GLoS

The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland

William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason

Brethren

 

Latest news from the Scottish Constitution Freemasonry Supports Facebook page is as follows –



   Last week  This week
 Members 3729  3770
 Posts 444  454
 No of Members posting  200  203
 Lodges mentioned  233  239
 Provinces mentioned  30  31
 Districts & Lodges abroad  15  15
 Monetary Value  £334,664  £338,564


SCFS Overseas Report

  • We welcomed 20 Overseas Brethren this week. 
  • Our Overseas Membership is now standing at 1082 Members (with the anticipated 1100th. Overseas Member joining this coming week.)
  • The geographical spread of new members this week saw Brethren being welcomed from ... Bahamas, Bermuda, Central South Africa, Jamaica, Lebanon, Middle East, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia, Western Australia 
  • The largest increase in membership, once again, was from the District of Lebanonclosely followed the District of Central South Africa.
  • Lodge Pythagoras, No. 1841, and Lodge El-Mizab, No. 1130, had equally the largest number of Brethren joining from an individual Lodge.
  • The Masonic audience viewing the examples of the excellent support being shared on the SCFS page was further extended as a new International Constitution Member from the Grand Lodge of Minnesotajoined the group. 
  • An inspiring post was received from Lebanon demonstrating Al Arz Lodge, No. 1853, only consecrated on 28th. June this year, exhibiting true Masonic principles in assisting the local communities, psychologically and physically, in the wake of the Beirut Port blast. 

I attended a meeting of European Grand Masters last night and while the news on the spread of coronavirus throughout Europe was of great concern to us all, it was evident that we are all committed to doing all that we can to keep Brethren in our respective Constitutions involved and active in whatever ways we can. While we accept that zoom meetings are no substitute for the real thing, there was universal agreement that we use zoom and all other similar platforms to the best of our ability to ensure the safety and welfare of Brethren and their families. I am extremely proud that Scottish Freemasons throughout the world have displayed Brotherly Love and Relief in abundance not only within our fraternity but in local communities as well. As we face further restrictions and see the covid-19 statistics rising once more, let us all commit to putting the basic tenets of our Brotherhood into practice – let us be constantly mindful of our Brethren and the families of our Brethren who are struggling physically, financially or mentally – let’s all be there for them. Let us continue to meet by Zoom or similar means whereby we can assure that we take care of the business and administrative issues facing the Lodges and do everything that we can to enable as many Brethren to use the available technology to join in the meetings. Keep positive, keep safe and keep your sense of humour well honed.

Our Grand Secretary has now been with us for over a month and has settled well into his Office. However, it has been brought to my attention that not everyone knows him so here is a wee bit about him.


Picture1


Brother William M S Semple, Past Master of The United Lodge of Dunkeld No14, Past Provincial Grand Secretary of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Perthshire West and currently the Provincial Grand Master of Perthshire West.

After a distinguished career in the Police Service, Brother Semple set up William Semple Consulting Ltd, a company providing bespoke investigation, risk & crisis mitigation services and mentoring to both the public and private sector. Having enjoyed much success both at home and abroad with his firm, the time was right for a change in direction and we were delighted to welcome him as our new Grand Secretary at the beginning of September. Brother Semple looks forward to meeting Brethren at home and abroad as soon as the current restrictions are lifted, and we can resume normal service.

 

Kindest regards

Ramsay McGhee

Grand Master Mason


 
 

GLoS

The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland

William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason

Brethren

The past week has been very productive in a number of ways. We have had inaugural meetings of two new working groups – a strategy group whose remit is to look at ways we can continue to keep interest going during the prolonged restrictions, to look at how we come out of the Covid-19 pandemic and how we move forward post Covid-19 in a positive and meaningful way. Secondly, a discipline review group who are looking at the entire discipline system and how we can encompass all Orders within the one system.

In both groups, I have tried to bring in fresh ideas by including representatives from our Districts and Brethren who have placed themselves on the Register of interests. Both groups will report back to the Administration Committee in due course.

We also enjoyed the final presentation in the series of lectures organised by the History and Heritage Group on the ten oldest Lodges. The entire series has been very interesting and has attracted good audiences. The lectures are all available from the Group for anyone who has missed them.

As we go to press today, our new Grand Secretary, Brother William Semple will be attending his first European Grand Secretary’s Conference via Zoom. We wish him well.

From this evening (Friday 9th October) Masonic Clubs with the exception of the Central Belt will face further strict conditions – the main new restrictions are –

  • Hospitality (food and drink): all premises may only open indoors between 6am and 6pm, with no sales of alcohol
  • Hospitality (food and drink): premises may open outdoors until 10pm, with sales of alcohol (where licensed)
  • Takeaways (including from pubs and restaurants) can continue
  • Current meeting rules, maximum of six people from two households, continue to apply

Central belt area focusing on five health board areas (Ayrshire & Arran; Forth Valley; Greater Glasgow & Clyde; Lanarkshire; Lothian):

All licensed premises will be required to close, with the exception of takeaway services

For those of you who may be affected by the new restrictions, the latest information from the Scottish Government can be found at - https://www.gov.scot/news/new-moves-to-stop-covid-19-spread/

Latest news from the Scottish Constitution Freemasonry Supports Facebook page is as follows –



   Last week  This week
 Members 3663  3729
 Posts 438  444
 No of Members posting  200  200
 Lodges mentioned  233  233
 Provinces mentioned  30  30
 Districts & Lodges abroad  15  15
 Monetary Value  £332,594  £334,664


SCFS Overseas Report

  • We welcomed 43 Overseas Brethren this week. 
  • Our Overseas Membership is now standing at 1062 Members
  • The geographical spread of new members this week saw Brethren joining from ... Bahamas, Botswana, Central South Africa, Fiji, Jamaica, Jordan, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Lebanon, Malawi, Middle East, Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada, Western Australia 
  • The largest increase in membership, by far, was from the District of Lebanon with encouraging numbers also from the Districts of The Bahamas and Central South Africa.
  • Lodge Trinity, No. 1846, Bhamdoun, Lebanon, had the largest number of Brethren joining from an individual Lodge.
  • The recent new category of Membership, that of International Constitution Member (ICM), saw Brethren join from the United Grand Lodge of Queensland, United Grand Lodge of England and the Grand Lodge of India. Examples of the excellent support being shared on the SCFS page are now reaching a much wider audience. 
  • The SCFS Team wishes Lodge Polynesia, No. 562, which has been very supportive of the group, a very happy Fiji Day tomorrow on the 50th. Anniversary of Independence...... Kalougata, marau kei na sautu ki na matanitu o Viti.

As the Covid-19 situation worsens and stricter restrictions are imposed here in Scotland and a similar story emerges in some of our Districts, please stay safe, look after yourself and be constantly mindful of our Brethren and the families of our Brethren who are struggling physically, financially or mentally – let’s all be there for them.

 

Kindest regards

Ramsay McGhee

Grand Master Mason


 
 

GLoS

The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland

William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason

Brethren

As I mentioned in last week’s Update, we have received many requests as to how financial support can be sent to the Lebanon in the wake of the explosion. At long last we have been able to get the banking issues both here and in Lebanon sorted out. Grand Secretary sent out information this week but just to widen the scope let me repeat the information - Individuals, Lodges, Districts or Provinces who would wish to contribute to the Lebanon Appeal can now do so by Bank Transfer to the following account - The Bank of Scotland (The Mound, Edinburgh), Grand Lodge of Scotland Support Account : Account number – 10119866, Sort Code – 80-31-20 – the reference word LEBANON should be included for ease of identification and an email sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. informing Grand Lodge that money has been sent. All monies paid into this account will be sent safely to a new “fresh money” account jointly operated by the three Grand Lodges in Lebanon – the Grand Lodge of Scotland, the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia, Washington DC and the Grande Loge Nationale Française (GLNF). A letter signed by the three Grand Masters will also be sent to all Regular Grand Lodges worldwide seeking their support. 

Last week I circulated detailed information from Brother Gordon Michie of Poppy Scotland regarding the procedure for Poppy crosses. This week Brother Michie had hoped to send additional information regarding Remembrance Parades but is still awaiting confirmation from the Scottish Government as to what will and will not happen. As soon as that information is to hand, I will ensure that it is circulated to all Lodges at home, but it would certainly appear that any form of large gathering will not be allowed

I mentioned some weeks back that the dates for all Lodges having rededication ceremonies and all Districts and Provinces having Installation Ceremonies for new District or Provincial Grand Masters had been rescheduled into 2021. I did intend to circulate the new dates but with the total uncertainty that we are currently experiencing thanks to Covid-19, I have decided to hold back as it looks like at least some of the re-scheduled dates will need to be re-scheduled once more. Once things settle down and there is a reasonable possibility of being able to conduct the ceremonies, I will issue a fresh schedule at the earliest opportunity to allow local planning to take place. But I can assure you all that a Grand Lodge Deputation will be there with you as soon as it is lawful and practical to do so.

Due to the impending cessation of the Furlough Scheme, Grand Lodge staff will be returning to the office on Monday 5th October. From Monday the switchboard will be open during normal business hours. Could I also ask that if any Lodge has a query regarding the database to address the query to Lyndsey on the email address – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Latest news from the Scottish Constitution Freemasonry Supports Facebook page is as follows –



   Last week  This week
 Members 3625  3663
 Posts 430  438
 No of Members posting  199  200
 Lodges mentioned  231  233
 Provinces mentioned  30  30
 Districts & Lodges abroad  15  15
 Monetary Value  £324,864  £332,594


SCFS Overseas Report

  • We welcomed 20 Overseas Brethren this week. This means that the amazing milestone of an Overseas Membership of 1,000has now been passed, with Overseas Membership now standing at 1019.
  • Many congratulations is extended to our 1000th. Overseas Member who is Brother Johann Swanepoel, Past Master, Lodge Oranje, No. 1603, Orange Free State and Country Lodges, Central South Africa. 
  • The geographical spread of new members this week saw Brethren joining from ... Barbados, Central South Africa, Eastern Province of the Cape of Good Hope, Gibraltar, Lebanon, Newfoundland and Labrador, Sierra Leone and The Gambia, Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada   
  • The largest increase in membership was from the District of Central South Africa.
  • Lodge Argyll, No. 1548, Roodepoort, The Reef, Central South Africa, had the largest number of Brethren joining from an individual Lodge.
  • A new category of Membership has been introduced ... that of International Constitution Member (ICM). Membership is by invitation and is aimed at Brethren from other Constitutions which are in amity with the Grand Lodge of Scotland. This development will result in the examples of the excellent support being shared on the SCFS page reaching a much wider audience. 
  • We welcome Brother Paul Sefton, Past Master, Elwy Lodge, No. 4721, Province of North Wales, UGLE, as our first International Constitution Member.

 

As the Covid-19 situation worsens here in Scotland and in some but not all of our Districts, please stay safe, look after yourself and be constantly mindful of our Brethren and the families of our Brethren who are struggling physically, financially or mentally – let’s all be there for them.

 

Kindest regards

Ramsay McGhee

Grand Master Mason


 
 

GLoS

The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland

William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason

Brethren

As we move into the last week in September, may I address a few words to our many Jewish Brethren at home and abroad.  The New Year (5781) has arrived. This is a Holy Festival when families usually gather together to celebrate. In the current circumstances, this has not been possible, due to travel and other restrictions brought about by Covid-19 and I extend my sympathy to you all as it must be very frustrating not being able to celebrate in the traditional manner.  The days between the start of the New Year and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), are a time of solemn reflection, very different from the New Year celebrations with which many of us are familiar. Yom Kippur, on Monday September 28th, is a day of fasting and praying. As it approaches, I extend my best wishes and hope these Holy Days will bring solace, and a happy and peaceful New year.

I have received detailed information from Brother Gordon Michie of Poppy Scotland regarding the procedure for Poppy crosses. An updated letter will be sent out today along with this update.

We have received many requests as to how financial support can be sent to the Lebanon in the wake of the explosion. Due to banking issues in Lebanon we have been unable to give definitive advice but Grand Secretary will hopefully be in a position early next week to circulate details of a new account in Grand Lodge which will be used exclusively for emergency aid to Lebanon. I thank you for your patience in this matter but it is important that we have a conduit that will allow monies collected to go safely to the right place.

Back in May I gave answers to a number of frequently asked questions in the weekly update but of late, Grand Treasurer has been asked again about annual fees – please find below the response I gave in May which is still the case today.

Will Grand Lodge give all Lodges a year without paying annual fees?

The answer is no. First, that would require a motion to be placed in front of Grand Lodge and there will be no meeting of Grand Lodge this year. We would ask that the Brethren continue to pay their Test Fees as normal. Each Lodge pays an annual Capitation Fee of £33 per member to Grand Lodge. In the majority of Lodges but not all, that amount is included in the annual Test Fee. It is important therefore that Brethren continue to pay their Test Fee in order that the Lodge receives its portion and that Provincial or District Lodges receive their portion. We do acknowledge and appreciate that there may be individual Brethren who, as a result of Covid-19 are experiencing extreme hardship. It is expected that the Lodge, the Province or District and Grand Lodge would all pull together to assist Brethren and their families who experience such hardship but for the vast majority we would ask that they support their Lodge in particular, Freemasonry in general by paying their annual dues.

Latest news from the Scottish Constitution Freemasonry Supports Facebook page is as follows –



   Last week  This week
 Members 3534  3625
 Posts 420  430
 No of Members posting  196  199
 Lodges mentioned  225  231
 Provinces mentioned  30  30
 Districts & Lodges abroad  14  15
 Monetary Value  £310,568  £324,864


SCFS Overseas Report

  • We welcomed 61 Overseas Brethren this week, bringing our Overseas Membership of the SCFS Group to 999. The amazing milestone of an Overseas Membership of 1,000 will be reached this coming week. The SCFS Team looks forward to congratulating our 1,000th. member in next week’s Report.
  • It is heartening to note that, once again, we had an expansive geographical spread of new members this week, Brethren joining from ... The Bahamas, Central South Africa, East Africa, Eastern Province of the Cape of Good Hope, Far East, Fiji, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritius, Newfoundland and Labrador, Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada, Zambia.  
  • The largest increase in membership was from the District of Lebanon, followed bythe District of Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada and the District of Central South Africa.
  • Lodge Mount Lebanon, No. 1312, Lebanon, had the largest number of Brethren joining from an individual Lodge ... closely followed by Lodge Jordan, No. 1339, Jordan.
  • A number of new Members proved to be extremely proactive in encouraging members of their Lodges to join the SCFS group. many thanks to them.
  • We received extremely interesting posts from our Overseas Lodges and Districts, sharing the support which they are providing, and thanks is also extended for this. 

Just a wee gentle reminder that if your Masonic Club is operating, as and from today you will require to adhere to the 10.00pm curfew. Full details can be found at

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-tourism-and-hospitality-sector-guidance/pages/overview/          and at The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2020


Contacting Grand Lodge

The Grand Lodge telephone switchboard is now open on a part time basis  – the days/hours will be: -

                                Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday between 10am and 2.30pm

 

Kindest regards

Ramsay McGhee

Grand Master Mason


 
 

GLoS

The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland

William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason

Brethren

On Saturday we enjoyed a unique experience when the majority of District and Provincial Grand Masters got together via zoom to meet up with each other and discuss a variety of topics. The feedback from the meeting has been good and it will become an annual feature of the Grand Lodge Calendar. A date is now being arranged to have a joint meeting between District Grand Masters and Proxy District Grand Masters.

Some of those who have put their names forward for the Register of Interests will soon receive an invitation to join several small Working Groups. We do not have many Brethren on the Register of Interests, but I would encourage you to do so if you feel that your skills and experience could benefit Scottish Freemasonry. Please contact Grand Secretary if you wish to be included.

I have received detailed information from Gordon Michie of Poppy Scotland about the Poppy Crosses which we will circulate next week but the good news is that we will have the Poppy Crosses this year – distribution will be a bit different from normal – they won’t go out to Lodges in boxes – there will be an on-line facility made available, details of which I’ll pass on as soon as it has been set up. The other good news is that we will be planting crosses in Princes Street.

For those Provinces and Districts who are due to put forward recommendations for new Provincial and District Grand Masters, the protocol for Proxy Voting in lieu of physical meetings, has been finalised and will be circulated to all Districts and Provinces who will be affected, by Grand Secretary.

Latest news from the Scottish Constitution Freemasonry Supports Facebook page is as follows –

 


   Last week  This week
 Members 3458  3534
 Posts 415  420
 No of Members posting  194  196
 Lodges mentioned  224  225
 Provinces mentioned  30  30
 Districts & Lodges abroad  14  14
 Monetary Value  £304,963  £310,568
 

SCFS Overseas Report

  • The 900Overseas Membership milestone has now been reached. We welcomed 49 Overseas Brethren this week, bringing our Overseas Membership of the SCFS Group to 938.
  • Congratulations is extended to Brother Mike Herbert, PM, Lodge East Rand Scots, No. 1093, in RSA, Central South Africa, on being our 900th Overseas Member.
  • It is heartening to note that, once again, we had an expansive geographical spread of new members this week ...  from The Bahamas, Barbados, Central South Africa, East Africa, Eastern Province of the Cape of Good Hope, Far East, India, Jamaica, Lebanon, Malawi, Middle East, Newfoundland and Labrador, Sierra Leone, and The Gambia
  • The largest increase in membership was from the District of Central South Africa, followed bythe District of Middle East and the District of the Eastern Province of the Cape of Good Hope. 
  • Lodge Piet Retief, No. 1501, Central South Africa, had the largest number of Brethren joining from an individual Lodge. 
  • An interesting route to membership was adopted by Brother Archie Dempster, Lodge Margate, No. 1420, Kwa-Zulu Natal, who made a video call to ensure that he had correctly provided the requested Masonic details. Welcome, Brother Dempster.
  • We would strongly encourage posts from our Overseas Lodges and Districts ... sharing the support which they are providing. 

I am aware that over the past couple of weeks, there has been a tendency to express concern and nervousness about the future in general, Freemasonry in particular. I fully accept and acknowledge that times are hard for many Lodges and that things will not get much better in the foreseeable future. However, this is a time, especially for Provincial and District Grand Masters, to take the initiative and lead from the front. Over the past six months we have all witnessed many great examples of inventive and novel ways to try and keep things on an even keel financially and socially both at home and abroad. We have a number of Lodges who, for example, have simply asked the Brethren to sign up to a monthly standing order to put a sum of money equivalent to what they would have spent at the Lodge on a normal Lodge night into the Lodge account – things like collection / raffle / drinks – if the Brethren sign up to such a scheme with even £10 per member per month, it could make a significant difference to the Lodge finances and keep the Brethren in touch. Many Lodges are engaging their members and families in on-line quiz nights and they contribute a sum of money for entry to the quiz. Others have adopted programmes to keep members fit by indulging in exercise each day and in many cases getting that exercise sponsored with the sponsor money going into the Lodge coffers or to charity. Where Covid restrictions have allowed, Brethren have organised outdoor afternoon teas or coffee mornings all of which are designed to raise sufficient funds to cover the essential costs and at the same time keep members involved. Can I actively encourage Provincial and District Grand Masters with their Commissions to take the initiative and organise events to not only build up funds that can help the Lodges but initiatives that are going to keep the members in touch and active. Such programmes are only limited by imagination – in these difficult times, we must be as imaginative, innovative, and creative as we possibly can. Let’s all adopt a positive and upbeat outlook. We will, working together, overcome the present difficulties.

Contacting Grand Lodge

The Grand Lodge telephone switchboard will open on a part time basis from next week – the proposed days/hours will be: -

                                Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday between 10am and 2.30pm

 

Kindest regards

Ramsay McGhee

Grand Master Mason


 
 

GLoS

The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland

William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason

Brethren

Further to my Update this morning, the following general advice has now been released from the Government which answers the question about allowing non-Masonic bodies to use Lodge premises. As can be seen below, this cannot now happen given the 6-person limit that becomes law from Monday. There is no likelihood of that being lifted soon albeit it will be reviewed on 5th October. The reference to public spaces would include Lodge premises where non-Masonic groups meet.

The following excerpt from the Government release states -

This deteriorating situation at home and abroad means that we have to take a very cautious approach to the further easing of restrictions. As set out below, we now need to delay further changes until it is safe to make them. We also need to make some changes that will reduce opportunities for the virus to spread. We have already put a range of extra measures in place to help keep the virus suppressed, our Test & Protect system and outbreak management approach have worked well, and we are today introducing our proximity app, Protect Scotland, which will support our Test and Protect system, but more measures are now required.

At this review point we will take the following steps to further reduce transmission of the virus: The limit on the number of people who can meet socially indoors or outdoors will be reduced to a maximum of six people, and they should come from no more than two households. This applies in people's homes and gardens as well as in hospitality and public spaces such as parks. It is not required to count children under 12, from within the two households, within the 6-person limit. The regulations and guidance will be updated to reflect these changes.

  • Face coverings will be mandated for customers and staff in indoor hospitality. There will be an exemption for when customers are eating and drinking. Staff in non-public facing roles, such as kitchen staff, will also be exempt where face coverings may present health and safety issues due to the nature of roles. Exemptions for vulnerable groups/individuals will also apply to hospitality settings. Regulations will the take effect on Monday 14 September.

Given the developing status of the epidemic - both in Scotland and internationally - we will also continue to take a cautious approach to any further opening up of economic or social activity.

As was noted at the 20th August review when setting the 14th September indicative date. It must be stressed that this indicative date is conditional on continued progress in suppressing the virus.

If the epidemic in Scotland deteriorates before this date, then the expectation must be that the date will be delayed.

Consistent with this, given the deterioration in the status of the epidemic over the past three weeks, those changes that were previously given an indicative date of 14 September will now be assigned a new indicative date of 5 October.

The full release is available at -

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-phase-3-scotlands-route-map-update-10th-september-2020/  

Could I also suggest that you give some consideration to using the new proximity app on your phones – it is easy to download by going into the App Store on your phone and searching for – Protect Scotland – thereafter follow the instructions. Many thanks.

Kindest regards

Ramsay McGhee

Grand Master Mason


 
 

GLoS

The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland

William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason

Brethren

During the past week, Grand Almoner and I had a very productive meeting with Brother Jean-Pierre Rollet, Grand Master of the Grande Loge Nationale Française and Brother Michael D. Nicholas, Sr., Grand Master of the District of Columbia. They along with the Grand Lodge of Scotland are the three Regular Grand Lodges with a presence in Lebanon. We met to discuss how we can best collectively assist after the disaster that has befallen Lebanon or Beirut in particular. We made good progress and set each other a number of tasks and we will be meeting next week again when we will hopefully be able to bring the plans to fruition.

In Grand Lodge work continues to remove the asbestos from the basement areas of the building. We have also signed a contract to bring fibre optic cabling into the building to enable us to bring our IT systems into the 21st century. It will also give us reliable wi-fi throughout the building. It is good to be able to get this work carried out during this time so that we will have the systems working when we open up again.

Still on IT, we have made good progress with the Grand Lodge Database. Most of the wish list drawn up by the Lodge Secretaries has been implemented and we now look to bringing the Lodges in the Districts onto the system over the next few weeks.

Latest news from the Scottish Constitution Freemasonry Supports Facebook page is as follows –

 

Last week we reached a milestone with the 400th post on the group

This week we reached another milestone – we have broken through the £300,000.

What a marvellous achievement – thank you.


   Last week  This week
 Members  3387  3458
 Posts 400  415
 No of Members posting  191  194
 Lodges mentioned  221  224
 Provinces mentioned  30  30
 Districts & Lodges abroad  14  14
 Monetary Value  £294,466  £304,963
 

SCFS Overseas Report

  • We had 23 Overseas Brethren recorded this week, bringing our Overseas Membership of the SCFS Group to 
  • It is anticipated that the 900th. Overseas Member will be welcomed into the SCFS group this coming week ... details in next week’s Update.
  • It is heartening to note that, once again, we had an expansive geographical spread of new members this week ...  from The Bahamas, Central South Africa, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritius, Middle East, Peru, Sierra Leone and The Gambia, Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada, Western Australia, Zambia.
  • The largest increase in membership was seen from the District of Central South Africa (thanks to Lodges in the Orange Free State and Country Lodges area) and from the District of Western Australia (with a notable number from Lodge Balmoral, No. 896)
  • An interesting post was received from Brother Rinus Grau, District Grand Secretary of Zimbabwe, which highlighted the support which our Brethren in Zimbabwe are providing for the safety of all in the Masonic Homesin Harare
  • We look forward to receiving posts from other Overseas Lodges and Districts ... sharing the support which they are providing. 

As of yesterday, 161 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Scotland – our Brethren and their families in a number of areas are under lockdown procedures and family meetings are again under strict guidelines. Despite the fact that things are not improving, I am still getting questions about opening Lodges and Lodge premises. Let me once again try and make it as plain as I can that, first of all, the Heads of all Orders in Scotland have taken a joint decision, based on the fact that the health and well being of our members is paramount, that there will be no meetings of any of the Orders before January 2021 when the situation will be reviewed.

With regard to allowing non-Masonic organisations back into our premises, I have written to the Government twice and have asked that specific question, but I have not received a response from them. I will write again but for the time being, the advice is that (licensed clubs excepted) we keep our premises closed.

I hope and trust that this finds you all keeping safe and well and looking out for each other.

Kindest regards

Ramsay McGhee

Grand Master Mason


 
 

GLoS

The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland

William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason

Brethren

The joy of knowing that our two Masonic Homes have remained Covid-19 free thanks to the commitment and professionalism of the Homes Managers and their staff was tinged with sadness this week when we learned that the Marcus Humphrey Home in Bridge of Weir was the target of mindless vandals who, for reasons best known to themselves, decided to smash the garden ornaments and flower pots which give so much pleasure to our residents. Police Scotland have been informed and have issued a reference number in respect of the vandalism but as far as I understand will not make any enquiry. However, the good news is that Brethren and Lodges from far and wide have responded magnificently. My sincere thanks to you all for your kindness and generosity – I can assure you that the staff and residents greatly appreciate the response.

I was recently sent an article regarding prostate cancer testing for men which is taking place in Lodges in Wales. I copied the article to Grand Almoner and to Brother Marcus Humphrey, Chair of the Benevolence and Care Committee who has reminded me that now would be a good time to reiterate the availability in Scotland of a PSA test from their General Practitioner free of charge and the willingness of Adam Gaines from Prostate Cancer Scotland to speak to any forum about it. I’m sure Adam would be an ideal speaker on some of the Zoom platforms organised by our Lodges at home and abroad – this affects men throughout the world and I have no doubt that Adam’s advice would prove valuable irrespective of where you are in the world. One aspect that Adam frequently mentions is that an important part of the process is the relationship between the man and his GP and the requirement for the GP to properly assess and prepare the patient, talk through the potential results of the test (whether positive or negative), available support and the psychological effects on the man. This is based on Adam’s often repeated statement that more men die with prostate disease rather than die of prostate disease. While we have been and continue to be concentrating on Covid-19, let us not forget that advice. Prostate Cancer, like Covid-19, has not disappeared – it is still very much an issue for all men in our Provinces and Districts.

Latest news from the Scottish Constitution Freemasonry Supports Facebook page is as follows –

 

We reached a milestone this week with our 400th post on the group.

We added another Province and another District.

There are now only 2 Provinces who have not had any Lodges posting.


   Last week  This week
 Members  3332  3387
 Posts 386  400
 No of Members posting  186  191
 Lodges mentioned  218  221
 Provinces mentioned  29  30
 Districts & Lodges abroad  13  14
 Monetary Value  £287,661  £294,466
 

SCFS Overseas Report

  • We had 26 Overseas Brethren recorded this week, bringing our Overseas Membership of the SCFS Group to 866.
  • We had an expansive geographical spread of new members this week ... from The Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Central South Africa, Eastern Province of the Cape of Good Hope, Fiji, Jordan, Lebanon, Kwazulu Natal, Middle East, Namibia, New Zealand South, Sierra Leone and The Gambia, Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada, Western Australia Goldfields District.
  • The largest increase was seen from Fijithrough a Lodge under the Supervision of Grand Lodge ... Lodge Polynesia, No. 562. 
  • The first posts from Fiji were also published on the page.
  • The attraction to become part of the SCFS membership was exemplified by our first member to join by providing the required Masonic details via a voice message whilst driving (safely) home from work. Well done, Brother Dennis Flor Cruz, Lodge Cargill Kilwinning, No. 632, in New Zealand South. 

The support of the SCFS Group continues to be extended to our Brethren in the District of Lebanon. Those Brethren, and their loved ones, remain in all of our prayers.

(Details of the online contribution page, incorporating a link to facilitate donations, have been published.)

Brethren, as I compile this update, I’m listening to the morning news on Radio Scotland and the news is not good. Following an increase in the number of coronavirus cases in Glasgow, East Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire, additional restrictions will be introduced for people living in these areas for an initial two-week period. We have another spike in the Highlands in Grantown on Spey. Many of our Districts are still very much affected by the virus and we are seeing an increase in travel restrictions. This virus is still very much in our midst - please stay alert, look after yourselves, your families and the Brethren who are in any of the vulnerable categories.

Finally, I am repeatedly asked if I have had any response to my letters to the Scottish Government – the answer is no. Given that the Heads of Orders have agreed that no meetings will take place this year, the first part of the letter regarding the opening of Lodges is no longer urgent but I will continue to chase up the second issue – the need for definitive guidance for many of our Lodge buildings throughout the country that are effectively community hubs housing a vast array of non-Masonic organisations. 

 

Kindest regards

Ramsay McGhee

Grand Master Mason


 
 

GLoS

The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland

William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason

Brethren

It’s hard to believe that this is the 31st weekly update. It has been a difficult and at times frustrating six months for us all but how heartening it has been to learn week on week about the tremendous amount of good works being carried out by Scottish Freemasons here at home and in all our Lodges scattered over more than 40 countries world-wide. The effort of Brethren in so many communities has done much to promote all that is good in Freemasonry and I thank you all in the sincerest of terms for all that you have done, for all that you are doing and, there is no doubt, that we’ll need to keep doing in the weeks and months ahead. As we enter September I appeal to you all to keep the flame of Masonry burning brightly by continuing your Zoom meetings, your lecture nights, your quiz nights and all the other initiatives that have materialised over the months. Please make a special effort to contact those who have no way of accessing zoom, email or any other platform – just a wee two-minute phone call to those on their own will make a world of difference to them. We will get back to our meetings and we all look forward to that albeit for those of us in Scotland, that’s going to be a wee while yet. I was speaking to Brother Kalpesh Shah in Nairobi last night and he tells me that subject to Government approval, they hope to have an outdoor meeting in the expansive grounds of Lodge Mount Longonot in Naivasha during September – another excellent initiative to keep that flame burning. I’d be delighted to hear of any other initiatives taking place.

On Saturday 5th September we will be holding our first ever joint PGM / DGM meeting. Full details will be circulated to all PGM’s and DGM’s next week.

Latest news from the Scottish Constitution Freemasonry Supports Facebook page is as follows –

 

   Last week  This week
 Members  3278  3332
 Posts 371  386
 No of Members posting  179  186
 Lodges mentioned  209  218
 Provinces mentioned  29  29
 Districts & Lodges abroad  12  13
 Monetary Value  £268,733  £287,661
 

SCFS Overseas Report

  • We had 30 Overseas Brethrenrecorded this week, bringing our Overseas Membership of the SCFS Group to 
  • We had new members from Barbados, Central South Africa, Lebanon, Malta, Mauritius, Middle East, Namibia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia, Togo, Western Australia.
  • The largest increase was seen from thDistrict ofNamibia (Brethren joined from 4/5 of the Lodges ... Lodge Dunedin Star, Lodge Zun Kreuz des Sudens, Lodge Benguela and Lodge Zur Hoffnung) and Togo(Lodge of Togo)
  • Now that all District Grand Lodges, Lodges under Grand Superintendents and Lodges under the Supervision of Grand Lodge are represented in the SCFS Group, the SCFS Team looks forward to receiving a large and wide variety of posts showing the excellent support which is undoubtedly being provided by our Overseas Brethren.
  • The SCFS Team has introduced a series of ‘Spotlight Videos’ which will concentrate on posts which have appeared on the group page, fall within a particular category and have a common theme or connection, beginning this week with a video entitled, "Spotlight on the District Grand Lodges.”

The support of the SCFS Group continues to be extended to our Brethren in the District of Lebanon. Those Brethren, and their loved ones, remain in all of our prayers.

(Details of the online contribution page, incorporating a link to facilitate donations, have been published.)

 I am delighted to report that Brother William Semple will commence duty as our new Grand Secretary on Monday 14th September 2020. I look forward to working with Brother Semple and I’m sure that you would wish me to convey the best wishes of all Brethren as he takes up his new post.

Brethren, in the figures published by the Scottish Government yesterday, 68 new cases of Covid-19 were reported and, as I reported last week, the numbers have been rising at an alarming rate in many of our District Grand Lodges. This virus is still very much in our midst - please stay alert, look after yourselves, your families and the Brethren who are in any of the vulnerable categories.

 

Kindest regards

Ramsay McGhee

Grand Master Mason