FREEMASONS from across the province of Inverclyde recently gathered in Lodge Greenock St John’s No 175 for the annual meeting and installation of elective office-bearers of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Renfrewshire West.

They were joined by representatives from the sister Provincial Grand Lodges of Ayrshire, Dunbartonshire, Glasgow, Kilwinning, Lanarkshire Middle Ward, Renfrewshire East and Stirlingshire and headed by the Provincial Grand Master of Renfrewshire East, Brother John S Miller.   The lodge room was packed to capacity on the evening to witness the installation ceremony carried out in a very friendly, humorous and dignified manner by the Depute Provincial Grand Master, Brother John R S Keith.

In congratulating the newly-elected office-bearers, the Provincial Grand Master, Brother James Pearston Livingstone, extended his thanks for the hard work and support of the lodges during the preceding 12 months and in particular spoke of his delight at the fact that the Lodges in the Province had collectively contributed to more than £20,000 being donated to a diverse range of charities both masonic and non-masonic and which included a significant donation to the designated charity of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, Prostate Cancer Scotland.

To mark the end of the year in which the brethren had celebrated the 275th anniversary of the appointment of the first Provincial Grand Master, Brother Alexander Drummond, who was appointed to the position while Master of Lodge Greenock Kilwinning No. XII, the Provincial Grand Master conferred honorary membership of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Renfrewshire West upon a number of brethren, representing the lodges in the province.

Following the ceremony, the brethren retired to supper and were joined by the recipient of the Province’s Citizen of the Year Award for 2014.

This award is presented annually to a person or group providing exemplary, but often unpaid and unsung, service to the community. Previous recipients have included Inverclyde Tourist Group, Football First Touch coaching group and Douglas Rae, chairman of Greenock Morton Football Club.

This year, the overwhelming choice of the brethren was Christine McLachlan, who received the award along with a donation from the province for her sterling work for the Guide Movement in Inverclyde over a period of more than 50 years.

Christine, who was recently promoted to the position of County Commissioner, was presented with award by the Provincial Grand Master, Brother James Livingstone. She said she was delighted to be honoured.

The meeting closed in the traditional manner with the singing of Auld Lang Syne.

The accompanying photographs show Brother Livingstone with Christine and her husband Gordon, left, and with brethren of local lodges who received honorary membership of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Renfrewshire West.