The Edinburgh Masonic Club has appointed a woman as manager for the first time in its long history.
The move comes as the club opens the doors of its new premises at The Engine Yard, the flagship development on the site of the old tram depot at Shrubhill on Leith Walk by Places for People.
Club manager Heather Campbell officiated at the opening ceremony, joined by George Lyall (Club President) and James G. MacLean (Secretary/Treasurer) and guests.
In January 2017 club members vacated their old premises at 1 Shrub Place Lane, which had been home for more than 41 years.
The property and land were exchanged with Places for People in return for the construction of the new facility.
Since then club officials have worked closely with the developer to deliver the new purpose-built, state-of-the-art premises.
At a time when scores of other clubs are closing their doors across the city, The club has 1200 members comprising Masonic Members, and Associate Members, both female and males, some of whom are not Masons.
Commenting at the opening Club President George Lyall said: “This has been a big project for us. However, we have enjoyed a positive relationship with Places for People and their team of dedicated professionals which has eased this transition for TEMC.
“As we enter this new phase of our operation, the dynamics of the club will change slightly as we become an integral part of the Engine Yard development and we are cognisant of the club’s responsibility to our new community. We are privileged to have a dedicated set of committee officials and trustees to assist in running the club.
“As we herald a new beginning, we also herald a new manager for the club. For the first time in the club’s long history a female, Heather Campbell, has been appointed as Club Manager.
“We look ahead to our new beginning and thank everyone who has contributed to getting us to this stage, including all of our members who have stayed with us on this journey. We will embrace the future with all its trials and tribulations; its hopes and expectations and look forward to being part of the Engine Yard Community.”
For the greater part of the 20th Century, Masons endeavoured to provide premises suitable to meet the needs of Freemasons in the Edinburgh area.
Notable amongst these were the Edinburgh Corporation Tramways and the Edinburgh Transport Masonic Clubs. In 1955, The Edinburgh Masonic Club was founded initially using the premises of the Free Gardeners in Picardy Place. In the latter part of that year, 27 Albany Street became vacant and with the financial support of Youngers Brewers, the members purchased this property.
The First Annual General Meeting was held in the clubrooms on 17th May 1956, and the club was officially opened by Colonel Dudgeon on 27th February 1957.