On the 18th December 1873 brethren from in and around the Parish of Dailly met in the Greenhead Hotel to discuss means of raising funds in order to establish a Masonic Lodge. They continued to meet every other Saturday night, and on the 9th September 1874, having raised the sum of £26/13/6d felt that they were now in a position to petition Grand Lodge for a charter. The petition was drawn up in accordance with Grand Lodge Laws and Bro James Lambie, a Past Master of Lodge Royal Arch Maybole No 198 went to Edinburgh and presented it to Grand Secretary. The charter was granted and was dated 5th February 1875 and under the title Lodge Fergusson Saint James Dailly No 566. The first meeting was held in the Greenhill Hotel on the 8th April 1875. On the 18th June 1877 saw the joint consecration of Fergusson St James No 566 and Lodge Bonnie Doon Patna No 565 in the Lodge room at Dailly. Sir James Fergusson installed the Office Bearers of both Lodges into their respective offices.

Bro Gilbert Wilson passed to the Grand Lodge above in July 1905. At the time of his death he was in his 24th year as RWM.  He was laid to rest with full Masonic Honours and as well as Freemasons, familyand friends his funeral was attended by several other Organisations, County and Parish Councillors, Members of School Board and Council Employees.

Lodge Meetings had been in Local Inns until 1921 when the Lodge bought the Hall in the Back Road. Five years later a fire destroyed the building. The temple was rebuilt and formally opened by Sir Chrales Fergusson. The Temple was consecrated on the 23rd August 1930 by PGM Bro Sir Aylmer Hunter Weston (a lifelong and very dear friend of Sir Chrales Fergusson) assisted by Provincial Grand Lodge Office Bearers. The Temple is in use to this present day.

In the early years it was not uncommon for more than one degree to be worked on the same night. On occasion candidates were initiated, passed and raised at the same meeting.It was even known to have two meetings on the same night.

The minutes for the 25th January 1902 record that the Lodge was opened at 5.30pm and the MMM Degree was conferred on six candidates. The Lodge was then closed. At 7.30pm the Lodge was opened in the EA Degree and the minutes of the earlier Meeting was read and approved. The Lodge was passed and raised and the MM Degree was conferred on one candidate. The Lodge was reduced and the FC Degree was conferred on another candidate. 

In the latter part of the 19th century and into the beginning of the 20th the Lodge was regularly taking part in the ceremony of laying of foundation stones, mostly in and around Maybole, Dailly and Girvan.

The foundation stone of the new Church Hall in Dailly was laid by RWM Bro Gilbert Wilson

 The Lodge books, Minute Books, Treasurers books, Roll books and sederunts etc are all of great interest. The Treasurers books clearly demonstate the Lodges attitude towards the basic principle of benevolence. There are many examples of payments being made to poor and distressed brethren, to families of brethren, widows and to various Masonic and Non Masonic Charities. One notable example was a £10 donation made to the PGL Special War Fund in 1914. At the time the donation was more that a quarter of the Lodges entire funds. The following year the names of eleven brethren who were serving with the Armed Forces were read out, three of whom were later to make the supreme sacrifice.

The New Temple was formally opened on the 4th September 1930 by Sir Charles Fergusson who had recently returned from New Zealand. At the opening he presented the Lodge with gifts from Lodges in New Zealand, including Wardens Columns, a set of  gavels, a framed photograph and a set of working tools which are still used to this day at Installation Meetings.

Apart from a three year period during the Second war when the building was taken over by the War Department for billeting purposes "The Back Road" has been the home of Fergusson St James No 566.

The Jubilee and Centenary Celebrations were important watersheds in the Lodges History. The 50th Anniversary Meeting was attended by three Brethren who had been members of the Lodge since its inception including Bro John McCutcheon, the Lodges first ever candidate, having been proposed and initiated at the first meeting on the 8th April 1875. The Centenary Re -  Dedication Ceremony on the 31st January 1975 was carried out by MWGMM Bro Captain Wolridge Gordon and his Deputation from the Grand Lodge of Scotland. The reading and Three fold Blessing was carried out by Bro Rev R Stuart Loudon, Grand Chaplain and a Master Mason of 566.

The year of the 125th Celebration the Brethren of the Lodge had much to be thankful to the brethren who preceeded them. They remembered with gratitude their services and labours for the Lodge.

We at 566 are proud of our heritage and traditions and look forward with hope and desire. There will be a succession of oportunities for the illustration and practice of high ideals, principles and tenents of our craft, for the pursuit of pure and unselfish aims, the relief of the distressed and needy and the maintenance and furtherance of our own fraternal relations.

Let the example of our predecessors be transmitted pure and unsullied to further generations who will in time enjoy the same fellowship in their time as we are privileged to enjoy in ours.

Above is from a History of the Lodge prepared by Bro John McMaster PM for the 125th Anniversary

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