The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland
William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason
I would wish, this week, on behalf of the Scottish Craft to congratulate Brother Kenneth Jack, MM Lodge St. Michael, No 38, Crieff, and PM of Lodge St. Andrew, No. 814, Pitlochry, who has been elected a Fellow of the Philalethes Society.
The Philalethes Society is a prestigious independent American Masonic Research body, formed in 1928, which occasionally confers the honour of Fellowship on those brethren the Society consider have distinguished themselves by their prodigious contribution to Masonic research and literature. Fellowship is restricted to 40 brethren throughout the world, and there is currently 35.
Past Fellows include George S. Draffen, and Rudyard Kipling. Current Fellows include our Grand Lodge Curator, Bob Cooper. Brother Kenneth Jack becomes only the third Scottish recipient of this high honour, George S. Draffen, and Bob Cooper being the other two.
Writing personally to Kenny, Bro. Shawn Eyer, editor of the Society’s eponymous publication ‘Philalethes Journal,’ said: “Congratulations! You have earned this title with hard work and there is no one more deserving.”
During the week the group was delighted to have recorded its 500th post which was shared by Bro. Chris Igoe, Junior Deacon of Lodge Newbattle St. Mary, No. 1063, in Newtongrange.
501 posts have now been shared with the group by 213 of our members representing contributions from 266 Lodges, from within 31 Provincial Grand Lodges, 20 District Grand Lodges, Superintendencies and Lodges under the direct supervision of Grand Lodge.
Membership of the group has now risen to 4106.
A continuous rise to £382,169 of identifiable monetary donations has now been recorded. This figure represents only those posts where a monetary value can be directly attributed, therefore the total value of contributions will be significantly higher than this figure.
SCFS Overseas Report
- We welcomed another 21 Overseas Brethren from Lodges operating under the Grand Lodge of Scotland this week.
- Our Overseas Membership is steadily climbing and is now standing at 1230
- The geographical spread of Overseas Members this week saw Brethren being welcomed from the Districts of ... East Africa, Far East, Middle East, Sierra Leone and The Gambia
- The largest increase in membership was from the District of East Africa.
- Lodge Unity, No. 1611, from Nairobi, Kenya, in the District of East Africa, had the largest number of Brethren joining from an individual Lodge.
- We welcomed new International Constitution Members (ICMs) viewing the SCFS page from the Grand Lodge of Ireland, United Grand Lodges of Germany and UGLE. Now having 66 International Constitution Members, SCFS really is being viewed world-wide.
- Excellent support for their local communities is being provided by our Overseas Lodges and Districts and we await them sharing their posts about this with the group.
Accompanying the Update this week is an Advent message from our Senior Grand Chaplain, Brother Rev Dr Angus Kerr. My sincere thanks to Brother Kerr for such an uplifting message that reaches out to all Brethren of the Scottish Craft.
Grand Committee will be meeting next Thursday by Zoom. There is a lengthy agenda which highlights the amount of work being carried out by our standing committees despite the lockdowns, restrictions and regulations. My thanks to the members of the Committees and to the staff at 96 George Street for their ongoing commitment to ensure that the wheels of Grand Lodge continue to turn.
Likewise, I’m delighted to hear of the many innovative on-line meetings that are taking place in our Lodges throughout the world. In the past week I have been privileged to attend St Andrew’s Nights in Lodges as far apart as Midlothian and Trinidad; Lodges celebrating significant milestones in their history are having on-line harmonies, special Christmas meetings are being planned and a number of Lodges are organising on-line Carol Services. My thanks to you all – keep up the good work.
The announcement this week that vaccines are going to be available before Christmas and that a rolling programme will be underway soon is tremendous news which gives us all a boost and the hope that we will be able to meet again early in the new year. The logistics of getting the vaccine to everyone will be immense so I would expect that a return to some form of normality will take time. But we can use that time well by ensuring that our buildings and meeting places are properly prepared. The Strategy Working Group will be issuing guidance to all Lodges to safeguard everyone during the phased return.
Finally, Grand Secretary has issued notification to the Provinces and Districts of all those who have been awarded Honorary Grand Rank this year. My hearty congratulations to you all and I hope and trust that you will be blessed with good health to enjoy your Honorary Grand rank for many years to come.
Grand Master Mason