The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland
William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason
It has been another busy and productive week.
Last Friday afternoon, I, along with a small Deputation from Grand Lodge, rededicated Lodge Hopetoun St John at the seventh attempt. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day, and, in the evening, I travelled from Linlithgow to Dalkeith where the Brethren of Lodge Dalkeith Kilwinning No 10 hosted a dinner to mark Brother Thomas Constable Smith’s term as Depute Grand Master.
The following morning, I chaired a zoom meeting of Provincial Grand Masters and in the afternoon repeated the exercise with our District Grand Masters. Both meetings were well attended, and I was heartened by the reports from home and abroad. Most Lodges have resumed work, and many of the reports indicated a rise in the number of candidates coming forward. There was general agreement that where Lodges have an abundance of candidates it would be good to invite Lodges who don’t have candidates to work some of the Degrees.
The charitable works in the Provinces and Districts continue and I was delighted to hear of the support for the “Make it a Million” initiative. There has been a slow take-up to the “Spirit of Grand Lodge” project, but the indication was that many more Lodges are going to participate, and I would encourage you to do so – it basically entails organising a raffle with the prizes being the Grand Master Masons Choice whisky, gin, and vodka. If it is not happening and you would like it to happen – speak to your Provincial or District Grand Master.
The Administration Committee had a special meeting on Wednesday at which considerable progress was made in the long overdue quest to reorganise the governance structure of Grand Lodge to make it more efficient, effective, and fit for purpose for the 21st Century.
On Thursday, we had a lengthy meeting of the Overseas, External Affairs and Special Purpose Committee. The agenda was wide ranging covering topics and issues relating to no fewer than 15 countries as well as a few home matters. A full report will go to Grand Committee on Thursday 28th April.
- The Group saw its membership rise to 6434 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 1164, submitted by 362 of its members.
- These updated contributions can now be attributed as to being made on behalf of 374 Lodges, from within 56 of its Provincial Grand Lodges, District Grand Lodges, Superintendencies and Lodges abroad under the direct supervision of Grand Lodge.
- During the week posts were submitted by group members representing the Provinces of Dunbartonshire, Edinburgh, Fife & Kinross, Inverness-shire, Lanarkshire Middle Ward and Orkney & Zetland.
- The total identifiable monetary value of the contributions now recorded has risen to £2,083,004.
SCFS Overseas Report
Our membership of Brethren from Lodges located outside Scotland continues to grow steadily and the new members whom we have recently welcomed demonstrate the wide reach of the SCFS group.
- In this respect, reference may be made to Lodge Kirkwood Kilwinning, No. 1393, Lodge Imperial Service, No. 978, Lodge St. Andrew, No. 1139, and Lodge Benguela, No. 1616, in the Districts of the Eastern Province of The Cape of Good Hope, Jamaica, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Namibia Brethren joining from those Lodges helped increase our Overseas Membership to 1734.
- We also now have 1366 Brethren from Lodges whose Grand Lodges are in amity with the GLoS, and who spread news, worldwide, of the wonderful support given to others by our Brethren.
- Included in that number this week were Brethren from Lodges such as Unity Lodge, No. 4, from the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, and Lodge Naoshir Chenoy, No. 187, from the Grand Lodge of India.
- In this category, new Members joined from 12different Masonic constitutions: the above plus the GL of Ireland, GL of Georgia, GL of Canada in the Province of Ontario, GL of South Africa, GL of Nigeria, GL of the Philippines, GL of Illinois, GL of New South Wales and ACT, GL of Missouri, and UGLE(England, Nigeria)
We would encourage our Overseas Lodges and Districts to continue sharing news of their excellent support of others and look forward to publishing posts from them.
It was with great sadness that we learned last weekend of the Death of Brother James Ironside, our District Grand Master in New Zealand South Island. Our sincere condolences are extended to Brother Ironside’s family and to the Brethren of the District.
Finally, as always, please stay safe and look after each other.
Grand Master Mason