“Ane uniforme communitie, and unione throughout the whole world.”
This telling phrase written in 1658 in the Lodge’s oldest document known as
The Mutual Agreement
by the “maisters, ffriemen, and fellowcrafts, measones, resident within the
burgh off Perth.” - Describing themselves and their “predecesoris” who had been
building temples churches and other buildings since the building of King Solomon’s
“Temple of temples.”
Like many Ancient Incorporations and Societies, the history of Lodge Scoon & Perth is partially traditional. Our early records are lost, but we are a Lodge acknowledged to be one of the oldest, if not, the oldest in Scotland. It should be noted that our earliest document, “The Mutual Agreement”, helped to establish Lodge Mother Kilwinning, as the pre-eminent Lodge in the land.
If the ‘Antiquity of the Old Lodges’ is to be determined by the age of the churches or buildings with which they are connected, then it follows that the Lodge of Scoon is one of the oldest of the Scottish Lodges, e.g. the Abbey of Kilwinning was not founded until 1140 where King Alexander I founded and established an Abbey at Scoon in 1114.
The earliest written reference to the Masons of Scoon of which we are aware is recorded in King James IV's Treasurers’ Account Books, “11th October 1504, Item. - Given to the Masons of Scoon, drink silver by the Kings command.”
Our oldest document is The Mutual Agreement, (or The Mutual Contract) dated 24th December 1658. The original is in safe keeping in Register House, Edinburgh. It contains the interesting statement giving the genesis of the Lodge, viz.: - four hundred, three score and five years or thereby, before 1658. This gives us 1193, as the approximate date of the foundation of the Lodge. This famous document while not a charter can almost be called that. It is our most prized possession and to us is beyond all price. It was signed by 41 Brethren of the Lodge and was recorded in the Books of the Grand Lodge of Scotland on the 19th May 1742.
The document also declares ‘the current tradition of the time’ “ the Ancient Lodge of Kilwinning was the first Masonic Lodge established in Scotland”. This bears out the earlier statement that Lodge Scoon & Perth helped Lodge Mother Kilwinning to her now established position.
King James VI [he would be 34 at this time] by his own desire was entered ffrieman, measone, and Fellow of Craft of the Lodge. Also seen in this document is the remark “during all his lyfetime he mantayned the same as ane member of the Lodge of Scoon, so that this Lodge is the most famous Lodge (iff weill ordered) within the Kingdome.”
The Mutual Agreement began with the invocation of the name of God and ended with a prayer for his blessing. In this most certainly lay the strong link in the chain of their continuance. To this day the closing prayer at Lodge meetings repeats the phrase from the Mutual Agreement “That soe long as the Sun ryseth in the East and setteth in the West, as we would wish the blessing of God to attend ws in a’l our Wayes and actions”.
The “so called Charter” - The Mutual Agreement of 1658 was taken to Edinburgh to be entered into the Rolls of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, and bears the docquet of confirmation. We were granted The Charter or to give it its correct title “Charter of Confirmation” by the Grand Lodge of Scotland, 1742, in favour of the Lodge of Scoon,” and dated 19th of May 1742.
The designation of the Lodge varied in its early days. The Lodge of Scoon 1658, the Lodge of Perth 1725, The Lodge of Scoon keept at Perth 1742. At the beginning of the 1800s The Lodge of St. John, 1836-47 Lodge Perth and Scoon, later the Lodge of Scoon meeting in Perth. It was not until the year 1844 that the name of the Lodge was recorded on the Roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland as Lodge Scoon & Perth.
So much for the past and now a bit of the present.
On the 22nd October 1929, a discussion at the General Committee as to the advisability of promoting a building fund in preparation for the erection of a Masonic Temple was initiated by Brother John B. MacDonald, Past Master. After several expressions of opinion, a committee was appointed to look out for a suitable site or sites, ascertain the probable costs and report their findings to the Lodge. This is the first mention in the Minute Books of the idea of a New Temple to be custom built for the Craft in the City of Perth.
The purchase of the frontal premises of this fine building built between 1797-1803 in the centre of a Georgian Crescent, and the building of the New Temple at the rear of the property, was made possible by the sale of the property in the High Street and by the efforts of the Brethren of the Lodge with the willing assistance of all the different Orders who meet here, along with the wonderful help of their ladies in raising funds.
The Foundation Stone of the Lodge Temple at 5 Atholl Crescent was laid by Brother Reverend Andrew Wylie Smith BD Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master of Perthshire East, on the 6th August 1932 and the Lodge was consecrated and opened for the first time on Saturday, 4th March, 1933.
We the members of the Lodge are indebted to the core of dedicated hard working Brethren who year after year have given their time, skills, expertise and labour to keep the Lodge premises at 5 Atholl Crescent Perth, well decorated, wind and watertight. Doing the unseen jobs that are needed to sustain the smooth functioning of our well ordered Lodge in these changing times when we, and the Lodge, need to adapt to new laws of the community and the ever innovative technology of the modern world and still able to keep the ancient aims and principles of our ancient order. We thank you.