The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland has had 110 Past Grand Masters in a continuous line from 1736
Current Grand Master Mason
The Grand Master Mason, Brother William Ramsay McGhee, was initiated into Lodge St. Barchan, No. 156, in the Province of Renfrewshire East on the 18th February, 1969.
In 1973, he, along with his family, moved north and subsequently became an Affiliate Member of Lodge Seaforth, No. 854, in the Province of Ross & Cromarty and became Master of the Lodge in 1991. He is also a Reponing Member and Past Master of Lodge Allan Wilson, No. 851.
In the Provincial Grand Lodge of Ross and Cromarty, he served as Provincial Grand Secretary from 1996 until 2001, as Depute Provincial Grand Master from 2001 until 2006 and as Provincial Grand Master from 2006 until 2011.
He has been Proxy District Grand Master of East Africa since 2007, prior to which he was Proxy Master of Lodge St. Andrew, No. 1437 in Singapore.
In Grand Lodge he has served as a Grand Steward, a member of Grand Committee and, in 2003, was installed as Grand Inner Guard, after which he served as Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies for a year before becoming Grand Director of Ceremonies in 2005, an Office he held until 2014 when he was appointed Depute Grand Master. He served in that Office for three years and was installed as Grand Master Mason on 29th November, 2018.
In 2005, he was appointed Representative of the Grand Lodge of the Commonwealth of Virginia near the Grand Lodge of Scotland, a position he held until 2018 when he became Representative of the Grand Lodge of Georgia near the Grand Lodge of Scotland.
He is actively involved in a number of other Orders in the Highland area.
Away from Freemasonry, Brother McGhee joined the Police Service in 1973. He served in Dingwall, Gairloch, Muir of Ord and Fortrose before being promoted to the staff of the Scottish Police College at Tulliallan. After 3 years on the staff he moved to Mallaig as Section Sergeant, covering what was one of the biggest sections in the UK including the Small Isles of Rhum, Muck, Eigg and Canna.
He was seconded to Lancashire Constabulary to work on a new computerised crime recording system before returning to Northern Constabulary HQ in Inverness where he spent four years as Inspector and then Chief Inspector in charge of the Information Technology Department, responsible for Communications, Computer Technology and the Force Control Room. In 1995, he was promoted to Superintendent and seconded to the Home Office in London for three years. On his return to the Force, he worked in HQ for a short time before once again becoming operational as Area Commander for Inverness. Three years later, he was promoted to Chief Superintendent and assumed responsibility for all Operational Policing in the Highlands and Islands.
On retiring from the Force Brother McGhee set up his own business working in project management and in the Licensed Trade where he specialised in training and was the Area Manager for the Scottish Licence Trade Association. In addition, he was Convenor of the Highland Licensing Forum.
Apart from running his own business, he is actively involved in Rotary and is a Past President of Riverside Rotary Club in Inverness, is Vestry Secretary and Organist in St Andrew’s Church in Fortrose and is a member of the crew of the Seagull Trust boat based in the Caledonian Canal. Brother McGhee is Chairman of the Board of Trustees for a charity dealing with drug and alcohol addiction, known as “For the Right Reasons”. In May 2014, he was honoured by being appointed as one of the Deputy Lord Lieutenants for Ross, Cromarty, Skye and Lochalsh.
Married to Ann, they have three children – Fiona, who recently retired from the Army where she was a Major in the QARANC, Iain, who runs his own construction business in Devon, and Douglas, who teaches in Australia. They also have 7 grand-children.
Immediate Past Grand Master
Brother Charles Iain Robert Wolrige Gordon of Esslemont was initiated into Lodge Ythan, No. 892, (Ellon, Aberdeenshire), in 1982 and was Master of the Lodge from 2003 to 2005. He is also a member of Lodge Sir Robert Moray, No. 1641, (Edinburgh), and is the representative of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand. The Immediate Past Grand Master is presently the Immediate Past First Grand Principal of the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland and is a member of several other Masonic Orders including the Supreme Council for Scotland.
Brother Wolrige Gordon’s family has held land in Aberdeenshire since the 14th century, the present country estate, Esslemont, having been in the family for two centuries. He is married to Angela and has three children, two boys and a girl. In addition to supervising the running of the estate, he runs his own business. He enjoys various country pursuits, has a keen interest in conservation and is involved in local community work, serving on many committees.
His great, great, uncle, Brigadier Sir Robert Gordon Gilmour of Liberton and Craigmillar, was Grand Master Mason from 1916 to 1920 and his father Captain Robert Wolrige Gordon of Hallhead and Esslemont served as Grand Master Mason from 1974 to 1979.
Past Grand Master
Our first Grand Master Mason was Brother William St. Clair of Roslin. Grand Lodge’s 111th and current Grand Master Mason is Brother William Ramsay McGhee, who was installed into that office at Freemasons’ Hall in Edinburgh on Thursday, 29th November, 2018.