The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland
William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason
Greetings from Port of Spain. I arrived here on Wednesday night from Barbados. I was joined in Barbados by Grand Secretary, and we enjoyed a very productive time with the Brethren of Barbados.
The District Grand Master, Brother Andre S F Harding was very much aware that there had not been a lot of spare time over the past few weeks. That being the case, he made arrangements for us to have a relaxing day on the Thursday at the West Indies v England test Match. It was my first ever cricket match and it proved to be a very enjoyable day, especially as I was introduced to Sir Garfield Sobers.
On Friday 18th March we were taken to what used to be the Lodge Rooms in Bridgetown but now hosts a Masonic Museum on the top floor and a more general museum on the lower floor dealing with the economy and business of Barbados. Before starting the tour, I was interviewed, along with the DGM, on CBC TV. In the evening, we were taken to a cocktail reception where we met many of the Brethren and their ladies.
Saturday was the big day. We had a rehearsal at 08.00, photographs at 09.00 and straight into the Installation at 10.00. All went well and it was a delight to install Brother Andre S F Harding and his Commission into Office. The ensuing Banquet commenced at 18.30 in the evening
Sunday was the closest I came to having a day off since I left on 25th February however, in the evening we hosted a number of senior Brethren from all Constitutions to a reception.
First duty on Monday was to undergo a PCR test in preparation of our next stop in Trinidad. Thereafter, we visited Mount Gay Rum Distillery where we enjoyed a tour, lunch and private tasting In the evening, we attended the regular meeting of Lodge Scotia No 340 at which they held a Lodge of Sorrow in respect of one of their members, the late Hon Mr Justice Ethrine Garvey Husbands, PM.
Tuesday March 22nd – Grand Secretary and I met with the Barbados Cancer Society and three members of the District Grand Lodge to discuss how the District can be instrumental in delivering a programme that will heighten Prostate Cancer awareness. It was a very productive meeting and Dawn Oliff has already been in touch with them to assist and advise based on our experience with Prostate Cancer Scotland. In the evening we had a farewell dinner on the west side of the island at the Beach House restaurant. A very enjoyable experience with the DGM and the members of his Installation Organising Committee.
- The Group saw its membership rise to 6377 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 1141, submitted by 361 of its members.
- These updated contributions can now be attributed as to being made on behalf of 369 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 Aberdeen City, Fife & Kinross, Forfarshire, Perthshire West, Renfrewshire East and Ross & Cromarty.
- The total identifiable monetary value of the contributions now recorded has risen to £2,067,818.
SCFS Overseas Report
We were delighted to receive the following posts this week:
- Brother George Rogers, PDGM, shared news of a sizeable donation made on behalf of the Scottish Masonic Charitable Foundation of Western Australia and the Daughter Lodges to the Motor Neurone Disease Association of Western Australia.
- Brother Beng Hock Teo, PDG Secretary, posted on behalf of Brother Ng Chee Wee, PM/Almoner, detailing the excellent and prompt response by Lodge Sarawak, No. 1452, Malaysia, in the District of Middle East, to an appeal for rapid antigen test kits by the Salvation Army Boys’ Home in Kuching.
- Brother Robert Duffney, IPM, provided information about the generous donation from Lodge Northcliffe, No.1086, in the District of Newfoundland and Labrador, to the Milltown-Head of Bay D' Espoir Winter Carnival Committee.
- Our Overseas Membership is continuing to grow steadily. Brethren joining from Lodges in the Districts of Bahamas, Middle East (Malaysia), North Island New Zealand, Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago & Grenada, and Belgium (under supervision), have helped increase our Overseas Membership to 1722.
- We also now have 1325 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 7 different Masonic constitutions: GL of Romania, GL of the Philippines, GL of the State of Israel, GL of Canada in the Province of Ontario, GL of California. In addition, further warm welcomes were extended to Brother Chris Uchman, Deputy Grand Master of the GL of Alberta (who will be installed as Grand Master in June) and to Brother Sarosh Dordi, Past Deputy Grand Master of the GL of India.
Finally, as always, please stay safe and look after each other.
Grand Master Mason