The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland
William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason
Prior to heading to Kilwinning a week past Saturday, I had the privilege of being shown round Rosslyn Chapel by Brothers Geoff Spence and James Coghlan. Both have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the building, and it was a sheer delight to be shown things and have them explained – things that I would otherwise have walked past. I am now looking forward to welcoming Brother Coghlan to the Black Isle on Tuesday 8th August when he will give an illustrated talk on Rosslyn Chapel. I’m sure the Master of Lodge Allan Wilson would be delighted to see you on the day. Good excuse to visit the Black Isle.
The Group saw its membership rise to 7260 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 1773, submitted by 502 of its members.
These updated contributions can now be attributed as to being made on behalf of 443 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 Aberdeen City, Banffshire, Forfarshire, Moray & Nairn, Perthshire East, Perthshire West, and The Scottish Borders.
The total identifiable monetary value of the contributions now recorded has risen to £3,631,613.
This week, an extremely interesting Overseas post was published. Bro Capt Parth Dawda, Hon. Secretary, Lodge Royal Jubilee, No. 742, Solapur, District of India, advised that Lodge Royal Jubilee, No. 742, has undertaken a charity program to support the Sanskaar Sanjeevani Foundation which is working towards supporting 27 children, aged 6 years and above. They hail from deprived tribal families where they have lost either one or both parents and are taking their formal schooling from the nearby government school. The drinking water is of very poor quality so the Lodge decided to provide a commercial water treatment plant, which can treat 50 litres of water an hour, to this institute. It is also gearing up to give them water storage tanks and plumbing towards their normal need. This is in addition to providing a residence uniform to those children and educational book/notebooks as per their requirements.
- This week we welcomed Brethren from Lodge Trinity, No. 1846(Lebanon), and Lodge Notwani, No. 1633(Botswana). Particular mention must be made to Lodge Kilwinning, No. 849 (Western Australia) from which the largest number of new members joined.
- Brethren from other Masonic constitutions were similarly welcomed, such as Brethren from Lodges under the GL of India, GL of New Yorkand UGLE.
Last Friday night I had the pleasure of attending the Provincial Grand Lodge of Midlothian Masters’ Dinner in Loanhead. It was an excellent night with good food, good company, and outstanding hospitality. A few Districts and Provinces already have Reigning Masters’ Dinners. They are a great team-building initiative. Districts and Provinces that have never had such an event, might consider doing so. While it gives reigning Masters the opportunity to meet and socialise with each other, it also provides a great chance to organise inter-Lodge visitations and so forth – something to think about.
The following day, Saturday 29th July, it was a real pleasure to attend the Installation meeting of Lodge St Andrew 814 in Pitlochry. What a delight it was to see an almost a full house in a Lodge that, not so long ago, was struggling to keep going. However, with a wee bit creativity, imagination and getting the sleeves rolled up, the Lodge is once again vibrant, and Brethren and visiting Brethren are enjoying being there. Let there be no doubt, it takes hard work to achieve this kind of turn around, but I have witnessed the same happening in our Scottish Lodges, literally around the world. With faith, determination, and dedication we can turn things around – never give up hope.
Tomorrow, looking forward to a trip down to Fife to celebrate 150 years of Freemasonry in Lodge St John No 540, in Crossgates.
Our Brethren in the Bahamas are working hard to raise funds to make progress with the Scottish Masonic Complex. Last week concrete was poured and, all going well, the blocks will start to rise from the founds. This is an exciting project and we wish DGM Tony Bostwick and his team every success with fund-raising and construction.
Grand Master Mason