ISSUE 13, April 2005

The Campbells are coming: At speed!
Travel: Warming to Iceland
Royal Masonic Family: The Six Masonic Sons of George III, Part II
Quarterly Communication: Address of the Pro Grand Master and: Report of the Board of General Purposes
The flying eye hospital
Beamish Museum: The million pound project
  Wigan Grand Lodge: The Liverpool rebels
Chelsea Lodge: That's entertainment
Re-enactment: The way we were and: The Russian connection
Community Service: Weathering the storm
Faith and Freemasonry: God and the Craft
Education: Researching Freemasonry on the Internet and: Masonic events
Freemasons Hall: Masons at War
Grand Charity: Report and grant list and: Support for Asian tsunami
Masonic Charities: Reports from the Masonic charities
Obituaries, Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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Masons and the tsunami
The reaction of the Craft to the Asian flood disaster has been overwhelming, showing the true nature of Freemasonry, as we detail on pages 60-61. As soon as the extent of the tsunami disaster became evident – within hours of the disaster – Grand Charity president Raymond Lye had sent £100,000 via the British Red Cross, and the special Relief Chest, for individual Masons and Lodges, has swollen to more than £560,000.
     It is a matter of pride among Masons that the Grand Charity has acted with such speed and generosity on behalf of the entire Craft, as they have on so many previous occasions.
     The four main Masonic charities are constantly working to the benefit of society, Mason and non-Mason alike. The pages of this issue of MQ again bear testimony to their dedicated work.

Keep it short

Long-winded Lodge minutes have come under the scrutiny of the Board of General Purposes, whose advice on the subject can be found in the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge (Pages 22-25).
     The Board makes the point that minutes are about the formal record of Lodge business, not a “detailed description of every aspect of the ceremonies and administrative business.” Moreover, says the Board, this long-windedness is a relatively new phenomenon, often linked to the increasing use of word processors.
     There is only a need to identify the ceremony, the candidate and those taking part in the work – if that is not immediately obvious from the offices held by those taking part. The Board also prefer that the minutes are sent out with the Lodge Summons. Nothing is more tedious than secretaries reading out the minutes, often at length, to a bored meeting anxious to get on with the real business of the Lodge. Along with the decision of Grand Lodge to end the nonsense of issuing pieces of paper for election of Master and Treasurer when there is only one candidate for each post, provided their nominations are on the Summons, all helps to speed up meetings.

Identity theft
Masons are taught to be cautious, so Lodge secretaries and treasurers are urged to watch out for a growing criminal activity – identity theft. Grand Lodge has an example of a bank contacting a Lodge secretary after it had received an order, allegedly signed by the secretary and treasurer, to transfer £6,500 to another bank account.
     The bank was suspicious, as the Lodge did not have such a sum in its account. The signatures were forgeries and the police are now investigating. However, the signatures appear to have been copied from actual signatures of the two Lodge officers concerned. The warning is clear: take the utmost care in destroying correspondence rather than just dumping it in the dustbin.

Irregular body
Anthony Wilson, President of the Board of General Purposes, warned Grand Lodge in March of an irregular body styling itself the “Regular Grand Lodge of England”, governed by something called “the Masonic High Council for England and Wales.”
     He added: “It claims a number of members and at least one Lodge. While this body appears to draw its members from Brethren of other Constitutions rather than our own, I must remind members of the Craft that any Freemason under this Grand Lodge who does in any way become associated with it, as with any other irregular self-styled Masonic body, must resign from the Craft or render himself liable to Masonic disciplinary proceedings.”

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