Flowers Saturday (Lazarus’ Saturday)
Lazarus, the character whose name was given to this day can have various meanings. He is thought to be either the brother of Martha and Mary, who was resurrected by Jesus, prior to His entrance in Jerusalem, either Lazarus the poor, either „Lazarica” (a Romanian diminutive of Lazarus), who died craving for pies.
According to a legend originating in Bucovina, once upon a time there were two brothers, one possessing great wealth, while the other, named Lazarus, could barely make enough money for living. The latter, in spite of his financial misery, had also contacted a strange disease, consisting of odious blisters that covered his entire body. The other people began to avoid him; even his wife left him.
Meanwhile, the rich brother was thriving and he decided to marry, throwing a lavish party. Lazarus, however, was not invited. Desperate and starved, poor Lazarus went to his brother’s gate, imploring him for a place at his table. The rich man called him a beggar, denying the family relationship. Upon hearing this dreadful thing, Lazarus sat down and burst into tears. At this time the dogs noticed his misery and started to bring him food remains, fallen under the tables from the wedding party. The brother didn’t allow this to continue, commanding the servants to tie down the dogs.
After the party had ended, when the guests were leaving, the fiddlers noticed Lazarus and, despite they knew he couldn’t reward their effort, started singing, reminding him of the times when he had a better financial status. Hearing the songs, the rich man went outside and began making fun of the fiddlers, telling them that all they would receive will be, at best, some blisters. When the fiddlers finished singing, Lazarus indeed rewarded them this way, saying that this was the only thing in his possession. Embarrassed, the singers accepted his gift. On their way, they noticed the blisters had transformed into golden coins. Cheerful, the fiddlers mentioned to Lazarus’ wife about what had happened. Angry, she went to her former husband, criticizing him and announcing her wedding to another man. Hearing all these things, Lazarus advised her to pray before she would leave her house, facing the four directions, each one at a time.
However, in her wedding day, the woman forgot about the advice and left with her new husband, in his carriage pulled by six horses. But she reminded somewhere along the road and started to pray. While she was praying, she saw the horse and the carriage disappearing and noticed that she had arrived in strange lands. She realized then that her new husband was the Devil. Even if she had only traveled for some minutes, she needed three years for returning to her village.
Meanwhile, Lazarus was dying. He asked his rich brother to help him, but this replied that he had no fear of death or God. Thus Lazarus died and the angels took him to heaven.
When the rich man had to die, the devils burnt all his fortune, impaled him with a fork and threw him into the bottoms of the hell so hard that he bounced back, thus getting a glimpse of what was happening in heaven. There was Lazarus, enjoying the ultimate peace. The bad man begged him to ask God for his forgiveness, but Lazarus remembered all the evil deeds he had been subjected to on earth and refused even to throw some water on his brother, letting him burn in hell. The moral is obvious…
Another symbol of this Saturday is Lazarica. In Walachia there is a custom called “Lazarel” or “Lazarica”. In the morning of this day, several 6 to 12 years old girls gather and choose the youngest of them. The chosen one will wear white bride clothes and will decorate her hair with jasmine flowers. The girls go to the houses of the village and they form a circle in the front of one of the windows. The so-called bride, also named “Lazarita”, sits in the center of the circle and makes a few steps back and forward. Meanwhile, the other girls are singing about Lazarus. The legend goes that he was a young man who had asked his mother to bake him bread. As she refused, Lazarus left for the forest with his flock. He climbed a tree in order to shake its leaves down for the sheep, but the branch he was sitting on broke and he fell to his death. His three sisters, seeing that he doesn’t come home, went searching for him. Finding him dead, they mourn him, bathed him in milk and buried him. Other version of the legend tells that Lazarus himself made the branch break. The girls who execute the ritual of “Lazarita”, also known as “bride”, are given eggs or money by the ones to whom they sang.
According to another story, Lazarus was a little boy who was craving for pies. As his mother did not have enough time for baking him pies, the boy died, on a Saturday. His mother mourned him and asked God not to forgive the women who don’t bake pie in Lazarus’ Saturday.
That is the reason for which the women bake pies on this day, doling them to the poor ones, especially to the families with little children. The pies are also baked in the memory of Lazarus the poor, who prays to God for the forgiveness of the human sins.
In Maramures region a small wheat bread is baked. Also called “grain flower”, it is divided between the family members, as it is believed that the ones who taste it will meet again on the other realm.
In Transylvania and Banat, in the evening of this day, girls place a mirror and the shirt they will wear the next day under a pear tree, so that the sun will rise above them. These objects are then used for love and health spells.
This is also the time when the girls plant flowers, thinking they will grow quickly. For the same reason, in some regions fruit trees are not planted, as it is believed they will only make flowers, not fruits.
It is also said that on this day the dead are awaiting at the heaven gates.
Palm Day (Flowers Day)
A week before the Easter, the Flowers Day (Romanian: “Florii”) is celebrated. This was initially dedicated to the Roman goddess Flora, but then it was celebrated in the memory of the Jesus’ entrance to Jerusalem.
This day is the celebration of the nature revival, when the willows, the fruit trees and the flowers bloom. The willow plays a very important role in the rituals.
The legend goes that, while Jesus was crucified, His mother left, crying, in the search of her son, wearing iron boots and a steel rod. On her journey she arrived at a river and asked a willow to help her cross it. As the willow made a bridge for her, Mary put a blessing on it, stating that its wood could not be transformed into coal and that its branches would be taken to church every year.
That is why, on this day people bring flowers and willow branches to the church, for being sanctified by the priest. With the willow branches, symbol of spring and fertility, cows and little children are touched, in order to grow and bloom as the willow. The holy branches are then placed near the icons or above the door and are used throughout the year as a medicine or for protection against the natural disasters.
It is also believed that the people who wear the willow branches as a belt will not suffer of loin aches; who eats three catkins will not suffer of throat aches.
The willow is also used in commercial purposes – before taking the animals to the market for selling, they must be touched with the willow branches, to please the buyers.
Another use of the catkins is for protection against the storms and hail. In the summer, when the weather is bad, catkins are placed on the fire, so that the resulting smoke would drive away lightning and thunders.
Anybody who swallows a sanctified catkin will be healthy and light as the willow flowers.
People must not work on this day and the table must remain laid all the time. Even it is fast, fish may be eaten.
It is also a day for commemorating the dead, when the burial places are cleaned and willow branches are put above.
As it is believed the nettles begin to bloom, they aren’t used as food anymore, this being called the “nettle’s wedding”. The nettles, eaten especially during the fast, are considered a very healthy food. In some regions, “nettle’s wedding” is on Annunciation day or on the Thursday before the Easter.
It is said that if the frogs can be heard until this day, the next summer will be beautiful. The weather on the Easter will be similar to the one from this day.
The Thursday before the Easter is called “the Great Thursday”, “the Thursday of sufferings” or “the black Thursday”. Girls and women must finish sewing the new blouses for the Easter until this day. Otherwise they will be punished by Joimarita, a mythical woman who beats or burns them. She is believed to take the laziest girls at her home and eat them. Another (not so cruel) version goes that Joimarita spells those girls, so that they wouldn’t be able to work all the year. According to the Romanian tradition, skies, graves, doors of heaven and hell open this day. The dead return to pass the Easter near the loved ones. They will remain at their old houses until the Saturday before the Rusalii, when pies and bowls are doled for their souls. It is believed that the spirits sit on the roofs or in the yards. As it is still quite cold, fires must be lighted in the morning and in the evening, so that the dead could have light and heat. The fires are lighted for every soul or it is only lighten a fire for all the dead souls. The brushwood can only be gathered by children, pure girls and old women, a day before and only by hand (they must not be cut). On the way home they must not be let down and will be placed on a fence or on another object until morning, when the fire will be lighted. Chairs with blankets are also put near the fire, as it is believed that some souls will sit on chairs and other will sit on the ground. Girls and women carry water buckets to the graves or to the fire, for the dead that will sit there. Most of the women paint the eggs on the Great Thursday. In Walachia the eggs are painted on Wednesday and taken to the church on Thursday. They are let there until the Easter, as it is believed that they won’t alter. In other regions, twelve red painted eggs are taken to the church until the Easter and they are buried then at the village boundaries, so that the hail wouldn’t come upon it. Laundry can not be done this day, so that the dead won’t receive the dirty water, but the things that had been doled in their memory.
The Friday before the Easter is called the Great Friday. Also named “the Friday of sufferings”, it is the day when Jesus was crucified. People don’t eat on this day, as it is believed that doing that they will be healthy and they will know they’ll dye three days before. The tradition recommends that you step on a piece of iron when you wake up, in order to be protected from bruises. If you bathe in the river before the sun rises, you won’t suffer from bone illness. In Bucovina it is said that who bathes three times in a cold river will be healthy all year long. People go to church to confess. Bread may not be baked, the earth may not be ploughed and trees may not be planted, as they won’t fruit. Easter The Easter is the most important celebration of the Romanian people and it is preceded by numerous preparations and rituals. It’s a must for the people to have a clean house and have all the ritual foods ready. This is why the cleaning starts on Great Thursday. Men, who are usually working in the field or at the forest, will remain home starting with this day and will take out the thrash, fix the fence, cut wood, bring water, butcher the lambs. Women are the ones that paint and decorate the eggs, do the laundry and generally clean the house. Because it’s a good thing to have a new piece of clothing on the Easter, girls and young wives start to sew shirts for them and also for their parents, brothers, husbands or children, with about two weeks in advance. Traditional Easter food The eggs are painted starting with Thursday. Initially the only accepted color was red, but in time other colors were also applied – yellow, green, blue and even black. In the villages the paint is still obtained from plants. The eggs are usually first painted yellow, because the other colors will look better when applied over it. Blue painted eggs are an exception. In Banat, the first painted egg is called a „try”. In the Easter morning it’s shared between the children residing in that house. The yellow eggs, also called „galbineala”, „galbinare”, „galbinete” sau „galbinele” (in Romanian “galben” means “yellow”) are painted with an extract of wild apple tree bark and leaves, different kinds of willow or onion leaves. Red eggs, also called “rosele”, “rusele” or “rosetele” (in Romanian “rosu” means “red”) are colored with a paint obtained from red alder tree bark, cinnamon, oregano or amber. The paint for the green eggs, also called “verdete” (in Romanian “verde” means “green”) is obtained from pasque flower, sunflower seeds or nettles. The blue eggs, also called “albastrele” (in Romanian “albastru” means “blue”) are painted with an extract of sunflower, pasque flower and woods. These are boiled in borsch, in which bluestone had been put. These eggs are not first painted yellow, like the others, being directly obtained from white, unpainted eggs. The black eggs are also called “negrele” or “negrete” (in Romanian “negru” means “black”) and remind of the Jesus’ sufferings on the cross. The paint is obtained from woods, black alder and nut tree bark. These eggs are obtained from eggs first painted yellow and then red. The most interesting traditional eggs are the decorated eggs (in Romanian they are called “oua incondeiate”, “oua impiestrite”, “oua inchiestrite”). Special instruments are used for decorating them. These take the form of very thin and round sticks and are called “chisita (bijara)”, “matuf (motoc)” or “festeleu”. The “festeleu” is a sharp stick made of beech wood. At one end it has linen or cotton little pieces. The “festeleu” is soaked in melted wax. In contact with the surface of the egg, little dots will appear. The most used decorative motifs for these eggs are: the lost path (on which the souls of the dead walk toward the judgment), the cross, the fir or oak leaf. In Walachia the saw and the plough are also drawn and in Moldavia the lightning and the fork. Various plants, animals and kinds of crosses are also drawn. According to the Romanian tradition, if on Saturday before the Easter you place an egg (on which you have drawn something every day, beginning with the middle of the Fast) on a garbage dump, you’ll see an animal (usually a dog) trying to take that egg. You shouldn’t let it take it, as it will return for it and grant you any wish you have. ”Pasca”, a special Easter cake, is baked on Great Thursday, but especially on Saturday, so it wouldn’t alter until Easter. It has a round shape (reminding little Jesus’ diapers) or a rectangular one (the shape of His grave). In some regions “pasca” is also baked on St. George Day. A legend from Bucovina goes that the “pasca” has been done from the times when Jesus was traveling to the world together with his apostles. They remained a night at a peasant house and when they left, he put food in their bags. The apostles asked Jesus when the Easter is and He replied that the Easter would be when they would find corn bread in their bags. Looking in the bags, they noticed the peasant had given them exactly corn bread, so that they knew it was Easter time. The “pasca” can be simple, with jagged margins, or it can have dough braids. The middle braid is cross-shaped, reminding of Jesus’ crucifixion. This is called a “cross pasca”. The simple “pasca” is for the family, while the “cross pasca” is taken to the church, in order to be sanctified. Small “pasca” (“pascute”) are baked for the little children. Among the ingredients are pot cheese, egg yolk, raisins and sometimes sugar and cinnamon. The shells of the eggs used for the “pasca” are thrown in a river. This action has two explanations. It is believed that the hens are protected this way of the hawks. The major explanation is, however, the ancient belief that the shells are taken by the river to the country of the Good People, announcing them the Easter has came. The cakes (called “cozonaci”) have a round or rectangular long shape, symbolizing Jesus’ grave. The traditional Easter lamb also symbolizes Jesus. In Banat region, the remains of the sacrificed lamb are buried under an apple or a pear tree, in order that the family should be healthy. Saturday night, when all the cleaning and preparations in the house are done, the steak, the pies and the cakes are put on the table, in the “clean room”. Before going to the church, people wash themselves in a bowl with water, where red painted eggs and silver and golden coins were also put. They believe that this way they will be as glowing and healthy as the eggs and they will be clean and will have more money, due to the silver and golden coins. After they clean and dress the new clothes, the people take a bowl with “pasca”, eggs and steak and go to the church, where the aliments will be sanctified. Only the ill old men and little children remain at home, as it is said that who can go to the church on Easter night, but he doesn’t do it, will get ill. A fire is lighted near the church and it will be kept for all the three Easter days. In some regions, when the roosters announce the midnight, the man who watches the fire shuts with his rifle, calling the people to the church. The bells are also ringed at midnight. People hold lighted candles during the religious mass and only put them out when they return home, after they enter the house and make crosses. These Easter candles are kept for the times of danger, when they will have a protective function. At home, people first taste the anaphora and then sit to the table. They first eat some of the sanctified aliments and only then the rest. In some regions, rabbit or fish meat is first eaten, believing that these animals will confer to the people some of their agility. The shepherds and the other persons who are away from home on Easter day eat willow or apple tree buds instead of anaphora. There’s the custom of knocking the eggs. It is believed that those who knock their eggs will see each other on the other world, after death. In the first day of Easter, eggs are only knocked with the top. On Monday they can be knocked top to the bottom and on the next days they can be knocked any way. The first ones to knock their eggs are the parents, one to the other, then the children to the parents and then the other relatives and friends. According to the tradition, the one whose egg cracks first is weaker and he will die quicker. He must give his egg to the winner; otherwise he will eat its egg rotten on the other world. Eggs are knocked until the third Easter day, until the “Ispas” or until the “Great Sunday”. The most beautiful painted eggs are emptied of their content and used as decorations, being put on a rope and then hanged near the icons or in other places. It is supposed that a child born on Easter, at the time when bells ring, will be lucky all his life. The man that dies on the Easter day or in the next week is blessed, his soul heading straight to heaven, as the skies are believed to be opened at this time. On the Easter day one must not sleep, because it is said that he will be sleepy all year long. Also touching salt directly is not recommended, a belief stating that the hands of the one who does it will transpire during the summer. It is said that three candles burn in the sky during the three days of the Easter. In some regions (Bucovina, Transylvania), there is a tradition called “the wetting”. On Monday morning, the boys take a bucket of water and go to the houses of the unmarried girls. If they found them sleeping, the boys throw water on them. As it is believed that those girls will marry soon, they reward the boys who had wetted them by giving them the most beautiful decorated eggs and “pasca” or cake. In some places, the boys catch the girls when they go out from the house and take them to the fountain or to the river, where they wet them, even throwing them in the water. According to one of the legends, once upon a time a Christian girl was heading toward the market, carrying a basket of eggs, in order to sell them. On her way she met a pagan girl who wanted to buy her eggs, but lacked the appropriate money. The girl asked her to accompany her home, thus being able to pay. On their way the Christian girl tried to convert the pagan to her religion, but she resisted. “I will believe in Christ only if these eggs here will turn red.” To their amazement, that very thing happened and the girls fainted in fear. Some nearby boys noticed them and tried to revive them, splashing the girls with water. Upon their awakening, the girls offered the red eggs to the boys, as a thank you gift. On Monday and Tuesday the married couple go to their relatives, bringing them “pasca”, announcing them Christ’s revival. Usually, the younger people go to the older ones.
The Small Fountain
In some regions, on the Friday before the Easter week, water springs are searched for, wells are built and cleaned. All these are done as it is believed that those springs and fountain will have plenty of water and won’t dry.
The Good People’s Easter (Dead People’s Monday)
The Good People’s Easter is celebrated a week after the Easter, on Monday, right after Thomas’ Sunday. In the Romanian tradition, the Good People are the ancient’s spirits, which live between the two worlds, where Saturday’s water spills into the Earth. The Good People are religious people and fast each time they should, according to the traditions. However they are not aware of the day when Easter is celebrated until they see remains of the painted eggs on the water, about eight days later.
According to the legend, the Good People have a small stature, do not wear any kind of clothes and are covered by hair. The boys are taken care of by the mothers until they are able to live by themselves. After that, they live in isolation, fasting and praying along the other men. They meet with the women only one time each year, on Good People’s Easter.
In gratitude for the dead, packages containing red painted eggs and pies are placed on the graves and candles are lighted.
The Installation of R W Bro Jim Hogg Master Elect will take place at 12:00 Noon on Saturday 16th March 2013 at Freemason's Hall , Bridge Street, Manchester.
We shall be based as usual at the Campanile Hotel.
A single occupancy room will cost GBP65.00 per night including breakfast and a double occupancy will be GBP70.00 per night including breakfast.
The three course buffet meal on the Friday night will cost at GBP11.50p
Please make your booking direct with the hotel and quote “Internet Lodge” .
The Manager, Craig Hodgkinson, has agreed to hold up to 40 rooms for Internet Lodge until 15th February.
If you require a room for more than the two nights, you should negotiate the ratewith the hotel. You will be well advised to book as soon as possible, as availability cannot be guaranteed beyond 15th February.
You may book by email manager.manchester@campanile.
The postal address is 55 Ordsall Lane, Regent Road, Salford, Manchester, M5 4RS.
On Saturday evening at 8:00pm thers is a visit to the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, where we shall see
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD a universal tale of prejudice, deep inequalities and humanity.
Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is one of the most enduring and best-loved stories of our time. Written as an urgent plea for tolerance and compassion at the height of the Civil Rights movement, it tells the story of Scout Finch as she grows up during the 1930s depression in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama. Her childhood innocence is shattered when her father, Atticus Finch, defends a young black man accused of rape.
For more information go to www.royalexchange.org.uk
The Installation of the Master Elect will take place at 12:00 Noon on Saturday 21st March 2015 at Freemason's Hall , Bridge Street, Manchester.
The meeting will be followed by a traditional Festive Board at a cost of £20.50p. The festive Board will finish at around 5:30 p.m.
We shall again be staying at the Holiday Inn Manchester West Liverpool Street Manchester M5 4LT. This is very conveniently situated for the Masonic hall and the City centre.
There will be a get togther buffet on the Friday evening and a theatre outing on the Saturday evening to see Anna Karenina at the Royal Exchange Theatre.
Room rates are as follows:
Friday 20th March: Standard room: £50:00 (single occupancy) £55:00 (Double occupancy)
Saturday 21st March Standard room: £90:00 (single occupancy) £95:00 (Double occupancy)
Breakfast is included in all rates
Executive rooms are available at a £20:00 supplement on all above rates
Please note that 40 rooms will be available until February 20th, so please book early.
The hotel has agreed to waive their normal payment-with-booking for discounted rates, but rooms will be charged in full after the cut-off date of February 20th.
Please book as follows
1. Visit: http://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/gb/en/manchester/mchsa/hoteldetail
2. Insert exact stay dates: 20.03.2015 and/or 21.03.2015
3. On lower left side of the screen click on: “Have a group code?”
4. Enter unique code: INT
5. Proceed by clicking on “Check Availability”
6. Select the number and type of bedrooms required and enter your details (name, telephone number,email address, card details).
7. You should receive an confirmation letter on the email address provided upon clicking on “Confirm Reservation”
1) Confirming that you are booked in at the hotel - this is so I can cross-check our list with the one held by the IHG booking system - after the difficulties getting them to sort their system out, I don't intend to fully trust it!
2) Booking for the Friday evening buffet
3) Booking for the Royal Exchange Theatre's production of Anna Karenina on Saturday Evening (Bookings close on 21st February)
On Saturday Evening we will be visiting the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester to see a production of "Orlando", from the novel by Virginia Woolf, adaptation by Sarah Ruhl.
A time-travelling, gender-swapping story, starring Suranne Jones “Orlando is one of the strangest and most beautiful books ever written, and in this skilful and funny adaptation Virginia Wolf’s extraordinary story is brought to vibrant new life.” Max Webster, Director
Orlando is a young nobleman who woos and wins the hearts of women grand and fallen: among his conquests are Russian royalty, Queen Elizabeth I and a Spanish dancer. Yet the gloomy Orlando remains dissatisfied. Betrayed by his one true love and hounded out of England, he falls asleep for seven days, wakes up as a woman and has to find her way back home in a journey that takes almost four hundred years.
This is a time-travelling, gender-swapping story that romps across continents and centuries. The cast, which includes acclaimed TV and stage actress, Suranne Jones bringing the wildly elaborate novel to crackling life.
The Installation of the Master Elect will take place at 12:00 Noon on Saturday 19th March 2016 at Freemason's Hall , Bridge Street, Manchester.
The meeting will be followed by a traditional Festive Board. The festive Board will finish at around 5:30 p.m.
Alan Turton, our Senior Warden and WM elect provided some technical details:
I am pleased and relieved to announce we have an hotel booked for our Manchester installation meeting.
We will be having our Friday night gathering with buffet and staying at IBIS Central Manchester on Portland St. 12 minutes walk from the Masonic Hall and 11 mins from the railway station.
IBIS at Portland St. are holding 40 rooms for 2 night bookings and you must book and pay 30 days in advance.
Please remember to book the hotel and it MUST be booked before the 13th of February !
Note: Payment for this informal 2 course Buffet dinner will be direct to the Hotel on the Bill for those staying there or by cash on the evening. Buffet to be booked on IL website !
IBIS hotel Booking form and Contract was sent by email to all of us.
Lastly for those travelling by car there is a Q car park on St. James Street at the back of the hotel. Parking is £22 / 24 hours just park and take the ticket. Ibis will then issue a discount card which gives their customers a 30% discount.
For prices/room, terms and conditions, click here
The hotel booking form is here
Alan Turton, our Senior Warden and WM elect writes:
Brethren, "Happy will We Meet !"
Dear Brethren and Partners,
Sue and I look forward to a wonderful gathering and meeting for our Internet Lodge 9659 Installation weekend and do hope that as many as possible will be able to share in our festivities and our Meeting. I look forward with great anticipation to being Installed into the Chair of our great Lodge and have high hopes for a wonderful year. The subject of my address to the meeting will be “Our Fututure”, that of Internet Lodge and in my year the future of Freemasonry. We are sure this will be yet another great IL weekend further cementing our Lodge and “Our Social Gatherings”, shared with our partners.
Due to truly being spread over the "Four Quarters of our Globe" and the nature of our Lodge my thoughts also go out to our Brethren who on this occasion, due to distance and maybe circumstances cannot be with us. I hope you may all in a meaningful way be able to share with us in what we are about to celebrate and the Fraternal Love and Hope that will be generated. Absent Brethren you will be in our hearts and minds and I do hope our Web Pages with pre views, recording of events and postings will keep you feeling wrapped in our fraternal warmth.
With much Fraternal love.
Alan & Sue
For our Ladies and Partners
Sue would like to take you all to the University Museum while we do the Lodge bit:
Dear All, I think we are near the Trafford Centre so some may like to go shopping.
I would like to offer an alernative. The museum on Oxford Road looks very interesting. Entry to the museum is free but most museums charge an entrance fee to any special exibitions on display. From the map it looks like the museum is within walking distance of the hotel. We may need to grab a taxi or 2 as my map reading is not advanced enough to lead anyone (we may never find Oxford Road) You could learn how to cast a spell on your partners.
Here is the web site so you can have a look..
We're the Museum on Oxford Road with the dinosaurs, mummies and live animals. We also have loads of other great stuff from the natural world and different cultures. These include fossils, rocks and minerals, stuffed animals, birds and insects, money, archery, lots of things made or used by people from different cultures and archaeological finds (including ancient Egyptian, Roman and Greek).’
Ghosts, witches, sorcerers and demons: our fascination with the supernatural stretches back centuries. Experience how supernatural forces shaped the lives of everyone from kings and queens to clergymen and maidservants.
Magic, Witches and Devils in the Early Modern World reveals how magic, diabolical witchcraft, and ghostly encounters inspired fear and curiosity on an unprecedented scale between the 15th and 18th centuries. The exhibition illuminates the roots of our obsession with supernatural power and explores a world where the Devil was understood as a real and present danger in daily life.
This is one of the exibitions that might catch your imagination and its free.
Have a look, they have a special exibition on till May, Here is the web site so you can see.
Satturday Evening - We will gather in the IBIS Bar to enjoy each others company, socialise and relax. bar food is available and for any who wish to go out and dine we are in the middle of China Town.
Our warmest regards to all.
Alan & Sue
Contributed by Naunton Liles
were swept along on a wave of euphoria as we landed in Lisbon and were transferred out of town to a hotel that was grand and had stunning views of the coast line (and railway line) but needed some TLC to restore its former glory.
Several outings were organised by Mike Herman who enlisted the assistance of a professor from the university who knew more than Mike. The highlight of the holiday was an evening in a Trattoria or whatever the Portuguese call a high calorie low cost restaurant. Everyone was packed in tightly and secured to the wall behind a long table when the guitarist and singer began a fado, which is a form of music characterised by mournful tunes and infused with a characteristic sentiment of resignation. The chatter accelerated as the wine flowed and it was not long before we'd drunk more that we should.
Then the food started arriving and we enjoyed the most flavoursome delicacies as we imbibed more and more of the local rosé. By this time a few more had joined us and we were even more than cosy, with little chance of escape. Alex Viner felt he should stand and we thought he was going to sing, but actually he was going to the loo - except that with 11 people to his left and 12 to his right it seem unfriendly and unnecessary to push behind everyone to reach the door. Instead he very quietly opened the window behind, stood on his chair and stepped outside the quick way. That was the last we saw of him - the main course and desert were both very good. Sometime later Alex arrived through the restaurant entrance and was called upon to explain his absence. It seemed he'd stepped out into a void between the restaurant and the neighbouring premises and found himself in a narrow locked courtyard. Being unable to scale the wall and reach the window again, he had to raise the neighbours who were less than amused to find a fine English gentleman gripping the bars of their locked gate. After a hopeless conversation in a foreign tongue they relented and released our worthy brother, who returned to explain his long absence.
At the end of the holiday we planned to return to the airport by local bus which went straight to the airport for peanuts. It did involve a short walk from the hotel to the bus stop, and it was raining rather heavily. We stood at the bus-stop for ages but were comforted to see the bus go past on the opposite side on its way to the terminus; we knew it would come back soon. When it didn't, and still didn't fifteen minutes later we realised we'd have to get a taxi. Returning to the hotel we were told all taxis were snarled up in the traffic jams caused by excessive rain. Eventually one came and we reached the airport at just about take-off time, instead of an hour before. We hurried to the desk where very helpful staff rushed us to the door of the aeroplane and we were seated in the nick time. This potential catastrophe was more stressful for the US members who had to catch a connection in London, but happily we all returned on time. Another roaring success for Internet Lodge No:9659 and for W. Bro. Mike Herman in particular.
This page has details of the suggested accommodation and of other events surrounding our lodge meetings. It also has detals of other events organised for members of the lodge.
Click on the individual menu items to find out more:
- Manchester March 2022
- Coventry August 2022
- Bristol 2022
- Manchester 2023
- Westhoughton 2023
- October 2023
- Manchester March 2024
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!
Contributed by Alan Wyer
Pat and I flew to Melbourne, Florida full of misgivings following the 9/11 tragedy. Particularly as the last time we flew was when Yugoslavia was still one country.
Even before the fellowship of American Masons the friendliness was most evident. From the perfect stranger who, having taught me how to handle a left-hand drive car on the wrong side of the road at night, willingly piloted us to the hotel, driving off with a cheery "have a good stay."
The very accommodating staff were impressive throughout the stay. Our 8th floor mini apartment overlooked the Atlantic Ocean with Cape Kennedy in the misty distance. (The view still forms the "wallpaper" on my PC) The roaring surf on one side contrasted with the peaceful lagoon, inhabited by porpoise and pelican, that bordered Peter Lanes' property. Now that was a barbecue and threequarters. I have never tasted such succulent offerings. The company was pretty good too!
Masonically, it was a pleasant culture shock - a double initiation (one being a Lewis) immaculately conducted around the Temple by a totally blind Deacon. Why did we bother with black jackets and striped pants?? We were joined informally by the Ladies afterwards. A second masonic treat was the highly demonstrative Raising Ceremony followed by a pay-as-you-go meal halfway through the ceremony.
Other highlights were the organised trips to seafood restaurants. Boy ! can they dish up some super food. The laid-back approach of the owners to the air-boats on the everglades led to some determined words from Peter. No-one told me how noisy they were. They were a stark contrast to the peace and tranquility of the conducted tour of the local nature reserve. Handling snakes and scaly creatures was an unreal experience.
As unseasoned travellers, Pat and I were overwhelmed by the contrasts in every aspect of daily life. Getting lost in a shopping mall, alfresco dining, the absence of traffic islands, the flat landscape, the straight roads, the friendliest of people.
Contributed by Mark Griffin
Alice and Peter Lanes’ home
I arrived late, when the welcome party was already in full swing. It was difficult to adjust to at first, the heat this late in the evening, the springy wire-like grass (the lawn kind, not the kind you smoke), familiar f aces in outrageous Hawaiian-style shirts, the magnificent view over the lagoon with a splendid sunset in progress.
This was already unlike any other Ladies Festival Weekend. And then the ribald songs started. Even if I could remember the words, I certainly wouldn’t be allowed to publish them here! It was a very pleasant evening, great fun talking to friends in an “out of context” setting, friends you normally only ever talk to when you’re wearing regalia or in some plastic replica hotel ballroom, the sort that could be anywhere and nowhere really. This was the real thing, a sub-tropical paradise.
The hotel was perfectly acceptable, Peter had negotiated a good rate for us. Like most along this strip it was a large motel-style building, with suites complete with a mini kitchen. It was on the beach, and waking up to the rush of the waves was very relaxing. It is so nice to breakfast and lunch with a large group of friends, the whole atmosphere was one of complete relaxation.
Gary Dryfoos and the chair patrol The beach was fun, spoiled only by a ruthless and humourless patrol from the hotel that for whatever reason did not want guests taking hotel chairs onto the beach. They were a real nuisance but they bit off more than they could chew when they pushed Gary Dryfoos over the edge and he gave them an education in hotel/guest relations, at no charge.
The Lodge meeting and the festive board
Just to comment here that an American lodge meeting is an experience in itself, and Peter had arranged visits to two Lodges for us, meeting just a few days apart. As we had been told beforehand, the brethren came in all forms of attire, mostly shorts and entirely casual. We were dressed in f ull fig – they were putting on a show for us, so why shouldn’t we for them? The festive board was very different too, it had been prepared by volunteer brethren and their wives, very homely and very different to the catered festive boards we are used to in England.
The wildlife centre
One of the trips organized for us was an hour or so skimming over the everglades on one of those flat-hulled air-propeller-driven boats. It seems maintenance standards are a lot different to what we are used to back home, so hanging on for grim death as we scooted about wasn’t as reassuring as it might have been because you feared that whatever you were hanging on to was about to come away anyway. I think we all survived. Part two was a visit to a wildlife reserve where we got to walk round a boardwalk and get a close-up view of a swampland forest. This was very well laid out, with different species of tree and shrub clearly marked. Back in the centre we had the opportunity to handle some of the local critters, such as snakes, while being given a very informative talk.
One of the day trips was to the Space Centre, a huge, sprawling complex that takes a day to see everything and is very inspiring. There is “hardware” from all stages of the space programme up to and including a full-size replica shuttle, which, to be honest, was a big let-down. It was quite crudely made when you got close-up, and wasn’t full of instrumentation and equipment that would give you a sense of the real thing. Very poorly done. There was an I-Max cinema, but with the briefness of our visit there, it was a big chunk of time to commit. The gift shop is the best I’ve seen anywhere, a chance to spend astronomic sums of money if you got carried away – I didn’t.
The Red Lobster
The afternoon at the Red Lobster will never be forgotten. Except I can’t remember what afternoon it was, or even whether it was an afternoon, it’s a bit of a haze. I don’t think anybody actually got drunk, but there was such an atmosphere of camaraderie and good will that it was as if we all were. There was much laughter and even the waitresses joined in the fun we were having. When we left, they told us we were the most enjoyable group they’d ever had there. We even got around to creating an entirely new Order, complete with ranks, signs and words. It still meets sporadically whenever the nobles of the order bump into each other (we only have nobles in our order, straight in at the top, no messing about).
The posh restaurant and not-so-posh restaurant
Two other meals stand out. For one we went to a down-market family buffet restaurant. It was not a McDonald’s or whatever, but a nicely presented diner, with heaps of good quality food at unbelievably cheap prices. The other was the poshest restaurant in town, in an old Victorian house. Consequently, we were split into separate tables spread around the ground floor of the house. The food and service was outstanding of course, and while a lot more expensive than the diner, still a lot cheaper than we would pay in England.
We didn't need to do Disney World, Alice and Peter created a Magic Kingdom for us right around their own home. A truly memorable Ladies Festival.
Addendum by Gary Dryfoos
A group of nomadic beach scoundrels wanted $15 or $20 per day for use of the chairs already down on the beach.
When I attempted to transport one of the hotel plastic pool chairs down to the beach, Hotel's Own chair patrol squadron tried to stop me. I suggested that, given the size of our group and what we were each paying them per day for rooms, they might wish to re-visit their Official Chair Policy.
The following day, I drove to a local discount variety store and purchased my *own* hotel-style plastic chair. As I proceeded beachward, with my own chair, a Regimental Sgt. Major from The Hotel's Own confronted me again with Their Policy. I in turn presented him with My Receipt For The Chair.
There was no more foolishness about hotel chairs henceforth.
The Original Website can be viewed here
Contributed by Alan Wyer
As an unseasoned travellers Pat and I found the 2002 Ladies' Festival Weekend at Leiden very much exciting and event-laden. (a pun IS intended)
Reversing all the points of the compass the scattered company first assembled on the Thursday for an informal lunch-time buffet at the Masonic Hall, Hull. The spread was an excellent indication of the time to come. The afternoon's Regular Meeting topic introduced us to the history of Dutch Freemasonry, the remainder of the time spent in a conducted tour of this historic & atmospheric hall.
The irregular convoy then made its way to the dock for the overnight trip on the most modern of P.& O. Ferries. The novelty of dining, being entertained, sleeping, breakfasting on board will long be remembered.
After landing in Rotterdam on FRiday morning we were whisked away to sample architectural culture of The Hague which included a visit to the H.Q. of the Grand East of the Netherlands. The afternoon found us sampling the sights of the unique Mesdag Panorama, a 360-degree painting of the village and its shoreline.
At long last they let us clean up, dine and sleep at our accommodation, The Golden Tulip, in the historical, university town of Leiden, a miniature but up-market version of Amsterdam, with its fine old buildings, extensive canal system and yes, at last, windmills.
Saturday morning and early afternoon saw the party split into two, Ladies to visit the Het Loo Palace whilst the Brethren made their way to the Masonic Hall at Arnhem to witness a Dutch Initiation Ceremony in English, to be followed by a traditional Dutch Festive Board. The interior of the Temple may be modern but I was blown away by the atmosphere created by the highly imaginative use of modern materials and lighting. Bro. Larry Porter, acting as Candidate will never forget this experience. The organised military "masonic fire" was an ideal companion to the traditional Dutch fare and hospitality.
The evenings' Formal Ladies' Evening was held in the foyer of Leiden Museum, in front of the rebuilt Egyptian Temple of Taffeh. The banquet was styled on a traditional Dutch Indonesian-style "Rice Table". To dine on a selection of spiced dishes whilst being serenaded by an Egyptian Priest singing the praises of the Aten, then distributing the Ladies' gifts was a memorable touch.
A busy and eventful day meant an early night and a sound sleep for Sunday would find us touring Amsterdam's harbour facilities which including the Maeslant Surge Barrier. As this was the last day of the Ladies' Festival, those returning home were brought their luggage with them. Initially we were directed to a rather sad-looking launch which seemed to be our days transport. Ah no - our W.M., Ab. Goedhals, having planned everything to the last detail, quietly directed us to board the "Vasgo da Gama", un up-market launch which would have accommodated twice our number. This was memorable day which included a superb cold buffet which appeared out of the floor of the lower saloon, an opportunity to fly our Lodge Banner from the masthead, and throughout the day a series of unforgettable sights as we leisurely made our way around the extensive waters of the harbour. To finish we tied up alongside the P.& O Ferry which would take those whose time had come to an end, back to the U.K.
The happy few, ourselves included, to continue a most memorable holiday boarded the coach to take us back to Leiden.
Much detail can be found in the WebPage which is still attached to the Lodge's history.
Contributed by Vic Dorman
Whilst the Ladies' Festival was held in Leiden, the meeting with Lodge L'Age D'Or 235 was held in the much bigger Lodge Room at Arnhem. I well remember the demonstration of a Dutch first degree ceremony translated and carried out by Ab Ghoedals.
Having given the appropriate password, we went into the Lodge room where the Lodge was opened. Gradually, as the opening progressed, the lighting became brighter. W. Bro. Larry Porter was "initiated" in a splendid ceremony in which most of those present took part. To mark the occasion, Bro. Larry was made an Honorary Member of Lodge L'Age D'Or - a fitting ending to an excellent meeting.
Contributed by Alan Tibbetts
About fifty Internet Lodge members, ladies and guests visited Atlanta Georgia in the USA, May 10-14 2007. It was a very intense couple of days, but everyone came away from it grateful for the efforts of our Worshipful Master, Charles Lewis and our resident member, David Herman and their wives Helga and Karen in organizing this wonderful social event.
By the Wednesday afternoon, most had gathered at the Holiday Inn convention center hotel in Decatur about 6 miles east of Atlanta city center. Members from the USA, Canada, England, Barbados and Jamaica were present at the orientation meeting where our IL golf shirts were passed out along with a bag of goodies including the famed Georgia peanuts. Decatur is an old town, from 1823, built in the classic southern style with the DeKalb County courthouse in the middle of town and the shopping area in the square around it. It still has the small-town feel although the five million residents of metro Atlanta have expanded far beyond Decatur in recent times.
We were treated to a tour of Pythagoras Lodge No. 41 just up the hill from the hotel and heard a couple of talks. The first was on the history of the lodge, by Bro. Albert Martin, Senior Warden, the second on the history of Freemasonry in Georgia by W.Bro. David Canady, a Past Master of the Georgia Lodge of Research. The beautiful lodge building, a three storey structure from the 1920's is being lovingly restored using the funds from the commercial tenants on the first two floors of the premises. Dinner was at a local restaurant called "Mick's", which gave everyone a chance to renew old friendships and make new ones.
Thursday was a tour day in our big bus driven by William, who was a talkative expert on Atlanta history and current events. The old Fox Theatre was a real treat. A square-block size Moorish castle of a building, it was built by the Shriners of Atlanta (a Masonic-related social and charitable organization) in 1929 for their own use, but being completed just as the Great Depression hit, it was unaffordable for them and was soon sold to the Fox Theatre chain, which took over the 4,700 seat theatre, leaving the Egyptian Ballroom and other eastern-themed rooms for the Shriners to lease. The building is now owned and managed as a charitable trust, and is well worth preserving. We were treated to a show by the organist in residence, a former Canadian who plays "Mighty Mo" the orchestral organ that rises out of the cellars of the theatre. It can play almost any sound in addition to the usual musical ones. The whole building is decorated in the most over-the-top style; it must be seen to be appreciated.
Our lunch was at an Atlanta institution, "The Varsity" a huge hamburger/hot dog joint in the middle of the city surrounded by acres of parking for the vast crowds that come for lunch. We had a group photo taken in our special hats that can be viewed in the photo gallery. After eating, we visited the Atlanta Botanical Garden and its special exhibit of beautiful orchids and a collection of "Big Bugs" made of wood by artist David Rogers, scattered about the grounds.
Our evening was spent at Dave Herman's Lodge, Chamblee-Sardis no. 444 in another Atlanta suburb. A new building in the form of a double cube, it was the scene of our introduction to Georgia barbeque, in the person of a well-cooked piglet laid out on the table, supplying us with our pulled pork for the main course. The Lodge ladies laid on a great spread for us. We also met the "Travelling Men", a Masonic biker group from Charles' Lodge in Eatonton who love to ride and raise funds for charity. We were told to come casual, but the sight of pony tails and shaved heads dressed in leathers was a first for many of us, let me tell you. Funny thing was, they were just regular Masons like us! Upstairs in Lodge, we were treated to a piece of ritual by a young DeMolay (Masonic youth group) man, a Grand Officer of his order in Georgia who gave the "Flower Talk" in tremendous form for us. A long piece, it deals with love for one's mother, which was very timely, it being Mother's Day weekend.
Friday was our bus tour day, which began at noon, so Jane and I took the MARTA (Atlanta's underground) to the city center where we toured Underground Atlanta, a shopping area at the former ground level, one storey down from the current city streets, which are actually viaducts. Stores and kiosks cover six square blocks. We also spent a pleasant lunch hour on a street closed off to traffic with a live band for entertainment and tables on the road served by the many restaurants along the two block area.
Our tour included a trip to the Cyclorama, a huge 100 year old painting in the round of the 1864 Atlanta Campaign in the American Civil War. This one was unique in that the seating rotated 360 degrees as the mural was explained by the narrator. That war was a constant theme of our time in Georgia, and the running joke was "Who Won?" on the bus. We also visited the Atlanta History Center which included the Swan House, a stately home on the grounds as well as materials from the life of Martin Luther King, Bobby Jones the golfer and a huge collection of Civil War materials. We toured the wealthy Buckhead area of the city, home to movie and music stars, premier athletes and just plain rich folks. Even the working class housing we saw in the city was very well kept; apparently the city offers subsidies and gives awards to restored houses of any class. Dinner was in the "Watershed" restaurant, a converted car repair shop within walking distance, down the street from the hotel.
Saturday's program was the culmination of our Georgia visit. We again had a coach for all of us and we only had a little trouble with directions, not a lot! First was a stop in Milledgeville (two hours east of Atlanta), the state capital from 1839-69 where we toured the Old Governor's Mansion, now owned by the Georgia College and State University, furnished in 1850 style. This building was your classic ante-bellum mansion. We also toured the Old State Capitol building, now part of the Georgia Military College, from the same time period. This building was in crenulated-castle style, a real shock to see in the deep south. After lunch at a college student hangout called "The Brick", we set off to Eatonton for the Uncle Remus museum, a group of former slave cabins containing an exhibit of the famous animal character children's' books of Joel Chandler Harris, a local boy. We then proceeded to Charles and Helga's lake side home for a barbeque, the final event of our trip. Lake Oconee, like most Georgia lakes, is formed by a big dam and the lake front real estate is premium land, and therefore lined with modern homes. Tents were set up for the event, and the warm air and scarcity of mosquitoes made for a very pleasant evening. The barbeque with all the trimmings were great, and we were treated to music from a live band, the Oconee River Boys playing typical Georgia country music on guitar, mandolin, fiddle and stand-up bass for us. Everybody had a huge smile fixed on their faces the whole time. The raffle was very successful, almost everyone won something, and we raised over $300 which was donated to Chamblee-Sardis Lodge to give to charity, in recognition of their wonderful hospitality to the visitors from Internet Lodge.
The coach trip home to the hotel saw a trans-Atlantic sing along featuring every kind of tune one can imagine from America and the UK in surprisingly good tune. It was a great ending to a wonderful visit.
By any measure, this social visit to Georgia was a smashing success and enough thanks cannot be adequately conveyed to the Lewises and the Hermans for their hard work and their splendid southern hospitality. It was another noteworthy event in the annals of Internet Lodge to be sure.
Contributed by John Dutchman-Smith
The Worshipful Master Bill Holden organised a visit to Slovenia to experience the country and its freemasonry in June 2009
Thursday 4th June 2009
The bulk of the party met at London Stansted airport for our flight to Ljubljana.
Those travelling together were
- Alan and Vicky Breward
- Barry and Ann Bryan
- Peter and Heather Clarke
- David and Janet Corduroy
- Brian and Anne Cozens
- Roy and Joan Hodgson
- Bill and Jean Holden
- Royston and Maria Morris
- Ken and Enid Morris (Guests)
- Larry and Jaqui Porter
- David Starbuck
- Ron Williams and Ann Downing
On arrival we met up with our guide Borut who is a member of Dialogus Lodge and who, together with his daughter, looked after us superbly for the whole week.
Waiting for us at the hotel were
- Satinder and Sheila Lal
- Gerrard and Mirjam Otten
- Chris and Ginny White
who had travelled by earlier flights.
During the weekend we also met up with other members and guests of the lodge.
- Ian and Geoffoline Charlton
- Petar Damnjanovic
- Tercelj Mladen
- Tony and Gill Lancashire (Guests)
- Derek Oliver
- Leo Lusicic
Having settled into the comfortable and spotless City Hotel a large party dined (and wined !) at the AS open air restaurant.
Friday 5th June 2009
The morning was showery but this did not prevent us from taking part in our walking guided tour of the wonderful city of Ljubljana. After Borut had shown us the principal sights during the morning we were all free to explore during the afternoon. Particularly intersting to us was the magnificent cathedral.
In the evening a Folkloric evening of food and entertainment was arranged which we enjoyed. Somehow during the hat swapping dance David Starbuck managed to wear four hats at once.
Saturday 6th June 2009
An early start for a visit to Postojna Caves. These caves created over millions of years, drop by drop, year after year extend for 20 km underground. Quite amazing. Afterwards we drove towards the intermittent Lake Cerknica which is one of the most unusual natural phenomena. This was where we first met up with our hosts from the lodges of Slovenia. We received a wonderful welcome and had a most marvellous time chatting, snacking and drinking before being served a superb lunch in the farmhouse where we met. After a lengthy lunch we climbed onto the horse drawn carts for our trip to the disappearing lake. The kindness of the hospitality we received was truly memorable.
Sunday 7th June 2009
Another early start to what turned out to be a long but magnificent day. We started by visiting the majestic alpine scenery of Triglav National Park by taking the winding alpine road across Vrsic Pass (5,252 ft) for stunning views of the Julian Alps and their valleys. At the pass we experienced a part of Slovenian way of life by stoping for a short walk and a cup of fruit tea and a bowl of traditional soup in a mountain hut. Afterwards we descended the pictureque Soca Valley named after its emerald coloured river. We passed the sites of great World War I battles where over one million soldiers perished. We stopped for a tour of the World War 1 museum. We then continued to Dobrovo where there was the annual cherry festival with a procession of floats and bands at 4.30 p.m. What a time we had feasting on the largest sausage sandwiches ever seen followed by handfuls of cherries being given out by each float and washed down with free cherry brandy which was also being liberally distributed. After much meriment we left for a short ride to our next stop - a wine tasting. Again good wine and fantastic nibbles. Eventually we had to leave to return to Ljubljana but the guide decided to try a "shortcut" via Italy. Unfortunately neither he nor the driver knew the way and we passed through several Italian villages more than once in the next hour. We got back to the hotel safe and sound at 9.45 p.m. A great day out but everyone ready for bed.
Monday 8th June 2009
Not quite so early we left the hotel at 9.00 a.m. to visit Lake Bled the no.1 tourist attraction in Slovenia. It is where natural beauties are integrated with cultural monuments. On arrival we were treated to famous Bled Cream cake, the main reason why Slovenians keep returning to this little paradise. We then spent the day in Bled, a most beautiful place. Some spent a leisurely time on a boat trip to the island and rang the wishing bell in the 18 century baroque church dedicated to the virgin Mary. Others energetically climbed the 350 metres to the 11th century castle that overlooks the lake from a cliff and then descended to almost the same spot and then did the 6km walk round the lake. Others did this by horse drawn cart. We returned to Ljubljana in the late afternoon to prepare for the evening's activities. In the evening all the ladies went out to dine whilst the men donned Masonic clothing and were taken to visit Dialogus Lodge. Here we witnessed a double first degree ceremony of two blood brothers. Quite different and all in a language that we didn't know. The main elements were recognizable though and the closing of the lodge had some interesting elements. As in Holland some years ago there was a musical director in charge of playing recorded music and operating a lighting system throughout. The festive board was home cooked fare and we provided our share of the entertainment.
Tuesday 9th June 2009
Today yet another 8.30 a.m. start and we set off to Ptuj in the eastern part of Slovenia. Our first stop was the pilgrimage Church of the Virgin Mary at Ptujska Gora, a pilgrimage shrine since the 15th century that is considered to be Slovenia's finest example of a three-nave late Gothic church. It contains 15th century carved-wooden sculpture of the Misericordia of the Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus sheltering both rich and poor under an enormous cloak held up by seven angels. Ptuj is considered to be the oldest town in Slovenia and it is a town that has a lot to show. Medieval architecture in the city, a 12th century castle with an outstanding museum and the countries oldest wine cellar with the archives that contain the most valuable treasures, among which the oldest wine in Slovenia. On the way back we visited one of the best preserved temples of Mitra from the era of the Roman Empire.
A memorable evening ensued when after dinner a number met up in the outside bar in the town square and danced on the pavement to a rock and roll duo.
Wednesday 10th June 2009
A free day when most spent the day walking in and around Ljubljana in small groups, meeting one another from time to time. An early dinner for most as we later retired to take over the "English Pub" to watch the English football team beat Andorra 6-0.
Thursday 11th June 2009
Our last day and a number spent the morning on an excursion to Sticna Monastery. This Cistercian monastery was built in the first half of the 12th century in a valley that has had a continuous settlement since pre-historic times. The monastery is one of Slovenia's most important historical monuments. It was built in 1136 by Peregrin I, the then patriarch of Aquilea. It soon became one of the major cultural and economic centres of the Slovenian inhabited areas of the time. Back to the city for lunch and then the 3.00 p.m. bus to the airport and home.
A wonderful trip enjoyed I'm sure by all. Thanks are due to our member M.W. Bro Tercelj Mladen for delegating the members of Dialogus Lodge to take care of us and to our own W.M. Bill Holden for his foresight in planning the trip and or his attention to us during it.
Contributed by Alan Tibbetts
Well, the first day of the Canada 2010 trip is complete, and everyone is still talking to each other. It has been a wonderful day for all of us. As I said in the first e-mail yesterday, about half the group arrived a day early; the other half were all settled in at the Holiday Inn by Wednesday night. While we were waiting for them, we discovered that the courtyard of the hotel, which is just outside the patio doors of our rooms, is a very good place to sit in the cool night air and have a drink and a chat.
Today's itinerary was a full one. We first visited the Stoney Creek Battlefield, where in 1813, the British army defeated the invading Americans, using a night attack, and saved Canada for the British Empire. The original farmhouse in the middle of the battlefield gave a good insight into life 200 years ago in the colony. Our guides were very tactful in not insulting our American brethren and wives, in best Canadian fashion.
Next stop was Dundurn Castle (actually a big house) from 1835 in Hamilton, which was the home of Sir Allan Napier Macnab, a Premier of this province and the last Provincial Grand Master of the UGLE in Canada, who was in place when the new Grand Lodge of Canada broke away from England and declared independence in 1855. To his credit, Macnab was able to effect reconciliation between UGLE and the breakaway lodges three years later, when all remaining English lodges joined the new group. The house is an immense Italianate building, the grandest in Upper Canada in its time, overlooking Lake Ontario, and served to bankrupt its owner by the time of his death. It was furnished in period style and costumed guides took us through it and explained all very well.
Lunch was a terrific buffet at the Scottish Rite building in downtown Hamilton. The one part of the building is a red sandstone mansion from the 1890's with an immense addition from 1923 to house the Scottish Rite ceremonies, with seating for several hundred, and 50 antique painted cloth backdrops for use in the degrees.
We then went on to Brantford and the Six Nations Indian Reserve, where a local native guide got on the coach to give us a running commentary of the history of her people. It was interesting to hear that in their culture, the women are the leaders, and still run the affairs of the community. We had an opportunity to stop at a local craft shop to pick up some locally made items, and at their tourist centre to see some displays of historical life of the Indian people.
On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at a lovely beach restaurant for our evening meal. We are all very tired, but looking forward to tomorrow's program, which I shall report on next time.
Friday, May 28. Today was an opportunity for our guests to be immersed in Canadian culture. After a ninety minute coach drive north, we arrived in St. Jacobs, the heart of the Old Order Mennonite community in rural Ontario. These people are of German extraction, and came to this country in the 20th century to escape persecution for their religion and way of life in Europe. Mennonites are a branch of Christians who practice adult baptism, and a very austere pacifist personal life.
Our guide, Del from the information centre, rode with us through the rolling, fertile countryside, giving us a running commentary of what we were seeing. Many of these prosperous farms of 100 acre average size do not use electricity at all and do not use modern machinery. The people are transported in black buggies, pulled by retired race horses; they plow their fields with work horse power and dress very plainly in black pants, blue shirts and black straw hats for the men, and long dark coloured floor length dresses and bonnets for the women. Water is drawn from wells using windmills, and lighting in the home is kerosene. The ones who use machinery, use small tractors of less than 100 hp only. Many sell produce, maple syrup or crafts at the road side, but the money is collected by the purchaser putting the funds in a can with a slotted top, as no sales person may be present.
We managed to see several types of horse and buggies plying the back roads…single family ones with two seats and an enclosed top, goods buggies, open people movers and some odd homemade types. We saw a man in traditional dress roller-blading down the road! We were also fortunate to watch the school children on their lunch break playing baseball in a playground, the girls dressed in their long skirts and even the teacher, all in black, acting as pitcher. The boys, of course, play their game in a diamond on the other side of the school building. They even enter the school through separate doors; similarly, they sit in church on separate sides of the building.
We then took an unscheduled side trip to "The Kissing Bridge", the last wooden covered bridge in Ontario, spanning the Grand River. It was in a lovely setting of grassy banks with wild flowers everywhere. We also had the opportunity to shop at the small Mennonite general store by the bridge, with its shelves of 50 pound sacks of flour and sugar and bulk bags of oats and other necessities of the modern Mennonite family. Of course there were a few souvenir items we could look at and purchase.
We had our lunch in a wonderful buffet restaurant in town called the Stone Crock, after which we visited the many small shops along the one street of St. Jacobs. Quilts are a specialty here, as well as candles, soap and there are even corn brooms being manufactured along the street. The sun was bright and hot, contributing to the festive mood of our guests.
After we had had some time to refresh and dress, we proceeded to our visit to St. Andrews Lodge No. 661 in St. Catherines. We were 25 Freemasons, including our guide Damon, and 20 ladies attending. The Lodge meeting was a typical regular meeting with all the usual business, plus we observed a ballot being taken and a petition read out. We each introduced ourselves and stated where we come from, which gave the Canadian brethren a chance to see how wide spread we are as a lodge. I also gave them a brief history of Internet Lodge and explained to them how we came to visit them. We were lucky to find this Lodge, as few Canadian Lodges meet in the fourth week of the month. I also presented them with a wall plaque marking the occasion of our visit, and we were each given a home-made ceramic disk with their lodge crest on it. We proceeded to the festive board, which here is an informal meal. Our ladies, the LILies had been waiting patiently for us in sweltering heat upstairs, and unfortunately the home ladies had not really been ready to entertain twenty guests so our wives were happy to see us. Our John Dutchman-Smith was called upon to deliver the response to the toast to the visitors, which he did in fine style, humourously noting the Canadian propensity to use the words "Worshipful Sir" at every opportunity (it is in the Book) and doing us proud with his eloquence. He also managed to snag several new candidates for us over the meal time. The short ride home in the coach gave everyone an opportunity to sing a few popular songs, as it always seems to do once the lights are out. Thus ended another fine day of our tour in Canada.
On a day dedicated to Canadian culture, how could I forget the summit of CanCult, the visit to Tim Horton's? This is our national chain of coffee and donut shops, named after a famous ice hockey player, and as Jane says in her trivia test for the bus riders, the place where every Canadian goes from 10 to 11 am, causing the country to stop all business and industry and leaving us unprotected from foreign invasion for an hour every day. So it was necessary to have our guests experience this cultural ritual, as we stopped at the St. Jacobs Tim Hortons (no town is too small to have one) at the proper time and bought 33 cups and a box of 40 assorted Timbits (donut holes), which we proceeded to consume in the brilliant sunshine out front of the store. You don't get more Canadian than this!
Saturday May 29. We were able to have a bit of a lie-in today, departing at 9:15 after our usual buffet breakfast at the hotel. Today is vineyard tour day. Many people don't know about Ontario wines, but they are quite decent, and they mostly come from this very area. The land between the Niagara Escarpment, a substantial cliff to the south running the length of the peninsula, and Lake Ontario to the north, forms a micro-climate zone perfect for grape production. You may never have had Ontario wine, because most countries protect their industry by keeping others out, so they are mostly only available here in Canada, but they are good.
We first went to Chateau des Charmes Estate Winery just to our east in Niagara on the Lake township. It was established in 1976 by a refugee from Algeria, and the facility is built in the grand French style. Our official group photo was taken in front, with our guide Damon handling a multitude of cameras for us. Wines in this region are named for the grape variety like in the USA, rather than by growing region as in France or Germany. They cultivate 14 varieties of grape in this vineyard, and do their own research for developing new varieties. It is a lovely sight to see all the neat rows of vines alongside the neat rows of fruit trees all over this area.
We were taken out to the fields and given loads of information, then we went through the production process inside. Crushing and cleaning machines and giant steel fermenting and holding tanks, a barrel store for aging the more expensive varieties, and finally the bottling and labeling area were toured. Lastly, we went outside and had our tasting under a huge marquee tent, where we sampled four types of wine. They featured their Ice Wine, made from completely frozen grapes, harvested at night, which is the feature wine around here, and very expensive. The sun was beating down hot by this time, so after a look round in the sales area, we were happy to board our air conditioned coach and we proceeded to the Strewn Winery, also in Niagara on the Lake.
This winery is in a former fruit cannery, and not so grand as the first one. We again had the basic tour and sampled several more (small) glasses. This winery also has a terrific restaurant, so this is where we had lunch. It was a real gourmet treat, probably because they also have a cooking school associated with the firm.
The afternoon programme was the delights of Niagara Falls, a real tourist mecca, with all that goes with it. Garish is too mild a word to describe the Clifton Hill tourist area where we were unleashed. But first, we all went for a ride on the famous "Maid of the Mist" boat, which takes a trip to the base of the magnificent Horseshoe Falls, where everyone can get soaked, despite the bright blue poncho provided. The Canadian, as well as the American Falls are a unique sight and everyone was thrilled to get so close. After the boat trip, some went on the coach to a shopping mall, others wandered around the tourist strip.
Our final activity together was a visit to the "O Canada, Eh?" dinner and show. This was chosen to highlight another aspect of Canadian culture to our visitors. Held in a huge log cabin with family-style table arrangements, the attraction is the stage show performed by the staff of the restaurant between serving our courses. The show is a bit of the old music hall variety type, using Canadian written songs, some made up just for the show (singing the menu, for instance) with lots of lumberjacks, a voyageur, a dance hall girl and of course a Mountie singing and doing slapstick comedy. We were required to salute with the ubiquitous "EH?" at top volume to their frequent prompt. It was a lot of fun and the food was good too!
The bus ride at the end of the evening back to the hotel was a time for words of thanks and expressions of sadness at having to leave, and it was obvious that all had enjoyed the three days together. Jane received a lovely gift from the ladies for her extra efforts at keeping us entertained on the bus with her fact sheets and quizzes. Of course the treats as reward for completing the pages made everyone happy too. Our driver, Nicholas, who got us into and out of some tight places, and our guide Damon who did a terrific job keeping us together and entertained certainly deserved our thanks. We hope we will see Damon again in the future, as he will soon be a member of IL. As the drive back was short, we only had a few songs and we didn't have time to get too sentimental. The usual gathering in the courtyard was a last chance to chat, though most will see one another again at breakfast, before we all set off to our next destination, or to home.
It was a fabulous time together, and I highly recommend it to all members to take part in these social activities which are a fine part of our Internet Lodge experience. I hope you have all enjoyed my narratives, giving you a taste of what we did here in Canada. My sincere thanks to all who attended, and to Jane for all her invaluable help. See you in August in Chester!
Contributed by Rich van Doren
IMPRESSIONS OF CANADA
INTERNET LODGE TRIP 2010
It is often the impression of folks of the United States to think that they are still home when, in reality, they have crossed into another country by visiting Canada. Perhaps it is the same for our Canadian cousins to the north when they visit us. Such was my bemused state after clearing customs and heading for the hotel where Internet Lodge members and their wives were gathering.
I was jolted out of that mistaken reverie by the NavSat in the car announcing that I was to turn onto QEW Street. QEW? What a strange name for a street. Then, it hit me. Ah, Queen Elizabeth Way - right. I am now in Canada!!
Walking into the hotel and registering, I was soon meeting Alan Tibbetts - our Worshipful Master. "How are you? - eh?" Yup! I'm in Canada. And what a wonderful sight. Soon Nancy and I were saying hello to the brothers and sisters we had last seen in Manchester. Hugs and smiles and "hellos". It seemed as though we had never been apart. It was so natural a feeling to just pick up where we had last left off. Dinner and then a gathering in the restaurant area for announcements and getting clear about what we were to see on the trip. It all was relaxed, informal - and comfortable. Yes, that's the word I was looking for - comfortable.
After the meeting, we continued with an informal gathering on the inside patio where chairs were gathered and we got a chance to talk some more. Finally, it was time to get some rest before the next day.
We met for breakfast - not the full English breakfast, but a "three squares a day" meal of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries, toast, coffee and orange juice. Then it was on to the bus [well, OK - a "coach"]. We met our driver, Nicholas, who was retired from Air Canada, where he had been an operations exec. He now did this part-time… though you would never know it by the way he wheeled us through tight spots and avoided the occasional "nutty" driver.
We also met our tour director - Damon Allan - a wonderful young man and a currently seated Worshipful Master of his lodge in Hamilton, Ontario. He worked tirelessly for us all during the trip - constantly checking to see that we were being treated with the utmost care and service. Frankly, he spoiled us.
We were off to see the sights - first stop was at the Stony Creek battlefield. Now this battle occurred during the War of 1812…not one of the best moments in US history, but it did settle the issue of independence from England once and for all. It also settled the question of Canada remaining part of the Commonwealth once and for all. Stony Creek, apparently, was the battle that proved the point. Our Canadian hosts were careful not to "rub it in" when talking about this embarrassing [for the US] chapter in the war. But the summation was that 700 British troops defeated 3000 Americans in a daring night-time raid. But then, that is so typical of Canadians - polite, respectful and gentle in their relationships. It is like when I grew up in Minnesota... and I really miss those days of innocence and civility.
We next saw Dundurn Castle - the quite amazing home of Canada's first prime minister, Sir Allan McNab. He obviously had a great deal of money and didn't mind spending it on his home. It reminded me of the mansions of Newport, Rhode Island which were built by the captains of American industry back in the 19th century.
We stopped for lunch at the Scottish Rite Cathedral. Now this was familiar territory to me, being a long-time member of the Scottish Rite [Ancient and Accepted] in the US. But I could tell that it was a little different for our UK brethren who were not quite as used to seeing a large, beautiful building and auditorium used for such a purpose. The food was excellent… and a "spread" that was far too much for our group to begin to do justice in its consumption. But… we tried!
That afternoon, we made a trip to a nearby Indian reservation. The Six Nations Reserve - and did some shopping in their modern "trading post" that had everything from art work to animal pelts for sale. It was interesting to learn the tribal history and how their tribal government was structured. Typical of Native American tribes, it was the women of the tribe that govern and run the affairs, political and economic. [Actually, that sounds very familiar, somehow, now that I think about it.]
We completed the day with a beach side restaurant and - again - excellent food. We walked along the edge of the great lake after dinner and watched the sun set. Then it was back to the hotel where thoughts of gathering again on the inside patio succumbed to the fatigue of a long but satisfying day. In short - we crashed for sleep.
After the breakfast was completed; we were again onto the bus and away for the day's activities. This day was given over to a tour of St. Jacob's - a Mennonite community of German [by way of Pennsylvania] settlers who have some interesting religious and community beliefs that they practice in spite of the influence of modern technologies. In a word, they are living lives that are simple and rural and much more in keeping with the 19th century than in today's fast paced world. Nevertheless, they are excellent business men and women, and quite successful. Nancy and I had spent a year with similar communities in rural Pennsylvania, and we both admired them and respected their dedication to their principles. We enjoyed our tour. We also had another excellent lunch and a chance to do some significant shopping in the local artists' community that has sprung up in town. Fantastic crafts and beautiful handiwork was in every nook and corner of the town. The credit card will be catching up with us soon. Sigh….
That evening we went to the local lodge which seemed to be more on the Scottish side of traditions. At least, that was my perception, but it was wonderful to sit in lodge again with my Internet Lodge brethren and we had a great time socializing with the local hosts and their ladies.
Off to the local wineries…what a way to start the day! The Chateau Des Charmes was like something out of the South of France. We were treated to an interesting tour of the impressive "chateau" facility and an education in wine production ala Ontario. I learned that, for all kinds of political and economic reasons, we do not get Canadian wines in the US. Too bad… I would like to try some. Those of this winery were exceptionally dry to my taste, but color and bouquet was superb. The next winery, Strewn, was sweeter and a good Riesling was the first offering. Having lived in Riesling territory of Germany in the late 60's - early 70's, I was impressed by this wine. It held its own in comparison to its European ancestors. Lunch was an epicurean delight.
Following lunch, it was off to see the famous Niagara Falls. I had been there before, but never on the Canadian side of the river. It was much nicer than the American side, which - last I looked - was much seedier in appearance. The Maid of the Mist ride was everything one would hope for - and quite a thrill to be near the sound and fury of the Falls. I loved it!! Back on land - well, it was like Coney Island on steroids. "Kitch" doesn't quite capture the assortment of carnival-like shops and activities that await the traveler. Blocks of them.
To round out the day - and the trip - we went to the dinner theater experience "Oh Canada - Eh?!" The food was good and the atmosphere a rousing burlesque of the 1930's 40's and 50's vintage of family fun. We laughed and sang and responded with "EH!" whenever prompted. It was a delightful way to end this amazing trip. A real slice of Canadian culture and history - from the beginnings to the land we see today. I, for one, thought it was wonderful. Following the day, a little more "patio time" for a one last moment of being together before we retired to bed.
Driving back home, for nine hours, gives one time to reflect on what had just been experienced. Though being in Canada is always an enjoyable thing for us, and this time was quite educational as well, there was something different about this trip.
Nancy was the one to articulate it. "They're like family", she said. And so it is. This wonderful lodge is like no other I have ever experienced. We are a family. And so mote it ever be.
Thank you, Worshipful Master - and thank you, Canada… for once again putting it all in clear perspective. We look forward to being with you all again….
Rich Van Doren
A visit to Cyprus is planned for May 2020
The lodge has enjoyed travels to visit Brethren in many parts of the world.
You can read about them by following the links
Wolnosc Odzyskana (Freedom Restored) Lodge No 10 in Poland
An Internet Lodge Member living in Chelm (Helm) in the east of Poland close to the old Russian border along with other Polish Masons and a French brother resident in Lublin formed a triangle with the dream of reforming a French Lodge in the Vovodship of Lublin, Lodge Wolnosc Odzyskana (Volnosh Odsiskana). The triangle to reform Wolnosc Odzyskana was established in March 2007 and the Lodge re consecrated on the 4th of October 2008 in only 17 months which will raise an eyebrow or two amongst the founders who went through the birthing process of Internet Lodge and anyone else who has gone through this birthing process.
Free Masonry was first established in the Lublin area in 1733 and the Grand Lodge of Poland has been in existence since the early 1780's. Wolnosc Odzyskana was formed in 1784 and first Master was Polish General Ludwik Kamieniect. The Lodge was closed in 1820 nearly 200 years ago by Walerian Lukasinski (Valarian Wukashinski) a Polish hero of the post Napolionic period who lost his life imprisoned in Siberia for his unshaken fidelity to his country. Lukasinski a member of Wolnosc Odzyskana closed the Lodges transforming Free Masonry in Poland dissolving the Lodges into a resistance movement defending an invasion
For those of you who don't know of Internet Lodge it belongs in the Province of East Lancs. It has it's installations in Manchester but meets by dispensation all over the country for the others. Their membership is world wide and they have a visit abroad each year. My involvement with Masonry in Poland started in 2004 with a visit to the Lodge Pod Szczesliwa Gwiazda Numer Shedem (under the Lucky Star No 7) in Warsaw. Along with my pal John. There I met Bro. Nick also a member of Internet Lodge.
Our involvement with Lodge Wolnosc Odzyskana started with an E mail from Nick to John who passed it on to me as at that time I was only a Yorkshire Mason. well how else could it start in Internet Lodge.
Somewhere in the following dialogue Nick asked John if he could help finding any items for a Lodge to get them started and the call was put out. Robert of East Lancs. said he could come up with some working tools, Richard a pal in Yorkshire came up with an Oak Tool Chest and I said I'd make a set of gavels and a setting maul. Then Robert informed us a lodge that had amalgamated had a set of gear in a loft. When Robert dropped it off with John at the station in New Mills John was overwhelmed, arriving home John rang me in great excitement and couldn't contain himself, he said we've got the lot, the Brethren of Coronation Lodge have set us up with everything! When it landed in my kitchen we considered the next problem, we had a big heap, tracing boards, wands, swords collars, gavels, columns, how do we get all this lot to Poland.
The next E-mail was from Lublin, an itinerary sent out by Pierre in which a French and Swedish party would land in Warsaw on Wednesday 1st Oct., Thursday visiting Warsaw, off to Lublin, tour Lublin on the Friday, Saturday the ladies would go shopping and we would consecrate the lodge and basically play Free Masonry all day. We would take our ladies for dinner in the evening and return to Warsaw on the Sunday and fly home. Now I have friends in Warsaw of 38 years standing in the form of three adopted sisters who organised an apartment for us bang in the middle of Warsaw. So we, John, my wife Sue and I decided to go two days early and leave a day late, Monday to Monday so we would all have time to meet. John and I still had a 50 odd Kilo problem to get over there and time was getting short. We were looking at how to ship it all and the possible costs. At that point Internet Lodge threw us a life line offering to help support us with the expenses also an old friend and a number of people came to the rescue of which I will say more later.
The excitement was tremendous Nick and Pierre had been working at this since early 07, producing a full itinerary and John, Sue and I since May. Finally arriving in Warsaw at our apartment was a bit of a home coming as the three of us had stayed there two years before and I can't describe the feeling walking out to supper that night at the start of our adventure. Tuesday we were tourists and in the afternoon we joined my friends at their home at Medzechyn and reminisced the years. Wednesday evening the French and Swedish party joined us to be with us for the whole trip, the whirlwind had started. You will remember the next name from the start of this paper. That evening we visited Lodge Walerian Lukasinski and were treated to an Accepted Rite Initiation and following the ceremony the French Brethren returned to their wives, whilst 3 of us stayed for the festive board, 18 of us round a table for a buffet and a glass of wine. A wonderful experience, my cup was all filled up. New friends and a reunion of Brothers, what a day.
Friday morning we were off on the coach to Lublin with the conversation flying around in French, Polish and English, accompanied with a great deal of gesticulation, what an electric experience and the effort made by all to communicate fantastic. In the afternoon John, Sue and I visited Majdanek concentration camp, a very stilling and thought provoking experience. Returning in the evening we rejoined the rest of the party for dinner in the Old Town area of Lublin.
The Consecration on Saturday was held at a theatre workshop at Gardzienice in an old palace a few miles out of town in the middle of the Polish countryside, a wonderful setting for the event and very appropriated home for the new Lodge. The anticipation and spirit of the event grew as we steadily gathered. Finally the ceremony was opened by the Grand Master and his assistants. The visitors were invited in and the consecration got underway. In due and ancient form in and with great care the Grand Master consecrated Wolnosc Odsysksna. A first for me and very interesting.
Wolnosc Odzyskana was born.
We broke for a buffet lunch and returned to install Our Brother, Nick in the Chair for which I was outside. W Bro. Nick then installed his officers and took charge of his Lodge. They then interrogated their first candidate and I mean interrogated having a series of questions put to him with long pauses and no comment made on his answers, very different, Their candidate will have no problem steadily persevering after crossing that bridge. As well as the Polish Brethren the ceremony was supported by 7 French Brethren from Nice, 2 Swedish Brothers, 2 Brothers from I nternet Lodge and myself from Yorkshire.
The now Worshipful Brother Nick then made a special presentation to express his thanks for all the support they had received from Coronation Lodge, in East Lancashire and particularly Internet Lodge. The whole event was very emotional for most of us and for many different reasons some of which I will express later but particularly for Nick and Pierre. The day concluded with a banquet at our hotel joined by our wives in Lublin with a glass of wine, an ample supply of bon amiee and Vodka.
Sunday we waved goodbye to our French pals at Warsaw airport and our Swedish pals at Kreditova who were flying a little later. John, Sue and I went to a farewell party in the Old Town for my adopted family and we flew home Monday dinner time, it was a bit like leaving home.
To understand some of the import of this event I must tell you there are only about 450 masons in Poland and in this constitution Wolnosc Odzyskana is Lodge number 10. The Grand Lodge of Poland was finally recognised by the Grand Lodge of England in 2003. Polish Masonry crept into the open in 1989. In secret Tadeuz Gliwic, Tadeuz Cegielski, Alexander Malachowski and others reformed Lodge Kopernic in 1960 bringing it in contact with Copernik in Paris in 1963. In 1939 official activities ceased and on the 7th April 1940 Lodge Kopernic surrendered its warrant and opened as Lodge Copernic No 679 under the Grande Lodge Du France. Following the war in 1945 Boleslaw Bierut head of state legalised Free Masonry, his motives were suspect and the offer was declined. A core of pre war Masons continued in secret with no initiations until 1960 and their only contact with the outside world established with their sister Lodge in Paris in 1963 finally officially affiliating in 1990. In Dec. 1991 two further Lodges were reawakened and a Grand Lodge formed on the 27th Dec. that year. They finally regularised Lodge Kopernic Under The Grande Lodge National Du France in 1992 and were finally recognised, as previously mentioned, by UGLE in 2003. That Brethren, is a long exile.
Now Warsaw Head Quarters is a house on a street built by Free Masons and they met there in secret for 50 years. The Gestapo never found them. The Russian secret police never found them. The Polish Communist Police never found them. I was taken round in 2005 and all was still props that could be quickly burnt. I was told in earlier times the Square and compasses on the Volume of the Sacred Law were paper cut outs to be eaten in the event of being detected. One brother and the son of a brother from the old days were at the consecration of Wolnosc Odzyskana.
Having arrived at the problem of some 50 odd Kilos to deliver, "Internet Lodge" came to the rescue with a support fund. I repaired a large blanket chest to pack it all in and the tracing boards were in a steel box. Sue my wife rang round to have it all export packaged to cross the borders and a local Rotherham firm was found. The lads at the freight depot enquired what is was all for and when I explained, they would not charge us and wished us every success. I then contacted an old friend and one of my Mums students Chris from 20 years ago who is an exporter for advice. The reply, "don't worry I'll sort something out". Time went by, John and I were feeling a bit urgent and on the edge of panic (we know you shouldn't). I rang Chris and had to apologised as he was in Vienna. "Don't worry" he said. Two days later an E-mail came at dinner time, "Speak to *........ Tel No. *.... and drop the Box at *.....", which was a firm the on other side of Rotherham. "The truck leaves first thing tomorrow morning". They opened at seven. We stuck labels on following instructions with a "packers inventory" that described the contents as stage props and I was parked outside at a quarter to 7 in the morning, Majid rolled up at quarter past eight. I'd left John with the headache and problem of trying to insure it. All which was achieved by dinner time. The transport firm would not take any payment, they were happy to have helped, the insurance cost £150.
All we knew was, it was our precious cargo was on it's way to Warsaw and would be there in 10 days, we didn't know how it would all get to Lublin or to Nick's in Chelm. A few E-mail's and panics later we received an E-mail from Nick to say Darek at the Warsaw distributors had been in touch, arranged a drop-off with him in Lublin a short distance away, there was no charge and wished him well.
So many lovely people in the world that just want to see a good thing happen and share in a part of it by helping it on it's way. The only expense was the insurance.
I wish to thank all the above for their interest, kindness, involvement and help. The Brethren of Coronation Lodge for their wonderful gift and pleasure that their tools will be used once again. W.Bro. Robert for oiling the wheels and finally coming up with a wonderful set of ebony and silver working tools in an oak chest so they don't gather dust in Manchester and a pair of very heavy ashlars all carted in our suit cases. Customs would have been pleased!
To Internet Lodge for the development fund giving Nick ,John and I a safety net to push it all through. For supporting our brothers abroad spreading Free Masonry and for sending something new, a beautiful engraved presentation Square and Compasses.
A special mention must be made here of W Bro. John who involved me in the quest to scrounge some gear to set up a new Lodge. Over 115 E-mail's have flown through the ether arranging it all, John pinning the title "Masonic Recycling" to it. John's unstoppable enthusiasm made this rather special thing happen. We only have opportunities!
Lastly to thank our hosts the Master of Walerian Lukasinski No 2 and his brethren for their wonderful hospitality. To the brethren of Wolnosc Odzyskana, their Master Nick and especially Pierre who together have formed a new Lodge who arranged our stay and took us everywhere.
A triangle is established and a candle lit on the eastern borders of Central Europe. May it prosper and burn brightly. Nick and his brothers extend an invitation to any who wander that way and lastly, the Lodge name for those who don't speak Polish.
Wolnosc Odzyskana translated Freedom Restored
Bro Alan Turton
Internet Lodge No 9659
The membership of Internet Lodge is spread across more than twenty-eight countries around the world. A number of those members live in countries that have become newly independent since the break-up of the old Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. Aware that steps are being taken in those countries to re-establish freemasonry by the re-opening of lodges long ago closed and by the creation of new lodges, the members of Internet Lodge expressed a strong desire to support this re-establishment of freemasonry in those countries in a practical way.
With the support and agreement of the Province of East Lancashire and of the United Grand Lodge of England, Internet Lodge has now established its "International Development Scheme". The Scheme comprises a set of procedures and protocols, backed by the necessary funds, which will enable the Lodge to provide help to newly forming overseas lodges by making gifts of Masonic furniture, artefacts and regalia that will help to get a new lodge off the ground.
The items that will be gifted to the new lodge will usually come from lodges in England that have closed down, perhaps on amalgamation with another lodge, or from a lodge that has decided to surrender its Warrant. Such lodges then find that they have surplus Masonic items of many kinds including furniture, regalia and other artefacts. Internet Lodge would obtain these items, arrange for any necessary restoration and repair and then would deliver the items to the overseas lodge. All the costs for this work would be drawn from the Scheme.And already, from contacts between its members in this country and in Poland, and with generous donations of items from two East Lancashire lodges, Coronation Lodge and Manchester Science and Art Lodge, the Scheme has been able to undertake its first project. In October 2008 two members of Internet Lodge travelled to Lublin, Poland to present a number of refurbished items to Lodge No. 10 "Freedom Restored" where they were received with much gratitude.
Internet Lodge, through its International Development Scheme, hopes to undertake further such projects in the future.
This is a brief description of the past meetings of the Lodge.
Members are able to see fuller details of the venues, minutes and many of the lectures presented on the members-only pages.
|9th October 2021||Rugby||Warwickshire||History of the town of Rugby. White table.|
14th August 2021
Installation of Worshipful Master for 2021-2022
|20th March 2021||Manchester||East Lancashire||Abandoned due to Covid-19 regulations|
|10th October 2020||Salford||East Lancashire||Abandoned due to Covid-19 regulations|
|5th September 2020||Salford||East Lancashire||Abandoned due to Covid-19 regulations|
|21st March 2020||Manchester||East Lancashire||Meeting abandoned. Freemasonry suspended.|
|12th October 2019||Sindlesham||Berkshire||The pointers to the Royal Arch and Mark
Degrees within the Craft W.Bro Philip Harris
|10th August 2019||Peacehaven||Sussex||"Rogues and Rascals in Freemasonry"
WBro Bob Lacey O.B.E. PPrSGW
|16th March 2019||Manchester||East Lancashire||Installation of the Worshipful Master for 2019-20
WBro Cristian Mihutoiu Inaugural Address
|13th October 2018||Harrogate||West Yorkshire||Lodge of Sorrows demonstration. Ladies' Festival|
|10th August 2018||Tamworth||Staffordshire||Masonic Garden of Remembrance at the National Memorial Arboretum|
|17th March 2018||Manchester||East Lancashire||Installation of the Worshipful Master for 2018-19
WBro Alan Breward Inaugural Address
|14th October 2017||Barry||South Wales||Tercentenary Celebration|
|12th August 2017||Lutterworth||Leicestershire||Other degrees in Freemasonry|
|18th March 2017||Manchester||East Lancashire||Installation of the Worshipful Master for 2017/18
W.Bro Carl Freeland Inaugural Address
|8th October 2016||Sheffield||Yorkshire WR||"The Future of Freemasonry - Patrick Belton
|13th August 2016||Grantham||Lincolnshire||"The future of freemasonry" - WBro John Acaster|
|19th March 2016||Manchester||East Lancashire||
Installation of the Worshipful Master for 2016/17;
|10th October 2015||Newcastle||Northumberland||
Demonstration of 19th Century 3rd degree ceremony
|8th August 2015||London||Metropolitan||"Welcome to the World of Tomorrow", a presentation by the Connaught Club|
|21st March 2015||Manchester||East Lancashire||Installation of the Worshipful Master for 2015/16
WBro Ben Allen Inaugural Address
|11th October 2014||Newport||Monmouthshire||Demonstration of Historic Russian Initiation
|9th August 2014||Olney||Buckinghamshire||The origin of English hymnal.|
|15th March 2014||Manchester||East Lancashire||Installation of the Worshipful Master for 2014/15
WBro Royston Morris Inaugural Address
|11th January 2014||Salford||East Lancashire||Administrative Meeting|
|12th October 2013||Manningtree||Essex||Richard Gan - The Ancients and The Moderns|
|10th August 2013||Bangor||North Wales||David Siviter - Masonic Figurines
3rd to 10th May 2013
|Bucharest and Brasov||Romania||Lodge visit to Romania
Read Alan Wyer's blog
A view from the Lilies Bronwen Liles' blog
|16th March 2013||Manchester||East Lancashire||Installation of the Worshipful Master for 2013/14
WBro James Hogg Inaugural Address
|13th October 2012||Kettering||Northants & Hunts||Demonstration by Northants and Hunts team of an initiation in 1759.
|11th August 2012||Knutsford||Cheshire||Kai Hughes Grand Orator "Initiation! What's the point?"|
|4th to 10th May 2012||Valetta||Malta||Social and Masonic visit to Malta
Visit to Lodge of St John & St Paul No 349 UGLE
Visit to Ars Descendi Lodge No 6 Sovereign Grand Lodge of Malta
Tours, visits, sightseeing, dining and much else.
Read here Alan Wyer's blog
And here is Dave Grayshon's blog
And a blog from one of our ladies - Ann Bryan
Other members' comments
|17th March 2012||Manchester||East Lancashire||Installation of the Worshipful Master for 2012/13
WBro David Starbuck Inaugural Address
|8th October 2011||Coventry||Warwickshire||Demonstration of Bristol Workings First Degree Ceremony|
|13th August 2011||Berkley||Gloucestershire||The Masonic Legend of Jack The Ripper Lecture by WBro Richard A Brown Provincial Grand Orator for Gloucestershire
|2nd to 5th June 2011||Minneapolis||Minnesota||Social Visit to Minneapolis
Demonstration of Emulation 3rd Degree to Sir Winston Churchill Lodge No 351 followed by White Table Social Board
Open Installation Meeting of Lebanon Lodge No 346
3rd Degree Ceremony at Lake Harriet Lodge No 277
Read here one member's blog
|19th March 2011||Manchester||East Lancashire||Installation of the Worshipful Master for 2011/12
WBro Chris Malpus Inaugural Address
|9th October 2010||Wells||Somerset||Lecture by Simone Enefer-Doy, CEO of Lifelites Charity
Informal Ladies Festival
|14th August 2010||Chester||Cheshire||Lecture By Alan Turton - Elias Ashmole|
|26th to 30th May 2010||St Catharines, Ontario||Canada||Social visit to lodges in Canada|
|20th March 2010||Manchester||East Lancashire||Installation of the Worshipful Master for 2010/11
WBro Alan Tibbetts Inaugural Address
|8th to 12th October 2009||Westhoughton||Lancashire||"The Grand Charity" WBro David McCormick
|8th August 2009||Boston||Lincolnshire||"The Master's Song" WBro Derek Hughson|
|4th to 11th June 2009||Ljubljana||G.L. Slovenia||Social visit to lodges in Slovenia|
|21st March 2009||Manchester||East Lancashire||Installation of the Worshipful Master for 2009/10
WBro Bill Holden Inaugural Address
|11th October 2008||Brockenhurst||Hants & I.O.W.||A double raising (the sons of a member)|
|8th to 9th
|Oxford||Oxfordshire||The Role of the Internet in Modern Freemasonry
|15th March 2008||Manchester||East Lancashire||Installation of the Worshipful Master for 2008/09
WBro Mark Griffin Inaugural Address
|14th March 2008||Manchester||East Lancashire||Visit of MWBro Lord Northampton to present the prizes in the inaugural Short Papers Compeition|
|12th to 15th
|Cardiff||South Wales||WBro Andrew Hollo-Tas: "Freemasonry in Hungary - a thought provoking report of the development of the Craft in central Europe".
Ladies Festival - Millennium Stadium
|11th August 2007||Rugby||Warwickshire||A double initiation (the sons of a member) followed by a lecture "What every Entered Apprentice should know in fifteen minutes" by WBro John Belton.|
|9th to 12th
|Atlanta||Georgia USA||Lodge informal visit to the home state of the Worshipful Master including attendance as guests at a meeting of Chamblee-Sardis Lodge on 10th May|
|17th March 2007||Manchester||East Lancashire||Installation of the Worshipful Master for 2007/08
MWBro Charles A. Lewis Past Grand Master Grand Lodge of North Carolina. Inaugural Address
|14th October 2006||Winchester||Hampshire and
Isle of Wight
|The Great Debate - The Ritual needs to change?|
|12th August 2006||Durham||Durham||Tom Coulson - The Masonic Museum at Beamish|
|18th March 2006||Manchester||East Lancs||Installation of Larry Porter as 9th Master
Inaugural Address - "The Future of Masonic Ritual"
|29th October 2005||Kenton||Middlesex||Administrative Business followed by a visit to the 75th Anniversary meeting of Fraternal Lodge No 5212.|
|8th October 2005||Estoril||Portugal||Guests at an emergency meeting of Lancaster Lodge No 9413 (UGLE)
WBro Professor JosÃ© Anes (Past Grand Master of the Regular (Legal) Grand Lodge of Portugal) "The History of Freemasonry in Portugal"
Ladies Festival at the Hotel Atlantico Estoril
|13th August 2005||Beaconsfield||Buckinghamshire||Yasha Beresiner - "Elias Ashmole's initiation and some more questions"|
|19th March 2005||Manchester||East Lancs||Installation of Michael Herman as 8th Master
|9th October 2004||Kendal||Cumberland & Westmorland||A Demonstration by The Cleveleys Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.1176 of The Building of King Solomon's Temple.
Ladies Festival at the Castle Green Hotel Kendal
|14th August 2004||Worcester||Worcestershire||Alan Wyer - "The Female Influence on Craft Freemasonry"
Followed by a traditional Lancashire Olde England Night Festive Board
|20th March 2004||Manchester||East Lancs||Installation of John Dutchman-Smith as 7th Master
Inaugural Address - "The need for openness"
|11th October 2003||Edgbaston||Warwickshire||Demonstration of a Ceremony of Initiation exactly according to the Minutes of St. Helier Lodge in the year 1765 and in the costume of that period by The CTO & Telecomms Masonic Association Demonstration Team
|9th August 2003||Penarth||South Wales Eastern Division||Richard van Doren "The Development of Freemasonry in the United States of America"|
|15th March 2003||Manchester||East Lancs||Installation of Derek Oliver as 6th Master
Inaugural Address "We are family !"
|30th November 2002||Bath||Somerset||Simon Fernie "The Extended Ceremony of a Board of Installed Masters-The 1926 Controversy"|
|12th October 2002||Canterbury||Kent||Jan AM Snoek "The Masonic Method-Initiatory and Allusive"|
|10th August 2002||Leiden||The Netherlands||Guests at a meeting of L'Age D'Or 235; Leiden; Grand East of the Netherlands, and Ladies Festival in the Leiden Museum of Antiquities with an historic Egyptian Temple as 'backdrop'.|
|8th August 2002||Hull||Yorkshire, North and East Ridings||Evert Kwaadgrass "Some remarks on the history of Freemasonry in The Netherlands"|
|16th March 2002||Manchester||East Lancs||Installation of Ab Goedhals as 5th Master
Inaugural Address "Outline of his programme for the year"
|13th October 2001||Leicester||Leicestershire||Neville Barker Cryer "Language and Ritual of Today"|
|September 2001||Florida||U.S.A.||Informal visit to Florida|
|18th August 2001||Nottingham||Nottinghamshire||Nottinghamshire Constabulary Male Voice Choir
|17th March 2001||Manchester||East Lancs||Installation of Peter Lanes as 4th Master
Inaugural Address "Charity"
|13th January 2001||Manchester||East Lancs||Dedication of the Lodge Banner|
|14th October 2000||Great Queen Street||London||Peter Walker "The Telephone Lodge"
Ladies luncheon at The Russell Hotel, Russell Square
|12th August 2000||York||Yorkshire, North and East Ridings||David Mann "CITO Lodge, the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists and the Lifelites Project"|
|18th March 2000||Manchester||East Lancs||Installation of Chris White as 3rd Master
|9th October 1999||Oldham||East Lancashire||Donation to Turkish earthquake relief|
|September 1999||Edinburgh||Scotland||Informal visit to Roslyn Chapel|
|14th August 1999||Oxford||Oxfordshire||Michel Brodsky "Continental Freemasonry"|
|15th May 1999||Great Queen Street||London||John Hammill "Communications in Freemasonry"|
|20th March 1999||Manchester||East Lancs||Installation of John Belton as 2nd Master
Inaugural Address "The Missing Master Mason"
|10th October 1998||Dore, Sheffield||Derbyshire||John Wade "Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his Contribution to Freemasonry."
Ladies Festival performance of "Amadeus"
|8th August 1998||Bromsgrove||Worcestershire||RA Gilbert "The Trials and Tribulations of a Masonic Apologist"|
|21st March 1998||Brentford||Middlesex||PEH Thomas "The Temples at Jerusalem|
|29th January 1998||Manchester||East Lancs||Consecration of Internet Lodge No. 9659
Installation of Gordon Charlton as 1st Master
A project to assist the re-establishment of Freemasonry
In those now independent countries of the old Soviet bloc and Yugoslavia, there has been a welcome re-establishment, a re-birth, of freemasonry .
This is a freemasonry that had lain dormant for many years, having been erased from the life of those countries during the long periods of first Nazi and then Communist oppression. During those years of oppression and subjugation many Masonic buildings were destroyed, together with their historic contents. Valuable furnishings and fittings and works of Masonic art were destroyed.
When freemasonry was revived in those countries those new lodges were therefore starting from nothing; nothing that is except a strong and driving force present in good men who wanted to establish an independent freemasonry in their own country.
The brethren of Internet Lodge therefore want to assist in this most worthy purpose. We want to provide help and support to those newly forming lodges and by so doing strengthen and encourage an emerging freemasonry in those countries. As a valuable by-product of such help and support we will further cement the good international relationships between countries, between brethren and between lodges, both Grand and constituent.
- An explanation of the scheme.
- How it helped Wolnosc Odzyskana (Freedom Restored) Lodge No 10 in Poland.
- A Letter of Thanks from Wolnosc Odzyskana (Freedom Restored) Lodge No 10 in Poland.
- Read the story on the National Grand Lodge of Poland website.
- An Article by John Belton - Wolnosc Odzyskana A case for Masonic Recycling
reproduced by kind permission of the editor of "The Square"
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