The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland
William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason
On top of all the Covid-19 issues, the spikes in Aberdeen and in Inverclyde we were horrified to learn of the explosion in Beirut. I have been in touch with our District Grand Master in Lebanon, Brother Rabih Jarmakani who initially was able to inform me that many of our Brethren had been injured and a number of close relatives of Brethren had been killed. In the past hour I have received the following update from Brother Jarmakani.
Good Morning Brethren - a quick update from Beirut: burial for relatives of our brethren who tragically lost their lives are underway and we are taking account of the damages for our own membership and temples.
We are liaising with each other to ensure provision is made for medicines for our brethren as we have fully covered accommodation for those whose homes are not viable.
In the next 48 hours, we will be launching a contribution page for anyone wishing to assist along with the two other jurisdictions in amity with our Grand Lodge, Grand Lodge of Washington DC, and Grand Lodge National de France. This is becoming critical as the government has not done anything to assist and the situation is getting more difficult for many by the day.
On Lodge level, many of our Lodges have started various initiatives to support their own communities in the areas they meet, from providing hundreds of meals for the medical teams who are practically living in the hospitals to provision of soup kitchens, blood donation and volunteer work for repairs.
Our Cypriot brothers have organized a shipment of food which will be making its way to the port of Tripoli in the Northern region of Lebanon.
May the Great Architect of the Universe continue to protect us all. 🌿
Grand Lodge will be assisting the Brethren of the District and I will ensure that details of the contribution page will be circulated widely. Our thoughts and prayers are with our Brethren and their families in Beirut at this exceedingly difficult time for them.
Next Monday I will be chairing a meeting of the Heads of Orders to work on a strategy to ensure that we are all in agreement as to the way forward in respect of Covid-19. It is important that we all work together at this difficult time. On Thursday we are having our second Grand Committee Zoom meeting to take forward several issues that have accrued since we last met.
Latest news from the Scottish Constitution Freemasonry Supports Facebook page is as follows –
Last week This week
Members 3006 3127
Posts 332 358
No of Members posting 172 177
Lodges mentioned 180 204
Provinces mentioned 29 29
Districts & Lodges abroad 11 12
Monetary Value £237,470 £258,230
Another milestone in the membership of our Overseas Brethren has been reached. Last week, the 600 barrier was broken. This week, because of previous weeks’ recruitment efforts and the support of several extremely proactive Overseas Brethren, whose endeavours are greatly appreciated, the 700 barrier has now been broken.
- We had 85 Overseas Brethrenjoin this week (with another 10 just one click away from being Members) bringing our Overseas Membership of the SCFS Group to 709.
- We had new members join from Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Central South Africa, East Africa, Far East, Jamaica, Jordan, Lebanon, KwaZulu Natal, Mauritius, Middle East, Namibia, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Zealand South, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia, Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada, Zimbabwe.
- The largest increase was seen in the Districts of Sierra Leone and The Gambia (18), Lebanon (14) and Central South Africa (10)and we welcomed our first Members from a significant number of our Overseas Lodges.
- We would strongly encourage our Overseas Members to maintain the excellent frequency and quality of their submissions to the group.
Following the tragic loss of life, homes and multiple injuries sustained in the dreadful explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, the support of the SCFS Group to our Brethren in the District of Lebanon has been expressed by making personal contact with the District Grand Master and our Lebanese members, in addition to a prominent visual being placed on the SCFS page. They are in all our prayers.
Brethren, please stay alert, look after yourselves, your families and the Brethren who are in any of the vulnerable categories.
Grand Master Mason