Coronavirus – Update from the Grand Master Mason – 4 September 2020

Brethren                                                                                                                     04.09.2020

The joy of knowing that our two Masonic Homes have remained Covid-19 free thanks to the commitment and professionalism of the Homes Managers and their staff was tinged with sadness this week when we learned that the Marcus Humphrey Home in Bridge of Weir was the target of mindless vandals who, for reasons best known to themselves, decided to smash the garden ornaments and flower pots which give so much pleasure to our residents. Police Scotland have been informed and have issued a reference number in respect of the vandalism but as far as I understand will not make any enquiry. However, the good news is that Brethren and Lodges from far and wide have responded magnificently. My sincere thanks to you all for your kindness and generosity – I can assure you that the staff and residents greatly appreciate the response.

I was recently sent an article regarding prostate cancer testing for men which is taking place in Lodges in Wales. I copied the article to Grand Almoner and to Brother Marcus Humphrey, Chair of the Benevolence and Care Committee who has reminded me that now would be a good time to reiterate the availability in Scotland of a PSA test from their General Practitioner free of charge and the willingness of Adam Gaines from Prostate Cancer Scotland to speak to any forum about it. I’m sure Adam would be an ideal speaker on some of the Zoom platforms organised by our Lodges at home and abroad – this affects men throughout the world and I have no doubt that Adam’s advice would prove valuable irrespective of where you are in the world. One aspect that Adam frequently mentions is that an important part of the process is the relationship between the man and his GP and the requirement for the GP to properly assess and prepare the patient, talk through the potential results of the test (whether positive or negative), available support and the psychological effects on the man. This is based on Adam’s often repeated statement that more men die with prostate disease rather than die of prostate disease. While we have been and continue to be concentrating on Covid-19, let us not forget that advice. Prostate Cancer, like Covid-19, has not disappeared – it is still very much an issue for all men in our Provinces and Districts.

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

We reached a milestone this week with our 400th post on the group.

We added another Province and another District.

There are now only 2 Provinces who have not had any Lodges posting.

 Last weekThis week
No of Members posting186191
Lodges mentioned218221
Provinces mentioned2930
Districts & Lodges abroad1314
Monetary Value£287,661£294,466

SCFS Overseas Report

  • We had 26 Overseas Brethren recorded this week, bringing our Overseas Membership of the SCFS Group to 866.
  • We had an expansive geographical spread of new members this week …  from The Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Central South Africa, Eastern Province of the Cape of Good Hope, Fiji, Jordan, Lebanon, Kwazulu Natal, Middle East, Namibia, New Zealand South, Sierra Leone and The Gambia, Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada, Western Australia Goldfields District.
  • The largest increase was seen from Fiji through a Lodge under the Supervision of Grand Lodge … Lodge Polynesia, No. 562. 
  • The first posts from Fiji were also published on the page.
  • The attraction to become part of the SCFS membership was exemplified by our first member to join by providing the required Masonic details via a voice message whilst driving (safely) home from work. Well done, Brother Dennis Flor Cruz, Lodge Cargill Kilwinning, No. 632, in New Zealand South. 

The support of the SCFS Group continues to be extended to our Brethren in the District of Lebanon. Those Brethren, and their loved ones, remain in all of our prayers.

(Details of the online contribution page, incorporating a link to facilitate donations, have been published.)

Brethren, as I compile this update, I’m listening to the morning news on Radio Scotland and the news is not good. Following an increase in the number of coronavirus cases in Glasgow, East Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire, additional restrictions will be introduced for people living in these areas for an initial two-week period. We have another spike in the Highlands in Grantown on Spey. Many of our Districts are still very much affected by the virus and we are seeing an increase in travel restrictions. This virus is still very much in our midst – please stay alert, look after yourselves, your families and the Brethren who are in any of the vulnerable categories.

Finally, I am repeatedly asked if I have had any response to my letters to the Scottish Government – the answer is no. Given that the Heads of Orders have agreed that no meetings will take place this year, the first part of the letter regarding the opening of Lodges is no longer urgent but I will continue to chase up the second issue – the need for definitive guidance for many of our Lodge buildings throughout the country that are effectively community hubs housing a vast array of non-Masonic organisations.

Kindest regards

Ramsay McGhee

Grand Master Mason

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