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......... 

 

Twelve weeks in then and still with a likely few more before we can meet properly. Everyone except those shielding can now decide to form a “bubble” with another residence and even stay overnight if desired. I don’t think Sally or I will form a bubble but will just continue social distancing with any of our friends with whom it seems convenient. It sounds a bit more encouraging that retail shops can open next Monday and it seems parts of the leisure industry (like golf club bars?) may soon follow.

A recurring phrase in some press articles is “the new normal”. There will undoubtedly be some detail changes in the way we conduct our future meetings in all the Orders of which we are proud members but the central theme, of being with like-minded friends in a comfortable environment, will be the same. So too should be our attitude to contributing to society and offering suport to those, both in and out of freemasonry, who need it. Those of us with masonic time under our belts will still need to help our newer members enjoy their membership; watching them meeting the challenge of learning ritual, gaining confidence in delivering it and then, in their turn, supporting those coming after them will always be rewarding. Continuing to contribute in our own lodges and chapters is a vital part of providing the environment in which all the members can build their talents usefully while we are all enjoying the camaraderie.

Here are the answers to last week’s quiz (a bit of a history lesson I’m afraid):

  1. The first concentration camps were set up in Cuba in about 1873 by the Spanish Government’s Voluntary Corps though they were referred to as refugee camps.  This Corps interned captured Cuban insurgents and their families and corralled them to stop them participating further in the Ten Years war of 1868-78. The camps were in evidence again during the Cuban War of Independence in 1895-98. Erected by General “Butcher” Weyland, these camps were called “concentration” camps as part of his “Reconcentración” strategy of forcibly moving rural families to the cities to keep them under control. Mass starvation and disease killed many hundreds of Cubans.  The British set up concentration camps during the Boer War of 1899-1902 for the same purpose and many Boer families died of disease and starvation in those camps.

  2. The Hundred Years War lasted from 1337 to 1453 so the answer is 116 years. It was caused by the Normans who invaded and took over England in the 11th century still holding properties in France.  These assets were gradually being appropriated by mainland France because the (now) English Kings were fighting against the Scots, allies of the French. When the French King Charles IV died in 1328 without a male successor in France, Edward III, nephew of Charles, tried to become King of France as well as England and the French rejected his claim. Some time later the man who had eventually succeeded as King of France confiscated Edward III’s French property and the war started as Edward invaded to recover ‘his’ property. He lost (or rather his great-great-grandson did).

  3. The Holy Roman Empire had always regarded itself as in charge of retaining the “Roman-ness” of Western Europe and claimed the power to appoint the Pope. After lots of argument Emperor Frederick 1st ceded control of part of his Empire in the Peace of Venice in 1177 and acceded to the power of the Pope in Rome.

  4. Frederick the Great died in 1786 but was not buried in his pre-prepared plot in Sanssouci until 1991. In the intervening 205 years his remains had been moved four times.

  5. The last “classic” race of the year is at Doncaster (the St Leger).

  6. The second largest tourist attraction in Arizona is London Bridge, built over the Thames in 1831 and moved, brick by brick, to Arizona in 1967.

  7. “The Peptones” and  “Tom & Jerry” became Simon & Garfunkel in 1963.

  8. James Dean was the “Rebel Without a Cause”.

  9. Cleopatra’s needles are in London and Paris.

 

Here are this week’s questions:

  1. Between which two towns was Jacob travelling when he dreamed of the ladder?

  2. Why was he travelling at all?

  3. How many candles and roses are there on a Rose Croix Altar?

  4. Which Oxford college has a the statute of Cecil Rhodes on its frontal?

  5. Where did the stone for Nelson’s statue in Trafalgar Square come from?

  6. Whose Lions are said to protect Nelson’s column?

  7. What is the nearest whole number to “the area of Bucks in Square Miles” divided by “the number of Bucks Rose Croix Chapters”?

  8. What is the common factor between the names Ashford, Milton and Somerford?

  9. Where are the islets of Langerhans?

  10. Where would you find a reticulum and what does it do?

 

I haven’t seen any recent progress reports on the 2021 Festival for the MCF but Covid-19 will certainly not be helping. Perhaps those of us who find the absence of masonic meetings leaves us with a little more disposable income than expected could consider pushing part of that towards the Festival. There will certainly be those whose priorities have shifted away from charitable giving because of the current crisis so any extra capacity which those of us who are slightly better off can spare may help to compensate. The phrase I used when fund-raising during the 1999, 2010 and 2014 festivals was “ if you can afford to give, then you should but if you can’t, then you mustn’t.”

 

God Bless, Stay Safe and keep phoning around.

Peter Harborne 33°

Inspector General

Buckinghamshire

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