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The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland

Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason of Scotland

Brother Dr. Joseph J. Morrow CVOCBEKStJKCDLFRSE 


Tuesday 16th April 2024


Grand Lodge Quarterly 

This is the quarterly newsletter of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Within this newsletter you will be provided with updates on the Scottish Craft from both the Grand Master Mason, the Grand Secretary and the Grand Almoner. There will also be feature articles from our Districts and Grand Superintendencies Overseas, as well as other interesting topics for your perusal. ­ 
Governance and Strategy Board Strategic Aims & Goals 
We will expand the global presence of Scottish Freemasonry by inspiring our members to enjoy their involvement and attracting new members to strengthen our capabilities and reach. This will be achieved by cultivating a positive culture of inclusivity and meaningful impact in our communities. Placing membership at the heart of Scottish Freemasonry.Growing Scottish Freemasonry internationally.Creating inspiring communication and engagement.­ 
A word from the Grand Master Mason
Grand Master Mason’s Message By Brother Dr Joseph J. Morrow, CVO, CBE, KC, FRSE Grand Master Mason Warm and Fraternal greetings from me and all at The Grand Lodge of Scotland in Freemasons’ Hall. We send this message to all the Brethren throughout the world who celebrate belonging to this great Craft of ours, and to their families and friends. We are now, and we are becoming a more welcoming organisation that lets folk know that we are open, and we cross many barriers to actually establish the principles of Brotherly love, relief and truth. Since my Installation in November 223, I wish to record a sense of thankfulness for the wonderful responses I have received from many Brethren on my continuing visits throughout the Scottish Craft. These responses have been hospitable and welcoming, and I have been especially keen to see and celebrate the contributions made by the Brethren locally, nationally and internationally to charitable causes. We have learned that our work is at its best when it is visible in our actions—in actions that are particular, and which address the needs of individuals as well as large organisations. We continue to support Prostate Scotland, and the sums we raise for that organisation are increasing year on year. I am also extremely impressed by the individual Lodges who engage in local support which addresses local needs. This is impressive work and again enables us to become an integral part of civic society. Much of this activity is rooted in addressing clearly recognisable needs but is also carried out in collaboration with others. I believe it is only as we work with others that we obtain the best approach in trying to meet charitable causes. The personal contributions of many Brethren of the Scottish Craft worldwide are key to the promotion of our Craft. It is the Brothers who, for example, work in a food bank, a medical setting or an educational setting, or who simply act in some way to help make their community better, that supports the objectives of Scottish Freemasonry. Since my last message to you, I have visited eleven Lodges and experienced this work at first hand, and I thank you for all your labours. I am proud to be able to support in any way the activities of your charitable giving. As Freemasons, we are an organisation which is based on general principles, but in fact we cross borders and boundaries. On a recent private visit to my proxy Lodge—Lodge Api-Api in Sabah, Malaysia—I was able to experience the kindness and charitable work done by the Brethren there on behalf of the Scottish Constitution. My welcome and our fellowship together reflected the best of Scottish Freemasonry, and I was equally welcomed when I visited an English Constitution Lodge in Sandakan in Sabah. That welcome is reflected in every Lodge that I have visited, and when I have been invited to give a lecture on a subject of interest, there has always been high level of engagement and exchange of knowledge. I thank all the Brethren for the kindness and hospitality shown to me. I have to regularly remind myself that Freemasonry should be about reflecting how we make ourselves better persons. We need to reflect on the words of Mother Teresa of Calcutta: “Everyone we meet should leave happier.” This is a high calling, and it is not about simply agreeing with each other but about looking at how we build capacity in one another and benefit the general, universal good. We will inevitably never agree with everything that is done, either by Grand Lodge or by an individual Brother, but we can respect one another and make ourselves an organisation that is not only welcoming, but whose members support one another. Our organisation is founded on respect, relevancy and renewal, and our new structures, which are bedding in, together with our new strategy, form the centre of the way forward for these activities. I am sure this will create not only an organisation which places the individual Brother at the centre of all that it does, promotes good communication between Freemasons and grows Scottish Freemasonry internationally, but also a more agile organisation, able to meet the challenges of our changing world. I am proud to be the Head of your Order and commit myself to do all that I can to promote our great Craft. Well done to you all. With my very best wishes, Fraternally, Brother Dr Joseph J. Morrow, CVO, CBE, KC, FRSE Grand Master Mason
A word from the Grand Secretary Brother William M. S. Semple
Welcome to the spring edition of our newsletter which I hope and trust you will enjoy reading and sharing with others. MEDIA ENGAGEMENT Recently, I had cause to reflect on the huge progress Scottish Freemasonry has made to become a more open, transparent, and relevant organisation throughout local communities at home and around the world. We still, however, have work to do and there is no doubt there are still elements of the public who hold some ill-conceived misconceptions about our Craft. One way to address these lingering issues is to proactively engage with local media outlets, including local newspapers and similar publications. Let our local communities see who we are and what we do. Our Information & Communication Committee circulated some good guidance, reproduced in this newsletter, containing common sense and practical advice on how to approach and communicate effectively through local news outlets. Some Lodges already do this to great effect, but for those that do not, I encourage all our Lodges to embrace and implement this guidance. COMMUNICATION AND COLLABORATION We have just completed the roll out of dedicated Grand Lodge email accounts and digital workspaces to the entire leadership and secretariat of the Scottish Constitution, including the Governance Structure, our Provincial and District Grand Lodges and Grand Superintendencies. We can now communicate securely and effectively and engage in collaborative working practices in a manner never before experienced. We will give access to specific information held at Freemasons’ Hall to those that need it, whether that be the likes of financial information for District Grand Secretaries or Deputation lists to Grand Office-bearers. We assess this will reduce the need for individuals to email requesting information that can be accessed directly, reducing some frustration experienced when responses are not immediate. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY The Governance & Strategy Board are progressing the establishment of an expert group to oversee the implementation of a new IT strategy that is aligned with the strategic objectives of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Quite simply, we are on the verge of overhauling the entire digital footprint of the Scottish Constitution, including the website, membership database and administrative functions managed at Freemasons’ Hall. We will see significant change and improvement over the next 12 to 18 months. More information will follow in this regard. REGULAR COMMUNICATION OF GRAND LODGE The next Regular Communication takes place on Thursday 13th June 2024 to which all members of Grand Lodge are cordially invited. This includes all Masters and Wardens of Daughter Lodges, whom I particularly encourage to attend Grand Lodge where time and circumstance permits. Your presence and support will be appreciated. Significantly, the following day, Friday 14th June 2024, at Freemasons’ Hall, we will see the Installation of the First Grand Principal of the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland, our own Immediate Past Grand Master, Brother W. Ramsay McGhee. THE ORDER OF WOMEN FREEMASONS I recently met with The Order of Women Freemasons, having been approached by two of our District Grand Lodges overseas who have an interest in developing women’s Freemasonry for wives and partners of Scottish Freemasons. The Order of Women Freemasons already have four female Lodges in Scotland and many more around the world. Further details can be found here The Order of Women Freemasons | Womens Freemasonry | Nationwide (owf.org.uk). FINALLY As we approach the summer months, may I take this opportunity to thank the many Secretaries and Treasurers who voluntarily work tirelessly to keep their Lodge administration in good order. I can assure you I know the effort and dedication required and you are much appreciated for doing so. Many thanks from myself and all at Freemasons’ Hall, Edinburgh. Sincerely and fraternally, William M.S. Semple Grand Secretary
A word from the Grand Almoner Brother Tom Davidson, Grand Almoner
As we enter spring 2024, you will be hoping for better weather as we head towards the summer. I thank all Almoners for the fantastic work they continue to do at all levels within the Craft, looking after Brethren and their dependants. Things have been busy in the past few months bedding-in some of the projects we have committed to. PROSTATE CHAMPIONS We are now six months since the start of the training process and have 46 Brethren trained and busy throughout the country as Prostate Champions. Some are delivering the full presentation, which takes about an hour and covers the symptoms of prostate disease, and prostate cancer, and further explores the support services and information available from Prostate Scotland and their partners. Other Brethren are giving short, sharp talks at the end of Lodge meetings, but all are raising awareness of prostate disease. Get the information; if you recognise the symptoms, don’t hesitate and get to your GP for guidance and testing. We have a further seven volunteers awaiting training once the new training video is finalised with Prostate Scotland. The Districts abroad have not been forgotten and will be updated once the training materials have been amended; then training of volunteers will be by zoom or remote learning materials. Meanwhile, a huge library of good information leaflets, posters, booklets, and guides are available by accessing the Prostate Scotland Website: https://www.prostatescotland.org.uk/resources If you need someone to deliver a talk, please contact your Provincial Grand Master or Provincial Grand Secretary in the first instance. PROSPACKS PROJECT It is just over four months since the project launched. Men throughout Scotland are already receiving the benefit from the scheme. Urology services in Scotland are provided in three areas (East, West and Highlands). Hospitals in Inverness, Edinburgh and Livingston are signed up to the scheme and providing Prospacks to men undergoing procedures. Arrangements are currently being finalised with hospitals in Glasgow, Monklands, and Inverclyde for extending the project and hopefully UCAN in Aberdeen can be given support to extend their existing scheme. Your continued financial support for these schemes is greatly appreciated and is making a real difference. ARMED FORCES COVENANT Grand Lodge is a signatory to the Armed Forces Covenant to provide support for members of our armed forces, both as Regulars leaving the forces or Reserves working in civilian posts. Grand Lodge currently has the Bronze level but hopes to attain the Silver level this year. PERSONNEL RECOVERY UNIT IN EDINBURGH Mrs Dawn Oliff and Grand Almoner visited the Personnel Recovery Centre on the south side of Edinburgh in early March. The centre provides ongoing support for members of the forces with physical injuries or mental health issues as a result of their service. The work carried out by the officers and staff at the centre was a real eye-opener and we wish them every success in the work they do, and thank them for their kind hospitality. OTHER PROJECTS AND SUPPORT VISITS Later this month, I will be accompanied by the Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies on a visit to the Dementia Café to see the work being done by Brethren in the Hawick area. There are another two or three projects in the early developmental stages, which I will report later in the year. Keep up the good work that you have been doing in your communities throughout Scotland and in the Districts overseas.
Scottish Freemasonry in the Caribbean By Brother Josh O.W. Drayton Master of Lodge Rosslyn No. 595
“What inducement do you have to leave the East and go to the West?” Freemasonry in the Caribbean has had a very long tradition of Lodges operating under three main constitutions: English, Scottish and Irish. Although the history of Freemasonry in the Caribbean is complex and includes unfortunate aspects such as slavery, discrimination, and oppression, we can still learn from it and appreciate its enduring legacy. In this article, we will embark on a journey to uncover the story of Scottish Freemasonry in the Caribbean, exploring its beginnings, impact, and cultural significance. It is fascinating to learn about the roots of Freemasonry in the Caribbean. With the arrival of European settlers came the traditions and rituals of this ancient fraternity, which laid the foundation for Lodges to emerge in the region. The history of Freemasonry in the Caribbean dates back to the early 18th century, with the establishment of Lodges in British colonies. According to Worshipful Brother Davis (2002), the first recorded instance of a consecrated Lodge in the English-speaking Caribbean was Parham Lodge No.154 E.C., which was warranted in Antigua in 1738. Other early lodges that emerged during this time were St. Christopher’s Lodge No.174 E.C. (St. Kitts), Great Lodge of St. John No.192 EC (Antigua), and Port Royal Lodge No.193 E.C. (Jamaica). For the Scottish craft in the Caribbean, Lodge St. Andrew No. 102 was consecrated in 1760 in Jamaica, followed by Lodge St. Andrew No. 151 in St. Kitts, which was warranted in 1761. Although none of the listed Lodges survived, it is remarkable how Freemasonry has left its mark on the Caribbean, influencing the region's history and culture. In the 1790s, a significant increase in the number of Scottish Lodges operating in the Caribbean was observed. This expansion brought about numerous opportunities for individuals to engage in their shared interests and connect with like-minded people. Among these Lodges were Lodge St. George in Bermuda, which was warranted in 1797, Lodge Scotia, which was warranted in 1797 and later revived in 1844 with a new number 340, and Lodge Mount of Olives No. 241, which was warranted in 1791 and later revived in 1835 with a renumbering to No. 497, and then to its present number, 336. In the early to mid-1800s, Scottish freemasonry was introduced in Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana. It's worth noting that this doesn't necessarily mean that Freemasonry was absent in these countries but rather that other constitutions, such as the Irish, were more prevalent. Nonetheless, the establishment of Scottish Freemasonry in these regions helped to diversify and strengthen the presence of the Freemasonry in the Caribbean. The impact of Scottish Freemasonry on the Caribbean has been significant, as it played a vital role in shaping both colonial society and the broader struggle for independence and self-determination. By creating an environment of brotherhood and solidarity that transcended societal divisions based on race, class, and nationality, Masonic Lodges fostered a sense of community that went beyond colonial boundaries. Today, the Scottish Craft has been revived in the Caribbean, with five Scottish District Grand Lodges comprising 46 Daughter Lodges operating in the region, namely, the District Grand Lodge of Jamaica, the District Grand Lodge of Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada, the District Grand Lodge of Barbados, the District Grand Lodge of Guyana, and the District Grand Lodge of the Bahamas. This revival has brought together members from diverse backgrounds, reinforcing the values of unity and cooperation that are essential for a thriving society.
The Masonic Public Relations Machine

This information has been prepared by the Information and Communications Committee to assist Lodges engage with local media publications. Local newspapers are a potential good outlet for stories from Masonic lodges all over the Scottish Constitution. Some lodges are very successful in getting coverage for notices about upcoming meetings and reports on past meetings. The same information can be used for Lodge, Provincial, District or Superintendency web pages. So why do some lodges get coverage and others don’t? Is it because they try? And to those who say but we do try, the message is try again. Perseverance is needed Brethren. This report is a basic outline of what lodges could do to improve coverage of meetings, cheque presentations, long service certificates and other lodge work that is worthy of publicity in their immediate area. 1. Initially the Brother Secretary or another Brother is appointed as the “Press Officer”. 2. The “Press Officer” should Identify the local paper or papers in the lodge area. 3. Contact the paper and ask how they like to receive news stories. For most nowadays it will be via email and ready to go to print. 4. Identify deadlines for the newspapers. Supplying too early can be problematic but too late is a waste of time. 5. Find something newsworthy happening in the lodge. It could be members raising funds, taking part in a sponsored walk or a Brother receiving a long-service diploma. Write the story including basic information of name, office held, what they are doing or receiving and TAKE A PHOTOGRAPH. Modern mobile phones can take high resolution images that are suitable for reproduction in print. 6. Supply the words and photograph to the agreed email address. Add these words at the start: “Picture and words supplied free of charge for use in the YourTown Gazette”. 7. If they use it drop an email of thanks. If they don’t drop an email asking if the item will be considered for the next issue. Keep trying but perhaps with a different, new story and photograph. 8. Most local newspapers have district or local news sections. Target to become included in this section on a regular basis. It could be a simple story like this: YourTown. Masonic News - A regular meeting of YourLodge will be held on Yourdate when the business will include YourDegree. The follow up is a meeting of ……Lodge was held on …. (date) when one brother was initiated into Freemasonry Information and Communications Committee 5 th April 2024 in a fine degree ceremony worked by RWM ……. and his office bearers. The next meeting is on ……. 9. Basically, you are trying to establish a partnership with your local paper and part of the local community in which you work and live. Lodges that already supply their local news outlets can more or less ignore all of the above though there are words in note 6 that may assist in the publication of photographs. In former times some lodges requested the local paper send a photographer to their installation/ cheque presentation/ certificate presentation. Resources are such within local media that these occasions are few and far between and we have to use our own resources. One final important point. While posing for a photograph should mean those in the shot are happy with publicity this is not always the case so it’s worthwhile making it clear that the image you are taking is going to be supplied to a newspaper for publication. If anyone is not happy politely ask them to step out of the frame. Good luck newshounds! Information and Communication Committee Edinburgh



The new Grand Master Mason, Brother Dr Joseph J. Morrow, outlined his vision for the future of the Scottish Craft, and lauded the outstanding achievements of his predecessor, after being installed this afternoon Thursday 30th November 2023 Brother Morrow admitted it was a crucial time of change, as he spoke of his plans to grow the Scottish Constitution and engage more with society. He aims to develop stronger civic engagement by encouraging Scottish Freemasons to play a greater role at the heart of their local communities. As a positive example, he pointed to the presence of the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Robert Aldridge, Edinburgh’s Lord Dean of Guild, Alan Robertson and Jock Miller, Deacon Convener of the Incorporated Trades of Edinburgh. All three attended the celebratory dinner following the Installation of the Grand Master Mason. Brother Morrow intends to utilise new technology to make Scottish Freemasonry become even more open and transparent. And he promised to deliver the Strategic Vision of the Scottish Constitution by saying, “We will expand the global presence of Scottish Freemasonry by inspiring our members to enjoy their involvement and by attracting new members to strengthen our capabilities and reach. “This will be achieved by cultivating a positive culture of inclusivity and a meaningful impact on our communities. “We are committed to placing membership at the heart of Scottish Freemasonry, growing internationally and creating inspiring communication and engagement.” He spoke of building on the great successes of the Immediate Past Grand Master, Brother William Ramsay McGhee. These included leading the Craft through the Covid pandemic; improving communications by launching a Weekly Update; inspiring the Brethren to raise £1.125m for Prostate Scotland and tirelessly travelling the globe to instal District Grand Masters and Grand Superintendents. In addition, he visited countless lodges at home and abroad to celebrate installations and anniversaries. He also became the first GMM to host a meeting that was attended by the full overseas leadership. The Zoom get together attracted all 26 DGMs and four Grand Superintendents. Brother Morrow now hopes to take the Scottish Craft forward by working closely with his predecessor, who will Chair the new Governance and Strategy Board. Creating this group was one of Brother McGhee’s greatest achievements, especially since the idea had been first suggested some 23 years ago in 2000, and he will now bring his considerable expertise and knowledge to leading it.












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