Founder & Director, MASONIC FORUM Magazine
Scotland has always fascinated me. My first masonic visit to Edinburgh was in 2006, just a few months after being initiated in Mannheim, Germany, to the rank of Knight Templar. I wanted to see Rosslyn Chapel with the eyes of a newly initiated Knight Templar. It was fascinating. I’ve been to Rosslyn Chapel at least five times until now. Each time I discover something new. It’s the same feeling like when you look at a painting by Salvador Dalí or an engraving by Marcel Chirnoagă – each time you see elements that have eluded you on previous occasions.
A memory that is dear to my heart is the first edition of the International Conference on History of Freemasonry, organized in 2007 at the headquarters of the Grand Lodge of Scotland by the Grand Lodges of England, Scotland and Ireland.
Nota bene: at that time, the National Grand Lodge of Romania wasn’t recognized by any of the three aforementioned authorities. I took part in all the following editions of the Conference, in Edinburgh and Washington DC.
Since then, I’ve gone back to Scotland almost every year, either on holiday or Masonic duties.
I am the very first Romanian Freemason who took part in the Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, in June 2010.
In April 2022 I took the oath as Freemason, member of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. I am honoured to have become part of the Hope of Kurrachee Research Lodge No. 337. I consider this a major personal achievement, which also marks the 25th anniversary of my initiation in Freemasonry.
My first contact with this exceptional lodge, preoccupied with the true values of the Craft, took place right at the beginning of the pandemic, when the Lodge Hope of Kurrachee began organizing weekly Zoom meetings, with very interesting papers.
Because I have learned a lot in the two years of Zoom meetings and because I became a member of the Lodge I see it as a matter of honour to from now on publish articles of my Scottish brethren in the Masonic Forum. As such, I have asked RW Bro. Gordon Michie to write a paper on the history of the Lodge Hope of Kurrachee. It is the article that comes right after my Argument.
You will fully appreciate the special atmosphere of Scotland in this issue of the Masonic Forum. Take my piece on the Dunfermline Abbey, a fantastic place of worship dating back to 1072, containing the tombs of, among others, Robert the Bruce and William Schaw. Of course, we could not fail to present you the story of William Schaw (Master of Works during the reign of King James VI of Scotland) for the construction of castles and palaces. He was also General Warden of the operative masters, drafting a Status in 1598 that represents a code of laws governing the activities of operative masons in Scotland; one year later he wrote a second Status in which he took on the matter of the local organization of the Lodges.
Alongside several brethren and friends I visited Blair Castle, which was the residence of the Dukes of Atholl, two of whom were Grand Masters in England and Scotland.
As always, we give you a global overview of Freemasonry by publishing very interesting interviews with Michael Kraus and Aras Kazaz, two exceptional personalities that have marked the existence and evolution of the Craft in their countries: Austria and Azerbaijan respectively.
We end this issue with an essay by Thomas Jackson on the relevance of Freemasonry in today’s world.