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.........

The government roadmap has now been adapted for freemasonry by the various masonic governing bodies and we can at last see a way out of the current restrictions – provided of course that we continue to be careful, and that the virus continues to retreat.  Chapters may therefore (if they wish) start planning for meetings of up to 30 people from 17th May provided, firstly, that Buckinghamshire is included in the areas permitted to adopt step 3 conditions from that date, secondly, that the chapter members are content to resume meeting and, thirdly, that the ritual amendments set down in the Supreme Council letter distributed to all in December 2020 are carefully followed.  It is of course essential that the chapter’s meeting place has been assessed as suitable for re-opening with appropriate measures to reduce the Covid risk.  Some of the ‘Covid rules’ for the use of meeting places may well be unusual (one-way systems, proximity limits and so on) but we must follow such restrictions both for our own benefit and for the benefit of other building users.  It is also important for all officers in chapters to be aware of the ritual amendments and I suggest that DCs take extra careful note so that members may (quietly) be reminded or corrected before transgressions occur.  The concluding part of our ceremonies is still suspended awaiting further SC guidance.


Some of our more vulnerable members may choose not to attend meetings until later in the year but I would encourage everyone to remember the fellowship within and to re-kindle our enthusiasm for our wonderful Rite, especially as we approach this weekend’s most important Christian festival.


Here are my answers to week 53’s questions:

  1. John Napier discovered (tripped over!) the exponential function ‘e’ when he calculated his natural logarithms in 1614-1618.  Joost Burgi and the Bernoulli family expanded on the concept later and Leonhard Euler named it formally in about 1727.

  2. Anita Brookner won the Booker prize in 1984.

  3. Georgia Ann Thompson/Jacobs/Broadwick/Olsen/Brown, known as Tiny, jumped from a Glenn Martin aircraft in 1914.  Her static line had fouled the tailplane on a previous sortie so she cut it off and jumped without a static line, activating the parachute herself with a ‘ripcord’.

  4. There are 4 fixed date federal holidays in the USA, New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Veterans Day and Christmas Day. Six federal holidays float to Mondays or (Thanksgiving) a  Thursday.

  5. A micromort is a measure of one’s chances of being killed by any particular activity.  One micromort is a one-in-a-million chance of death (though it is not a measure of cumulative risk).

  6. African elephants are said to have the best sense of smell of all animals.

  7. The Lone Ranger theme is the final part of Rossini’s William Tell overture and is in E Major.

  8. The lettering on the arch in Hogarth’s 1751 engraving “Gin Lane” was ‘Drunk for a Penny, Dead Drunk for Two Pence, Clean Straw for nothing’.  It was part of Henry Fielding’s campaign to reduce poverty and distress arising from the widespread consumption of gin amongst the poor.

  9. A rookery (or waddle) is a collection of penguins on land and a raft is when they’re afloat at sea.

  10. A holdfast is the means by which many varieties of  “sessile” marine life keep themselves “rooted” to one spot under water.  A holdfast only keeps the plant or animal in place – it does not nurture or draw sustenance like a root.


The usual high scorers Nick Wilson and Stephen Knight did well though I managed to bamboozle everyone with Brookner winning the Booker and Tiny Thompson being the first parachute jump from an aircraft with self-initiated canopy deployment.  An Easter theme for this week’s posers but I have resisted the temptation to use today’s date as an excuse for any more bamboozling:

  1. What is the derivation of the word Easter?

  2. In the western Christian tradition, what is the earliest date that Easter can be celebrated?

  3. What is the derivation of the French word Pâques, their name for Easter?

  4. Who started the ‘tradition’ of chocolate easter eggs?

  5. Where was Jesus when the cock crowed?

  6. When, and what, is Laetare Sunday?

  7. What are the main ingredients of a Simnel cake?

  8. Where is Easter Island and who owns it?

  9. Which animals should avoid Easter lilies and why?

  10. Why do some plants have an ‘x’ or a ‘+’ in their Latin names?


Happy Researching.

Maintain the mantra for now - Hands, Face, Space, Stay Cheerful and Pray the Plan Works.  

Peter Harborne 33°


Inspector General


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