Contributed by Charles Lewis
Let me begin by setting the scene. Helga and I were in Cardiff for the Fall term at the University of Wales Institute Cardiff. I had in charge a delegation of American students from my University in North Carolina and we were living in the former Principal's Cottage on campus. From this base we had an extraordinary number of Masonic visitations and experiences.
To wit, on Thursday, September 30th Helga and I made our way to London and stayed overnight at the Baden Powell House-Queen's Gate. During the day we hit the book stores in the Charing Cross area looking to extend my Baden Powell Collection.
On Friday, October 1st we took the train from Paddington to Edinburgh and made our way to the Royal Swallow Hotel where we made the rendezvous with brethren and their ladies and true , to his word, John Belton hosted drinks. What a wonderful beginning for the weekend.
On Saturday, October 2nd we joined a small group in a van and made our way through the Trussocks and to Loch Lomond. Taking lunch with Mary and Tony Porter, we began a friendship that has continued to grow and mature. We so much look forward to sharing Internet Lodge outings and gatherings with these two dear friends. Our lunch was taken in the Jasmine Restaurant and I managed to find long sought after Dunhill Scotch in a spirits shop in Loch Lomond. I have subsequently arranged replacements direct from the Scotch Whisky Board in Aberdeen!
On Sunday we had a guided tour by a Mason of Rosslyn Chapel. Very informative and inspiring. I purchased several books and a set of slides and have given several educational talks since 1999 on Rosslyn, the St. Clair/Sinclairs. We enjoyed hot soup in a small pub across from the Chapel in the village. It was on this day that Naunton and Bron Liles extended their courtesy to us and invited us to drive back to Cardiff with them. I will never forget Bron's comment in the wee dark hours-"no one seems to be going to South Wales tonight"! Naunton took advantage of the slight traffic en route!! Throughout the term we enjoyed Naunton's Masonic mentoring and his arranging Masonic visits in South Wales.
From those contacts I met Mike Herman in a Chapter meeting in London and he became the secretary of Internet Lodge that facilitated the paper work for my joining the Lodge.
On the following Tuesday I met W.Bro. Fred Fox who hosted me at Rotary in Llandaff and yet a further Masonic friendship was established. The meaning of the Rosslyn visit rings clearer each time I reflect upon it. The gift of the Internet Lodge is the special fellowship that these and others, namely John Dutchman-Smith and his Joyce, Bruce Morton, David Stower, Alex and Jan Viner, Larry and Jacqui Porter, and many of our brethren have given and which has enabled Helga and me to enjoy special relationships. Rosslyn is Holy Ground and it created for us Holy Relationships.
Contributed by John Belton
As I sped up the M6 on Friday afternoon it was pouring with rain and I wondered just what the morrow would bring! However from 730pm members gathered in the bar of the Royal Scot Hotel - and in an hour totalled 18. Plans were laid for the next days activities and those who had not eaten adjourned to the carvery.
Saturday dawned with a blue sky (even if the breeze was a bit chilly) and we went about our tourist type activities - some for a tour to Loch Lomond and Stirling Castle and most staying in Edinburgh. I met Alan Tibbetts and Jerry Ossachuk while walking down the Royal Mile towards Holyrood Palace and we joined forces. The evening saw 15 at the Jasmine Restaurant for a superb chinese meal (booked at 1130 the previous night!)
Sunday (in spite of the weather forecast) was again bright and sunny and the mass exodus to Rosslin took place. The early arrivals took the track down to the Castle (home of the StClairs - hereditary Grand Masters of Masons) - then to local hostelry for soup and to Rosslyn Chapel. I know there were 28 present for we each saved 50p because I collected the money outside and made a block payment for entrance.
Jim Munro was in great form and kept us regaled with history and stories for 2 hours about one of the truly amazing places in Scotland. Even better Bro Naunton had the priviledge of playing the chapel organ - and very fine it was (both the organ and his playing of it). Parties had travelled that day to join us from Glasgow and Manchester and we had two friends of Marty Smiths from Illinois as well.
To the best of my knowledge we all had a great time (even if not quite what was originally planned) and some had tickets for the (rugby) match at Murrayfield on the Sunday to watch Scotland versus South Africa just to round off the weekend!