The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland
William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason
Can I take this opportunity to thank the many Brethren who have been in touch since last Friday regarding the joint decision to suspend all meetings until June – your support and understanding has been tremendous and is greatly appreciated.
Tomorrow sees the first of the meetings I alluded to last week when I will be meeting with Provincial Grand Masters to discuss the role that Provincial Grand Lodges can play in getting their respective Lodges through the pandemic. The results of tomorrow’s meeting will be fed into the Strategy Group and also to the DGM’s whom I’ll be meeting with very soon. A meeting with all young Masons under the age of 40 is also on the priority list and will be happening early in February.
Last night I had the fortnightly zoom meeting with the European Grand Masters. The word from Europe is no better than it is here. However, according to one chart that was produced, the UK are well ahead of the rest of Europe in respect of the number of people who have been vaccinated. Despite the contradictory news we hear on the media, hopefully that momentum will continue.
Over the past week I have received numerous invitations to virtual Burns Suppers. Many of them clash and I can’t get round them all but, if at all possible, I will join you. Can I wish you all a very enjoyable Burns season albeit a virtual one.
The tremendous work carried out by the Benevolence and Care committee carries on at full tilt despite the Coronavirus restrictions. The committee will be meeting on Wednesday to ensure that all that can be done for those who need assistance is being done. The Masonic Homes also feature largely on the agenda. The staff at both homes have been nothing short of brilliant over the past eleven months – I’m happy to report that the vaccine programme has commenced in both homes with everything going to plan.
It’s a wee while since I mentioned it, but can I just give a gentle reminder to ensure that all Lodge premises are being visited regularly to ensure that there are no problems and that water supplies are being run, toilets flushed and that there are no fire hazards. It is also prudent to log each visit for insurance purposes.
During the week the membership of the group rose to 4428.
This week saw the total examples of charitable giving recorded within the group rise to 621, submitted by 250 group members.
These updated contributions can now be attributed as to being made on behalf of 298 Lodges, from within 31 Provincial Grand Lodges, 21 District Grand Lodges, Superintendencies and Lodges under the direct supervision of Grand Lodge.
The identifiable monetary value of contributions rose to £559,652 during the course of last week. This represents an average of £14,727 per week over the last 38 weeks.
SCFS Overseas Report
- We welcomed another 7 Overseas Brethren this week, bringing our Overseas Membership to 1288. We look forward to welcoming our 1300th member.
- The geographical spread of Overseas Members saw Brethren being welcomed from Bermuda, Central South Africa, East Africa, Jordan, Middle East, Newfoundland and Labrador, Sierra Leone and The Gambia.
- The largest increase in membership was from the District of Jordanwith the most Brethren joining from an individual Lodge coming from Lodge Jordan, No. 1339.
- The reach of the SCFS page is increasing very encouragingly with another 60 Brethren from other Masonic constitutions joining this week.
- Our International Constitution Members (ICMs) viewing the SCFS page has now increased to 245 with new ICMs joining the group from the GL of China, GL of Japan, GL of Peru, GL of Argentina, United GL of New South Wales and ACT, GL of Victoria, UGLE, GL of Ireland, GL of India, GL of the District of Columbia, GL of Florida, GL of Alberta, GL of Canada in the District of Ontario, GL of the Philippines, United GL of Germany, GL of Hungary.
- Congratulations to Brother Taichi Kato, Secretary, Aomori Lodge, No. 10, Grand Lodge of Japan, who is our 200th ICM.
- Additional warm welcomes were extended to Brother Plamen Mateev(MW Immediate Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of AF&M of Bulgaria), to Brother Mark Walton (Deputy Grand Master of the Symbolic Grand Lodge of Hungary) and to Brother Kazufumi Mabuchi(Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Japan).
· An outstanding post was received this week from Brother Roland Prince, RWM, Lodge Peace, No. 908, in Lebanon, sharing the wonderful support which the Lodge is providing in Beirut.
Finally, please stay safe and look after each other
Grand Master Mason