The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland
William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason
After a successful trip to Zimbabwe, we headed to Malawi. On our first morning in Blantyre, we visited the Mountain View School for Deaf Children, a charity that has been supported since 2008 by the Province of Ross and Cromarty. The Province has eight boxes of football strips, tools, sewing machines and other goods awaiting shipping from Scotland but are having great difficulty getting them into Malawi.
However, on this occasion we took with us loads of knitwear produced by the Scottish Women’s Institute, and hundreds of wristbands supplied by PM Charlie MacAulay of Lodge St Martin 1217.
That evening we attended a reception at the Casa Mia Hotel where we joined Brethren and their partners from the Superintendency and the other Constitutions. On Wednesday the 18th we met the Honorary British Consul in Blantyre, Krishna Savjani. a charming man with whom we spent over an hour talking about an entire range of issues.
The outgoing Grand Superintendent, Brother Gordon Sheppard, has been a stalwart of Scottish Freemasonry in Malawi for many years and has served Grand Lodge as Grand Superintendent for 16 years. He has done an astounding job during that time and we are indebted to him for his commitment, enthusiasm and leadership during his extended term as Grand Superintendent. Brethren representing all four Lodges in Malawi, as well as the English Constitution, were present to witness Brother Peter Curtis being installed as our new Grand Superintendent. The Banquet to follow, prepared by Peter’s wife Veronica and the staff at Casa Mia, was outstanding. It was a memorable evening in great company.
Our final destination was Namibia. On Saturday 21st May Grand Secretary and I were transported to the magnificent Masonic Temple in Windhoek ready for a full day of Masonic activity.
First, we attended the Installation in Lodge Benguela which was conducted in fine style by the District Grand Lodge with the Immediate Past DGM, Brother Lionel de Haas in the Chair.
At the conclusion of the meeting, we enjoyed lunch before resuming work in the Temple. This time it was our turn to install the new DGM of Namibia, Brother Jaco van der Westhuizen. The Ceremony went well with over 40 in the Lodge – the largest number they have had since Covid struck.
After handing the Lodge back to the District, the DGM installed his Elected Office-bearers. It was a long but very enjoyable day in the Temple. A light refreshment followed before we returned to Arrebbusch where the evening Banquet was held in the company of the ladies. Altogether a tremendous day.
Scottish Freemasonry continues to flourish in all four countries that we visited despite Covid and other serious difficulties faced by the Brethren. My sincere thanks to everyone involved in the Africa trip.
- The Group saw its membership rise to 6540 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 1220, submitted by 371 of its members.
- These updated contributions can now be attributed as to being made on behalf of 384 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, Edinburgh, Lanarkshire Upper Ward, Linlithgowshire, Midlothian and Ross & Cromarty.
- The total identifiable monetary value of the contributions now recorded has risen to £2,303,603.
SCFS Overseas Report
We were delighted to receive the following posts this week:
- Lodge Northcliffe, No. 1086, in the District of Newfoundland and Labrador, shared news of another generous donation made by the Lodge to the Community Soup Kitchen.
- Brother Willie Innes, SPGM of the PGL of Edinburgh,posted news about the presentation of a cheque, to the value of £500, to Brother Bob Mitchell, Proxy Master of Lodge St. Thomas, No. 576, in the District of Gibraltar, by the Lodge as a donation towards the “Make it a Million” target for Prostate Scotland.
We continue to welcome new members to the group from our Overseas Lodges.
- In this respect, there was a wonderful response from the District of Bahamas this week, with Brethren joining from 5 different Lodges. In addition, Brethren also joined from the Districts of Lebanon and Jamaica which helped increase our Overseas Membership to 1399. We look forward to welcoming our 1400th Overseas Member this coming week.
- We also now have 1432 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.
- In this category, new Members joined from 8 geographically widely spread Masonic constitutions: the GL of Canada in the Province of Ontario, GL of Virginia, GL of Netherlands, United GL of New South Wales and ACT, GL of North Carolina, GL of Texas, GL Alpina of Switzerland, and the GL of China.
** We are grateful to those Overseas Lodges and Districts who shared news of their support of others and look forward to publishing further future posts.**
Finally, as always, please stay safe and look after each other.
Grand Master Mason