The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland
William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason
As Christmas Day approaches, I read again Brother Rev Dr Angus Kerr’s Advent message which is truly a message of hope for the future. A message of hope that we can all reflect on and a message of hope that will undoubtedly mean different things to each of us.
Having just returned from the Holy Land where I had meaningful meetings with Brethren of many faiths, my hope as we move forward into 2023 is that the world may take notice of Freemasonry. As Brother, HRH the Duke of Kent stated at the 250thanniversary of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, our beloved Craft is one of very few places in the world where men of all creeds, colours, religions can meet in Brotherly Love, Peace and Harmony. How wonderful it would be if the world would follow our example and end man’s inhumanity to man which exists in so many places today.
I hope too, that all the good community work our Brethren and their families involved themselves in will continue as we face another difficult year in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic. May I take this opportunity to thank you all, at home and overseas, for all you have done in the past year to keep the light of freemasonry burning brightly by your endeavour within your communities.
Within our organisation there is also hope that the work being undertaken by our Grand Secretary to change the governance structure will come to fruition thereby ensuring a brighter and more efficient way ahead for the Craft in general.
I pray that all Brethren and their families will have a very happy, blessed and enjoyable Christmas and that 2023 will bring you all that you wish for.
May you all have the spirit of Christmas, which is Peace, the gladness of Christmas, which is Hope, and the heart of Christmas, which is Love and that 2023 will, through the values of Freemasonry, see that Peace, Hope and Love make the world a happier and healthier place.
Another significant milestone has been reached within the group and many congratulations are extended to our 7000th member … Brother Andrew (Andy) Mclean. Brother Mclean is Senior Warden in Lodge The Gael, No. 609 in the Province of Glasgow.
This week saw Group membership rise to 7006 Brethren from not only the Scottish Constitution but from many of our Sister Constitutions throughout the world.
The total examples of charitable giving recorded within the group has risen to 1476, submitted by 430 of its members.
These updated contributions can now be attributed as to being made on behalf of 421 Lodges, from within 58 of its Provincial Grand Lodges, District Grand Lodges, Superintendencies and Lodges abroad under the direct supervision of Grand Lodge.
This week posts were submitted by group members representing the Provinces of East Lothian, Edinburgh, Fife & Kinross, Glasgow, Kincardineshire, Lanarkshire Middle Ward, Linlithgowshire, Orkney & Zetland and Ross & Cromarty.
The total identifiable monetary value of the contributions now recorded has risen to £2,902,761.
SCFS Overseas Report
- Brother George Rogers, PDGM, District Grand Lodge of Western Australia, posted news of the excellent support given by the Scottish Masonic Charitable Foundation of Western Australia (SMCFWA) to the “Surf Life Saving WA - Youth Program” through its Personal Development Leadership Skills camp for 55 youth members. In addition, the SMCFWA was involved in supporting veterans in Western Australia with Christmas gift cards and Christmas puddings, this support totalling over £8000.
- Brother Tony Mansfield, Master, Lodge Ponsonby, No. 708, shared news of the sponsorship of over £2500 by the brethren in the District of North Island New Zealand of a young piper in order to progress her musical development.
- Brother Scott Bartlett, IPDGM, advised of a very generous donation by the District Grand Lodge of Newfoundland and Labrador to the Hurricane Fiona Relief Fund.
- The Overseas membership continues to increase, particularly helped by new members joining from Lodge Pythagoras, No. 1841, (Lebanon), and Lodge Jordan, No. 1339, (Jordan). Additional members were also approved from Lodges whose Grand Lodges are in amity with the GLoS such as the GL of North Carolina, GL of Spain, and the Regular GL of Italy.
Our hearty congratulations are extended to our Immediate Past District Grand Master of the Bahamas, Brother Joseph Curry, who, last Thursday, presented his Letters of Credentials to Pope Francis, accrediting him as Non-Resident Ambassador Extraordinaire and Plenipotentiary of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas to the Holy See. This is a type of assignment where the State and the Church work together in the local and international community for the advancement of mankind; peace and security; and a better quality of life for all citizens of the world. We wish Brother Curry every success in his new Office.
Finally, as always, please stay safe and look after each other.
Grand Master Mason