Golf Club Dates 2019
Canongate Kilwinning Spring Outing
Glasgow Kilwinning No.4 (east in odd years)
St John Fisherrow 112
Mary’s Chapel No.1
September – Canongate Kilwinning Autumn Outing
October – Canongate Kilwinning Annual Presntation of Trophies
(Venue – 23 St John Street during Regular Meeting Harmony)
(Outwith Canongate Kilwinning No.2 Golf Club)
The Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary’s Chapel No.1) Quatercentenary Trophy
The Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary’s Chapel No.1) McIver Tercentenary Trophy (Foursomes Knockout Competition)
Before 1891 sporting activities between Masonic Lodges were not new occurrences. On the 17th July 1891 however a new and unique event took place. On the Green at Musselburgh golfers in the form of the Office Bearers from Lodge Canongate Kilwinning No.2 and Lodge St John Fisherrow No.112 met to do battle! The Minute of the Regular Meeting of the Lodge of 11th November 1891, St Johns Chapel, record the event in Minute Book No.8 under “Reports (2)”. It reads as follows:-
“A Golf Match had been played over the Green at Musselburgh on the 17th July 1891 between the Office Bearers of No.2 and the Office Bearers of St Johns No.112 Fisherrow and resulted in a win for No.112 by one hole. This being, it is said, the first golf match ever played between Masonic Lodges”.
The minute is signed by the then Secretary Robert White and the then Master George Crawford. Bro, Crawford had taken part in the event and convincingly won his match 7 – 0. Interestingly enough the Rev. Thomas White, Chaplain had also taken part playing for Lodge No.2 but was obviously not blessed with any divine intervention that day as he lost his game 0 -2! Several newspaper articles of the day, hailing this match as an inaugural Masonic event, are also affixed to the pages of the Minute Book.
The Following year on 20th July, the match was again played this time with an 11 – 9 victory for Lodge Canongate Kilwinning, as recorded in the Minute Book. There was another remarkable win by 10 – 0 for the Master George Crawford over his opponent R. W. Robertson Master of No.112. The Reverend Thomas White even won his game 1 – 0. How fortunes change! Once again the event is hailed by the local press as the only known match of its type in existence. The event carried on for many years after this throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
I cannot, however, let this story pass without a mention of the match of 1896 which resulted in a loss for the men from the Canongate by some 30 holes! The Minute of the day from Minute Book No 9, Special Meeting St Johns Chapel, Wednesday 21st October 1896 may explain why as it reads as follows:-
“A Report was made by The R.W.M as to the result of the Annual Golf Match between Office Bearers of Lodge St John Fisherrow No.112 and No.2 held at Musselburgh on the 15th inst. and which resulted in a victory for the home team by 30 holes.
The announcement of the defeat by our Officials, at the hands of famed golfers of Musselburgh, was received with great good humour and the hope expressed that the annual golf match with our friends of No.112 will long continue. The Lodge was then duly adjourned”.
The minute was signed on this occasion by the then Secretary W. L. Hamilton and the then Master Robert Bathgate. Unfortunately we do not have the team list so we cannot say, at this time, who the members of each team were but we must wonder who those “Famed Golfers of Musselburgh”, or ringers, as we would now call them were! With some additional research and perhaps reference to the Minute Books and records of St John Fisherrow we will discover their names and surely there will be another wonderful story to tell!
Like many other Lodge traditions somewhere along the way the annual match faltered. There were many reasons, including two devastating World Wars. Throughout the latter part of the 20th century, the matches against a number of Lodges, including Lodge St John Fisherrow stopped altogether.
However, in 2004 because of a new found enthusiasm for golf, down in no small part to the energies of the then Inner Guard Bro. Patrick J Givan (PM), who became the golf Captain, all the matches were reinstated. Thankfully all the lapsed matches were up and running by 2005 including this most ancient of Masonic golfing battles between Canongate Kilwinning and St John Fisherrow.
This is just the beginning of the golfing history of the Lodge. We are sure that there will be many more fascinating tales to tell from the many matches we have played. Who knows, perhaps information on an even older Masonic golf match between two Lodges will come to light!