The Inspector General and the District Recorder send all the Princes and their families their sincere wishes for a safe time during these unprecedented and ever changing times......... 


2 Apr 20

Here we go then – Week 2 message to Buckinghamshire Chapters Rose Croix

I hope we are all surviving the lock-down and expecting a larger-than-normal phone bill for all the checking on fellow members. One thing I didn’t expect to do was to learn a lot about social media. I always referred rather disparagingly to SnipCock and Fishbox but perhaps WhatsApp and Facebook aren’t such a complete waste of time after all.  The video element of WhatsApp has been very useful for contacting friends and family and in participating in the games of Virtual Golf which we at Whiteleaf Golf Club have been playing (the rules of which are set out at the foot of this message). There are drawbacks to the over-use of social media of course – I am, so far at least, resisting the inclination to respond rudely to some of the more sophomoric emails, tweets and posts. They seem to arrive depressingly frequently, often with associated peeps, clicks, buzzes or tunes – I now know how to turn down my phone’s volume!  Do remember, if you are new to such communications, that if you don’t know who something is from then it is either advertising or phishing and both should be ignored.


Just in case Recorders and Treasurers need something extra to think about I offer the following suggestions: 

  • Recorders – Perhaps you could generate a virtual summons for any meeting you have to cancel in the period before we can get back together again. You will then have a “formal” piece of paper to print and enter in the minute book together with “..meeting cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak”. It might also be an idea to keep some form of diary so that your own experiences of this situation are recorded for future generations of your Chapter. Your thoughts could be of interest in the future and would then be available to be read out at some convenient anniversary of the Chapter or of this world-changing event.  Several of my units have been holding “virtual” committee meetings by email to discuss matters of import and this may be continued after the virus has receded – this mechanism would save travel and time. 

  • Treasurers – If you’ve no more meetings before the official chapter financial year-end, you could start preparing the accounts for the future attention of the auditors/account examiners. Don’t forget also that the Centres will still need their annual subscriptions and that some Centre caterers may need support to make sure they are still there for when we resume.


Answers to last week’s quiz: 

  1. HRH the Duke of Sussex

  2. Nothing. He regarded the patent as unwelcome because to avoid discord between the recently united factions in Grand Lodge he was suppressing/discouraging all degrees other than Craft and Royal Arch.

  3. The Supreme Council of the Northern Masonic District and Jurisdiction of the United States (now known as Supreme Council 33° N.M.J.

  4. Dr Robert Thomas Crucefix MD

  5. Surgeon

  6. Duke of Sussex (disagreeing with the Grand Master was not generally a good career move!)

  7. Asylum for Worthy Aged and Decayed Freemasons. The Duke had his own scheme of annuities to promote, founded in 1842, and didn’t want another scheme with a building which would require funds for maintenance. He also disliked Crucefix’s penchant for supporting the Christian degrees (which the Duke was trying to turn “universal”) and Crucefix’s editorship of the Freemason’s Quarterly magazine.

  8. The Royal Masonic Benevolent Annuity Fund scheme was set up in 1842, the first “Asylum” was opened in Croydon in 1850  (after several years of fund-raising) at which point the 2 schemes were amalgamated as the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution.

  9. RMBI (now part of the Masonic Charitable Foundation)

  10. Rev George Oliver DD.  Schoolmaster, cleric, writer, lecturer and (sometimes inaccurate) historian.


Week 2 Quiz

  1. Of which Rose Croix District was Buckinghamshire a part until 1936?

  2. In our English ritual, what was the name of the 14th Degree until ~ 1983?

  3. Why are the words “wounded”, “cut” and “divide” useful and who for?

  4. Roughly, in what century was the book of Isaiah written?

  5. And in what language?

  6. Who said “I will go with thee and I know the way well”?

  7. To whom was he speaking?

  8. What was Solomon’s father’s main claim to fame before he later became King?

  9. Who was the first King of Israel?

  10. Which Rose Croix District in England and Wales has the most Chapters?

Answers if you wish to: . As usual, no prizes just the satisfaction of knowing stuff.


Rules of Virtual Golf - Finally, a game to while away an otherwise idle afternoon, especially for we frustrated golfers:

The basic rules are you use a single die to throw numbers. On a par 3 you have to throw a 3, on a par 4 a 4 and a par 5 a 5. You can choose any course once you have a course score card (for any course anywhere) or notes to use. You keep count of your throws until you get the correct number for that hole and the number of throws it has taken is the score for the hole. It is great fun to throw the correct number first time = hole-in-one. Conversely, it can be annoying to be into the 20s before the correct number comes up. I have only played a few times now and already seen 3 scores over 30, embarrassing on a par 3!! 

There are some extra wrinkles:

If your first throw at any hole is a 1 it is out of bounds and you are now three off the tee for the next throw. If the next is also a 1 you are 5 off the tee, a third 1 is now 7 off the tee et cetera. 


You can choose a hole for a nearest the pin:

If you roll a 6 with your regular tee shot on this hole, then you can enter the nearest the pin comp, your 2nd roll (shot) will also denote the distance your tee shot was from the pin (unless of course you have designated the 6th hole as the NP hole - that would be a hole-in-one and spoil the NP concept so it is best to choose a hole above 6 so as not to have this problem). If the first throw isn't a 6 you have missed the green and are not part of the NP process. 

Longest drive :-

Before you play this hole roll the dice three times, this will give you your drive distance. i.e. if you throw 3 then 1 then a 4 you have had a 314 yard drive. Any drives over the actual length of the hole should not count because one would be out of the back of the green and so not on the fairway and not eligible to enter. Once you have thrown 3 times for your drive length you then start proper play on the hole.


It takes a while to set up for a group being involved. Any draw for teams or tee order is made by the player setting up the game and announced in a WhatsApp group with all players in the big group.  Ideally each 4-ball then sets up a private WhatsApp group (with video) or a Skype group at an appropriate "tee time" so that all can chat/banter and see each other’s throws during the "game" (checking the first throw isn't a 1, counting the throws and seeing the correct number at the end - the banter is often the best bit). Games can be played as matches or as a singles stroke-play competition – either version is great fun. Mixed groups are not a problem because there are no handicaps, all play off the whites or yellows or whichever tee and stroke indices of holes and any extra ladies’ shots are disregarded.  Non-playing spouses can also be included if desired - most people have the skill to throw a die!!


So far your V⸫Ill⸫ I.G. has avoided becoming “very ill” and fingers crossed we all remain that way.


Stay Safe.

Peter Harborne 33°

Inspector General


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