As we come to the end of another week of lockdown, I hope and trust that you and your families are well and staying safe. I am well aware that a vast number of our Brethren at home and abroad, and their families, are putting themselves at risk to keep us safe whether they be working in the global Health Services, keeping our transport systems for both goods and people running, serving in our shops and supermarkets or being involved in the myriad of volunteering initiatives throughout the world – I thank you all, wherever you may be in the vast network of Scottish Freemasonry, for your sterling efforts.
On 28th March, I circulated an update all about the Coronavirus Business Support Fund. I am delighted to report that I have received word from Orkney in the north to Ayrshire in the south and all places in between of Lodges who have been successful in obtaining the £10,000 grant. There are no doubt others that I am unaware of, but I would once again urge all Lodge administrators to seriously consider making application. If you go to your local authority website and type in – COVID-19 business grant scheme – you should be able to follow through from there.
The Grand Lodge survey has now closed with a final total of 7715 responses. A fantastic effort – my sincere thanks to all who have participated. The survey now moves into the analytical stage and we will hopefully have the results by the start of the anticipated Masonic season in September. I would like to record my grateful thanks to Brother Kenny Miller for his tremendous effort in getting the survey to this stage. Lodges in every District, every Superintendency and every Province have responded. My sincere thanks to you all – a great effort.
I’m sure everyone is aware of the fact that Scottish Freemasons have raised over half a million pounds over the past few years for Prostate Scotland but you should also be aware that we continue to get good publicity through the Prostate Scotland newsletters – in the March edition I’m delighted that Bert Weatherburn of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Midlothian received special mention for “his efforts to raise prostate awareness by distributing over 1,000 badges to Lodges throughout Scotland in the last year. Thank you Bert”! and in the March edition of the supporters Newsletter, the Grand Lodge of Scotland receives a great write-up – you can read it for yourselves using the following link – https://www.prostatescotland.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/resources/Prostate-Scotland-Fundraising-Supporter-News-March-2020.pdf
It is most heartening and encouraging to read about, and to witness, the wonderful support which is being undertaken by individual Brethren, Lodges, Provinces and Districts during this Covid-19 Virus pandemic. This support takes many different forms, both physical and emotional, such as contact being maintained through phone calls and social media, shopping for and delivering groceries, donating sums of money to identified organisations and purchasing and donating goods on a wider scale.
Evidence of such substantial and unqualified support throughout the world may be viewed on many platforms, and occasionally in the press, but “we can find no record of any place having been set aside” for the collective posting of such examples. A new Facebook page, “Scottish Constitution Freemasonry Supports” has been formed by several PGM’s to provide such a vehicle for sharing this evidence, for providing the opportunity to recognise the efforts of Brethren and to inspire us all into contributing to the ethos of Masonic Support. Brethren will be invited to become members of the group and they, in turn, will be able to invite other Brethren. It is anticipated that the page will be launched on Saturday, 2nd. May. The direct link is – https://www.facebook.com/groups/Scottish.Constitution.Freemasonry.Supports/
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 and each other – stay safe.
Kindest regards to you all.
Grand Master Mason