Brother Thomas Caldwell was master of the Lodge from 1889-92 followed in the tradition started by brother James Thomson in that he wrote the word to two well known Hawick songs.
He was elected Master in 1888 one of his first duties being to intimate to the brethren the passing of our esteemed Bard Brother Thompson in December that year. He was the driving force in reviving the Lodge's fortunes and in building the premises we still occupy.
A home for the Lodge
The building of our own purpose built premises was major undertaking and we are indebted to the work of Brother Caldwell and his considerable organising skills as well as the brethren who supported him in the endeavour. The first task was to raise the requisite funds and to this end a Bazaar was held in the Corn Exchange on the 15th to 17th of September 1892. This event was opened by the Grand Master Mason the Earl of Haddington with much pomp and ceremony including a parade through he town. Brother Caldwell expressed his thanks to the Brethren and their supported at the meeting following the event which raised the then considerable sum of £750 pounds probably the equivalent of £75.000 today.
The foundation stone was laid by Brother Caldwell in January 1893 there being a further memorial stone laying ceremony presided over by Brother Middleton the Provincial Grand Master in the February. The inaugural meeting was held and the New building consecrated on the 13th of October that year.
The as the momentous year 1893 ended the Lodge learned with mixed feeling that Brother Caldwell had been appointed to position on the organising staff of the Scottish Liberal Association in Edinburgh. Also his joy of seeing the culmination of his efforts completed on the Lodges behalf must have been sadly tempered by the death of this 15 years old daughter from Cholera that same year.
Brother Caldwell lived the rest of this life in Edinburgh, but his love for Hawick and his Mother Lodge was never lost. The wrote the words to “Up Wi Auld Hawick” in 1902 and “Oor Ain Auld Toon” in 1903. and continued to attend the Lodge when he could.
Thomas Caldwell died 1915 aged 60 and was laid to rest a few feet away from Brother James Thompson in the Wellogate cemetery, along side his daughter and his wife. At the funeral Lodge meeting that followed his death the appreciation was given by Brother J.E.D Murray PM
The words of his songs, his name on the role of Past Masters in the Lodge and his portrait that hangs on its wall were until recetnly his only memorial, as his grave was unmarked. The Lodge with the support of the Common riding Committee, Callants Club, 1514 club, Mosstrooper Association and Hawick Archeological Society. Placed memorial stone to mark his resting place July 2016.