At our regular meeting on the 18th March 2015 we had the pleasure of a visit from Brother Michael Dailly, RWM of Lodge Douglas No 1557, accompanied by his senior and junior warden and Brother Graham Cuthill P.M.
The visit was unannounced and was the first visit of the four brethren from East Kilbride to our Lodge in Perth and we were to learn they had a special reason for the visit.
Brother Michael Cuthill presented to the lodge the Past Masters jewel of Brother Alexander Auld who was master of lodge Scoon & Perth No 3 from 1893 to 1896.
Brother Michael told an intriguing story of finding the jewel by chance in the most unusual circumstances and having saved the jewel from almost certain destruction he decided to gift it to Lodge Scoon and Perth No 3. Thus, after nearly 120 years, a piece of lodge history, Brother Auld’s Past Master’s jewel came home to his mother lodge.
We do not know where Brother Alexander’s jewel has been over the past 120 years or how it recently came to be discarded but we are grateful that due to a truly generous Masonic act the jewel has now been returned to the lodge to bring his memory back to the brethren of the lodge.
The jewel will at some future point be passed on to a new Past Master of our lodge; a fitting tribute to Brother Auld’s, whose name will be remembered each time the jewel is worn.
Brother Alexander Auld was initiated into Lodge Scoon & Perth, No 3 on 7th February 1885 (aged 35). During his term of Office as Right Worshipful Master, 1893 – 1896 he proved himself to be an excellent Master, he had a fine voice, and frequently delighted the Brethren with songs.
Alexander Auld was born in the old school house of Kippen (now in Stirlingshire but then in Perthshire) on the 26th May 1849. He was the eldest son of James Auld, who held the post of school master there for over half a century.
When he was fourteen years of age he was apprenticed to the trade of Joiner & Millwright, afterwards he worked in Glasgow and Manchester. In 1872 (aged 23), he left this country for the United States of America. After visiting Cleveland and Toledo, Ohio, he settled in Chicago, which was then a city of ruins, having recently been devastated by fire. In rebuilding of this great city, he found an abundance of work. He witnessed the New Chicago rising from the ashes of the old, one of the grandest efforts of the 19th century.
After two years in Chicago he returned to Glasgow where he devoted himself to improvement in drawing and art education, being one of the most successful students of the Goven Mechanics Institution he gained first prize for building construction. After working in Glasgow for seven years, he was appointed superintending carpenter and joiner in the buildings at the barracks of Inverness, under ( Brother) James Hay of Perth.
He removed to Perth in 1883, where he still continued in the employment of Messer's, Hay & Son. Under these well-known contractors, he has been engaged on many important buildings in Perth and Perthshire, including the Free St. Leonard's Church in Marshall Place, Free Middle Church in Tay Street and also on the restoration of the choir of St. John's. Shortly after coming to Perth, he did two very wise things - he married, and was made a Mason and a Member of Lodge Scoon & Perth, where he also advanced to the Mark Degree.
He left Perth in 1896 for Edinburgh, where hewas in charge of the working department of a large contracting
business. Source : extracts from Lodge History of the Lodge Scoon & Perth No3
The jewel is a hung from a blue ribbon which is itself suspended between two engraved bars and on the ribbon is a shield engraved “Scoon & Perth 3”. The jewel hangs from the lower bar and comprises of the square and compasses with the compasses resting on the ark of a circle. A five pointed star sits at in the center of the jewel.The reverse of the jewel is engraved “To Bro.Alexr Auld I.P.M. by the Brethren of Lodge Scoon & Perth No 3 as a token of their appreciation of his service whilst R.W.M. --- Perth Dec 27 96.
The jewel is stamped with the Glasgow Assey Office Hallmark and the year stamp for 1896 and the maker stamp " RH ".
The jewel is still in its original leather covered case, the interior of the case carries the name “Joseph Smail, Watchmaker & Jeweller, 249 High St, PERTH.
It is interesting to note that Brother Joseph Smail was a Past Master at the time of the presentation of the Lodge having been RWM of Lodge Scoon & Perth from 1889 – 1891.