The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland
William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason
As I reported last week, Grand Secretary and I attended the Installation of David M Booker as the new Grand Master of the Freemasons of South Australia and Northern Territory which was transmitted by Zoom. The Grand Masters of New Zealand, New South Wales and Capital Territories, the United Grand Lodge of Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania and Queensland were all physically in attendance.
It was an interesting Ceremony with wives and relations joining the Brethren. It was therefore more of an Investiture than what we would experience as a Grand Lodge Installation, although much of the ritual was word for word with our own.
I was delighted that a number of Brethren from Lodge Rosslyn St Clair No 606 in the Province of Midlothian were also in attendance due to the fact that one of their number, Brother Boyd Sparrow, was installed as the new Grand Secretary of South Australia and Northern Territory.
The icing on the cake, however, was that I was able to convey not only greetings and congratulations from the Grand Lodge of Scotland but a special congratulatory note from Past Grand Master Brother Marcus Humphrey whose grandfather was Grand Master of South Australia and Northern Territory from 1939 to 1944 while he was the State Governor.
We are all well aware of the problems and issues that have arisen due to Covid-19 but there have been “silver linings” and one of those silver linings has been the ability to communicate, through Zoom and other platforms, with our Brethren in the Districts. I have had the pleasure of several productive meetings with our District Grand Masters – something that never happened previously.
We have been able to welcome several Brethren from our Districts onto the current Working Parties and many of our Proxy Masters have been able to join in local Zoom meetings throughout the world. The really good news is that in the future we will be able to capitalise on the technology and enjoy a much closer and more productive and valuable relationship with all those Brethren around the world who are proud to acknowledge that they are all Scottish Freemasons.
Grand Secretary has tasked several of our Grand Lodge staff to revitalise the Grand Lodge Shop. Sue, Rebecca and Linda, assisted on the technical side by our IT Manager Willie Rice, are working hard to source new, good quality merchandise and improve the on-line sales facility. Keep an eye on the Grand Lodge Facebook page for up-to-date information.
This week we can announce that we are now stocking Award winning Pickerings Gin, which is distilled at Summerhall Distillery in Edinburgh using an original 1947 Bombay recipe, incorporating 9 Scottish botanicals.
The team have negotiated new and improved shipping rates – we can now ship one bottle (next day delivery, UK only) at £9, which is half the price it used to be. We can also ship up to 6 bottles also at £9! So, anything up to 10kg costs just £9. Through DHL Sue has also negotiated good rates to get merchandise to our Districts subject to local conditions, so why not give her a call?
Another 27 Brethren joined the group which saw its membership grow to 4997 Brethren from not only the Scottish Constitution but from many of our Sister Constitutions throughout the world.
This week saw the total examples of charitable giving recorded within the group rise to 746, submitted by 277 of its members.
These updated contributions can now be attributed as to being made on behalf of 317 Lodges, from within all 32 Provincial Grand Lodges, 23 of its District Grand Lodges, Superintendencies and Lodges under the direct supervision of Grand Lodge.
Another £5,163 of contributions with an identifiable monetary value was added during the week, seeing the total rise to £1,191,547 since the creation of the group.
SCFS Overseas Report
- Our Overseas Membership has now risen to 1422 This is thanks to new members joining us from Lodges in Togo, Nigeria, India, Central South Africa (Cape Province), Bahamas.
- Our membership of Brethren who belong to Lodges whose Grand Lodges are in amity with GLoS continues to grow. We now have 517 Brethren spreading news of the wonderful support, featured in the SCFS posts, throughout their constitutions.
- This week Brethren joined from 13different Masonic constitutions, namely: The National GL of Poland, GL of the Philippines, UGLE (England, Zambia, South Africa), GL of British Columbia and Yukon, GL of Ireland, United GL of Germany (GL of AF&AM of Germany), GL of India, GL of Japan, GL of Canada in the Province of Ontario, GL of Argentina, GL of Bolivia.
- In addition to the above, the list of Grand Lodges represented by Brethren within them joining as ICMs had the Grand Lodge of South Carolina and theIcelandic Order of Freemasons added to it.
- With reference to posts published, Brother Ken Dorsett shared a very interesting post highlighting the wonderful support of the All-Saints Camp (refuge for HIV/AIDS sufferers) by Lodge St. Michael, No. 1634, in the Bahamas, which showed Brother Gustavus Samoa Ferguson, RWM, and members of the Lodge responding to resources requests from the Camp.
Finally, as always, please stay safe and look after each other
Grand Master Mason
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