Lodge Whifflet St. John 963

"Supporting local charities and good causes within the community"

Coronavirus Update - 16 October 2020

Dear Brethren,


Due to the ongoing situation of Coronavirus (COVID 19) and the guidance from GLOS, all Whifflet St John 963 meetings will be cancelled for the foreseeable future and most likely into 2021. I intend to keep in touch with as many active Brethren by phone or text and will update social media as much as possible.


I feel it is important that we keep in communication and keep the principals of freemasonry alive and well during this critical time for the country. This is an opportunity for freemasonry to shine and support our communities by following the guidance provided. I will ask our younger brethren to act as almoners for the lodge and ensure we have contact with all of you should you need anything. If you are not good with social media do not fret, as we will ensure we call you all using traditional phone calls.


I would encourage that you ask friends or relatives to check this page for updates. As Freemasons and as good citizens, please follow guidance by the Government and please remember those less fortunate than yourself, self isolation can be difficult physically and mentally and it is important using our principals that we support our communities. 


Feel free to message this website, any office bearer or myself direct via social media or phone.


The GAOTU will give us strength in all our times of need, courage brother do not stumble.


RWM Bro. Jim Durning.



https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/



https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19



https://www.mind.org.uk/



https://www.hsepeople.com/mental-health/mental-health-support-can-turn/



Grand Master Masons Communication 

The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland

William Ramsay McGhee, MStJ, D.L., Grand Master Mason



Grand Masters Communication                                         29.01.2021


Brethren


Last Saturday I held a meeting with the Provincial Grand Masters. I am delighted to report that every Province was represented, and we had a very productive three-hour meeting. A significant number of actions have emerged from the meeting and they have been disseminated to all PGM's. Information from the meeting will be getting fed into the Strategy Group, the Admin Committee and Grand Committee. However, many of the topics can be actioned immediately such as encouraging Lodges to hold zoom meetings on Regular meeting nights, the sharing of successful initiatives, the collection and recycling of laptops within each Province and circulating the devices to Brethren who do not have one along with relevant training. Any Brother who has suitable hardware that they no longer use should notify their PGM and each Province will be looking for Brethren with expertise in cleaning and refurbishing the devices and Brethren to give training.


Much emphasis was put on the necessity for every Lodge to ensure that the premises are checked on a weekly basis and that each visit is logged, that all Lodges check their insurance policies in respect of the premises being vacant, that the insurance cover is adequate. Please ensure all those routine tasks are carried out so that in the event of an issue, the Lodges are not caught out by insurance policy escape clauses.

Many actions have been placed on your PGM's and they will be working with you over the next few months to assist with initiatives during lockdown and in the preparation for re-opening in due course plus the dissemination of useful ideas that were discussed on Saturday. Grand Lodge, through the Strategy Group and Administration Committee will be producing useful and necessary information packs over the spring and early summer months.

A week on Saturday the same exercise will take place with the District Grand Master's and next on the list will be the under 40 group. There has been a slight delay with the under 40 group because one of the contractors has failed to get the fibre optic cable into the building - the main contractor has all the internal wiring complete, but we still await connection to the main cable. Given the numbers that will be involved initially with the under 40 group and that we want to use the break-out facility as well, the present infrastructure in Grand Lodge would not cope. However, I am keen to get that particular meeting underway as soon as is practical.

Can I also bring to your attention, the 3rd series of lectures being organised by the History and Heritage group - they start a five-week run on Wednesday 17th February. The past two series have concentrated on the history of the 10 oldest Lodges - this series we will be transported to some of our Districts with the first lecture coming from the DGL of Lebanon - I commend them to you - the links to get into the lectures appear on Facebook each week.



SCFS


  • An additional 59 new members joined the group which now has a membership of 4487 Brethren from all 4 quarters of the globe.
  • This week saw the total examples of charitable giving recorded within the group rise to 629, submitted by 253 of its members.
  • These updated contributions can now be attributed as to being made on behalf of 299 Lodges, from within 31 Provincial Grand Lodges, 21 District Grand Lodges, Superintendencies and Lodges under the direct supervision of Grand Lodge.
  • The total identifiable monetary value of the contributions now recorded has risen to £589,561.
  • There have been 92,490 individual comments likes, and other reactions to the group since its inception.


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



SCFS Overseas Report 

  • A wonderfully inspiring post was received this week from Brother George El Khebbez, Substitute District Grand Master of the DGL of Lebanon, sharing the outstanding support which Lodge Kadisha, No. 1002, is providing to the Red Cross, underprivileged families, and the local community in Beirut.
  • With the inclusion of our new Overseas Brethren this week, our Overseas Membership is now sitting at 1296 Members. We look forward to welcoming our 1300th Overseas Member this coming week. 
  • The geographical spread of Overseas Members saw Brethren being welcomed from Belgium, Jamaica, Lebanon, Western Province of the Cape of Good Hope. 
  • The largest increase in membership was, once again, from the District of Jordan, with the most Brethren joining from an individual Lodge coming from Lodge Kadisha, No. 1002.Congratulations
  • The reach of the SCFS page is increasing extremely encouragingly with another 43 Brethren from other Masonic constitutions being warmly welcomed into the group this week.
  • Our worldwide International Constitution Members (ICMs) viewing the SCFS page has now increased to 288 (we look forward to welcoming our 300th) with new ICMs joining the group from the GL of Canada in the Province of Ontario, UGLE, GL of India, GL of South Africa, GL of Ireland, GL of Peru, GL of South Africa, GL of Japan, United GL of Germany, United GL of New South Wales and ACT, GL of the Philippines, Regular GL of Portugal, National United GL of Bulgaria, GL of China. 
  • We also welcomed Brother Roberto Inchauste Varela ... our first member from a Lodge operating under the constitution of the Grand Lodge of Bolivia.
  • An additional warm welcome was extended to Brother Jai Murti, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Japan.

Finally, please stay safe and look after each other.


Kindest Regards
Ramsay McGhee
Grand Master Mason

Grand Masters Communication                                        15.01.2021

Brethren

At the meeting of the Heads of Orders on Wednesday, it was unanimously agreed that meetings of all Orders in Scotland will remain suspended for the foreseeable future. The decision was based on a number of factors – the current rise in cases and in deaths, the speed by which vaccine will be available and administered to all and the fact that we received notice that all public events have been cancelled indefinitely – for example, I received notification yesterday through the Lieutenancy that the Garden Parties in July have been cancelled. I know, accept and appreciate that this will be disappointing news to many, but the health and safety of our membership is paramount. With regard to our Lodges abroad, my advice is to remain closed unless you are 100% sure of the safety of the Brethren and are working in strict compliance with the law of your country.


As a result of Wednesday’s meeting, I will be calling an early meeting of the strategy group and will be tasking them, as a matter of urgency, to bring forward their work to ensure that we can do all that we possibly can to keep interest and enthusiasm as high as we can possibly can. We all need to remain positive and upbeat. I will also be meeting at an early date with all Provincial and District Grand Masters to emphasise to them the role that I expect them to play in this ongoing pandemic.


Brethren, please be assured that I will do all in my power to keep morale, enthusiasm and passion for our Craft as my number one priority. I don’t enjoy the situation any more than anyone else – however, I am confident that we will come out of the pandemic strong and vibrant – it may just take a bit longer than I was anticipating. 


In the meantime, please keep the Zoom meetings going – I’ll move to try and expand the meetings so that we can do more than we are maybe doing at the present time. Keep in touch with the more vulnerable Brethren, widows and families. Make sure they are safe.


  I’ll also explore the possibility of Lodges applying to “Connecting Scotland” for i-pads for those members who have no way of connecting to the internet. I would also make an appeal on two counts – if anyone has a laptop or i-pad that they no longer use then I’m sure we all know someone who could use it and secondly, if we can get second hand devices, it would be good if we could get some expertise in the Provinces and Districts to ensure that they are stripped of all data and the recipients shown how to use them – I’ll expand on this with the PGM’s and DGM’s.


My sincere thanks to you all for your patience and perseverance. The Heads of Orders are going to meet again in June to review the situation.



SCFS

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

The group can now boast a membership of 4346 Brethren from both Scottish Constitution Lodges and Lodges from other Constitutions recognised by the Grand Lodge of Scotland.

This week saw the total examples of charitable giving recorded within the group rise to 611, submitted by 246 of its members.

With the District Grand Lodge of Zambia being added this week, these updated contributions can now be attributed as to being made on behalf of 297 Lodges, from within 31 Provincial Grand Lodges, 21 District Grand Lodges, Superintendencies and Lodges under the direct supervision of Grand Lodge.

An increase in the quantifiable monetary value of contributions to £534,515 was recorded during the week.

There have been 88,325 individual comments, likes, and other reactions to the group since its inception.

SCFS Overseas Report

• We welcomed another 13 Overseas Brethren this week,  bringing our Overseas Membership to 1281 Members.
• The geographical spread of Overseas Members saw Brethren being welcomed from ... the Bahamas, Barbados, Far East, Zambia.
• The largest increase in membership was from the District of Zambia.
• Lodge Lusaka, No. 1368, (Zambia) and Lodge Perla del Oriente, No. 1034, (Far East). had equally the largest number of Brethren joining from an individual Lodge.
• Our International Constitution Members (ICMs) viewing the SCFS page has increased to 185 with new ICMs joining the group from the Grand Lodge of India, Grand Lodge of South Africa, UGLE, United Grand Lodges of Germany, United Grand Lodge of New South Wales and ACT (we were delighted to welcome Brother Jamie Melville, Past Grand Master), Grand Lodge of the Philippines, Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia.
Outstanding posts were received this week.
• Brother Andrew Shaw shared news of a donation of £4,000 organised by Lodge Lusaka, No. 1368, and Lodge NKana, No. 1378, in the District of Zambia, for the erection of a hospital partition for Covid treatment.
Brother George Rogers, IPDGM of Western Australia, shared news of a donation, by the DGL and Daughter Lodges, of over £11,300, to support funds of the Motor Neurone Disease Association (WA).

I have asked Sue to distribute a paper by Brother Alan Carmichael from Lodge `Dalkeith Kilwinning No 10 in which he gives some expert advice on grants that are currently available. The paper will accompany this update. My sincere thanks to Alan for his assistance in this matter.

Finally, please stay safe and look after each other.


Kindest Regards

Ramsay McGhee

Grand Master Mason
Grand Masters Communication                                        23.10.2020

Brethren

Once again, we face further lockdowns and restrictions here in Scotland. The licensed trade sector is in a perilous position and that includes many of our Masonic Clubs. Provided clubs meet the fairly stringent conditions they can apply for assistance through the Coronavirus Restrictions Fund. Full details can be found at - https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/service/funding/coronavirus-restrictions-fund - but please note that this relates only to licenced premises and that application is made to your local council. Applications will close on Tuesday 3 November at 5pm.

A number of Brethren have asked recently about the tax situation with regard to those Lodges who were successful in obtaining the £10k grant. There is still some dubiety about the position, but we are pursuing the issue with HMRC and I hope to be able to give you a definitive response soon.

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

SCFS Overseas Report
We welcomed 32 Overseas Brethren this week. Our Overseas Membership is now standing at 1114 Members.

Congratulations is extended to Brother Pédro Turnquest, Secretary, Lodge San Andreas, No. 1835, The Bahamas, who is our 1100th. Overseas Member.

The geographical spread of Overseas Members this week saw Brethren being welcomed from ...The Bahamas, Central South Africa, Eastern Province of the Cape of Good Hope, Gibraltar, India, Jamaica, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Lebanon, Middle East, Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada, Western Australia.

The largest increase in membership was from the District of The Bahamas with a very impressive spread of new members from more than half of the Lodges in that District ... Lodge St. Andrew, No. 1756, and Lodge San Andreas, No. 1835, equally having the largest number of Brethren joining from an individual Lodge.


The Masonic audience viewing the examples of the excellent support being shared on the SCFS page was further extended as new International Constitution Members joined the group from the GL of the State of Israel, GL Alpina of Switzerland, GL of Peru, United Grand Lodges of Germany, GL of New South Wales, GL of the District of Columbia (USA), Simbolic GL of Paraguay, UGLE and the GL of the Philippines.

Many of you will hopefully have received a circular from Mrs Dawn Oliff by now but just in case you haven’t, 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

I will draw the winner on 26th November at a special broadcast. 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.

I’m delighted that arrangements have been made for our first joint meeting between our District Grand Masters and the Proxy District Grand Masters. I have also issued an invitation to our 19 Lodges who report direct to Grand Lodge. This will be an ideal opportunity for the Proxy DGM’s to meet with those whom they represent.

Brother Gordon Michie has kindly given me a copy of the latest guidance relating to Remembrance Parades and Services. I will arrange to have it circulated to the Home Lodges along with this update. I will be in Edinburgh on Monday to lay a wreath on behalf of the Grand Lodge of Scotland in Princes Street Gardens.

In the meantime, please stay safe, look after yourselves and each other.

Kindest Regards

Ramsay McGhee

Grand Master Mason


Grand Masters Communication                                        16.10.2020

Brethren

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




SCFS Overseas Report

We welcomed 20 Overseas Brethren this week. Our Overseas Membership is now standing at 1082 Members (with the anticipated 1100th. Overseas Member joining this coming week.)

 

The geographical spread of new members this week saw Brethren being welcomed from ... Bahamas, Bermuda, Central South Africa, Jamaica, Lebanon, Middle East, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia, Western Australia

 

The largest increase in membership, once again, was from the District of Lebanon closely followed the District of Central South Africa.

 

Lodge Pythagoras, No. 1841, and Lodge El-Mizab, No. 1130, had equally the largest number of Brethren joining from an individual Lodge.

 

The Masonic audience viewing the examples of the excellent support being shared on the SCFS page was further extended as a new International Constitution Member from the Grand Lodge of Minnesota joined the group.

 

An inspiring post was received from Lebanon demonstrating Al Arz Lodge, No. 1853, only consecrated on 28th. June this year, exhibiting true Masonic principles in assisting the local communities, psychologically and physically, in the wake of the Beirut Port blast.


I attended a meeting of European Grand Masters last night and while the news on the spread of coronavirus throughout Europe was of great concern to us all, it was evident that we are all committed to doing all that we can to keep Brethren in our respective Constitutions involved and active in whatever ways we can. While we accept that zoom meetings are no substitute for the real thing, there was universal agreement that we use zoom and all other similar platforms to the best of our ability to ensure the safety and welfare of Brethren and their families.


I am extremely proud that Scottish Freemasons throughout the world have displayed Brotherly Love and Relief in abundance not only within our fraternity but in local communities as well. As we face further restrictions and see the covid-19 statistics rising once more, let us all commit to putting the basic tenets of our Brotherhood into practice – let us be constantly mindful of our Brethren and the families of our Brethren who are struggling physically, financially or mentally – let’s all be there for them. Let us continue to meet by Zoom or similar means whereby we can assure that we take care of the business and administrative issues facing the Lodges and do everything that we can to enable as many Brethren to use the available technology to join in the meetings. Keep positive, keep safe and keep your sense of humour well honed



Our Grand Secretary has now been with us for over a month and has settled well into his Office. However, it has been brought to my attention that not everyone knows him so here is a wee bit about him.

 

Brother William M S Semple, Past Master of The United Lodge of Dunkeld No14, Past Provincial Grand Secretary of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Perthshire West and currently the Provincial Grand Master of Perthshire West.


After a distinguished career in the Police Service, Brother Semple set up William Semple Consulting Ltd, a company providing bespoke investigation, risk & crisis mitigation services and mentoring to both the public and private sector. Having enjoyed much success both at home and abroad with his firm, the time was right for a change in direction and we were delighted to welcome him as our new Grand Secretary at the beginning of September. Brother Semple looks forward to meeting Brethren at home and abroad as soon as the current restrictions are lifted, and we can resume normal service.



Grand Secretary

Brother William M S Semple


Grand Masters Communication                                         02.10.2020


Brethren

As I mentioned in last week’s Update, we have received many requests as to how financial support can be sent to the Lebanon in the wake of the explosion. At long last we have been able to get the banking issues both here and in Lebanon sorted out. Grand Secretary sent out information this week but just to widen the scope let me repeat the information - Individuals, Lodges, Districts or Provinces who would wish to contribute to the Lebanon Appeal can now do so by Bank Transfer to the following account - The Bank of Scotland (The Mound, Edinburgh), Grand Lodge of Scotland Support Account : Account number – 10119866, Sort Code – 80-31-20 – the reference word LEBANON should be included for ease of identification and an email sent to glfinance@grandlodgescotland.org informing Grand Lodge that money has been sent. All monies paid into this account will be sent safely to a new “fresh money” account jointly operated by the three Grand Lodges in Lebanon – the Grand Lodge of Scotland, the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia, Washington DC and the Grande Loge Nationale Française (GLNF). A letter signed by the three Grand Masters will also be sent to all Regular Grand Lodges worldwide seeking their support.


Last week I circulated detailed information from Brother Gordon Michie of Poppy Scotland regarding the procedure for Poppy crosses. This week Brother Michie had hoped to send additional information regarding Remembrance Parades but is still awaiting confirmation from the Scottish Government as to what will and will not happen. As soon as that information is to hand, I will ensure that it is circulated to all Lodges at home, but it would certainly appear that any form of large gathering will not be allowed.

I mentioned some weeks back that the dates for all Lodges having rededication ceremonies and all Districts and Provinces having Installation Ceremonies for new District or Provincial Grand Masters had been rescheduled into 2021. I did intend to circulate the new dates but with the total uncertainty that we are currently experiencing thanks to Covid-19, I have decided to hold back as it looks like at least some of the re-scheduled dates will need to be re-scheduled once more. Once things settle down and there is a reasonable possibility of being able to conduct the ceremonies, I will issue a fresh schedule at the earliest opportunity to allow local planning to take place. But I can assure you all that a Grand Lodge Deputation will be there with you as soon as it is lawful and practical to do so.


Due to the impending cessation of the Furlough Scheme, Grand Lodge staff will be returning to the office on Monday 5th October. From Monday the switchboard will be open during normal business hours. Could I also ask that if any Lodge has a query regarding the database to address the query to Lyndsey on the email address – Rashell@grandlodgescotland.org


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

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


SCFS Overseas Report

We welcomed 20 Overseas Brethren this week. This means that the amazing milestone of an Overseas Membership of 1,000 has now been passed, with Overseas Membership now standing at 1019.


Many congratulations is extended to our 1000th. Overseas Member who is Brother Johann Swanepoel, Past Master, Lodge Oranje, No. 1603, Orange Free State and Country Lodges, Central South Africa.


The geographical spread of new members this week saw Brethren joining from Barbados, Central South Africa, Eastern Province of the Cape of Good Hope, Gibraltar, Lebanon, Newfoundland and Labrador, Sierra Leone and The Gambia, Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada


The largest increase in membership was from the District of Central South AfricaLodge Argyll, No. 1548, Roodepoort, The Reef, Central South Africa, had the largest number of Brethren joining from an individual Lodge.


A new category of Membership has been introduced ... that of International Constitution Member (ICM). Membership is by invitation and is aimed at Brethren from other Constitutions which are in amity with the Grand Lodge of Scotland. This development will result in the examples of the excellent support being shared on the SCFS page reaching a much wider audience.


We welcome Brother Paul Sefton, Past Master, Elwy Lodge, No. 4721, Province of North Wales, UGLE, as our first International Constitution Member.

As the Covid-19 situation worsens here in Scotland and in some but not all of our Districts, please stay safe, look after yourself and be constantly mindful of our Brethren and the families of our Brethren who are struggling physically, financially or mentally – let’s all be there for them.


Kindest Regards

Ramsay McGhee

Grand Master Mason

Statement from Legion Scotland / Poppy Scotland

in respect of Remembrance 2020

Back in March no one thought we’d still be in this position but whether we like it or not, the risks to public health from Coronavirus are real, particularly amongst our older members.


Remembrance must not fall victim to coronavirus but plans at a national and local level must be adapted. Public safety is paramount so please consider the following guidelines when planning your remembrance event. Although we expect some further clarity from the Scottish Government later this week, we felt it important that we provided some guidance as things stand today:


  • Parades are not currently permitted. Please do not make plans to include a parade as part of your remembrance event.
  • All outdoor events, including remembrance events, are not currently permitted in the following health board areas - Ayrshire & Arran; Forth Valley; Greater Glasgow & Clyde; Lanarkshire; and Lothian.
  • Outdoor events in the other health board areas are permitted but if they involve more than 6 people from 2 households they can only go ahead if Local Authority approval has been sought and granted.
  • Scottish Government guidelines on outdoor events must be adhered to. This includes having a nominated individual who will be responsible for preparing a risk assessment and overseeing the safe delivery of the event.

These rules are in place until the 25th October but given the upward trajectory in coronavirus cases, it is quite possible that they will be extended beyond this date to include the Remembrance period. 


Remembrance is of the utmost importance to Legion Scotland members, the Armed Forces Community and the wider Scottish public and although our activities this Remembrance-tide will be very different to previous years, we will still be remembering the fallen in a safe and compliant manner.


We are encouraging the wider public to take a moment at home on their doorstep on Remembrance Sunday and on the 11th of November at 11am for the two minutes silence. You can also pay your personal respects at war memorials at a time of your choosing, but please avoid 11am as per the guidelines above.


We are also acutely aware of the potential catastrophic impact the restrictions could have on this year’s Scottish Poppy Appeal so we urge you all to support the Appeal utilising the various new digital methods that Poppy Scotland have introduced. 


You can make a donation via their website, where you can also Donate, Download and Display a poppy at home https://www.poppyscotland.org.uk


Although we are devastated we cannot gather in our normal numbers across the country, we can join as

a nation in heart and spirit to pay our respects.

Courage Brother Do Not Stumble

Courage, brother, do not stumble,

Though thy path be dark as night;
There’s a star to guide the humble:
Trust in God and do the right.
Let the road be rough and dreary,
And its end far out of sight,
Foot it bravely;  strong or weary,

 

Trust in God, trust in God,

Trust in God and do the right.

 

Perish policy and cunning,

Perish all that fears the light!

Whether losing, whether winning,

Trust in God and do the right.

Trust no party, sect, or faction;

Trust no leaders in the fight;

Put in every word or action,


Trust in God, trust in God,

Trust in God and do the right.


Some will hate thee, some will love thee,

Some will flatter, some will slight;

Cease from man, and look above thee:

Trust in God and do the right.

Simple rule, and safest guiding,

Inward peace and inward might,

Star upon our path abiding,


Trust in God, trust in God,

Trust in God and do the right.



Welcome

Recent Photos

Upcoming Events