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                         Coronavirus Update 

Friday 18th June 2021


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The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland

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




I’m delighted to be able to tell you that the immense amount of hard work carried out by the strategy group and the five working parties has been recognised by the Administration Committee. They have given their support to the reports from the strategy group, all of which will now go to Grand Committee to take forward.


On Wednesday evening I had the privilege of attending a zoom meeting regarding Mental Health issues. The initiative has come from the Province of Fife and Kinross as a follow on to their Dementia initiative and is being supported by our Benevolence and Care Committee through Mrs Dawn Oliff. 23 of our 32 Provinces were represented but there will be a follow up and a new fact sheet is being prepared for dissemination to the Provinces and to our Districts. The meeting will also be available to download soon. It is vitally important that our Almoners, in particular, but all members in general can identify when a Lodge member is struggling with mental health issues and be in a position to offer help – the fact sheet will assist in this process. There has also been an offer to extend the Mental Health First Aiders training to any Province that would like to participate.


So sorry to learn this week of the deaths of two past Provincial Grand Masters – Brother Dixon J Drye, Past PGM of Renfrewshire East and Brother Andrew J Mitchell, Past PGM of Aberdeenshire West. Our sincere condolences are extended to their families and to the Provinces.


At the strategy group meeting on Tuesday, it was agreed that the members of the group will undertake a full review of the Covid advice and recommendations previously circulated as a result of the ever-changing political situation. Any changes will be notified to all Lodge Secretaries as soon as is practical.






  • The Group saw its membership rise to 5302 Brethren from not only the Scottish Constitution but from many of our Sister Constitutions throughout the world.
  • This week saw the total examples of charitable giving recorded within the group rise to 842, submitted by 293 of its members.
  • These updated contributions can now be attributed as to being made on behalf of 322 Lodges, from within all 32 Provincial Grand Lodges, 23 of its District Grand Lodges, Superintendencies and Lodges abroad under the direct supervision of Grand Lodge.
  • During the week posts were submitted by group members representing the Provinces of Edinburgh, Fife & Kinross, Linlithgowshire and Perthshire West. In addition, several posts were submitted on behalf of the Widows Sons Scotland East Chapter.
  • The total identifiable monetary value of the contributions now recorded has risen to £1,338,991.


SCFS Overseas Report 


  • Our Overseas Membership has now risen to 1494 Brethren. This is thanks to new members joining us from Lodges in the Eastern Province of the Cape of Good Hope, Lebanon and Nigeria. We are now only 6 new Members away from welcoming our 1500th Overseas Member. 
  • The largest increase in membership was, once again, from the District of Lebanon, with the most Brethren joining from an individual Lodge, coming from Lodge Mount Lebanon, No. 1312.
  • Our membership of Brethren who belong to Lodges whose Grand Lodges are in amity with the GLoS (International Constitution Members) continues to grow with another 21 new ICMs joining this week ... we now have 669 Brethren spreading news of the wonderful support featured in the posts on the main SCFS page and on the increasingly popular SCFS-Showcase, throughout their constitutions. 
  • This week Brethren joined from  9 different Masonic Constitutions, namely: the GL of Japan, UGLE (England, Bombay, Uruguay), GL of South Africa, United GL of Bulgaria, Most Serene GL of the Republic of San Marino, United GL of Victoria, Most Worshipful GL of the Philippines, GL of Greece, GL of India. 
  • A very special welcome was extended to Brother Emidio Troiani who is the Grand Master of the Most Serene Grand Lodge of the Republic of San Marino. 
  • A most interesting post was received on behalf of Lodge Mulu, No. 1821, Sarawak, in the District of the Middle East, sharing the Lodge’s active support in rolling out the Covid-19 vaccine in Malaysia. 
  • The immediate response of Lodge Dural Takzim, No. 1836, also in the District of the Middle East, to a personal appeal by the Malaysian Red Crescent Society, resulting in a substantial donation of PPE support, was also published. 
  • Finally, as always, please stay safe and look after each other. Ramsay McGee MWGMM




Update for hospitality sector – 3 June 2021


As you will be aware, Falkirk Council will move to Level 1 on Saturday 5 June.  The main changes for hospitality are:-

·         The closing time indoors can be extended from 10.30pm to 11pm.

·         The maximum number of people who can meet indoors is 8 but it is still from a maximum of 3 households.  Children under 12 continue in the same manner – they don’t count towards the total number of people but they count towards the households – see hospitality section of the Levels Guidance.

·         The maximum number of people who can meet outdoors is 12 from 12 households. 

·         The numbers permitted to attend wedding receptions and funeral wakes is up to 100, but only if the venue can hold that many people with strict physical distancing measures in place.

·         Soft play areas can open as long as they follow the Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for the soft play sector

Officers from the Food & Safety team have completed spot checks of a significant number of businesses throughout the Falkirk Council area over the past few weeks, including some with Police Scotland at the weekends. They have reported that businesses have engaged well and are generally compliant with COVID-19 Regulations and Guidance.  Where required, businesses have been receptive to any improvements suggested. 

Ventilation is

 extremely important and this was one of the areas that required improvements in some businesses visited. Please refer to the ventilation and air conditioning during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic guidance.

You may be aware there is a significant outbreak associated with a bar in Stirling with coverage on BBC News and NHS Forth Valley.  There are also outbreaks associated with a bar in Prestwick and in Fort William.  

With rising case numbers in Falkirk too, it is imperative that you do all you can to reduce spread within your business.  Make sure you are complying with the Hospitality Guidance at all times.


As around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms we would encourage you and your staff to use the Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing available.  You could also highlight the availability to your customers.  LFD sites are now available at Falkirk Stadium and Howgate Shopping Centre or you can collect kits from various sites or order online as detailed below.


How to order test kits

·         Order online for home delivery. 

·         Alternatively, call NHS 24 on 0800 028 2816 to place an order.


How to use the test kits

·         Instructions come with the kits.

·         This short video also explains what you need to do. 

·         You will get the result within 30 minutes. 

·         You should take a test every three or four days.


If you have a positive test or any symptoms

·         You must isolate immediately.

·         Book a PCR test to confirm the result.

·         If you can’t go online call 0300 303 2713


If there is a positive case within your business, you need to act quickly to prevent the spread. 


If you need more advice please contact your Environmental Health/Food Safety Officer directly or via publichealth@falkirk.gov.uk


Lynne Bissett

Food & Safety Co-ordinator



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