Message from RW Bro Walter H. Scott

RW Bro Walter H. Scott, QC
Address to Communication of District Grand Lodge of Jamaica and The Cayman Islands
on January 23, 2016


Please accept both my very hearty welcome to this, the 2016 Annual Investiture Communication of our District, as well as the very best wishes of my wife and I for a healthy, happy and rewarding New Year. I am pleased to see so many of you here. Your continued commitment to the Craft in this District is outstanding.

As a District, we continue to be honoured and privileged to have as our special guests:

  • RW Bro. James Randolph Bain, the District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of the Bahamas & Turks and R. W. Bro. Peter Cole, the immediate Past District Grand Master of that District.
  • RW Bro. Kirk Miller, the Provincial Deputy Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Jamaica and the Bahamas and his delegation.
  • Bro. Col. Lemuel Lindo, the 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.

Brethren, we have just had a tremendous presentation from W. Bro. Dr. John Wade PAGDC, the Prestonian Lecturer for 2009. His lecture on Masonic Processions, the great depth of his knowledge, his presentation, and the fact that at his own expense, he has journeyed to our District to present the lecture is deserving of more than the applause which we gave to him.

Brethren, during calendar year 2015, there were 58 new initiates. This is the most we have done in years, despite three (3) Lodges not having any initiates at all. This amounted to a 5% increase of our total numbers. These new initiates will only become long term committed members of the Craft with the continued successful nurturing by the mentorship programme and by continuing to keep their interest in Freemasonry highly stimulated. It is not beyond us to do it!

Brethren, we currently have approximately 35% of our brethren below 54 years of age. This is a metric that has to change if we are to be assured of the continued long term success of our District. We live in the information age. We ignore it at our peril. Social Media plays an ever increasing relevance of our younger masons. As with everything else in life, it has to be managed. It is against this background that I am pleased to advise that I have appointed W. Bro. Gladstone Michael Fisher as the District Social Media Manager. Although he has neither a badge nor a Jewel, his work will be of vital importance to the District and I urge you all to give him your fullest support.

Brethren, it is with more than a tinge of regret that I once again am obliged to raise the issue of Benevolence with you. The Fund of Benevolence now stands at approximately J$50m. Over the last 6 years the Fund has earned an average of J$2.445m per annum. The total aid requests over the same period have averaged J$4.0m per annum. If we are to try to satisfy the ever increasing demand, in 20 years the Fund would be completely exhausted. We will not allow this to happen. The Firm of ECKLER, Consulting Actuaries has produced a report for us. It is the first scientific study which we have had as to where we are and what we need to do with and for Benevolence in our District. Over the Course of the next six 6) months, one of the President of the District Board of Benevolence, the President of the District Board of General Purposes, the District Grand Treasurer or the District Grand Registrar will visit each Lodge to make a presentation and to have a discussion with the brethren of the lodge on the way forward. This will culminate with a Notice of Motion on Contributions to the Fund of Benevolence at the July 2016 Communication.

Brethren, this evening it has pleased me so much to have appointed or promoted a number of you. These appointments or promotions continue to be the result of very hard work by you in your Lodges. As I have pointed out in the past, “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, I have been particularly pleased to have invested R. W. Bro. Peter Stuart, who masquerades as the Provincial Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Jamaica and the Bahamas (Irish Constitution) as a Past District Senior Grand Warden. He has been a loyal and faithful member of the Moore Keys Lodge for a very long time. He now proudly wears his late father’s regalia. Brethren, you will also have noted that W. Bro. Ivan “Mitch” Stephenson PAGDC has retired as the District Grand Treasurer after giving many, many years of yeoman & distinguished service to our District. Please join with me in offering him our gratitude for all of his hard work.

Brethren, this time has been well spent. We have feasted on a wonderful lecture and we have witnessed all of the pomp and ceremony of our beloved English Freemasonry. Let us now move from labour to refreshment.

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
23 January 2016

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