ISSUE 10, July 2004
John Pine: A sociable craftsman
Jumping for Joy: Skydiving for charity
Quarterly Communication: Speeches of: the Grand Master, the Pro Grand Master and, Report of the Board of General Purposes
Supreme Grand Chapter: Address of the First Grand Principal and Report of the Committee of General Purposes
Royal Arch: Cheshire gives a lead
  Walking with the greats: Bath Masonic Hall
Motoring in style: Classic Vehicle Club
Masonic education: A daily advancement and Events for your diary
Travel: Portugal
Library & Museum of Freemasonry
International: A warm welcome in Malta
Masonic ritual: Spoilt for choice
Public relations: Sheffield; Dorset; Chelsea Flower Show; Freemasons' Hall
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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The Temples at Jerusalem
and their Masonic Connections,
by George Farrah.
Central Regalia (01455 614911), £29.95.
ISBN 0-9542516-1-X)

Here is a real blockbuster of a book for Masons old and new and non-Masons alike. Note the plural for ‘temple’ in the title – alluding to the buildings of Solomon, Zerubabbel and Herod.
     Here is a definitive work on the biblical, archaeological and historical background to these temples, so crucial to Masonic history. The author even broaches the subject of whether Solomon and his temple ever existed.
     With over 100 illustrations and 34 chapters, this is a veritable goldmine of information for the Mason seeking his daily advancement in Masonic knowledge.
     Even the topography of the Jordan Rift Valley is highlighted, showing why Solomon’s foundry works were said to be located there, some 30km from Jerusalem. The exact sites of the temples of Solomon and Zerubabbel are discussed by various archaeological and biblical scholars.
     The area covered in the book is considerable, from Solomon’s Alliance with Hiram Abif and the building preparations, temple music and musical instruments, to subjects familiar to Masons such as the working tools, cable tow and the rough and smooth ashlars.
     Here is a book to treasure, and it is highly recommended as an essential requisite for any Masonic library.
John Jackson

Authors of Major and Mrs Holt’s
Battlefield Guide books

Which battlefield have you found most inspiring?
Three in particular sent shivers down the spine: Isandhlwalana in South Africa, the Valley of Death in the Crimea and virtually the entire Gallipoli Peninsula. All three have been more or less untouched by modern developments and it is easy to visualise exactly what happened there.

How do you divide the work between you?
We research our Battlefield Tours through reading from our own extensive military library and listening again to the tapes we were privileged to be able to make of veterans’ memories from our touring days. Then there are the long days of driving (mostly Tonie) over the ground, Valmai making copious notes and using her French to communicate with local historians, Tonie taking photographs. Back at the hotel Tonie marks each memorial on the computer for the map that will accompany the book, Valmai writes up the route in detail. Then back at home we both put the flesh on the skeleton route: the military background and the humaninterest stories.

What is your current project?
Our current project is our most ambitious yet. It is a guidebook to cover the entire WW1 Western Front from the Channel at Nieuwpoort to below Verdun. It turned out to be so voluminous (covering 23 battlefields) that it will appear in two parts – one to be published in June, the other to follow by Christmas.

In between writing, how do you relax?
Our greatest pleasure is to spend time with our two granddaughters. We both enjoy watching golf and tennis. Our other passion is our Aston Martin motorcars – a modern DB7 and a vintage DB2/4 – and going on Owners’ Club rallies.

What books are you currently reading?
Valmai: Le Grand Meaulnes – a cult novel of fantasy and adolescence written by Alain-Fournier. Fournier, with two other officers and 18 men of the French 288th Infantry Regiment, disappeared near Les Eparges on 22 September 1914. In 1977 a mass grave was found containing 21 skeletons, which proved to be Fournier and his companions, but mystery still surrounds their demise.
Tonie: The Book of Nothing by John D Barrow, which is fascinating as I have a fondness for mathematics.

More information about Major and Mrs Holts’ books can be obtained either by writing to Pen and Sword Books Ltd, 47 Church Street, Barnsley S70 2AS or telephoning 01226 734555