The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland
William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason
This is the 57th edition of the weekly update. Over the past 57 weeks I have tried to keep everyone up to speed with what is happening and issue advice on a whole range of issues currently affecting Lodges. Last week I highlighted the latest Discretionary Budget. A member of our Craft, who wishes anonymity as a whistle blower, has launched a personal attack on me by informing The Times that my giving advice to claim public money is “atrocious”. While this is yet another personal attack, whoever is behind this and the previous Times articles should be aware that I am not being damaged by these actions. However, a great deal of reputational damage is being done to Scottish Freemasonry as a whole. Did the person responsible ever give any thought to informing the Times of the other information in the Update last week – that Scottish Freemasons have, during the Pandemic, contributed over £800k to the communities in which they operate? Since day one, I have adopted an open-door approach. While I cannot physically be in Edinburgh at the present time, I am easily contactable at the end of a phone. I am more than happy to discuss any grievances that Brethren may have regarding what I put in the Update each week or on any other topic. So, please, if you want to have a pop at me personally, then don’t hide behind the cloak of anonymity. Identify yourself and speak to me, instead of besmirching the good name of our Craft in the media.
The next lecture in the History & Heritage Group Series will be by Brother Joe Curry, Immediate Past DGM of the Bahamas, on Wednesday 3rd March at 7.00 pm.
- The group witnessed its membership rise to 4689 Brethren from both Scottish Constitution Lodges and Lodges from other Constitutions recognised by the Grand Lodge of Scotland.
- The total recorded examples of charitable giving within the group rose to 659, submitted by 257 of its members.
- These updated contributions can now be attributed as to being made on behalf of 305 Lodges, from within the 32 Provincial Grand Lodges, 21 District Grand Lodges, Superintendencies and Lodges under the direct supervision of Grand Lodge.
- The quantifiable monetary value of contributions has risen to £848,096 during the 43 weeks since the group was started. This represents an average weekly contribution of £19,723.
SCFS Overseas Report
- With new members joining the SCFS group from the Districts of Central South Africa (RSA), Middle East (Malaysia), Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada, and Lebanon(District with most joining members this week), we now have 1346 members from Overseas Lodges. The largest number of new members were from Lodge Al Arz, No. 1853, in Lebanon (our youngest Lodge).
- New ICMs were welcomed from the Grand Lodge of Argentina, Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario, UGLE (England, Wales, Argentina), Grand Lodge of Spain, Grand Lodge of Alberta, Grand Lodge of Israel, Grand Lodge of Bolivia. The list of Grand Lodges represented by brethren within them joining as ICMs had the Grand East of the Netherlands added this week. This brings the ICM membership to 360 Brethren.
- A warm welcome was extended to Brother Yaron J. Ze’elim (Past Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Israel).
- We received an excellent post from Brother George Rogers, IPDGM of the District Grand Lodge of Western Australia, of behalf of the Scottish Masonic Charitable Foundation and Lodge Royal Stewart, No. 893.
Letters have gone out this week to all Provinces stating that a Dementia Awareness Initiative has been successfully implemented in Fife and Kinross. In this regard, it has been agreed to hold an evening Zoom event on Tuesday, 16th March, at 7pm, in order that the benefits of this initiative in Fife and Kinross can be shared. Thereafter, we would be very happy to provide further information and assistance to any Provincial Grand Lodge which would like to progress a similar initiative in their area. It is hoped that we will get a good response – details are available through your Province. It is hoped to arrange a further two such events and these are in the process of being planned.
Very shortly Grand Secretary will be sending out letters to the Districts and Provinces inviting young Masons under the age of 40 to attend a zoom seminar on Saturday 20th March to begin a process with the young Masons to map out their vision for the future of Scottish Freemasonry. This is a project that I would commend to all young Masons.
Finally, as always, please stay safe and look after each other
Grand Master Mason