The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland
William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason
At long last, I am delighted, following the meeting of Heads of Orders, that I could announce earlier in the week that Lodge meetings in Scotland can resume forthwith. From the feedback I have received so far, the announcement has been welcomed but we must remember that there will be Brethren who for health or other reasons will still be cautious or unsure about returning at present. Their position must be acknowledged and fully accepted – no one should feel under any pressure whatsoever to return at this time. Likewise, we must proceed in a manner that ensures that we all strictly adhere to the Scottish Government guidelines – as the guidelines change from time to time, so must we. The Strategy Group will monitor the guidelines and advise the Administration Committee of any changes – that information, once examined by the Administration Committee will be circulated to all Scottish Lodges.
At this time of rejoicing that we can once again meet and restart our programmes, we must also be mindful of our Brethren in many of our Districts who are still a long way from being able to re-open, in many cases due to the lack of vaccines in the country. We all hope and pray that their varying situations will improve sooner rather than later, and I give them all the assurance that they are very much in our thoughts during these difficult times.
Brethren, both at home and abroad, we are on a journey, and it is imperative that we all work together to ensure the success of the journey. We just don’t know what we will encounter in the months ahead, but I am sure that proceeding with caution and common sense we will be able to overcome all the difficulties and take this great fraternity of ours through the 21st Century in as strong and vibrant way as is humanly possible.
➢ The Group saw its membership rise to 5517 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 892, submitted by 301 of its members.
➢ These updated contributions can now be attributed as to being made on behalf of 327 Lodges, from within 55 of its Provincial Grand Lodges, District Grand Lodges, Superintendencies and Lodges abroad under the direct supervision of Grand Lodge.
➢ This week posts were submitted by group members representing the Provinces of Glasgow, Lanarkshire Upper Ward, Midlothian and Perthshire West
➢ The total identifiable monetary value of the contributions now recorded has risen to £1,391,101.
SCFS Overseas Report
• Our Overseas Membership has now risen to 1550 Brethren. This is thanks to new members joining us from Lodges in the Districts of the Bahamas and the Middle East (Malaysia, Thailand)
• The largest increase in membership was from the District of the Middle East.
• It was an additional pleasure to welcome Brother Claudius R. Walker, Past District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of the Bahamas.
• Our membership of Brethren who belong to Lodges whose Grand Lodges are in amity with GLoS continues to grow. We now have 784 Brethren spreading news of the wonderful support featured in the posts on the main SCFS page and on the increasingly popular SCFS-Showcase, throughout their constitutions. We look forward to welcoming our 800th ICM.
• During this week, the expanding reach of SCFS was seen by the fact that Brethren joined from 7 different Masonic Constitutions, including: United GL of New South Wales and A.C.T., GL of Canada in the Province of Ontario, GL of Indiana, UGLE (England, Nigeria, South Africa North), GL of Virginia, GL of Greece, United Grand Lodges of Germany, GL of Ireland (Thailand).
• It’s always a pleasure to receive news from our Districts and we look forward to receiving and sharing further posts from our Overseas Brethren this week, still eagerly awaiting the first ones from a number of Districts.
As we resume our meetings here in Scotland, can I take this opportunity to thank, in the sincerest of terms, Grand Secretary and the staff of Grand Lodge for all they have achieved on our behalf over the past eighteen months. They have worked extremely hard to ensure that the day-to-day business has continued with minimum disruption. I would also pay tribute to Mrs Dawn Oliff, her Home Managers and the staff in both of our Masonic Homes for the tremendous job they have done and continue to do under extremely difficult conditions.
Finally, my sincere thanks to all District and Provincial Grand Masters and their Office-bearers, our two Superintendents and to all Lodge Masters and Office-bearers at home and abroad for their efforts over the past eighteen months. We are winning the battle but there is still some way to go for all of us. Keep up the good work that you are doing and, as always, please stay safe and look after each other.
Grand Master Mason