 candidates got their 3rd Degree
On 7th January 1947         6 candidates got their 3rd Degree
On 9th January 1947         5 candidates got their 3rd Degree
As you can see VERY BUSY times with dedicated Office Bearers (and understanding wives)
In those days it was not unusual to work 2 degrees on the same night, for instance 2nd & 3rd Degrees were worked on 21st.23rd and 30th December 1942.
Going back further to 1918/ 1918 they had meetings at 3 pm and 7.30 pm and even meetings on Christmas Day and Hogmanay Day (I guess a good Harmony followed that meeting)
In 1919 we had 330 candidates and on 5th November they Balloted 39 and actually Initiated 36 (3 didn’t turn up for the meeting)
In November 1919 Grand Lodge changed the Bye Laws to a maximum of 7 candidates per meeting.
Ballots and First Degrees happened on the same night, now it’s 14 days after Ballot before Initiation.
1921 was still busy with 88 candidates, mostly local men with Stoneywood Paper Mill providing a lot as well as RAF Servicemen who were based at DYCE.
PM Will (Secretary) was often contacted by members families enquiring about their Father, Grandfather etc, one particular enquiry came from PM M. Gracie from the Caledonia Lodge of Dundee No 254 who was trying to trace the history of PM William Grant Ross who had been a RWM of our Lodge from 1922-1924, he was found on the PM’s Photograph on the wall in the Lodge and his details were then traced in the Petition book ,his D. of B. was 1884 and his address was  given as Charlotte Square in Bucksburn (after another bit of research this was found to be in the Muggiemoss Road/Station Road area, but now long gone)  PM Ross’s occupation at the time of joining was a Millworker aged 24. PM Gracie informed me later that he had served his apprenticeship as a Granite Sett (cassies) Maker who then went to America and was involved in the laying of Setts on the streets of NEW YORK. He returned to Aberdeen and joined our Lodge. He fought in WW1 1914-1918, but was injured at the battle of Somme, when he returned home he worked as an Insurance Agent until his death in late 1930
He was presented with a Gold Watch by the Lodge on 17th January 1925 for his services to the Lodge.
Back to 1919 alterations to the Lodge building were planned, but due to the estimated cost of £2000.quite an increase if you recall the cost to build the Lodge in 1901 was £581. It was “shelved” until “more certain times” and the Architect was paid “10 for his work
In April 1922 there was an Electrical Fire in the Lodge and it was discovered that the Insurance was only for £200 for the building, £100 for Furniture & £100 for the pictures, the premium was £13 !! This was increased to £400 for the building and £100 respectfully. Fortunately there wasn’t too much damage done, BUT it was decided to get some Fire Extinguishers !!
Cost to join the Lodge 1919 was increased from 3 guineas to 5 guineas
Our Royal Arch Chapter was formed in 1919
A ticket for the Festival of St Andrew in Edinburgh was 8/6p
Over the years we have inter-visited with many Lodges, including St Nicholas No 93 St Machar No 319,Old Aberdeen No 164, Lodge Brimmond No 1535, Royal & Ancient Kintore no 1179, Keith 56 Peterhead , Lodge Priory No 1235 Beauly  & St Andrew 1269.


The consecration and the erection of Lodge St John AUCHMILL No 795 took place in the Albert Hall on 23rd September 1893.The original meeting on 20th April 1893 had involved 14 Brothers from Lodges 1Ter, 93,100,110,160,319 & 375.
The first step to acquiring their own premises was taken in March 1895 with the appointment of a committee who presented a report detailing style, costs and the sums of money which the Brethren would contribute. However, the estimated cost of £650 was not met by the money pledged and the idea was shelved meantime.