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Retired Inverurie postman and Masonic Master Brian Morton dies, 74

The popular Oldmeldrum dad-of-two was known in lodges all over Scotland.

Former postman, Brian Morton of Oldmeldrum.
Former postman, Brian Morton of Oldmeldrum.

Insurance broker, postie and Freemason, Brian Morton of Oldmeldrum, has died aged 74.

The father-of-two was devoted to two things in life: his wife and children, and the part he played in his masonic lodge.

Insurance man

Brian Robert Granger Morton was born on June 25 1949 in Barrhead. Son of Jim and Mae Morton, who owned and ran Gateside Dying and Cleaning company in Barrhead, he was an only child.

He attended Paisley Grammar School for both primary and secondary education then on to Dundee University to study law.

Following his time at university he returned to Barrhead where he worked for a Paisley law firm.  However, it would be a move into life insurance and pensions administration that would really hold Brian’s attention. Over the years he worked with numerous companies making this his specialism.

Choral fascination

As a boy Brian joined Holy Trinity Episcopal Church choir in Paisley. An annual highlight was their trip to Cumbrae for choir school in the Cathedral of the Isles.

In 1972 Brian met fellow Paisley Grammar pupil Penny Gilmour, from Barrhead.

Brian’s uncle Jack and Penny’s father were founding members of Barrhead Rotary Club. Penny and Brian were roped in to help with the inaugural cheese and wine night.

Brian and Penny Morton on their wedding day.

“I think we were charged with setting up the raffle,” Penny said. “We got blethering and the rest, as they say, is history.”

They realised they shared love of choral music: Penny part of her Methodist church choir and Brian in his. After a time going along to one another’s churches, Penny joined Brian’s choir.

‘It’s the Masons for me’

By 1973 they were very much a couple but Brian had something to tell Penny.

“I thought he had some big secret… turned out he wanted to let me know he was joining the Masons,” laughed Penny. “Really, from then on there were two components to Brian’s life; our family, and Freemasonry.”

Brian Morton being installed as master of Lodge 307 Union and Crown, Barrhead. 

He was initiated in April 1973 and advanced to become Master Mason in Lodge Union and Crown 307 by September 1973. He then received his mark degree that November.

Growing family

Brian and Penny married at St Aidan’s Episcopal Church in Clarkston in 1976, accompanied by almost an entire wedding party made up of choir members.

In May 1980 they became a family of three with the birth of son Ian. Daughter Lynne arrived in February 1982 and, in between, Sheba, their beloved dog, joined the Morton household.

In 1979 Brian and his family moved to East Kilbride from Clarkston.

Masonic career

Passionate about Freemasonry he worked his way through the many offices and ranks.

He took on the role of Right Worshipful Master of Lodge Union and Crown in 1981. Thereafter,  he served in the Provincial Grand Lodge East Renfrewshire from 1985, and as Provincial Grand Steward for 17 years. He attained the position of Provincial Grand Senior Warden in 2006.

Brian and Penny enjoying a dance at Barrhead Masonic Lodge.

Brian remained within the insurance industry as a chartered insurance broker until major fiscal changes restructured the job.

“He really didn’t want a sales job,” said Penny. “But that’s what it had become. So he left, eventually becoming a postman for some years before we moved to Oldmeldrum.”

New life in the Shire

While Penny worked as an education officer for Aberdeen City Council, Brian contuined as a postman in Inverurie.

He loved his new job. Talking to people and befriending pets made it his perfect role but an accident at work meant he had to retire.

The move to Aberdeenshire meant a change in which Lodge Brian attended. He eventually settled on being affiliated to the Lodge of St Anthony 154.

Penny Morton with her son Ian on his wedding day to Seonaid. The bride is pictured with her new sister-in-law Lynne, and Brian in his masonic tartan kilt.

His willingness to undertake every and any duty meant he quickly rose to become Right Worshipful Master.

Brian remained a prolific visitor to other lodges both within the province of Aberdeenshire (West) and back home to East Renfrewshire.

“We have had a lovely life up here. It is one of the best decisions we’ve ever made,” said Penny.

Courage against cancer

In 2011 Brian was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Tackling it head on he fought back and came through so the pair could once again enjoy their regular coffee shop visits and holidays to Australia and Corfu, and “some wonderful cruises”.

Recently given the 10-year “all clear” for the previous cancer it was a devastating blow to be diagnosed with skin cancer in 2022.

Brian Morton relaxing at home.

Penny said: “Brian once again planned to fight the cancer but this time it wasn’t to be. He bore his final months with great fortitude and patience but it took its toll.”

Brian died peacefully at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary on Saturday October 7.


In a tribute to their “brother” – a statement from Brian’s lodge said: “Peacefully may he rest after the weary toil of life.

“As the beautiful butterfly bursts forth from its cocoon to soar aloft in the sunshine, so our brother’s spirit has cast off this earthly tenement.

During a family weekend away to celebrate his 70th birthday, Brian Morton.

“The working tools of Earth have fallen from his grasp. His work on Earth is done. His Temple is completed, and he has gone to receive his wages from the Master Builder.”

Brian’s funeral took place on Monday October 23 at Baldarroch Crematorium, Banchory. Masonic burial rituals were adapted for a cremation service.

“We absolutely had to include Freemasonry because it was my husband’s life passion,” added Penny.

You can read the family’s announcement here.