The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland
William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason
Greetings from Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
The Consecration and Installation Ceremonies in Colombo went well. I was assisted in the ceremonies by our Substitute Grand Master, Brother Alexander Moncrieff, Assistant Grand D of C, Brother George Donnelly, Brother Commander Russell Kerkovan (Acting Grand SW), Brother Heshan Peiris (Acting Grand JW), Brother Nihal Fonseka (Acting Grand IG) and Brother Jacques Huyghebaert who provided the music throughout the Ceremonies.
On Sunday morning we attended the Church Service in the local Scots Kirk where we received a very warm welcome.
That night I flew to Singapore where I transferred onto a flight to Perth and from there to Kalgoorlie.
On Tuesday morning I was taken to the ABC broadcasting studio where I was interviewed for the local morning programme. From there, Brother Arthur Anderson drove me to Coolgardie where we visited the site of the former Lodge in the town, the local museum, the cemetery and Finnerty House. Finnerty House was built in 1895 for the West Australian Government to house the resident Warden/Magistrate, John Michael Finnerty and his family. The house was built by Robert and Arthur Bunnings, the original owners of Bunnings Hardware which any of our readers will recognise if they have ever visited Australia.
On Wednesday morning I had the honour, at Pringle Village, of unveiling a new plaque to mark the start of the new phase of the Masonic Homes project. This must rate as the most exciting programme in any Scottish Province or District. Spearheaded by Brother Douglas Daws and his committee, a further 140 homes are to be built in the coming year providing beautiful accommodation for elderly brethren as well as the general public. There will also be a Community Centre offering all possible activities and services.
Wednesday evening, I was delighted to welcome Grand Secretary who arrived, just in time, to attend a Civic Reception held in my honour by the Mayor of Kalgoorlie.
The temperature since I arrived in Kalgoorlie has been between 40 and 44 degrees – a wee bit warmer than the Black Isle. Yesterday, it was slightly cooler when Brother Matt Ekins called to collect Grand Secretary and I to give us a tour of two of the local Gold Mines. It was an incredible day during which Bro Ekins explained in detail the process of mining gold. In the morning we stood 30 or 40 metres above ground on top of the machinery used to break gold carrying rocks down into smaller manageable pieces. We followed the process all the way through to watch the gold being poured. Later that afternoon we were taken underground into the gold mine and at one point were 1300 metres below ground. An absolutely wonderful and educational experience. Grand Secretary and I were allowed to hold a newly-forged gold ingot worth approximately $1,500,000. It was thereafter placed in the safe.
On Thursday night we attended a lecture on Australian VC holders linked to Freemasonry. An excellent presentation enjoyed by all. Today we have a full itinerary involving meetings and a visit to a local museum and attendance at a MM Degree in the evening.
On Saturday, I will install the new DGM of Western Australia Goldfields, Brother Arthur Anderson.
- It is encouraging that within the group membership of over 7000 brethren, a significant number are actively involved in regularly commenting positively on and engaging with the published posts.
- This week saw the total examples of charitable giving recorded within the group rise to 1567, submitted by 452 of its members.
- These updated contributions can now be attributed as to being made on behalf of 428 Lodges, from within 59 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 Province of Linlithgowshire.
- The total identifiable monetary value of the contributions now recorded has risen to £3,090,747.
SCFS Overseas Report
A unique and interesting post from the District of India has been published. Brother Capt. Parth Dawda, Secretary, Lodge Royal Jubilee, No. 742, has advised that a cast iron funeral stand for the deceased has been adapted in such a way that the required wooden logs are reduced … resulting in a 50% reduction on the cost to buy the wood for every individual’s last rites and making them more environmentally friendly. The role of Lodge Royal Jubilee, No. 742, was to find the right beneficiary town, a good quality with cost efficient supplier and, lastly, arranging the funds for charity among the brethren, all of which was successfully completed.
- The Lodge from which most new members joined this week was Lodge Royal Jubilee, No. 742, India, and thanks is extended for that support.
- Now, with a combined total of over 3600 members from our Lodges Overseas and from Lodges whose Grand Lodges are in amity with the GLoS, news of the support given to others by Scottish Constitution brethren is certainly being spread widely.
Finally, as always, please stay safe and look after each other.
Grand Master Mason