The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland
William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason
The Provincial Grand Masters meeting last Saturday was a very productive one. Only two Provinces were not represented but they both sent written updates. I was heartened to hear the progress being made in the vast majority of the Provinces – all positive with new candidates in many of the Lodges but we also face challenges. Some Lodges are undoubtedly struggling, and a number of potential amalgamations were spoken of. While that is sad, especially where old Lodges are concerned, amalgamation means they will continue to exist. Many PGMs reported that Lodges were changing from two meetings a month to one, while others were considering changing the day of their meeting and likewise the time. A change of format in other Lodges was proving worthwhile. I am indebted to our Provincial and District Grand Masters and likewise our Grand Superintendents who are actively involved in facilitating necessary change. Given that we are still emerging from the Pandemic which has taken its toll in so many ways, we all need to accept the changing world we live in and embrace changes to the way we have operated in the past. By so doing, we will emerge stronger and more resilient.
One way that will undoubtedly help take us forward was the agreement of the PGMs that the setting up of a Young Masons network is essential and much can be gained from it. I think it is an exciting development which can easily be spread into our Districts. The young masons are our future. We therefore have to give them every support and encouragement to be creative and inventive in how and when we meet and how best to vary the content of the Lodge programme.
The basic tenets of our Craft and the lessons contained in our ritual will never change but how we deliver them affords us much scope to think outside the box and make our meetings more productive, interesting, exciting and enjoyable.
- The Group saw its membership rise to 6925 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 1375, submitted by 405 of its members.
- These updated contributions can now be attributed as to being made on behalf of 406 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 Provincial Grand Lodges of Lanarkshire Middle Ward, Linlithgowshire, Midlothian and Perthshire East.
- The total identifiable monetary value of the contributions now recorded has risen to £2,735,140.
SCFS Overseas Report .
- The Overseas membership still continues to increase. Special mention for support this week is given to Lodge Mount Lebanon, No. 1312 (District of Lebanon), Lodge Thistle, No. 1014 (District of Barbados),and Lodge Ntshe, No. 1746 (District of Botswana).
- In addition, new members were approved from Lodges in amity with the GLoS such as the GL of Nevada, UGLE, GL of Canada in the Province of Ontario, GL of Nova Scotia, GL of Illinois and the GL of New Zealand.
- We were delighted to publish a post from Brother Jim Kerr, DGM, of the District Grand Lodge of the Central South Africa, who shared news from Peter Geyer, DG Almoner, about the District’s support of Epworth Children’s Home residential care facility, including a donation of household goods and furniture to the value of £1750 made possible by Bro. Paul Farinha.
Day tickets for the Conference are now available and separately, tickets for the Installation and Festival of St Andrew are now available from Grand Lodge. This will be a unique week in Scottish Freemasonry – one that I commend to all of you. If you don’t have your tickets yet – don’t delay – they are selling fast.
The Glasgow Phoenix Choir Christmas Concert will be held in Freemasons’ Hall, Edinburgh on Sunday 11th December at 2.30 pm for 3.00 pm. Tickets can be reserved through Grand Lodge Reception – only £10 per ticket. This year, in commemoration of the ascension of King Charles III, the choir will perform “Zadok the Priest” as part of the concert.
I am looking forward to being in the Province of Glasgow tonight to celebrate with Lodge Galen at their anniversary ball and to being in the Province of Edinburgh on Saturday to celebrate with them, their 200th Anniversary.
Grand Master Mason