NOTES ON THE HOMES OF LODGE St. JOHN 540. (1873-1911) (including ) Mrs. Crawford's Hotel/ Cross Inn} 1873- 1911 the Cowdenbeath years} 1884 - 1891). and Bro. Burt's Masonic Hall } 1893 --1896). by Bro. Andrew Kerr PM Almoner
Today Lodge St John meets in the Lodge Room at 2, Inverkeithing Road, Crossgates. This has been our continuously used home since 1946, although we first moved into this building in 1935, and met there for only a few years until, unfortunately, the start of WW11 saw H.M. Civil - Defence taking over our building as an A.R.P. Warden's POST, and we were forced to move out of our own building for the duration of the War.
Since our Lodge was born in 1873, we have a history of having moved home on quite a few occasions , not only within Crossgates, but also further afield. )- so where were our "Homes".
AT LAST OUR OWN HOME --( Masonic Hall 2nd ) By Bro. Andrew Kerr PM 1911 -- 1935
The eventual location of our New Hall can be seen on the ordnance Survey Map which was surveyed in 1913 - published in 1920. Built only approximately 100 yards south of our present home on the Inverkeithing road and eventually replaced by today's Muir Court.
AT LAST OUR NEW HOME --AGAIN ( 3rd Masonic Hall ) 1935 -- 1946 By Bro. Andrew Kerr PM
At the beginning of March 1935, our Bank balance now showed as £6-0-4 + £220. We may have been homeless but we were certainly better off financially. Also in March 1935, attention was drawn to the fact that the old school cookery rooms were being advertised for sale. The Lodge Secretary was instructed to make enquiries and to offer £50. This was at a time when the Miners Institute was also struggling financially according to the local newspaper.
For the brethren of lodge St. John today, there may not seem to be much difference between, Lodge St.John Crossgates 540, and Lodge St.John 540.
When permission was granted from Grand Lodge to form our Lodge in 1873, the letter informing the petitioners included the sentence that it would be ' styled ' Lodge St. John 540, but our current Charter shows that the Lodge will be known as Lodge St. John Crossgates. Our original Charter (lost in a fire in 1890 ) must also have had the name of our Village Crossgates on it, as will be shown later.
The laying of the memorial stone on the railway bridge which crosses Cowdenbeath High Street took place on Saturday, 27th April,1889 ;- by Lodge St.John 540.
Special Meeting held in Cowdenbeath Lodge opened 4.40 pm. The Brethren then walked in procession through Cowdenbeath, accompanied by deputations from various Lodges. P.M. Archie Hodge then laid a stone with Masonic Honours. The Brethren then returned to the Lodge Rooms and to a banquet, at which over 100 partook, with Toasts songs and sentiment. ( from Lodge minutes )
A few of the Brethren of the area of Crossgates, Fordell and Donibristle believing Freemasonry to be a great moral that every man should have an opportunity of practising, and in order to develop the Craft more fully, consulted the Grand Lodge of Scotland to procure a Charter to enable them to do so.
Henry Cook was born into one of the oldest mining families in Lochgelly. Born on the 12th Feb. 1830, to Adamson Cook and Agnes Adamson, he was one of four brothers and two sisters all of whom had been born at Launcherhead.
Through the years, from 1873 till 1911, the Lodge room in Crossgates was evidently not equipped to handle neither a large attendance nor able to provide the facilities for providing food. For these reasons, the other Hotel in the village was used and there was also another Hall which was used on occasion.