AN INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY FOR ALL WHO

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Welcome

Welcome to the website of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Ayrshire.

 

Ayrshire is an old and historical county and has traditionally comprised of three areas, Carrick to the South, Kyle in the centre and Cunningham to the North. The Coats of Arms of these ancient provinces are incorporated in the seal of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Ayrshire.

 

There are 44 Daughter Lodges in the Province situated from Girvan in the South to Skelmorlie in the North, from Ayr in the West to Muirkirk in the East, each Lodge being unique and distinct from the others. 

Since its formation in 1739, the Provincial Grand Lodge of Ayrshire has been active in the promotion of the ideal that “Freemasonry makes a good man a better man”. 

I am confident that our commitment to serving our Communities will not waver in the years that lie ahead. 

After two wonderful years as Provincial Grand Master the world was struck by the Covid 19 virus. Little did we know when the government shut the whole country down for three weeks that it would go on for two year`s. The response of the Lodges in Scotland was great, none more so than here in Ayrshire. The elderly and the vulnerable were under instructions to stay at home and only to go out as a last resort. The rest of us were only to go out for essentials and no more than a few miles from home. We were allowed to take one hour of exercise per day, but not to travel for it, and not to mix with anyone outside your own home. This resulted in families not meeting, and older parents being looked after by a team of willing volunteers leaving food on their doorstep.

It was very heartening for me as Provincial Grand Master to hear of some wonderful projects from all over the Province that were setup provide food; transport and general assistance to ensure no one in their community went hungry.

Meetings and gathering were all cancelled. Many of the Lodges turned to Zoom and social media to keep in contact. Our own team of commissioned office bearers were in regular contact to ensure we kept the business of the Province going. We setup Provincial Committee meetings and meeting with all the Lodges in the Province. It was great to hear of all the good things that were going on despite our difficult times.

It was always clear that there would be some problems when we finally emerge from this terrible virus, and we were allowed to have meetings. Some went back as though they were never away, and other took a bit longer. The general feeling seems to be that we are stronger than we were before the virus.

We deeply regret the loss of the brethren and their loved ones during the last two years. Each one mourned, but because of the funeral restrictions their life was not truly celebrated. I recalled one gentleman who mourned his beloved wife, she had been in a care home and he took two buses every day to see her, but couldn`t get into the care home and only saw her through the window. If it was raining he just took an umbrella.

As I enter the last months as PGM, I will reflect with fondness my first two years, they were what I would have wanted. The next two; well I didn`t get to meetings other than Zoom. I will remember them with pride when I reflect on all the good things that we as Freemasons did during a time of adversity. The Lodges in the Province stepped up and did our bit for our communities when we were needed most. Our Provincial helped by putting up the funds to help keep the projects going. 

At the end of my term I will look back on the darkest days our world has seen since the Second World War and think of all the good that was done. I missed a few meetings; others have lost loved ones and they will never be replaced. Together we should raise a glass to the future and celebrate with love those we lost.

As we approach the end of my term and welcome a new team to lead us into the next Masonic commissions it is good that we do so with the start of this new website. It has been a few years in the planning and my thanks are extended to all those involved in making it happen; more so Bro's S. Kettlewell and C. McCormick. Their knowledge and skills have been invaluable.

William C Steel, Provincial Grand Master

July 2022