MASONIC FORUM Magazine is pleased to announce that RW Bro. Gordon Michie is the new member of the Honorary Board of Directors. He has tremendous energy and dedication to the Craft. During the pandemic, Gordon (at that time he was WM of Hope of ­Kurrachee Research Lodge No. 337, Grand Lodge of Scotland) held weekly online meetings, where various Mason scholars from around the Globe delivered papers. Fantastic! I confess that I was looking forward to the next Tuesday, as there was to be another zoom meeting organised by Gordon on behalf of and for his lodge! There were over 100 meetings organised by him. After the world got back to normal, we were able to travel again. Obviously, the first thing I did was to request my joining the Hope of Kurrachee lodge. It was the gift I gave myself on my 25th anniversary of being initiated into the Craft: in 2022 I took the oath as member of the Scottish Freemasonry. I have met some special people in this lodge, dedicated Masons, real scholars but absolutely normal and without emphasis.

I believe that Freemasonry has value in itself and can have a real social impact, first and foremost through the brethren who are leaders in their fields. The great violinist and Brother Gabriel Croitoru granted me an exceptional interview, which you can see on our YouTube channel and read in the pages of this issue of the magazine. I have not met many public personalities in Romania who do not hide their membership in Freemasonry. Thank you, Gabi, once again!

Because of the loss of landmarks by the younger generation and the downward slope on which ­humanity is going (not to be understood only mankind), we have reproduced in this issue an exceptional text by one of our Honorary Directors, MW Gustavo Raffi, PGM of the Grande Oriente d’Italia – Ethics of Freedom, Ethics of Responsibility. Gustavo’s text was originally published in 2010.

Pablo Lázaro, Grand Master of Argentina, took a public stand and involved his Grand Lodge in social dialogue, declaring 2024 as the Year of Dialogue as a guarantee of peace. Our Editor-in-Chief conducted a very interesting interview with Pablo. It is known that one of the peculiarities of Freemasonry in South America is its involvement in the life of the city.

Having the Romanian copyright for Thomas ­Jackson’s second book, we have published an extract in the magazine on Masonry and Religion. Tom’s very lucid opinion is a real iron hand in a velvet glove. I too am of the opinion that things need to be said loud and clear, without cowardice, if we are to put anything right. Otherwise, we are party to the loss of free-manhood, in the semantics of those who actually know what Freemasonry is globally.

It is my Dutch Lodge’s turn, Concord No. 134, to open the Masonic year 2024-2025 for Lodges in the Rotterdam region; the celebration will take place in the Arminius Church on September 7, 2024. “After the Second World War, the Lodges of Rotterdam were convinced that only by working together could they contribute in a meaningful way to the life of our city, and to express this belief they decided to inaugurate each Masonic Year together, with each Lodge presiding over the ceremony in turn. Now, 75 years later, they are still doing so,” says Anne Brouwer, PM and WM of Honour of Concord Lodge, which is the oldest English-speaking lodge in the Netherlands, having been established in 1929. Our ritual is Emulation, pure English and is different from the Dutch ritual practiced by all the other lodges that will participate. It is a real challenge for all of us. I look forward to this special event.

In 2001 I published the first Romanian translation of the Dowland Manuscript – Legend of the Craft, a translation by Gabriel Giurgiu. Believing that the pioneering work of RW Bro. Gabriel Giurgiu should be known by all Romanian Brethren, we have republished this historical landmark of the Craft.

On a trip to London earlier this year, I visited ­Salisbury Cathedral, 80 miles away. Here is the best preserved copy of the Magna Charta (of the four that have survived 800 years of history). We are freemasons, so free builders. The cathedrals were built by the operative Masonic guilds, our fore­fathers. The four-page photomontage in the magazine is closely related to Freemasonry and the concept of freedom.