Message from RW Bro Walter Scott - July 2009

RW Bro Walter H. Scott
Address to District Grand Lodge of Jamaica
and The Cayman Islands Communication
on July 11, 2009

Brethren, please allow me at the very outset to thank you most sincerely for not only the manner in which you have received the notice of my appointment as District Grand Master, but also for the vast outpouring of support which you have given to me.  It is truly appreciated, but is at the same time a little daunting.   Daunting, because the sheer volume and size of the outpouring of your support is such that it places an additional challenge before me to lead the drive to achieve the results which are required for  Freemasonry in Jamaica in general and for you my Brethren in particular.

May I also on behalf of you my Brethren and myself, convey a very warm Jamaican and Caymanian welcome to Most Worshipful Brother Peter Lowndes the Pro Grand Master; Very Worshipful Bro. Nigel Brown the Grand Secretary,  Very Worshipful Bro. Oliver Lodge the Grand Director of Ceremonies and W. Bro. Phillip Purves, a Deputy Grand Director of ceremonies.  On behalf of us all I thank them for the roles which they have played in our ceremonies today.

In a similar vein we welcome,

  • Right Worshipful Brother Richard Fields DGM of Guyana.
  • Right Worshipful Ishmael Hosein DGM of Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Right Worshipful Brother James Bain DGM of the Bahamas & Turks.
  • Right Worshipful Brother Robert Rego DGM of Bermuda

And the rest of the large members of overseas Brethren who have adorned our proceedings this afternoon

We also welcome RW Bro. The Most Rev.Alfred Reid Provincial Deputy Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Jamaica and the Bahamas( Irish Constitution) and  RW Bro. Lloyd Moore RWDGM of the District Grand Lodge of Jamaica, Scottish Constitution and as well as the large numbers of Irish and Scottish brethren assembled here this afternoon.

This is an historic occasion.  Historic not only for the presence of the Most Worshipful the Pro Grand Master and his “Large” delegation from The United Grand Lodge of England, but also for the large numbers of regional District Grand Masters at the communication and for, arguably, the largest turnout of Brethren in years at a District Grand Lodge Communication in Jamaica.

This occasion is also historic for its timing.  2009 is the year of the worst worldwide depression since the great depression of 1929.   In 1929 one of Jamaica’s finest sons, Sir Henry Isaac Close Brown was installed as District Grand Master of Jamaica.  It was he who led us through the dark years of the Great Depression.

Happily, such a challenge has not been given to me as we are the beneficiaries of the enormous and bountiful legacy of the work of Right Worshipful Bro. Afeef Assad Lazarus the Past District Grand Master of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.

His assiduous and tireless work as District Grand Master over the last seventeen (17) years has left this District strong, vibrant and financially secure.   His many initiatives and achievements for this District are the work of legends.  His vast Masonic knowledge, his generosity of spirit and his deep love of the craft are of epic proportions.   We, Brethren, can never overstate the value of the contribution of Right Worshipful Bro. Afeef Lazarus and his team of stalwarts to this District in particular and to Freemasonry in general. 

On your behalf I extend to him and his loyal and supportive wife Maggie, the deepest gratitude of an appreciative and adoring District.

And what of the future?

The future for English Freemasonry in Jamaica is bright and exciting.  Bright as our numbers are growing.   The average age of our members is falling and we continue to generate and distribute charity in ever increasing numbers.   Exciting, as we continue to build our administrative and financial capacity to satisfy our members needs for years to come and as we continue to find practical ways of satisfying their needs.

The excitement of the future is enhanced by the prospects of the mentoring scheme; of the bounty of the Masonic knowledge which we will harvest from the lectures to be delivered by the District Grand Orator; by the prospect of developing our own University scheme; and by the immediacy of our strategies to communicate our work, our news, our original intellectual and literary work both by traditional and non-traditional means.   The re-launch of our website later this year and the publication of a book of original papers delivered at the Installed Masters’ Lodge over the last several years will mark the beginning of this new and exciting thrust.

The object and purpose of all of the aforementioned is actually very simple; it is to increase the unity and happiness of our Brethren.

We have never had to adopt slogans, such as “Yes we can”, because we always knew that we could and we did.  What we will do is to continue to be united in the grand design of being happy and communicating happiness. 

Brethren, we have always had excellent fraternal relationships with our Irish and Scottish Brethren who labour with us in this District. This harmony in diversity has been enormous and long may it continue to be so.

I congratulate W. Bro. The Hon. Mr. Justice Patrick Brooks on his appointment as Deputy District Grand Master.  His knowledge of the Craft, his energy and his unfailing dignity will add tremendously to the fortunes of this District.   I also congratulate W. Bros. Harding Overton Watler and Dr. Basil Anthony Robinson on their re-appointment as Assistant District Grand Masters and for their willingness to continue to dedicate their time, energy, knowledge and insight to the cause of this District.

Brethren the future though bright is challenging. Our major challenges will be to develop the mentoring scheme with the essential ingredients as laid down by Grand lodge but with our unique Jamaican & Caymanian flavour to ensure the retention of new Brethren so that their Masonic experience is happy and beneficial and to encourage our Brethren to become members of the Holy Royal Arch and to enjoy it.   Presently, just about fifty percent (50%) of the 1161 Brethren in the District are Royal Arch Masons.   Our task over the next two (2) years is to bring this number up to at least seventy (70%) percent.

Brethren, allow me on your behalf to thank the District Grand Secretary and his team for their very hard work in arranging the meeting, to the District Grand Director of Ceremonies and his team and to the Worshipful Master and Brethren of the District Grand Stewards Lodge.

Finally, Brethren please accept my deepest gratitude for your presence here today in such historic numbers.

Walter H. Scott
District Grand Master of Jamaica &
The Cayman Islands
July 11, 2009

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