Message from RW Bro Walter H. Scott
Address to Communication of District Grand Lodge of Jamaica and The Cayman Islands
on January 28, 2012
Please do accept my sincere Jamaican and Caymanian welcome to you all, to this the January Communication of the District. I am happy to see you all present in such large numbers. Our formal labours ended last December the 10th at the St. Thomas Lodge Installation. It is good to be back amongst my Brethren. Frankly, I have missed you. Our District is deeply honoured and privileged to have as our very special guests:
- R. W. Bro. Doodnath Persaud the District Grand Master of Guyana.
- R. W. Bro. James Randolph Bain, the District Grand Master of Bahamas and Turks, a very good friend of the District.
- R.W. Bro. Peter Cole the Past District Grand Master of the Bahamas and Turks.
We continue to be gratified by the presence of Rulers from our sister Constitutions in the District and in that regard, I offer a very special welcome to:
- V.W. Bro. Kirk Miller the Provincial Junior Grand Warden of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Jamaica and the Bahamas,
- Bro. Col. Lemuel Lindo the Past Depute District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of Jamaica (Scottish Constitution) and the District Grand Master Designate and his deputation.
- M.W. Bro. Terry Shand, a Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario, who is becoming a fixture at our meetings. Welcome!
I also offer a very special welcome to R.W. Bro. Afeef Lazarus, the Past District Grand Master.
In my address to you in January 2011 I advised that I had constituted a body of fifteen (15) senior Brethren to provide me with advice and recommendations on discretionary appointments and other acts to be carried out by me. This body, known as the District Grand Master’s Council, has operated over the last year. It has worked well. Indeed, it has worked so well that I have unhesitatingly accepted all of its advice and recommendations, thus far. It has worked so well that as of today I have extended its remit to include the District Grand Chapter of the Holy Royal Arch.
The full list of Brethren re-appointed or appointed to the Council for the ensuing year will be published on our website as of Monday next.
Our website is an integral part of our communications strategy for both Masons and non-Masons. It is a treasure trove of useful material. Its contents include not only the standard fare for such web sites such as, the District Administration, the Book of Constitutions, the Mentoring Hand Book, the Hand Book for Directors of Ceremonies and sundry articles , but items such as our history, our yearly calendar, and my several address to you.
For the calendar year 2011 it had a total of 136,359 hits from 7442 unique visitors. Whilst this is an improvement over the previous year, and makes us the leader in our region, for me it is not good enough. We will, during the course of this year, find appropriate strategies to broaden both the depth and breadth of our communications outreach.
The Board of General Purposes has adopted the Five Year Strategic Plan. It has already begun to implement aspects of the Plan. During the course of the year, more and more of the Plan will be implemented for the benefit of you, my Brethren.
In 2017, this District will celebrate the 275th year of its existence. This is a major and a significant event in our very rich history. If you appreciate that The United Grand Lodge of England will be celebrating its 300th Anniversary in 2017; that the Grand Lodge of Ireland was constituted in 1725; that the Grand Lodge of Scotland was founded in 1736; and that our District has existed from 1742, you will appreciate how very significant this milestone is for our District.
In order to have a worthy and appropriate programme of celebrations I have constituted a Committee chaired by V.W. Bro. The Hon. Mr. Justice Patrick Brooks and comprising the District Grand Secretary, District Grand Treasurer and District Grand Director of Ceremonies Pro Tem, and five(5) other Brethren to plan and to organise our celebrations. The full membership of this Committee will be posted on our web site as of Monday next. You will notice that I am encouraging you all to visit our web site.
Brethren, this year will be an economically challenging year for both our country and our Brethren. An increased number of calls will be made on our Benevolence and our Charity. Currently, from their limited resources the District Board of Benevolence and the Jamaica Masonic Benevolent Association are the principal organs of our Benevolence. The total combined annual sum spent by these bodies on benevolence is less than the amount disbursed by our Lodges as charity. The demands of this year will require a re-alignment of this spend on our part. Simply, the imbalance has to be corrected.
Our obligation to our Brethren, as so vividly epitomised by our several obligations, demands that we first look after the benevolent needs of our Brethren, their wives, families and connections before others. May I urge you Brethren, in your several Lodges, to heed this charge to attend to the benevolence of our Brethren.
Brethren, this meeting is also our annual investiture meeting. I have had a very great pleasure to appoint or promote a number of you. I have no doubt that these appointments and promotions have been as a result of really hard work carried out by you in your several Lodges. I need, hardly remind you that it is not a time for rest and relaxation but is actually the herald of your future hard work for and on behalf of this District. Your appointment to District Grand Rank is neither a matter of course nor an eventuality. Accordingly, it is to be prized, treasured and valued.
No doubt the observant amongst you would have noticed that there has been a further changing of the guard. W. Bro. The Hon. Michael Fennel has retired as President of the Board of Benevolence. He served with great distinction in this office for over twenty (20) years. His rich legacy is there for us all to see. On a future occasion, we will arrange an appropriate tribute in his honour.
W. Bro. J. Paul Morgan has also retired as President of the Board of General Purposes. He has not only been a High Ruler in our District, but has been in the leadership of our District for over fifteen (15) years. Happily his counsel and advice will still be available as he has been re-appointed as a member of my Council.
May I, on your behalf, extend to them the gratitude of this District for their devotion to duty, their fidelity, and very hard work over these several years.
Finally, I thank the District Grand Secretary and his staff, the District Grand Stewards Lodge, and the District Grand Director of Ceremonies and his team for their very hard work in ensuring not only the success of this meeting, but the very efficient ceremony which we have had today.
Walter H. Scott
District Grand Master of Jamaica &
The Cayman Islands
28 January, 2012
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