Brethren enjoying a special moment in time
In February, the Freemasons of the three lodges in Bermuda, under the Grand Lodge of Scotland, welcomed a distinguished visitor in the form of the Grand Master Mason William Ramsay McGhee.
He flew in from Edinburgh, Scotland, to visit the island and to conduct the installation of a new district grand superintendent.
The Scottish brethren were able to show the Grand Master Mason around the island and visit various buildings of Masonic importance such as Lodge Somers Isles 1503 in White Hill, Sandys, Lodge Civil & Military 726 on King Street, Hamilton, and the Old State House in St George’s, home of Lodge St George's 200.
Another day of sightseeing culminated with a reception at the Police Officers Club in Prospect.
Traditional Bermudian hospitality dictated that our unique treasures of Dark N Stormy, fish chowder and competing varieties of rum swizzle were made available throughout the visit.
Bermuda was the first stop for the Grand Master Mason on his tour of the Caribbean region. After the installation ceremony in Bermuda, he was then off to the Bahamas, where he was to put in place the new District Grand Master of the Scottish Lodges.
He then travelled to Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and finally to Guyana, installing District Grand Masters, as well as conducting ceremonies of rededication for a number of Scottish lodges.
To start his Caribbean tour properly, Bermudian brethren from the lodges under the United Grand Lodge of England, the Grand Lodge of Ireland and the Grand Lodge of Scotland gathered in one body at Freemasons Hall in Hamilton on March 1.
This grand occasion was for the installation of Martin P. Weekes, of Lodge St George's 200, as the new District Grand Superintendent for a five-year term.
By way of background, the title of District Grand Superintendent is one that has been in place since the 1940s when it was held by Sir Stanley Spurling.
Before that, the title given to the leading Scottish Freemason in Bermuda was that of Provincial Grand Master, starting in 1803 when it was held by John W. MacLachlan, of the first Scottish Lodge, St George’s Lodge 200, having been chartered in Bermuda in the Town of St George in 1797.
Present at the installation on March 1, which was conducted by the Grand Master Mason himself, were David Cook and Travis H.O. Gilbert, both past grand superintendents of the Grand Lodge of Scotland.
Representing the United Grand Lodge of England was Michael E. Smith, District Grand Master of Bermuda, accompanied by District Deputy Grand Master Corey Cross.
The Grand Lodge of Ireland was represented by Allen Richardson, Provincial Grand Master of Bermuda, accompanied by the Past Provincial Grand Master, St Clair “Brinky” Tucker, and the masters, wardens and brethren from across Bermuda.
After the formal installation, a festive board, or dinner, was held in the Dining Hall of the Freemasons Hall.
There was a wide selection of food and desserts, all catered by the Members of Lodge St George’s. Additionally, there was a raffle of several desirable prizes.
Most importantly, there was the camaraderie of men of all ages, stages and stations in life, coming together to be among each other for a few moments in time.
This is the essence of what our historic Friendly Societies, Oddfellows and Freemasons are truly about.
• Christopher Famous is the government MP for Devonshire East (Constituency 11). You can reach him on WhatsApp at 599-0901 or e-mail at email@example.com