The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland
William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason
Last weekend was particularly busy but most enjoyable. On Friday, I was in Grand Lodge to sign the Covenant, along with Colonel Anthony Phillips, pledging the support of Grand Lodge to the Armed Forces. It was an excellent afternoon with two first class presentations from Duncan Evans, of the Lowland Reserve Forces and Cadet Association and from Kenneth Grieve, Chairman of the Lowland Regional Employer Engagement Group of the Lowland Reserve Forces and Cadet Association. We also enjoyed two piping recitals led by Grand Piper, Pipe Major Robert Burns accompanied by two colleagues from the Royal Scots Association Pipe Band, Victoria MacLean and Billy Rutherford.
The event was tinged with sadness when we learned that Bro Bob Hawkins, the Commander of HMS Caledonia at Rosyth, who was with us at the signing of the Armed Forces Covenant passed away over the weekend. Bob was one of our Prostate Champions and was offering to host the next training session at HMS Caledonia.
On Saturday, I travelled east to Ellon where I had the pleasure of heading a Deputation which included two Past Grand Masters, Bro Marcus Humphrey of Dinnet and Bro Charles Iain Robert Wolrige Gordon of Esslemont, to rededicate the building of Lodge Ythan No 892. It was a splendid day with the Brethren of Aberdeenshire East. The welcome, hospitality and generosity of the Lodge Ythan Brethren was first-class and greatly appreciated.
Have been in touch this week with Bro Anthony Bostwick, DGM of Bahamas. They too are having a busy time – once again organising a “Blood Drive” when they encourage everyone to attend the Masonic Temple to donate blood. They are heading this weekend to Lodge Eleutheran Adventurers No 1816 for the annual Installation. It certainly appears to be an Installation with a difference as during the weekend the Brethren take to sea in a variety of boats for a ‘Fishing Extravaganza’. Looks like a fun-filled weekend. Something to consider in sunny Scotland?
- The Group saw its membership rise to 7336 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 1841, submitted by 517 of its members.
- These updated contributions can now be attributed as to being made on behalf of 449 Lodges, from within 59 of its Provincial Grand Lodges, District Grand Lodges, Superintendencies and Lodges abroad under the direct supervision of Grand Lodge.
- Thanks is extended to the following Lodges who had posts submitted on their behalf this week.
- New Monkland Montrose, No. 88 (Lanarkshire Middle Ward), supporting Simpsons Memory Box Appeal.
- Ben Ledi, No. 614 (Perthshire West), Press coverage for supporting Ripple Retreat.
- New Monkland Montrose, No. 88 (Lanarkshire Middle Ward), supporting Mavisbank School.
- Stivenstone Thistle & Rose, No. 169 (Ayrshire), supporting Marion’s Still Smiling.
- The total identifiable monetary value of the contributions now recorded has risen to £3,817,058.
A very interesting post from Brother George Rogers, Past DGM, Western Australia, was published this week. It shared news that, once again, the Scottish Masonic Charitable Foundation of Western Australia has been extremely active within the District, providing wonderful support to community events … on this occasion, to the City of Armadale Highland Games.
The Foundation has been running the bar at the Highland Games for the past 19 years, raising funds for the Foundation and District. Thanks must go to Brother Alan Miller who has managed the Tavern all those years, alongside the staff coming from Lodges within the District. The Tavern is a service which is greatly appreciated by all attendees of the Games. This year, over £3,000 was raised, which has been ringfenced for charitable donations at a later date.
- This week we welcomed a number of new members from Lodges overseas. Particular mention must be made to Brethren joining fromLodge Fort Nassau, No. 1819 (Bahamas), Lodge Felicity, No. 1681 (Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada), Lodge St. Andrew, No. 1140 (Panama), Lodge Mico, No. 1583 (Jamaica), and Lodge Oriwu, No. 1691 (Nigeria). The support of the new members who have joined is greatly appreciated.
- Brethren from other Masonic constitutions (ICMs) were similarly welcomed. These Brethren help spread news of the wonderful support featured in the post on SCFS to a worldwide audience. This week, the furthest afield Brother joined from Rising Sun Lodge, No. 1401, in Japan, under UGLE.
Tomorrow, I will be heading south down the A9 to Perth to witness a Degree worked by the Perthshire East Young Masons. Very much looking forward to it.
Finally, as always, please stay safe and look after each other.
Grand Master Mason