The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland
William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason
During the past week we have been watching the activities associated with the death of the Queen. Throughout all the activity in Scotland we were all so very proud of the role that Past Grand Master, Brother Dr Joseph John Morrow CBE KStJ KC DL FRSE, Lord Lyon King of Arms played in the entire proceedings. He was incredibly busy behind the scenes as well as his public appearances of Reading the Proclamation, preceding the Royal Family during State Processions to mention but two of his duties. I am sure that you would wish to join with me in congratulating Brother Morrow for the tremendous job he has done throughout the period of mourning.
I was greatly privileged to be present at the Memorial Service in St Giles Church, Edinburgh representing all Scottish Freemasons at home and abroad. It was a truly memorable service which commenced with a fine selection of organ music played by Jordan English, Assistant Organist in St Giles followed by five choral pieces sung by the Choir of St Giles under the direction of the Master of Music, Michael Harris.
The service proper commenced with the well drilled coffin-bearers bringing Her Majesty’s into the Church followed by the Royal Party. The congregation sang “All people that on earth do dwell” after which the service was conducted by the Minister of St Giles, Rev Calum MacLeod. The lessons were read by Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister, the Most Rev Leo Cushley and the Most Rev Mark Strange while the Eulogy was given by the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields. Another highlight during the service was the singing of a Gaelic setting of the 118th Psalm by Karen Matheson. It was a truly fitting service of thanksgiving for the life of Her Majesty the Queen.
On behalf of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, Grand Secretary has written a letter of condolence to the HM the King, and I have written to the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, Brother HRH the Duke of Kent, a cousin of the Queen.
- The Group saw its membership rise to 6822 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 1329, submitted by 396 of its members.
- These updated contributions can now be attributed as to being made on behalf of 401 Lodges, from within 57 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 Provincial Grand Lodges of Aberdeenshire East, Perthshire East and Perthshire West.
- The total identifiable monetary value of the contributions now recorded is £2,591,794. This equates to an average of £20,901 per week since the group was created.
SCFS Overseas Report
Our membership of brethren from Lodges located outside Scotland continues to grow. Reference this week must be made to Lodge Ivanhoe, No. 879, in the District of Western Australia, and to Lodge Ntshe, No. 1746, in the District of Botswana, for adding to our overall total.
- We now also have 1587ICMs (International Constitution Members) - brethren belonging to Lodges whose Grand Lodges are in amity with the GLoS. These brethren are important in spreading news worldwide of the wonderful support given to others by our brethren, and of the points of interest detailed in GMM’s Newsletter. This week that group was boosted by new Members joining from Masonic constitutions such as: GL of Victoria, United GL of Queensland, UGLE(Bermuda), GL of Ukraine, GL of the Philippines, GL of Illinois, and the GL of Bolivia.
- We look forward to welcoming our 1600th ICM in the near future.
**We would encourage our Overseas Lodges and Districts to continue sharing news of their excellent support of others and look forward to publishing further posts from them.**
Next week, Grand Secretary and I will travel to St John’s in Newfoundland to carry out the long overdue installation of our District Grand Master, Brother Warren Dinham.
As you are all aware, we have been trying our level best to catch up on three years of Provincial and District Grand Lodge installations. I am delighted to report that we are almost there – all Provincial Grand Masters have been installed, Brother Dinham will be installed on 24th September, the new DGM of Gibraltar Brother Paul Villalta will be installed on 15th October and the DGM of the Far East, Brother Christopher Wong will be installed here in Edinburgh on Monday 21st November. That will bring us fully up to date until we start in February 2023 with the new PGM’s and DGM’s whose Commissions will take effect from 2ndFebruary.
Likewise, we are working hard to catch up on Lodge Celebrations. It is important that we mark all milestone events in our Lodges even although Covid has maybe put them back a year or two.
Finally, as always, please stay safe and look after each other.
Grand Master Mason