The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland
William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason
Last week, we left off at that part of the story when we returned to the hotel from the Karaoke Bar in Lagos – a totally new and different experience.
On our arrival in Lagos, I was delighted that Grand Secretary and I were joined by the Proxy DGM, Brother Mike McAdams, who graciously agreed to act as Grand Chaplain on the day of Installation.
On the Friday morning, after breakfast, we travelled to Nike Art Centre owned by Nike Davies-Okundaye, a well-known artist in her own right. The Centre has four floors and a significant exterior area where there is a massive assortment of art in all the disciplines imaginable and all by Nigerian artists. It was a well worthwhile visit. From the Art Centre we travelled to the Lekki Conservation Centre run by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF). A fascinating and at times challenging venue which we all enjoyed albeit we did not sight many animals other than monkeys.
From there we travelled to the D’Podium Event Centre for a rehearsal of the Installation Ceremony before heading back to the hotel. We returned with our hosts to the Karaoke Bar for a meal and where the emphasis was on football rather than Karaoke.
After breakfast on Saturday morning, we changed into regalia and headed back to the D’Podium for a final check that all was in place for the Installation Ceremony. The Ceremony went well after which the venue was transformed into a dining hall and some 250 Brethren and wives enjoyed the evening banquet. After the banquet I was delighted to host a small reception for some of the main guests.
Sunday morning was fairly relaxed although we had to vacate the rooms by eleven at which time we travelled to see the Lodge building owned by Lodge Academic. It is a beautiful, practical building and we were well impressed. Immediately thereafter we drove to the Lagos Jet-Ski Riders Club where we were guests of Brother Irogun Moses Taiga, IPDGM, of the District Grand Lodge of Nigeria, English Constitution. We enjoyed an excellent lunch before being driven to the airport for the flight home.
I am delighted to report that both the District Grand Lodge of Sierra Leone and the Gambia and the District Grand Lodge of Nigeria are both doing well and are a credit to the Scottish Craft. We take this opportunity to thank both Districts for their welcome, hospitality and friendship – it was a real privilege to meet with the Brethren and their wives.
The only downside from the trip was that Grand Secretary was infected by Covid and is now isolating at home. I’m sure you would all wish me to pass on best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.
- The Group saw its membership rise to 7284 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 1796, submitted by 507 of its members.
- These updated contributions can now be attributed as to being made on behalf of 445 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 Linlithgowshire & Stirlingshire.
- The total identifiable monetary value of the contributions now recorded has risen to £3,652,543.
Two very interesting posts related to the support of Overseas Lodges were published this week.
- Brother Sasi Dharan shared an article by Brother Abel Arumugam, DGM, Middle East, about a Charity Event organized by Lodge Lane Xang, No. 1632, Thailand, in support of the Duang Prateep Foundation. The foundation has been operating for 40 years and has made an immense impact through its invaluable efforts in aiding the impoverished communities residing in the slums of Bangkok.
- Brother George Barrie, PM, informed the group of a wonderful donation made by Lodge Pattaya West Winds, No. 1803, Thailand, to “Take Care Kids”,a marvellous scheme helping abused children up to teenage years and mothers with small children who need a safe haven from abusers. The Lodge’s donation will supply a further fresh water filtered supply system.
This week we welcomed Brethren from Lodge Darul Takzim, No. 1836 (Middle East), Lodge Remo, No. 1682 (Nigeria), and Lodge Claremont, No. 931 (Western Province of the Cape of Good Hope). Brethren from other Masonic constitutions were similarly welcomed, such as Brethren from Lodges under the GL of the Philippines, and the GL of Cuba.
Yesterday afternoon I was delighted to welcome the DGM of East Africa (EC), Brother Dr Virendra K. Talwar into Grand Lodge. Brother Talwar has been a great friend to the Scottish District in East Africa and is a splendid example of how the two Constitutions should work together. It was a real pleasure to welcome him and his family to Edinburgh.
Tomorrow, I am looking forward to a run down to Ayrshire to witness a Fellow Craft Degree being delivered by a Degree Team formed of members of the five Ayrshire Lodges chartered in 1771.
Grand Master Mason