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.........

A week rather overshadowed by the funeral of Prince Philip on Saturday 17th and the magnificent ceremonial which was watched by many millions around the world.  The political wranglings, medical statistics and other affairs of the world became much less prominent for a few hours that day.  It was remarkable that Dr David Staples, our Grand Secretary and Chief Executive, managed to give a very good interview to a television journalist which gained much positive PR for the Craft.  I thought his words about masonic meetings being a relaxation with friends away from the cares of a busy world were spot on and a pleasant change from the usual emphasis on charity fund-raising activity.  I know we do donate money, but I view our contributions to the welfare of less-advantaged communities and the personal development of our newer members as a far more important aspect of membership.

 

The weather has been excellent for golf and other outdoor activities and I hope all have been able to enjoy the week.  Preparations are gradually accelerating towards rule-of-6 outings from 17th May although I suspect dining in our centres will have to wait until 21st June – let us continue to pray the recovery from lockdown proceeds according to plan.  I do have in the back of my mind a slight worry  that not all areas of the country will be released at the same time – should that situation arise it may be wise not to rush out too quickly and some outline plans may yet have to be deferred (yet again).

 

Thank you to all who attempt the quiz questions; Stephen Knight and Nick Wilson are still the ones to beat!

 

Here are my answers to week 56’s questions:

  1. He was asked to examine the possibility of developing a “death ray” to be used against aircraft.

  2. The River Spey is the fastest river in Scotland and drains into the Moray Firth.

  3. There were 12,403 Gold DofE awards in 2019/20.

  4. The Airbus A350XWB (with 2 engines), Boeing 747-8 and Airbus A340 and A380 (each with 4 engines) are all allowed to operate up to 370 minutes from a suitable diversion airfield.

  5. Gillette sponsored the London Marathon from 1981 to 1983.  Flora sponsored it for the longest period from 1996-2009 and will take over again in 2023.

  6. Auchentoshan is a distillery in Scotland which triple-distils its products.  Some of its casks were used by Fullers brewery in Chiswick to produce their Brewer’s Reserve No.3, a 9% strong beer.

  7. The film “It’s a Wonderful Life” was directed by Frank Capra.  The phrase Greatest Of All Time is commonly abbreviated to GOAT and despite the film only being number 27 on the list of best films of all time, Capra is the scientific genus of the common goat.

  8. It is impossible to get 19 points in cribbage but “nineteen” is often called out instead of “zero.”

  9. Xerxes was Darius’s son, so my answer is that Xerxes was both 2nd cousin once removed to Cyrus through Darius’ father Hystaspes and grandson through his own mother Atossa (one of Cyrus the Great’s daughters).  However, genealogical “records” of the era are not necessarily easy to follow because of multiple marriages, sometimes within families, and duplicated names.

  10. The character name Widow Twanky in modern Aladdin pantomimes was invented in 1861 by dramatist Henry James Byron.  He was a second cousin of poet Lord Byron who swam across the Hellespont to prove the tale of Leander swimming across to see his love Hero was achievable.

 

Week 57 but I have avoided Heinz or food references. Here are this week’s questions for your research:

  1. Whose headstone reads ”Dúirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite” and why is it in Gaelic?

  2. Why did Morris produce some pink cars in 1960?

  3. Why are some graveyard occupants buried with feet to the west?

  4. Which English association football player was a national team member for the longest time?

  5. How many nautical miles are there in a myriametre?

  6. How many tentacles does an octopus have?

  7. What similarity is there between bison, chinchillas, gorillas and lynxes?

  8. Why are the two sides of a sheet of aluminium foil different, one shiny and one matt?

  9. Which stage illusion was first demonstrated in 1862 and is still in use today?

  10. Who were responsible for founding the best-selling copyrighted book of all time?

 

Maintain the mantra - Hands, Face, Space, and keep your fingers crossed.

Peter Harborne 33°

 

Inspector General

Buckinghamshire