The Battle of Bannockburn 1314
Grains of Corn used by Lord Elgin in May 1964
In May 1964 members of the Grand Lodge of Scotland headed by the Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason Lord Elgin carried out the ceremony of the laying of the foundation stone to the plinth of the monument to the memory of Robert the Bruce and to commemorate the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. This being the 650th Anniversary of this most historic battle the event was attended by a large gathering of Scottish Freemasons. A Past Master of Lodge Abercromby No 531 in the person of Brother Archibald McPherson was in attendance that day and had the good sense to recognise the significance of the occasion by collecting some Grains of Corn that were used in the ceremonial and deposited them in a match box which he carefully sealed and labelled. Some years later Brother McPherson passed this treasured item for safe keeping in the archive retained by Brother Thomas McDonald PM of his mother Lodge.
Brother McDonald had an occasion to relate the story to Lord Elgin and informed him that he may well loan this item to the museum in Grand Lodge. Lord Elgin was tickled by the notion. However it has now come to pass that the 700th Anniversary of the battle will be commemorated in June 2014. The event is being marked by an exhibition in the Stirling Smiths Museum. The museum is calling the exhibition ‘Bannockburn 700’ and it will be a retrospective look back through history. Brother McDonald has kindly offered the matchbox and associated story to the museum to be included with photographs and artifacts associated with the battle.
The exhibition will run for a period of six months from April 2014. Thereafter Brother McDonald plans to offer to loan the matchbox for display in the museum of Grand Lodge.
(Source: Brother Thomas McDonald P.M. Lodge Abercromby No 531)