The Temples at Jerusalem
and their Masonic Connections,
by George Farrah.
Central Regalia (01455 614911), £29.95.
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.
TONIE AND VALMAI HOLT –|
AUTHORS OF THE QUARTER
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
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’
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
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