In one of the earlier updates I asked as delicately as I could, if Lodge Secretaries would take note of all Brethren who pass away as a result of Coronavirus in order that we can have a special “In Memoriam” service in Grand Lodge – hopefully in October. As a follow on to that message, I have been asked by one of my Provincial Masters to request that Brethren do not publicly notify deaths on Facebook or any other platform unless they are 100% sure that the family are all aware of the death first. Premature notification can bring even more upset to friends and relatives who had not firstly been notified by the immediate family. Thank you.
We need to remember at this time that all our Districts, Superintendency and Lodges abroad are affected with coronavirus as well – nobody has escaped. Since the conference call with the District Grand Masters I have been in touch with many of them by phone or by email to find out how they are coping. Just as we have suffered deaths at home so have our Brethren in some of the Districts and it will be important to include all Brethren at home and abroad in the In Memorium service.
One positive coming out of the coronavirus pandemic is that our Scottish Lodges throughout the world are responding to the crisis in an admirable way; they are showing Freemasonry in a very positive light and I thank you all, wherever you are, for your sterling efforts.
There has been a good response to the suggestion by Past Grand Master, Brother Marcus Humphrey of Dinnet, Chairman of the Benevolence and Care Committee that we consider initiating a Covid-19 Appeal Fund to provide financial help to those in need. I have received no negative responses. The Benevolence and Care Committee will examine how this can best be taken forward.
Brother Gauld, Grand D of C has informed me that there is evidence of Legionnaires Disease returning. All schools and colleges are making sure all water systems including drinking fountains are regularly run through. It is advisable that all Lodges do likewise to reduce the possibility of Legionnaires Disease on our eventual return to the Lodges.
Brother Jimmy Young is once again conducting virtual workshops in respect of the Grand Lodge Database. I would like to thank him publicly for all the effort he has put into the exercise. The feedback from the earlier workshops has been very positive and the lessons learned using the virtual platform will stand us in good stead when we start rolling the programme out to our 26 Districts, the Superintendency of Bermuda, the Superintendency of Malawi and to the 19 Lodges abroad who report to the Grand Lodge directly.
The response to the Grand Lodge survey has almost reached 7000 returns – with one week to go, now is your last chance to participate. Let’s break the 7000 – the link is:
Please remember for any urgent issues whether at home or abroad – you can contact Grand Lodge on the following numbers – Dawn Oliff – 07464 683630, Sue Williams 07881 440272 and Andrew Paterson 07787 217772. Emails to Sue at firstname.lastname@example.org will also be picked up and forwarded to the correct person.
Please take care of yourselves – stay safe, please take heed of the Government guidelines and stay home.
Kindest regards to you all.
Grand Master Mason