The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland
William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason
I am writing this en route to Beirut where, on Saturday afternoon, assisted by Substitute GM, Brother Alexander Moncrieff and Grand Secretary, Brother Willie Semple, I will install the new District Grand Master of Lebanon, Brother Maurice Elias Feghali. The District Grand Lodge has flourished under the leadership of Brother Rabih Jarmakani and I have no doubt it will continue to go from strength to strength under the stewardship of Brother Feghali.
Last Saturday night, Ann and I enjoyed a tremendous evening in the company of the Brethren of Lanarkshire Middle Ward and their wives. The occasion was the Provincial Ball held in Bellshill Hilton, situated in Strathclyde Park. It was a privilege to enjoy good company, good food and good entertainment in what was a memorable evening. Sincere thanks to PGM Andrew Millar and his Office-bearers for a most enjoyable time.
The following morning it was an early start to drive up the A9 for the Provincial Grand Lodge of Ross & Cromarty Lodge of Sorrow. The ceremony was well attended including relatives of some of those who have passed away in the past year. The Service was conducted by Brother, Rev Iain Ramsden, Past Senior Grand Chaplain.
On Tuesday morning I had the honour to install Brother David MacMaster into the Chair of Lodge Allan Wilson No 851. Over 50 Brethren were in attendance including three Brethren from the United Grand Lodge of England and visitors from a good number of Provinces. Thirty-five Brethren remained for lunch – a most enjoyable day. The next meeting will be on Tuesday 11th July when Brother Willie Semple, Grand Secretary, will be the guest speaker.
- The Group saw its membership rise to 7193 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 1726, submitted by 490 of its members.
- These updated contributions can now be attributed as to being made on behalf of 438 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 Ayrshire, Dumfriesshire, East Lothian, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Linlithgowshire, Perthshire East, Perthshire West, Ross & Cromarty, and The Scottish Borders.
- The total identifiable monetary value of the contributions now recorded has risen to £3,467,334.
An extremely interesting post was received from Brother Sasidharan, Master, Lodge Tullibardine in the East, No 1118, Middle East. He provided news of a successful charity event by the Lodge in support of an education initiative for underprivileged children, advising also that the Lodge has raised over £17,500 for this cause. The funds will be used to provide primary and secondary academic support for children from the local underprivileged community. A commitment was made to the Tara Foundation in support of this education programme for 2 years.
- Once again, it was a pleasure to welcome new members from our Lodges overseas. This week particular reference must be made to Lodge Delco, No. 1624, Sierra Leone and the Gambia.
- In addition, Brethren from other Masonic constitutions, with which the GLoS is in amity, were similarly welcomed. Amongst these were Brethren under the GL of Texas… but deserving of special mention were Brethren joining from a total of 6 different Lodges under the Symbolic Grand Lodge of Paraguay.
We will have a full programme over the weekend in Beirut including a Q&A session with senior Brethren from the District and visits to sites of religious and masonic interest.
On Monday Grand Secretary and I will be guests of the Grand Master of Washington DC (MWB Annas) as he conducts the annual Grand Visitation to his Lodges in Beirut. This affords us another opportunity to unite together with the Regular Grand Lodges in Lebanon, in particular Washington DC and Grand Lodge Nationale Francaise.
The importance of maintaining Regular Freemasonry around the world is well exemplified in Lebanon where we have experienced and successfully challenged irregular freemasonry through the Grand Masters of Masons in North America, Commission on Information for Recognition. The Aims and Relationships of the Craft, read at all our Installation Ceremonies specifically state – “the Grand Lodge is aware that there do exist bodies styling themselves Freemasons, which do not adhere to these principles, and while that attitude exists the Grand Lodge of Scotland refuses absolutely to have any relations with such bodies or to regard them as Freemasons”.
Our Brethren around the world can be assured we will maintain these standards.
Grand Master Mason