Freemasonry started in Dunlop in the early 19th century. On May 4rd 1824 a charter was granted to the brethren of Dunlop to practice Freemasonry and this continued for many years as Lodge Dunlop Caledonian No.311. It was declared dormant in 1881 since no communications had been received by Grand Lodge for more than seven years. The only known record from Lodge Caledonian No. 311 is that the first master was a John Gemmell,the first secretary was Robert Fulton and the lodge colours were crimson with a tartan trim.
On October 19th 1944 a meeting was held in the public school by the local school master Mr Peter Calderwood,who was a member of Lodge St John Maybole no. 11 and 38 others who were members of various Lodges within and out with Ayrshire.
Several letters were exchanged between Grand Lodge and Peter calderwood until on March 29th 1945 a meeting was held in the public hall chaired by Bro . Joseph Johnston who was a past master of Stewarton Thistle,to elect the office bearers for the new lodge.
A letter was sent to Edinburgh (Grand Lodge of Scotland) along with a list of 110 petitioners on April 20th and a charter was granted. Unfortunately because of the number of lapsed years they could not get the original number or colours. The colours today are green with gilt trim.
The Erection and Consecration of the new Lodge,Lodge Dunlop Caledonia No. 1408 took place in Dunlop Public hall on November 3rd 1945. There was a large assembly of Brethern including many deputations from 48 lodges within and out with Ayrshire.
A total of 341 brethern signed the attendance book to witness Bro Joseph Johnston installed as the first Master of Lodge Dunlop Caledonia No. 1408 by Lieut. Col . Wallace Cunningham of Ayrshire.
Lodges represented at the consecration of lodge Dunlop Caledonia 1408
A collection taken for the Lodge benevolence amounted to £34.6 shillings.
After the meeting 110 brethern sat down to a meal at a cost of 6 shillings (30p)per head.
At a meeting held on November 22nd, Mr William Stevenson, Archiebald Howie and Archibald Baillie were the first candidates of the new lodge.
By now the lodge was well on it’s way with a total of 227 candidates having passed through up to the present day.
The programme from the 1945 Installation.
Throughout Scotland nine Lodges have the Caledonian in their title and on Sptember 24 1983 the first of the annual “Caledonian Gatherings” was held at Annan by Lodge Caledonian Annan No.238
supported by Caledonian St John Lennoxtown No. 195
Caledonian Dundee no.254
St mary’s Caledonian Inverness No. 339
The Caledonian Railway (glasgow) No.354
Motherwell Caledonian no.1228
Caledonian Lodge of Uganda (Edinburgh) No.1228
and Dunlop caledonia No.1408.
Each lodge takes it’s turn to host the annual event with Dunlop Caledonia No. 1408 hosting it for the third time on September 17th 2016
Thanks to Bro Donald Eckersley P.M for writting the lodge History.