The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland
William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason
We are at the time of year when many of our Brethren will be involved in various religious celebrations but, because of the lockdown restrictions throughout the world will be unable to do so in the traditional way. Nevertheless, may I wish you all a happy and meaningful celebration - to our Christian Brethren celebrating Easter, our Jewish Brethren, Pesach, our Hindu Brethren, Holi, our Muslim Brethren, Ramadan and our Sikh Brethren, Baisakhi.
A year on from the postponement and the eventual cancellation of the Abseil Event at the Forth Bridge the final amount raised by Brethren and friends was collated with Prostate Scotland at the end of last week and the figures reported to the Benevolence and Care Committee of Grand Lodge earlier this week. The fantastic news is that the amount raised was £33,428 and this was raised by 33 brethren and 1 lady representing 27 Provinces from the length and breadth of Scotland. What a phenomenal effort by all who registered to take part in the event and all their supporters who allowed their sponsorship to become a donation and enabled this fantastic amount to be presented to Prostate Scotland the Nominated Charity of The Grand Lodge of Scotland. Times have been difficult for all charities due to the pandemic which means that you all deserve a very special “Thank You” for your support which allowed Prostate Scotland to progress its work with men with prostate disease and providing support for their families despite all the difficulties. Well done everyone.
On Wednesday I attended the Benevolence and Care Committee meeting by Zoom. Much business was conducted but the outstanding issue of the day for me was hearing about the care, dedication, commitment and devotion to duty displayed by our staff in our two Masonic Homes. This past year has been an extremely difficult and stressful year for all the Homes staff, but they have acted in the most professional way possible ensuring that all our Residents have been kept safe and well. An exceptional achievement and I’m sure you’d wish to join me in thanking Mrs Dawn Oliff in 96 George Street, our two Homes Managers, Gillian and Wilma and all the staff in both Homes for a job well done.
Another 33 Brethren joined the group which saw its membership grow to 4843 Brethren from not only the Scottish Constitution but from many of our Sister Constitutions throughout the world.
This week saw the total examples of charitable giving recorded within the group rise to 718, submitted by 270 of its members.
These updated contributions can now be attributed to 316 Lodges, from within all 32 Provincial Grand Lodges, 23 of its District Grand Lodges, Superintendencies and Lodges under the direct supervision of Grand Lodge.
Another £13,930 of contributions with an identifiable monetary value was added during the week, seeing the total rise to £1,046,061 in the 48 weeks since the creation of the group.
SCFS Overseas Report
- With the inclusion of the new members we have welcomed from our Lodges overseas this week, our Overseas Membership has now risen to 1387Brethren. We look forward to welcoming our 1400th Overseas Member very soon.
- These new members joined us from their Lodges in ... Jamaica, Lebanon, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada.
- An additional 15Brethren joined from Lodges operating under Grand Lodges which are in amity with the Grand Lodge of Scotland, (ICMs). The number of ICMs viewing the SCFS page world wide now totals 449. This week, Brethren joined from the GL of Quebec, GL of Alabama, GL of India, GL of Saskatchewan, GL of Philippines, UGLE, GL of Washington, GL of British Freemasons in Germany (under the United Grand Lodges of Germany), GL of Japan.
- In addition, the list of Grand Lodges represented by Brethren within them joining as ICMs had thePrince Hall Grand Lodge of the Commonwealth in the Bahamas added to it.
- A big “Thank you” is extended to Brother Warren Saks, PM/Secretary, of St. George’s Lodge, No. 10, in Montreal, for encouraging many Brethren to join as ICMs.
· A very special welcome was extended to Brother George Duke, Past Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of India.
Throughout the past year I have been asking you all to keep in touch with each other to ensure that everyone is fine and not wanting for anything. Many of you have and are doing just that in many different ways – one such example comes from the Brethren of Lodge Fraser No 267 in the Province of Aberdeenshire East. They have been having their regular “Horse and Stag” quiz nights and this Friday will be asking their 1000th quiz question. Congratulations to Lodge Fraser and my sincere thanks to everyone who keeps in touch in so many ways.
Finally, as always, please stay safe and look after each other
Grand Master Mason