The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland
William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason
I reported last week on the successful meeting with the Provincial Grand Masters. Grand Secretary and I now look forward to meeting with our District Grand Masters this Saturday. In between the two meetings the Strategy Working Group have enjoyed a busy and productive meeting and are progressing much work to ensure that the Craft is in a good position to resume physical meetings whenever safe and practical to do so. Five smaller working groups have been established to examine in detail the five major issues established by the earlier survey. Those small groups will be fed information from the Provinces and Districts and the young masons group. They will then report back to the Strategy Group who will pull everything together in a comprehensive report to the Administration Committee.
Given that we have been unable to admit anyone into the Craft for almost a year now and probably another six months before we will have that opportunity, I am more than conscious that while no one has come into the Craft, we have lost a significant number of Brethren, some through Covid-19, many others through other causes. It is imperative therefore that the strategy working party address issues such as this with some urgency. I am aiming to have the report available by the end of March.
Could I also suggest that where you have candidates waiting for initiation, please invite them to your zoom meetings; if you have assistance initiatives happening in the Lodge / Community, invite them to participate - make them feel that they are already part of the Lodge family. Please don’t leave them out in the cold.
Much work is also being carried out with the revision of the Constitution and Laws. A small working group has produced what we hope is now a true representation of the work carried out some considerable time ago and that has been returned to the original working groups for any further amendment required. Further changes will be required as a result of the Covid experience but, once again, things are progressing even in our locked down state.
Grand Committee met yesterday morning and confirmed the following appointments as Provincial Grand Master – PGL Forfarshire – Brother Peter Taylor, Lanarkshire MW – Brother Andrew D Miller, Ross and Cromarty – Brother Raymond A MacKeddie, DGL of Gibraltar – Brother Paul D Villalta, Middle East – Dr Abel W K Arumugam and a one-year extension for the Grand Superintendent of Malawi, Brother Gordon Sheppard. My heartiest congratulations and those of Grand Committee go to all our new PGM’s who will take over as and from 10th June and my sincere thanks to all those who have completed their term.Please remember, the 3rd series of lectures being organised by the History and Heritage group – they start a five-week run on Wednesday 17th February. After I mentioned this last week, a number of Brethren pointed out that they don’t subscribe to Facebook. That being the case, I’m hoping to have the links placed on the Grand Lodge website each week and you will be able to pick them up from there.
An additional 70 new members joined the group which now has a membership of 4557 Brethren from Lodges working under or recognised by the Grand Lodge of Scotland.
This week saw the total examples of charitable giving recorded within the group rise to 634, submitted by 254 of its members.
These updated contributions can now be attributed as to being made on behalf of 300 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 £592,936.
This represents and average weekly contribution of around £15,000 over the last 40 weeks. Brethren, this is a truly remarkable achievement brought about by our Lodges at home and abroad. My sincere thanks to you all for a tremendous effort in the fight against Covid-19.
SCFS Overseas Report
- We welcomed another 25 Overseas Brethren this week, bringing our Overseas Membership to 1321Members.
- A very special welcome is extended to Brother Jamel Reid, Chaplain, Lodge Royalian, No. 1605, in Trinidad, who is our 1300th Overseas Member.
- The geographical spread of Overseas Members saw Brethren being welcomed from Bahamas, Barbados, Central South Africa (RSA), East Africa (Kenya), Jordan, Lebanon, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia, Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada.
- The largest increase in membership was from the District of Trinidad & Tobago and Grenadawith the most Brethren joining from an individual Lodge coming from Lodge Royalian, No. 1605, in that District.
- Our International Constitution Members (ICMs) viewing the SCFS page has now increased to 296, with new ICMs joining the group from the Grand Orient of Brazil, UGLE (England, South Africa, Brazil, Ghana, Cyprus), Grand Lodge of New South Wales and ACT, Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario, Grand Lodge of Tasmania, Grand Lodge of the State of São Paulo.
- In addition, a warm welcome was extended to Brother Gerald Koppe Junior(Past Depute Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Brazil).
· We look forward to receiving posts showing the outstanding support which is being provided by our Overseas Brethren.
Finally, as always, please stay safe and look after each other
Grand Master Mason