Message from RW Bro Walter H. Scott

RW Bro Walter H. Scott
Address to Communication of District Grand Lodge of Jamaica and The Cayman Islands
on January 26, 2013


I am delighted to welcome you all to this the Annual Investiture Communication of our District. I am thrilled to see so many of you here, despite the temptations in the far western reaches of our Island. Your presence in such substantial numbers is the convincing proofs of your commitment to the craft.

We, as English Masons, continue to be honoured and be privileged to have as our special guests:

  • R. W. Bro. Kirk Miller, the Provincial Deputy Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Jamaica and the Bahamas and his delegation, inclusive of R.W. Bro. James Moss-Solomon a Past Provincial Grand Master.
  • Bro. Col. Lemuel Lindo, the Right Worshipful District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of Jamaica and his deputation.

Behold, how good and pleasant it is for Brethren to dwell together in unity.

We are particularly delighted to welcome R.W. Bro. Horace Gooden District Deputy Grand Master of the Most Worshipful the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Ontario. R.W. Bro. Gooden, a “Fortis” man, is our very special guest. We welcome him as family. We also welcome M.W. Bro. Terry Shand a Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario. He is with us so often that we often forget that he is a visitor.

I also offer a very special welcome to R. W. Bro. Afeef Lazarus, our revered and beloved Past District Grand Master.

Brethren, you may not know, but it was during the reign of the Marquess of Northhampton that United Grand Lodge of England adopted the policy that its Provincial and District Grand Masters would not ordinarily hold office for longer than ten years. Against this background, I have been charged by the Most Worshipful the Pro Grand Master to ensure that there is a vibrant line of succession in our District. I am a firm believer that training can, and will, make potential leaders into good leaders. Towards this end, I have tasked R. W. Bro. Major General R.G.E. Green O.S.M. to develop a training course for Past Masters who have between one to five years post -chair experience. This training programme, which will be voluntary, will be rolled out over the next few months. I urge all Past Masters who fall within this cohort to take advantage of this training opportunity.

Brethren, on the paper of business for today was a resolution to increase the dues payable to District Grand Lodge from J$1,600 to J$2,500.00 with effect from April 2013. Of this sum of J$2,500.00, an amount of £2 per Brother will be paid to the Grand Charity. £2 is the equivalent of under J$300.00, just about enough to buy a single Red Stripe Beer. This payment is a token contribution to the Grand Charity from whom our Brethren have benefited so much over the last three (3) years. Over the last three (3) years between the Grand Charity and the Samaritan Fund, Brethren in this District have been beneficiaries of sums in excess of £135,000.00 or, at yesterday’s exchange rate, over J$20 million. This is as a result of the generosity and benevolence of our English Brethren, as each Mason in England is obliged, as a part of his annual dues, to pay £16 to the Grand Charity. The benevolence of our English cousins is almost three time what we have been able to do for our Brethren out of the Fund of Benevolence over the same period.

Brethren, I urge you all, during the course of what is likely to be a challenging year, not only expand your hearts with benevolence, but practice this virtue with our Brethren and their connections.

Our Freemasonry is voluntary. In many respects it is a hobby. It ought to be the source of enjoyment. It ought not to be practised either out of duty or out of a sense of obligation or as a chore. In practising our masonry we ought to be uniting in the grand design of being happy and in communicating happiness. Let us all during the course of this year indulge in friendship, fellowship and fraternal union.

Brethren, today W. Bro. Dr. Basil Anthony Robinson, has, on his own volition, retired as Assistant District Grand Master. He will be sorely missed. His calm, steady, principled counsel and leadership will be missed by me. His devotion to duty, his unbridled love of the craft, and his willingness at all times when called upon, are characteristics worthy of emulation. Whilst a suitable tribute will be arranged at a future date in his honour, I would be obliged if you could join with me in extending to him, the gratitude of this District for his fidelity, devotion to duty, and hard work during his tenure.

Brethren, please also join me in both congratulating and welcoming W. Bro. Russell Hammond to his new post as Assistant District Grand Master. He has a huge task ahead of him in western Jamaica, but we have every confidence that he is up to the task. He will need the support of the several Lodges in the west and I exhort them to rally to his support.

During the course of this evening it has been my very great pleasure to have appointed or promoted a number of you. I am grateful for your willingness to serve. These appointments and promotions are as a result of very hard work by you in your Lodges. This is not a time to rest on your laurels, but rather, a time for increased hard work and dedication. In so doing, not only will you prove yourselves worthy beneficiaries of the appointments and/or promotions, but you will increase the value and worth of your several lodges.

Brethren, as this is the second of two meetings today I will be brief. I will close by thanking the District Grand Director of Ceremonies and his team for their very hard work in arranging and conducting our very efficient ceremonies today; the District Grand Secretary and his staff for organising such a splendid meeting; and the District Grand Stewards Lodge for its continued tremendous hard work and support for the District.

Walter H. Scott
District Grand Master of Jamaica &
The Cayman Islands
26 January, 2013

Freemasonry: a peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.