When Bro. William Lawson became Secretary of Lodge St. Barchan, he could not have foreseen the Priceless Jewel that he was to leave his Mother Lodge in the shape of those minutes that he kept during the period of World War One.

These minutes graphically describe the horror of the four years from 1914 to 1918. The evidence of the war was continually set before him in the Lodge Room when Brethren in military dress came before him, some with missing limbs, others suffering the symptoms of mustard gas poisoning and countless others who considered themselves the fortunate ones to come home only bandaged.

In addition, Bro. Lawson had the unenviable task of writing to the widows and immediate family of those brethren who had been posted killed or missing.

Bro. Lawson himself was in the printing trade and resided in nearby Johnstone. He considered himself a friend to Bro. George Yeats, Lodge St Barchan's longest ever serving Master. Bro. Lawson died suddenly aged only 50 years at 1.30 p.m. on Monday 21st March 1921.

Such was the esteem of the late Brother that on the 24th March the brethren assembled in the Lodge Room and thereafter marched to the Tram Terminus where a special tram conveyed them to Bro. Lawson's home in Ellerslie Street Johnstone, from whence they conveyed Bro. Lawson to the Abbey Cemetery in Elderslie where he was buried with full Masonic honours.