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Messrs. W. & A. Smith, fancy box manufacturers, were well represented. They were headed by the clever boy pipers from Dumfries Industrial School, who contributed some stirring music. The female workers were all prettily attired, and each

a beautiful tartan sash gifted by the firm. The workers of Ballochmyle Quarries were preceded by

stout yeoman on horseback and the Glenbuck brass band. The Boys' Brigade, under the Rev. Joseph Mitchell, B.D., attracted a good deal of attention, their smart appearance and military bearing being favourably commented upon. The Volunteers, with their scarlet uniforms, and fixed bayonets, added picturesqueness to the turnout. The members of the various societies and lodges wore their regalias, and some carried attractive banners, all of which helped to heighten the general effect. It is worthy of note that, in one of the carriages, there were four of the oldest inhabitants—Joseph Davidson (72), John Killin (78), John Train (88), and "Sandy" Marshall (82), the local Burns enthusiast. The route taken by the procession was via Loudoun Street, High Street, Cowgate, Earl Grey Street, New Road, and Kilmarnock Road, to the site of the Memorial, by way of Mossgiel. It was intended that the procession would halt at Mossgiel, and that an address would be delivered there, but owing to the death of Mrs. Wyllie, mother of the present tenant, this was departed from, and the processionists marched past the house with becoming decorum. The weather up till this time had been dull and threatening, and unfortunately a heavy drizzling rain began to fall just when the proceedings at the site of the Memorial were commencing. It was estimated that there would be nearly ten thousand people present.

The platform party ascended to their places to the strains of “The Merry Masons," played by the Newmilns Band. Miss Annie B. Burns and Miss Constance Burns Hutchinson, the daughter and grand-daughter of Colonel James Glencairn Burns, were given positions of honour. Mrs. Burns Thomas, the Poet's great-grand-daughter, and the only surviving representative of his eldest son, Robert, was expected to be present, but was unfortunately prevented by indisposition. Lady Alexander, in a few graceful and appropriate sentences, asked Mr. H. R. Wallace, of Busbie and Cloncaird, Provincial Grand Master of Ayrshire, to lay the memorial-stone.

The ceremony of laying the stone having been concluded, Mr. WALLACE, who was received with loud applause, said —

I have great pleasure in informing you that we have laid, according to the rites and usages of Ancient Freemasonry, the foundation-stone of this national memorial to our beloved Bard. It is a high privilege and pleasant



Hugh R. Wallace, Esq., of Cloncaird and Busby.

duty to the Freemasons to lay, from time to time, the foundation-stones of stately edifices erected to the honour and glory of the great Architect of the Universe, for the improvement of the condition of mankind, and in honour of the departed great. It is a privilege which we highly prize, and which we have enjoyed from time immemorial, and it is not because of the mere pageantry and display which we see on these occasions that Freemasons throng together. A good and earnest Mason sees in every project for the advancement and amelioration of the condition of his fellow-man a practical exposition of those principles which are inculcated in every Masonic Lodge, and which are the foundation of our brotherhood. (Applause.) There is a deep act of symbolism in laying a foundation-stone. The mortar which we have laid to the bed of this stone to cement it and keep it in its place is symbolical of the virtues of charity and brotherly love, which, we

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trust, may so spread throughout our native land and throughout the nations of the world that men may be joined together in the bonds of peace, and that the time for which the Poet yearned so much may come

“ When man to man the world o'er

Shall brithers be and a'that.” (Applause.) The application of the various implements in architecture remind us to apply the principles which they represent to our daily lives, in order that we may

Keep the unerring line

Still rising by the plummet's law.” And the corn, wine, and oil represent the abundant products of the earth -the gists and blessings vouchsafed to us by the “glorious Architect Divine,” at whose feet in gratitude we lay them, with the prayer that these blessings may be ever continued in our land, and to the poor, for whose benefit this building is to be erected. (Applause.) Within the mystic bond of Freemasonry, we are happy in knowing none of those differences-social, political, or religious—which are inseparable from the life of a great people. We are consequently glad at all times to assist at the inauguration of any good and worthy undertaking. But on the present occasion we have peculiar reasons for being in sympathy with what is transpiring to-day. During the last fifty years the Freemasons of Ayrshire have taken part on many occasions at the inauguration of memorials to the honour of our immortal Bard. All have been worthy; many have exhibited—as was the case at Irvine last Saturday-the highest excellence of the sculptor's art; many have shown the high skill of the architect; but this memorial differs from all its predecessors, inasmuch as it is designed not only as a worthy and lasting memorial of Robert Burns, but to do that which he himself would have valued far more—to give effect to the principles he so strongly advocated—charity and kindness between man and man. (Applause.) In the words of the circular of the Glasgow Mauchline Society, “it is proposed to erect not a mere monument of stone and lime but a memorial which will aid in a practical and permanent way those whose lot touched so keenly the sympathies of the Poet.” (Applause.) For that reason this memorial has the cordial sympathy and approval not only of you all, but of the Freemasons of Ayrshire; and for that reason it will stand out, I venture to say, in this centenary year as an example to be copied in the future, let us hope, by the ever-increasing thousands who love the memory, the writings, and the humanity of Robin. (Loud applause.) As Scotsmen and Ayrshiremen we are a' proud o' Robin. As Freemasons we are doing honour to-day to the memory of an illustrious brother who has crystallised in immortal verse some of the noblest and finest tenets of Freemasonry, and we are in sympathy because we are assisting at the inauguration of an institution designed to carry out the great Masonic principle of charity. And what site more happy could have been chosen for the National Burns Memorial! It was within hail of this platform that Robert Burns spent some of the most interesting years of his life-years which, I believe, made more impression on his poetry

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than any other period of his life. Essentially the poet of Nature, Burns here living in the centre of the most characteristic pastoral district in Ayrshire-perhaps the most pastoral district in the whole of Scotland--was surrounded by scenes and incidents sacred to the Muse of Pastoral Poetry. It was here that the poetic genius of hi country found him at the plough, and threw her inspiring mantle over him, and bade him write the loves, the joys, the rural scenes and rural pleasures of his native soil in his native tongue. It was here that, in obedience to that call, he wrote some of the most beautiful and most famous of his poems. It was at the farm yonder that he wrote that immortal poem, “The Cottar's Saturday Night.” (Applause.) It was while attending to his daily toil that the incidents took place which gave us the Odes to the Mouse and to the Mountain Daisy. There is no district in Ayrshire, or in the whole of Scotland, of which it could be more truly said in the words of Longfellow

For now he haunts his native land,
As an immortal youth, his hand

Guides every plough.
He sits by every ingle nook,
His voice is in each running brook,

Each rustling bough.” It is also to us, as Freemasons, a matter of great interest that it was while he was living in this neighbourhood Burns first saw the light of Freemasonry. There were at that time two lodges in Tarbolton-St. James's and St. David's—both of which, I am glad to say, are largely and strongly represented here to-day. The amalgamation of these lodges took place shortly before the initiation of the Poet, and it was in the amalgamated lodges of St. James's and St. David's, and under the charter of the latter, that he received the light of Freemasonry on 4th July, 1781. The Order of Freemasonry at once fascinated the Bard. To us, who read him in the light of Freemasonry, it is natural that this should

One of the strongest features of his character was that he was devoted to everything in the grand design of the Great Architect. The humblest item in the creative plan was dear to Robert Burns. The Mouse disturbed by his ploughshare, the “wee crimson-tipped flower," the companions of his daily toil—his dog and his old grey mare, all aroused in him that feeling and love for everything in Nature, which made him yearn for and advocate the brotherhood of man. (Applause.) With a feeling such as this, it is not surprising to us Freemasons that Burns should have turned with sympathy to an institution whose tenets and principles were so much accordance with his thoughts and his ideas. If there was any doubt that Burns was a keen and enthusiastic Freemason, we have only to turn to the minute books of the lodges connected with this place, in which Burns receive the light. In 1784, after his removal to Mossgiel, Burns was elected Depute-Master, and it was in that capacity, he tells us, that he

“ Oft honoured with supreme command

Presided o’er the sons of light.” (Applause.) We find him in the following year attending the meetings of

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his lodge regularly, and officiating as Master, initiating candidates; and it is recorded that in 1785 he visited Lodge St. James no less than nine times in six months. In addition to that he held private meetings of the lodge in the farm of Mossgiel in order to instruct the brethren in Freemasonry. Within a week of his arrival in Edinburgh we find him attending the Masons' Lodge, Canongate, Kilwinning. It was through his connection with Freemasonry, and particularly with the lodge I have just named, that Burns made the acquaintance of many of those who in after years befriended him, and who are, and ever will be, associated with his writings and with his life. It was there that he met James, Earl of Glencairn, for whom he always had such a devoted regard. It was there that he met, in the capacity of Master, “ Craigdarroch, so famous for worth, wit, and law.” It was there that he met John Ballantyne, also a brother Mason ; Prosessor Dugald Stewart, and many others whose names will ever be associated with his works. It has been said, I know, that Freemasonry was not to his advantage. There is absolutely not one tittle of foundation for any such suggestion. Freemasonry is an institution designed to do good between one man and another, and I care not how religious or how good a man may be, if he becomes a Mason and acts up to the tenets, it is calculated to make him a better man. (Applause.) But Robert Burns himself effectually disposes of any such suggestion. You remember the solemn incident of his parting with Highland Mary. On that occasion Robin exchanged Bibles with her. In his own Bible of two volumes he inscribed his name and . several texts from Scripture bearing upon the solemn undertaking, the solemn vows which they were making one to the other; and as if to make that promise additionally binding, as if to give an additional pledge of his fidelity, he inscribed these inscriptions with his Mason's mark. (Applause.) On another occasion, at the time he thought he was to depart from his native land for ever, he wrote—and he was incapable of writing that which. he thought was untrue-

“Adieu, a heart-warm, fond adieu,

Dear brothers of the mystic tie,
Ye favourèd, enlighten’d few

Companions of my social joy ;
Though I to foreign lands must hie,

Pursuing fortune's slidd’ry ba',
With melting heart and brimful eye,

I'll mind ye still, though far awa. We Freemasons are proud that Burns was a Mason. But as far as the high estimation in which he is held in our hearts is concerned it would not have mattered; for though he had never been honoured with " 'supreme command,” though he had never presided o’er the sons of light or been a Freemason, we should have held him dear as the friend of truth, as the enemy of hypocrisy and cant, as the Scotsman who above all others in his time had sent from east to west, and from north to south, a message of sympathy between man and man; as the National Bard of Caledonia, and as a man who, as long as our language exists, will be spoken of with respect, and love, and admiration, as the Poet of Humanity. (Loud applause.) I


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