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Past PGM Bro. Archibald Chalmers Celebrates 50 Years of Freemasonry - Lodge Thistle No. 127



In a ceremony held at Lodge Thistle No. 127 on 19 December 2023, Past Provincial Grand Master Brother Archibald Chalmers was honoured with a 50-year diploma and jewel for his five decades of dedicated service in Freemasonry. The event was a significant gathering in Ayrshire's Masonic calendar, with 82 Brethren marking their attendance in a show of solidarity and respect.


The ceremony saw the participation of numerous distinguished guests, including 10 Right Worshipful Masters from within and outside the province of Ayrshire. They were warmly received by the Right Worshipful Master of Lodge Thistle, Brother Angus MacDonald.


The event was further graced by a sizeable Deputation of 20 brethren from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Ayrshire, led by the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master Brother James Bell. This esteemed group also included Deputy Provincial Grand Master Brother Stephen McConnachie, Substitute Provincial Grand Master Brother Liam Stewart and Provincial Grand Secretary Brother Robert McMaster.


Further adding to the prestige of the occasion, the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master of Kilwinning Brother Tom Wood and Past Provincial Grand Master of Kilwinning, Brother T. Wilson Aitken were also present.


Front Row (left to right): Bro. Tom Wood PGM Kilwinning, RWPGM Bro. James Bell, Past PGM Bro. Archibald Chalmers, RWM Bro. Angus MacDonald, Past PGM Bro. Robert Little, Past PGM Kilwinning Bro. T. Wilson Aitken
Back Row: Provincial Grand Secretary Bro. Robert McMaster, Substitute PGM Bro. Liam Stewart, Substitute PGM Kilwinning Bro. John Duncan. Front Row: Depute PGM Bro. Stephen McConnachie, Bro. Tom Wood PGM Kilwinning, RWPGM Bro. James Bell, Past PGM Bro. Archibald Chalmers, RWM Bro. Angus MacDonald, Past PGM Bro. Robert Little, Past PGM Kilwinning Bro. T. Wilson Aitken

Back Row: Visiting RWMs, Middle Row: Provincial Grand Secretary Bro. Robert McMaster, Substitute PGM Bro. Liam Stewart, Substitute PGM Kilwinning Bro. John Duncan. Front Row: Depute PGM Bro. Stephen McConnachie, Bro. Tom Wood PGM Kilwinning, RWPGM Bro. James Bell, Past PGM Bro. Archibald Chalmers, RWM Bro. Angus MacDonald, Past PGM Bro. Robert Little, Past PGM Kilwinning Bro. T. Wilson Aitken

After concluding the Lodge business, RWM Brother MacDonald welcomed RWPGM Brother Bell and his Deputation into the Lodge and invited him to preside over the ceremony. Brother Chalmers was then presented to the Brethren.


RWPGM Brother Bell then spoke in honour of Brother Chalmers' 50 years in Freemasonry, celebrating his extensive and remarkable contributions to the Craft. Brother Bell elaborated on the extensive accomplishments of Brother Chalmers, much to the satisfaction and pleasure of the Brethren.


Aged 18 years, Brother Chalmers joined Lodge Thistle No. 127 on 18 December 1973 and progressed through various offices, culminating in serving as Right Worshipful Master and holding other significant roles over the years, including acting as an Installing Master 19 times in his Mother Lodge. His service extended beyond his Mother Lodge to include membership and honorary positions in numerous other Lodges and Orders, both within and outside the Province of Ayrshire. His contributions to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Ayrshire were highlighted, including terms as Senior Steward, Marshall, and eventually the Provincial Grand Master. His service to Grand Lodge was also noted, as a Grand Steward between 1998 and 2008, Grand Inner Guard in 2013 and most recently as Grand Librarian.


In addition, Brother Chalmers has been actively involved in various other orders of Freemasonry, holding prestigious positions in Royal Arch Chapter, Cryptic Council, Royal Ark Mariners and under the Grand Imperial Council, among others. His commitment extended to the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and the Royal Order of Scotland.


Outside of his Masonic activities, Brother Chalmers is a respected figure in his community, having worked as a Quality Engineer and being involved in local organisations, including Burns Clubs. He has also contributed to local history through his writings and lectures and has recently been made a Member of the Order of St. John in recognition of his work installing Defibrillators and arranging Defibrillator training.


Brother Bell's speech emphasised that the 50-year certificate represented not just membership, but 50 years of devoted and selfless service to Freemasonry. He expressed personal admiration for Brother Chalmers, highlighting their longstanding friendship and the honour of presenting this recognition. The speech concluded with an invitation to the Right Worshipful Master to join in making the formal presentations, following which the much-anticipated diploma was presented. Brother MacDonald then invested Brother Chalmers with his 50-year commemorative jewel.


RWPGM Bro. James Bell, Past PGM Bro. Archibald Chalmers, RWM Bro. Angus MacDonald after presentation of diploma and jewel


50 Year Jewel

In his response, Brother Chalmers expressed heartfelt gratitude towards the Brethren. He reminisced about the joyful times and significant relationships he forged in Freemasonry over the past 50 years, paying tribute to his proposer, seconder, and several notable Past Masters from his Mother Lodge. His speech, marked by warmth and nostalgia, was met with prolonged applause, reflecting the Brethren's admiration and respect for his accomplishments.


Past PGM Bro. Archibald Chalmers

Adding to the evening's significance, WSW Brother Elijah Beattie delivered an enlightening talk on Saint Andrew, the Patron Saint of Scotland, which was well-received by the attendees.


WSW Bro. Elijah Beattie - Lodge Thistle No. 127

In a touching gesture of appreciation, Brother David Pattison, RWM of Lodge St. David (Tarbolton) Mauchline No. 133, spoke on behalf of the visitors, extending thanks and praise to the Master and WSW Brother Beattie and lauding Brother Chalmers for his inspiring service to both young and old masons.


RWM Bro. David Pattison - Lodge St David (Tarbolton) Mauchline No. 133

The evening concluded with a harmonious gathering in the lounge, where RWM Brother MacDonald proposed a toast to Brother Chalmers. He expressed pride in having Brother Chalmers as a member of Lodge Thistle and gratitude for his role in installing him in the Chair.


RWM Bro. Angus MacDonald proposing toast to Past PGM Bro. Archibald Chalmers

Brethren toasting Bro. Chalmers

RWPGM Bro. James Bell, Past PGM Bro. Archibald Chalmers, Substitute PGM Bro. Liam Stewart

The event concluded on a festive note, with Brother MacDonald extending Season's Greetings to all Brethren, encapsulating the spirit of unity and brotherhood that defines the Ayrshire Freemasonry community.



This memorable occasion not only celebrated the personal achievements of Brother Chalmers but also served as a testament to the enduring bonds and traditions of Freemasonry in Ayrshire, highlighting its role in fostering community, leadership, and lifelong friendships.


"An' each took aff his several way, Resolv'd to meet some ither day."

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