Message from RW Bro Walter H. Scott
Address to Communication of District Grand Lodge of Jamaica and The Cayman Islands
on July 24, 2010
I extend a hearty welcome to you, to this the July Communication of the District. I am delighted to see so many of you here today.
I also welcome our distinguished visiting Brethren. In particular I welcome:
- R. W. Bro. Peter Stuart the Provincial Deputy Grand Master and R.W. Bro. George Reynolds, the Provincial Assistant Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Jamaica and the Bahamas and their delegation.
- Bro. Christopher Parcells W. Depute District Grand Master and Bro. Norman Minott W. Substitute District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of Jamaica (Scottish Constitution) and their deputation.
And a very special welcome to our Brethren from the Cayman Islands, who though members of this District, again and again attend in such significant numbers from so far away.
On 28 April 2010 I had the great honour and privilege as your District Grand Master of attending the annual investiture Communication of Grand Lodge.
The Most Worshipful the Grand Master who presided at the Communication appointed and invested the following Brethren to the following ranks:
- R.W. Bro. Major General Rudolph George Edward Green O.S.M to the rank Past Junior Grand Warden.
- V.W. Bro. The Honourable Justice Patrick Anthony Brooks to the rank of Past Grand Sword Bearer and
- W. Bro. Billion Delroy Young Chin to the rank of Past Grand Standard Bearer.
Brethren, the hard work, dedication, commitment and value of these Brethren to the District are well known. The significance of the promotion of R.W. Bro. Major General Green and the appointments of V.W. Bro. Justice Brooks and W. Bro. Young Chin is not to be under estimated. It is exceedingly rare for a Province or a District to be so generously recognized in one instance, and with such high ranks.
We have just had a most informative and delightful talk on Benevolence and charity from W. Bro. Michael Fennell the President of the Board of Benevolence. Brethren, you all know how dearly the subject and practice of benevolence and charity is to my heart. I have repeatedly spoken on the subject and I have encouraged you all, happily, zealously and sincerely to embrace any “opportunity of practicing that virtue you have professed to admire”.
Brethren you will have noted from our Audited Accounts that as of 31 March 2010 the fund of Benevolence stood at J$29,725,359.00. To this is to be added, US$40,982.90 which came in after the end of the financial year as the fruits of the labour of the Caymanian brethren towards the last festival.
This capital sum is insufficient to meet our current needs much less future demands. Our membership is aging, the economy is still in recession and the demands on our resources are predicted to grow. The Festival scheme started during the reign of Rt. Wor. Bro. Afeef Lazarus is an excellent scheme. It is therefore with pleasure that I announce that a second cycle of Festivals will be held commencing in 2012. Some of the combinations of Lodges may be a little different from the last series of Festivals, but the objective will be the same, and the results no doubt just as spectacular.
I must also advise that as of 2011 the Festival Banquet and presentation will be held at the July Communication of the District. This is for two especial reasons. Firstly, to emphasize the importance of the Festival to this District by holding it on an occasion where the Festival and Festival Banquet takes pride of place. And, secondly, to allow the January Communication to be our Annual Investiture meeting solely, so that nothing derogates from the joy, happiness and pride of the newly appointed and/or promoted Brethren.
Brethren, led by United Grand Lodge of England, we as English Freemasons have over the last several years embarked on a journey of openness and disclosure. Our Book of Constitutions is published on line for all to see.
Both the websites of United Grand Lodge of England and the District Grand Lodge of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands are full of interesting information for Brethren, their connections and members of the public. This policy of openness and disclosure brings with it an increase in the scrutiny of our members. Though human, we must strive to be exemplars. The District Grand Secretary on 15 July 2010 sent out detailed memorandum dealing with the “Procedure for Application of a Candidate” and on “Application for membership”. Both are to be faithfully and diligently followed. If this is done, we ought to have no fears on the quality of gentlemen who become Masons.
Our website is seriously under utilized. I urge you Brethren, to be frequent visitors of it. Make use of it, as both by itself and by its several links it is full of useful and interesting information.
Brethren, we ignore our history at our peril. Without proper memorials or written histories to our icons and heroes, great men tend to be forgotten. I did not know Rt W.Bro Dr. Francis Hadden Bowen. He died before I left primary school. I knew Rt.W. Bro.Dr. Aubrey Shervington Jacobs, but he retired as District Grand Master before I became a mason.
Within a relatively few short years most of the brethren sitting in a communication such as this will only know of these two Jamaican Masonic heroes as names only. This would be a travesty. These two Brethren more than most were responsible for the acquisition, construction and dedication of our home, the Masonic building at 45-47 Barbados Avenue.
In order to create a fitting memorial to these two illustrious brethren as of the 1st day of august, 2010 the large temple at Barbados avenue will be known as the Right Worshipful Dr. Aubrey Shervington Jacobs Temple and the small temple will be known as the Right Worshipful Dr. Francis Haddon Bowen Temple. Lest we forget.
Brethren, the beauty and majesty of our ritual are a combination of the language contained therein and the precision, pomp and execution of the ceremonies. There are few things worse to the eye of a beholder than a dreadfully performed ceremony.
To ensure that the several Lodges in this District never get to that level the District Grand Director of Ceremonies and his team have arranged a workshop for Directors of Ceremonies on Saturday 28 August 2010 at the Masonic Building at Barbados Avenue. It is imperative that Directors of Ceremonies, their Assistants and all those in the various Lodges entrusted with the task of ensuring the proper execution of the work, are in attendance.
Brethren, I thank the District Grand Director of Ceremonies and his team for the very efficient ceremony we have had today. I also thank the District Grand Secretary and his staff, the District Grand Stewards’s Lodge and lastly but not least the President of the Board of General Purpose for the very hard work they have all put out in order to ensure the success of this Communication.
Finally, Brethren please rise and join me in conveying heartiest congratulations to R.W. Bro. Afeef Lazarus on the occasion of his birthday today.
Walter H. Scott
District Grand Master of Jamaica &
The Cayman Islands
24 July, 2010
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