The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland
William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason
While the current restrictions have resulted in a significant number of meetings being cancelled, it is good to know that some meetings are still taking place with all necessary precautions in place. I attended an Installation on Tuesday night at which the brethren in attendance had been requested to do a lateral flow test before attending, no one got into the building without recording their details and sanitizing their hands. Masks were worn throughout, and ventilation was good. While the Harmony was cancelled, the meeting did give the opportunity for brethren, many of whom live on their own, to meet and socialise. While we must adhere strictly to the Government guidelines, we must not lose sight of the fact that the guidelines do give the flexibility to ensure that we take cognisance of the mental health of the brethren. That two hours at a meeting can make all the difference to those living in isolation – they too need all the support we can offer.
I had a very positive meeting with the majority of Provincial Grand Masters this week to discuss the way forward to reach our target of £1 million pounds for Prostate Scotland by next November. A number of ideas have been put forward including each Province organising a charity cycle ride round all the Lodges in the Province with one cyclist from each Province forming a cavalcade of 32 cyclists cycling into George Street in November. Another zip slide is a possibility, tandem parachute jumps, white water rafting all feature – your PGM will disseminate all the information to you very soon.
We are aware that the work of Prostate Scotland has a positive effect on men world-wide and that being the case, I will be talking to our Districts about ways in which they can also contribute.
- The Group saw its membership rise to 6060 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 1068, submitted by 343 of its members.
- These updated contributions can now be attributed as to being made on behalf of 356 Lodges, from within 56 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 Dumfriesshire, Fife & Kinross, Forfarshire, Inverness-shire, Lanarkshire Middle Ward, Linlithgowshire, Renfrewshire West and Ross & Cromarty.
- The total identifiable monetary value of the contributions now recorded has risen to £1,833,501.
SCFS Overseas Report
A number of outstanding posts were published this week … again, thanks are extended to the brethren who supported SCFS by providing them. We were delighted to receive the first post from the District of Sierra Leone and The Gambia.
Nearly all of our Districts have now had posts published from it.
- Brother Nicholas Browne-Marke, Depute DGM of Sierra Leone and The Gambia, posted information and a video of a very special Christmas treat of dinner and gifts for under privileged children in Freetown … provided by the DGL.
- Brother Horace Gock, JD, of Lodge Polynesia, No. 562, Fiji, posted news of the provision and distribution of 50 Christmas Hamper Packs by the Brethren and ladies of the Lodge, to needy families in the community.
- Details of a magnificent donation of over £16250 to “Surf Life Saving Western Australia” from the Scottish Masonic Charitable Foundation of Western Australia were provided by Brother George Rogers, PDGM of Western Australia.
- Our Overseas Membership is growing steadily … now standing at 1671,with brethren joining from the Districts of Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada, and Lebanon(the District which had most brethren joining from it).
- The milestone of 1100 ICMs (International Constitution Members) has been reached. Many congratulations are extended to Brother René Fouraschen, Deputy Grand Master of the Grand East of the Netherlands, our 1100th ICM.
- We now have 1112 brethren from Lodges whose Grand Lodges are in amity with the GLoS, and who spread news, worldwide, of the wonderful support given to others by our brethren. New members joined from 12 different Masonic constitutions this week: the United GL of Victoria, GL “Alpina” of Switzerland, UGLE (England, Botswana), GL of Illinois, Prince Hall GL of New York, GL of Estonia, United Grand Lodges of Germany, GL of Ghana, GL of India, United GL of New South Wales and ACT, GL of Wisconsin, Grand East of the Netherlands.
Brethren, as 2021 comes to a close, may I wish you and your families every good wish for a happy, healthy and fulfilling New Year. I look forward to meeting with many of you at home and abroad during the year as and when the Covid restrictions permit.
Finally, as always, please stay safe and look after each other.
Grand Master Mason