Contents Page 2, ‘Masonic Activities in a POW Camp’ This month’s cover story is about a Masonic Lodge in Changi POW Camp.
Page 5, ‘So Mote It Be’ An unusual Masonic poem, written by a “Masonic widow!”
Page 6, ‘The Masonic Encyclopaedia.’ This month we look at the letter, ‘R’, from Raise to Rough Ashlar.
Page 7, ‘The Old Tiler Talks’, “Acting as Chaplain”, the third in the series from Carl Claudy’s ‘Old Tiler Talks.’
Page 9, ‘Traditional Masonic Wages.’ From Freemasonry in Israel.
Page 10, ‘Lodge Cadder Argyle No.147.’ A short Historical sketch about Cadder Argyle No.147.
Page 12, ‘Book Review’, This month we review, “The Illustrated Guide to Rosslyn Chapel and Castle.”
Page 13, ‘A Cartoon Strip’, The further Adventures of Billy!
In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘The Secrets of Freemasonry as revealed in the Gospel of St. Andrew’ William Harvey reveals the ritual of the feast of St. Andrew! [link]
Masonic Activities in a POW Camp The following address which was given at a Communication of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland in December, 1945, by W Bro Dr B L W Clarke, is indicative of the spirit of Freemasonry and the will to overcome all difficulties.
I was a member of the 2/13Australian General Hospital Staff which was captured on 13 February 1942, two days before the fall of Singapore. It took the Japanese about ten days to put us all behind wire and then it took about two months for us to clean up and put the place in order. The whole of our new area had been heavily damaged during the war. There were approximately 14,000 Australians and 25,000 British taken prisoner in Singapore. We were sent to Changi, which before the war had been used by the British army as barracks. Changi is approximately eighteen miles from Singapore city. Soon after our confinement behind the wire a movement was started amongst the men to see what could be done about holding lodge meetings. The prison area was divided into five sections, with the hospital area in the centre. General Percival, GOC, was sounded out and said that although he himself was not a Freemason he offered no objection provided we adhered to certain restrictions. Upon receiving this assurance he permitted us to go ahead. These restrictions were already covered by our own rules and regulations. Many groups of brethren began to get together and, as the hospital area appeared to be the most stable, and there was less likelihood of the men being moved about suddenly in
order to supply the large numbers for the Jap work parties, it was decided to establish the head-quarters in the hospital area. Besides myself there were, at the time, three other PMs, a Red Cross representative, a Padre and one of the corporals. Military rank had no bearing on our masonic activities. A little later on we were most fortunate to find the DGM of the Eastern Archipelago, and a PGSW of England, also in the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;netâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; with us, and also to secure the services of a most excellent secretary. After about a week, some sixty brethren in the hospital area had proved their qualifications, and we had our first general meeting. It was explained that, as we had not any warrant or charter and had not obtained permission of any Grand Lodge, it would not be possible for us to confer degrees, etc., but there was no reason why we should not form a Masonic Association and hold practice meetings and have lectures. Eventually we called ourselves Prisoner of War Masonic Association of Changi. A number of rules were drawn up, and a small executive body was formed to arrange the necessary details. There was to be a complete change of officers for each meeting. The DC, however, was the only permanent office bearer. There were only three rituals available and, as he knew them backwards, the greatest credit must be extended to him in the training of all office bearers, and the success of all our meetings. For every meeting there were several understudies for each post, so that in the event of illness or transfer of any officers, the show would still carry on. It was decided to hold the meetings on the fourth Thursday of each month. There were many skilled craftsmen available,
and they made all our necessary fittings and furniture out of what material was available in this camp. It has often been asked what became of these fittings etc. They were eventually souvenired by the person in whose safe keeping they were left and, in due course, have reached home. One of the most beautiful pieces of work was a perfect reproduction of the three TBs. This was done by a member of the Royal Engineers. For the first few months there was some difficulty securing a suitable building for our meetings. However, a church, which had been badly damaged during the war, was repaired and later used by us. Extra precautions were advisable, as the Axis views on Freemasonry were not favourable to us. The OG would have as many as eight assistants if necessary, who were armed with wood and stones, and their duty was to throw these on the roof in the case of any alarm. We would then have to immediately change our proceedings and, if necessary, sing a wellknown hymn, and it would give the suggestion of a church service. However, only once did we have any disturbance and it passed over with out incident. The movement spread very rapidly to include British and Australians. Later on we had to have two meetings per month, one British and one Australian, and seating accommodation was limited. We could only allow 200 per meeting. The Japs would not allow more than twentyfive men to congregate without guards except for church services, in hospital wards or dormitories. So, in order to avoid any bunching together of the men, the attendance book was available in the afternoon, so that we could check over who would be in attendance that night and not excite the attention of our
‘hosts’. Dress consisted of whatever we had. Some were without boots, some without shirts and, towards the end of our detention, the clothing position became more and more serious. We did expect, however, our office bearers to be clad as respectably as possible, and even resorted to borrowing any missing clothes if necessary. There was a small charge made to each member; part to defray certain expenses and part to provide some comforts for those in hospital. The Japs’ motto was ‘No work - no pay - no food’. So we did our best to make it up to the sick somehow. About two months ahead of each meeting invitations were extended to the brethren to apply for some office so that we could train them, together with their understudies, so that the show could carry on even in the case of sickness or transfer of any of the men. Four or five copies of all our meetings were kept, distributed and hidden. We hoped by that means to take one copy home. However, it worked out that all are now safe. We hope to have a complete copy printed in England in due course, and I hope to be able to present my copy to this Grand Lodge in due course, as I think it would be a most valuable record of Freemasonry under extraordinary circumstances. There were representatives of about twelve Grand Lodges and 600 Daughter Lodges amongst us. There were a great many nationalities in the camp, Americans, Dutch, Javanese, Chinese etc., and after the Italian surrender in 1943, Nippon presented to us some 800 Italians. Naturally we had to exercise great care. We had been told a great deal about Continental Freemasonry, which appeared to savour of politics etc., and was widely different from British ideals.
Some talks about the Orient Grand Lodges of Europe were most illuminating as regards their political ramifications, and we were aware of the Axis views on Freemasonry. During the first year of our activities approximately twelve meetings were held and, in addition, there were many fine lectures. Personally I learnt a great deal more about Freemasonry in that short period than in all my previous experience. We were given lectures on its history, and on the explanation of many of our customs. I wonder how many know why it is necessary to sign the attendance book before gaining admittance, and why the TB of an Emulation Lodge is placed on the floor. In 1944 a big move of the POWs took place and we could not find a suitable building. At this time the area was very small and there were 18,000 of us in a mile square. During this time only a few lectures were held. After our meetings a festive board was held if possible. A cup of tea, without milk or sugar, perhaps a little Ersatz coffee, and a little rice saved from our meals. Of course, throughout the whole time all food had to be declared to our own Camp Authorities to prevent hoarding, etc. Throughout most of the time we were always short of food. We had to take precautions against thieving from our own food dumps. About this time we were informed that the Japs had discovered an attendance book belonging to one of the old Singapore lodges, so further meetings were abandoned until our big thanksgiving service, held on 3 September 1945; the day when the Union Jack and the Stars and Stripes were hoisted on the pole of the Changi gaol, and the Japanese flag hauled down. Early in
1945 the Japs had located one man in the internment camp whose name was mentioned in that attendance book. They treated him badly, and subjected him to many of the Oriental methods of torture, in an endeavour to extract information from him. He maintained throughout that British Freemasonry was a charitable institution. In the end they threw him in the Outrim Road gaol and gave him a long period of solitary confinement. After a while his health broke as a result of Jap ‘hospitality’. He was returned to our camp and, I am pleased to relate, that he had recovered by the time we were to leave. I came to the conclusion that Free-masonry is more than symbolic; it is definitely practical from the word go. The Freemasons in the camp were always trumps when it came to trouble. We had a pretty tough spin, and members of the Craft and their friends were always on the scene when their help was wanted. It was a pathetic sight when the remnants of ‘F’ force came back from the Burma-Thailand railway at the end of 1943. They were just living skeletons, and 700 of them had to be carried into the hospital. They were suffering from a great variety of illnesses, mainly due to starvation and neglect. On occasions we had to stop our men giving their own food rations to these hospital patients because if they did they would, in a very short time, be reduced to the very same state, and there would have been no one to look after the sick. Many of the brethren did wonderful jobs by bringing medical supplies to the camp. There were ways of ‘acquiring’ these supplies from Jap dumps while they were out on working parties. I remember one man who brought me enough medical supplies to
last over two months. He banked on the assumption that the Japs would not worry about searching the sick men. Had he been discovered, he would have lost his life. At the end of 1944 for various reasons, especially the Japs’ discovery of the attendance book, we decided to close down rather than have Freemasonry dragged through the War Criminal Trials and Atrocity investigations. Our records were all very carefully kept, and I hope soon to receive mine in book form. At Changi there was a tree some 150 feet high, which towered well above the Malayan jungle. It had been used for many years as a shipping landmark. During the war it was hit by a shell about 70 feet above the ground and badly split. The Tommies wired it up and it began to grow again, and by the time we left was flourishing.
SO MOTE IT BE (by a masonic widow)
My 'usband is a Mason And very proud is 'e 'E tells me nowt about it Except, "So Mote it be" 'E wears a little apron Made from the skin of Lamb. And when I asked to see it 'E said, "So Mote I am" 'E's gonna join another Lodge, That means an extra bill. "My word, can you afford it?" 'E said "So mote I will" "It used to be just once a month Now it's every other night ! You cant go out more often!" "Oh Yes, so mote I might" "Do you ever think I'm lonely? Does it not occur at all?" "I thought about it once, love; But then, so mote it were." I 'ave my little secrets When 'e's out on the spree. If 'e ever 'ears about them....... Oh dear! So mote it be !
Our motto is based on that: ‘Broken but recovered’.
Brethren, I’m always on the look-out for interesting articles such as this for the newsletter. If anyone has a story/article/lectures/photos or even an idea, please get in touch, I will be only too happy to include it
The Masonic Encyclopaedia The Letter ‘R’
Raise In the Anglo Saxon arisan was used of any motion up or down, but in English it became used only of an upward motion, as in arise, rising, raise, rear, etc. Raise means to hoist, or carry, or lift, a body upward in space. There is no need to explain to a Mason why it is said of a candidate who has completed the Third Degree that he has been “raised,” or why the climactic ceremony in that Degree is described as “raising.” One is “initiated” an Entered Apprentice, “passed” a Fellowcraft, “raised” a Master Mason.
Regular The Latin rex, king, sovereign, ruler, was a root from which many words have sprung, regal, royal, etc.; the Latins themselves had regula, or rule, and regere, to rule or govern. From this source has come our “regular.” It means a rule established on legitimate authority. In Masonry “regular” is applied to those rules which have been established by Grand Lodges and Grand Masters. A “regular Lodge” is one that conforms to Grand Lodge requirements; a “regular Mason” is the member of such a Lodge who conforms to its laws and by-laws.
Rheotric The art of embellishing language with the ornaments of construction, so as to enable the speaker to persuade or affect his hearers. It supposes and requires a proper acquaintance with the rest of the liberal arts; for the first step toward adorning a discourse is for the speaker
to become thoroughly acquainted with its subject, and hence the ancient rule that that the orator should be acquainted with all the arts and sciences. Its importance as a branch of liberal education is recommended to the Freemason in the Fellow Craft's Degree. It is one of the seven liberal arts and sciences, the second in order, and is described in the ancient Constitutions as "retoricke that teacheth a man to speake faire and in subtill terms."
Ritual A ritual is a system of rites. “Rite,” like “right,” is very old; it has been traced to the if Sanskrit riti, meaning usage, which in turn was derived from ri, meaning flow, suggesting the regular current of river. In Latin this became ritus meaning in general a custom, more particularly a religious custom, or usage. In taking over this word the church applied it to the acts in solemn religious services which had to be performed according to strict rules. In Masonry the ritual is the prescribed set of ceremonies used for the purpose of initiation. It should be noted that a set of ceremonies does not become a ritual until it has been prescribed by some official authority.
Rough Ashlar The unenlightened member; man in his natural state before being educated. The entered apprentice has not perfected himself in Masonry is symbolized by the freestone in the quarries, that has not been smoothed by the Master Builder.
Next Month the Letter ‘S’.
"The Master asked the speaker of the evening, some brother I never saw before. He made a beautiful prayer, too. I heard him tell the Master he didn't know the prayer in the ritual, but the Master said that didn't matter, which I thought rather odd." "Can you remember what the stranger said?" asked the Old Tiler.
Acting as Chaplain "I was embarrassed in lodge tonight!" announced the New Brother to the Old Tiler. "I don't think the Master ought to make me feel that way!" "That's too bad," answered the Old Tiler, with ready sympathy. "Did he call you down for something?" "Oh, no. The Chaplain was absent, and the Master asked me to act in his place." "Why should that embarrass you?" asked the Old Tiler, still sympathetic. "It embarrassed me horribly to say I wouldn't." "Oh, you refused?" "Of course I refused! My embarrassment was bad enough as it was, but to get up in front of the Altar and offer a prayer! Man, I couldn't do that!" "You surprise me!" answered the Old Tiler. "But let that pass. Who did act as Chaplain?"
"Pretty well, I think," answered the New Brother. "It was not long. He went to the Altar and kneeled, and then said 'Almighty Architect of the Universe, we, as Master Masons, standing in a Masonic Lodge erected to thy glory, humbly petition that Thou look with favor upon this assembly of Thy children. Open our hearts that the eternal Masonic truth may find ready entry that we be enabled to make ourselves square stones, fitting in Thy sight for the great Temple, eternal in Thy heavens. We ask it in the name of the All-seeing Eye, Amen." "That was a pretty prayer," responded the Old Tiler. "But it wasn't the ritual prayer," objected the New Brother. "No, nor it wasn't by the appointed Chaplain," retorted the Old Tiler. "What difference does it make to God whether we pray the same prayer at every lodge opening? It must be the sincerity and the thought behind the prayer which count in His sight, not the words. But in your refusal to act as Chaplain, it seems to me you put yourself in an unfortunate position. You shave yourself, don't you?" "Why, er, yes! What has that got to do with it?"
"Tomorrow morning, when you shave yourself, you'll look in the mirror and you'll say 'Hello, coward!' and that's not nice, is it?" "Do you think I was a coward?" asked the New Brother, wistfully. "Scared stiff!" smiled the Old Tiler. "So conceited, so filled with the idea of all your brethren admiring you, you couldn't bear to forget yourself, lest they falter in their admiration. Sure, that's cowardly. You ducked a duty because of conceit!" "Old tiler, you use strong words! It was not conceit. It was modesty. I didn't think I was able." "Don't fool yourself! You told me you were embarrassed. Why is a man embarrassed in public? Because he is afraid he won't do well, won't make a good appearance, won't succeed, will be ridiculous. So you refused the pretty compliment the Master paid you, and refused your brethren the slight service of being their mouthpiece." "But I have never prayed in public!" "Neither has any other man ever prayed in public prior to his first public prayer!" grinned the Old Tiler. "But please tell me why a man should be embarrassed before God? We are taught that He knoweth all things. If we can't conceal anything from Him, He knows all about you! A man may be ashamed of himself, sorry for what he is and has been, but embarrassed, in prayer? As for being embarrassed before you brethren, that's conceited. Almost any man is a
match for an army if he has God with him. The man on his feet who talks aloud to God has no need to consider men. If men laugh, shame to them. In all my many years as a Mason, I never yet saw any man smile or say a word of ridicule at any one's petition to Deity out loud which touched the hearts of all present who admired their fearlessness in facing the Great Architect and saying what was in their hearts. I never heard a man laugh when a Chaplain, ordained or substitute, made a petition to Deity. Whether it was the petition in the ritual, or one which came from the heart, be sure the Great Architect understood it. As for asking a blessing in the name of the All-Seeing Eye, what difference does it make to God by what name we call Him? That is a good Masonic name, sanctified by the reverent hearts of generations of men and Masons. "For your own peace of mind, tell your Master you made a mistake and that you are sorry, and that if he will honor you by giving you an opportunity to pray for yourself and your brethren, you will, in the absence of the Chaplain, do your reverent best. And when you kneel before that Altar you will forget, as all Chaplains must who mean what they say, that any listen save the One to whom the prayer is addressed!" "Old Tiler, I'll try to do it!" cried the New Mason. "Humph!" grunted the Old Tiler. This is the thrid article in this regular feature, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Old Tiler Talks,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; each month we will publish in the newsletter one of these interesting and informative pieces by Carl Claudy
Traditional Masonic Wages The traditional Masonic Wages are mentioned in the Mark Master's Degree. According to the legend, the wages of a Master Mason working in the construction of the Temple at Jerusalem were half a Sheqel. The legend does not mention the duration of labor time, for which these wages provided a compensation. While the Temple of Jerusalem was standing, the people of Israel donated half a Sheqel yearly to the Temple. This money paid for communal services, and also, served as a way to count the population, since taking a direct census was forbidden. The tax was paid during the month of Adar, corresponding to parts of February and March, before the beginning of the Biblical fiscal New Year. Even after the Temple was destroyed, the people of Israel still continues the same Biblical tradition of donation for charitable purposes. Presently, the half New Israeli Sheqel coin in the currency cycle bears on the obverse an ancient Biblical lyre and the emblem of the State of Israel, the menorah (seven-branched candelabrum used in the Biblical Tabernacle and the Temple of Jerusalem). The lyre motif is derived from an ancient Hebrew seal bearing the inscription "Ma'adana (Maha'hdahnah), the King's daughter." In Speculative Freemasonry, Masonic Wages are mentioned only symbolically. Benjamin Franklin (17061790) described the Masonic Wages as follows:
"Masonic labor is purely a labor of love. He who seeks to draw Masonic wages in gold and silver will be disappointed. The wages of a Mason are earned and paid in their dealings with one another; sympathy that begets sympathy, kindness begets kindness, helpfulness begets helpfulness, and these are the wages of a Mason." Taken from Freemasonry in Israel
Masonic Triviaâ&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;Ś. When Brothers Richard E. Byrd and Bernt Balchen first flew over the North and South Poles, they dropped a Masonic flag on each Pole. Then, in the 1933-35 expedition, Brother Balchen tossed his Shrine Fez on the North Pole. During the years that Spain was under the control of General Franco, Freemasonry was a "crime" and Masons were imprisoned for a term of years equal to the number of Masonic degrees possessed by the "guilty one." The first registered livestock brand in Montana was the Square and Compasses dating back to before 1872. when brands were first registered. It is still in use today.
Cadder Argyle No. 147……. A SHORT HISTORY OF LODGE CADDER ARGYLE No.147. The History of Chryston District has been well chronicled. However Lodge Cadder Argyle, No. 147, can lay claim to being the oldest active Chryston Institution of which there is documentary evidence. The first Minute Book gives a definite date of the origin of the Lodge, it being created in December 1771, without a Grand Lodge Charter. It is unfortunate and regrettable that the first pages are missing from the first Minute Book, therefore the history does not actually commence until August 1773, the Master being a Robert Harvie, who occupied the Chair on several succeeding years. How the Lodge was created and by whom there is no record. The regular meetings in the early years were held quarterly mainly for the collection of dues, with occasional Entering, Passing and Raising, with other meetings being “called by the Master”. The place of meetings given only as Chryston and the date. The records of the Lodge are complete from 1773 until the present day. Application for our Charter was made by David Colquhoun, David Reid, Robert Harvie, John Watson, William Black, James Patrick, John Walker and James Risk and sundry other Brethren thereto subscribing, all resident in and about the village of Cadder near Glasgow. The Petition, having been
considered by the Grand Lodge, together with ample Certificates in favour of the said petitioning by the Lodge “Union and Crown” and “Argyle Lodge’’, both in the City of Glasgow. The Charter was granted 2nd February 1778. The name of our Lodge “Cadder Argyle” probably arose from the fact that our Members resided in the Parish of Cadder and the name Argyle came from “Argyle Lodge”, which ceased to operate in 1843. In our Charter we are recorded as “Calder Argyle”, and throughout the early minutes the reference is to Calder Argyle Lodge. From January 1832 it appears as “Cadder Argyle” with no explanation being given. The early minutes are brief and finish -”No other business came before the meeting we shut the Lodge”. Lodge Cadder Argyle first held the number 194, changed in 1816 to No. 145 and finally in 1826 to the present No. 147. In the archives of the Lodge is a gold painted mallet with 147 superimposed over 145. The Regalia Colours were-before 1848, no record in Grand Lodge; 1848-red; 1859-red, blue and yellow edge; 1874blue; 1881-red and yellow; 1896 onwards-red and blue. At the time the Charter was issued the whole of the West of Scotland was under one Provincial Grand Master, Bro George Murdoch, ex-Provost of Glasgow, was appointed for all the Lodges in Lanark, Renfrew, Ayr, Dumbarton and Argyle on 6th February 1769. It is interesting to note that these
are the six counties, which formed part of the old Strathclyde Region of local government. In 1826 the Lodge is listed as one of six Lodges forming the Provincial Grand Lodge of Renfrewshire East. The Province of Dunbartonshire was not erected into a separate Province until 1837. Early records show that the entrance fee was 7/6(37½p), and it was quite the custom then for the candidates to sign Promissory Notes paying their fees over three months. It was not uncommon to get the three Degrees in one night, but in November 1855, Grand Lodge intimated that there should be 14 days between each Degree. In these early years the Members of the Lodge believed in letting themselves be seen with frequent reference to the Lodge taking part in processions. The Minutes there seemed to be quite a competition to see who carried our colours. The laying of foundation stones created a further need for processions. Some of local interest were;- Chryston Manse, 1803; Chryston School, 25 August 1826; Bridge over the Bothlin Burn at Bedlay, 15 June 1832. Many local worthies were Members of Cadder Argyle, some are referred to in the narrative, but it would be quite impossible to relate them all. The lairds of Bedlay and Garnkirk were members as were many of those charged with the Spiritual, educational, financial, political and medical well being of the community. Some having found time to take a more active part in Lodge affairs than others, and together with many
more Brethren have contributed to the advancement of the Lodge - financially and Masonically. In two hundred and twenty five years the Lodge has prospered under the guidance and assistance of the various Office-Bearers and Brethren, and maintained a high standard of Masonic and non-Masonic Benevolence. Having a foundation of local Brethren the Lodge will continue to prosper and hold its firm position in the community. Visitations with many neighbouring Lodges have been maintained over the years, which demonstrate the bonds of friendship that exist. The traditions set in the past have been carried through to the present and must be maintained into the future. And Finally – On Saturday 21 December 2002 Bro David C R H McKerral, a man blind from birth, was installed as Master which was a joy to behold. The progress of Bro McKerral through the Offices must be an inspiration to all those who follow, and is an example of the forward thinking and tradition setting which is apparent throughout the records of the Lodge.
This Historical Sketch about Lodge Cadder Argyle No.147. was reproduced from the excellent website of the Lodge. Click this link to access their site. Brethren, this has become a regular feature in the newsletter for a wee while, featuring some Scottish Lodges. If you have a brief history of your lodge and would like to see it here, drop me a line. Next month, we will publish a short Historical Sketch of The Lodge of Melrose St. John No. 1² (bis)
Book Review ……. The Illustrated Guide to Rosslyn Chapel and Castle, Hawthornden, &C Edited by Robert Cooper
‘The Illustrated Guide to Rosslyn Chapel and Castle” edited by Robert Cooper is available from Masonic Publishing at this link. The Illustrated Guide to Rosslyn Chapel was first published in 1892 and whilst it makes some references to Scottish Freemasonry it does so in an accurate, unspectacular, way. This Guide Book was written by the Chaplain to Francis Robert, 4th Earl of Rosslyn, who was the Episopalian Priest to the St. Clairs of Rosslyn for several decades, and also acted as the official guide to people visiting the chapel in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This book is authorative and crammed full of information that more recent, popular, writers have chosen to ignore. This reprint, edited by Bob Cooper, of what the St. Clair family believed their origins to be 100 years before the publication of very speculative and often unsubstantiated claims of connections with King Solomon’s Temple, Freemasonry, and the medieval Order of the Knights Templar is an superb corrective to that recent ‘pop’ history. I am amazed, but delighted, that this accurate description of Rosslyn Chapel is again available. review by RC.
Price £12.50 Book Reviews……. Circle publications and Masonic Publishing produce a wide range of Masonic Books, each month we will include a book review page of some of the books available from them.
The Adventures of Billy! The Lodge Goat
By SRA76 Web comics
Knock! Knock! Knock!
Hiram! Hiram who?
Hiram fine! How are you?
© SRA76 - 2010/2
Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor.
APPEAL BY THE GRAND MASTER MASON OF SCOTLAND
MESSAGE FROM GRAND MASTER MASON RE HAITI EARTHQUAKE Brethren, we have all been horrified by the devastating earthquake that has struck the Republic of Haiti and the scenes of suffering and desolation on our television screens. Many Brethren have been enquiring how we, as Scottish Freemasons, can best assist in aiding the suffering of the people of that land. Whilst the natural reaction of many is to contribute immediately to the International Aid Agencies seeking funding I have today consulted with the heads of all Masonic Bodies in Scotland with whom we are in Amity as well as with Grand Almoner and Grand Secretary and we are unanimous in our opinion that this may not be the long term best use of Masonic generated funds. In our opinion, considering that the funds generated by appeals to our Brethren are liable to be insignificant to the total of the International Appeals, any Masonic generated monies should be retained centrally and used for specific reconstruction or social projects once the country has achieved a measure of stability.
Whilst Provinces, Districts and Lodges are of course at liberty to contribute to disaster relief in any manner they wish all should be aware that the Grand Lodge of Scotland will co-ordinate the receipt of contributions from Scottish Freemasons worldwide. Any funds received will be retained in a designated account for Haiti Earthquake Relief and will be utilised entirely for identifiable projects in Haiti. Brethren, Scottish Freemasons have always prided themselves in their generosity to those less fortunate than themselves. Charity is one of the foundations of our Craft and I do not need to emphasise the terrible situation in Haiti. I would urge all Scottish Freemasons to support this initiative and contribute as your circumstances allow to this most worthy cause. All cheques, money orders etc should be payable to the 'Grand Lodge of Scotland' and clearly marked on the back or by accompanying letter -Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund. By necessity, this is an urgent appeal and further information as to how funds will be ultimately utilised and controlled will be given later, but I can assure you that every penny / cent received will go directly to those in need.
Charles lain Wolrige Gordon of Esslemont Grand Master Mason January 2010