A Brief History of Lodge Tullibardine in the East No 1118 SC 1913 – 2011
The formation of a Scottish Lodge in Kuala Lumpur was mooted by Lodge Scotia No 1003 SC and strongly supported by Read Lodge No 2337 EC in Kuala Lumpur.
The petition to form a Scottish was moved by 26 Scottish and English brethren residing in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, including planters, civil servants, British army members and miners who were very supportive of the idea of a Scottish Lodge in Kuala Lumpur!
The petition signed by 26 members was sent to Scotland in December 1912 and the Charter received on May 1, 1913. Lodge Tullibardine in the East No 1118 SC.
Tullibardine was consecrated on the 12th of July 1913 with 54 joining members, of whom 20 were English Masons.
It is the oldest Scottish lodge in Kuala Lumpur and also the second oldest lodge in Kuala Lumpur after Read Lodge.
It was named after the 80th Grand Master Mason of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, the Marquess of Tullibardine and the 8th Duke of Atholl. According to Pentagram records, the consecration of Lodge Tullibardine took place at the Read Temple and was well attended, with over 90 Scottish, English and other constitution members present, from all over the Commonwealth.
It is to be noted that some 82 brethren sat down for the installation dinner.
Lodge Tullibardine entered into a tenancy arrangement with Read Lodge and held its early meetings at the Read Temple until mid-1919.
The Scottish brethren probably mooted the idea of their own temple in early 1916.
In early July 1916 they were granted the Venning Road property, to be held under Trust, for the construction of the Scottish temple.
The property was a relatively small piece of land located towards the back of the main Railway Administration Building, next to an old English chapel.
The old chapel and the old Tullibardine properties now form part of the National Mosque complex.
A new two-storey temple was completed by mid-1919. Thereafter all its meetings were held at this new Temple til late 1941.
Scant information is available regarding the Scottish Venning Road Temple from its consecration in mid-1919 until about early 1930s. According to Pentagram records of 1932, Lodge Tullibardine had a record membership of 106 members by the end of 1931.
Another notable event was the formation of a Lodge Library which received generous donation of books and cash from its members. And the active use of the library reflected a deep-felt need for such a service. Tullibardine’s installation meetings at the temple were well attended.
The 1935 Pentagram reports that the Tullibardine June 1934 installation meeting was attended by some 56 Scottish members and visitors! The collection taken at the harmony later raised the exceptionally high sum of $156 for the Scottish Annuity Fund.
The Pentagram further records that the Scottish brethren showed their generosity, notwithstanding the difficult times, in donating a magnificent carpet for the temple as well as tartan ribbons for the dining table.
It may be noted that the relationship between Lodge Tullibardine and the two English lodges in Kuala Lumpur was extremely cordial as befitted masons. Again the Pentagram records show there were regular golf competitions between these three Kuala Lumpur lodges, usually held at the Royal Selangor Golf Club (incidentally this was built by the Scottish Freemasons in Kuala Lumpur).
It is obvious that the existence of two separate temples served to further cement the extremely cordial relations that existed among the Kuala Lumpur lodges.
Like the other three lodges, Tullibardine did not hold any meetings from January 1942 until the end of the Japanese Occupation in 1945. The last meeting before the Japanese Occupation was probably held in November 1941. Based on Pentagram records of 1947, Kuala Lumpur was evacuated in early 1942 during the heavy bombings by the Japanese.
There is every reason to believe that the Scottish temple was occupied and used by the Japanese who destroyed all its pre-war Masonic furniture, regalia and records, with some exceptions. The only remaining items are the original bible, the banner and a Quaich. The Tullibardine Temple itself suffered direct bomb hits from the Allies who returned in 1945 and was damaged beyond repair. The only evidence that we now have of the Tullibardine temple itself is the original foundation stone, with the wording for the year “1918″ etched thereon. It was moved to the Read Temple in 1955 when the Venning Road Temple was finally demolished. It was moved again temporarily to the former Soviet Cultural Centre in 1979 and later to 213 Jalan Tun Razak in 1981. It can now be found at the entrance to this temporary temple in Taman Kanagapuram.
The first meeting after the War was probably in March 1946 at St Andrew’s Church. From April 1947 the lodge met at Batu Road School with the other English lodges. English 1949, it joined the English lodges and held its meeting s at the reconstructed Read Masonic Hall. In 1952, the Selangor Government acquired the Venning Road property.
In 1963, Lodge Tullibardine sponsored Lodge Kilwinning in the East No 1606 SC, the second Scottish in Kuala Lumpur. All Masons are aware that Tullibardine and Kilwinning enjoy a unique and special relationship in that they hold joint meetings once each year, alternately at each other’s regular meetings. The visiting Lodge performs the ritual working at these joint meetings.
Lodge Tullibardine has been fortunate to have been served by many distinguished and dedicated Masons. Among them, the first Asian and Malaysian, as well as the 50th RWM of the Lodge in 1967, was Bro Rama Krishna Panikkar, popularly known as RK. He affiliated with Tullibardine in 1958 from an English lodge. He was a stickler for decorum and a strict adherence to a perfect presentation of the ritual during workings. He was the WDep.DGM in 1986-87. The first Chinese member is Bro Ngei Sui Kan who two years after RK. Later he became the first Chinese RWM in 1972. He now resides in retirement Australia. The first Malay member was Hisham Albakri.
Another distinguished member was Bro Jack Fields, who came to Malaya during the War time. After the War, he joined the Income Tax Dept. He was initiated into Lodge Tullibardine in 1956 and was RWM in 1965. He was also a long serving District Grand Secretary from 1972 – 1984. He served as Tyler for all Kuala Lumpur Lodges during the 1970s and 1980s. Bro Keith W Thornton is an Affiliate member who joined Tullibardine in 1966. He became RWM in 1973. He celebrated his 50 years in Freemasonry recently. Bro MM Moudgill, a medical doctor, who had his practice in Seremban, was a dedicated who never missed a meeting, coming down in a taxi from Seremban in those days, using the old highways! He was installed RWM in 1982. Both Bro Moudgill and Bro Fields left their properties to the Lodge when they passed on to the Grand Lodge above and the Lodge has set up special Charity Funds under their names.
It should be noted that in 1916, Lodge Tullibardine was the prime mover, together with Lodge Scotia No 1003 SC and Lodge Malaya No 1146 SC, in the formation of the District Grand Lodge of the Middle East (DGLME). Lodge Malaya No 1146 SC is now dormant. It was chartered in May 1915 and was then a healthy lodge operating in Port Klang. Grand Lodge of Scotland approved the petition and the DGLME was consecrated in October 1916. The first DGM was Sir Eric MacFayden 1916-1918, the third RWM of Lodge Tullibardine. The second RWDGM in 1918-1922 was Bro David Danie Ince, the second RWM of Lodge Tullibardine. The third RWDGM from Tullibardine was Bro PG Clarke in 1958-63. The Lodge has been supportive of the District since its consecration in 1916 and all its WPMs have served in various capacities in the district. Nearly all its current WPMs are Past District Wardens. Now, after the passage of over 50 years, another RWM of Lodge Tullibardine Bro Dunstan Sixtus Fernandez has been commissioned as the RWDGM. The elevation of Bro Dunstan at this juncture is quite historical and distinctive, since within the next three years, not only Lodge Tullibardine will be celebrating its 100th anniversary, the District itself will have been in existence for a 100 years.