Message from RW Bro Walter H. Scott
Address to Communication of District Grand Lodge of Jamaica and The Cayman Islands
on July 22, 2017
The period between 25 May 2017 and today has been an extremely busy period for us. It is against that background that I am absolutely delighted to welcome so many of you to this the July Communication of your District. We continue to work in love, peace and harmony with our two sister constitutions and it gives me much pleasure on your behalf to have as our special guests.
R.W. Bro. Peter Stuart, The Provincial Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Jamaica & the Bahamas, and his delegation, and
Bro. Errol Charles Alberga, the Right Worshipful District Grand Master of Jamaica and his deputation; and
On 11 July, 2017, I celebrated my eighth anniversary as your District Grand Master. I offer this as the backdrop that, despite his retirement from active duty over eight years ago R.W. Bro. Afeef Lazarus, continues to give active support by his presence at our Communications and by his work for our beloved District.
Brethren, the memories of the Tercentenary Celebrations linger with us as does an exquisite perfume! What an absolutely grand occasion it was. Too much praise cannot be showered not only on all of the legions who worked assiduously to make it happen, but to you my brethren, for turning out in such large numbers to make it the success that it was.
Brethren, Freemasonry in this District has benefited tremendously from all of the events held during the Celebrations as all events were not only open to members of the public, but had significant attendance by non-masons. The Church Service on the Sunday morning at the St. James Parish Church was perhaps the finest example of English Freemasons at worship with the public. Let us not fail to use these opportunities as a launching pad for the recruitment of young, worthy gentlemen of integrity for the Craft.
Our legacy project for the Tercentenary Celebrations is the book, Masonic Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. It has been very well received by the High Rulers, our brethren, academics and others. The District has a substantial number of copies yet unsold. I urge you brethren to purchase copies at your convenience, both today, when Mrs Jackie Ranston is available to sign it for you or from the office of the District Grand Secretary.
Grand Lodge has determined that the Tercentenary is an occasion of Masonic Celebration within the meaning of the Book of Constitutions. As a result of our numbers, it has granted A Promotion in Grand Rank and two first Appointments in Grand Rank to deserving brethren in our District. It will conduct the Investiture of brethren from the Metropolitan Grand Lodge, the Provinces and the Districts with their promotions and appointments at the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge in March 2018. Similarly, on the basis of our numbers, Grand Lodge has authorised this District to make four first appointments to Past District Grand Rank in honour of the Tercentenary. I am permitted to do this Investiture on the next most convenient date after 31 October, 2017. I propose to do so at the Installation Meeting of the Installed Masters’ Lodge later this year.
Brethren, today as we celebrate the 275th Anniversary of the appointment of the first Provincial Grand Master for Jamaica, we commemorate and celebrate two hundred and seventy five years of unbroken senior masonic leadership in this geographic space which we all inhabit. This is a tremendous achievement and represents, despite a few hiccups here and there, a line of succession only bettered in the annals of English Freemasonry by Grand Lodge itself and by the District of Barbados( and the Eastern Caribbean). We ought justifiably to be proud of our history and our heritage and of all those High Rulers who have so valiantly kept the banner of English Freemasonry flying high in this District.
We have just had an excellent Oration from the District Grand Orator on the celebration of the 275th Anniversary of the appointment of the first Provincial Grand Master for Jamaica and I need not neither further add to it nor dilate on its significance.
A few years ago, the Conference of District Grand Masters of the Caribbean & Western Atlantic agreed to commission the Caribbean Jewel of Merit. It was decided that this jewel would be awarded to exceedingly meritorious candidates for their work on behalf of English Freemasonry; that it would kept in very small numbers in order to preserve its value; that it would be a dead man’s jewel; and that the recipient would be a freemason, whether a past master or a master mason who would not have been awarded Grand Rank. In all respects we intend to treat this jewel & this award in the same manner that Grand Lodge treats the Order of Service to Masonry (OSM). We have minted only six such jewels and I do hope that my successors in office will retain this limit.
Today, on the advice of my Council, I have presented the Caribbean Jewel of Merit to W. Bro. Lyndon Roy Haynes and W. Bro. Laurence Ventour. I cannot think of any two more worthy recipients in our District. I do hope that they will wear the jewel with pride and that they will enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes with the right to wear this jewel.
Brethren, you have this evening, received and adopted the reports of:
- The District Board of General Purposes
- The District Board of Benevolence
- Freemasons Trust
- Freemasons Association of Jamaica
- The Jamaica Masonic Benevolent Association; and
- The Audited Accounts of District Grand Lodge
On your behalf I convey to the members of these Boards our gratitude for the very hard work which they continue to willingly, freely and voluntarily do on our behalf.
Brethren, it would not have escaped your keen eyes for detail that W. Bros Thomas Smith, Gordon Brown & Dwight Reece have been promoted to Grand Rank. These Grand Ranks are not only an earnest of the future exertions of these brethren, but of the really hard, committed and dedicated work expected of them in the cause of English Freemasonry. It also heralds the beginning of the roll out of the succession plans of the District.
Finally Brethren, please assist me in conveying our sincere gratitude to the District Grand Secretary and his staff for organising this meeting; to the Deputy District Grand Director of Ceremonies and his team for our very efficient ceremonies, and to the members of the District Grand Stewards Lodge for their continued hard work in ensuring that a very comfortable and successful meeting has been had.
Walter H. Scott, Q.C.
District Grand Master of Jamaica &
The Cayman Islands
22 July, 2017
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