The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland
William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason
As reported last week, I had problems with British Airways on the way out to Gibraltar. Just to keep things evenly balanced, it was the same story on the way back – two hours late leaving Gibraltar – missed connection at Heathrow – alternative flight to Edinburgh – train to Inverness. Arrived home on Tuesday afternoon instead of Monday night. However, the reduced period of time spent in Gibraltar was first class. It was a real pleasure to be back and to meet up with old friends and make new ones. Was delighted to see that Freddy was still behind the bar in the Masonic Club – he was behind the bar when I first visited Gibraltar in the mid-nineties, and he looks as fresh as ever. The Installation of Brother Paul Villalta and his Commission was well attended and went smoothly thanks to the organising skill of the District Grand Secretary, Brother Ivor Lopez and my acting Grand Director of Ceremonies, Bro Rob Lomax. He did a splendid job as did all Brethren who were standing in for the Grand Lodge Office-bearers. The Installation Banquet in the “Hall of Fame” was an excellent evening in the company of wives and partners.
On Sunday, I had the pleasure of attending St Andrew’s Church of Scotland where we were warmly welcomed by the Minister, Rev Ewen MacLean who hails from Lewis. I had a good craik with him and was delighted he knew several of my former colleagues. Sadly, the Church of Scotland are going to close the Church at the end of the year after a presence dating back to the 19th century.
After Church, I attended, for a short while, the History and Heritage Committee lecture given by the DGM elect in the District of the Eastern Cape of Good Hope, Brother Jessop. Later in the day, we were taken for a trip round the rock on Brother Steven Segui’s boat. Brother Segui is the new Substitute DGM.
Despite British Airways attempts to cause havoc, we had a tremendous weekend and I convey my sincere thanks to the DGM, Brother Villalta, and all the Brethren, their wives, and partners for making us so welcome, for their generosity and friendship. It was truly appreciated.
- The Group saw its membership rise to 6887 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 1354, submitted by 401 of its members.
- These updated contributions can now be attributed as to being made on behalf of 405 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 Provincial Grand Lodges of Edinburgh and Linlithgowshire.
- The total identifiable monetary value of the contributions now recorded has risen to £2,697,288.
SCFS Overseas Report .
The Overseas membership of the SCFS group has now reached 1846 brethren. Special mention for support this week is given to Lodge Bon Accord, No. 965, in the District of Eastern Province of the Cape of Good Hope.
In addition, new members were approved from Lodges under UGLE, GL of New Jersey, MWGL of the Philippines, Regular GL of Italy and the GL of Indianapolis. This brings the total of International Constitution Members (ICMs) to 1622.
We were delighted to publish posts about the following this week:
- Brother Craig Jessop, DDGM, of the District Grand Lodge of the Eastern Province of Cape of Good Hope, shared news about an initiative by Brother Bernard Heritage, SDGM, which led to Lodge Bon Accord, No. 965, donating 500 cupcakes to the local Old Folks’ Home in Buffelsfontein.
- Brother Scott Bartlett, IPDGM, District Grand Lodge of Newfoundland and Labrador, shared a post about an excellent donation of approximately £650 to the Trinity Conception Health Care Foundation by Lodge Heart’s Content, No. 1275.
Day tickets for the Conference are now available and separately, tickets for the Installation and Festival of St Andrew are now available from Grand Lodge. This will be a unique week in Scottish Freemasonry – one that I commend to all of you. If you don’t have your tickets yet – don’t delay – they are selling fast.
The Glasgow Phoenix Choir Christmas Concert will be held in Freemasons’ Hall, Edinburgh on Sunday 11th December at 2.30 pm for 3.00 pm. Tickets can be reserved through Grand Lodge Reception – only £10 per ticket. This year, in commemoration of the ascension of King Charles III, the choir will perform “Zadok the Priest” as part of the concert.Finally, as always, please stay safe and look after each other.
Grand Master Mason