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.........

Another encouraging week with well over half of the UK population now having received their first dose of one of the three currently approved vaccines and nearly a quarter having had both.  The 12th of April relaxation doesn’t seem to be causing a renewed infection rate, so Step 3 looks likely to arrive as planned on 17th May.  Although some seem to think up to 30 can meet together in our centres, most of us are sticking with rule-of-six for the time being.  It will be interesting to see if today’s elections will dominate the news over the next couple of weeks.  If a near-normal cloud of disinterestedness in politics follows then perhaps Step 4 on 21st June really will happen.

 

My second jab was as well-organised as the first (even if I did have to phone to remind my surgery!) and I again had no ill effects.  Discussion at the golf club couldn’t decide whether a non-reaction to the vaccine meant one was already immune or meant the vaccination hadn’t taken.  Many of us are looking forward to getting out and about masonically and we will of course carefully follow each centre’s rules and instructions on how to conduct ourselves and our ceremonies.  Three weeks to go until I install a Craft successor but a bit longer for the other chairs I am still sitting in.  Plenty of time for book revision – I hope.

 

I plan to stop bothering you with my missives after Ascension Day next week because the following Monday will be Step 3 leading to a very welcome increase in social interaction and the resumption of a busier programme.

 

Here are my answers to week 58’s questions:

  1. Heirs apparent are first in order of succession and cannot be displaced from inheriting by the birth of another person whilst an heir presumptive is first in line to inherit but could be displaced in the succession by the birth of a more eligible heir.

  2. The largest ever catered meal in Europe was held for 7,250 freemasons on 8th August 1925 at  Olympia to raise money for the Masonic Million Peace Memorial.  The Appeal had raised £825,000 at that stage.

  3. An ‘Oxford comma’ is a comma placed before the “and” at the end of a list of items.  It is also known as a Harvard comma, both names derived from the University Press style guides which recommend its use.

  4. An Ig Nobel prize is one of a satirical list of awards made each year to celebrate amusing, unnecessary, and usually pointless discoveries, theories, or acts.

  5. The Darwin awards celebrate individuals who remove themselves from the gene pool, usually through extreme stupidity.  They originated in 1985 at the headquarters of the Usenet newspaper group.

  6. The “pink” moon isn’t actually pink but is so-called because the April Full Moon roughly coincides with the flowering of the pink-petalled Phlox plant in the United States.

  7. Though the concept was written off in the second millennium BC, the Spanish Empire was first said to be that “on which the sun never sets” in the 16th century which was the first translation which used the words “sun never set”.  However, after a few wars the phrase became true only of the British Empire.  It is still true today because there is no part of the day without at least one British dependent territory being under the sun.

  8. The Chinese year of the Horse is year 7 of the Horoscope sequence of 12 and the Tiger is year 3 so from the Horse to the next Tiger is 8 years.  This year is the year of the Ox (or Buffalo).

  9. The longest ever US Open championship was in 1931.  Billy Burke beat George van Elm after they tied at 72 holes, then remained tied after the first play-off 36 and eventually won 589 to 590 after 144 holes.

  10. Coachman John Appleby was the first to make a manned heavier-than-air flight in Sir George Cayley’s “Governable Parachute” glider in 1853.  He had sent a boy off a hill in 1849 in a “Boy Carrier” but that was an uncontrolled glide – the glider used in 1853 had controls to vary attitude and direction.

 

Here are this week’s questions for your research (which may be the last chance you get to beat Stephen Knight or Nick Wilson with better answers than they regularly submit):

  1. Which company makes “Swiss Army Knives” and when was it founded?

  2. Which is the deepest canal lock in the UK and where is it?

  3. How many pieces are there in a Mah Jong set?

  4. What was the face value of the highest denomination banknote ever issued and where was it printed?

  5. How many countries have produced bank notes with our Queen’s portrait on and when was the first?

  6. Over which dynasty did the only Chinese Empress preside?

  7. In technical mathematical terms, what result is given by ‘twice the number of colours in the rainbow’ plus ‘the atomic number of oxygen’ times “a dozen” minus “ounces in a pound” divided by “a pair” to the power of “the number of wheels on a tricycle”?

  8. How did Mary Mallon die?

  9. Who has been the most senior military officer in the USA since 1976?

  10. When, under existing legislation, is the next UK General Election?

 

Maintain the mantra - Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air – and prepare to be called to rehearsals or CofI..

 

Best Wishes to all of you and your families.

Peter Harborne 33°

 

Inspector General

Buckinghamshire