During the post-dinner harmony following the annual Installation of RWM Bro. Stuart William Baird, a Toast to the Lodge was given by Bro. Robert Green PM of Lodge St John Mayble No. 11.
Bro. Green's toast was deeply researched and received an extended applause from the assembled Brethren.
It highlighted the rich history and notable contributions of the Lodge. Bro. Green emphasised the importance of toasting not just the historical details but more significantly, the Brethren who shaped the Lodge's honour and reputation. The initiation of Robert Burns in 1781 was acknowledged as a pivotal moment in the Lodge's history, contributing to its unique fame within the fraternity.
He delved into the Lodge's origins in 1771, its initial meetings and its subsequent mergers and dissolutions. The establishment of the Lodge's own premises in 1886, with subsequent renovations and improvements was highlighted, showcasing the dedication of the Brethren to the Lodge's infrastructure.
He also acknowledged the Lodge's involvement in various community and national events, including laying cornerstones, unveiling war memorials and participating in the foundation stone laying for the Ayr dock. The benevolent traditions of the Lodge, dating back to its inception, were celebrated, with a special mention of significant charitable contributions and a focus on benevolence and charity.
The connection to the local Church, a longstanding tradition since the lodge's inception, was emphasised, noting the presence of illustrious members who balanced their roles within the Lodge and the Church.
Bro. Green commended the Lodge's pride and enthusiasm, describing it as a unique quality that sets Lodge Tarbolton (Kilwinning) St. James apart. The challenge of evolving to stay relevant in 2023 and beyond was acknowledged, with the formation of a strategy committee and the development of a strategic plan to ensure the Lodge's future.
In conclusion, the toast recognised the current Right Worshipful Master, acknowledging the history passed down by previous Masters and encouraging the RWM to bring his own stamp to the high office. The speaker concluded with a beautiful poetic verse, finishing with a call to charge glasses and a toast to Lodge Tarbolton (Kilwinning) St. James No.135.