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 July 27, 2013


I offer a very special welcome to you all to this the July Business Communication of our District at our home at 45-47 Barbados Avenue. It has been a very long time since we have had a Communication in these premises and it seems almost surreal. I am delighted that despite the physical limitations of this Temple so many of you are here. Your presence continues to validate the belief that the Craft is alive and well in the District.

Our District continues to be honoured and privileged to have as our special guests:

  • R. W. Bro. Peter Stuart the Provincial 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.

I also offer a very special welcome to R.W. Bro. Afeef Lazarus, our revered and beloved Past District Grand Master. He continues, behind the scenes, to give wise and invaluable counsel and support both to me as your District Grand Master, and to the District in general.

Brethren, I very much regret that I feel obliged to return to the type of Benevolence and Charity.

In calendar year 2012 the Lodges in the District distributed J$6,506,349.00 to charity. In the same period the District Board of Benevolence distributed J$2,155,544.00 to needy Brethren. Additionally, the District donated J$150,000.00 to the Jamaica National Children’s Home and in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the District donated J$500,000.00 to the Salvation Army for Hurricane Relief work in the parishes of Portland and St. Thomas as we have Lodges in those parishes.

The records of United Grand Lodge of England revealed that during 2012 grants totalling £86,050.00 were made to Brethren and their connections in this District.

At an exchange rate of J$150: £1.00 this sum amounts to J$12,907,500.00.

This is the stark reality of the crises facing us.

Despite our stated desire to practice benevolence, despite the lecture from the North East corner to which every new brother is exposed, our assistance through the District Board of Benevolence to our Brethren was only 30.12% of what we donated to non- Masons as charity. The logic of this course of conduct escapes me. We compound this felony by being the beneficiaries of grants from our Brethren in England more than 6 times more than what we do for our own.

Brethren, the point is not only that we need to do more for ourselves, but we will be required to be far more prudent and discerning with our benevolent disbursements. The District Board of Benevolence is the refuge of last resort. It is neither for cosmetic surgery nor for non life/wellness surgery.

The standard applied by the Masonic Samaritan Fund is that it provides “Grants for Freemasons and their eligible dependents towards the cost of private medical treatment or surgery that cannot be provided through local public health services in a timely manner”.

That is the standard which we intend to apply here in our District.

Brethren, the Festival system provides the largest pool of monies for the Fund of Benevolence. We all need to support the several Lodges as they work tirelessly to raise their Festival sums. Let us demonstrate practically, that we are our Brother’s keepers.

Brethren it is with very great pleasure that I formally report to you that at the annual investiture meeting of grand lodge in April this year, W. Bro. Dr. D. Anthony Lewis was promoted to the rank of PJGD, and W. Bro. The Rev. Melvin Carey was appointed to the rank of PAGChap. please join me in offering heartiest congratulations to them.

Brethren, as this is the first of two meetings that we will be holding this afternoon, I will be brief.

On your behalf, I thank the District Grand Director of Ceremonies and his team for conducting our ceremonies today with efficiency; the District Grand Secretary and his staff for arranging and organising the meeting; and the District Grand Stewards Lodge for its continued tremendous hard work and support for the District.

Walter H. Scott, Q.C.
District Grand Master of Jamaica &
The Cayman Islands
27 July, 2013

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