The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland
William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason
How good it was to get Regalia back on last week and conduct a Provincial Grand Lodge Installation Ceremony. The meeting was held in the spacious dining room of the Ben Wyvis Hotel in Strathpeffer with external doors open at either end of the room, sanitizer available throughout, track and trace in place and everyone wearing masks throughout. All photographs were taken outside which was good and in place of a formal dinner, we had tea and sandwiches which everyone enjoyed after which the dispersal. There was only a handful of Brethren left by four in the afternoon.
The Deputation from Grand Lodge was reduced to four in order that the Province could maximise on the attendance of their own Brethren, and I’m delighted to report that all 12 Lodges in the Province were represented.
Everyone acted responsibly and there were no issues – what impressed me was the sheer delight everyone displayed in being able to get back to a meeting and, having attended a Provincial Meeting, are now looking forward to their own meetings.
This coming weekend I am looking forward to re-installing Brother Dougie Fergie as PGM of East Lothian and on Saturday installing Brother Gordon Sewell as PGM of Stirlingshire.
➢ The Group saw its membership rise to 5604 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 909, submitted by 305 of its members.
➢ These updated contributions can now be attributed as to being made on behalf of 329 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 Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire East, Ross & Cromarty, Scottish Borders and Stirlingshire.
➢ The total identifiable monetary value of the contributions now recorded has risen to £1,414,264.
SCFS Overseas Report
• Our Overseas Membership has now risen to 1567 Brethren. This is thanks to new members joining us from Lodges in the Districts of Lebanon, Eastern Province of the Cape of Good Hope, Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada, and Western Australia.
• The largest increase in membership was from the District of Lebanon, with the most Brethren joining from an individual Lodge, this week, coming from Lodge Zahlé, No. 1047, Lebanon.
• Our membership of Brethren who belong to Lodges whose Grand Lodges are in amity with GLoS continues to grow. We now have 839 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.
• During this week, the expanding reach of SCFS was seen by the fact that Brethren joined from 11 different Masonic Constitutions, including: GL of Cuba, GL of India, GL of Chile, Simbolic GL of Paraguay (Asunción), United GL of Victoria, UGLE(England, Northern India), GL of Ireland, GL of the District of Columbia, GL of Oregon, GL of Texas, GL of Nigeria.
• From the above, it was delightful to extend a special welcome to Brother Virendra K. Agarwal, Past Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of India.
• Lodges in our Districts, under Grand Superintendents and under the supervision of Grand Lodge, are all encouraged to share the examples of the excellent support which they are involved in and we look forward, in turn, to sharing it with all our Brethren.
Brethren, we cannot be insensitive to the fact that there has been an increase in Covid numbers in Scotland in the past week – I reiterate therefore that if you are unsure about attending a meeting, don’t worry about not going – there is no pressure on anyone to attend meetings. It is perfectly understandable, especially if you have underlying health issues. For those of you who are keen to get back – go back, but be sensible, stick to the guidelines and do all the basics which will ensure that you keep yourself and others around you, safe and sound.
Finally, as always, please stay safe and look after each other.