The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland
William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason
The current rise in Covid 19 cases in Scotland is concerning to say the least. As I write this report at least three hospitals, including Raigmore here in the north, have gone into Black Alert which again is concerning but if much of the rise relates to recent football activity, we will hopefully see the number of cases drop over the next few weeks as the vaccination programme accelerates.
But the increase in cases is not confined to Scotland. This past week I have been in touch with our brethren in Zimbabwe where travel is very much restricted and in neighbouring Zambia our District Grand Master, Brother Frank McCully, tells me that the situation has deteriorated to such an extent that there will be no meetings for the remainder of the year and that the 4th International Conference in 2023 may well have to be postponed again.
Despite the setbacks at home and abroad, I remain optimistic that we will get back to our meetings in the autumn. The Strategy Group are meeting next week to review all the guidance that has already been distributed with the task of updating it – as soon as the Administration Committee and Grand Committee agree to the updates, Grand Secretary will arrange to have the information circulated to all Lodges. Given that our No 1 priority has to be the health and welfare of our Brethren, it is imperative that all Lodges take cognisance of the guidance.
The 2021 Yearbook is now available from the Grand Lodge shop. Another excellent publication and is well worth the £12 cost. The Yearbook is packed with useful information and interesting articles – something that every member of the Craft should have.
The link to order the book is - https://www.grandlodgescotland.com/product/year-book-2021/
In response to feedback from Members, and in order to provide a greater understanding of mental health issues, a Mental Health and Wellbeing Zoom Event was organised with the aim of breaking down barriers and signposting sources of help and support for those who need it. With the agreement of all participants, the Event was recorded and is available to view via the following link - https://www.grandlodgescotland.com/2021/07/09/wellbeing/
- The Group saw its membership rise to 5385 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 860, submitted by 296 of its members.
- These updated contributions can now be attributed as to being made on behalf of 322 Lodges, from within all 32 Provincial Grand Lodges, 23 of its District Grand Lodges, Superintendencies and Lodges abroad under the direct supervision of Grand Lodge.
- During the week posts were submitted by group members representing the Provinces of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Midlothian.
- The total identifiable monetary value of the contributions now recorded has risen to £1,352,761.
SCFS Overseas Report
- Our Overseas Membership has now risen to 1522 Interestingly, this week, three lodges shared the distinction of having the most Brethren joining from an individual Lodge, and they were Lodge Wolmers, No. 1506, Jamaica, Lodge Darul Takzim, No. 1836, Malaysia, Middle East and Lodge Progress, No. 812, Chile.
- It is very heartening to witness the growing recognition of the SCFS page amongst Brethren who belong to Lodges whose Grand Lodges are in amity with the GLoS. The wonderful posts demonstrating various examples of support, as featured on the main SCFS page and on the increasingly popular SCFS-Showcase,are clearly making an impression, globally,throughout many constitutions.
- As our ICM (International Constitution Members) membership has now grown to 701, the milestone of welcoming our 700th ICMwas reached this week. Congratulations are therefore extended toBrother Barry Brome, Alpha Lodge, No. 116, under the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, who has been welcomed as our 700th ICM.
- This week Brethren joined from 8different Masonic Constitutions: GL of Alberta, Most Worshipful GL of the Philippines, GL of New Jersey, Grand East of the Netherlands, UGLE(England, Bombay), United GL of Victoria, GL of Ireland (Singapore), GL of Canada in the Province of Ontario.
Last week I reported that we have a new Assistant Grand Secretary – this week I’m delighted to report that we also have a new Assistant Grand Treasurer, Brother Les Livingstone who has settled in well and is getting to grips with the intricacies of the role.
Finally, as always, please stay safe and look after each other
Grand Master Mason