The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland
William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason
Last Saturday I held a meeting with the Provincial Grand Masters. I am delighted to report that every Province was represented, and we had a very productive three-hour meeting. A significant number of actions have emerged from the meeting and they have been disseminated to all PGM’s. Information from the meeting will be getting fed into the Strategy Group, the Admin Committee and Grand Committee. However, many of the topics can be actioned immediately such as encouraging Lodges to hold zoom meetings on Regular meeting nights, the sharing of successful initiatives, the collection and recycling of laptops within each Province and circulating the devices to Brethren who do not have one along with relevant training. Any Brother who has suitable hardware that they no longer use should notify their PGM and each Province will be looking for Brethren with expertise in cleaning and refurbishing the devices and Brethren to give training.
Much emphasis was put on the necessity for every Lodge to ensure that the premises are checked on a weekly basis and that each visit is logged – that all Lodges check their insurance policies in respect of the premises being vacant – that the insurance cover is adequate. Please ensure all those routine tasks are carried out so that in the event of an issue, the Lodges are not caught out by insurance policy escape clauses.
Many actions have been placed on your PGM’s and they will be working with you over the next few months to assist with initiatives during lockdown and in the preparation for re-opening in due course plus the dissemination of useful ideas that were discussed on Saturday. Grand Lodge, through the Strategy Group and Administration Committee will be producing useful and necessary information packs over the spring and early summer months.
A week on Saturday the same exercise will take place with the District Grand Master’s and next on the list will be the under 40 group. There has been a slight delay with the under 40 group because one of the contractors has failed to get the fibre optic cable into the building – the main contractor has all the internal wiring complete, but we still await connection to the main cable. Given the numbers that will be involved initially with the under 40 group and that we want to use the break-out facility as well, the present infrastructure in Grand Lodge would not cope. However, I am keen to get that particular meeting underway as soon as is practical.Can I also bring to your attention, the 3rd series of lectures being organised by the History and Heritage group – they start a five-week run on Wednesday 17th February. The past two series have concentrated on the history of the 10 oldest Lodges – this series we will be transported to some of our Districts with the first lecture coming from the DGL of Lebanon – I commend them to you – the links to get into the lectures appear on Facebook each week.
- An additional 59 new members joined the group which now has a membership of 4487 Brethren from all 4 quarters of the globe.
- This week saw the total examples of charitable giving recorded within the group rise to 629, submitted by 253 of its members.
- These updated contributions can now be attributed as to being made on behalf of 299 Lodges, from within 31 Provincial Grand Lodges, 21 District Grand Lodges, Superintendencies and Lodges under the direct supervision of Grand Lodge.
- The total identifiable monetary value of the contributions now recorded has risen to £589,561.
- There have been 92,490 individual comments likes, and other reactions to the group since its inception.
SCFS Overseas Report
- A wonderfully inspiring post was received this week from Brother George El Khebbez, Substitute District Grand Master of the DGL of Lebanon, sharing the outstanding support which Lodge Kadisha, No. 1002,is providing to the Red Cross, underprivileged families, and the local community in Beirut.
- With the inclusion of our new Overseas Brethren this week, our Overseas Membership is now sitting at 1296 We look forward to welcoming our 1300th Overseas Member this coming week.
- The geographical spread of Overseas Members saw Brethren being welcomed from Belgium, Jamaica, Lebanon, Western Province of the Cape of Good Hope.
- The largest increase in membership was, once again, from the District of Jordan, with the most Brethren joining from an individual Lodge coming from Lodge Kadisha, No. 1002. Congratulations.
- The reach of the SCFS page is increasing extremely encouragingly with another 43 Brethren from other Masonic constitutions being warmly welcomed into the group this week.
- Our worldwide International Constitution Members (ICMs) viewing the SCFS page has now increased to 288 (we look forward to welcoming our 300th) with new ICMs joining the group from the GL of Canada in the Province of Ontario, UGLE, GL of India, GL of South Africa, GL of Ireland, GL of Peru, GL of South Africa, GL of Japan, United GL of Germany, United GL of New South Wales and ACT, GL of the Philippines, Regular GL of Portugal, National United GL of Bulgaria, GL of China.
- We also welcomed Brother Roberto Inchauste Varela... our first member from a Lodge operating under the constitution of the Grand Lodge of Bolivia.
- An additional warm welcome was extended to Brother Jai Murti, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Japan.
Finally, please stay safe and look after each other
Grand Master Mason