The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland
William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason
There has been much activity in the background this past week especially with all the Lodges who have missed out on important anniversaries over the past eighteen months. Thanks to the co-operation of Lodge Secretaries in particular, we have agreed alternative dates for the majority of Lodges and have secured agreement with all the Provinces who have new Provincial Masters awaiting Installation. This is most encouraging and the Grand Lodge Office-bearers who will be assisting in the rededication ceremonies are all looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead during the remainder of this year and into 2022. We will be in touch with all the Lodges who have still to confirm new dates and look forward to trying to accommodate all requests.
The uncertainty over the Installation of our District Grand Masters and their Commissions still exists. The Heads of Orders agreed that there should be no foreign travel this year which is eminently sensible. We have pencilled in dates for 2022 but I stress the point that they are still in pencil and until the world situation with flight availability, quarantine regulations and vaccination programmes settles down we cannot replace the pencil with ink, but we will constantly review the situation along with our District Grand Secretaries in the hope that we can fulfil all engagements in the foreseeable future.
- The Group saw its membership rise to 5529 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 897, submitted by 302 of its members.
- These updated contributions can now be attributed as to being made on behalf of 328 Lodges, from within 55 of its Provincial Grand Lodges, District Grand Lodges, Superintendencies and Lodges abroad under the direct supervision of Grand Lodge.
- This week posts were submitted by group members representing the Provinces of East Lothian, Midlothian & Stirlingshire.
- The total identifiable monetary value of the contributions now recorded has risen to £1,403,751.
SCFS Overseas Report
- Our Overseas Membership has now risen to 1553 This is thanks to new members joining us from Lodges in the Districts of Jamaicaand the Middle East.
- The largest increase in membership was from Lodge Tullibardine in the East, No. 1118, Malaysia, in the District of the Middle East.
- Our membership of Brethren who belong to Lodges whose Grand Lodges are in amity with GLoS continues to grow. We now have 792 Brethren spreading news of the wonderful support featured in the posts on the main SCFS page and on the increasingly popular SCFS-Showcase,throughout their constitutions.We look forward to welcoming our 800th ICM this week.
- During this week, the expanding reach of SCFS was seen by the fact that Brethren joined from 4different Masonic Constitutions, including: United GL ofNew South Wales and A.C.T., GL of South Africa, GL of India, UGLE (England, South Wales, India, Nigeria).
- We received and shared excellent posts from our Overseas Brethren this week.
- Brother Rajaghantham Ramasamy shared that our Scottish Lodges, with particular reference to Lodge Tullibardine in the East, No. 1118, Malaysia, in District of the Middle East, had donated over £6500 last month to provide food for 600 needy families.
- Brother Andrew Shaw provided an update on the Mwandi Mission Hospital, Zambezi, in the District of Zambia, which was supported by Lodge Lusaka, No. 1368, and Lodge Nkana, No. 1378, the donations having been matched by Grand Lodge.
- We’d encourage Lodges in other Districts to share the examples of the excellent support which they are involved in, too.
Last Saturday was a busy and productive day with a zoom meeting with Provincial Grand Masters in the morning and a zoom meeting with our District Grand Masters in the afternoon. I was delighted that 31 of our 32 Provinces were in attendance in the morning and that 21 of our 26 Districts were present in the afternoon – those unable to attend were generally because of time differences. Both meetings discussed a wide range of issues including the return to Masonic activity, statistical returns, dispensations, a Grand Lodge Memorial Service, mental health initiatives, the Grand Lodge database, social media and the way forward for the Scottish Constitution.
As a result of both meetings, there is much to work on in the months ahead for Grand Lodge, the Districts and Provinces and for our Daughter Lodges. I found both meetings to be inspiring, encouraging and positive and I thank all in attendance for their input on the day.
Finally, as always, please stay safe and look after each other.
Grand Master Mason