The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland
William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason
Little did I think when I penned the first weekly update that I would still be doing so 100 weeks on. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Brothers Dougie Fergie and Jim Ellis for the SCFS information they provide each week and thank each and every one of our readers for the support and encouragement you have given over almost two years – thank you.
Just as we find ourselves heading into another round of restrictions, I was truly heartened on Wednesday night to head north to Lodge St Duthus No 82 where a group of “young masons” under the leadership and guidance of the Provincial Grand Master, Bro Raymond MacKeddie worked a first-class Fellow Craft Degree. During the past 21 months this group of young masons from the Province of Ross & Cromarty augmented by young masons from the Provinces of Caithness and Inverness-shire have met by zoom and worked through a creative programme of talks, discussion and discovery. On Wednesday night they were responsible for passing one of their own group members to the Fellowcraft Degree – and what a job they made of it. I drove home very much elated and full of optimism for the future. Let us follow their example in every Province and District and secure the future of our Craft in very safe hands.
- The Group saw its membership rise to 6025 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 1050, submitted by 337 of its members.
- These updated contributions can now be attributed as to being made on behalf of 355 Lodges, from within 55 of its Provincial Grand Lodges, 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 East Lothian, Edinburgh, Fife & Kinross, Forfarshire, Glasgow, Lanarkshire Middle Ward, Linlithgowshire, Perthshire East and Ross & Cromarty.
- The total identifiable monetary value of the contributions now recorded has risen to £1,806,693.
SCFS Overseas Report
A number of outstanding posts were published this week … thanks are extended to the brethren who supported SCFS by providing them. Nearly all of our Districts have now had a post published from it.
- Brother Nick Andrew, PM, Lodge Naval and Military, No. 848, posted information and photos of a special Christmas treat of dinner and gifts, involving the 6 Lodges in Hong Kong, Far East, for under privileged children in the community.
- News of the Charity Day / Street Party with Santa for 400 children and 120 adults provided by Lodge Piet Retief, No. 1501, in Vereeniging, RSA, (supported by Lodge Heredom, No. 1768), in the District of Central South Africa, was provided by Brother Len Muller, PM/Secretary.
- Our Overseas Membership is now standing at 1668 with brethren joining from the Districts of Central South Africa(Transvaal, RSA), Far East (South Korea) and Lebanon.
- Central South Africa was the District which had most brethren joining from it.
- We now have 1097 brethren from Lodges whose Grand Lodges are in amity with the GLoS and look forward to the next SCFS milestone of 1100 ICMs (International Constitution Members). Through our ICMs, the wonderful support given to others by our brethren is shared worldwide.
New members joined from 6 different Masonic constitutions this week: the GL of Ghana, GL of Ireland, UGLE (England, South Africa Northern), GL of Washington, United GL of Victoria, GL of California.
Whereas all our new members received a warm welcome message, a further welcome was extended to Brother Cameron Bailey in his capacity as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Washington.
While it is maybe not the Christmas and New Year we were looking forward to, can I nevertheless end this 100th edition by wishing you all and your families a very happy and blessed Christmas and hope that 2022 will bring each of you happiness, good health and collectively, a full return to Masonic activity. Could I also ask that we remember at this time those who are lonely! They may be lonely through bereavement, illness or circumstances beyond their control – give them a call or pop in and see them – that five minutes will make a huge difference.
Finally, as always, please stay safe and look after each other.
Grand Master Mason