Message from RW Bro Walter H. Scott
Address to Communication of District Grand Lodge of Jamaica and The Cayman Islands
on January 24, 2015
Welcome to this, the 2015 Annual Investiture Communication of our District. I am pleased to see so many of you here. Thank you for your continued commitment to the Craft in this District.
As a District, we continue to be honoured and 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.
- Bro. Douglas Murray, the Depute District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of Jamaica and his impressive deputation inclusive.
I also offer a very special welcome to R.W. Bro. Afeef Lazarus, our revered and beloved Past District Grand Master.
Brethren, I do not propose to be long this evening as we have just had a tremendous presentation from W. Bro. Stephen Shelton Q.C., the President of the District Board of Benevolence.
You have had laid out to you, in as graphic a manner as propriety will allow, the travails of some of our brethren and their connections and the help, as much as we can properly give, without bankrupting ourselves. Clearly there the demand is greater than the supply and there is a lot more for us to do, both collectively and individually.
I urge you all to use this presentation as an exhortation to do far more for the cause of benevolence in this District.
Before the leaving the topic, I must speak to personal responsibility. In the charge in the ceremony of initiation, commonly called the Charity Charge, the following is stated:
“neither can it be concealed that among the thousands who range under its banners, there are some, who, perhaps from circumstances of unavoidable calamity and misfortune, are reduced to the lowest ebb of poverty and distress”
Brethren, it is our duty to help all those of our number who are in unavoidable calamity and distress, that is, “without detriment to ourselves and our connections.”
There is however, avoidable calamity and distress. Our duties to ourselves, our families and our Brethren demand that we do all that we can to avoid the avoidable.
When we are young and healthy do we take out sufficient insurance coverage? Do we continue to pay the premiums? What financial planning do we engage in? Do we join too many Lodges & Chapters, thereby incurring expenses that we may not be able to afford? Do we recruit gentlemen who can afford the expense of freemasonry? Or who at worst have the potential to afford freemasonry and all of its demands on our wallets? These are all relevant questions that I urge you all to think on long after this evening’s proceedings.
Brethren, the period between last January’s Annul Investiture meeting and today has been a challenging one for us as a District. During this period, we lost to the Grand Lodge above an unusually large number of Grand Officers. V.W, Bro. Sir Howard Cooke; W. Bro. Dr. Leighton Henry; W. Bro. Lloyd Thomson; W. Bro. Justice Joseph Alfred W. Bro. Dr. Charles Thesiger; & W. Bro. Dr. D. Anthony Lewis. As we mourn for them let us give thanks to the almighty Architect that we were privileged to have been able to call them “Brother”.
Brethren, my very first duty upon my Installation as District Grand Master was to appoint a deputy District Grand Master. I was a relatively young mason and an even younger District Grand Master. I took the view that the District and I needed a wise, stable experienced hand, by my side, to give support and advice. My choice was V.W. Bro. The Hon. Mr. Justice Patrick Brooks C.D. Today he has retired.
He has been hard working, loyal, supportive, & dedicated. He has worked tirelessly on behalf of our District and Our Craft. Polite to a fault, and exceedingly humble, despite the enormous public and mason offices he held. My reliance on his cooperation has never been misplaced. Although he has retired, I have re-appointed him to my Council so that his calm, reasoned dispassionate advice will remain on the Council.
It cannot have escaped your attention that W. Bro. The Rev. Melvin Carey has been appointed as the new Deputy District Grand Master. He too is another stalwart in the cause of English Freemasonry. We are fortunate in this District to be blessed with Brethren of such worth, value, commitment and masonic enthusiasm. Please give him your unqualified support as he goes forth in the service of our District.
Brethren, this evening it has been my absolute pleasure to have appointed or promoted a number of you. These appointments or promotions were not as a result of luck or chance. On the contrary, they are as a result of very hard work by you in your Lodges. The honour and privilege of wearing the “Royal Blue” regalia, carries with it certain duties and responsibilities. You are required to be examples of humility and docility, of diligence & hard work, and dedication to the Craft in your Lodges. Brethren, if you so conduct yourselves, you will be a source of emulation to the dozens of young masons who have joined our ranks over the last four years. Ultimately, leading to the future growth and enjoyment of the Craft by us all.
Brethren, I now formally advise that the July 2015 Half yearly communication will be held in Montego Bay, St. James.
Brethren, please assist me in 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 this wonderful meeting; and the District Grand Stewards Lodge for its continued hard work and support for the District.
Walter H. Scott, Q.C.
District Grand Master of Jamaica &
The Cayman Islands
24 January, 2015
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