LODGE St Lawrence No. 144


Text Box: Lodge St Lawrence No. 144

In 1776 the Forres members of the Lodge of Dyke increasingly concerned by the time involved travelling to and from Dyke to attend Lodge meetings, and after having found themselves stranded on the Dyke side of the Findhorn River after the River had risen in spate, held a meeting in Forres to discuss the formation of a Lodge in Forres. As a result of this meeting, an application was made to the Grand Lodge of Scotland and a Charter subsequently granted the following year. The Lodge adopted the name “St. Lawrence” in recognition of the patron saint of Forres. The original Lodge number allocated by The Grand Lodge of Scotland to the St Lawrence Lodge was 190, however in 1816 this number was changed to 142 and subsequently changed again in 1826 to the present number of 144.


In 1790 the Lodge undertook an ambitious project to build their own premises,  the Property was subsequently rebuilt in 1827 , the work being completed the following year and the building re-dedicated on the 9th of August 1828.

The cost of the building work amounted to £1,890, which was over £1,300 more than the estimated cost, this crippled the Lodge financially and eventually on the 9th of May 1855 the building was sold to the Trustees of the Forres Mechanics Library and Institute for £850. Lodge St Lawrence continued to meet in the building until 1984 with the exception of the First World War when the building was utilised as an Auxiliary Hospital and the Lodge met in the Castle Hotel, and during the Second World War when the building which by that time had become the Forres Town Hall, was used by the Army and the Lodge met in the Peoples Hall. In 1984 Lodge St Lawrence decided to move their meetings to the premises of their Sister Lodge St John No. 37 effectively ending almost 200 years of association with the building . In 2016 the Lodge moved to the Courtroom in Forres Tolbooth, the Courtrooms majestic location, history and association with St Lawrence added to the dignity of the Lodge St Lawrence Meetings.


Lodge St Lawrence has always retained a tradition for hospitality and chivalry; this is evident in an entry made in the Lodge Minutes in 1824, which noted complaints from the Brethren regarding the poor quality of Whisky available from the local Inn Keepers. A Brother was delegated to purchase an Anker (38.6 Litres) of the very best whisky, and a loaf of sugar to enable the Brethren to fortify themselves at a reasonable cost. An other minute from around the same period raised concern that Ladies were experiencing injury attributed to wood splinters and the roughness of the planks used for seating. The Brethren consequently decided to plane the planks and cover them with green Baize prior to the next Masonic Ball



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