The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland
William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason
Last week I mentioned that we are heading for an exciting time for our PGM’s and DGM’s. After meeting with both the PGM’s and DGM’s last weekend, I was greatly heartened by their positive reports from the Provinces and Districts, by their support and enthusiasm for the Young Masons initiative and by the prospect of having a far greater voice in the governance of the organisation than they have ever had before. The attendance at both meetings was excellent with only four Provinces and half a dozen Districts not represented. In fairness to the Districts, we did experience quite a few technical issues which accounted for some of the absenteeism.
On Tuesday night, Grand Secretary and I along with Brother Andrew Mushet, PGM of Glasgow and Bro David Quinn, PG Secretary of Glasgow attended the Yom HaShoa programme in Giffnock Synagogue, organised by the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council. As previously experienced, this was a very poignant and moving evening during which young and old participated in the programme. The Chief Rabbi, Sir Ephraim Mirvis, KBE, summed up the essence of the event in his written message saying – “The Shoah challenges us to confront what it really means to be human and to grapple with our capacity for both good and evil. Yom HaShoa provides that essential moment for us when we stop to recall the unspeakable horrors of our past and remember those who perished. May the memory of the six million spur us on to work tirelessly for the common good and to eradicate evil wherever it can be found”.
We should all remember too that Freemasons were also victims of the Nazi regime. Figures vary but it is believed that as many as 200,000 Freemasons were executed along with the six million Jews, one of the reasons that we receive an invitation to attend the Yom HaShoa every year.
I am writing the update this week in Dublin where Grand Secretary and I are attending the Installation of Brother Rodney Lees McCurley as the new Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ireland. A total of 19 Grand Lodges are present in Dublin for the occasion. I am sure that you will all wish me to convey best wishes to Brother Douglas Gray for his retirement and thank him for his stewardship of the Grand Lodge and for promoting the close relationship that exists between the Grand Lodge of Ireland and the Grand Lodge of Scotland. We look forward to continuing the strong relationship we have with Ireland through Brother Rodney McCurley and his Commission, and we extend to them our very best wishes as they take over the helm of the Grand Lodge of Ireland.
- The Group saw its membership rise to 7132 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 1652, submitted by 473 of its members.
- These updated contributions can now be attributed as to being made on behalf of 435 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 Provinces of Aberdeenshire East, Glasgow, Inverness-shire, Lanarkshire Middle Ward, Linlithgowshire and Orkney & Zetland.
- The total identifiable monetary value of the contributions now recorded has risen to £3,271,175.
SCFS Overseas Report
- This week, an excellent post was received from Brother Alexander Stewart, JW, Lodge Nyasa, No. 946, detailing the outstanding support being provided by the Brethren in Malawi, assisted by the Grand Lodge of Scotland and the Provincial Grand Lodge of Ross and Cromarty, to students at the Mountain View School for the Deaf in Bvumbwe. 60 bags of maize, valued at £1000, were donated in order to supplement the students’ daily food rations, which had been severely impacted by Cyclone Freddy.
- Thanks is extended to our overseas brethren from the following Lodges for taking the time to join this group: Lodge St. Joseph, No. 1838 (Bahamas), Lodge Lusaka, No. 1368 (Zambia), The Coronation Lodge, No. 930 (Kwazulu Natal), Lodge Perla del Oriente, No. 1034 (Far East) and Lodge Felicity, No. 1681 (Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada).
- International Constitution Members (ICMs) were approved from Lodges whose Grand Lodges are in amity with the GLoS … including the GL of New Zealand, GL of Colorado, GL of Wisconsin, GL of the Philippines and the GL of Quebec.
On Saturday, I am looking forward to heading a Grand Lodge Deputation to Lodge Priory No 1235 in the Province of Inverness-shire to celebrate their centenary.
Finally, as always, please stay safe and look after each other.
Grand Master Mason