The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland
William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason
Greetings from Jamaica, where I arrived on Wednesday from the Bahamas.
After the appearance on “Morning Sunrise” TV last week, it was a trip to Government House to meet the Governor General of the Bahamas, His Excellency Sir Cornelius Smith. He was a charming individual and displayed a real and sincere interest in all that the Scottish Freemasons were doing throughout the Bahamas. On Friday night there was another reception with Brethren and their wives.
On Saturday morning, along with Brother Tom Davidson I conducted a rehearsal for the Installation with the local Brethren who were participating. In the afternoon, over 200 Brethren gathered for the Installation of Brother Anthony Ulysees Bostwick and his Commission in the very pleasant surrounds of the Baha Mar Hotel. It was a real pleasure to see so many Brethren in the Lodge. After the Installation we enjoyed the Banquet which concluded with a spectacular Junkanoo performance, and I know that some of you have viewed that on Facebook.
Sunday morning was spent at St Agnes Church where the Minister, Archdeacon Keith Cartwright, gave a very powerful sermon based on the 1st Sunday in lent. After the service we made our way to the building site which will eventually be the new Masonic Temple, but which had been transformed with tents and used for a barbeque for Brethren and their wives. I had to leave early to go for another antigen test to travel to Grand Bahama the following day. On Grand Bahama, I met with the Minister for Grand Bahama, Mrs Ginger Moxey with whom we discussed ways in which the Freemasons could further engage with the community. I was then shown some of the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian before enjoying the working of a truly excellent FC Degree by the Brethren of Lodge St Andrew in the evening.
Another early morning flight, and we arrived back in Nassau where I had the chance to catch up with emails and such before starting to pack for the trip to Jamaica. However, before Jamaica, it was a visit to Lodge St David 1741 where I witnessed an excellent EA Degree. The standard of ritual in Bahamas is extremely high. Next week – the Jamaican experience and onward to Barbados.
When the “Scottish Constitution Freemasonry Supports” Facebook Group was created in May 2020, to provide Brethren, Lodges, Districts and Provinces operating under the Grand Lodge of Scotland with a means of sharing the support being provided at home and abroad during the Covid-19 pandemic, it was anticipated that it would be a relatively short initiative. Now almost 2 years later, with examples of support being widened to encompass all support (not restricted to Covid-19 specific), the submissions to the group have been, and continue to be, overwhelming … resulting in yet another significant milestone being reached. As of today, the value of the examples of this support, both monetary and in kind, which have been published, has exceeded £2M … with £2,032,309 having been recorded within the group.
The Group saw its membership rise to 6342 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 1125, submitted by 357 of its members.
These updated contributions can now be attributed as to being made on behalf of 364 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 Forfarshire, Glasgow, Lanarkshire Middle Ward, Linlithgowshire, Perthshire East, Renfrewshire East and The Scottish Borders.
SCFS Overseas Report
Our membership of Brethren from Lodges located outside Scotland continues to grow steadily and the new members whom we have recently welcomed demonstrate the wide reach of the SCFS group. Included in that number were Brethren from Overseas Lodges operating under the Grand Lodge of Scotland and also Brethren from other Lodges working under Grand Lodges which are in amity with the GLoS, such as Beverly Hills Lodge, No. 528, Grand Lodge of California.
In this respect, reference may also be made to Lodge St. John, No. 1062, in the District of Barbados, and to Lodge of Togo, No. 1677, located in Tokoin, Togo. Brethren joining from those Lodges, and from Lodges in the Districts of Central South Africa, Lebanon, Far East (Hong Kong), and Sierra Leone and The Gambia, brings our Overseas Membership to 1714.
We also now have 1296 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 recently joined from 10 different Masonic constitutions: GL of New Zealand, GL of Florida, GL of the Philippines, GL of California, GL of Ireland (South Africa Northern), GL of Pennsylvania, UGLE (England, North Island New Zealand), United GL of Victoria, GL of Idaho, GL of Sweden.
A special welcome was extended to Brother Jorge Aladro, Past Grand Master, Grand Lodge of Florida.
Finally, as always, please stay safe and look after each other.
Grand Master Mason