(Extract from NMM 88 Lodge History -
"HISTORY OF AN ANCIENT SCOTTISH LODGE"
The wooden gavel presented by Gavin Black Motherwell to Airdrie Burgh incorporates the brass nose cone and copper ring from a Turkish artillery shell that passed between the heads of two officers, including GBM, and was embedded in a parapet.
The wood is from the ship the River Clyde, which landed some of the first troops at Gallipoli, The gavel is inscribed “1915 Gallipoli GBM”.
Photograph of Bro Colonel Gavin Black Motherwell in military uniform and Provost Robes.
“By courtesy of CulturNL-
Historical Update No 1
The Lodge history book “History of an Ancient Scottish Lodge” Page 35 Forgotten Gentry of Auld Airdrietoun"
(Extracts from an article by Allan Mackenzie)
John Levack, the son of a grocer, was born in Wick in 1828. He came to New Monkland in the early 1850s and joined the Lodge on the 05/01/1860. During the 1850s and 1860, he produced a number of paintings in the district the earliest of them was a large canvas entitled ‘The Rankin Family of Auchengray(1)’, painted around 1852 or 1853. The 1861 Census records him as an unmarried ‘Painter in Oil’ living in Hallcraig Street employing a 14 year old domestic servant girl. In 1865 he was a founding shareholder in the Airdrie Public Hall Company. That year he also became the Governor of New Monkland Poorhouse at Thrashbush, a post he held for at least six years. He married a woman called Agnes Lachlan in 1867 but doesn’t appear to be living with her when the Census was taken in 1871.
On 10th October 1874 the following notice appeared in the Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser.
Historical Update No 2 (1 of 3)
“ Man Found Dead – John Levack ( late governor of New Monkland Poorhouse ), aged 47, artist by profession, residing at 123 Henderson Street, Kinning Park, was found dead in bed on Saturday. It appears that he had been in a desponding state of mind for some time back. Mrs Levack had occasion to go from home on Saturday week, and did not return until Saturday. She knocked at the door, but got no answer. She then got the door forced open, when the deceased was found lying in bed , dead, the body being very much decomposed. In the room beside the deceased were found three phials of laudanum, two of which were empty. He leaves a widow and five children.”
A sad ending.
It’s not known if John Levack was an admirer of Rembrandt or Dutch painting. Whilst not remotely in the same class ‘The Curlers at Rawyards(2)’, in its modest way, is Airdrie’s equivalent of Rembrant’s ‘The Night Watch’ with its evocative depiction of a group of the town’s bourgeois middle class seen in an unusual and dramatic setting.
Historical Update No 2 (2 of 3)
Historical Update No 2 (3 of 3)