Due to the impact of the Covid19 pandemic, there was no official ceremony in Edinburgh this year.  However, our Grand Master Mason, W Ramsay McGhee, was able to represent Grand Lodge at a socially distanced event in Princes Street Gardens on Monday, 26th October – to commemorate and honour so many brothers who lost their lives in service.

RAFFLE IN AID OF THE SCOTTISH MASONIC HOMES

HAND-MADE STERLING SILVER WATCH CHAIN

We were delighted to receive a very generous donation of a hand crafted, sterling silver watch chain (please see the picture below).   It has been decided to raffle the chain with all proceeds going to the Scottish Masonic Homes.

Brother John Muir has kindly agreed to manage the raffle for us and requires certain information to progress the entries and payments – each draw entry costs £5 and if you would like to participate, please email John at john.muir1779@gmail.com

The winner will be drawn by the Grand Master Mason on 26th November and the closing date to enter is 5 p.m. on 25th November.

Thank you to everyone who takes part, your support is greatly appreciated and all of the funds raised will be used for the benefit of the Residents.

Brethren

On top of all the Covid-19 issues, the spikes in Aberdeen and in Inverclyde we were horrified to learn of the explosion in Beirut. I have been in touch with our District Grand Master in Lebanon, Brother Rabih Jarmakani who initially was able to inform me that many of our Brethren had been injured and a number of close relatives of Brethren had been killed. In the past hour I have received the following update from Brother Jarmakani.

Good Morning Brethren – a quick update from Beirut: burial for relatives of our brethren who tragically lost their lives are underway and we are taking account of the damages for our own membership and temples.

We are liaising with each other to ensure provision is made for medicines for our brethren as we have fully covered accommodation for those whose homes are not viable.

In the next 48 hours, we will be launching a contribution page for anyone wishing to assist along with the two other jurisdictions in amity with our Grand Lodge, Grand Lodge of Washington DC, and Grand Lodge National de France. This is becoming critical as the government has not done anything to assist and the situation is getting more difficult for many by the day.

On Lodge level, many of our Lodges have started various initiatives to support their own communities in the areas they meet, from providing hundreds of meals for the medical teams who are practically living in the hospitals to provision of soup kitchens, blood donation and volunteer work for repairs.

Our Cypriot brothers have organized a shipment of food which will be making its way to the port of Tripoli in the Northern region of Lebanon.

May the Great Architect of the Universe continue to protect us all. 🌿

Grand Lodge will be assisting the Brethren of the District and I will ensure that details of the contribution page will be circulated widely. Our thoughts and prayers are with our Brethren and their families in Beirut at this exceedingly difficult time for them.

Next Monday I will be chairing a meeting of the Heads of Orders to work on a strategy to ensure that we are all in agreement as to the way forward in respect of Covid-19. It is important that we all work together at this difficult time. On Thursday we are having our second Grand Committee Zoom meeting to take forward several issues that have accrued since we last met.

Latest news from the Scottish Constitution Freemasonry Supports Facebook page is as follows –

https://www.facebook.com/groups/Scottish.Constitution.Freemasonry.Supports/

 Last WeekThis Week
Members30063127
Posts332358
No of Members posting172177
Lodges Mentioned180204
Provinces mentioned2929
Districts & Lodges abroad1112
Monetary Value£237,470£258,230

Another milestone in the membership of our Overseas Brethren has been reached. Last week, the 600 barrier was broken. This week, because of previous weeks’ recruitment efforts and the support of several extremely proactive Overseas Brethren, whose endeavours are greatly appreciated, the 700 barrier has now been broken. 

  • We had 85 Overseas Brethren join this week (with another 10 just one click away from being Members) bringing our Overseas Membership of the SCFS Group to 709.
  • We had new members join from Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Central South Africa, East Africa, Far East, Jamaica, Jordan, Lebanon, KwaZulu Natal, Mauritius, Middle East, Namibia, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Zealand South, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia, Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada, Zimbabwe. 
  • The largest increase was seen in the Districts of Sierra Leone and The Gambia (18), Lebanon (14) and Central South Africa (10) and we welcomed our first Members from a significant number of our Overseas Lodges.
  • We would strongly encourage our Overseas Members to maintain the excellent frequency and quality of their submissions to the group. 

Following the tragic loss of life, homes and multiple injuries sustained in the dreadful explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, the support of the SCFS Group to our Brethren in the District of Lebanon has been expressed by making personal contact with the District Grand Master and our Lebanese members, in addition to a prominent visual being placed on the SCFS page. They are in all our prayers. 

Brethren, please stay alert, look after yourselves, your families and the Brethren who are in any of the vulnerable categories.

The Grand Lodge of Scotland Clay Shooting Championship will be held a week on Sunday,16th August at the National Shooting Centre to participate, please contact the organising committee on either gloscsa@gmail.com or gloscsa@aol.com.  Alternatively, you can make contact through the Scottish Masonic Clay Championships Facebook page.

Kindest regards

Brethren

I hope and trust that this weekly update finds you and your families all keeping safe and staying well.

The Scottish Constitution Freemasonry Supports Facebook page continues to grow.

Scottish Constitution Freemasonry Supports
Weekly Posts SummaryCurrent
 
Date04 May 202011 May 202018 May 202025 May 202003 June 2020
 
Members9681221146317781926
 
Posts2967104133157
 
No. Members Posting27558293106
 
Lodges Mentioned26587892105
 
Provinces Mentioned1624242626
 
Districts Etc. Mentioned01566
 
Identifiable Monetary£31,650£40,320£94,375£112,527£129,746

Brother Jim Ellis has informed me that the involvement of our District Grand Lodges on the Facebook page is continuing to grow and that has to be welcomed by all. I would encourage all Scottish Lodges irrespective of where they are to contribute to the SCFS page. Many thanks to you all for all your efforts.

For the avoidance of doubt, can I make it abundantly clear that contrary to recent press coverage, neither I nor the Grand Lodge of Scotland has ever banned the use of Zoom or any similar platform. Indeed, we have been promoting its use in order that Lodge members can meet with each other, discuss any urgent business and most importantly, give those Brethren living on their own some much needed company with those whom they know.  In the past week alone, I have been privileged to attend various Zoom meetings every single day. What Grand Committee agreed was that Enquiry Committees could not use electronic interviews and that decision was endorsed by Grand Lodge at the Regular Communication of Grand Lodge on Thursday 31st October 2019. If any Brother has any queries about articles that appear in the weekly updates, please feel free to contact me and I’ll happily discuss them with you personally.

You will all be aware of the controversy surrounding Care Homes at the present time. I would like to put on record through the weekly update, and I’m sure you will all join with me in recording a tremendous vote of thanks to Mrs Dawn Oliff and the Managers of our two Homes, Wilma and Gillian and all members of staff at the Homes for the outstanding level of care, attention and dedication they have given to all our Residents during the lockdown. It has been a very difficult time but each and every member of staff has displayed tremendous commitment and devotion to duty. Thank you.

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 pa@grandlodgescotland.org will also be picked up and forwarded to the correct person.

Please take care of yourselves and each other – stay safe.

Kindest regards to you all.

Ramsay McGhee

Grand Master Mason